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Blueridge

Has this been discussed? Doug Phillips *resigns* from Vision Forum (Ministries)!

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I don't know a thing about the man or Vision Forum, but what I think I "hear" in his resignation letter is a bit of martyrdom.

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There is not an authentic sounding word in that entire letter. But then when it comes to Doug Phillips there is not an unbiased bone in my body. The man is on level with pond scum in my book. Always has been. Always will be.

The gender based limits he advocates and the rigidity in how he treats those around him are nothing more or less than using religion as a shield for sexism and abuse. It is sad that anyone looks to this man for advice, spiritual or otherwise. But then what do I know? Apparently I am a whore (because I have a college degree in a "man's field") and hate my children (because I'm a feminist who thinks my husband is my partner and not my leader).

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Vision Forum is not my cup of tea. By a long shot.

But I still don't get some of the criticism here. Of course there is more to the story. He has shared what is relevant and what he needs to share with his followers. The rest is seriously no one's business but his wife's. Why would he share more?

We have no idea if the other woman has a support network or has been rebuked. Because again, it is none of our business. If the media gets hold of it and makes it public, he will have to live with that. He promoted himself and became a public figure, so of course people are curious. But why should he or anyone close to him reveal more?

 

Criticism and curiosity aren't the same thing, I don't think. I can admit to being mildly curious but that' s really a matter of being nosy, if I'm honest. I'm not particularly interested in the details because then I'll just feel that much worse for the wife and kids, and I don't like to feel bad. Life is stressful enough without having to add a measure of someone else's stress unnecessarily. The criticism, on the other hand, is entirely warranted because this man offered himself as an authority on what Yahweh Himself really means and thinks and feels, and his advice as being credible. Well, it wasn't. For all his claims of knowing how to be a "new creature" in Christ, he lied. That's all there is to it. He lied and he got caught. He lied to his wife, he lied to his community, he lied to himself. He's not the first liar, and he won't be the last, but liars who prey on the vulnerable for profit are some of the most despicable creatures in the human gene pool, I think, and the more they are exposed for what they are, the more people can be aware of what to avoid.  

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These are the times these forums just blow me away.  The man admitted to an inappropriate relationship with another woman.  He never blamed her at all.  Even if there is more to it (which of course we will never know all the details!) why do you feel owed a more detailed explanation? 

 

He did the right thing and it seems, as usual for most people on this board it is not enough.  Should he be burned at the stake? 

 

As far as the other woman is concerned she is just as wrong as he is.

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These are the times these forums just blow me away. The man admitted to an inappropriate relationship with another woman. He never blamed her at all. Even if there is more to it (which of course we will never know all the details!) why do you feel owed a more detailed explanation?

He did the right thing and it seems, as usual for most people on this board it is not enough. Should he be burned at the stake?

As far as the other woman is concerned she is just as wrong as he is.


So, someone publicly resigns and we're not allowed to discuss it??

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Criticism and curiosity aren't the same thing, I don't think..... The criticism, on the other hand, is entirely warranted because this man offered himself as an authority on what Yahweh Himself really means and thinks and feels, and his advice as being credible. Well, it wasn't.


Yes. I am aware if the difference between criticism and curiosity.

I not taken aback that people criticize his affair. That seems expected. I was more addressing criticism of the letter itself - that he wasn't giving the "whole story." I don't think he had to or should publically reveal the whole story about his sordid little affair. It seemed adequate to me. Of course, I am not a fan of his so maybe I am not feeling the disappointment others are.

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 I was more addressing criticism of the letter itself - that he wasn't giving the "whole story." I don't think he had to or should publically reveal the whole story about his sordid little affair.

 

Ah, I getcha. No, I don't think anyone is asking for details, but the letter itself is... well, it's smarmy.

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Ah, I getcha. No, I don't think anyone is asking for details, but the letter itself is... well, it's smarmy.

 

 

Because the content is smarmy.  Its about a man cheating on his wife, duping a ton of people and a whole ministry. 

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The thing I see is this: there's NO way for any letter or speech to come across looking sincere in this situation or any similar ones. The whole thing is just wrong (which is why he had to resign), and IMO, nothing written or said will look "right." It's just the nature of things. It would either look fake or forced. With regards to public opinion, he put himself in an impossible position once he started down that road.

 

Perhaps he can repair things with his wife and family. But it's doubtful that his leadership role will ever be repaired.

 

It's sad.

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Because the content is smarmy.  Its about a man cheating on his wife, duping a ton of people and a whole ministry. 

 

No, because the tone is smarmy. The words are slippery, there's a glaring lack of genuineness in there. The whole thing reads like a PR stunt. All I can think of is that list of top ten professions that sociopaths are most commonly drawn to, and clergy is on there. This letter reminds me of that. 

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No, because the tone is smarmy. The words are slippery, there's a glaring lack of genuineness in there. The whole thing reads like a PR stunt. All I can think of is that list of top ten professions that sociopaths are most commonly drawn to, and clergy is on there. This letter reminds me of that. 

 

Interesting because I read it as genuine. I guess if you're looking for something you will find it. 

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I would like to believe his leadership role will be diminished, as I believe the patriarchy behind his views is not from God, but I doubt it. He will have a new "revelation" and people will flock to him. I could list the religious leaders who have done this but I would be sure to offend someone and I won't, lol. An exception would be Ted Haggard, who I believe to be genuinely sorry for the pain he caused. However, there is no comparison between the two men because Ted Haggard owned his whole experience and subjected himself to numerous lie detector tests. I cannot see Doug Phillips subjecting himself to the authority of others the way Ted Haggard did when he was caught. 

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Interesting because I read it as genuine. I guess if you're looking for something you will find it. 

 

This might shed some light on why many of us feel the tone is Smarmy and very not genuine. http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-heavy-burden-of-doug-phillips-legalism-leads-to-his-resignation-from-vision-forum/

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I would be more likely to believe the apology to be sincere if it wasn't so long and full of empty, flowery words like "nuture my wife." A better apology would be something like this: "I had an inappropriate relationship and acted like a jerk toward the people around me who warned me I was sinning. I don't meet the biblical qualifications requiring an elder to be "above reproach," so I have resigned."

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Interesting because I read it as genuine. I guess if you're looking for something you will find it. 

 

Honestly, I wasn't looking for anything one way or another...I don't have a horse in this race.  I just thought he sounded smug.

 

I also noticed that he asked for prayers for himself and his family, but not for the other woman with whom he had a six year "emotional affair".  That struck me as incredibly callous as well.  Even Bill Clinton asked for people to leave Monica alone.

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This might shed some light on why many of us feel the tone is Smarmy and very not genuine. http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-heavy-burden-of-doug-phillips-legalism-leads-to-his-resignation-from-vision-forum/

 

Ok, i just followed this link and read most of her story. Good grief.  She was treated badly. :(

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There was an important sentence in this letter - scripted or not - he was set up so highly that he didn't think he could fall. This is almost always what directly precedes a fall - of any kind.

Since ds has long been graduated from homeschooling, I have not received their catalogs in the past few years but when I did back then and looked through it, it was as if I had entered a different world - "unreal" describes it best and evidently unreal it was.

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This might shed some light on why many of us feel the tone is Smarmy and very not genuine. http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-heavy-burden-of-doug-phillips-legalism-leads-to-his-resignation-from-vision-forum/

 

 

Ugh yeah. Just read the whole thing.  I believe her story.  I find a few of her and her husbands actions/choices questionable but it definitely rings true. 

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The part of his letter that I take exception to is his qualification that the affair stopped short of full consummation. We don't need to know that, and it doesn't make it any better.  Cheating is cheating.  

 

However, one of my friends on fb posted a great article:  http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/take-heed/

 

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Clinging to grace because I really need it.  

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The part of his letter that I take exception to is his qualification that the affair stopped short of full consummation. We don't need to know that, and it doesn't make it any better.  Cheating is cheating.  

 

However, one of my friends on fb posted a great article:  http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/take-heed/

 

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Clinging to grace because I really need it.  

 

I totally agree with all of this. Perfectly said.

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I don't care if the other woman threw herself at him constantly. It was up to him to say no. Period.


I totally agree that he is most definitely at fault and should be able to say "no" period. OTOH I think women who behave this way are just as guilty. I could never ever imagine myself a home wrecker period.

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I am not terribly familiar with VF and all their teachings. I've seen and admired the catalog, I have a feel for what they represent.... But I guess my question is, (in response to a previous post) does Wilson say that following his teachings will guard you against moral downfall? Did he specifically say that? I guess , I'm wondering because if he did specifically say that if a person lives that way, they are immune from moral downfall then you can say that his teachings don't hold water. But my impression is that he is just espousing a certain philosophy, results not guaranteed, then.... That's just what it is. A different way (they think better way) to live, but we're still all sinners, susceptible to the same sins. Does that make sense?

 

It might have just been a slip of the tongue, but since people get them confused, I just wanted to clarify: Doug Phillips, who resigned, was the head of Vision Forum. Doug Wilson is another guy, associated with Veritas Press. Both have been controversial figures.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/w/douglas-wilson/

http://theresurgence.com/authors/douglas-wilson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Wilson_%28theologian%29

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I know someone who had an affair with her doctor. They both divorced their spouses and are married now. No charges were made, nor were there any professional repercussions for the doctor.


I know someone who had an affair with her married psychiatrist. He left his wife and they married. Nine years later, he left her and she was able to get herself a VERY handsome settlement because of how their relationship began and the repercussions for him should she choose to go to the licensing board.

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I also noticed that he asked for prayers for himself and his family, but not for the other woman with whom he had a six year "emotional affair".


Wait, it went on for six years? If that was in the resignation letter, I missed it.

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I totally agree that he is most definitely at fault and should be able to say "no" period. OTOH I think women who behave this way are just as guilty. I could never ever imagine myself a home wrecker period.

 

I would agree with you if they were on equal footing. If you do some research on this man and the amount of force he is willing to use against those who simply say somethng he doesn't like to one of his church leadership, it will be clear that even if this women does not realize it now she may one day realize she was not in a position to freely regect his advances.

 

 

Honestly, if Vision Forum has a lick of legal sense they will settle with her before she fully grasps what has happened. Before she does things like sue for millions and writes her tell all book.

I will say this for the denomination I was in. They were quick to offer me all the help I needed (providing unlimited counseling by an outside party, documentation, relocation and even physical protection), and acknowledged the wrong done. This was the main reason I did not take the whole denom to court like my lawyers suggested.

 

 

Edited to add- I forgot the Douglas Phillips had previously been a lawyer. That could make this situation worse for him. On a few fronts. Potential fear of legal reprecussions if she said no and the fact that he should have known better!

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Over on the Free Jinger forum people have pointed out that he has only resigned from VF ministries and not VF the business (with the catalog). They also pointed out that last week it was announced that the 2014 film fest was cancelled for financial and "other reasons." So there are reasons besides the film fest losing money for it being canceled. People wonder if this is part of Phillips resigning.

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Quote from the resignation:

"There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness."

"There are"...passive voice. He's not putting himself as the subject. He doesn't really see himself as an active part of this.

"No words"...of course there are words to describe the shame he feels! He just doesn't feel the shame.

"my beloved bride"... puking in my mouth!

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Here is my take.

 

As part of a study of patriarchial movements for a local church that had had an unfortunate history of severe legalism and then saw the light and wanted to move away from that life, I helped them research VF, ATI, and other such patriarchial + dominionist theology organizations and the outcomes on the lives of the families dedicated to them. Normally, I'm a live and let live kind of person. In the absence of abuse, between consenting adults do whatever the heck you want, seriously...we need some more privacy in this nation for the most part, and let consenting adults do what they are going to do so long as NO ONE is victimized.. I have issues when it crosses the line into abusing kids. What I found was a shock.

 

S*xual abuse is ALWAYS covered up. When it finally comes out, the admission is normally just the tip of the iceberg. In the case of ATI, Gothard's brother was fired for NUMEROUS affairs with older teenage girls working in the office - interns who had been raised by their parents to ALWAYS do what the man wanted and to NEVER question male leaderships. Seriously, these girls were brainwashed. If Gothard and company had told them to rob a bank for them, they would have done it. So they were not capable of consent because of the degree of authority and domination these men were give over them. Gothard himself was told to STOP taking teenage interns and single women on his speaking tours because he admitted to "being in their hotel rooms with them", and a number of these gals, finally getting the courage to speak up, said he constantly touched them inappropriately, but claimed he was just showing fatherly affection, and sometimes would wake up at night to find him just sitting in their hotel room staring at them while they slept. TOTALLY CREEPY! Because he was their "covering" while on the road, they had to surrender their hotel room keys to him....uhm...try that with me buddy and you will lose a body part! But, as hard as it is to understand why any female would agree to this, one has to understand that the brainwashing begins when they are tiny...toddlers, pre-schoolers, etc. man is everything, women are easily deceived so you can't trust your own instincts, God says you must always obey your dad, the elders of the church, any Christian male without questions, always...no exceptions, etc. and it's backed up with physical, corporal punishment for EVERY LITTLE INFRACTION...sigh audibly when daddy hands you an assignment, get hit with something or assigned hard physical labor, lose a meal, multiple meals, etc. there can not be even the slightest HINT of anything that Mr. god of the house thinks could be perceived as an unwilling, ungentle, unsubservient attitude. And this was what Gothard was willing to admit to, and yet not only did he not grovel over his own behavior, he never even called his brother's actions into question except to say he took some personal responsibility for pressuring his brother to never marry in order to be devoted full time to the ministry and that this was a disservice to him because obviously his brother was one of the men Paul was speaking to about remaining single being best but to marry instead of burn if that was an issue. There was NO acknowledgement of true wrong doing, and that is typical within these kinds of male dominionist movements.

 

Many of you may not know this, but while Doug Wilson is not necessarily associated with ATI or VF, he does pastor another organization of the same ilk in Moscow, Idaho. He is notoriously known for arranging the marriages of the young people in his church, and got himself in a BIG fire when he arranged for a young woman in his congregation to marry a KNOWN and convicted pedophile (multiple victims and confession)  in order to help the young man "remain on the straight and narrow". The judge presiding over this man's case was absolutely livid and heartbroken that within the law, there was nothing he could do to stop it. I can only imagine what will happen to the children from this union and since "be fruitful and multiply" is the commandment his followers must obey, unless she ends up infertile (believe me, I almost hope this is the case), there will be new victims for this creep.

 

While the above is about ATI and Doug Wilson, the organization and operation of VF and Boerne Christian Assembly where Doug Phillips is the head elder is the same. They openly admit to being closely enjoined organizations with the same ideal of returning the family to a structure in which the man is the representation of Christ to his family on earth and must be reverenced as such. It is taken to an extreme that is very difficult for many to understand until you research it.

 

Women cannot take communion/eucharist unless their husband or father serves him. In the absence of one of them on Sunday, a son...even one too young to be allowed to take himself...can serve his mothers and sisters, but if she has no son to do this, she's out of luck. Women literally cannot speak inside the church building...not even to shush a child. Oft times moms and elder sisters end up outside the building completely missing service because how does one deal with children without speaking to them? Note that the men who are allowed to speak are not dealing with their offspring. Every week the women are supposed to have a meeting in which they decide if anyone in the fellowship needs meals brought to them and who will do it. Except the women are not allowed to actually commit to bringing a meal because they have to ask their husband's permission first and the men do not attend the meeting. So, when it was discovered that meals were not being scheduled for those in need, the men had a meeting at which the women were not invited, to discuss how they, the men who would not be making these meals or juggling this service into their own schedules, would solve the women's problem.  Beall Phillips, by her own admission to the women in the congregation, has her cell phone with her at all times in case Doug needs something. That includes inside the house. If he wants a cup of coffee, she or one of the girls MUST drop what they are doing and fetch it for him. She admitted that she would not be able to accept invitations to socialize with other Christian women nor invite them to her home because she cannot predict when Doug will assign a task to her.

 

In one of Doug's own blogs, he talked about the birth of their eldest and youngest children. The eldest was born at a hospital and he judged that his wife was well enough to NOT need to stay. Two hours later he took her home and decided they should stop som where to eat. He took his two hr. old son, and his just birthed wife into a diner for a meal. He thought this was a wonderful idea and bragged about it. I, on the other hand, thinking of risk of infection to her, her physical exhaustion, etc. just wanted to puke. His essential attitude was that a good Christian woman births a baby with ease and is back to work pretty much immediately. When their youngest, Virginia was born, it was a home birth in which Doug was not present with Beall. Instead, he gathered eight other men (elders) from Boerne Christian Assembly in his living room, just down the hall from the birthing room, and Beall was required to birth fairly silently so as to not embarrass the men or herself. They waited together to bless the baby. When was Virginia was born, Doug required the midwife to bring the baby to him first, and he posted pictures of how the men passed her from male to male, holding the baby over their heads apparently as a sign of her being an offering to God or something - it was really CREEPY - as each prayed, and then the baby was returned to Beall so she could hold her. AND BEALL PUT UP WITH THIS! That alone is an huge indication of how beat down the women of this congregation are. None of these men apparently had a wife at home with a backbone and a bit of wisdom that said, "Oh Hell NO you are not going to do that. It's horrible to do to Beall. Bad for the baby. JUST NO!" A woman who interfered with what Doug told her husband to do would be brought before the males of the church for discipline.

 

Doug has advised men at homeschool conferences to teach their daughters to stand behind daddy's chair at night, at attention until bedtime, in order to be at ready hand to get the father whatever he wants whenever he wants it. Of course the boys of the household have their free time, and a lot of it. Boys do not make their beds, clean their own rooms, help with dishes, or anything like this. Doug does advise for them to learn typical male jobs such as mowing the lawn, or changing the oil on the car. But, they do not have to much self-care beyond showering and dressing on their own. Their sisters were put on this planet to serve them as well. He advises men to make 200 year plans for their families that include projected number of grandchildren and birth years, marriage plans for their daughters, etc. and while the official word is "courtship" it plays out as arranged marriages because the girl has no choice in who can court her. If dad says no, it's no. She is not even supposed to know that a young man likes her until after her father has approved it so she would have no idea what her options are in the future marriage department. Though he met Beall at college and she has a degree, he is adamantly opposed to an education beyond high school for girls, and has in his speaking engagements discouraged men from allowing their daughters to study high school level mathematics and science as these are the province of men.

 

He has openly stated that his goal is for the United States government and culture to be flooded with Christians of patriarchial/dominionist theory so God can "take back America". The historical books backed by VF are noted for being inaccurate/highly revisionist. And then there are the purity balls...I don't know about you, but there is something REALLY WRONG with a girl being pressured to make this vow, "I pledge my s*xuality and virginity to my father until marriage." Seriously, while some may not see anything wrong with this, I consider it pedophilia like - think about being required to attend one of these things...remember, she has no voice, she cannot say "no" because he has all the authority and women are taught that they are weak and easily deceived so they cannot trust their own instincts. So, she is forced to attend, and forced to stare into her dad's face and say those words. I find the concept that men would sit around and dream this stuff up for their daughters to be twisted. On top of which, there are not purity balls for the boys. Bottom line, it is entirely the woman's problem to make sure there is no pre-marital s*x which means by default, when there is s*xual impropriety she is going to be the one that takes the fall for it. Boys need not make such vows.  Oh, and the daddy/daughter tea parties he hosts where the girls have to shave their dad's faces amongst other subservient roles they play. It's all brainwashing. They don't have a fun tea time, just for the sake of relationship building, just for spending some fun, quality time together. The whole focus is on educating her about male domination. Alarm bells here...everything is about her being property, being owned, being subservient , being dominated. No where in this picture is there care and concern for her feelings, her self-esteem, her passions and talents, .....as my husband puts it, "Every time I hear more about this stuff, I throw up in my mouth!" Maybe some of you would disagree with me, but I think a mentally healthy father and husband reacts this way...feels revulsion of such practices because he loves his wife, he loves his daughter, and this love is true love...healthy, self-sacrificing, considering the needs of the other person.

 

According to Boerne Christian Assembly, as lead by Doug P who is not ordained in any organization and cannot even legally perform a marriage ceremony, the one and only reason a woman may seek to separate from much less divorce her husband is that he has a s*xual affair that involved actual intercourse. Now, there was no reason on earth for Doug P to do any more than state the following, "Due to a need to be at home more with my family, I am resigning my position with Vision Forum Ministries." No one would have thought twice about this because hey, everyone knows that these kinds of positions are time suckers extraordinaire. He could so easily have resigned without causing his wife embarrassment, without bringing up the other woman, without making a big deal about something that was NO ONE ELSE's BEESWAX. Seriously, it was between he and Beall, his wife, and the leadership. It wasn't something that 1 million people who buy from the company needed to hear, and the other several million who would find out on social media. Due to the wording of the "apology" and the manner in which it was done, given what I know of the patriarchial/dominionist movement, I believe that this was done to put Beall on public notice that she cannot leave him without losing her soul. I don't state that lightly. It is based on the evidence of Doug's own preaching, his own blog posts, his own writings, writings from members of his own congregation who have written on the topic at www.spiritualsoundingboard.com, www.recoveringgrace.com, www.nolongerquivering.com, and several ministry watchdog groups. His own words convict him, I don't have to be judgmental in any way to understand the dynamics here because he has made those dynamics known very publicly over the last decade.

 

So long as he or the other woman does not claim intercourse, Beall has no choice. Now, as a legal resident of the United States of America, she does have choices. She can leave him if that is what she chooses. But, the odds are stacked against her. For one, she's been out of the workforce since college, has no income of her own, and zero money...zero. In this church, men are told to NEVER allow their wives names to be on checking accounts, savings, retirement plans, house titles, car titles and loans, nothing. She can have NO credit rating. She must have no money to control. Even grocery shopping is tightly dominated. She submits a grocery list to him, he approves it, and she is given cash and must submit the receipt and change to him so he can make sure she isn't sneaking anything she doesn't really need as defined by him. We have Doug Phillips following family right here in this community, and it's terribly scary...they follow this kind of stuff to the letter. Running to a shelter might be an option. But Beall's double whammy is that Doug is an attorney, and an SOB shark one at that...his ability to create contracts to completely take advantage of the other party is legendary in Texas. He is not currently practicing law, but as his wife with no money to pay another attorney, going up against him alone, she doesn't have a chance in hell of ending up with any money, or the kids. She'd have to abandon her children to him and hope for the best. Given how well emotionally beaten down the women of the congregation are and the fact that the only circle of people she knows will show her ZERO support, I predict she'll suffer along. The fact that he didn't admit to being the scum bag he is - ie. humbly grovel -  that he did not ask for prayer for the other woman, that he did not resign from VF INC. the profit making arm - ie. the catalog and stuff part of his empire - so that he'd have to humbly go get a regular day job that takes him completely out of authority and power, that he referred to "nurturing his bride" (dude, that ship has sailed and the fact that you have the nerve to talk like this to the public is a sign you don't CARE about her in all actuality), etc...none of it bodes well for Beall or those children.

 

My heart breaks for her. I'd love to get a van and go get her and the kids. I'd love for her to spend some time in therapy finding out that hey, God loves her too and never, ever intended for her to live such a defeated existence. I'd love for her to attend a church in which men are just men, and women are just women, and they are equal and complementary and work together the best they can for the benefit of their local community. I'd love for her to find out that she did nothing to deserve this. I honestly believe that anyone who attempts to help her will find a formidable wall of men who will literally, physically bar them from having contact with her.

 

I pray that some how, some way, God can get through to this scum bag's heart. I think that Doug radically changing is the only hope this family has because the odds are stacked against them in terms of getting away from him. I don't even think relationship reconciliation is the issue here. There is something deeper and even more important than saving the marriage, as we would think of it. This is a family where mamma and girls need to see that they really weren't created to be treated worse than the family pet, and the boys need to see that they weren't created to be the slave masters. God is on the throne; Jesus still reigns, and neither of them appreciates any person who usurps their position in someone else's life.

 

Now all of that said, you can obviously see that I have mega issues with partriarchial systems because of the extremes that these movements take. But, I also want to say that not all function in such a manner either. The levels of abuse with VF, ATI, etc. are not seen in other systems such as the Mennonites, or even ones that are viewed as patriarchial when in fact that term really does not accurately describe the belief system very well, Orthodoxy for example. There are religious organizations that function under a New Testament type hierarchy of male leadership that do not have these issues. Not my cup of tea, but also not male dominating, woman hating, Jesus usurping, personal convictions preached as theological truth churches even if there are those that would label them "patriarchy" oriented. Frankly, for what it's worth, when it comes to Jesus loving and "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you!", Orthodox and LDS believers have that wrapped up pretty nicely, and I have a lot of work to do to catch up to them!

 

That is why I express an opinion on the subject. I've done a lot of research...my parents have counseled more than one ATI couple who has tried to leave the organization, we've encountered more than one VF following family, etc. between experience, research, and the actual words and teachings of the men who lead these organizations, I believe there is a need to identify the wolves from amongst the sheep in order to maybe, just maybe, protect some innocents if possible. It's probably a pipe dream, but I wish that situations like Doug Phillips resignation, Doug Wilson's actual appearance in court and admonishment from a criminal court judge for his actions leading to the marriage of a young, naïve woman to a predator, Gothard's admission, along with his brother's, of seriously creepy impropriety, etc. would be a wake up call to American Christians that we need to get our house in order. We need to consider God's word, not man's word. We need to care about the innocent amongst us. We need to put extensive hierarchy and accountability in place (hierarchy where men and women work together to protect the flock) and enforce it without discrimination and prejudice. We need to give everyone a voice so nothing can be hidden or swept under the rug. We need to make it a lot harder for those in authority to abuse someone else, and we need to get on the side of the victims and not the perpetrator. We need to be a lot more proactive and pragmatic as a larger body of Christ regardless of denomination or affiliation. We need to recognize spiritual abuse for what it is and not excuse it.

 

Okay, flame away now. I've got my big girl panties on! LOL

 

Faith

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Quote from the resignation:

"There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness."

"There are"...passive voice. He's not putting himself as the subject. He doesn't really see himself as an active part of this.

"No words"...of course there are words to describe the shame he feels! He just doesn't feel the shame.

"my beloved bride"... puking in my mouth!

 

To be fair, he said, "I caused (the injury)."

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Dear Faith, thank you for that informative post. I don't know anything about these people and I am glad to have it explained. I am also glad there is a group of people who are trying to get away from this. The kind of church life they are living is sick, just sick. Religious power that is used to oppress and terrify is the VERY thing that Jesus wants us NOT to do!

Thank you also for making the point that not everyone with what could be called a patriarchal outlook is behaving like this.

I read the long blog entries linked above and I am not sure that I was hearing the whole story from her either, but what I kept wondering was, why on earth did they possibly accept this man's authority and stay so long, and now I understand a bit better why a person could be brainwashed into thinking that they were serving God by obeying this particular man.

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Faith - I was going to hit "like" on your post, but the word like stopped me in my tracks.  I don't like anything about people who take the word of God and twist it until it is unrecognizable.  Your honest reporting, on the other hand, I do like.  

 

The harsh reality of VF and other forms of legalism is sickening. 

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Hi all:  I'm a long-time homeschooling mom and blog at SpiritualSoundingBoard.com.  A reader sent me a link to this thread and although I'm familiar with many of the stories, it's just hard to wrap your mind around this kind of treatment of women in Patriarchy.      One might get confused and think we were talking about Muslim extremists which these folks so strongly oppose.  It is so, so disturbing.  FaithManor - - any time you want to guest post and share this kind of info, please let me know.  This stuff must be exposed.  Ugh.

 

People are talking about how wonderful his statement of repentance is.  A statement of repentance means nothing if there is no action/fruit.  It's premature to know how "repentant" he is.  Let's wait a year or so and then ask key people who deal with him frequently to see.  He mentions stepping down as president at Vision Forum, but there are 2 entities:  one is non-profit 501c3, the other is a for-profit business.  Is he stepping down from both?  Is he also stepping down from his pastoral position at his church?  

 

**edited to to clarify my very poorly worded sentence on Muslims.  Sincere apologies. 

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Faith,

Some of the things you describe are...wow, just ... Wow. That church culture is truly shameful and sullies the very gospel it claims to defend....


I do wish to offer a slight digression, though. For what it's worth, we used to attend a CREC church (same denomination as Doug Wilson), and I cannot support the same sort of sweeping generalizations about those congregations. There is a huge variety of expression between local church bodies and even within a church. Our church had working mothers, and it was never made a spiritual issue, etc. Women were most certainly allowed to dress as they chose (though most chose skirts/dresses for church, this was a factor of the general "dressiness" of our service, not a mandate, as anyone who showed up in pants was free to do so without judgment), and speak in the church, etc. The one element similar to what you describe was the institution of the men's forum, which could sometimes turn into a "if you have a question about something, ask your husband" sort of thing.... Not that the elders ever turned me away if I had a question I wanted to ask, for instance.

We now attend a PCA church, and there are fairly few differences theologically. Culturally there are some slight differences, mostly on the surface: men wear slacks and shirts to church rather than a suit and tie, for instance. Perhaps there are more schoolers than homeschoolers, but part of that has to do with the rise of a classical Christian-friendly charter school system. And to be fair, that change started even before the CREC church closed, as families who had been attending a classical Christian school moved to the charter schools.

I don't want to hijack the thread, only to point out that one should not necessarily view all churches in Wilson's denomination as being an expression of his personal authority/issues... Evaluate them on a case-by-case basis, kwim? He is not the "boss" of the denomination as Phillips was of VF ministries.

ETA: the incident you mentioned in Moscow of Pastor Wilson arranging the marriage of a young woman and a pedophile is one of the reasons I'm glad we are no longer affiliated with the CREC. Even though our church was nothing like that, and I maintain as I stated earlier that the denomination isn't either, as a whole, I didn't like being associated in any way with what was happening in that particular church body.

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Hi all:  I'm a long-time homeschooling mom and blog at SpiritualSoundingBoard.com.  A reader sent me a link to this thread and although I'm familiar with many of the stories, it's just hard to wrap your mind around this kind of treatment of women in Patriarchy.      One might get confused and think we were talking about Muslims.  It is so, so disturbing.  FaithManor - - any time you want to guest post and share this kind of info, please let me know.  This stuff must be exposed.  Ugh.

 

People are talking about how wonderful his statement of repentance is.  A statement of repentance means nothing if there is no action/fruit.  It's premature to know how "repentant" he is.  Let's wait a year or so and then ask key people who deal with him frequently to see.  He mentions stepping down as president at Vision Forum, but there are 2 entities:  one is non-profit 501c3, the other is a for-profit business.  Is he stepping down from both?  Is he also stepping down from his pastoral position at his church?  

 

Since you are a newcomer to this board, I would like to caution you that we are a diverse community that includes Muslims.  Further, since we cannot lump all Christians together, I would hesitate to do the same for any other religious group.

 

Welcome to the group.  Enjoy the discussion.  But please come with an open mind.

 

Now back to the discussion at hand...
 

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Dear Faith, thank you for that informative post. I don't know anything about these people and I am glad to have it explained. I am also glad there is a group of people who are trying to get away from this. The kind of church life they are living is sick, just sick. Religious power that is used to oppress and terrify is the VERY thing that Jesus wants us NOT to do!

Thank you also for making the point that not everyone with what could be called a patriarchal outlook is behaving like this.

I read the long blog entries linked above and I am not sure that I was hearing the whole story from her either, but what I kept wondering was, why on earth did they possibly accept this man's authority and stay so long, and now I understand a bit better why a person could be brainwashed into thinking that they were serving God by obeying this particular man.

Yes, I understand. It's hard to get the whole story. I have more, but I can't put it out here. It's saved to my hard drive and includes writings in Doug's own hand to families that have left his church. But, when those were put on the web, Doug started defamation lawsuits against those that published his letters and the written allegations plus disciplinary actions of his church against the "offenders". The judge ordered the those involved to take them off the web pending the settling of the case, and due to DP's vicious litigation technics, those of us in possession of these letters aren't putting them out there again. I have shown these to my pastor and other elders of my church. I happened to download and keep them back before the judge ordered it, and only because I happened upon some blog posts and was so dismayed, "What the HELL!" is pretty much where my brain went, that I just copied and pasted this stuff into word documents. But, I can guarantee you Doug's minions monitor the web big time, and I'd be the next one sued if posted them here or anywhere else. I am not certain how it's defamation when the man wrote them himself, or when these things were issued on church stationary or VF ministries letterhead, but since I do not know the whole result of the defamation suit (gag order), I am unwilling to put myself in that position.

 

His blogs used to speak for themselves. I was going to link to the archives, but before I wrote my post I went out to his blogs and found, not surprisingly, A HUGE number of them deleted or revised with indications that they were revised between October 1st and October 30th. He's good at his lawyer trade, so covering he's adept at covering his tracks. All I can say is that from the Biblical perspective, there is  "Great Cloud of Witnesses"...enough to have to definitely give some weight to the allegations against him.

 

The brainwashing, well, that's typical. When you think about how easy it can be for a captor to brainwash his prey and in a relatively short period of time, then one can imagine how easy it is to do to one's own children. What does a three year old know about what God or legitimate, mainline church teaching about father/child or husband/wife, male/female relationships? Nothing...she only knows what mommy and daddy tell her. In these sects, dare I say cults...there are definitely cultish tendancies...isolating youth so that they only consort with those that believe what their parents believe is easy. We talk about FLDS a lot here, and the similarities are there. Polygamy no, abuse, neglect, brainwashing, isolation, grooming of victims, male domination, extreme female submission, s*xually deviant behavior, ...it's all there.

 

Don't start me on RC Sproul Jr.! He makes the two Dougs look almost normal, but then when his financially shady dealings, along with startling s*xual improprieties (multiple girls in the youth group, a mother and her daughter, etc.) plus supplying alcohol to minors was outed, both Dougs also publicly supported him. To me, this only indicates slime defending slime. I won't go any further. Sproul Jr. deserves his own thread, and it would be one that makes your stomach twist into knots.

 

Faith

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Due to the wording of the "apology" and the manner in which it was done, given what I know of the patriarchial/dominionist movement, I believe that this was done to put Beall on public notice that she cannot leave him without losing her soul. I don't state that lightly. It is based on the evidence of Doug's own preaching, his own blog posts, his own writings, writings from members of his own congregation who have written on the topic at www.spiritualsoundingboard.com, www.recoveringgrace.com, www.nolongerquivering.com, and several ministry watchdog groups. His own words convict him, I don't have to be judgmental in any way to understand the dynamics here because he has made those dynamics known very publicly over the last decade.

 

I didn't even consider this before, but I bet you are correct. :(

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Faith,

Some of the things you describe are...wow, just ... Wow. That church culture is truly shameful and sullies the very gospel it claims to defend....


I do wish to offer a slight digression, though. For what it's worth, we used to attend a CREC church (same denomination as Doug Wilson), and I cannot support the same sort of sweeping generalizations about those congregations. There is a huge variety of expression between local church bodies and even within a church. Our church had working mothers, and it was never made a spiritual issue, etc. Women were most certainly allowed to dress as they chose (though most chose skirts/dresses for church, this was a factor of the general "dressiness" of our service, not a mandate, as anyone who showed up in pants was free to do so without judgment), and speak in the church, etc. The one element similar to what you describe was the institution of the men's forum, which could sometimes turn into a "if you have a question about something, ask your husband" sort of thing.... Not that the elders ever turned me away if I had a question I wanted to ask, for instance.

We now attend a PCA church, and there are fairly few differences theologically. Culturally there are some slight differences, mostly on the surface: men wear slacks and shirts to church rather than a suit and tie, for instance. Perhaps there are more schoolers than homeschoolers, but part of that has to do with the rise of a classical Christian-friendly charter school system. And to be fair, that change started even before the CREC church closed, as families who had been attending a classical Christian school moved to the charter schools.

I don't want to hijack the thread, only to point out that one should not necessarily view all churches in Wilson's denomination as being an expression of his personal authority/issues... Evaluate them on a case-by-case basis, kwim? He is not the "boss" of the denomination as Phillips was of VF ministries.

ETA: the incident you mentioned in Moscow of Pastor Wilson arranging the marriage of a young woman and a pedophile is one of the reasons I'm glad we are no longer affiliated with the CREC. Even though our church was nothing like that, and I maintain as I stated earlier that the denomination isn't either, as a whole, I didn't like being associated in any way with what was happening in that particular church body.

 Thank you. This is why I only mentioned his affiliation in Moscow. I am aware that there are other CREC churches in different parts of the country that do not function the way his does. I felt it was important to link to him only, and his church in Moscow which is why I didn't mention the denominational name, or why I only mentioned the name of Doug Phillips church and not the names of others that are affiliated. Again, we all know things vary from congregation to congregation. However, I still maintain that a religious organization that knowingly allows an affiliated church over which it may have some authority to function this way without either bringing some church discipline down on their heads or renouncing that congregation/leadership and distancing itself from it is by default condemning it's own leadership. One can't turn a blind eye to this stuff and not suffer consequences. That is why so many world religions, many that are at heart, not evil, end up being lumped with evil...it's the NOT tossing the wolves out from the sheep that gets them into trouble. I sense that this is why you have distanced yourself from CREC. It is what people who are naturally reviled by such practices do when they aren't in a position to stoke some fire in the leadership.

 

Again, this is the first post in which a denominational affiliation has even been mentioned. Organizational with profit in mind...such as ATI, and VF yes, but church denomination, no. I would prefer now that the discussion go back to a general one about spiritual abuse, cover ups, proper exposure of this, theology vs. personal convictions preached as theology, and how to purge the predators from amongst us, how to provide help, how to avoid the whole sordid victimizing mess to begin with, and just really....basically, call it out for what it is. Only when this kind of thing is no longer rewarded and soundly trounced by Christians as a Body of Christ not a local body of believers will there be a wake up call that will shake things up for the good.

 

Even a good discussion of what true repentance looks like, because Doug's letter doesn't really smack of that, and again, that seems to be an indication that the abuse will be covered up, and likely to continue. I mean I think we can all agree that a repentant person seeks help to change and from outside the very group that aided and abetted his or her behavior. Seeking help from his local elders scares the willies out of me because these men have no objectivity...they've been trained to cover for him, they've been trained to think of themselves as king of the hill and women as lowly life forms, I fail to see how he can be truly repentant if his help cometh from his own kind...sorry to say, but I'm pretty darn dubious, and I think it is very helpful to have a discussion of how a repentance that leads to change actually manifests itself. We can all benefit from that because none of us a perfect and all have the potential to really hurt someone we love, someone in our care, someone we are responsible for if we don't exercise self-control and keep our perspectives and worldviews healthy.

 

Faith

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It might have just been a slip of the tongue, but since people get them confused, I just wanted to clarify: Doug Phillips, who resigned, was the head of Vision Forum. Doug Wilson is another guy, associated with Veritas Press. Both have been controversial figures.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/w/douglas-wilson/
http://theresurgence.com/authors/douglas-wilson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Wilson_%28theologian%29


It was a slip of the tongue.... Sort of.... I admit to getting these men mixed up at times because I guess I don't pay close enough attention. And their names are both Doug. They both are controversial, and do they both hold to similar theology? Or not. Sorry about that.

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Since you are a newcomer to this board, I would like to caution you that we are a diverse community that includes Muslims.  Further, since we cannot lump all Christians together, I would hesitate to do the same for any other religious group.

 

Welcome to the group.  Enjoy the discussion.  But please come with an open mind.

 

Now back to the discussion at hand...
 

 

Thank you for the welcome and the important caution.   It should have been worded more carefully and I apologize if my wording offended anyone.  I have diverse readers on my blog, too, and one of the issues that I like to draw out on my blog is the hypocrisy of such groups.  Many fundamentalist church leaders would say negative things about Patriarchy in other religious groups, but cannot see the same practices in their own.  

 

I don't care what religion anyone is, I have problems with someone acting as a religious leader, and using that position of authority to control others or to give others a set of standards/rules to live by, yet they fail to live by the same standards.  This is what I see going on with Phillips.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.  

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Here is my take.

 

As part of a study of patriarchial movements for a local church that had had an unfortunate history of severe legalism and then saw the light and wanted to move away from that life, I helped them research VF, ATI, and other such patriarchial + dominionist theology organizations and the outcomes on the lives of the families dedicated to them. Normally, I'm a live and let live kind of person. In the absence of abuse, between consenting adults do whatever the heck you want, seriously...we need some more privacy in this nation for the most part, and let consenting adults do what they are going to do so long as NO ONE is victimized.. I have issues when it crosses the line into abusing kids. What I found was a shock.

 


 

Faith

 

I edited out the body for space sake. ;) Thank you for being willing to put that all out there. Sometimes I hesitate to comment myself as survivor of a pastor that espoused similar beliefs and ruled by similar means, because I fear other will just see me as a victim or projecting. (which I probably do both of,  ut it doesn't make it any less true.) :)

The one issue I have been thinking about today is his wife. From what I can gather, she is actually pretty well educated herself and both a victim and perpatrator in her own right. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out for her and what type of woman she trully is.

One of the most difficult things for me to come to terms with was not how a "man" could do these types of things, but how women could support and subjugate other women to it. I know how hard it was for me to come to grips with reality. I get that they are victims as well, but sometimes...if I am completely honest....it is the women that make me angry! It is also the area I still struggle to forgive myself for.

I still get messages from young girls I "mentored" pleading with me to "come back to God" and stop leading my family astray. I watch as the same young women have become the next generation of minister's wives and I feel ashamed.

If suspicions are true and the other woman in this Douglas Phillips affair is the "high ranking" one that is being hinted at I feel for her.

 

You get sucked in wanting to serve the God you love, change the world, and build up the younger generation...only to reap a harvest sorrow and shame.

Obviously, I am feeling a bet melancholy today. It will pass. ;)

Again, thank you for taking the time to write what you have! .....and for the love of all things good, would someone tell me how to spell check on the new boards?!!!!

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It is very disheartening to read the posts. Who are any of us to cast the first stone or are we all perfect? We also can't judge others motives or lives. We are only responsible for ourselves in the end. I personally feel bad for his Savior and what this has done to him.

Why don't you pray instead of casting stones isn't that what Jesus would do???

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It is very disheartening to read the posts. Who are any of us to cast the first stone or are we all perfect? We also can't judge others motives or lives. We are only responsible for ourselves in the end. I personally feel bad for his Savior and what this has done to him.

Why don't you pray instead of casting stones isn't that what Jesus would do???


Jesus was quite comfortable calling others out in their hypocracy and sin; it serves as a warning to those who are deceived by unbiblical teaching and complacency in their own sin.

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  We are only responsible for ourselves in the end.

 

 

We are also responsible for those we lead astray, which this man clearly has done.

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It is very disheartening to read the posts. Who are any of us to cast the first stone or are we all perfect? We also can't judge others motives or lives. We are only responsible for ourselves in the end. I personally feel bad for his Savior and what this has done to him.

Why don't you pray instead of casting stones isn't that what Jesus would do???

 

I don't recall that Jesus merely prayed about problems/injustices/hypocrisy. He took action as well.

 

If what you are calling "casting stones" is needed to protect people in the future from actions of men like this, then "casting stones" should be done. However, I don't consider what I've read "casting stones."

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It is very disheartening to read the posts. Who are any of us to cast the first stone or are we all perfect? We also can't judge others motives or lives. We are only responsible for ourselves in the end. I personally feel bad for his Savior and what this has done to him.

Why don't you pray instead of casting stones isn't that what Jesus would do???

 

I figure any stones cast towards DP are just ones being thrown back to him.

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It is very disheartening to read the posts. Who are any of us to cast the first stone or are we all perfect? We also can't judge others motives or lives. We are only responsible for ourselves in the end. I personally feel bad for his Savior and what this has done to him.

Why don't you pray instead of casting stones isn't that what Jesus would do???

 

This doesn't even make sense! "Feel bad for his Savior and what this has done to him?" Huh? :(

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