Doug Phillips & Vision Forum

Boerne Christian Assembly Excommunicates Patriarchy and Homeschool Leader Doug Phillips


 The elders at Boerne Christian Assembly have officially and publicly announced that Doug Phillips is now excommunicated from the church he founded.





bca, doug phillips



The notice was signed by:

Jeff Horn, Elder

David Fry, Elder

You can read the rest of the response at the Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA) website.

In a previous article at SSB, you may recall that BCA made a public notice that “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.”  Doing so was strictly against the rules that Doug himself established for BCA. BCA is doing good by their word and following out the polity previously established at BCA, again, they are only enforcing the church rules Doug Phillips set in place for his congregants. In this article, it was also disclosed that Doug, his wife, Beall, and 2 of their sons had become members of a mega-church nearby and it was not an family-integrated church, but a traditional church with Sunday schools segregated by age, etc. The new church membership was remarkable in that it is an age-segregated church, a kind of church he taught was unbiblical.

Please note that this is a common behavior spiritual abusers use. We recently learned that Mark Driscoll left the church he established, Mars Hill, after he refused to abide by the restoration plan his elders had established before he could assume his position as pastor.  Both Mark Driscoll and Doug Phillips somehow believe they are above their own rules and elders. This behavior shows a complete lack of humility and trust in the elders who are supposed to be caring for the soul of the pastor and hold him accountable.




95 thoughts on “Boerne Christian Assembly Excommunicates Patriarchy and Homeschool Leader Doug Phillips”

  1. The whole thing is a three ring circus. No elder has any authority, no institution has any authority, and there is no such thing as church discipline. God’s people are one body of individual temples indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and a holy nation of priests in and of themselves . Eldership is a gift, not a position of authority, and assemblies are based on fellowship, NOT membership.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brenda asks a great question, and in my experience too many evangelical churches do not ask the hard questions before admitting a member. My personal bias is that this is more likely to occur in megachurches, but I may be wrong here.

    And this case? I find myself thinking that (a) BCA did the right thing by excommunicating someone who clearly broke the rules, but (b) given that BCA may have overlooked Philipps’ sins for a long time, I’m not sure that they’re the ones to administer Biblical restoration.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. …of course, if not otherwise, how would what some call the “evangelical industrial complex” be supported? And the info-babe that coined that phrase is spot on–she may not understand WHY it looks that way, but her nomenclature nails it.


  4. Paul if there is no church discipline how do you explain Matthew 18: 15-17? Local bodies, churches, were being established in Paul’s day. Yes we are individual temples of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t have go to people in our lives, how could this passage ever take place?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Woe to the hypocrite! I think he’s had his reward – a day of fame, some influence and power, sold some books and spoke at some conferences. Now he can enjoy reaping what he’s been sown.

    As to the process taken by the elders, I believe it is founded in “whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven.” (Matt 18 and John 20 I think) I believe there’s precedent for that type of language, and it’s there to be used for cases like this.


  6. Brenda,
    Matthew 18 is a process for resolving conflict among believers. Where do we get “church discipline”? Where is it in Matthew 18? In the Bible, we have “self discipline” and “the Lord’s discipline” but there is never a discipline administered by something that is not a biblical word to begin with; ie, “church.” “Church” was attached to assemblies when they became institutional in the 4th century. The end of Matthew 18, if it goes that far, is a discontinuation of fellowship and nothing else. When Phillips left, he vacated fellowship on his own. To then declare him an unbeliever is according to John Calvin’s “power of the keys” and is completely unbiblical.

    Moreover, in all cases, this bogus excommunication process takes place before the congregation is involved (this holds everyone accountable). INSTEAD, the decision already made is announced to the “church.” In cases where the assembly wrongly sides with the offender, the 3 are to break fellowship with the group proper. Christ stands with them because they are standing for the truth. The context fits a small home fellowship model, and not mega church institutional models which is why we follow Calvin’s “power of the keys” model developed in a church state context.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Paul,
    Most of the words used in todays English translations weren’t used in the first century. It was before English. The word “church” is used many times in the translations that I use. I believe Matthew 18 was appropriate in this situation. It was an issue between believers even though a non-biblical assembly IMO. I do agree that the congregation should have been involved in this. I do not believe a mega church is ever a good idea. Smaller assemblies are my preference where everyone knows everyone. The church I attend now has gone to 2 services because of growth. This is getting way too large for me. I can’t know everyone in a congregation that large.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Church discipline” equals Calvin’s power of the keys which clearly put the institutional church in charge of people’s salvation. Calvin states this in the Institutes in no uncertain terms, and this can be clearly seen in the statement that is the subject of the post.


  9. Dealing With Sin in the Church

    15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

    Matthew 18: 15-18 NIV If they refuse to listen to the church, which was not properly done here unless the elders were the entire church body, this man should have been shunned, for lack of a better word. Pagans and tax collector’s were not recieved well.


  10. Brenda,
    The contemporary take on Matthew 18 came from one source and one source only: Calvin’s power of the keys that puts the Institutional church in charge of people’s salvation. Ministries such as 9Marks concur. I even saw the phrase “church polity” used here which is a soft term for “church government.” Churches are trying to use a system that was designed for church states. America is a Representative Republic which is why these mega churches need a team of lawyers to write their church covenants.


  11. As usual, the rules, which are typically proof-texted to show how “biblical” they are, only apply to the pew-sitters. (And often to those in lesser authority.)

    Trying to hold the leader accountable is like trying to catch a will-o’-the-wisp.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. BTDT,

    The pew sitters do not have the power of the keys, only the elders do. What is more obvious than the fact that the rules do not apply to them? They are God’s “preordained authority to save God’s people from ignorance.”


  13. Paul,
    I could care less about Calvin’s power or any of the other patriachs for that matter. I do care about God’s word. If the sin of an individual no matter their status is brought before them and they do not repent they are to be put out of the church. That is not saying if they later repent like the prodigal son they should not be lovingly brought back into the fold. That would not mean they would be qualified for their former position or ever be. In Phillips case, I believe he created his own church on his own foundation and when it is not built on the solid rock it is doomed from the start.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. …and that’s why you “tell it to the church” because in fact elders DO NOT have authority and are equally accountable according to the principle of fellowship.


  15. Just an FYI: For me the issue is not about whether BCA’s polity is Biblical or not. BCA’s current elders are enforcing the polity set in place by Doug Phillips – and the same rules he expected members to abide by and enforced with the same treatment if they did not comply: excommunication.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. …which also goes hand in hand with the idea that salvation is only found in the institutional church. See it in their statement? No?


  17. I wonder how Doug Phillips is processing this? Is he saying that the BCA elders are spiritually abusive? What could be going through his mind as this is displayed publicly? I wonder what, if anything, is said at his current church? Maybe DP will start a BCASurvivor blog and become bosom buddies with Jen Epstein (oh wait, is it Fishburn?). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “…which also goes hand in hand with the idea that salvation is only found in the institutional church. See it in their statement? No?”

    I saw that after Rick pointed it out and wonder if that was intentional.


  19. Paul,
    We have no power to take away someones salvation, if they indeed have it. I find some of these “leaders” questionable, but I’m not going to be handing out the sentences on judgement day.I have known those who struggled with drunkenness that were put out of the church and later came back to repent and be restored. It does happen, we are not perfect by any means. If drinking too much iced tea were a sin, I’d have been cast out long ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Julia,
    It’s quarreling among theological thieves and there is no honor to be found in it. They think they have removed Phillips from the “Body of Christ.” They think they have authority over his salvation granted to them by God. I fail to see any integrity in it.


  21. Brenda – No one has the power to take away someone’s salvation, but I’ve seen most specifically Calvinists proclaim someone an unbeliever (I’ve been called a Jezebel). I see it frequently on Twitter and it drives me nuts.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Julie Anne,
    I know. I’ve been called a few things myself along the way. I have had my salvation questioned because I am a pagan woman who has been divorced. Selfish me not wanting to live through abuse instead of living alone in peace. I’m no Calvinist, but I have a hard time believing that anyone who abuses another human being is a believer. Not in my Jesus anyways.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I hear you, Brenda. I just am very curious about that statement and would like to understand where they are coming from: if they are saying that they view Doug to be an unbeliever or not and what is this based on – – their polity, understanding of Scripture, or what?


  24. I have been threatened with excommunication from two churches that I was not a member of, nor have ever been a member of. One Calvinist, who is fairly well known, begged me to repent so that they could, “gain a brother.” LOL! Do I really hate Calvinists? I don’t think so for they supply me with so much humor.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. JA,
    I doubt you will ever get a concrete answer on any of this. It does seem though that a believer would want to set things right before their brothers, sisters and Christ, most of all. Instead DP ran down the road to another institution. The Jews were unable to keep the letter of the law, thus Jesus came to be our supreme sacrifice. How is it that “so called preachers” think their laws are going to work any better? That I don’t understand at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Paul,
    I think I would have had a completely ????? look on my face if someone said that to me. I have a reasonable sense of humor, but Calvinists, although I don’t hate them I don’t find too amusing.


  27. Brenda,
    I have studied them for 8 years, and to tell you the truth, I am no longer angry at them; I now see them as totally ridiculous. For me, the ???? comes with the knowledge that people still give these guys money. But wait, no so much: what will people pay for their salvation?


  28. Ya, someone find the vid where Kevin DeYoung says that assurance of salvation comes from the elders: LOL! no wonder they make the big bucs!


  29. there is a lesson to be learned in this. Never buy into a wrong foundational premise just because you don’t like a person or think they deserve it.

    what Paul is saying here is the truth. if you want to see what the ridiculous term church discipline looks like it would probably be better to look at first Corinthians 5 and then the subsequent discussion on the matter in 2nd Corinthians. Not Matthew 18. does anyone know why they like Matthew 18 so much? it is because it is vague enough for their interpretation. It is usually taugjt with a fourth step added:. take it to the elders. it is not in there folks. so when it says take it to the church they interpret that as the church elders ,leaders as in the people who want control. the passage relates to teaching that was before Pentecost. so what church was Jesus talking about?

    1st Corinthians was written to the entire church and the entire church was to deal with the situation with tears in their eyes.

    let us ask ourselves why anyone has bought into their terminology of church discipline. Is it not breaking fellowship with someone ….usually over behavior? Rarely do we see it concerning doctrinal matters.

    they want discipline with authority. it is about controlling people. there is nothing of Jesus Christ in it at all. and often it is concerning doctrinal matters. which is nothing but thought control.

    no one has to fellowship with Doug Phillips who does not want to. the question to ask is what would you do if he showed up at your church?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I’ve sent out an e-mail to a BCA leader trying to get clarification on this statement:

    Therefore, the Elders of Boerne Christian Assembly have moved to excommunicate Doug Phillips from the Body of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Brenda, I cannot tell you how often Matthew 18 has been mistranslated and misused. On purpose or out of ignorance. Still it is not a passage to be proof texted.

    I did an in-depth study on it years ago. I encourage people to at least go back to Matthew 18: 1 and start from there. better still Matthew 5 through 26 is a better bet.


  32. JA,

    Yes, Kevin DeYoung has said this. He is an ordained minister in the PCA and is required to uphold church polity ( church government).

    Kevin is also Dutch Reformed. This is part of his family ancestry.


  33. Without “The Gospel Coalition” and “Together For The Gospel”, would you be aware of who Kevin DeYoung is? Probably not. Kevin is one of the younger members of the conference groups. He plays the game or he would be tossed to the side of the road. There have been nuanced indications that he’s not on the same side as the others.

    Sadly, this past weekend Kevin hosted Mark Dever at “The Magnify Conference” in Lansing, Michigan, letting Dever promote “healthy” churches as per Capital Hill Baptist Church and their membership contracts.


  34. When I was a child, I noticed that bullies were quick to protest if someone bullied them. We had a saying, “He can dish it out but he can’t take it.” This applies to both Doug Phillips and Mark Driscoll.

    Of course I don’t agree with membership covenants and shunning people who disagree and want to go elsewhere and pretending that the institutional church has any control over anyone’s salvation.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Just a note. Matthew 18 is set within teaching that those in the kingdom are total equals but living within a occupying dictatorship that operates on the caste system principle. It starts with “who is the greatest” in that chapter. be thinking ‘don’t lord it over like the Gentiles do’ when reading.

    until you have tried to exercise Matthew 18 with a pastor or an elder, you might not understand why its usual misinterpretation is such a problem. It makes no sense in a hierarchical (usually institutional) church.

    and Paul is right the typical understanding of Matthew 18 comes from the church state mentality translation.

    if you think of how it is used today in most institutional churches in America it is ridiculous. and the beauty for the controlling elders is that people voluntarily join churches, give their money and give up their rights in the process. these guys really have their cake and eat it too. and we allow it by going along.

    BCA is nothing but honor among thieves. that was a great way to put it, Paul.


  36. Why do people attend a church? I have asked this of those I personally know. They have not answered with “salvation by institutional church”. Rather, it’s because they are lonely and looking for family, or they and their family and friends attend.

    There are very loving, caring, compassionate and honest men serving as pastors and elders. They don’t make the news.


  37. Julie Anne asked “I wonder how Doug Phillips is processing this?” He is doing the one necessary thing in his world view. He is looking for another revenue source, trying to rebrand, and do damage control, along with develop new markets. Now my hope is that this would snap him out of it, he would reconcile and repent and God would be totally glorified in a public reconciliation and healing. That hope goes to show what an unregenerate heathen I am.


  38. @PaulsPassingThoughts:

    “Church discipline” equals Calvin’s power of the keys which clearly put the institutional church in charge of people’s salvation. Calvin states this in the Institutes in no uncertain terms, and this can be clearly seen in the statement that is the subject of the post.

    What did Calvin think of a certain Pope in Rome also claiming the “power of the keys” by Apostolic Succession from St Peter? More solid historical trace there, Cal.


  39. Oh boy. Several of the men from the church just went to that conference in Lansing. What should I be prepared for. The pastor said it was encouraging.


  40. Brenda …..NO, NO, NO! Could you find out what he thought was encouraging?

    By the way, would you like a little global warming send your way? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Carmen,
    I would love some global warming. I was told that it will be 40 later this week. I will even take that. I am already sick of cold and snow and it’s just getting started. The day I can retire, I will be leaving MI.

    Ok, I just sent an email asking what he found encouraging and if he found anything that perhaps wasn’t so good.


  42. Carmen,
    Here it is, vague though it is.

    The sessions dealt with the preaching of the gospel, the ordinances of baptism & the celebration of the Lord’s Table, and the necessity of discipleship taking place within the membership of the local church. The conference promoted a high view of the church, and the importance of the church being the church and not trying to be something other than it is (pursuing trends instead of pursing Christ). I was encouraged by the messages given.


  43. Lydia,
    I know that Matthew 18 should not be used in a marital abuse case. The abuser inevitably wins and the victim/target comes out looking like an unforgiving person, which is ridiculous. I honestly don’t think these verses can be mistranslated or misused unless you want to do that. As you said–adding something to it. I realize this is meant for a personal dispute, but I believe someone in a leadership role is in dispute with the entire body.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Brenda,
    I’m wondering what the underlying reason your pastor, men from your church, and all the others who attended Dever’s presentation, had for being there. “The conference promoted a high view of the church.” I would challenge that what TGC and T4G promote is a high view of “church leadership.”

    Dever’s book “What Is A Healthy Church?” has this at the beginning of the book:
    “If you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member of the Church you regularly attend, I worry that you might be going to hell.”

    Thom S. Rainer, CEO and President of Lifeway ( Baptist) is pushing the very same lines. His latest book: “I Am A Church Member”.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Carmen,
    There was a sermon given several months ago on church membership. There are quite a few that have been regular attenders for years, but will not become members, they don’t see the necessity. It was not a push it down your throat kind of a thing, but did say that membership was Biblical because of a couple of scriptures where several thousand were added to their numbers in a single day. I never really questioned church membership and have no problem being a member, but I do have a problem with a quote this Dever guy gave about possibly wanting to find a new church. He said that you should first consult your pastor. Why in the world would that be necessary? I am free to come or go as I please. If I decide that I want a change for any reason, I can do that without anyone’s permission. He also said not to gossip, which he considers talking about your reasons for leaving to anyone. Which brings me back to why would I talk to the pastor? Wouldn’t that be gossip?

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Matthew C. Mitchell’s book “Resisting Gossip” ( Foreward written by Ed Welch of CCEF fame) is becoming popular among this crowd. Kevin DeYoung is having his youth group use it as a study book.


  47. BTDT,
    I read some of this and you are right I need to learn the red flags. My eyes are giving out for tonight. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Brenda, my guess is you will get along peacefully at your church as long as you do not dissent too much or too often. I would encourage you to do your own homework on 9 Marks and the Neo Cal movement in general.

    Often pastors go along with the popular movements and naive pewsitters tend to think pastors know what they are taking in when truth is the pastor also believes whatever the celebrity pastor on stage is teaching.

    Everything you have stated from your pastor sounds benign unless one has done their homework. It isn’t. It is a cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Lydia,
    I plan to do my homework. What I have seen of 9Marks so far I am not impressed with. I have a knack for questioning often. Sometimes I think pastor sees me and heads the other way. I don’t confront him often face to face. But I have email and know how to use it. I have questioned his use of John Piperisms far too often. I did not opt in for the Ladies Bible Study because it was written by RC Sproul. I think I will check out the church library this week and see what is in there. My being at this church is week to week. If I don’t believe I can make a difference, I will be looking for a new church home.

    Pastor doesn’t see the problem with these men and says pastors aren’t perfect either. I don’t see the need to be advised by celebrity pastors. I prefer the ones like Carmen described above: There are very loving, caring, compassionate and honest men serving as pastors and elders. They don’t make the news. My pastor from when I was a girl is now 80+. I wish they made them like him now. He was a sweet loving man who was always there to listen and preached in a gentle manner. Just how I would imagine Jesus giving the sermon on the mount.

    I don’t know. Perhaps he doesn’t know what he is getting into either. I know I want my ducks in a row in order to speak clearly on the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. “Doug Phillips has been informed that if he desires to pursue reconciliation and restoration with the Body of Christ, that he must first contact one of the Elders at Boerne Christian Assembly.”

    Fat chance, it would appear. Presumably the elders know which church Phillips and his family are now attending. I wonder if either of them has contacted anyone in the megachurch to inform them of the excommunication and the reasons behind it. I’ve read enough of the history of Acts29 churches to know this can be abused, but when the one leaving is the abuser? The new church should at least know what they now have on their hands. Phillips may like the anonymity that often comes with a mega; then again, maybe he can’t resist the opportunity for more recruiting.


  51. I’m not familiar too much with Pastor Doug Phillips teachings although I know he is a patriarchal group, but this does make me somewhat feel sorry for him. I don’t agree with the churches that make these types of rules or any strict rules that seem legalistic than biblical. But as others say, Mr. Phillips broke one of the rules he enforced and is know banned from the church he founded. It’s still sad at the end of day.


  52. I’m sure they know which church he is going to. If I were the pastor of the megachurch, I’d sure have a hard time having Phillips as a new member knowing he has not fully repented.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Brenda, my former pastor is in his 80s too. He is such a good man and was such a fine pastor. A Bible scholar, a good teacher and counselor, and a good father and husband.

    I read about abusive pastors and pastors that only care about their celebrity and I am saddened but I don’t despair because I know it can be done right and that there are many good pastors out there that are a blessing to their congregations.


  54. “Pastor doesn’t see the problem with these men and says pastors aren’t perfect either”

    Big Red Flag. Why is it about being “perfect”? That is a deflection to shut people up. In fact, he hears them say this often if he is listening to them at all. Saying it is supposed to make them appear humble yet make others reluctatant to dissent. It has the effect of shutting folks down.
    CJ Mahaney used it often as did Mark Driscoll.

    Expecting pastors to be perfect? Wonder what Jesus taught about this for His followers? Matt 5

    What is interesting is the same scripture that your pastor teaches from says,
    “be perfect like your heavenly Father is perfect”. Perfect means maturing, fully developing, etc. So, if he is teaching others about Jesus Christ should he not be striving for “perfect”?

    From a purely scriptural pov, he is basically telling you he has no plans to mature or fully develop spiritually. Run while you can. He does not even know basic scritpure well.


  55. Going back to the statement, I’ll agree the wording is clumsy, but Matthew 18 and other passages do indicate that the unrepentant sinner ought to be treated as an unbeliever. So there’s a bit of truth there–I know not whether Phillips is in the body of Christ or not, but I do know that due to his unrepentant abuse of the young lady, his church, his ministry, and others, it does appear that the Bible commands me to approach him as an unbeliever–unlikely as me meeting him would seem to be.

    And I was struck by Brenda’s comment about Matthew 18 not being good for abusive husbands, and as the son of a man who was an abusive husband and boyfriend, it strikes me that this kind of situation ought to be one where deacons and elders ought to get it pretty quickly. You get a woman coming in with her face/other body parts covered in bruises, broken bones, and the like, and my response is “I don’t care what she did to you, you are out of line.”

    Or, put another way, it seems that the problem is with men on elder boards who do not clue into incontrovertible evidence, not Matthew 18 per se. And regrettably, I’ve seen it.


  56. Bike Bubba,
    What about the woman who’s scars can’t easily be seen. Perhaps they are internal. She is sexually assaulted, things thrown at her if she doesn’t conform, not allowed to come and go as she feels the need, not allowed to associate with friends or her family, belittled, falsely accused etc. You get the drift. I don’t believe Matthew 18 works in that situation either. It is his word against hers and abusers can be pretty convincing while they are zipping on their sheep suit backwards.


  57. “If you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member of the Church you regularly attend, I worry that you might be going to hell.”

    Carmen S,
    I am more concerned about the members that might be going to hell because they have decieved themselves and quite possibly wolves in the sheep suit.


  58. Oh, Brenda…how can the members be deceived if they follow the “leaders”? ( wink, wink).

    The Apostle Paul didn’t collect wages. He worked day and night to not be a burden to the brothers ( and sisters). No pecking order. They were all brothers. The money collected was for helping with needs. You think that would fly with your pastor?


  59. Brenda, actually, I think that if you actively promoted the use of the Matthew 18 reconciliation process, you’d get somewhere. Besides, aren’t the deacons and elders of the church drawn from the same group where you’d get the police officers, social workers, psychologists, and such that would investigate the same type of crimes when it gets to the government?

    So while there are limitations to what church officials can do–can’t send ’em to a hospital for a rape kit test and such–it stands to reason that if they took these allegations seriously, they’d be able to make some progress. It’s not like they’re geniuses at work, but retards when they walk through church doors, no?

    I know; that’s a big “if”. A lot of churches–most maybe–bobble this one badly. I get that–I watched it destroy my family growing up. But I’m also one who’s heard friends and acquaintances reveal all kinds of things–up to and including sexual assault–that they’ve done. You just need to develop the relationships to hear–I’ve been told some pretty “wow” things after knowing someone only five minutes, believe it or not–and then from a church government perspective, you’ve got to learn how to say “this is out of bounds–I don’t care what your spouse did, this is out of bounds.”

    Get that even halfway right a few times, and I think you start to generate a climate of trust where people take the little problems to you (e.g. my wife heard a woman mention her husband wouldn’t help her when she had car problems) before they get to be big problems.

    And that big “IF” again, agreed. But I’ve got some hope here.


  60. Carmen S.
    This is the first church I have been to where the pastor was full time paid by the church. As a matter of fact there is also a youth pastor and talk of getting a third for whatever reason. I believe Paul could have expected some help with his ministry, but as you said he didn’t want to be a burden. I know when this pastor was a youth pastor for another church years ago, they were barely getting by, but he wasn’t working outside of what the church paid him. In the churches I grew up in the pastor was given a token amount and worked a job. No I don’t think he would do it now. The church also helps support 23 missionaries and local mission groups.


  61. Bike Bubba,
    I don’t have hope in many churches on this subject. I have heard of a woman who was locked in her basement and couldn’t get to her children upstairs. Instead of calling 911(crazy) she called her pastor who told her that she must stay there until her husband chose to let her out. That was one of the smaller problems. I have a friend who was put out of the church because she refused reconciliation after being sexually assaulted, lied to repeatedly, brought close to financial ruin. Her X is still in a teaching position in the church and has a girlfriend spending weekends with him.

    There are way more churches that let this stuff fly than there are those who do something about it. When the woman goes to the church it usually makes the abuse escalate, but they don’t believe this nice guy would do these things. I read a blog written by a woman who was married to a man for many years who was a pastor and a pedophile. Although, he never assaulted his own children he did everything he could to put himself in positions to sexually abuse kids. He drove her to the point of craziness with all types of mental, verbal, emotional and spiritual abuse. To this day there are members of the church that do not believe he is guilty and should not be in prison where he belongs.

    Granted if people in good marriages seek help before the little things become big that is wonderful. I got the opportunity to hear a man’s testimony a few days ago about how after 6 years of marriage he and his wife were ready to call it quits and then they decided to start fighting for each other instead of against each other. Now, 7 years and 2 children later they are still fighting for each other and their family. That story tore at my heart strings.


  62. Brenda
    Your last paragraph please report abuses to Focus on the Family/Dr. Dobson & H.B?London Jr. and J.Lee Grady at Charisma and Christianity Today to investigate these abuses and man still in teaching position abusing wife and girlfriend. Look at Arcata, Ca calvary chapel case where wife committed suicide because husband molesting foster care daughters. Know lot’s of women in Calvary Chapels with husbands molesting children or being abusive and NOTHING done (worse teaching Sunday School). Makes you wonder what sin pastor in or if homosexual (and married to do nothing). Whole Body of the fish stinks from the head; had lot of women leaving churches in So. Calif,. killing themselves over wrong advice and no help. I will find the site where there’s over fifty men in Christendom to report church abuse, better yet put it on post card. Unfortunately it’s in all denominations.
    Biblical Church Discipline by Daniel Wray (small booklet), excellent on Matthew 18:15-17, sent over 400 to church leadership and passed out people who were sent to correct churches (Arthur Katz would talk about in his written works along with Leonard Ravenhill, I call them The Sent One’s or The Letter Writers).


  63. “This is the first church I have been to where the pastor was full time paid by the church. ”

    And this is key. When your financial existence is wrapped up in your “ministry” it is hard to be objective. You need people in the church giving. And a scandal that involves a lack of discernment can ruin all that. And worse,if the paid minister wants a notch in his belt to show how he “saved” a marriage, the woman loses even more.

    The absolute worst thing an abused woman can do is tell her church. Call the authorities.

    Full disclosure: I am way past seeing the point of full time paid clergy. We are all priests in the priesthood. We are all “ministers”. There is no clergy/laity distinction in scripture. Only functions and gifts. Full time paid ministry has brought nothing but a problems for a millenia.

    It is a huge paradigm shift and lots of scriptures prooftexted to try and prove a place for full time paid ministers in the Body but it just is not true. Were those “sent out” given help? Yes. But if we are to pay “double”, let us remember it is with “honor” for serious labor. Not a salary and tax exempt housing allowance. Pastoring is a spiritual gift and function in the Body. Any of us could “pastor”. Elders are those who are most spiritually mature and are fed to the lions first.


  64. WOW, I have little or no respect for FOF. There are a few that have their eyes open but not many. I will check out the booklet you suggested.


  65. With regards to contacting the authorities, in a criminal case, definitely, but my take is simply that churches will not get it until people start using the procedure God designed for this. Yes, too many churches get it wrong, but I don’t know that this lets us off the hook.

    It is worth noting as well that government authorities can and will close ranks around an offender when it suits their purposes–President Obama has used this with a degree of genius for the past six years to prevent offenders (e.g. IRS auditors) from being rightly imprisoned. So sending things to government merely sends the issue to a slightly different group of sinners.

    Regarding the point that people will not behave when a man’s livelihood is tied up in the church; yes, and this is why 1 Timothy’s prescription for elders includes “not a lover of money.” And sometimes these things come out when the matter is before those with church office–deacon or elder–and it becomes clear to participants that they’ve got other motives than the Gospel.


  66. What factors contributed to the downfall of Doug Phillips and Mark Driscoll; two of the most influential leaders among Calvinist Christians? Abuse of authority is not one of the Ten Commandments so it took some time for the legally-minded to understand what was wrong. Phillips and Driscoll left scores of devastated people in the wake of unjustified excommunications.

    What is the common thread and how did they rise to the top? Though defensive about the subject; many reformed evangelical conservatives believe that men are superior to women in general. It goes far beyond being the head of their household. Add the emphasis on authority and you have unknowingly put out a welcome sign to bullies. Spiritual abuse, domestic abuse, and child abuse are more likely to go unchallenged. The line between misbehavior and criminal behavior can be crossed repeatedly because we are just “sinners saved by grace”, not perfect but always forgiven.

    I’m sure there are Godly Calvinists out there. It was personal experience with this faction of Calvinists that led to my conclusion. I have several family members in this group. They are shunning me because they “don’t trust my judgement”. I am not allowed to see my nieces who are toddlers. It is totally unjustified and heart-breaking. I draw closer to God; which is always a good thing. I’m so glad there are ways to speak out. Thank you.


  67. Joanne, welcome to SSB.

    You have much wisdom packed in your comment. I am so saddened that it has affected you so personally in that you are now being shunned which to me is the epitome of contempt, the opposite of love. I’m so, so sorry.


  68. Joanne,
    I am so sorry that you are being treated so poorly by your family. From what you said your judgment is fully in tact and your family is sooooo wrong.


  69. Brenda: “I have little or no respect for FOF.” I understand that, having been at this for a long time. Think of entire books of: Ezekiel & Amos to the tune of deliver the message NOT responsible for what they do with it, PLEASE JUST DELIVER THE MESSAGE*. Believe me, had my issues with FOF which all media/Christendom leaders heard about (good that came out of it Dr. Dobson apologized on national radio and asked the church/listeners to help single parents). Dr. James Dobson along with Debbie Mendenhall would expose public education reading textbooks with our tax-payers money telling our children, if they couldn’t cope kill themselves was the running theme through these English textbooks NATIONWIDE as he had resources (radio, magazine, platform etc). Not to mention these books had major satanic theme throughout=pretty horrific.

    I In turn, apologized to Dr. Dobson (took apology to all media on forgiveness and apologizing to those, why of it all). When you have a ministry (or any endeavor), you have to watch New Age/Satantic plants that come in (there are so many books on the subject, John Paul Jackson’s Jezebel teaching tape, not the book exposes how witch took over all the prayer groups in a church in the guise of being Christian).

    *This goes for anyone who does this. Have friend who kept gnashing, beating a subject to death for years not moving on with life (been there, done that). Or, a political group wanting help to get the word out. Tell people, unless they are willing to take the offense public, shut- up and move on. Told political group/friend: Google: all emails for media and or addresses; Gov’t agencies for your State. Use your Reference Department at Library. Extremely stupid response, “that won’t/doesn’t work”, really, my response is how do you think the News gets there stories (can’t fix stupid, whatsoever)!

    Example: If, people who had been abused by Doug Phillips, issues with Mark Driscoll had been reporter by those who had been abused, notified every address in Handbook of Denominations and all Christian Media and News Media Outlets, Radio, Editors of Magazines; anyone who will listen, they might have been exposed sooner. Better yet, make phone calls. Find someone like David Wilkerson who when you called, reported church abuse, removed people. Or, like the pastor endorsing oral sex, sodomy from pulpit, counseling, Sunday School, say, you can make world wide news or step down with minimum of two years of counseling (he stepped down). Wow, it actually works.


  70. Abuse of power by a Pastor in a Bible-believing church silences the abused. The same is true for domestic abuse, child abuse, abusive employers, coaches, teachers, counselors. These people are in positions of trust and responsibility to care for the ones they are abusing. It is very difficult to get anyone to believe you. Especially when it involves respected leaders. Why do you think it took so long to bring Jerry Sandusky at Penn State to justice?
    I am very grateful for the persistent and caring people who never stopped shining a light on these issues in the church. It must be very rewarding to see results, regardless of how long it took.


  71. I am very grateful for the persistent and caring people who never stopped shining a light on these issues in the church. It must be very rewarding to see results, regardless of how long it took.

    Amen, Joannecom!


  72. Joannecom: Google this same site name & article: blogger mother who posted public article about her daughter’s disobedience has changed her mind and removed 7/12/2014. Read comments posted by “Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound”*. As I was reading this site and others like and comments some people have the thoughts that this cycle of abuse follows them (understand that also, been my entire life also; *little of my testimony).

    Reward? I’ve seen so many court cases people/children) not see Justice (true justice). It’s like the Alex Grenier case, want Bob Grenier held accountable, removed from pulpit and counseling minimum of two years if NOT longer and Board of Men/women decide if he can ever be back in pulpit, want Calvary Chapel movement to admit they have NEVER acknowledged child molestation or wife a users accountable and apologize and make it right. Think of many Men /women who have made Charisma/Christianity Today who have NEVER been accountable for their actions or even Los Angeles/N.Y. Times (any media outlet). Like Ted Haggard never served his mandated sentence of counseling/accountability put himself back in position to take money from people. Where all these types of used car salesman religiosity men/women selling their dead religion to make that kind of money and lifestyle in secular working world in the guise of non-profit. More thoughts on that later. Think of all the people that leaders harmed and these people are waiting for them to take responsibility for their actions and what they have done and apologize and yet they don’t see it that way. My former evil pastor thinks he has done NO wrong and still out preaching/teaching to people who don’t research a matter or have no discernment. Look at all the blogs, read over 80 hours of Mike Bickle IHOP/KC abuses, whew. Where’s justice for Bethany Deaton and Jeremiah Candler? Think of Crouches behavior never really accountable, or B. Hinn; many like At the close of John Paul Jackson’s Jezebel Tape teaching, how to deal with Driscoll’s/Phillips and many like. There is God’s Justice, seen that play out.


  73. Joannecom: (above: wife a users should be abusers, spell ck keeps changing word).

    There will be a time in your life in, that “you will get mad as hell and NOT take it anymore”. If, nothing else to protect your children or any children (I’ve been where I didn’t think enough of myself or the intimidation; somewhere I have an old article of all the excuses that people on Power Trips use to keep you suppressed and quiet). I’ve known people who were even threatened by law enforcement agencies that were designed to protect. That’s, when you do your research, start calling every media outlet (thank goodness for the internet that’s all public record; better yet your reference department at your library that print out every list and even in address label form). Then you go to U.S. Post Office and buy their pre-paid postcards, on 8.5×11/12″ sheet of paper, type the grievance and mail to all media/Christendom addresses. If, the point needs to be taken to the House/Senate, do so and name names (keep emotion out, make them all aware of circumstance); also library has all these address on Avery label address format; they will show you how to do and get. Have friends, anyone who will donate to the mailing cause and go screaming in writing. The church world (leadership) was told in 2004 if I heard about anything, or people told me something in regards to abuse, or my friends/I was abused it was going to make world wide news (they were told they had platform, some had T.V./radio) to make that announcement (also, media world). Don’t second guess, do it. With satanic/demonic school books imperative to call as matter of life/death, then sent out letters/postcards.

    I’m talking EVERY media outlet, radio (with this did the major names), every editor of newspapers/magazines; even the inane little news papers constantly collecting name of editor/address/phone/fax etc. I don’t exclude the controversial magazines, whoever will run with the story and investigate (have people help you). You will find magazines you never heard of and maybe someone wants to get the Pulitzer Prize for investigating. If, you ever read Battle Hymn by John Secura/Dane Phillips, they reference writer and what she did because no agency would help (wish could elaborate more; it’s all true/correct). Book: Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian written by Christian Editor of Whistleblower Magazine, or “Losing My Religion” by William Lobdell (thank God for William and these writers). Contact J. Lee Grady, maybe he will write your story or take offense public (I would). Depends if have help, email also not always guaranteed to work as evil corrupt system has blocking mechanism or you can only send out so many emails in an hour when you’ve only been on five minutes, that why ALWAYS do postcard. Letters are also fine, postcards get read by more people (that’s the goal). Fight the good fight. Also, turn like Phillips/Driscoll into agency’s Head of IRS, Secretary of State if they are still allowed their 501c3 non-profit status (shows they had no prophets or violently killed/shut them down metaphorically speaking).

    Brenda R. You’re not a Pagan Woman. Had a friend in counseling because the therapist said to her, “what do you think God will forgive you for, Divorce or Suicide, think about it Divorce or Suicide with explanations” because she was abused wife (also mother beat her growing up). Although in Chapter 10 of Book: 10 Lies The Church Tells Woman that evil pastor wanted that wife’s death over divorce and still working on him to be in prison for murderous advice. Takes all for your comments.


  74. Wow, what a great list of ideas. I’m saving your comment. The dilemma for me is that I may never see the great-grand kids again. This is too awful to imagine. How can I be non-confrontational and still speak the truth about the false doctrines that have separated us?


  75. paulspassingthoughts,

    You had said:
    “The pew sitters do not have the power of the keys, only the elders do. What is more obvious than the fact that the rules do not apply to them? They are God’s “preordained authority to save God’s people from ignorance.”

    My response:

    Oh, I was with you until you said that the pew sitters do not have the power of the keys.

    If we were to read Matthew 18 from verse 1, it shows that the conversation was to disciples, not Apostles. Now, Apostles are disciples, but Apostles was not the word used. Hence, Peter is not the sole person that has the keys, as the Catholics want to teach. We all have those keys.

    But, what is the purpose of those keys? The answer to that is “Bind and Loose”. Bind and loose what?

    What is the main topic of Matthew 18? The answer to that is “Forgiveness”.

    Conclusion: If we forgive someone who sinned against us personally, that loosens that sin from heaven against that person. If we do not forgive someone who sinned against us personally, that sin is retained, or “bound” in heaven to that person. Now, the person that sinned against us can be forgiven by other means, directly to God, bypassing us altogether.

    Keys is to loose or bind.

    Also, Brenda, the word Church is ecclesia, and that is the people of the church, not a church government organization, or elders, or pastor, or deacons, or bishops. It is the pew sitters, in addition to elders, deacons, bishops, or whatever you want to call them.

    Lastly, I see that the conversation took a turn when it was discussed that fellowship is lost, but not the salvation.

    That is a confusing thought. I’ve said this once, and I will say it again. The person is to be treated as an unbeliever, the word in the KJV is “heathen”, which means that the person was not saved to begin with. You can’t take away something that he never had.

    And that is the same with 1 Cor 5. Kicking a person out of the body of Christ is not only loss of fellowship, but it is a statement showing that the person was not a Christian to begin with.

    And, if you read the statement from the elders of Doug’s former church, Doug is excommunicated from the “BODY OF CHRIST”. That is a statement that states that Doug was never a Christian to begin with, nor do they consider Doug to be a Christian.

    Now, if we take a look at the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholics believe that “THE CHURCH” is Rome, not people. They also believe that the Roman Catholics are saved. So when they excommunicate someone from “THE CHURCH”, they are making a statement that the person is not gonna make it to heaven, period.

    I say all this to say that I agree with paulspassingthoughts 99 percent. It’s only the power of the keys thing that I disagree with. I also do not believe in church discipline.

    The purpose of an elder is to give spiritual advice. Remember the famous saying “Respect your elders”? Elders do not hold a position of authority. A person older than you generally knows more than you, which gives them credence that they know what they are talking about. They are wiser than the younger crowd. They have lived life.

    Religion (think of the Pharisees, or, in modern times, the Catholics) made Christianity into a government that punishes people for sins that Jesus already died on the cross for. Hence, church discipline, which does not exist in the Bible.

    Discipleship exists, but not discipline.



  76. Also, Brenda, the word Church is ecclesia, and that is the people of the church, not a church government organization, or elders, or pastor, or deacons, or bishops. It is the pew sitters, in addition to elders, deacons, bishops, or whatever you want to call them.

    I do not disagree with this statement Ed. I also believe that discipline and discipleship can go hand in hand. Sometimes love and discipleship much first involve consequences.


  77. Ed,

    Thanks for the input on my comment. I believe Paul assumed the guy was saved in 1Cor 5…see verse 5. The loosing and binding in Matthew 18 has to do with a synagogue (which were mostly home fellowships) that wrongly stands with the offender. The offended and the two witnesses are therefore supported by Christ in breaking fellowship with that synagogue. Treating them “like” heathen is a fellowship issue–Christ didn’t say the action “made” them heathens. Jews didn’t associate with Gentiles. Generally in Jewish culture, though debated, it took three people to start a synagogue. If the assembly wrongly stands with the offender, the three are to break fellowship and presumably start their own assembly. Note that after explaining the whole Matt 18 process, out of nowhere, Christ readdresses the three, Why?


  78. To All,
    Oh, and by the way, salvation by church institution and elder absolution is OFFICIAL Protestant polity and orthodoxy. Calvin and Luther stated it in NO UNCERTAIN terms. I just posted on this recently and cited several quotations from them.


  79. …sins committed as Christians remove us from grace, and perpetual forgiveness can ONLY be found in the institutional church where we “preach the gospel to ourselves.” I mean, Johnny C and Big L stated it plainly.


  80. paulspassingthoughts,

    Hello. You had said:
    “I believe Paul assumed the guy was saved in 1Cor 5…see verse 5”

    Based on how I take verse 5, “so that the spirit may be saved”, that tells me that he isn’t saved. The purpose of “delivering such a one to Satan” is NOT because he USED TO BE saved, that is isn’t saved, nor was saved to being with,but it is because he BELONGS to Satan.

    In addition, the word “heathen” is defined as a Gentile, non-Jew, pagan. That is the same as saying an “unbeliever”. Believers are not to treat other believers as a heathen, regardless of anything.

    I must say that I disagree with your explanation as for binding and loosening.

    Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven. The main “SUBJECT” of Matthew 18 is “FORGIVENESS”. In addition, the word Synagogue is not used. Synagogue is not people, but a place, whereas the word church is ecclesia, meaning assembly, or people. This “heathen” is to be disfellowshipped, yes, but Christianity is a exclusive club. Unbelievers are not welcome. Believers are welcome. You send this guy to Satan, where he belongs. Matthew 18 is not kicking a believer out.

    A GREAT example of Bind/Loose is with Stephen. Stephen was MURDERED. Stephen asked God to NOT hold that sin against them. That loosed the sin of murder from those people. If any of those people go to hell, it sure won’t be for the murder of Stephen.

    Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If any of those people go to hell, it certainly won’t be for shouting, “Crucify him!”. They were all forgiven. That loosed that sin from heaven.

    I think some things are “common sense” that many have way too many strange explanations for. Way too many so-called protestants are kicking believers out of the church, as if it were a disciplinary action. That is nonsensical. Common sense tells me that the only ones kicked out of the church is non-believers. Also in 1 Cor 5, Paul makes sure that we understand that God judges those who are outside the church, and that we are to judge those inside the church. Once we kick an unbeliever out of the church, he isn’t ours to worry about anymore. He doesn’t belong to us. He belongs to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh…SO THAT…

    But then that opens up a new can of worms. Who decides what a non-believer is? Take for example, Julie Anne. Her former pastor thinks that she is a non-believer. What do you think? Here is my take on that: I do not believe anything that her pastor preaches. Does that make me an unbeliever? Or does that make me a person that disagrees with his preaching, and yet, still a believer? Is my disagreement with the preaching reason to “take it to the church”? Or, in the so-called protestant case, “to the elders and the preacher of THE CHURCH”? Who has authority to kick me out of THE BODY OF CHRIST, and why? I always thought it was because someone sinned against me, personally, and denied it, but at least two other people saw it, that could verify it, and yet, he still denies it.

    This Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthian 5 thing is WAY OUT OF CONTROL. Believers would confess in Matthew 18. Non-believers would deny any wrongdoing. Common sense trumps strange teachings about Matthew 18 and 1 Cor 5.

    1 Corinthians 16:22 (KJV)
    22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

    That is excommunicated. How do we know who loves the Lord, and who doesn’t? The person that loves the Lord in Matthew 18 would have confessed. The person that does not love the Lord in Matthew 18 would deny the charges amidst the witnesses as well as the “assembly”. Common Sense. The HEATHEN is excommunicated. Does Julie Anne love the Lord? Her former pastor kicked her out. What does that say about the belief of the former pastor? What sin did she commit that would have a need for her to confess to? Was she brought to the assembly? Were there witnesses? Who did she sin against? Who was the judge? Who was the jury? Again, the misuse of Matthew 18 is way out of control. It has been twisted to be used as a punishment tool for people who disagree with doctrines, rather than for the purpose of kicking out an unbeliever who denies a sin that was personally committed against a person.

    Now, I am sort of confused as to what you are getting at with “Note that after explaining the whole Matt 18 process, out of nowhere, Christ readdresses the three, Why?”

    The Three?



  81. Brenda,

    You had said:
    “I do not disagree with this statement Ed. I also believe that discipline and discipleship can go hand in hand. Sometimes love and discipleship much first involve consequences.”

    My response:
    Matthew 18 is not a place to seek the consequences of sin. The closes word to the word discipline is the word “chastise”, “chasten”, and “chastisement”. But Matthew 18 is not the place for those words.



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