Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Family Integrated Churches, Full-Quiver, Homeschool Movement, Lourdes Torres vs Doug Phillips lawsuit, Marriages Damaged-Destroyed by Sp. Ab., Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Spiritual Abuse, Vision Forum, Women and the Church

Doug Phillips: The Sex Abuse Lawsuit Conclusion and Epilogue of His Vision Forum Shipwreck

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Doug Phillips Lawsuit, Lourdes Torres, Sex Abuse, Vision Forum, Spiritual Abuse

 


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

It’s been a long while since there have been any updates on the Lourdes Torres vs Douglas Phillips lawsuit. Normally, I received updates from Attorney David C. Gibbs III, who represented Lourdes Torres. Either he would e-mail or text me, or I would inquire of him, and he or another attorney from his office would respond quickly.

Because of the influence Doug Phillips had in so many lives in the Christian Homeschool Movement, I’ve tried hard to get information from first-hand sources. Sadly, after several requests, I have not received any response from Attorney Gibbs’ office regarding recent updates on this case; however, Free Jinger, a website that hosts discussions on the culture, abuses, and key people in Christian fundamentalism, noted mid-May that the court case was dismissed:

 

dp
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didnothave
Source

I was also told by a couple of very reliable sources that the lawsuit was dismissed, settled out of court, and a gag order in place, so that would explain why we haven’t heard anything from Lourdes Torres or anyone.

I’m disappointed with the outcome of this case for a number of reasons. Although this case primarily concerned Doug Phillips’ inappropriate relationship and grooming of an underage teen, then using his position of authority as clergy, boss, and mentor to continue the relationship after she became an adult, it represented much more than that.

While Phillips’ ship has sunk, and the case has closed, it doesn’t really feel finished to me. Lourdes Torres was the sacrificial lamb who bravely spoke out about this clergy abuse. She helped to sink the ship of Doug Phillips’ ministry, Vision Forum, which had been a mainstay in the Christian homeschool community for many years. However, it feels like Phillips got away with harming much more than a Titanic-full of people. People who boarded his ship, expected a captain who would safely navigate them. They had no clue that he was going to cause a shipwreck.

One cannot say that this lawsuit only affected Lourdes Torres, Boerne Christian Assembly, and the Phillips family. As a result of Doug Phillips’ so-called ministry demise, some families have shattered and had difficulty picking up the pieces. Some have shipwrecked their faith. I read e-mails from divided spouses and families: one spouse wanted to discard the teachings of Phillips, while the other wanted to continue Phillips’ teachings. How does a family reconcile this kind of conflict?

While Doug Phillips and his family have now abandoned the idea of family-integrated churches (which he claimed was the right way to go to worship as a family), he and his family have joined a traditional church in Texas with segregated age groups (something he taught against). He also failed to abide by the church rules he helped establish when he founded the church, Boerne Christian Assembly.

In November of 2014, elders Jeff Horn and David Fry posted a note at the Boerne Christian Assembly website (which now doesn’t seem to exist) that Philips was excommunicated. Doug Phillips has done nothing to resolve that issue. No big deal for him, he just wiped his hands clean of his old life and is starting a new one with his family.

In closing the final chapter of Doug Phillips and his shipwrecked ministry, I thought it would be good to reflect on a couple of comments left here at SSB by two individuals during the height of the Doug Phillips scandal. I do not believe these two individuals have commented since that time, but they obviously had a need to share what they had gone through. Their personal stories about sex abuse and patriarchy represent real lives and most likely echo the experience of others.

 

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

I was sucked into the Patriarchial [sic] mess 9 years ago when our state’s Christian homeschool conference changed from teaching us how to teach our children, to guilting us in how badly we were living as families of faith. In my own spiritual mess of striving to please God, as I was not yet whole from the abuse, I quickly fell for the charm, the smiling, happy-looking families, the mandate that to be right with God we must live their way. To have our children saved, faith-filled, strong in the Lord, we must live their way. To pass on the mantle of faithfulness that the world could not destroy in them or future generations, we must live their way–and of course, that meant buying and using what they sold.

For 3 1/2 years I wore skirts only. I finally convinced my husband to let us go to a FIC [family-integrated church]. We were all miserable, but that only meant that I was failing to “get it right”. Somehow, someway, I was missing the message. So much fear grew in me. My family, my children were not going to turn out right. I was failing them and failing God. Wow!! Exactly what my abuser had once told me, “Saying no to him was saying no to God and failing him was failing God.”

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

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

 

 

 

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Longtime lurker as I’ve been sorting through extricating my family from this patriarchy culture. As a father of 4 daughters, reading what this sociopath has done makes me want to meet him in a dark alley and educate him in the usefulness of Israeli special forces training. And by this I completely mean I would kick his @#$. Your pushup regimen wouldn’t help one iota Doug.

All these patriarchy wimps can ‘pray’ for him and his wife, and try to sound holier than thou with their long-winded sophistry. Deep down they are still intimidated by him and wondering if he’ll rise like a phoenix. Better to not be too overt in their dismissal right? Quietly distance because ‘its the ‘Reformed Christianese’ way to handle it, right? Some are merely swooping in to fill the patriarchy vacuum and acquire the cash flow stream that was VF.

No. Real men kick @#$ when things are obvious. Real men protect and fight when needed. This is why Lourdes’ family chased this predator down the street after he jumps out her window. They are the real men. They don’t just ‘play’ one on stage or in self-aggrandizing ‘crockumentaries’. They ended it right then and there. Looking down the barrel of a gun. Real men. With fire in their betrayed eyes. No lifts in their cowboy boots needed, Doug.

Patriarchy puts the weight of the world via Old Testament manipulation on families, then runs to the New Testament for ‘forgiveness’ when the fruit of these doctrinal entrapments are shown in the light of day. It’s called EVIL doctrine. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. We’ll know a tree by its fruits. Their brand of ‘forgiveness’ is attempting to hide it (VF Board) to protect the cash cows (I mean ‘ministries’).

Equally culpable are the sycophants who equate Phillips with some kind of modern-day King David archetype – ‘well, he ‘fell’ but I still believe what he taught was Biblical’…are you kidding me?! This knee jerk quasi-biblical response is merely projection. They actually do (or did) view him as their king. Not Christ. Little doug fricking phillips.

They are that blind. *I* was that blind. Lock, stock and barrel. A one time conference speaker, leader in a well known ‘reformed’ church, the whole shootin’ match. Could smell the megalomania on Phillips from the first time I met him, but ignored my better judgement. Just wasn’t ‘reformed’ enough I told myself. Wrong. I was ignoring red flags because something inside me wanted to be in the ‘inner circle’ with these yahoos. That’s how a cult is designed – to make people deeply revere and subsequently want to become one of the leaders.

Strange brew because this cult is more like a network – almost like the tapes and seminar kingpins of Amway. Different leaders and power structures around the U.S. – all vying for paid speaking gigs at each other’s events. They are information and event marketers, pure and simple. These are not ministries. While small potatoes in the world of business, they still rake in hundreds of thousands a year – under the guise of 501c3 status. It’s profitable! And just like Gothard and every other deceived ‘celebrity’ minister turned information marketer – they believe their monetary ‘success’ is God’s blessing. God’s ‘approval’ on what they are doing in this world to ‘take dominion’ and reconstruct America in the vanity of their mind’s eye. And if *they have ‘God’s’ approval, who are you and I to question it? MenoGAWD syndrome in the worst sort of way.

But thank God for the Holy Spirit opening my eyes and getting my family out of this mess. We are truly free in Christ, led by the Holy Spirit and in relationship with a loving Father.

We’ll be reading about this ‘movement’ on wikipedia as another creepy anomaly history lesson in American Churchianity. Beware of future iterations of it however. The wolves have to eat until they stand before God for their duplicity.

 

 

If you were affected by Doug Phillips’ teachings on Patriarchy, the Homeschool Movement, Courtship, family-integrated churches, etc, and would like to leave an update on how you and your family are doing, I’d especially love to hear from you.

Oh, one more thing – – I checked out VisionForum.com to see if there was anything left of the site. It has changed [see updated note below]. I don’t think it is quite what Doug Phillips, Esq. had enVisioned . . . or not.

 

vision forum, doug phillips
visionforum.com

 

Edited to note:  Gary W. correctly pointed out that the Vision Forum website used the address: http://www.visionforumministries.org, not Vision Forum.com.  I’m going to leave the above photo posted because of the irony of a website named Vision Forum. To me, this aptly describes how Doug Phillips lived his life. He lived the high life, while gambling with people’s lives. ~ja

Update again:  Ok, the Vision Forum store/catalog which sold books and gender-specific toys did use the VisionForum.com site!!  The ministry used the http://www.visionforumministries.org site.

226 thoughts on “Doug Phillips: The Sex Abuse Lawsuit Conclusion and Epilogue of His Vision Forum Shipwreck”

  1. Thankfully we do not answer to one another on such things, Julie. Obviously I am quite sure you are wrong. I also note that you seem to routinely – deliberately, with some pride – suppress evidence that might cast any negative light on the women that you are championing. I think the Lord, who is no “respecter of persons”, wants the truth to be told, no matter where it falls. If a man – maybe a powerful, well known man – is defamed by a false report by a woman, would you want her deceit to be exposed? I hope you would find as much delight in that happening as him being condemned.

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  2. A plaintiff can prevail in a civil lawsuit for damages against a defendant, even if the state (prosecutor) didn’t prevail in a criminal case against the defendant.

    A good example of this is O.J. Simpson. He was NOT convicted of two murders (his ex-wife’s and a friend’s) in criminal court (the jury had to find “beyond a reasonable doubt). He was found responsible (not “guilty) in a civil lawsuit filed by the relatives of the two murder victims and the victims’ relatives were awarded damages.

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  3. “suppress evidence that might cast any negative light on the women that you are championing. ”

    I’ve had a good hard look at Doug’s photo.

    Allow me to quote my favourite period movie, “he is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me”.

    Victim shaming is digusting. So is fiddling with yourself in front of a young woman.

    Millstone, neck, now please.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Salty,

    Victim shaming is digusting. So is fiddling with yourself in front of a young woman.

    Alfred was probably referring to Bill Gothard, not Doug Phillips. He’s been defending that dirty old man for quite some time now. You can read about it on Alfred’s blog, if you have the stomach for victim shaming (which, I agree, is revolting).

    And Alfred: A “well-known powerful man”? Certainly within his own perverted mind. Maybe also within Gothard’s little bubble, the “umbrella of authority” that he set up over all his devotees, which puts him oh-so conveniently above all of them. But outside of all that? Don’t be so sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lydia,

    Bridge of Spies…Tom Hanks movie. Tom Hanks defends a Russian spy. True Story. Many wanted Tom Hanks Character dead for defending that spy, let alone the death penalty for the spy.

    Johnny Cochran, Kardashian, and F Lee Baily are all dead now. Who thought that OJ was innocent? We all know that the glove fit, for we know that OJ was the charlatan that fooled people into believing that it didn’t fit.

    But, I am curios, Lydia, do defense attorneys really wind up in hell for defending the guilty? What about our constitution that guarantees a defense attorney to all who are accused of a crime?

    There’s a lot of public defenders in that category, ya know.

    We all know that Doug is guilty, but the court of public opinion has no leg to stand on.

    I just wish that Lourdes Torres would have called 911, getting law enforcement involved at the very first sexual assault, instead of waiting for a money pay off in a civil suit, because that civil suit “ALONE” is what casts “reasonable doubt” to the average American who would be potential jurors.

    Who does not know the telephone number to 911?

    Ed

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  6. “I also note that you seem to routinely – deliberately, with some pride – suppress evidence”. Alfred C.

    How in the world would you know if JA does anything “deliberately” or with “pride?” You can tell this how?

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  7. Ed, Jesus Christ is about truth. Our lives should be about seeking truth. Period. If defense attorneys try to suppress or twist truth when it comes to justice, I would not want to be them.

    I have had this convo with quite a few attys. Some in my own family who are on retainer for mega churches. They are part of the brand management for the cults of personality. I have had this convo with attys who represent abusers.

    I don’t know how they do it. Everyone deserves representation but only money can actually buy it. People have a horrible time in family court. Money buys justice.

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  8. Lydia

    Period, huh?

    Deuteronomy 19:15
    One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    The Great White Throne judgment is later, Lydia, rest assured.

    I’m still curious if you think that our constitution guaranteeing an accused an attorney is something that is ungodly?

    Ed

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  9. “suppress evidence that might cast any negative light on the women that you are championing” – Alfred

    There are rules of evidence for court and for reporting. That’s a specious argument to digress from holding a perp responsible for predatory behavior.

    “is defamed by a false report by a woman, would you want her deceit to be exposed?” – Alfred

    Filing a false police report is a crime. You are talking in “Christianese”, i.e. “defamed”, “false report”, “deceit exposed” [of woman]. These are common Thought Reform, cultic silencing techniques.

    For these guys who prey upon women, girls, and even boys…this isn’t “their first rodeo” as predators. They finally just got turned in for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Gideon’s Trumpt, the movie starring Henry Fonda as the defendant who was arrested, prosecuted, and convicted in Florida for breaking in to a pool hall. He said he didn’t and wanted counsel appointed. The judge said Mr. Gideon had to represent himself. After his conviction, Mr. Gideon hand wrote a legal document to the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to hear his case.

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  11. “I just wish that Lourdes Torres would have called 911, getting law enforcement involved at the very first sexual assault, instead of waiting for a money pay off in a civil suit, because that civil suit “ALONE” is what casts “reasonable doubt” to the average American who would be potential jurors.

    Who does not know the telephone number to 911?” – Ed

    Convenient of you to blame her. She wasn’t from a wealthy family. She was working doing child care for this wealthy, powerful man who happened to be an attorney. He had a great deal of name recognition and credibility on the conservative American church(es) and homeschooling movements. He had powerful allies. She was 15-years old he he started honing in on her. She was out-powered. She had no credibility against a man of his stature.

    Like the movie “Spotlight”…it takes years for most victims (men and women) to ever come forward, if they ever report. Most don’t. They stand a lot to lose.

    Why didn’t he call 9-1-1 and turn himself in? Why was it up to her? He could have easily called and turned himself in, gone to police, been arrested, confessed, been willing to go to prison.

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  12. “because that civil suit “ALONE” is what casts “reasonable doubt” to the average American who would be potential jurors.” – Ed

    You are mixing things up. That may be your belief. That isn’t how courts work, the rules of evidence, and the rules that juries are required to follow. There are strict laws governing the whole thing. It’s not a free for all.

    A civil lawsuit would not be heard of by a jury in a criminal case. Juries, in advance, would be required to answer extensive questionnaires about their experiences, beliefs, etc.

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  13. Why didn’t she call 911? Seriously, Ed?!

    Most kids learn 911 at an early age. I hope you’re open to using that excuse for children who experience abuse and neglect.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ed, friend, dude, please stop victim blaming. I don’t know what has happened in your absence, but you are not responding the same way you used to respond. I remember how you used to show compassion towards those who have been harmed and I’m really puzzled by the change. As you well know, this place must remain safe for victims. Some of your comments are not passing the muster. Please be careful.

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  15. People, I am not victim blaming. Listen for a moment here. What did I say? To the average American who is a potential juror, seeking a civil lawsuit in lieu of a criminal trial seems a bit odd, and that alone casts doubt on a person’s claim.

    That is what I am saying.

    And we wonder why the abused isn’t winning any cases!

    Why? Because we don’t seem to have all of our priorities straight.

    If you want justice in this world, do it by the books and call the cops. File the civil later.

    If children know 911, then dial it.

    Can anyone understand that? What’s so difficult about that? According to the apostle Paul, the cops are there to do what God wants them to do.

    If you want to win cases, set priorities.

    I have no idea why people seem to think that I am victim blaming. Even in another post, I am not victim blaming. In that case, I don’t believe that there are any victims.

    In this case, there was a victim. I want the victim to get justice, but they can’t, and they won’t, because in my opinion, subject to ridicule, of course, proper procedures were not followed to win. People are screwing it up, whether it be a lawyer, or whatever.

    Do we want to win, or not?

    Respectfully,

    Ed

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  16. Velour,

    The article you gave me a link to states the following:
    “But the Florida judge was wrong. The law did permit him to give Gideon a lawyer even though the case was not a capital one. ”

    Also, you mention rules of evidence. Evidence being a key word. Isn’t that what investigators are for, to gather evidence, witness statements, etc.?

    Ed

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  17. Velour, and Julie Anne

    I was a potential juror on a case about a year and a half ago. There were not that many so-called “extensive” questions. And it was a sexual abuse case, too, against a child.

    I was booted by the defense attorney because I showed bias.

    Ed

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  18. Hi Ed, I work in law. Not all criminal defendants are legally entitled to appointed counsel. It depends on what they are being charged with and the amount involved (if there is money). While your arguments make sense to you, what you would or wouldn’t believe, how someone would or wouldn’t be credible in your eyes, there are rules of court, procedure, evidence, not just investigative evidence. Your thoughts about how things work in court are simply incorrect. I don’t know if you’ve ever served as a juror on a criminal case, but if you have you will have some comprehension for how strict the rules are and how a judge explains that to a jury.

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  19. I work in law, Ed. I understand your sincerity of belief and I can respect that. I’ve seen you post plenty of times, interacted with you many times. Did you see the movie “Spotlight” about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church? If “no”, please go see it. Sex crimes cases, and many others, aren’t simply a matter of people calling the police. There really is a power imbalance and people are scared.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Velour,

    What I know about the Catholic sex abuse cases is that there were tons of coverups, transfers of priests, sweeping it under the rug, etc.

    To me, that’s obstruction of justice. And, today, which is beyond “Spotlight”, some of these cases are getting resolved with massive prison sentences for some people because the people of the United States are standing up against the Catholic church.

    The Catholic church is paying a huge price for it now, and there have been criminal cases that have won a few Catholics in prison for a very long time, and if my memory serves me right, one was murdered in his jail cell by his cell mate.

    I am 52 years old. I remember watching cops on TV…Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do, blah, blah. I remember watching America’s Most Wanted, etc. I remember watching DOG the bounty hunter. I remember as a junior high school student going on a field trip to the court house to be in the gallery and listen in on a trial.

    I understand that you are in law. I’ve seen your posts too. But, you make it sound as if filing a criminal lawsuit, calling 911 is futile, and so we might as well do nothing at all, just throw our hands in the air and give up, because the “system” is against us.

    Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t buy into that logic. I am a by the book kinda guy, and we are taught to dial 911 in an emergency, no matter what the emergency is, especially WHEN it is known by anyone, including the victim that is afraid to call for whatever reason, when there is an emergency, or the law was broken.

    I’m not into anarchy.

    Ed

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  21. “I understand that you are in law. I’ve seen your posts too. But, you make it sound as if filing a criminal lawsuit, calling 911 is futile, and so we might as well do nothing at all, just throw our hands in the air and give up, because the “system” is against us.” – Ed

    You’ve missed the point, Ed. You may be a “by the book” kind of guy, 9-1-1 is helpful for people to call, but there are various serious crimes (sex crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse) in which the victims are silenced, intimidated, and that is part of the abuse.

    By the way, in law there is not a “criminal lawsuit”. There are civil lawsuits filed by private parties. Criminal court involves charges brought by the government (my state: People of the State of California versus [name of criminal defendant].” The U.S. Attorney may also file federal criminal charges for violations of federal criminal laws.

    I hope you will listen, watch documentaries, read websites, and develop compassion for all of the victims whom for a variety of reasons don’t call, don’t ask for help, and their reasons for not reaching out.

    The strength that you or I would exhibit in various situations is not fair to apply, or expect, of victims with different backgrounds, ages, levels of support, on the lower rungs of a power imbalance, etc.

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  22. Ed,

    To the average American who is a potential juror, seeking a civil lawsuit in lieu of a criminal trial seems a bit odd, and that alone casts doubt on a person’s claim.

    Why?

    If children know 911, then dial it. Can anyone understand that? What’s so difficult about that?

    What’s difficult is the fact that child victims of abuse — especially sexual abuse — often have their heads messed with. And when the perp is clergy, it’s even worse. Not only can there be threats of physical harm, but also the threat of hell for blabbing to anyone. Do you really expect most kids to cope rationally with those kinds of mind-games?

    If you want to win cases, set priorities.

    Ed, I think it’s entirely possible that Lourdes didn’t know she could file criminal charges against Phillips. She’d been brought up in a very insular world, and even outside of that bubble, how many people are well-versed in this particular facet of law? From where I sit, it took a great deal of courage for her just to file suit against Phillips, considering what he did to her, and for how long.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. “Lydia

    Period, huh?

    Deuteronomy 19:15
    One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    The Great White Throne judgment is later, Lydia, rest assured.

    I’m still curious if you think that our constitution guaranteeing an accused an attorney is something that is ungodly?”

    That is quite a leap, Ed. You are bringing up a large principle without discussing application…where it counts.

    What about the low income single mom accused by ex of alienation? Is she, the accused, guaranteed counsel? I could give you example after example of serious legal situations where a low income person has no hope against those who can afford to pay.

    If you are charged with a crime, I wish you all the best with your public defender. I would suggest you, instead, go broke defending yourself with at the least a 350/hr lawyer. At least that is about as low as one should go here.

    As to Duet 19, the Pedophiles, especially, thank you. Rarely are there any witnesses except innocent victim and evil perp.

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  24. Do you really expect most kids to cope rationally with those kinds of mind-games?

    Not only that, but sometimes it IS rational not to file criminal charges. It can be extremely traumatic, as people label you a liar and you have to repeat your story over and over again publically for strangers. It is brave and righteous to file criminally in many case, not self centered, because it may protect others.

    Not only that but rationally evidence in these kinds of crimes may be hard to come by/he said/she said and the prosecutor may not want to file. The case may be hard to make. Civil trials have lower standards I believe. So there are so many good and rational reasons for this behavior, even beyond the fact that in many cases by the time a person has gotten their head out of all the brainwashing and grooming and being afraid of telling the truth of what a powerful person who is well respect has done and being willing to be brave and go on record…by the time all that is done often the statute of limitations has run out.

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  25. I think Ed might go into shock reading up on the Tony Jones vs Julie McMahon legal saga. The bad guys with money often win. Nothing new. That is partly the fault if unjust judges and slimy lawyers who are not seeking truth.

    I think it would also behoove Ed to spend time reading indepth accounts of victim grooming. He is expecting undeveloped concrete brains to respond like fully developed abstract brains. There is a reason the young are targeted.

    Of course, some think it is a sin to try and understand such things from a young victims POV. KAS, comes to mind, sadly.

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  26. “She’d been brought up in a very insular world, and even outside of that bubble, how many people are well-versed in this particular facet of law? From where I sit, it took a great deal of courage for her just to file suit against Phillips, considering what he did to her, and for how long.”

    Phillips might have pulled a Clinton and convinced her it was not really sex unless it was the actual act. It is amazing how many believe that now.

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  27. Ed, I think it’s entirely possible that Lourdes didn’t know she could file criminal charges against Phillips. She’d been brought up in a very insular world, and even outside of that bubble, how many people are well-versed in this particular facet of law? From where I sit, it took a great deal of courage for her just to file suit against Phillips, considering what he did to her, and for how long.

    Given that the first step towards filing a civil lawsuit is to talk with an attorney, one would think that after about five minutes of that first talk, she would have been apprised of the fact that criminal charges might be filed.

    I am no genius in the law, but Ed is correct to ask the question. The burden of proof is lower in civil actions in general, and it also frees the complainant from some of the burdens of statute of limitations. There are probably other factors as well. It could even be–knowing how Gibbs’ complaint against Gothard was thrown out–incompetence on the attorney’s part.

    And what her reasons were, I don’t believe I’ll ever know. All parties are, after all, under a somewhat permanent shut up order. Best I can do now is to pray for the healing of all involved, perpetrator(s) and victim(s).

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  28. Why does everyone keep blaming the victim for the state not bringing criminal charges against Phillips? We have no idea what her conversations with an attorney was, police, sex crimes detectives, or district attorney’s prosecutors.

    No one has any idea of what the state would have to do to get Phillips convicted.

    So since we don’t know all of that information, it is inappropriate to blame the victim for something that was – yet again – beyond her personal control.

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  29. Here are Texas laws, since that is where the civil lawsuit was filed by the victim and where the alleged criminal acts by Phillips took place against the victim. While Phillips targeted the victim starting when she was 15-years old, his coming in to her room for sexual acts happened after she turned 18-years of age. (Phillips is also an attorney, although not practicing.) The statute of limitations is very short in Texas for this type of crime, just a couple of years. That may be why no criminal charges were filed by the district attorney against Phillips for various sex crimes.

    http://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-criminal-statute-of-limitations-laws.html

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  30. Lydia,

    You had said:
    “As to Duet 19, the Pedophiles, especially, thank you. Rarely are there any witnesses except innocent victim and evil perp.”

    My response:

    Thank me? I didn’t author Deuteronomy 19.

    But I still advocate calling 911 and let the cops sort it out. It’s their job to find witnesses, gather evidence, and to take every call seriously. It is their job to forward reports to the prosecuting attorney for prosecution of the crime.

    We hear on the nightly local news all the time, i.e. “If anyone has information on blah blah, notify your local authorities…” and you can even be anonymous. There may be witnesses that the victim doesn’t even know about.

    And, everyone else that seems to be against me in this, thinking that I am victim blaming…

    I seem to be getting a bad rap from people because I advocate calling the proper authorities for a crime. The proper authorities is not a Matthew 18 process. It’s not up to the church to decide if or when the cops are called.

    Whatever happens after calling 911 in regards to the legality of statute of limitations, or any other legal issue for that matter, is for the lawyers to argue over later. Calling 911 gets a complaint on record, and can (not saying that it would, but it can) come back to bite the perp if another complaint of similar nature is reported at a later time, and maybe, just maybe in the second complaint forces a new investigation of the first complaint We don’t know. Lawyers have insight, but they can’t even agree in court about issues, because even they have to argue their case or their interpretations of the law to the judge. One lawyer is right, the other lawyer is wrong. And a judge has to weigh those arguments.

    I’m just stunned that there seems to be arguments against calling the cops. I wasn’t raised in that kind of world. Call them anyway, and let the courts sort it out later, even if statute of limitations are expired. Get it on record that a complaint was filed.

    Ed

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  31. “’I’m just stunned that there seems to be arguments against calling the cops. I wasn’t raised in that kind of world. Call them anyway, and let the courts sort it out later, even if statute of limitations are expired. Get it on record that a complaint was filed.” – Ed

    No one here has advocated NOT calling the cops. What we’ve specifically addressed, given all that is known about these types of crime victims and all the research that has been done (US Attorney General, F.B.I., District Attorneys’ Association of the U.S., countless crime victims groups) is that many victims do not call because they are intimidated, brain washed, there is a power imbalance, etc.

    It is well known and researched, tons of government and law enforcement studies (and those of crime groups) that victims of certain types of violent crimes under report. Shame, embarrassment, brain washing, isolation, etc.

    You have repeatedly insinuated that she didn’t call the police. We don’t know that. And given all that she did do, I think that she probably took that step as well. The state did not prosecute Phillips. He may have been protected from prosecution by the statute of limitations.

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  32. Ed, look at it this way. When I was physically abused (I’m not even talking about sexually abused which can be more shaming), I went to numerous adults to report. I even went to the police. All of them did nothing. The response from all of those people I loved/trusted/respected was shocking. It told me that I wasn’t trustworthy. It made me doubt my own reality.

    Now, imagine being sexually abused and going to people who did not do anything. Most sexual abuse victims never report. It can be for any number of reasons, shame, embarrassment, etc, but in all likelihood, they are not reporting because they’ve already seen it doesn’t work. For some reason, our society defaults to questioning the victim before believing a victim. The pain of telling someone and not being believed can be emotionally unbearable. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep it quiet because the pain of knowing that someone you trust might end up not believing you or not willing to help you is a rejection of you as a person. It’s easier to live in silence than risk rejection/abandonment.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. “I seem to be getting a bad rap from people because I advocate calling the proper authorities for a crime. ”

    Seriously? That is your take away? I would love it if every child is taught improper touching and awareness of the grooming process. I would also love it if they were taught they have the right to question and so forth. Sadly that is not how it works. As the guy in Spotlight said, the priest was like God coming over. God paying attention.

    I don’t think you wrote Deut. I think you totally misapply the law. You are basically saying His has no problem with a child being molested unless 3 witnesses can confirm it happened. In the NT, elders must have 3 witnesses for accusations. That means they can get by with grooming and molesting for quite a long time, right?

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  34. Julie Anne, and Velour,

    Velour,

    You had said:
    “many victims do not call because…”

    I understand all the reasons, I really do. And it is exactly for those reasons that I keep pressing the issue, against everyone’s wishes. But at some point, ONE victim will indeed come forward and be believed, and the victim will get justice.

    We as adult mentors cannot remain in the status quo.

    There are cults in my area that a pastor was accused of these types of sex crimes. And you know what…he is indeed serving a lot of time in prison.

    Here is the articles:

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/19866/robbin-leeroy-harper-2

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/20789/robbin-harper-2

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/19816/robbin-leeroy-harper

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/19813/robbin-harper

    Ed

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  35. Lydia,

    Yes, seriously.

    My point in Deu 19 had a point that I did not mention, and should have. Sorry for that.

    DNA is a witness, in my opinion. Remember the dress that Monica saved? DNA speaks volumes.

    Ed

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  36. When I was physically abused (I’m not even talking about sexually abused which can be more shaming), I went to numerous adults to report. I even went to the police. All of them did nothing. The response from all of those people I loved/trusted/respected was shocking.

    I was reading something the other day about how much the reaction of the first person you tell impacts people. Maybe she told one person and got a bad response? Maybe she knows of a person who told someone and got a bad response? It sounds like Doug was careful to skirt the law, so there may not have been a good criminal case.

    The problem is not that anyone thinks you shouldn’t call the cops, but if you don’t you shouldn’t be blamed. You shouldn’t be disbelieved. Because there are good reasons not to. I called the cops once when a man tried to break into my house when I was home alone and they literally did nothing but write a report. It may not have even been filed. Obviously not a huge deal, but it impacted the way I think about calling the police.

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  37. Ed, DNA during Mosaic Law? Guess those innocent victims before DNA testing were just out of luck for that “witness”. So what other witnesses were there for innocent victims being groomed and molested in ancient times?

    I am thinking being an elder in forming NT church would be a great cover for a deceptive person! Surely that is not what the Author intended as the understanding.

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  38. “The problem is not that anyone thinks you shouldn’t call the cops, but if you don’t you shouldn’t be blamed. You shouldn’t be disbelieved. Because there are good reasons not to. I called the cops once when a man tried to break into my house when I was home alone and they literally did nothing but write a report. It may not have even been filed. Obviously not a huge deal, but it impacted the way I think about calling the police.”

    One single mom I had advocated for taught her child to run to the police when he was with his father and his father started the abuse. Other avenues had been tried like CPS to no avail. The poor kid finally got the nerve to do that during one visit and
    ran and told a policeman. The abusive dad came over and said I was just disciplining him but his mother has taught him he should not be disciplined. The police believed the dad and even told the boy it was the dads right.

    And this was a dad who sure his abuse did not show. On that particular day he had been kicking the boy. He used the boy as his punching bag.

    The only thing the policeman did was teach the boy that he would not be believed. It caused a lot of subsequent damage.

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  39. Lydia,

    Numbers 5 Mosiac Law when no witnesses.

    And, something tells me that those under the Mosiac law didn’t even think about sexually abusing a child. At least, I’ve never heard of any story that indicates it.

    What was the age of those getting married in those days…under the Mosiac law?

    How old was Mary, the mother of Jesus? We would consider that inappropriate by today’s standards.

    And, since I am not the author of Deu 19, who is? I hope we are not going to accuse God of being a moral monster. Deu 19 is a commandment of God, not an opinion of Moses.

    Ed

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  40. The only thing the policeman did was teach the boy that he would not be believed.

    So sad. There was an article posted the other day about an abuse case in a small town in Minnesota where when the kids called the cops more often then not they did nothing, but when the abusive man would talk to them they were likely to haul the woman in for things like scratches. He would say she was drunk and that was all. They basically blew her off and believed every word he said.

    Stuff like this sticks in people’s mind.

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  41. “And, something tells me that those under the Mosiac law didn’t even think about sexually abusing a child. At least, I’ve never heard of any story that indicates it.”

    Evidently they thought about beastiality because it is covered in Exodus and Leviticus.

    “What was the age of those getting married in those days…under the Mosiac law?”

    They were arranged even earlier. Often very young girl to older man.

    “And, since I am not the author of Deu 19, who is? I hope we are not going to accuse God of being a moral monster. Deu 19 is a commandment of God, not an opinion of Moses.”

    Then according to your view of that law (and the law in general) andit’s application, it worked as a cover for deception especially for those with power.

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  42. Ed, I am going to have to assume you are ok with polygamy… according to the Mosaic law. Was our government wrong for outlawing it?

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  43. http://www.epsociety.org/library/articles.asp?pid=45&ap=4

    For anyone interested in a start on contrasting Mosaic Law with other ANE law codes. And to see why the popular Law/Grace dichotimy is ultimately a big black hole.

    It is a big mistake to view Mosaic Law as the ideal for all cultures and times. Rather, as Jesus points out in Matthew 19:8, many things were permitted (whether divorce, slavery, polygamy, war, patriarchal social structures), but these were far removed from the creational ideals presented in Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:24.

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  44. Of course, some think it is a sin to try and understand such things from a young victims POV. KAS, comes to mind, sadly.

    That’s a bit mean, isn’t it? I think you have mistaken my criticism of that part of the blogging and commenting community who foolishly let rip in their exposure of evangelical leaders or movements where ‘power tends to corrupt’ as though I am on the side of the abuser, as though it is some sort of sin to criticize or discern the claims or behavior of Big Name Ministries Inc.

    The reverse is the case: this only aids its continuation by making criticism seem like sour grapes, personal, sometimes petty, coming from people who can’t let go of past hurts, and therefore not worth believing. The exposure of evil can be sabotaged this way.

    I am much more skeptical of claims when, for instance, a claim is made that a leader is authoritarian or a bully, yet the complainer makes it abundantly clear respecting, deferring to or whatever you want to call it is not for them at all, even where the leadership is not authoritarian. How can you tell who is at fault?

    The sad thing is that where abuse really has taken place, and it does, it is obscured by the moaners and grumblers. Sometimes they are revilers and sinful in their reactions. Ungodly behavior cannot be countered with more ungodly behavior.

    It’s not as though genuine victims don’t already have enough trouble getting people to believe them, especially when ‘respectable’ pastors are involved.

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  45. I haven’t read through every post here. I’ve just skimmed over the last several in this thread.
    If I’m misunderstanding, I apologize, but it looks to me based on what I’ve seen in this thread and some other one on here I was commenting on a few days ago that chapmaned24 is a little too preoccupied with Mosaic law.

    I’m an American living in the year 2016. I’m not an ancient Israelite living under theocratic, Mosaic rule over 2,000 years ago.
    Jesus pointed out time and again that the Pharisees got Mosaic laws wrong constantly…. if those Jewish learned men could not get it right, I don’t have any faith that American Christians in 2016 get it right, either.

    The constant emphasis on Mosaic Law I find disturbing and a little creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. “The sad thing is that where abuse really has taken place, and it does, it is obscured by the moaners and grumblers. Sometimes they are revilers and sinful in their reactions. Ungodly behavior cannot be countered with more ungodly behavior.”

    And therein lies the problem with your view which I tried to point out on another thread. You, and many others, want to be the arbiter of how negative truths are communicated. People like you are one of the reasons many victims don’t speak up. They are abused AGAIN for their communication delivery.

    It is also a tenant of spiritual abuse. I just don’t play that game anymore. The faux shaming doesn’t work with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. The sad thing is that where abuse really has taken place, and it does, it is obscured by the moaners and grumblers.

    Only because you and other like you refuse to listen to them. And then it’s all ‘oh how sad, they aren’t believed. Should have been nicer about talking about the person who abused hurt and betrayed them! Then maybe I would have listened’. Which is likely not true anyway, because what actually happens is that when someone tells their story meekly like they are ‘supposed’ to, they get ignored. And then they get louder and louder because they can’t take it anymore and that’s when they are finally heard, only to be told they are too ‘angry’. Of course they’re angry! They have been ignored and they have been righteous while the ones who were believed were evil.

    It is your attitude that needs to change here, if you can’t see the truth because of tone. Maybe you’re idea of who should be believed is wrong, in that case.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. I messed up my formatting in my post above. I didn’t mean for the whole bottom half to be in bold face!

    Kas said,

    The sad thing is that where abuse really has taken place, and it does, it is obscured by the moaners and grumblers. Sometimes they are revilers and sinful in their reactions. Ungodly behavior cannot be countered with more ungodly behavior

    You seem to be saying you refuse to really listen to people’s complaints if they express it in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.

    That is a choice you are making.

    Please stop tone policing people. Stop telling them how to feel or how to express their feelings.

    I told you on some other thread (or was it this one?) I grew up in a family that forever Emotion Policed me, and some of them still do this, even though I am in my 40s now.

    I was shamed and scolded by family (and people at local churches) for and from having emotions and for showing them.
    All that emotional repression does is create more problems and causes a person to bury their pain, not deal with it – you have to deal with the pain to get healing.

    Stop insisting hurting or angry people state all their grievances with church systems or abusive pastors in a way you prefer and find palatable.

    Do you realize how many people have been hurt or victimized by self professing Christians or churches, and some are not only still hurt by that, but are angry?

    Jesus showed his anger at the religious types of his era. Jesus did not state his displeasure with their abuse by being “nicey-nice” and polite about it. He called the spiritual abusers “vipers” and so forth.

    The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is one big long negative, debbie-downer type of writing.
    It’s not a gum drops and perky work at all, which shows that even God knows that people get upset and angry at the pain in life and he’s okay with them showing their emotions about it.

    If you insist everyone express their grief, frustration, or anger by acting “happy clappy” on forums and blogs, you’re only turning them off even more.

    Have you spent a lot of time on sites, forums, groups, and blogs by ex-Christians who are now atheists, or who are thinking maybe the Faith is a bunch of nonsense and are close to dumping the faith?

    I don’t even mean blogs such as this one – this blog may attract the occasional sort of person who visits ex-Christian sites, but not often. Most of your visitors here are still Christians, still very sweet and nice people.

    I sometimes visit blogs or groups by people who were once Christians but who now reject it, and some declare themselves atheist. Your insistence that they drop the cynicism and act ‘Sweetie McNice’ would NOT be received well at all.

    As someone who has been having severe doubts about the Christian faith herself, I can tell you that your approach only worsens things. You may possibly turn someone away from Christianity.

    In the context of listening to or talking with people who have been victimized or hurt by churches or pastors…
    Fixating less on how people are expressing their views and more on the content and substance of their commentary or anger / hurt could go a long way in helping people.

    Try validating their experiences and be empathetic, rather than scolding them for HOW they are reacting to their abuse. You’re essentially abusing such victims for a second time.

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  49. You, and many others, want to be the arbiter of how negative truths are communicated.

    I can’t help thinking of the story of the young boy who had been taken hostage by Jeffrey Dahmer and the neighbors reported a strange story…police came and found a hysterical 14 year old and rational calm Dahmer and who did they believe? The boy died soon after.

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  50. ” I’m an American living in the year 2016. I’m not an ancient Israelite living under theocratic, Mosaic rule over 2,000 years ago.”

    The irony is the more self governing individuals are, the fewer laws and regulations society needs. It was quite radical just a few hundred years ago to believe one did not need a King or church state to govern them.

    Self governing as image bearers with direct access to the wisdom of Yahweh was the intention. That intention has not changed.

    I honestly think many miss the overarching reason for Mosaic law in the context of the Ancient Near East.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Lea said,

    I can’t help thinking of the story of the young boy who had been taken hostage by Jeffrey Dahmer and the neighbors reported a strange story…police came and found a hysterical 14 year old and rational calm Dahmer and who did they believe? The boy died soon after.

    I almost mentioned something similar in my post above.

    It’s quite natural for a person who has been terrorized, hurt, abused, or wounded to react emotionally – to cry, scream, yell, act angry. Those are all normal, natural reactions to being hurt or afraid.
    (There are some abused people who may go the opposite and develop a flat affect (where they show little to no emotion), but a lot of people do react emotionally after they’ve been hurt).

    In the ton of reading I’ve done about various topics by Christian and Non-Christian therapists and psychiatrists, some of them have pointed out that when you get or feel angry about something, that anger is your mind and/or body’s warning signal to you that you have just been abused, taken advantage of – your emotional reaction is a red flag something is wrong.

    In the context of a person wanting to talk about some past trauma or abuse, I think it’s kind of crappy to tell people that you refuse to listen to their pain or stories of injustice unless and until they pretty it up to your tastes – that you insist they must convey their tales of pain in a sugar-coated way before you will grant them a listen.

    Showing anger is usually a good sign, according to a lot of the books I’ve read by doctors.
    In order for a target to get out of the “victim mentality,” and start healing and take control back of their life, they have to realize they did not deserve to be abused.
    That realization that they didn’t deserve to be mistreated will stir up anger in them. They may stay in that angry state for months or years before moving on.

    In one- on- one debates, I am usually opposed to people stating their views rudely.

    For instance, if you and I were debating politics or whatever heated topic, you wouldn’t change my mind by screaming insults about me, and I would probably ask you to speak nicer to me.
    But in a venue where people are talking about having been victimized spiritually, sexually, emotionally, or financially by a former church or former preacher, that is a different issue altogether.

    I think KAS is possibly confusing
    1. hurting people needing to recover from their pain by talking about it and
    2. people getting into run- of- the- mill debates about politics or religion.

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  52. “I can’t help thinking of the story of the young boy who had been taken hostage by Jeffrey Dahmer and the neighbors reported a strange story…police came and found a hysterical 14 year old and rational calm Dahmer and who did they believe? The boy died soon after.”

    Oh, I know! I have witnessed less heinous examples but examples none the less. We now know there is actual brain science to back this up. A victim is groomed or brutalized. Their brain might disassociate which is an instinct to survive. Or their brain has to process the grooming and subsequent events.

    A few weeks ago, I accompanied a single mom and son to court. They could not afford to fight off the charge of alienation from an abusive father. The mom was forced to pay half for a court ordered ad litem who did nothing. Literally talked to the teen boy 5 min before court! He was paid 600.00. (Don’t ever try to convince me family court isn’t corrupt. I have seem broke people ordered to pay for therapeutic visitation counseling who were forced to give up custody because they could not pay 700.00 month!)

    Anyway, this brave precious young man at 14 insisted he wanted to speak for himself and the judge allowed it. Before he got his turn, he listened to his own father speak lies about him and his mother for over an hour. During his time to speak he was nervous, stuttering, inarticulate but resolute.

    When it was over he kept saying to us that he felt like he was not there. That it was like an out of body experience. He literally broke down 2 days later sobbing and inconsolable for an entire day. That is just one example of the brain when it comes to trauma, chaos or confusion.

    He would have been forced to see his dad had the man not defied the judge! The judge was more upset about the mans disrespect to him than the kid!

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  53. That is so sad, Lydia!

    some of them have pointed out that when you get or feel angry about something, that anger is your mind and/or body’s warning signal to you that you have just been abused, taken advantage of

    Daisy, anger is also part of the grieving process. As is denial. So when you chastise victims for denial, whether in the form of saying nice things about a husband/abusive boyfriend/etc at some point or not calling the cops immediately or for anger, you are actively penalizing them for grieving!!!

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  54. “So when you chastise victims for denial, whether in the form of saying nice things about a husband/abusive boyfriend/etc at some point or not calling the cops immediately or for anger, you are actively penalizing them for grieving!!!”

    Bingo.

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  55. You [KAS], and many others, want to be the arbiter of how negative truths are communicated

    I would have stopped pratting on about this is you hadn’t mentioned me above!

    I don’t want to arbitrate how people communicate. I think the bible arbitrates this. That is the primary reason for my criticism. The secondary reason is unwise commenting is counterproductive to the very purpose of exposing error of belief or behavior.

    Take the following alluded to by Todd Pruitt:

    This monster of celebri-fying pastors flourishes in an environment that cultivates spiritual dangers for these men. We have watched and read with sadness the moral failures and downfall of those we have happily heaped demands, pressures, publicity, exposure, expectations, and contracts upon. Their failures have been many, and their failures–failures like adultery, cult-like leadership styles, domineering personalities, scandalous cover-ups, egoism, unentreatability, lack of self-control, manipulation, spiritual abuse, abandonment of community, family strife, doctrinal error, etc–have all been seen by the public eye to the shame of the church and the dishonor of Jesus

    That is certainly telling it like it is!

    It is not exactly difficult to know who the author has in mind here, it is easy to supply list of candidates. Now compare this to a watchblog commenter: quote they are all a pack of sewer rats unquote. How do you think that comes across to those who think the men in mind here are the best thing since sliced bread, and who hang on their every word? Those who think these men would never abuse anyone? Who say the right things but do the wrong things or turn a blind eye to those who abuse.

    If you think how people express themselves is simply up to them, you undermine any attempt to expose the Mark Driscolls of this world for being potty mouths. Isn’t this something of a hallmark of neo-calvinists? Penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants: nothing wrong with that, no need to take how this will affect those who read it into account.

    I really don’t understand this blindness to the folly of trying to overcome or expose ungodly behavior with more ungodly behavior. I suspect I will simply have to go on not understanding it.

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  56. KAS,

    Every so often I have one of those awkward chats with Christian friends about the dangers of a particular Charismatic Movement which is spreading like wildfire where I live (and other parts of the world).

    It is difficult to describe workers of evil without using adjectives to describe their behaviour.

    We are told to mark and avoid and when there is pushback of course the conversation will get tense. But I would rather warn someone and appear like a raving loony than allow my friends to open their wallets for disgusting charlatans who work for their parents’ business, called ‘church’, in Jesus’ name!

    “Can I get an Amen here?!”

    It’s disgusting.

    These people ruin lives.

    I have no problem calling them deceitful and disgusting workers of iniquity.

    I don’t care how white their teeth are and how many Jesus banners ‘their church’ has on the walls.

    Lydia wrote,

    “I would love it if every child is taught improper touching and awareness of the grooming process. I would also love it if they were taught they have the right to question and so forth. Sadly that is not how it works”

    Ahh. I’m doing this now with my two boys. Way earlier than I thought I needed to.

    “What do you do if someone tries to touch you here and here?”

    “Scream loudly and tell you and Dad immediately!”

    “What else can you do?”

    “Poke them in the eyes, jab them in the throat and punch them in the balls” 😏

    Amen.

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  57. ,” don’t want to arbitrate how people communicate. ”

    Then why do you continue to communicate the opposite but use no specifics!

    “I think the bible arbitrates this”

    You mean… Your “white washed tomb” interpretation.

    Interesting you chose Todd Pruitt. He came on a blog calling commenters slanderers and he does not even understand the definition . He played the exact same pompous game you playing here. Besides, the big cheeses came down on him for daring to disagree on ESS and he is now running scared according to Trueman. You remember him. He is the one who sat on a panel that proclaimed CJ Mahaney fit for ministry. And he still won’t discuss his part in all that.

    You might want to find some better examples of manly men standing for truth…. “properly”.

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  58. If Pruitt is a guest at a blog and claims it is entertaining slander, wouldn’t it be prudent to ask why he thinks this, just in case it is actually true? There is nothing to lose, and lots to gain.

    Pruitt didn’t want Mahaney to resume a platform ministry. Rightly in my opinion. He said in opposing this last April:

    When I first read the reports of spiritual abuse and cult-like control of members in SGM churches I dismissed them outright as the rantings of malcontents. And, as far as my own personal knowledge goes, that may be the case.

    Now what might make him think critics of Mahaney are malcontents?

    I have witnessed too many occasions where the smoke came entirely from the mouths of slanderers.

    Pruitt has been around too long to believe where there’s smoke there’s fire. Could the slander he has in mind just possibly be his reaction to ‘sewer rats’ type language, which you have ignored? Or the personal condemnation heaped on Piper? Or stupid comparisons of evangelicals with the Taliban or serial killers, or likening them to concentration camp guards? Coming from idlers, gossips and busybodies?

    However, the revelations of sexual abuse of children and the cover up of those crimes within SGM churches forced me to reconsider my opinion of “the critics.”

    Pruitt finally came round to seeing the scandal of allowing CJ to speak in spite of the “critics”, mainly from press reports. In other words, he took longer to see through Mahaney because of some of Mahaney’s critics.

    Salty It is difficult to describe workers of evil without using adjectives to describe their behaviour.

    I have no objection to you laying it on the line in no uncertain terms (and would you care if I did!). Jude and Peter did when describing false teachers. That is not the point. If you were for practical purposes to start swearing and cursing, using dirty jokes or snide personal comments, that is different. Isn’t it?

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  59. “If Pruitt is a guest at a blog and claims it is entertaining slander, wouldn’t it be prudent to ask why he thinks this, just in case it is actually true? There is nothing to lose, and lots to gain.”

    Slander is never written, btw. Any way he was asked graciously by several for specific examples and he refused. Like you, and the other entitled Pharisees.

    “Pruitt didn’t want Mahaney to resume a platform ministry. Rightly in my opinion.”

    Pruitt is NOT Truman. Truman is the one who served on the panel who declared Mahaney fit for ministry.

    See what you did there? More deflective deception. The real problem is you think people not in your bubble are stupid and you can manipulate them. And I am sure such works in your bubble. Witnessed it many times.

    “Pruitt has been around too long to believe where there’s smoke there’s fire. Could the slander he has in mind just possibly be his reaction to ‘sewer rats’ type language, which you have ignored?”

    I am not sure who used sewer rats. Why is that my responsibility?

    Pruitt showed up on a thread admonishing what he seemed to view as ignorant peasants. And was quite the hot head. But that is considered godly by sycophants. I suppose in his lofty world that works? It seems to impress you.

    “Pruitt finally came round to seeing the scandal of allowing CJ to speak in spite of the “critics”, mainly from press reports. In other words, he took longer to see through Mahaney because of some of Mahaney’s critics.”

    Then he is not real bright, is he? So, Those bad bloggers kept such an educated pastor from recognizing a charlatan? There was a big clue going back 15 years all over the Internet. Mahaney was the “Apostle” for the “People if Destiny”. Seriously? That was not a tiny clue for Pruitt or Truman? Oh no. Truman had plenty of info at his fingertips. Still he chose to declare him fit for ministry. Have you ever wondered why and what he received from it?

    You can keep trying to deflect and manipulate and it will work for some. But your tactics only work to hide evil and deception of the celebrity culture in Christendom and even evil deeds. You are a glorified groupie. Congratulations.

    I would suggest Jesus Christ. Not the celebrity charlatans or pompous wannabes.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Pruitt is NOT Truman. Truman is the one who served on the panel who declared Mahaney fit for ministry.

    I think Pruitt was mostly mad that people criticized his BFF Truman for the CJ thing. [I actually do like Truman, but was a mistake. I would like to hear him talk publically about it but I am betting he is under a gag order so I’m giving him a bit of a pass on it.]

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  61. he took longer to see through Mahaney because of some of Mahaney’s critics

    I would say it was more because Mahaney was in the in crowd than it was anything critics had to say. But better late than never, I guess.

    Then he is not real bright, is he?

    Ha. Instead of calling out the people who had more insight and wisdom then you did to see through these people a long time ago, maybe you should be learning from them and asking why they saw it when you didn’t and issuing mea culpas when these things happen.

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  62. Pruitt didn’t want Mahaney to resume a platform ministry. Rightly in my opinion.”
    Pruitt is NOT Truman. Truman is the one who served on the panel who declared Mahaney fit for ministry.
    See what you did there? More deflective deception.

    Truman declared Mahaney fit for ministry in 2011 or thereabouts. Pruitt said he was against Mahaney speaking at a conference in April this year, as I indicated above Pruitt didn’t want Mahaney to resume a platform ministry. Rightly in my opinion. He said in opposing this last April: ….

    I’m not sure where my pharisaical entitlement comes from in all this!

    Maybe Trueman made his assessment based on the evidence in front of him at the time, not what has subsequently come to light.

    Nitpicking over the definition of slander is not the point, some willingness of bloggers of every stripe to hold themselves to the same standards they demand of others would do a lot of good, not least for their credibility.

    I’m afraid I don’t consider the Internet evidence of wrong-doing. For every accurate assessment of a ministry there must an equal number of works of fiction, or greatly exaggerated pieces from some aggrieved person wanting to hit back or with some other agenda. Gossip even. Pruitt seems to view it this way, and I would agree with him.

    Do you have any hard evidence that Trueman received something in return for exhonerating Mahaney? You seem to be implying this.

    What on earth makes you think I want to hide evil and deception of the celebrity culture in Christendom and even evil deeds, or charlatans? I’m glad Pruitt spoke out.

    Pruitt may or may not have been right in claiming ‘slander’ was going on where he commented (slander as in ‘Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice’), but I find an unwillingness to consider this when coming from an outsider quite extraordinary.

    This is starting to go round in circles, and I don’t want to keep repeating the same thing, as is the habit of some !!

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  63. “Truman declared Mahaney fit for ministry in 2011 or thereabouts. Pruitt said he was against Mahaney speaking at a conference in April this year, as I indicated above Pruitt didn’t want Mahaney to resume a platform ministry. Rightly in my opinion. He said in opposing this last April: ….”

    Are you sure it was a “platform ministry”? This presupposes Mahaney had not been teaching/preaching on any “platforms” since he fled into Devers arms after being declared fit for ministry by Trueman and then to Louisville where Mohler paved the way. Is that what was meant? Really?

    It would be wrong to believe that Mahaney had no “platform ministry” in that time frame before this past April. Or, is Pruitt trying to day only T$G qualifies as a platform ministry?

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  64. “Pruitt may or may not have been right in claiming ‘slander’ was going on where he commented (slander as in ‘Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice’), but I find an unwillingness to consider this when coming from an outsider quite extraordinary.”

    Outsider how? The peasants were not lofty Ministers qualified to question the great men of God? Outside Christendom? Is the ground not to be level in Christendom?

    Frankly, he came off as an entitled hothead. They dont do well engaging outside their adoring bubbles.

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  65. “I think Pruitt was mostly mad that people criticized his BFF Truman for the CJ thing. [I actually do like Truman, but was a mistake. I would like to hear him talk publically about it but I am betting he is under a gag order so I’m giving him a bit of a pass on it.]”

    Not a good advertisement for his manly man comp doctrine, though. How do Christian leaders find themselves under gag orders to protect charlatans? In effect, they are simply protecting themselves instead of standing up for victims. Mahaney, Mohler, etc, I understand. Truman, I dont. We are just not supposed to ask uncomfortable qestions about his part in it back in 2011. I think we are seeing how easy it is for leaders to be double minded in Christendom. The irony of those who defend Trueman is he would throw them under the bus in a heartbeat. Why? Because it never was about the victims or the peasants for him. It has only ever been doctrine and the priestly caste.

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  66. KAS, you mean consistent integrity and basic character? Too high of a standard for even religious leaders? Yes, I know “, religious leadeers” are exempt. Especially those who believe we are born guilty and Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected so we cwould have perpetual excuses.

    I don’t do sin leveling/moral equivalency arguments. That is Greek Paganism.

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  67. The irony of those who defend Trueman is he would throw them under the bus in a heartbeat.

    There is way too much of a good ole boys club going on in pastordom today (and when you get kicked out for cause you get to go on expastors sites and get your narcissistic plaudits there!).

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  68. I don’t do sin leveling/moral equivalency arguments.

    Whenever someone tries to tell me I’m ‘just as bad’ as a murderer pervert adulterer etc I want to tell them to speak for themselves. Because no.

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  69. “There is way too much of a good ole boys club going on in pastordom today (and when you get kicked out for cause you get to go on expastors sites and get your narcissistic plaudits there!).”

    That is most likely the problem as clubs of all sizes are formed around protection which does not mean there aren’t differences within. . If there is one thing I learned in my career is that the higher you deal the harder it is to tell the good guys from the bad guys. You can apply the same in politics, church, etc.

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  70. Is the ground not to be level in Christendom?

    Yes it should be, but it isn’t. Trueman was asked to appraise Mahaney which he did. Years later, Pruitt comes along and finally a voice from the ‘ministry’ side is heard strongly wanting Mahaney not to speak at a conference. Personally, I’m entirely in agreement with this. Discernment is essential.

    My problem is that you are unwilling to put the “critics” who made Pruitt initially doubt the accusations against Mahaney under the same spotlight, the same discernment, a level field for everyone. Why did made Pruitt have his doubts? It is as though the “critics” could do no wrong. They might be right about Mahaney’s character, but this doesn’t justify an ‘attitude problem’ in the way they go about seeking to call Mahaney to account, even assuming it is their business to do so. The absolute unwillingness as far as I can see to look at themselves, but all too willing to look at the failings of others. The inner Pharisee of the critic!

    There really are some in the world of commenting who could audition for the first act of Macbeth without needing make-up !! That’s my criticism of some “critics”, but to conclude from this that I am on the side of authoritarian or incompetent leadership is irrational.

    Pruitt has been around too long not to have developed a skepticism of claims of wrong-doing in a church environment, he has seen it all before. A bit more internet wisdom might have enabled him to reconsider Mahaney’s ministry earlier than he did.

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  71. KAS, your basic argument is an old one. The peasants should keep their place, shut up and let the titled elite think and speak for them. You affirm your position by pointing out what you think are wrong forms of communicating –then if everyone does not agree with your view then they are labeled as agreeing with all the vile forms of communicating. You set up strawman and false dichotomy’s.

    Even limited public figures (Pruitt and Trueman chose to be such and even promote it at MoS where they dont engage the peasantst) need to put their big boy britches on when it comes to ANY dissent from their words or actions.

    If Truman wants credibility, IMO, he needs to explain why he got suckered by the Neo Reformed elite. That would go a long way to help people get out of that celebrity culture he writes about. But it seems his ego won’t allow it or he has been silenced for fear of losing something. That is how he comes off to me. It is often not profitable to speak truth or come clean with your part in something nefarious. But, it’s the right thing to do and take the Lumps….. if you want to teach others about our Lord.

    Think of the alternative to silencing dissenters of all stripes. It might be time for you to put on your big boy britches and think for yourself.

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  72. lydia00 – Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I am increasingly a senior peasant.

    I’ve also never had to acolyte the church candles either. (Don’t tell anyone I just had to look the word up.)

    My own platform ministry – and it’s time you started treating me with more respect – consists entirely of thinking over Christian things whilst waiting for the train to arrive to take me to work.

    I don’t think the peasants should bow and scrape to their feudal lords, aka as the evangelical conference-speaking establishment. But because these worthies are often uncompromisingly faithful to the bible in areas others are not, it is difficult to believe they have some very human failings, or in some cases worse than just failings. The difficulty is made worse by the attitudes of some of their critics, which is why I have pratted on and on and on about this.

    Take patriarchy for example. I recently read an exchange between the Bayly Brothers and a commenter who was complementarian, but thought they were taking it too far. Going beyond what is written. The commenter was direct but respectful, but the Baylys couldn’t cope with any critique of their system, and basically told him to move on. They couldn’t cope with someone who is certainly more sympathetic to their ideas than an outright egalitarian. So the red warning light went on.

    That did far more to convince me that something has gone wrong in the partriarchal movement as they espouse it than many a commenter who can’t see the log in their own eye. Shutting down well-meant criticism is clear sign of deception being at play, or a threat to someone’s ‘authority’ or sphere of influence in a particular evangelical constituency.

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  73. KAS, See…here we go again,. I have NO idea what you mean by saying “and its time you started treating me with more respect”. Again, we have the same problem. I don’t agree with you. I am direct. I don’t do flowery or vague. I focus on victims/survivors. You focus on the priestly caste.

    The thing is, this exchange is not about you, really. I would never in a million years believe I could convince you of anything. That is not what this exchange has been about. I come across your type all the time. The more you write the more obvious it becomes no matter how “reasonable” you attempt to present yourself. Let me attempt to explain which is most likely futile but again, its not about YOU.

    On every blog like this many victims read who don’t yet have the strength to comment. Sometimes they lurk for a long time. Their abuses can range from a controlling pastor they trusted to much worse. But you want to know the absolute worst thing for them? Those that defend the abusers. Those that defend wrong doing with ridiculous standards for communication. Those that insist they communicate their abuse ‘in the right way” or they won’t be heard. It is just heaping on more abuse and enabling wrong doing or evil.

    That is where you come in. You presented a perfect example of such people.

    I guess I had some early training I had no idea would come in so handy one day. I used to be on the board of a crisis center. I wanted to learn as much about it as I could because I don’t have that background. Back then, I was not connecting all the dots and we now have more science to back up what happens to the brain during trauma and pro longed cognitive dissonance. I would always think if the victims could be more reasonable we could help them better. And I was wrong to think that. After all, what was my definition of “reasonable” after trauma? I knew nothing. Thankfully, I was a learner and observer who kept my mouth shut. I was smart enough to know that was not my area of expertise. (Btw, one of the biggest problems at the DV shelter were pastors who came to persuade them their husband was really sorry this time and their children needed to be with both mom and dad. What a lie. They were revolving doors. And the pastors were enablers because to them, marriage was more important than safety for her or the children. A sick view that has been around for since patriarchy took over after the fall.)

    The exchange with you happened because if any victims are reading here, they need to know that there will NEVER be an acceptable way to discuss what happened to them with the people IN THE system that carried out the abuse and those within that looked the other way. It is futile. The priestly class and its systems exists to grow and protect itself along the way. You are one of the protectors of the priestly class system. It is that simple. And you most likely really believe you are reasonable.

    So that was the purposed for our exchange. For the wounded who might be lurking. Not you. I wanted them to see that even those who try so hard to come off as “reasonable”, really aren’t. I don’t want them worried about HOW they communicate the abuses they have received or witnessed in the “Name of Jesus”. I want them on a journey of healing. I want them to be strong survivors of this brand of deceptive evil. The first step is recognizing the brain gaming and staying far away from it. Most people want to be accepted and liked by the “group” they are in at the time. I could care less. I like truth more.

    Your comments have snippets in them that outed you early on. For basic starters, you came here concerned for the way priestly class abuse was communicated. You might want to read the Screwtape Letters. It sounds “reasonable”, too. You have bought into Thought Reform hook, line and sinker and don’t even know it.

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  74. Oh dear. ‘Having respect‘ was a JOKE.

    You seem to be only able to believe the worst.

    I’m not reformed. I’m not protecting a priestly caste. They should be exposed.
    But when I read commenters dripping in self-pity and bitterness, foul-mouthed, vicious and nasty, it makes me doubt their claim to be victims. People who can recite a litany of every wrong done to them, sometimes up to four decades ago. It’s not difficult to find examples of this. They may indeed have been bullied by a pastor or authoritarian leader, but it is impossible not to reach the conclusion that if this is their attitude to those around them, I’m not surprised they got into trouble. Six of one and half a dozen of the other. Which is cause and effect?

    The constituency that does this and is allowed to do this, they are the ones protecting the priestly caste, because their criticisms of that caste are not credible to the impartial observer or fans of the conference establishment. They are letting down those who really have been badly hurt.

    No, I’m not offended by strong and direct language. When it crosses the border into being sinful, that is wrong. When the bible tells us to control our tongues, it does not make an exception for a special class of people who have suffered.

    You might claim that if I knew in more detail what had happened in particular cases of abuse, I would be less bothered by how people express themselves. Possibly. The trouble is, in real life I’ve known more than one person who has really suffered at the hands of others, and they didn’t seem to have a need to talk about this endlessly, I’ve known some quit remarkable cases where I would have expected bitterness (I reckon I would have had trouble with it) but there was none.

    I don’t think I am ever going to convince you that my criticism of the way some people post is not the same thing as defending the actions of those they seek to criticize. I’ll leave it with I find the blindness to this completely baffling.

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  75. When it crosses the border into being sinful, that is wrong.

    The problem is that you think you can judge this. And by doing so, you are judging people who really are victims, who should be allowed to vent their righteous anger. And you judge people who RIGHTLY call people like Tullian and Phillips and Driscoll on the bad behavior that all the mealy mouthed folks are not willing to do.

    I agree with Lydia. Victims should know that it is safe to talk about it here, because goodness knows they are unlikely to get support from their churches unfortunately.

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  76. The trouble is, in real life I’ve known more than one person who has really suffered at the hands of others, and they didn’t seem to have a need to talk about this endlessly

    Have you ever thought they didn’t consider you a safe person to talk to?

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  77. “The trouble is, in real life I’ve known more than one person who has really suffered at the hands of others, and they didn’t seem to have a need to talk about this endlessly

    Have you ever thought they didn’t consider you a safe person to talk to?”

    Yep. And as you know, Lea, the bigger problem is getting them to talk at all. It can takes years to process the deceptive evils. And when you add in the deceptive “spiritual” element it is even harder to process. I am grateful when victims post at all. It is incredibly helpful when they are angry enough to rant. It means they finally value themselves a bit. I say bravo.

    Evil doesn’t show up with horns and a pitchfork but masquerading as an angel of light. We would all be better off if we learned that when getting involved in the Religious system.

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  78. Lea & Lydia, You gals get it. I read SSB for at least a year before I made a comment. After I made my first post, under the name Scared, I fell into a shame tizzy for daring to speak, but people were gracious & supportive. My comment wasn’t vicious or anything to be ashamed of, it was just so downloaded in my mind, NOT TO TOUCH GOD’S ANOINTED. Well, here I am 5 years later, I am a loud & proud done & you should hear me roar on twitter. Love calling evil out. Jesus was great at it. He is my role model. No more guru’s for me. Love, Gail

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  79. I fell into a shame tizzy for daring to speak

    Gail, I have been reading Brene Brown’s books on shame and vulnerability and one of the things she talks about is how being vulnerable and sharing these things is very important to overcoming shame. I think she also said it’s very important that the response to these stories are empathetic. I have learned so much reading people’s stories and appreciate them so much.

    I think practically it helps everyone to hear lots of stories to be able to pick out patterns and hopefully notice when things are going awry.

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  80. KAS, Hopefully, a bit of my story can clue you into why abuse victims come across as angry and bitter.

    I grew up in a core church family. We went to a good Reformed church that emphasized pure doctrine, and discipline. My mom stayed at home and my dad worked. I had no reason to doubt that my upbringing was great because people constantly commented to my parents about how wonderfully we behaved and how smart we were. We got good grades in school. But, the weird thing was that I was not happy. I learned to keep to myself, because my siblings would ridicule me and each other whenever we showed any weakness. My safe place was my school, where I could be myself, not at home or at church. I fantasized about running away and starting a new life, and when I graduated college, I moved 1000+ miles from my family.

    After a few moves, I ended up in a spiritually abusive church. I didn’t understand spiritual abuse at all. I bought into the authoritarian model, but I thought it was just strong personalities of the leaders, not abuse. Whenever I spoke up, I got abused, but I just thought it was their mistaken view of whatever.

    It wasn’t until about three years ago that my eyes were opened to call it “abuse”. That has led to an incredible journey, but part of that journey has been remembering all these events throughout my life that puzzled me and realizing that the confusion I had about them was because they were abusive.

    So, you can call it bitterness, anger, whatever, but my world was turned upside down. The people I respected as spiritual leaders and guides, I now see many of them as manipulative and abusive. The people I thought were “liberals” I now see as those who are trying to fight abuse in the church. I see that my view of God is also upside down. I’m not a worthless worm who is of no use to God, as I have been taught all my life. Instead, I’m a prince in the royal family, and God’s ambassador to a broken world in need of him. I’m highly valued, not worthless. Now, though, I realize there is a lot of brokenness and trauma in my life that I need to understand, grieve. I have family relationships with people who want to deny what has happened to me.

    I talked to someone a few weeks ago. She said, “do you have joy in your life?” Honestly, there were brief periods in my life where I had joy, but much of the time when I did have joy in the past, it was blamed on me being too self-absorbed or not sacrificing enough for others. Joy was the smile I pinned on my face every Sunday because people who didn’t have Joy were hiding some sin.

    Ultimately, KAS, this is a lot of why victims get blamed and mistreated in church. When the victim finally wakes up to the abuse, he is ANGRY. He goes to the civil/church authorities and because they’re all trained to equate anger with sin, they disbelieve, blame, shun the victim and give the abuser a pat on the back. I’ve opened up to a few spiritual leaders in my old church, and their response was that I deserved the abuse for one reason or another. In fact, every time I’ve complained about mistreatment or whatever, it’s ALWAYS turned back on me. They don’t have to listen to me because… I’m too negative. I complain too much. I caught them off guard.

    This is a horrible caricature of God. Jesus says we come before “daddy”. When our knees get skinned and are bloody, the fake God says clean yourself up and stop crying before you come into my royal presence. The real God runs from his throne and reaches out to pull us into his arms.

    Are you representing the real God, or the authoritarian/legalist caricature of him?

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  81. Bravo, Gail! As a survivor, you are in a unique position to encourage others on to that healing journey. We need more strong independent followers of Christ….not the followers of the gurus….. who….btw…….. seem to be positioning themselves as special snowflakes we must tip toe around or they won’t listen. I have news for other victims: They won’t listen anyway. Its a ruse.

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  82. “I’m not a worthless worm who is of no use to God, as I have been taught all my life. Instead, I’m a prince in the royal family, and God’s ambassador to a broken world in need of him. I’m highly valued, not worthless.”

    YES!!!

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  83. Mark – you long post deserves a reply.

    Why do you assume that I cannot relate to what you detail in your post? I’ve experienced some of the things you detail myself.

    I’m not someone who thinks it is sinful to be angry. Anger is the correct emotion to feel for blatant abuse of believers. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. At some point the anger has to be relinquished or it invites Satanic infiltration of the believer’s life. But it is not wrong in itself.

    Bitterness and slander and malice are sinful reactions to being sinned against, and the same apostle tells us to put them away.

    You want authoritarian ‘pastors’ who bully to be exposed and dealt with. So do I. There are bloggers who campaign for this – they are right to do so. There are commenters on such blogs who add insight to this, or can testify from personal experience what it is like to be on the receiving end of such abuse. Nothing wrong with that.

    What I have in mind are some bloggers and some commenters who have not put bitterness, slander and malice away. Who let rip with just the sort of language the apostle tells us not to use, that is, they let evil talk come out of their mouths. Who want revenge. Who automatically believe the worst. Who can criticize others all day, but are hyper-sensitive to any hint that they may need to deal with sinful issues in their own life. Those for whom the sun never sets on their anger. (This is why some people see them as ‘eternal victims’.)

    It is difficult to tell if the latter category have really ever suffered at the hands of ‘pastors’, or whether they are nursing grievances, or have brought some of their bad experience on themselves.

    If this kind of posting makes me doubt them who has seen wrong authority first hand, how much more will it make those who are into celebrity evangelicalism, who tend to support well-known ministries almost unconditionally and will always give them the benefit of the doubt be skeptical of claims of wrong-doing. Who write-off all criticism because of the activities of some. It is entirely counterproductive.

    How you get from this that my criticism of such blogging and posting is in some way to support the abuser is beyond me. It is the absolute opposite!

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  84. While my heart breaks for the potential victim(s) and my deep personal disappointment in Mr. Phillips lingers as a stark and sad reminder that we can’t place our trust in mankind, I do wonder what value is provided in the continued disgrace. It is sad to see something that has gone on for years and settled in the court process, despite the Plantiff’s obvious contentment (if she settled) being dug up and rehashed over and over again. Further attack is not the answer folks. It’s like kicking a wounded person…yelling, “suffer, suffer, suffer…”. It’s time to put down the rocks and get out the medication.

    I personally put a lot of faith in Vision Forum and Mr. Phillip’s leadership ability and in his personal integrity, as did many other Christians – it appears, as many would agree, these were poor judgements, however, in the heartbreak and discouragement let us heal and move forward, being stronger and wiser.

    I’ve read several blogs on this story and to be honest, I envision tiny characters sitting in their cramped apartments, sitting at a crowded coffee table, in their PJ’s at noon, typing away on their glowing Macbook…sorry, but that is the image. What I don’t imagine is someone who is happy and helpful and has Biblical matters in mind.

    Much of the hostility I’ve read seems to be rooted in anger and hatred. Do I (we) hate the sin that hurt all those involved…absolutely. Do we hate the people, no, God forbid we might hate those that He loves and died for – John 3:16.

    If the Plantiff accepted an out of court settlement, then…she has obviously moved on with her life. That is probably good cause to move on with ours as well…at least it’s a thought. She had the right to pursue the case…for some reason, she settled. Let her decision (it wasn’t the court’s decision) be enough to satisfy our demand for justice. True justice will come from God anyway. He is the Eternal Judge.

    I remember the pain I felt when I learned of this disgraceful outcome. I sat and wept for the loss in all the lives and ministry. I wanted to minister to the young lady and I wanted to sit with Mr. Phillips and pray with him (if it were true) to repent, confess his sin, and to seek reconciliation with all those hurt – especially with God. I prayed for his wife and their children…can’t imagine their pain, hurt and shame.

    All I could do is pray for them from a long distance, yet, that is the best thing we can do…pray for them and thank God, that by His grace we are not in the same or worse situation.

    God’s Word is full of failures, discipline, correction, repentance, salvation, and reestablishment of service (David, Moses, Peter…) and my deepest prayer is that all of these positives are taking place in the hearts and lives of those impacted and that the negatives are being defeated and conquered.

    May God heal them and use them (all of us) for His glory.

    We must ask, “what is my motive”…if it is for God’s glory, great…if not, move on to something that is for His glory – it’s the only way to peace and healing.

    Man will fail, but God prevails and His eyes are upon all things done in public or in secret. He sees the motives or our heart.

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  85. What I have in mind are some bloggers and some commenters who have not put bitterness, slander and malice away.

    KAS, I think you must have a mistaken definition of slander to refer to it in such a fashion. Malice is assumed by you, as is bitterness.

    What I don’t imagine is someone who is happy and helpful and has Biblical matters in mind.

    regarding your comment Tim it includes assumption more of motives on the part of people you don’t know. If people could just accept, as you said, that they should STOP worshiping people who they think are leaders and realize that some of them are probably not even Christians, they will be much better off. I don’t think it helps you to do that to jump with assumptions of malice, anger, ‘not having biblical matters in mind’ at anyone who dares to point out the glaring issues with these leaders.

    Maybe they have the biblical matter of calling out sin in mind. Maybe they have the biblical matter of protecting innocents at mind. Maybe they have the biblical matter of warning others lest they fall for false prophets in mind.

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  86. Dear Tim,

    I’ve read several blogs on this story and to be honest, I envision tiny characters sitting in their cramped apartments, sitting at a crowded coffee table, in their PJ’s at noon, typing away on their glowing Macbook…sorry, but that is the image.

    You forgot the Cheetos, Tim. If you want to denigrate the bloggers and commenters properly, you gotta say that we’re all in our pyjamas, at noon, eating nothing but Cheetos. Cheetos are key. 😉

    I do wonder what value is provided in the continued disgrace. It is sad to see something that has gone on for years and settled in the court process, despite the Plantiff’s obvious contentment (if she settled) being dug up and rehashed over and over again. Further attack is not the answer folks. It’s like kicking a wounded person…yelling, “suffer, suffer, suffer…”

    It’s not about attacking or disgracing Phillips. It’s about reminding the world about what he’s done, and the fact that he’s not safe to follow or fit to be a pastor. I have no doubt that Douggie would like all the rest of us to forget how he betrayed his family and his congregation, so he can get right back to making bank off of Jesus. We can’t make it that easy for him, Tim. Everyone needs to remember that this man has no business calling himself a pastor or minister, or setting himself up as a “family values” guru.

    As you yourself said, let’s be stronger and wiser. If Doug Phillips chooses to settle into quiet obscurity, fine and good. But if he tries to return to the spotlight and the Jesus gravy train, we’ll be here to put facts in his way.

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  87. I’m glad you pulled this one out, Serving, because I missed it:

    despite the Plantiff’s obvious contentment (if she settled)

    Settling hardly means she is ‘content’. She probably evaluated the options rationally and took the best one. That hardly lets doug off the hook and means he should be back in ministry! These things are totally separate.

    Also, sometimes for your own health you have to withdraw from a situation (although I’m betting there was also some sort of gag order in the settlement, because Doug would love to pretend all of this never happened). But since we have not been personally harmed, we don’t have to withdraw. We are not emotionally scarred and we are not legally required to stop talking and pretend this never happened.

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  88. Holy crap… JA- Have you noticed that the Vision Forum FB page is STILL posting things?? Bealls BLOG?? What the heck are these people still doing on there in 2017?!

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  89. KAS, I missed your response… wasn’t ignoring you.

    You said, “Bitterness and slander and malice are sinful reactions to being sinned against, and the same apostle tells us to put them away.”

    When we are taught skewed scripture, it often shows up in how we quote it. For example, what you say above is your paraphrase of “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Eph. 4:31)

    I’m familiar with this because it was quoted at me for the purpose of telling me that being angry is sinful. Yet, the author lumps all these things together. So, there are two major questions, first, are the things to be put away all to be put away for the same reason? Are all these things “SIN”? Second, is the way that they are to be put away all the same?

    Specifically, when slander and anger are combined in one breath and then we are told to put them away, there is a strong temptation to say that anger must be sinful, because we KNOW that slander is, and that the putting away for anger must be to never allow it to surface, since we know that slander should never come out of our mouths.

    But, what if we understand the context that Paul is trying to encourage the church towards love and grace and unity, not by telling them to “put away”, as in “shove in a box”, but to reconcile and resolve and grow towards a higher unity.

    What if those we learned emotions from so horribly distorted the Bible’s teachings that we somehow think that shoving our anger and bitterness in a box so that we can return to church with a “joyful smile” and continue to be “nice” to those who continue to treat us like crap is our Christian duty. That’s not the church, that’s the world! It’s the world where you stand before a judge that shows obvious disdain for you, but if you don’t call him, “your honor”, he sends you to jail. It’s the world where your boss shoves a pile of work at you on Friday afternoon that has to be done by the 8AM meeting on Monday, and if you tell him no or complain writes you up. The church isn’t the place where you shove the real you in a box because the “church lady” gives you the stare. Anger, malice and bitterness are put away through reconciliation and restoration in the spirit. That’s why we grieve in cases like this where it seems the victim gets told to shove her story, her anger, her bitterness, in a box (gag order) while the abuser gets to move on and even, I think, slander the victim. There was no reconciliation or restoration. That is not the church.

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  90. Let me understand this. A woman makes an allegation. The DA levels the charge and uses the woman’s report as evidence against an assumed innocent man. Then, despite its VAST financial and legal arsenal and a 95%+ success rate at winning these types of cases, the DA proceeds to FAIL to prove the allegation to be true. The best it can do (and this is a CRIMINAL not a civil case) is settle out of court.

    But the woman, because she is a woman and so many women are sexually abused by men in our society today, MUST be believed and, consequently, the assumed innocent man MUST be guilty, else no justice has been served. Yes, I can see this to be biblical justice for you professing Christians. The funny thing is that the Bible you people read sure differs from the one I read:

    “ONE witness shall NOT rise against a man concerning ANY iniquity or ANY sin that he commits; by the mouth of TWO OR THREE witnesses the matter shall be established.

    “If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, then both men in the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, IF THE WITNESS IS A FALSE WITNESS, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall DO TO HIM AS HE THOUGHT TO HAVE DONE TO HIS BROTHER; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

    “And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. YOUR EYE SHALL NOT PITY: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Let the punishment fit the crime.

    Either he did it or he did not do it. If he didn’t do it, then stop raising false witness and wishing him to have done it so that you could be proven right in your assumptions. Your gossip is character assasination and you’re guilty of breaking the 6th Commandment. And if he did do it, then the problem is far greater than the charge, because it means that a 95% success rate is meanigless. Men have gone years to prison for FAR less through plea bargaining. If the DA couldn’t get a ‘no contest’ plea, then it had nothing to prove the allegation with. Who are you then to assert it as being true?

    I tell you what this is called. It’s called the love of a lie, you “Christians.”

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