Doug Phillips Resigns from Vision Forum, Cancels Speaking Events, Due to “Inappropriate” Relationship

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Yesterday, Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum Ministries*** and discontinued future speaking engagements.

Doug Phillips is a former attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Assocation (HSLDA). As an HSLDA attorney, he was the architect behind what is probably HSLDA’s most significant legal event: rallying opposition to H.R. 6. Phillips was “the person who received the phone call from the office of Congressman Dick Armey alerting the Home School Legal Defense Association of a threat posed by bill H.R.6.” He then “launched a national e-mail alert and physically gathered a brigade of valiant home educators to descend upon the Capitol en masse.” (Phillips’s and HSLDA’s handling of H.R. 6 sharply divided the homeschooling community.)

After serving as an attorney and Director of the National Center for Home Education at HSLDA for six years, Phillips founded Vision Forum in 1998. He also founded a number of other groups and projects, including the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and the Beautiful Girlhood Collection catalog. He is an advocate of homeschooling, the family-integrated church movement, as well as Quiverfull and Patriarchy ideologies.

Phillips is an extraordinarily popular speaker in the Christian homeschool movement. He has been a featured or keynote speaker at homeschool conventions across the United States. Just in the last two years he has spoken at: 2012 FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention (2012, FL), 2012 CHEF of Missouri 28th Annual Convention (CHEF-MO) (2012, MO), Christian Family Schools (CFS) 28th Annual Expo Homeschool Convention (2012, CA), 1st Annual 2012 Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention in Spartanburg (2012, SC), 2013 29th Annual Home School Book Fair (2013, TX), 2013 Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference (2013, WA), 2013 CHEF of Missouri 29th Annual Convention (CHEF-MO) (2013, MO), and 30th Annual CHEA Homeschool Convention (2013, CA).

Phillips was one of the main speakers at the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit, where Phillips spoke alongside Kevin Swanson, Voddie Baucham, Brian Ray, and Chris Klicka and declared that, “We understand that the core problem with Child Protective Services is its existence” and called for “eliminating it altogether.” It was also at this conference that Phillips declared that, “It is on your watch, it is on my watch that the sodomites are redefining marriage in our land,” and that “We will lose this movement and this work of God, men, if we do not govern our households. And that means lovingly shepherding our wives.” Which to him meant keeping one’s wife from “the female sin of the internet” — namely, blogging.

But in a statement released yesterday by Vision Forum, Doug Phillips resigned as president of his organization and discontinued future speaking events not because of “the sodomites” or because he did not “govern [his] household.” He resigned not because of female blogging. Rather, he resigned because he himself “engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman.” This relationship was apparently not physical but was instead some form of — “emotional fornication”? He is not clear: “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.”

Phillips is therefore no longer the president of Vision Forum Ministries for the time being, choosing instead to focus on “nurturing [his] wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life.”

The full text of Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum follows. You can read it on their website here or view an archived version of it on HA here.

Statement of Resignation

by Douglas Phillips, Esq., October 30, 2013

With thanksgiving to God for His mercy and love, I have stepped down from the office of president at Vision Forum Ministries and have discontinued my speaking responsibilities.

There has been serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance. I have confessed my sin to my wife and family, my local church, and the board of Vision Forum Ministries.  I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman. While we did not “know” each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.

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. I thought too highly of myself and behaved without proper accountability. I have acted grievously before the Lord, in a destructive manner hypocritical of life messages I hold dear, inappropriate for a leader, abusive of the trust that I was given, and hurtful to family and friends. My church leadership came alongside me with love and admonition, providing counsel, strong direction and accountability. Where I have directly wronged others, I confessed and repented. I am still in the process of trying to seek reconciliation privately with people I have injured, and to be aware of ways in which my own selfishness has hurt family and friends. I am most sensitive to the fact that my actions have dishonored the living God and been shameful to the name of Jesus Christ, my only hope and Savior.

This is a time when my repentance needs to be proven, and I need to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, not a ministry leader. Though I am broken over my failures, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my family, nurturing my wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life. So, for these reasons I want to let my friends know that I have stepped down as a board member and as president of Vision Forum Ministries. The Board will be making provision for the management of the ministry during this time. To the friends of this ministry, I ask for your forgiveness, and hope that you will pray for the Phillips family at this time, and for the men who will be responsible for shepherding the work of Vision Forum Ministries in the future.

Doug Phillips

Update, November 1: As Kathryn Brightbill has pointed out, “What is not clear is whether Phillips’ resignation is solely from Vision Forum Ministries, the non-profit arm of Vision Forum, or if it is from the for-profit Vision Forum, Inc. as well” (emphasis added). In fact, “Business is usual at the for-profit site, with no indication of Phillips’ resignation.”

*** Update, November 6: While Phillips resigned from the non-profit Vision Forum Ministries because he “engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman,” he announced today that he “retains ownership” of the for-profit Vision Forum, Inc., which sells all of his books, teachings, and products and will continue to do so. Here is the text of his blog post today on the for-profit Vision Forum, Inc.:

Last week, I announced my resignation from the presidency of Vision Forum Ministries, a 501(c)3 organization. I retain ownership of Vision Forum, Inc., a distinct and private company, but consistent with my desires to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, I will not be giving speeches or running conferences at this time of my life under the banner of VFI or VFM. In addition, Doug’s Blog will become the Vision Forum Blog and will be focused on publishing reports and articles by others, along with news and information from Vision Forum, Inc.

View an archived version of today’s announcement here.


  • I imagine — and hope — this will rock the Christian Patriarchy Movement world. For all the effort they put into projecting a wholesome exterior, their leaders are fallible and human.

  • An “emotional affair?” Pfft… he’s lying. He’s admitting to the very least that he has to and trying to save face. Guaranteed he paid off the girl to keep her mouth shut about the full extent of their relationship. If my expeience is any indicator, most of these patriarchal, theonomists have GFs on the side and only admit to their “grevious” sins once they are cornered. These charlatans make me want to puke.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Well, the Patriarchs of the Bible had harems of wives and handmaids…

      Come to think of it, wasn’t that Joseph Smith’s justification for “Plural Marriage(TM)”?

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  • Another man who told others how to live but couldn’t live that way himself.
    On one hand, I find reports like this amusing. But I know that other people get hurt and this temper my glee.

    This would be a non-issue if people like Phillips didn’t try to claim the high moral ground. When they do this they set themselves up for a fall. These kind of stories remind me that, for all their moralizing, they are no different than us unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines in the world.

    • Exactly, Bruce. I wouldn’t pick on anyone who failed, but I will call it out when they said I was weak and needed to be protected by men because “Eve sinned first.” Then I get ticked off. I hope he releases women to live after this.

    • Mr. Gerencser,
      I must disagree with your assessment. This should never be a ‘non-issue’. Mr. Phillips chose to wear his faith on his sleeve (as all Christians are called to do) and teach people what the Bible says and live out that faith.
      He failed. Sadly, all of us fail, whether you believe in Christ or you do not (Romans 3:23).
      Mr. Phillips will pay for his sin from the world’s viewpoint. His wife and children may treat him differently. People may not trust him. He will no longer be able to teach as effectively as he may have in the past. His work on behalf of Christ will be tarnished, and his actions have brought reproach on the church.
      From God’s viewpoint though, his sin has already been paid for by Christ. That’s why Christ died.
      And when the time comes that Mr. Phillips repents from his sin, I hope to embrace him as the brother in Christ that he still is – just as Christ embraces me, though I fail Him more often that I’d like to admit.
      I doubt that I will ever view Mr. Phillips as a role model or a candidate for church elder, but that is a consequence of his actions. But I can never forget that we Christians are just sinners, saved by the grace of God.
      May you see the grace that God offers through Christ.

      • John this “just sinners saved by the grace of god” is the foundational error that keeps christians behaving like the hypocrites most of you are. You claim you’re better, or at least better off, but the truth is, you’re no different than anyone else. I’ll quote your own bible to you, as a man thinks, so he is. If your religion tells you that you’re no more worthy than a groveling slob “prone to wander,” in the end, that’s exactly what you’re going to act like.

        For those of us who have stopped buying into this nonsense, valuing ourselves as mature, caring, worthwhile people… falling into this kind of stupidity becomes a non-issue. Yes, we all make mistakes, but the magnitude and degree of hypocrisy in them is made most infamous by the religious right.

      • John,

        I have no need of your Jesus, his forgiveness, or his grace. Been there, done that.

        Instead of excusing, condoning, covering up, or being forced to respond in a certain way to the bad behavior of others because Jesus, the Bible, or the church says so, I am now free to act and respond as I wish. Personally, I find the notion that I must refrain from condemning or critiquing people like Phillips quite offensive. Doug Phillips is bad man who hurts others by his actions and teachings. I don’t plan on giving him a pass because some Christians think we must all judge people by their theological beliefs. I am not a Christian, so your rules and theology do not apply to me. When I see a bad man I am now free to say…there is a bad man and here is why.

        Yes, none of us are perfect but not all of us are mysoginists who hurt women and their families. You may want to allow people like Doug Phillips hide behind the blood and grace of Jesus but I don’t plan to. It will be a good day when vision Forum/ministries are bankrupt and Doug Phillips can no longer screw up the lives of others.

      • It frustrates me that there seems to be no middle ground here. Everyone seems to either completely condemn the man and Christianity, or as Bruce says, excuse, condone, and cover up. These cultist movements that men have chosen to base off of God’s Word are not what God intended at all; last time I checked not only are we saved by grace, but we are also told not to sin that grace may abound still more. There are multiple passages where God says that sin is sin, and a bad man is a bad man, and every sin has its consequences. While He is gracious, loving and merciful, He is also wise, just, good, and righteous. He would never condone ill-treatment of others as a way to do what is right, and those who translate His word that way aren’t listening very well. Yes, Christ’s blood does cover us, but it does not excuse us. 1 Corinthians 13 says that our motivation is always to be in love, and anything else is pointless and worthless before God. This man clearly was not acting in love towards God, his wife, children, ministry, and that young woman when he did this. While I need not judge him, God certainly will.

      • Let us never forget David, a man after God’s own heart. He too was adulterous and a murderer. God forgave him, and he continued as king. God also forgives Mr. Phillips. May we never forget that God forgives, and we are called to forgive too.

      • Andrew McDonald

        Mrs. E Let us not foget… David repented.

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  • The only thing surprising about this is I thought it would be a guy he was caught with.

    • Hahah this made my day.. funny stuff right there. I always thought the same. That being said, this came as absolutely no surprise at all. He approached everything he did with such superiority and righteousness that it was sickening. Been around that whole movement and his Following most of my life. The sickening thing is, that I know it will not be long at all till he manages to come out of this on top, making himself seem real and repentant. His whole philosophy and movement is a complete facade and disgrace to Christianity.

    • Me too. It seems that a lot of the conservative, self-righteous, holier-than-thou men are secretly having sex with other men.

  • Doug will repent and find himself back in the fold. Or he will become a DC lobbyist.

  • See what happens when you post photos on your website of that shameless blonde Miss America in a sleeveless black dress?

  • This kind of explains why he wanted to so closely control women. Because people like him don’t see women as people. They see them as temptations to be controlled and avoided. He is sorry he hurt his wife and family. But is he sorry that he also hurt the woman he “defrauded”? No, no apologies to that evil wench, right? Even now it’s like he has no idea that the problem is NOT the woman’s body. The problem is his own degraded heart and mind. You are the problem, Doug.

    • He’s sorry he got caught is what he is, the rat. I have friends in the San Antonio area who have told me of the spiritual abuse that goes on in his cult. Apparently the levels of hypocrisy there are enormous.

  • It’s so sad for his family. Being the child in the midst of your father’s announcement of adultery is a very painful and confusing place to be.

    • Perhaps. However, it is possible that his kids have been trying for their entire lives to measure up to his impossible expectations. With this news, they can now see their dad as a fallible human being. I’m sure they are really pissed off at him, but in the long run, I’d imagine that this will relieve the weight of his expectations.

      • How in the world can you read all that into looking in on his life from the outside? You got all that from his resignation statement and seeing him minister throughout America? [HA note: comment modified due to violations of Comment Policies #3 and 4.] He is fallible just like any of us….he just happens to be in ministry.

      • (reply to Connie Fay)
        Connie: I was raised under VF teaching most of my life. Also, I have personal experience with a patriarch cheating (also “not in the biblical sense”) in a patriarch-serving bubble.
        I have a pretty solid idea of what they are going through/feeling.
        Also, this inside experience is what made me begin to question the concept of automatic authority respect and patriarchy at it’s core.

      • Connie,

        I have first hand experience with how these things play out. Once the father’s perfect image is tainted, his kids get really angry, then they dismiss his opinions altogether. They may have forgiven him, but the relationship will never be the same (which is a good thing).

      • Yes I am also glad he got caught for the same reasons.

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  • I will admit being very glad that I won’t see him at conventions anymore. Hopefully.

  • “Phillips is therefore no longer the president of Vision Forum for the time being”

    Incorrect assumption, and nothing has really changed. This is all just a face-saving damage control move in an attempt to preempt public exposure of far more damaging transgressions. Doug Phillips only resigned (temporarily) from Vision Forum Ministries, the 501c3 nonprofit organization. All he’s giving up for the time being are some speaking engagements, which isn’t where the revenue is anyway.

    He’s still quite in charge of the for-profit and very profitable Vision Forum, from which he peddles all his dolls, sling shots, marshmallow crossbows, grappling hooks, and a cornucopia of cheap Chinese plastic junk sold at exhorbitently inflated prices. Most of the people who patronize Vision Forum will never find out about his “I didn’t have sex with that woman” affair because nothing is mentioned about it at or at Doug’s blog.

    • Thanks for pointing this out, Tom. I updated the post to reflect the Vision Forum, Inc./Vision Forum Ministries distinction.

    • That is significant. If you happen to read other blog entries on the topic, please point that out there too.

    • Yeah you have to sell a lot of this crap to finance the elaborate New England vacations he takes his huge family on. And of course nothing is mentioned on the website or the blog, it would be bad for his image. That’s what American christianity is all about… image and power.

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  • He didn’t say it wasn’t physical, just that they didn’t go all the way.

  • Doug has already been forgiven by Jesus because he belongs to Him. The healing is now between God and Doug and his family. As for those of you judging the man and throwing stones, I urge you to repent of your self-righteousness and sins, and embrace the Savior who saves from eternal damnation.

    • Nowhere does he mention healing for the other party or their family.

    • I do not think I’m better than him. But he can’t cheat on his wife, and tell women what to do with their bodies. That’s what got people in a uproar.

    • I will say this as politely as possible… will you please shut up! You christians with your “fire insurance gospel message” are probably enough to make Jesus himself want to drink gin straight from the cat dish.

      This isn’t even about judging his “sin” of “almost adultery” (ha ha) but about the enormous levels of hypocrisy, self-righteousness and the resulting spiritual abuse that goes on in circles like the Phillips’ cult. He is a representative of many like himself, unfortunately. It’s both hilarious and pathetic that you accuse us of “self righteousness and sins.”

  • Matt 5: 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,[a] ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[b] 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Yes he has been forgiven by Jesus, if he was sincere of his repentance but he is blaming others for his wrong doing and he is not taking responsibility for his sin.
    You are asking others not to judge Doug which we are commanded to do, while you are doing the same to us, so therefore you need to repent as well…we are to judge righteous judgment within the church by the Word of God.

    According to Matt 5:27-28 Jesus words not ours, he committed adultery whether he had sex with her or not.

  • I used to work with Doug. I know his faults well and I don’t agree with him on many things. He lacked accountability among other faults. However, let me warn those of you that are speculating about things to which you really don’t know the answer. You will be held accountable, just like Doug, for what you say; especially when what you say is false and comes from your own evil hearts.

  • Shocked over this today–even though I disagree with Phillips on virtually everything, and HATE the abuse that his ‘ministry’ has wreaked on people over the years, and believe that he has personally done untold damage to innocent people–I guess my childhood image of Vision Forum as godly and upright still held, to the point where I sort of believed he would be ‘proved right’. I exited patriarchy several years ago, but still sometimes struggle with wondering, is patriarchy really God’s will after all? I can’t imagine the shock, horror and loss that his followers must be going through right now–to people who often idolize their leaders and subconsciously see them as unable to do wrong, this must mean a sickening sense of their footing slipping out from under them.

    As soon as I read Phillips’ statement, however, I had a question and I wonder what you all think of it? These extreme patriarchal groups place a *huge* emphasis on emotional purity. I think that many girls have been called ‘impure’ for having a crush/romantic thoughts about a guy…..clearly, the Vision Forum definition of what is inappropriate includes harmless behaviors. So, I wonder if possibly Doug has been trapped by his own rules and legalism? Is there a chance that what behavior he/whoever may have discovered him considered to be inappropriately romantic and affectionate, might be something that outsiders might not consider adultery?

    Just a thought. I do not think he would give up his position without committing a truly grievous offense.

    • 20-Something Homeschool Graduate

      I suppose it’s possible, but I took it the opposite way. The harshest standards apply to the weakest members, dependent teen girls. A man with his money, power, and influence over people wouldn’t make this public unless he was truly cornered with much more than flirting.

      • I agree with you. (My previous comment was just my initial thoughts upon hearing about it.)
        Particularly after digging more into some of Phillips’ various wrongdoings over the years, I just can’t imagine that man stepping down (even temporarily) unless there was something really bad going on.

      • Those were my thoughts, too, 20-something and Bethany. This is the reason that his “inappropriate relationship” and subsequent confession and alleged repentance made me so angry. He isn’t just “any” pastor. Not that “any” pastor doing it would be any better, but Scripture says that the greater responsibility goes to the teachers because it’s such a high calling and they ARE in fact held to a higher standard as such. (I and II Timothy and Titus, as well as other places explain this.) When DP did this, he not only shamed himself, his immediate family, and his little congregation there in Texas, but he shamed LARGE groups of people all over the world, including families, homeschoolers, and the name of Christ/Christianity in general. He gave unbelievers of any or all three of those groups a LOT of food for fodder. Not to mention whatever pain and shame he’s caused the woman or young lady he did this with, and possibly ruined HER reputation as well. Especially given the way his group tends to blame women for the men’s sins in the first place.

        Nope, there is no way he would’ve gone public with this unless he was forced into it.

      • And then he (and his church co-leaders) have the nerve to leave the “Letters” about Jen and Mark Epstein up on the church website to continue shaming THEM! What arrogance. Regardless of who was wrong or right in that whole fiasco, they need to take those “Letters” down. Permanently.

  • Teresa, you bring up a good point. I think this should be called adultery according to scripture. Not “an affair”, not inappropriate relationship, etc. Phillips called it an inappropriate relationship, but later called it sin. So, what is the sin? If we are going to be biblical, then let’s call sin, sin. And let’s name it with a biblical word instead of an euphemism. Isn’t it still adultery even if it is “just” transferring your affection and romantic (sexual?) feelings from your spouse to another person? Phillips’ use of the words romantic and affectionate seems strange. Those are some pretty positive words to use in a statement of confession regarding a sin and your repentance of it.

    • I came out of the Word of faith and the New apostolic Reformation movement….so many scandals, I lost count. I can give you all the names but I will not. I left the Charismatic movement over 5 years ago, praise the LORD. The latest scandal in that movement was with a man who came to my old church in West Virginia with his wife and there singers for 9 years and he was committing adultery the whole time, whom is the owner of one of the top three Christian networks on TV.

      I do not follow this Doug Phillips but I know people who do. I will make this point and be done…..According to 1 Tim 3 he is longer qualified as a minister or overseerer.

  • Prayer has been answered! Thank you Lord! How many lives has this man shattered by this humanoid trying to steal their businesses? How many went through having heart attacks because he DID steal their business? Thank you Lord for shutting this scoundrel down!

    • Andrew McDonald

      NOT only Doug but the people he trained. They have left a wake of hurt where ever their little boat has been. Mike Braderick of Christian Heritage whose son, Peter Braderick, was a top level guy at DP business, got into his biznestry (CH) via a lawsuit that left another man and his organization (WATCH) in the dust. Look out for these guys! DP may be down for a while but people like MB and Scott Brown are waiting in the wings to move up the food chain.

  • As of this writing, according to the Vision Forum (retail) website, Doug Phillips is still the President of that entity. In fact, he just blogged on there yesterday, Nov. 1st. I wonder if he remains as an elder in his church, too?

    • Donna,
      Actually, the point I wanted to make in my last post was that most not all fallen pastors do come back to preaching, teaching, etc… especially in the WOF/NAR movement. They go through a restoration period or counseling, which is good but they should never be restored back to the pastoral ministry, and so forth, according to 1 Tim. 3

      Like I said I do not know him or follow his stuff but I have the same sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, that I use to feel before coming out of deception that something is seriously off here.

      I feel like Paul Harvey….The rest of the story….

      • Oh, I agree, Teresa. I was just posting an update regarding the question about whether he remains on staff at VF the retail site. Yes, I think DP will be right back to where he was after a short period of time. I’m not sure there’s enough humility for him to do otherwise.

  • “keeping one’s wife from “the female sin of the internet” — namely, blogging.”

    I guess that after this weekend, he will like female bloggers even less: Bloggers like Julie Anne from Spiritual Sounding Board, Jen from Jensgems, and Dee and Deb from The Wartburg Watch seem to be getting more comments on this topic of his resignation than anyone else. And then there is that %#@ Kathryn Brightbill, who pointed out he is making money as usual… We women who talk on blogs are great threats to the kingdom


    Doug Phillips.

  • Did Dr. James Leininger finally wise up and stop funding this vicious man, Doug Phillips? I would suspect Doug realizes the gravy train is gone … Stealing the very ideas and ways of educating others and trying to bankrupt those businesses. A close associate had researched a few years ago how financially strapped Vision Forum was … So, I suspect Dougie-boy realized he needed to get out quickly while dumping all the financial responsibility on others … After all this is his financial MO. With so much speculation about his sexual orientation, this sounds like the best way to back out of Vision Forum. It is my understanding Dr. Leininger paid for his home so he has no debt. I wound not put it beyond Doug to have put money away so that he can still live well beyond his means.

  • It should be noted, too, that DP remains as an elder at his home church. I saw this on his church website last night, Boerne Christian Assembly. This is not right. If he were truly humbled, and according to the biblical rules for elders, he should no longer be in that role.

  • I wrote my thoughts here on Saturday: — This must be a hot topic since I’ve had about 1000 page views on it.

  • how on Earth did the Patriarchy movement grow out of what Our Lord came to accomplish?

    ‘patriarchy’ seems more like a cult that worships masculinity . . . and the price? the human dignity of women who must cater to the narcissism of these ‘patriarchal’ men . . . no one wins in such a world

    • Read the Old Testament. Read Christian Church history. Look the the structure of the NT church. Look at the writings of the Apostle Paul. Look at how there were no female disciples and no female church leaders. Patriarchy is not some new, aberrant belief that has all of sudden shown up. It is the Biblical NORM not the exception.

      The Bible itself, promoted masculinity, calls women a weaker vessel, tell them to be silent in the church, and tells them their highest calling is motherhood and keeping the home.

      In short, the Bible is the problem. I commend Christians who try to hang on to Jesus and jettison the rest of the stuff. However, when taken as a whole, the Bible is a misogynistic book that promotes patriarchy from Genesis to Revelation. This is not my personal opinion. There is no other way to read the Bible. It is fine to take a cafeteria approach to the Bible but let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that the beliefs of Doug Phillips and others like him were created out of thin air. They weren’t.

      • The Patriarchy Movement and Vision Forum’s theological AND political beliefs grew out of the OLD Testament system of laws and culture, not the NEW Testament. Big difference, and that’s where the problem is.

  • Donna,

    Uh, the ecclesiastical structure and the prohibitions against women that are part of the patriarchal belief system come straight from the writings of Paul. Last I knew his writings were in the NT. 🙂

    Even Jesus did very little, if anything, to buck the patriarchal power centers of his day. Jesus can hardly be seen as the great liberator of women. Many Christians believe the Bible is a divine text given to humans by God. (Jesus) If this is so then Jesus approved of the mysoginistic writing of Paul.

    • Bruce,

      I come in peace but I feel a need to say this. We get that you are not a believer, in fact, you are an enemy to the cross. The problem is not Jesus Christ, his grace, salvation, God or the bible. The problem is extremism and poor hermeneutics of the bible.
      Doug P takes one extreme and you take another.

      Bruce, you have a very warped view of the bible, God and Jesus Christ….how sad for you.

    • Bruce, as you say yourself, you are an unbeliever, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t interpret it the same way Christians do. I get that.

      The fact remains that the New Testament does NOT model the same patriarchal system of the Old Testament and Hebrew cultures. According to our Constitution, as an American citizen, you have the freedom to NOT believe that, just as I have the freedom TO believe it. ;o) “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) I’m sure you have faith in something, Bruce… if not the Bible, then in something else. Even if it’s just in yourself, a fallible human being.

      • Yes, I have faith in human reason and rational thought. I also am a theologically-trained man who spent 50 years in the Christian church, 25 years as an Evangelical pastor. While we certainly have the “right” to believe what we want, we should not confuse this “right” with being the same thing as a particular belief being a fact.

        I could write a long ,long comment on this but I won’t. Doing so would distract from the purpose of this blog (which I heartily support since we were home schoolers for 15 years) and this particular post. Please remember that the original comment I responded to was a person who wondered where people like Phillips get their patriarchal beliefs. I answered her based on the accepted historical interpretation of the Bible and Church history. The view I advanced is taught in countless seminaries and Bible colleges.

        I do appreciate you being decent in your response. Unfortunately, Teresa could not do the same. Instead she attacked my character. She did not bother to address any of the issues I raised. Instead, I am an enemy of the cross, an extremist, have a warped view of the Bible, Jesus, and the Bible and I should be pitied. I filed this under…if I had a dollar for every time a Christian said…. 🙂

        To deny that that Bible is part of the problem with patriarchy (and many other things, IMO) is to deny reality. I have often wondered if many Christians rue the day that the early church said, hey, let’s make the OT part of the canon. Modern Christians who believe the Bible is the authoritative, inspired Word of God are now left with the task of defending things that most of us now consider abominable and immoral. I suspect Thomas Jefferson got it right when he took scissors to the Bible. Unfortunately, we live in country where the Evangelical view of the Bible dominates the religious landscape and it leads to abusive beliefs like patriarchy, authoritarianism, and egomaniacal, controlling pastors and church leaders.

        Well, I suspect I have said all I can say. This discussion has provided me with some fodder for a blog post so… 🙂

        Again, I appreciate your civility.


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  • Thank you for showing Mr. Phillips financial interests in Vision Forum Ministries remain intact. I hope you saved the page because I couldn’t find any reference to it on their website. So basically Mr. Phillips is taking a paid vacation.

  • This is a guy who said fathers should look after adult daughters and protect them, to keep them from adultery. Now that he showed- once again – that men cheat too by cheating on his wife, there are 2 logically consistent ways he can handle this:
    > Set up other family members over adult men to protect them in a similar manner, proclaiming that men should stay at home under the protection of their families.
    > Accept that the mere fact that adults are prone to behave wrong doesn’t mean they have to be controlled by another adult.
    Which is it, Doug?

    • It is ironic how some of the most ravenous and reprehensible horn-dogs out there are the religious bigots who stand up and preach against it, LOL.

      Another irony, that the young lady he was involved with HAD to be from their cult, how else would he have had the chance to spend so much time around her. So yeah dads… protect your daughters from those sinful males who have nothing but sex on the brain… like myself!

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  • As a homeschool mom and a Christian. I had came across his teachings and thought they were good. Even followed them with my kids (thankfully-for a very short time) Then when I felt like he kept asking for donations, as we were just struggling to get by, and he was going on lavish trips, I threw his stuff away-just didn’t ring right to me. I still was shocked to hear this! I mean, really, you are preaching about being the perfect family and then have an emotional affair for years (excuse me bill clinton, I didn’t inhale) Give me a break! He is a hypocrite. I hope he finds peace in Jesus but he should NEVER enter the realm of teaching again. I will keep homeschooling (22 years in the making with one in college with many scholarships) but I do not really listen to ‘teachers” anymore. I got my bible and that is all I need. Jesus talked about wolves and to be careful Many wolves, including Michael Pearl have entered the homeschool movement to get money. Their tables are being overturned!

    • Julie I have also been a homeschool mom for years. I went through my Vision Forum phase as well as my No Greater Joy phase as well. And I have tested out just about every flavor of Christianity out there, from fundamentalists to “out of the box” emergents. I have YET to find a “teacher” who, if you wait around long enough and examine them closely enough, isn’t a tremendous hypocrite and often a shyster as well.

      We do not need anyone to teach us… it is good that some of us finally figure that out.

  • I agree Someone. And that is what the bible says. I do enjoy listening to certain teachers that I have come to respect but they are not in a movement sort of thing. I really think that the majority of parents who homeschool really want the best for our kids and are searching for answers. Unfortunately, there are bookshelves of teachers who promote these sort of things and we get tricked into thinking we can raise a perfect family. But the truth is no one is perfect, except Jesus. And that is the only One we should look to as a leader.

    • Do you believe answer to issues like mental health are in the Bible? Because the philosophy that Jesus/the Bible has ALL the answers you need is what exacerbated my anxiety issues because I was convinced I was under demonic assault directed by Satan. Learning from secular teachers about my brained helped me far more than the Gospels ever did.

      • I agree Nick. People worship the bible as though it is “God.” Or “God on paper.” Not so. The bible was never meant to be worshiped. It is a collection of writings we can learn much from, but it does not contain the answer to every single question in life. It does not even make that claim about itself! But insecure people like thinking they have all the answers they need wrapped up in one book.

        I also have found a lot of great teachings in “secular” books. And, I no longer see a distinction between “secular” and “sacred.” Truth is truth no matter what form it comes in. And, like you, some of the most poisonous lies I’ve ever swallowed came packaged as christianity.

  • Actually, Someone, the Bible DOES make the claim that it has all the answers to life. Just one place off the top of my head is 2 Timothy 3:10-17 which says, “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    • No, Donna, it does not. This is a commonly quoted passage in attempt to support the idea that, basically, the bible is “god in print.” I can read, thanks, you didn’t have to copy the whole thing for me. I’ve read it countless times.

      The bible may have answers to edify people spiritually, to inspire them to do “every good work.” That is, when read in the spirit intended. But it does NOT have the answers to many problems in life, such as mental health issues. As Nick pointed out, people are actually spiritually abused by those who shame them into thinking the only reason they have any problems in life at all is because they haven’t read their bibles enough. This is a crock of baloney.

      Some people prefer to shame those who are struggling, hiding behind their bibles and slinging scriptures at them like band-aids. As though this is going to fix everything.

      WE are supposed to be the living Spirit… the Spirit works through us to bless others. It’s not a paper god. Many of today’s christians prostrate themselves before their bibles just as the people in the OT prostrated themselves before the golden ephod. People loving one another in the flesh is a crucial part of the “answers to life.” Not a book.

      • While I totally agree with you on the danger of the Bible being used to abuse others, EVERY orthodox Christian doctrine is derived from the text of the Bible. There is no Jesus, no Holy Spirit, no salvation apart from what the Bible says about these things. Without the Bible, it is likely no one would have even known Jesus existed, let alone the claims Christians make about him.

        All of the Abrahamic faiths are text based religions. Now, the Bible being some sort of divine answer book, that is a whole other issue. Fundamentalist literalism plagues Christianity and as modernity moves forward literalists are forced to defend inane beliefs like the universe/earth is 6,000 years old.

      • We really don’t mind defending what we believe to be true, just as non-Christians defend what they believe to be true. Thanks for making my point, Bruce. :o)

    • Nowhere in that verse does it say “the Bible has all the answers to life.” It says that books we consider part of the Old Testament — that’s the meaning of “γραφὴ,” which is translated as “Scripture” — are helpful. They are helpful for creating doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction. So unless all the questions about life are reducible to doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction, then there are plenty of questions about life that are not answered in Old Testament books.

      • R.L., when one goes to see a doctor or psychologist or fortune teller or whatever, what exactly is one seeking? Help in some form? Advice? Wisdom? Guidance? The answers to life? A reason for living? Hope? Absolutely. Yes, all the questions about life ARE reducible to either doctrine, reproof, correction, or instruction in SOME form. Of course, it also states that this is “so that the MAN (or woman/mankind) OF GOD may be complete….”, so if that part doesn’t apply to you, feel free to ignore it. That doesn’t mean the answers aren’t there if one chooses to seek them out, though. :o)

      • The answer to what causes cancer is in the Bible? The answer to how to fix a compound fracture? How to do long division? There are plenty of questions to which the Bible does not have answers. That does not mean you have to consider the Bible wrong. Just means you are misinterpreting that verse.

      • There are some of the best writings on the liberty women have in Christ, in the footnotes by Jack Hayford as chief editor of the “spirit filled life bible”, new king james. No misogyny there!
        And there were women listed as deacons or even implied pastor. As a matter of fact elders can be women if various verses are taken in context.
        But to Lord over others, as seems the case with Phillips, is evil; as scripture teaches.
        Remember the first preacher of the resurrection was a woman. If you bow to the misogyny of men’s ideas about scripture, you can discover many cowards sought to hinder women throughout history.
        But Jesus encouraged women to sit and learn from him.
        One of John’s letters was written to a woman pastor. Correct me if you like with your enormous collection of traditional interpretations by numerous historical experts, but quantity of such cannot eliminate the truth evident that she was a great pastor commended by John. A great woman leader. Not great because her genitals were female. In Christ there is no one great because of genitalia.
        What is at stake here is- no one should be lord over another. A servant heart is the Lord’s way to greatness. And a true leader isn’t interested in the limelight… (If there are still such chemical working lime burning stage lights anymore). Perhaps we know Phillips by his fruit. Jesus said we would know whether a leader was a true follower or a charlatan by fruit. If years of lust for a lady is Phillips fruit, then there you go. Judge whether you should follow such a man as he follows the enjoyment of pleasurable lust.
        Or truly treat all others with respect.

    • Donna,

      Actually, I supported one small component of your assertion. Reducing everything like you do a classic fundamentalist way of reading the Bible and interpreting the world. The world is far more complex than that and list of questions the Bible has no answer for is quite long. Of course, as an atheist and former pastor, my list is longer that most.

      Fundamentalist literalism leaves young people raised in this environment ill-equipped to the pressures, rigors, and complexities of living in the modern world. Spiritual guidance? By all means read the Bible. For history, science, medical information, etc…the Bible has little to nothing to offer.

      • The Bible has a lot to say on the ETHICS of those questions, though, Bruce. (History, science, etc.) The Bible also has a lot to say about using our minds and does not condemn intelligence. (It condemns pride, not intelligence.) I would say that the Bible *better* prepares us for the pressures, rigors, and complexities of living in the modern world. Your statement implies that we either do not or cannot use the gifts that God has given mankind — which was made in His image — because it tells us WHY society is corrupt and WHY cancer happens and innocent babies die, and what hope we have beyond the ugliness of this world.

        Meanwhile, it also tells us why and how we can ENJOY this world while we’re still here, despite some of its ugliness. Now if one DOES not use the gifts they’ve been given, that is their choice. But it doesn’t mean they CANnot. And where do the gifts of modern medicine (for example) come from? Where did we get our intelligence, our talents, and so forth?

        I know I’m not going to convince you, Bruce (or R.L., apparently), but that’s okay, that’s not why I’m posting. I’m quite frankly *sickened* by what Doug Phillips has done (as I’ve said early on in this discussion), and I *completely* disagree with the patriarchal movement. But the fact that some people such as Doug Phillips have abused their authority and misused Scripture doesn’t make Scripture untrue. That’s all I’m here to say.

        Have a good night, y’all! 🙂

  • Hey, I didn’t know that my typing the symbols would make that big happy face! Let me try it this way… 🙂 haha

  • Maybe he had an affair with himself in the mirror.

  • Just read the comments after I posted. For me, God’s word the bible gives me a roadmap. Sorry if that is to simple, I am not nor do I desire to be a theologian. That is why I saw, as a young christian mom that doug philips was not to be heeded. The roadmap he was promoting did not line up with my bible. Did it say, Don’t follow Doug Phillip? No. But it does say not to be greedy or think of yourself higher than another. To take the bench in the back rather than the front. I didn’t see that in Doug. That is why I threw his stuff away.

  • According to Mike Farris DP’s actual involvement on HR6 was a bit overblown by DP. This was, according to MF, typical of DP’s recollection of history. Later he was gone from HSLD. The impression from the article was one of relief.

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  • Where law is preached, sin increases. When will the church stop feasting on the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil” and start feasting on the tree of life?

  • Andrew McDonald

    Look out for the NCFIC, Scott Brown’s incarnation of Doug Phillips philosophies and practices neatly packaged in a wrapper of tolerance, understanding, and openness with a ‘golly gee whiz’ approach to conflicts until it gets serious.

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