Search Results for: doug phillips

lawsuit filed against Doug Phillips on behalf of abused woman

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A lawsuit was filed this morning on behalf of Lourdes Torres, the young woman Phillips’ claimed to have been in a relationship with for 7 years and which lead to the collapse of Vision Forum last October. David Gibbs, attorney for Torres, states ““In that patriarchal quiverfull culture, the ultimate and the highest ideal is then becoming married. What Doug did as the leader of the movement was take the ultimate ideal and perpetually promise that fraudulently to Lourdes to manipulate and control her to do things that she would otherwise not have done.” The entire article can be found here.

Read this and tell me that patriocentric teachings are not at the root of the whole sordid story!

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Thinking thoughtfully about Doug Phillips’ resignation, part five ~ praise where praise is due

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our Ben tree

This week I am enjoying the last of fall colors on our street. Rains a few days ago shook the leaves from some of the trees but in our front yard, the two maples are still full and intense, casting a golden glow into the rooms on that side of the house. It is my favorite week of the year with the last bit of summer loveliness quickly fading and the coziness of winter promising to visit us soon. We planted the larger of these trees the year our son Ben was born and it serves as a daily reminder to me of God’s faithfulness to our family.

During the first four years of our marriage, we had three children and were pretty overwhelmed. During my pregnancy with the third, I told my doctor that I wanted to have my tubes tied right after delivery and still remember the look on his face and his response, “Mrs. Campbell!” he admonished. “You are only 25 years old! I would never consider doing such a thing! You may want to have more children in the future. I will not do this.”

Still determined to limit our family to three children, we were content for 7 years…until we attended a Basic Seminar with Bill Gothard. Only two years into his ATI program, he painted a vision for us that was forever to change our lives. Six weeks later we pulled our children out of public school and began homeschooling, six months later I was pregnant with child number four. Now, 28 years, 6 kids, and 14 grandchildren later, I am still grateful for the message we heard that late November night: that children are a blessing and we should consider having more, that homeschooling is good for children and parents, we should try it. God opened our hearts and minds to His will for our family.

We had to learn many lessons in the years that followed. We never fully bought into the Gothard paradigm, though I was the one who often wanted us to try. I was wooed by the navy neck bows and a 5000 member choir of spit-shined young people singing “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.” Clay, not so much. But our love of little ones and homeschooling never waned and the Lord blessed us in spite of many years when my family threatened to become a form of idolatry in my own life. When the pride of seeking perfection blinded me to real people and their real needs. When I didn’t realize that loving God really meant loving others more than myself.

This has been a difficult week for many moms. Doug Phillips is the man the Lord used to inspire their husbands to consider the value of being a dad. He is the one who painted a picture of motherhood for them that resonated with the God-given desire most women have to nurture and love children. He gave them hope for their families in a world that most Christians realize is increasingly post-modern if not downright pagan. He inspired families to love America and to see God’s sovereignty in many places we had forgotten it existed. And those messages are true and good ones.

But somehow hearing criticism of the man and his philosophies has translated to these wonderful moms that their choices have not been valid ones. And this is the real sadness of it all. Because God HAS used Vision Forum for good in many ways IN SPITE OF the bad theology, IN SPITE OF the dangerous teachings, IN SPITE OF the damage done to so many. But rather than minimize or ignore the false teachings and pretend it is genuine Biblical truth, now is the time to say, “God is good, He has led our family, not because of what Doug Phillips said but because God showed us these things by His grace alone!”

Now is also the time for families who have been caught up in the patriarchy paradigm to ask hard questions. It is time to put away the big red manuals, the endless CD’s of “encouragement,” the books and programs and conference paraphernalia and pick up the Bible. It is time for parents to humble themselves and seek forgiveness from their children, some of them long-estranged because the paradigm taught that they should be. It is time to repent of the pride of who has a larger family, who is interning where, who is courting whom, who has the most modest clothes, who God is blessing, who He is cursing, etc. Have you been blessed? Rejoice and be grateful! Are you struggling? Rejoice and be grateful! Reject the idolatry of the paradigm, embrace the relationships around you. Pull out one of the one anothering verses every single day, over and over again, and live them! Love God, love your children, love your neighbors. Welcome God’s grace and be thankful for how God alone, not Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, a patriarchal leader, radio teacher, or any man, has brought you to this point!

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” ~ Jonah 2:8

 

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Thinking thoughtfully about Doug Phillips’ resignation, part four ~ danger markers along the patriarchy path

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We love going to a local chili supper fundraiser for a group of volunteer firefighters. Because it is held at their station that is along a busy highway, days before the event, they line the road with bright orange warning barrels so people coming to the supper as well as those passing through their small town will slow down, pay attention, and avoid danger. Remembering a traffic tragedy at one of their suppers a few years back reminds them how important this is and everyone is grateful for their diligence.

This week I have been considering just a few of those things I believe should serve as warning markers, the cumbersome orange warning barrels along the patriarchy highway, that will keep families from danger. Here is my list of questions and observations; please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section.

How do they use the Bible? Creating unusual if not weird interpretations of Scripture and turning Old Testament narratives into commands, camping out on the more difficult passages of Scripture that centuries of Bible scholars disagree on but magically they understand, these are all part and parcel of this movement. The entire stay-at-home-daughters movement is based on Numbers 30! I still don’t get that one.  Ask them to explain why men are priests of the home when 1 Peter 2:9 says we are all priests and kings. Remember the Golden Rules of interpreting Scripture: The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things. AND, context, context, context! Warning: Danger.

Do you see hypocrisy? Do the rules apply to everyone or just their minions? Do they set themselves up as arbiters of truth and discernment but rain down fire and brimstone on anyone who even dares to question them? Does their behavior contradict their teachings? Do they have strident rules for everyone but then not apply them in their own homes? Do they present information in such a way as to dissemble truth, only telling you what they want you to hear, knowing if they reported the whole teaching or story, you would believe something entirely different? A number of years ago two different women reported that their pastor and his wife instructed their entire congregation to never tell anyone that they had been divorced and remarried, leaving them feeling they were part of some cover-up they didn’t understand. I call this the “Rahab Clause” as one pastor a few years back taught that God blessed Rahab’s lies so he will bless ours if it for the common good! Warning: Danger!

Do you see a lack of accountability or refusal to hold men accountable to their elders, denominations, and everyone else? Whether we want to believe it or not, there is an epidemic of good old boys clubs within patriarchal circles and creativity when it comes to allowing church leaders to “be restored.” Of course, true restoration and genuine repentance are the hoped for result. But I have seen too many times where people are placed back in to areas of responsibility making a mockery of the whole process. I still remember when a pastor in one of the most conservative churches in my area committed adultery with a woman he was counseling in his congregation. Though he had to step down for a while, during his time off, he was allowed to continue preaching as pulpit supply for other churches in his denomination! And some of the strongest voices for pontificating about the lack of church discipline are those who have ignored their own authorities and gone off to do their own thing. Warning: Danger!

What are the relationship dynamics? Is there a spirit of one anothering that permeates the entire group or is there an attitude of top down authority that goes beyond leadership? Do the fathers get up from talking with the men to help with little ones or change diapers? Does this group produce wimpy wives or even those who are as sweet as a little old magnolia blossom on the outside and mean as a junkyard dog on the inside?  How are children nurtured? With an iron fist or with a spirit of gentleness and grace? Do the older young men and women relate to each other normally or is it stiff and weird? How are elderly folks treated in these families? Is practicing the one anothers of Scripture ever mentioned? Do you see it in action? Or is there nothing but role playing? Warning: Danger!

Does there seem to be an obsession with modesty, moral purity, and sex? All the modestly dressed women in the world will not prevent men from lust. Neither will Debi Pearl’s perfect heavenly marriage, wearing only dresses, abstaining from television or movies, not allowing women to engage in conversations with men, warning young people to not become emotionally involved with someone prior to marriage and even asking young maidens to pledge sexual purity to their fathers.  (If I read one more salacious description of some couples “first kiss” I will scream. Go back and read Doug Phillips’ description of the “first kisses” has witnessed. So weird!) Do you hear about modesty frequently in your support group or women’s group? Does the pastor preach about sex often? Do you feel uncomfortable when he does? Does he use phrases that depict the act of sex in a violent way? And speaking of violence, what is the group’s position of spiritual, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse of women and children?  Don’t know? Warning: Danger!

Do the leaders surround themselves with impressionable young people? I am coming to see this as a major warning sign within the patriocentric groups. First of all, it certainly flies in the face of their teachings about parents being mentors and the importance of parental authority. While I absolutely agree that we want to see our children encouraged and discipled by godly men and women throughout all their lives, I believe God has given parents that important role in the lives of their young adult and adult children. Shipping them off to places for undefined “internships” and questionable “theological” training presents all sorts of new problems and ones we may not even know about until it is too late and damage has been done. What is wrong, for example, with parents who continue to send their young daughters to ATI headquarters when there continue to be reports of bizarre behavior? My guess is that this is far more widespread than we imagine throughout all these  groups and not only am I tossing out orange barrels, I am throwing red flags. Warning: Danger!

Do they promise a utopia in this world?  Whether it is Vision Forum’s grandiose 200 Year Plan or someone offering a health and wealth Gospel to the faithful, this world is not our home and our only hope for perfection is in heaven! I believe this is one of the cruelest and most deceptive aspects of the patriarchy movement. Yes, we are to be faithful stewards until the Lord returns and are not to think of our attempts to see the culture redeemed via evangelism as polishing brass on a sinking ship. But neither are we to calculate how God will bless us or America through having lots of children or homeschooling or getting the right guy in office. Anyone who paints this vision for you is wrong. Warning: Danger!

Are you being mocked for your concerns and questions regarding the Doug Phillips’ resignation? I don’t know why I am so stunned at the insults and name calling flying left and right at those who question these teachings and the still unanswered questions. If you are getting the heat for this, hang in there. This amazing video is for you. It explains the phenomenon of the whistle blower. It might not make you feel much better but it will certainly help you understand why people don’t appreciate your warnings!

 

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I know my list is not exhaustive but please add your thoughts and testimonies to the comments.

More help for discerning false teachers.

Excellent advice from Sallie on becoming a Berean. Share this one far and wide!!!

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Thinking thoughtfully about Doug Phillips’ resignation, part three ~ not every man

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I had noticed them on other Sundays, sitting toward the back: attentive husband, impeccably dressed wife, both calmly waiting for the service to begin while everyone around them hurried to take their seats once the music began. But it wasn’t until this past week that I realized why they were special. Seated in my row, I could hear the wife struggling to breath and caught a glimpse of the man as he pulled a fresh clean washcloth from a bag and gently wiped her face. Suffering from some residual affects of an illness or accident, she had come to worship, raising her hands and singing as the man lovingly placed his arm around her, supporting and encouraging his bride. My heart was instantly touched by the tenderness they shared and I felt the tears coming. “This,” I thought, “is a faithful man.”

My guess is that he has never heard of Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson or the Bayly brothers. To him, a patriarch is named Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

During the 27 or so years that we have experienced the patriarchy movement, some of them up close and painfully personal, a picture was painted for us of what genuine godly manhood must be. I remember Clay’s face when he came home from his maiden voyage into patriarchy waters. The seminar was called Beards, Babies, and Bowel Movements, the latter two highly recommended and the former only allowed for Amish attendees. (You can’t make this stuff up.) Being the prophet, priest, and king of the home is a tough job but somebody has to do it. And someone has to charge you for the privilege of knowing how to do it.  Here is the checklist….for free:

The father is the only one who should teach older sons; he should not be employed but rather be or working toward becoming an entrepreneur so as not to build another man’s kingdom. He will give his sons land and remind them that they are part of his clan.

Though his wife might be knowledgeable of Scripture, he alone is to lead family Bible study and all spiritual or doctrinal questions are to be asked only of him. (I kind of liked this one on days when someone asked me things like “what IS a concubine” or “what’s with all those foreskins?”)

He is to direct all the education of children and prepare sons for the day when they will lead families of their own by helping them establish their own businesses. He trains his daughter for the day when she will be handed over to another man by making sure she is his junior “helpmeet” and understands that she has only one role and that is to fulfill her man’s calling from God. He orchestrates her courtship and betrothal, guaranteeing her physical and emotional purity in the process. He must be certain that his children are not rebellious because rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and the only way to avoid it is by the frequent and daily use of the rod.

He protects his wife from “false” teachings by limiting what she can read or hear or who she can have for friends because she is more easily deceived by Satan and might unwittingly wander into a website like Titus Two Lesbians.com.  He oversees the childbirth process, from start to finish, recognizing that his wife might die because “Biblical” principles might dictate such. His household must be in order, children all lined up, happy, and spit-shined when he comes home from work and his wife, possibly in pearls, available for hospitality, educating younger children, and sex whenever he demands it.

His home, rust-free 14 passenger van, and all household goods are paid for with cash. Any personal interests, recreation, and hobbies, especially video games, are the devil’s tools because idle hands are the devil’s play place and a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands (even for a Sunday afternoon nap because Sunday afternoons are for fellowship with other manly men at your FIC) will bring his family to poverty.

To make sure he remembers all of these things, a man will attend seminars, conferences (some of them requiring costumes and tights), and weekly men’s meetings where he will ponder over R. C. Sproul Jr. basement tapes or will read Rushdooney and devise ways to fulfill some other man’s 200 Year Plan. He will listen to Kevin Swanson radio while cleaning his gun and grow a beard, Bill Gothard not withstanding.

But now, even after all this, one of the most repeated mantras I am hearing in response to Doug Phillips’ resignation is this: “Judge not lest ye shall be judged…any of us could fall the same way at any time. If it happened to Doug Phillips, it can happen to any man.”

There is even more fear and pressure to perform when in reality I think most men, yes, most men, are faithful men!

Sure, they have temptations and struggle from time to time, probably mostly when their wives continually talk about modesty and point out all the things that aren’t modest.  And we all know the reason men become uncontrollable, sex crazed monsters is because of immodestly dressed women because passionate, patriarchal wives have told us so.

But I do not for a minute believe all men are on the brink of having an emotional or sexual relationship with other women.

And here is why. Because real men anticipate the dangers and if they entertain thoughts of adultery don’t teach seminars and carry on about the evils of homosexuality while thinking nothing of engaging in a long term romantic relationship with a another woman. Because they love their wives and children and sacrifice everything for them in real life ways without pretending they are on the Titanic. Because they purpose to walk with the Lord and seek to live lives of balance in the real world, putting real measures of accountability into place, first of all with their own wives. Because they are busy just trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage, find affordable health care, and put braces on their kids’ crooked teeth. Because they have wives who are true partners, sojourners beside them in spiritual battle, and their sisters in Christ who openly share their opinions and stretch marks one day at a time.

I have long been concerned that patriarchy’s model for godly manhood has become a poor substitute for real men who know that being faithful in the small things is the measure God uses for greatness. I hope and pray this is a wake-up call for those men still entrapped in this movement and their wives who are enabling if not promoting this madness.

 

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Thinking thoughtfully about Doug Phillips’ resignation, part two ~ how the patriocentrists raise daughters

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A few weeks ago while we were driving across downtown Nashville, we saw a billboard that surprised us. The big round eyes of a young woman stared down below into the windows of a large and well-lit store that advertised “adult toys” and costumes for every sort of sexual adventure imaginable. Printed next to her sweet face was the simple phrase “She’s somebody’s daughter,” a powerful statement against the sexual abuse of women and one that took on new meaning to me as I read through Doug Phillips’ admonition of infidelity.

She’s somebody’s daughter.

The woman who had a relationship with the Vision Forum leader is somebody’s daughter, too. Yet, the outpouring of concern for her is conspicuously absent from so many of the pieces written in support of him in the past few days.Perhaps it is because  for all its talk about protecting daughters, patriocentricity has not really done right by them and has, instead, built a system that prepares its daughters to be used and abused by men.

A few years ago I challenged a statement from Voddie Baucham:

“A lot of men are leaving their wives for younger women because they yearn for attention from younger women. And God gave them a daughter who can give them that.”

I thought of his words again this week as I pondered both the resignation letter and the billboard. What message are the patriocentrists sending to young women? That it is ok to be used to fulfill the sinful “needs” of men? That daughters are given to meet the needs of fathers? Yesterday I read the testimony of a woman who heard Phillips giving a conference message instructing fathers to train their daughters to stand in place behind their chairs at the ready to fetch anything a dad might want. The Botkins So Much More, published and promoted by VF, named daughters as “helpmeets” for their dads, their film The Return of the Daughters depicting the subservience of women wrapped in beautiful cinematography and stunningly beautiful daughters. How can this not set up any young woman for moral failure at the hands of any man who believes this is the purpose and role of women?

Add to this an interpretation of Genesis 3 that says women are more easily deceived than men.

Sprinkle in a dose of “women are not to teach men,” a blanket misuse of 1 Timothy and blatant ignoring of the command to “instruct one another.”

Use the true statement  “a gentle and quiet spirit (for women), which is precious in the sight of God” as a prod to shape girls into passive followers and fail to mention that men are also called to have this same spirit.

Heed Kevin Swanson’s warning that girls who go to college will “have two abortions and sell their flesh cheap in the market place” in order to keep them home and serving their fathers under the guise to “protect them.”

Let them know their virginity is the most highly prized aspect of their lives and that their fathers are the brokers of it through purity pledges.

Arrange marriages for them and control every aspect of a courtship through 150 plus questions for suitors so you can control the next 60 years of their lives.

The entire message that has been given girls in the patriocentric world is that being weak and passive and dependent is godly and being strong, assertive, and independent is not. But just maybe, for all their pontificating about protecting women, it will begin to dawn on the patriocentrists that we need to raise daughters who are strong and capable and able to discern the word of God for themselves without men serving as their mediators or instructors. I sure hope so.

Oh, and we also need moms who can grasp this as well!

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Thinking thoughtfully about Doug Phillips’ resignation, part one

 

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Last week’s resignation and confession of having engaged in an “inappropriately romantic and affectionate relationship with a woman” by Vision Forum founder and president, Doug Phillips, should have been more stunning than it was to the homeschooling community. Though a few sycophants have labeled him their “fallen hero,” many have pronounced it a long time coming; others observed that these are the expected fruits when there is little to no accountability.  Was I surprised at Phillips’ confession? Not exactly. I have an email folder full of similar stories of unfaithfulness and abuse perpetrated by “godly men” who have followed patriocentrists over the cliff to family destruction.

In the past few years, as more and more people have been exposed to Phillips’ “Biblical patriarchy” and its companion family integrated church movement, I have been amazed at the acceptance of their extremes in the evangelical community and the unwillingness to call out these teachings as legalistic,extrabiblical, and even dangerous. They have done and continue to do damage to the entire body of Christ in spite of the “ such a lovely family” window dressings and whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Maybe this will serve as a wake up call for those who have yet to experience the fruits of these abhorrent teachings.

I do not know what to make of Phillips’ letter of resignation and certainly cannot assess its sincerity or truthfulness. What does “lengthy” mean? 6 months? 1 year? 6 years? There is a world of difference between a romantic attraction and a long-term relationship. For some reason it was important to tell us that he didn’t “know the woman in the biblical sense” yet in his world, emotional impurity, ie, having a crush on someone, requires confession and repentance and has given many parents grounds to declare their children to be rebellious. And why did he resign only from Vision Forum Ministries and his speaking engagements while maintaining his role in the business side of his operation? Why is he still listed as an elder on his church’s website? These are legitimate questions and those who ask them should not be condemned for doing so. He has established himself as a public figure in the homeschooling community; it is too late to scream for a right to privacy. In the end, even though its ripple affect has been felt all across the homeschooling community, there are only two people who know and can define this infidelity and, hopefully, they are willing to receive and follow genuine godly counsel as well as church discipline. Scripture tells us it is not true admonishment unless the goal is restoration, the means is gentleness, and the fruit is bearing another’s burden (Galatians 6:1-2), so we must pray for those things to happen. We must pray for his wife and children and for a marriage and family to be restored. And we cannot forget to pray for healing for the woman Phillips has been involved with. (more on this in part two)

But desiring these good outcomes does not negate the need to remind others of the dangers within the patriarchy paradigm. If anything, it is past time to challenge the church to clearly examine the teachings within the patriarchy, family integrated church, and militant fecundity movements and warn each other of their dangers. Being remorseful for sin is useless unless one also repents of the root sins (beliefs) that preceded it. 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 makes the appropriate observation: “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

Look at the teachings that have come out of patriocentricity, especially in the last 6 or so years. Teaching that men are the prophets, priests, and kings of their homes, daughters are helpmeets to their fathers, women are here primarily to fulfill the creation mandate and are expendable if threatened with ectopic pregnancies, women do not have their own callings from the Lord but rather are to fulfill a man’s calling, and a strident hierarchy that hearkens back to the antebellum south, these are just the tip of the ice berg. They certainly reveal a heart attitude toward women that can lead to unfaithfulness to a wife and broken dreams for a younger woman taken as a mistress, emotional or physical. Though many are spinning it otherwise what has been taught and promoted by the patriarchs absolutely does matter and absolutely can lead to adultery! “As a man thinks in His heart, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) Any “clearing of yourself” must include repentance for these and many other wrong interpretations of Scripture that have lead to the destruction of countless families who bought into the Vision Forum paradigm. Until we hear these as part of any confession, restoration cannot take place.

Since I have spent a lot of time already discussing the problems within the patriarchy movement on this blog(use the search feature for related articles), let me particularly encourage you to pass along these links for further study for those who are coming late to the party. Be prepared to help other homeschooling families who will be looking at these things with more discernment and wisdom in the days to come.

Free podcasts:

Patriarchy and Patriocentricity Series One

Patriarchy and Patriocentricity Series Two

Militant Fecundity

Family Integrated Church Movement

 

Excellent article by homeschool dad and attorney Tim Swanson:

Patriarchy, Christian Reconstructionsim, and White Supremacy

 

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ethics daily article addressing doug phillips' position on ectopic pregnancy

Bob Allen at Ethics Daily has published an article today addressing Doug Phillips’ position on ectopic pregnancy.  Hopefully this will get wide circulation and homeschooling moms will realize how many solidly 100% pro-life people find his views to be abhorant.  I am in the process of researching and writing about this again as new information is forthcoming.  Just so you will know, as I have shared his articles with pro-life leaders around the country, the first response is always disbelief.  I will keep you updated…….

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doug phillips poses threat to lives of homeschooling moms

I live in the Midwest, smack in the middle of what people around here like to call “tornado alley.” In my town, people often swap stories of the “big one,” the tornado that took out half of the business district and damaged countless homes one lazy July afternoon in 1975. People who survived that day will tell you that now they head for the basement or storm cellar as soon as the sirens sound. They remember the damage, know the personal loss and even the tragedy that came with that twister and they will do all they can to protect themselves and those they love should another one come this direction.

On the other hand, those who have never experienced a tornado often grab an iced tea and sit on the front porch, watching as though they were in a giant screen movie theatre, telling themselves that the destruction might come to someone else but it won’t affect them.

Today, I feel as though I am in the homeschooling version of our county’s emergency services. I have been storm spotting for a while and now see the deadly twister coming my direction. It is guaranteed to take lives. It is a an F-5 on the Fujita scale, complete with 300 mile per hour winds and damage akin to “strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate.” This is where the homes of homeschooling families are headed if Doug Phillips from Vision Forum is not held accountable for his most recent rhetoric.

On March 6, 2002, Phillips published a document entitled “A Declaration of Life” where he states the following:

“WHEREAS those theories which justify the killing of the unborn child on the basis of the circumstances of conception (as in the case of rape and incest), or even the life of the mother (ectopic pregnancies) are completely false because they are based on unbiblical and humanistic ethics, unbiblical definitions of “self defense” theory, and a rejection of the personhood of the child; and Continuing Relevance of All of Scripture.”

I am not certain if I read this when it was first published. I probably did not as I most likely assumed that his position would be one that passed genuine pro-life muster. Then, this week (June 5, 2008), Phillips, reporting on the most recent Whitherspoon Law and Public Policy conference, made this statement:

“Some Christians maintain a 100% pro-life, no abortion philosophy. Others believe that it is acceptable to abort a child in the case of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is threatened. The latter is the position of the Orthodox Jews. And there are many additional questions presented to us by our “brave new world” that raise noodle-cookers of equal emotional challenge and philosophical complexity.”

Since I have been involved with pro-life work for nearly 30 years and have considered myself 100% pro-life, I was puzzled as to what Phillips actually meant. Imagine my shock and horror to read that a woman who faces an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening situation and one I have had to face, is considered to be a “murderer” and one who practices “child sacrifice” or “infanticide.” As I read through everything I could find on his website regarding this topic, it quickly became apparent that Phillips is so far out of the mainstream of Christian thought and practice that even stalwart pro-life leaders around this country and pastors who repeatedly speak out against the evils of abortion would also be painted with his defective broad brush.

In contrast to Phillips’ position, Steve Wagner from Stand to Reason makes this statement:

““When the motherʹs life is truly in danger, we must treat both the mother and child as human beings worthy of protection, for that is what they are….In an ectopic pregnancy, the newly conceived human being implants on the wall of the fallopian tube (or some other tissue) instead of on the wall of the uterus. As the embryonic human being grows, the fallopian tube will rupture causing severe blood loss and probably death. In these cases, there is no way to save the child’s life. If we do nothing, both human beings will die. Because we believe it is better to save one life than to lose two, we remove the child (causing his death) and save the mother. The death of the child is an unintended, although foreseen, consequence. So abortion in this instance is the killing of an innocent human being WITH proper justification. Notice though, this is not because the child is not human, but rather because the child is going to die no matter what. The child’s death is unavoidable, so protecting the mother becomes our primary concern.”

After reading this, I contacted Lynn Grandon, who is the director of the Peoria Dioceses Respect Life and Human Dignity office and asked her to give me the most well-reasoned pro-life argument regarding ectopic pregnancies. In the providence of God, she had most recently attended a bio-ethics conference where the topic of ectopic pregnancies was discussed at length by some of the leading Christian bio-ethicists, medical personnel, and pastors around the country. She confirmed to me that saving the life of a mother who is in a genuine life-threatening pregnancy is always considered to be a priority, as the baby would also die in this situation and she said that ectopic pregnancies certainly are in this category. In fact, ectopic pregnancy is the leading cause of death in pregnant women today. And we have to also take into consideration that there are now millions of post-abortive women and as many who have suffered from sexually transmitted diseases, both factors that increase the incidence of ectopic pregnancy.

I mentioned to her the story of the Indian mother that Phillips used as an example of an ectopic pregnancy going to full term and she stated that we should never use the oddest and most extreme cases when looking at issues such as this one. I then read to her the above quotes from Phillips and she sighed and stated that these are unreasoned, irresponsible, and dangerous. She also expressed her sadness that someone with such influence would teach such things. I heartily concurred.

Given the number of homeschooling conferences where Phillips and his supporters speak and promote their militant fecundity message, I believe it will only be a matter of time before someone’s wife or mother dies because of this foolish position on ectopic pregnancy. Phillips, being the man of influence that he is, has irresponsibly taken a position that has now gone beyond his own “declaration of life” and has been entered into the public debate amongst attendees at his 2008 Whitherspoon conferences.

Because of his determination to further this message, I would like to call upon all those who link to his blog or the Vision Forum website to remove that link and to tell him why. I would like to ask those who sell his items to refuse to do so until he has recanted this dangerous position. I would expect those who have been published through Vision Forum to contact him and express their horror at what he is saying. And, most importantly, I would ask any pastors who have supported Phillips’ ministry, including the NCFIC churches associated with him, to publicly assure their congregations that Phillips’ teaching on ectopic pregnancy is outside the orthodox view of Biblical Christianity and the sanctity of human life.

Doug Phillips has become a threat to the very lives of homeschooling mothers and it should be known. Take cover immediately.

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phillips, swanson, baucham, and ray casting a vision for whom? not me!

Fourteen months ago I aired the first of my nine part series of podcasts on what I call patriocentricity, that is, the philosophy within some Christian homeschooling circles that teaches that the father is the center (prophet, priest, and king) of the home. In this paradigm, the father receives the only calling from the Lord and every family member is to seek to fulfill that calling. The response to this series continues to amaze me as these recordings are still the most often downloaded podcasts and most requested CD’s. Apparently thousands of homeschoolers share my concerns.

In putting together this series, I approached the subject with my guests from the standpoint that these teachings are extreme within the Christian homeschooling community and that they are arrived at through the eisegesis of Scripture rather than through proper exegesis of the Word of God. So that fact alone ought to give Bible believing homeschoolers great concern when they see the leaders of patriocentricity now rewriting the history of homeschooling and at the same time appointing themselves to “cast a vision” for the future of homeschooling in order to further prop up their extrabiblical agenda.

Last week it was announced that the Christian Home Educators of Colorado will be hosting a conference in Indianapolis in March of 2009. They state that the goal of this 2009 “leadership summit” is to “define a vision for the future of the Christian home education movement, (to) lay down a rock-solid, biblically-based vision for home education that will withstand the attacks of our current generation and preserve this precious vision for future generation.” In order to do this they are “assembling the key national leaders, authors, researchers, speakers and advocates who have framed the homeschool vision over the past generation (1979-2009).” Headlining this meeting will be Voddie Baucham, Doug Phillips, Kevin Swanson, and Brian Ray.

I found the time line they are using to be quite interesting. In fact, I found it interesting a few years ago when Doug Phillips stated that “home education began to emerge as a national movement” in 1983, remarkably the year Bill Gothard launched his Advanced Training Institute. Why did he choose that time in history as a starting point? Could it be that he equates the advancement of home education with the theonomic, patriocentric agenda that saw home schooling as an essential vehicle for promoting those goals for a Christian society?

My own first introduction to the idea of homeschooling came in the 1970’s when my oldest children were still toddlers. Having an interest in homesteading and organic gardening, Clay and I read books like Living on Five Acres and numerous back issues of Mother Earth News. The notion of homeschooling seemed to go along with some of the other ideas of self-sufficient living we were exploring and we began to consider it for our own family. And it was about that time that I heard an interview with a true leader in homeschooling, Dr. Raymond Moore, on Focus on the Family and we began to think seriously about teaching our own children. It was the book Better Late Than Early, co-written with his wife, Dorothy, that finally substantiated much of what we believed about children and that convinced us of the value of home education. It was also a book that was based on decades of research done by the Moores, including the educating of their own children which they began in 1944! (Doug Phillips’ father would have been 3 years old at the time!)

The announcement of this conference and the use of the word “vision” about a dozen times on the website should be concern enough on a variety of levels. Three of the four named speakers currently travel around the country promoting the Family Integrated Church agenda and the patriocentricity lifestyles that threaten the spiritual health of both church and family life. As I read through the website, I kept asking myself “Who appointed or elected these men as leaders? What makes them think they can speak for me or the millions of other Christian homeschooling families? Where are the voices of the mothers who are doing all the hard work of homeschooling in the first place? Why are they being excluded in this vision casting?”

It is obvious that this agenda is meant to be embraced all across the country within homeschooling support groups and at homeschooling conventions. They state that one of the objectives for the leadership summit will be the development of a Christian Education Manifesto statement which I assume will be written and men will be asked to sign, acknowledging the document as a statement of faith for all who claim to be Christian homeschoolers.

Then, last week I watched this trailer for a new film that is about to be released entitled “The Rock From Which We Were Hewn.”

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Immediately I had three thoughts as I watched this. The first is that it appears that the true leaders and founders of Christian homeschooling are missing in this version of the history of this movement. The second is that some of the “leaders” shown in this trailer have serious charges against them and their reputations, in my mind, disqualify them from speaking for any of us. And thirdly, I find some of what they are saying to be unsubstantiated and questionable and, quite frankly, more of the same scare tactics I have seen used to promote and sell a paradigm to homeschooling families in the past. I see this conference as one of the Trojan horses that pose a tremendous threat to Christian homeschooling and I will present more about this in the months to come.

Any thoughts?

I had another thought after I wrote this article. R.C. Sproul Jr. set up a division between homeschoolers in his article about “movement homeschoolers” as opposed to the rest of us who don’t homeschool “by conviction.” I think it should be considered in light of this upcoming conference.

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