Time to reboot!
This blog has been retired and will be kept as an archive.
Thank you and may the good Lord bless you!
– No king but Jesus!
Angela Wittman, editor
The LORD watches and is displeased, for there is no justice. He sees there is no advocate, He is shocked that no one intervenes. – Isaiah 59:15-16
Up until this point I’ve had very little first hand experience with abuse of any kind, whether it be physical, spiritual, sexual, etc. While I’m grateful for God’s mercy towards me personally, I also see more clearly how this personal inexperience led to a myopic view of the issue of abuse and how people respond to it.
I’m a skeptic by nature and I admit I’ve looked cynically at claims about things like pervasive rape culture, victim blaming and other organized conspiracies that willfully excuse, tolerate or condone abuse. It wasn’t so much the idea of abuse I unconsciously questioned, but rather the idea of widespread collusion amongst the various parties the victims sought justice from. The reasoning was: if the abuse really happened and a significant number of people knew about it, then why hasn’t something been done?
My perspective has changed.
Below are some of the concepts I’ve found helpful in trying to understand how leaders and followers respond to allegations of abuse.
Why It’s Different When It Happens in the Church
While sex scandals are dime a dozen, there is a different, and particularly heinous way that victims are affected when the abuse was at the hands of a trusted Christian Leader.
Editor’s Note: This article is accessible to the public and no Facebook account is needed to read it. – AW
By Nathaniel Darnell – Persevero News
Christ is quite capable of deploying His church for His service and blessing our service apart from any of the popular ministry organizations we have today. While we perhaps would prefer to be able to lock arms with our friends and fellow saints in these organizations, we should not be afraid that we will somehow be made ineffectual by not having our favorite ministry organization around to guide us. To the contrary, if the activity of some ministry organization is dishonoring to God and not operating under the authority of God’s Word in several ways, we should be afraid if we continued with them—knowing that chastening and judgment is mounting for them from the Lord.
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:5 (KJV)
For the last several weeks since the announcement of Doug Phillips’ resignation, I have been reluctant to make any public statement about the event. This has been due to several reasons. First, while I, as something of an “insider,” have been aware of some (not all) of Mr. Phillips’ weaknesses and sins for sometime now, I do not desire to bring more public shame on him or anyone else involved than is necessary for Biblical repentance and restoration to be carried out. Mr. Phillips has been a friend and mentor to me for many years. I have benefited tremendously from how God has used his ministry in my life, and I still consider the things I learned in San Antonio to have been invaluably beneficial to my growth and maturity. I will always be grateful to the Lord.
My participation in the “movement” of Christian discipleship in Biblical worldview has never been about Doug Phillips, however. While the Lord has used him as a mouthpiece to instruct me in many key ways from the Bible, for which I am grateful, ultimately for me this has always been about Jesus Christ and His Word. I remain committed to the Biblical truths Vision Forum has stood for because I continue to believe them to be based in the Scriptures—not in the personality of a man.
By Mel Everingham – Christian Observer
Obamacare is destroying small business and forcing Americans to pay for something they do not want (i.e. extortion with the threat of violence to that person and his family)
Perverts, thieves and fools are at every post of executive, legislative and judicial rule. Our children are taught to worship themselves and the government as god and hate God Almighty, who has determined their destiny here and for eternity. Christians are beginning to be attacked by the governments at both the state and federal level for their faith – and jailed – and ruined financially…..
Why do we not hear anything from Christian men, the men who used to lead this nation? Because they are emasculated, effeminate non-entities. Why? Because they are unaware that a massive war has been waged against the Rule of the Law of God and Jesus Christ and that they were supposed to be defending their families and communities, with that law which God blesses, by making it impossible for a tyrannical monolith of fleshly power to rise! Now we have a motley crew of the most intractable and unrepentant evil governing, which makes Hitler’s regime look like a smaller expression of evil by far. Hitler killed 6 million Jews…The U.S. Government has given license to the butchering death of 50 million children.
Gentlemen May Cry…
An Essay on Anti-Federalism (Part 1 of 3)
But just what is an Anti-Federalist, and what did they believe? Simply put, the Anti-Federalists were the “radicals” who wanted to be free of the tyranny of the British Empire, and fought for the right of each of their States to be Sovereign, Free, and Independent. Although their politics varied and they existed in every State, today they would be likened to what our own Department of Homeland Security calls, “right-wing extremists.”
In 2012, Citizens United created a Tea-Party-friendly film called, Our Sacred Honor, which detailed the period from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the framing of our current Constitution in 1787. While better than most because of its emphasis on moral virtue, this film presented the views of several of today’s right-wing pundits as truth, including the flawed propaganda that the Articles of Confederation failed “to define the relationship between the ‘federal’ government and the States—[that there was] no Presidency, no Executive Branch, no Judicial Branch—a unicameral, (that is a one-house) Congress with each state represented equally, and very little power given to that central authority.” Or as many of us have heard throughout our lives, the Articles of Confederation were too weak a form of government, and a new Constitution was needed that would create a stronger government with more centralized power. The film does present the fact that there were opponents to the 1787 Constitution, but only mentions George Mason as being one of them. Patrick Henry was probably one of the best-known Anti-Federalists, and his cry for Virginians to come to the aid of Massachusetts in 1775 is said to have been the driving force that enabled Americans to unite and win our War for Independence. He was paraphrasing the book of Jeremiah when he said,
“Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
By Buddy Hanson – Grace & Law Resource Center
How’s Your Lifestyle?(2 Timothy 3.14-15)
Typical Objection to living out our faith. #3
“Attempting to live according to God’s Laws (Legalism), leads to a life of drudgery, and is burdensome.”
There is a two-pronged attack implied in this objection that encourages us to live according to our will, instead of according to God’s will. First is the false charge that a life dedicated to conforming our lifestyle to the biblical truths we profess to believe will take all the enjoyment out of living. Perhaps each of us thought like this before our conversion, but that was then and this is now. In our converted condition we know that we have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” 58 We also know that God is “working in us to both will and do for His good pleasure.” 59 In addition, Jesus promises that His commands are “easy, and His burden is light,” 60 because His laws represent His perfect will for how we are created to live. The truth is that we forfeit the enjoyment of living when we attempt to live according to our rules because, as creatures of God, we are wired to live according to His perfect will, therefore the more we refuse to do so, the more our ethical wires are crossed and will short circuit. Perhaps this is why King Solomon tells us that, “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands.” 61 Yes, conforming our lifestyle to biblical ethics is somewhat burdensome,” because, as we’ve seen, we must go through the remainder of our life on earth “putting off” our former ungodly behaviors, and “putting on” new godly behaviors, but as we’ve also seen, Jesus gives us His word that this burden will be a “light” one. Paul adds, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 62
We are also comforted by Jehovah’s words to Isaiah’s neighbors (and to us) that no matter what kind of challenging “waters” we pass through during our life, we can be confident that “He will be with us.” 63 This is why we must, “Take His yoke upon us and learn from Him, for He is gentle and lowly in heart, and we will find rest for our souls.” 64 We accomplish this by staying in His Word daily, discussing it with others in order to sharpen our understanding, and correcting any misunderstandings concerning its application. In return for such efforts, God promises that “His commandments are not burdensome.” 65
The second prong to this attack upon God’s revealed will on how to serve Him is the implication that the New Testament laws have replaced the laws in the Old Testament. This all-too-common attack upon God’s Word can be demolished with two sentences from Jesus to His disciples as He gave them their marching orders on what to do after He ascended to heaven:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
By telling them that “all authority” has been given to Him in “heaven and on earth,” Jesus is making absolutely clear that Satan has no authority over Christians. Jesus further explains that the way they are to make “disciples of all the nations” is by “teaching them to observe (not just to know!) all things that He has commanded them.” Since the Old Testament was the only thing that was then in existence, it should be clear that His teaching centered upon and rested in all the commandments except those that had to do with the ceremonies of their worship services, because there was now no need to symbolically offer animal sacrifices, since their purpose was to point to the coming Messiah, which He was!
Next week we’ll look at the Typical Objection #4.
58 Ephesians 2.8-10
59 Philippians 2.12-16
60 Matthew 11.30
61 Proverbs 14.6
62 2 Corinthians 4.17
63 Isaiah 43.2
64 Matthew 11.29
65 1 John 5.3
This Week’s Divine ComeBack
How many times a day do you get asked, “How are you doing?” or “How are things going?” Most of us “come back” with a reply that is expected and quickly forgotten, such as, “Fine … great … pretty good.” For an unexpected and memorable reply, use this week’s Divine ComeBack.” WARNING: Such a creative response may undo the thoughts of the person with whom you are talking and may cause them to be momentarily speechless as they process what you’ve just said. So don’t be surprised if a moment or two of silence follows your “ComeBack.”
I’m attempting great things for God and expecting great things from Him. Hebrews 6.12
From Divine ComeBacks: Uncommon Replies to Common Greetings, Buddy Hanson, (Hanson Group)
The Grace & Law Resource Center’s MISSION – Assisting fellow Christians to re-suppose what we pre-suppose by interpreting the Bible in terms of our present days, instead of according to the last days.
The Grace & Law Resource Center provides resources for individuals, parents and church groups on how to incorporate biblical principles into their worldview and lifestyle. Contact Buddy Hanson about a presentation for your Homeschool or church group, or click on to www.graceandlaw.com for a variety of helpful and widely acclaimed books.
Buddy Hanson is President of the Grace & Law Resource Center and has written numerous books on the necessity of applying one’s faith to everyday situations, circumstances and decision-making and frequently speaks on those topics to church groups and to home school conferences.
By Angela Wittman – For Christ’s Crown & Covenant!
While much of what Doug Phillips teaches regarding Patriarchy sounds biblical, because of the lack of practical application, his teachings are often taken to extremes. Sometimes, men just hear his vision of men always “leading,” and they become domineering and demanding, causing undue stress on the wife. I know of one family that divorced precisely because of hearing this teaching and not understanding what it really should be. Sometimes, men will try to emulate what they see in Doug Phillips, and start requiring their families to have all the same rules as the Phillips. Unfortunately, if there are no personal convictions behind the rules, they soon become extremely oppressive and smother the family. Some men just have no clue about how to “lead” their families; they just know that it’s being constantly preached at them from the pulpit. Having come from a home without a godly leader, these men need lots of practical examples.
(Taken from: Doug Phillips’ Kangaroo Court Cancels Communion by Jen Epstein, written Dec. 13, 2006)
Ye husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Pet. 3:7. And be not bitter against them. Col. 3:9.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord, even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 1 Pet. 3:6; Eph. 5:22.
(Taken from the section Table of Duties in The Small Catechism by Martin Luther)
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve.”
(Romans 16:17-18 ESV)
It recently came to my attention that Doug Phillips, a popular leader in the home school and patriarchal movement, resigned his position at Vision Forum due to marital infidelity:
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.
My first response was to make a point to not “add fuel to the fire” by refusing to post any coverage of this event at the Christian Liberty News blog I own and edit. I then proceeded to chastise those who were talking about it as “gossiping” on various other blogs. And while my intentions were well-meaning, they only served to encourage suppression of the truth and for this I am sorry. Because while the recent actions of Mr. Phillips disgust me, the knowledge that others have been maligned for sounding an unheeded alarm regarding Vision Forum and Doug Phillips to the greater Christian community for years disgusts me even more. And those who have served on the board of directors at Vision Forum and in leadership/fellowship at Boerne Christian Assembly are in grave error for not practicing church (or Christian) discipline when allegations of ungodly, bullying behavior by Doug Phillips was first brought to their attention (I found blog posts documenting his strange behavior dating back to 2006!). Perhaps they should take a good hard look at themselves in accordance to Scripture and discern if they are partly to blame for his most recent scandal which not only hurts their cause, but brings shame to the Name of Jesus Christ.
So, what practical “patriarchal” instruction does our God give to both husbands and wives? In the book of Ephesians, chapter five, God says:
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a]28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Frankly, I am not hearing much about husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for us… Instead I am hearing of men who pull rank on their wives and daughters in a worldly manner. Where is the biblical message of loving your wife with gentleness, kindness, respectfulness and actually laying down your life for her? Instead the message has become worldly and one of “don’t do this” and “don’t do that” and “don’t question men in authority over you.” Have you forgotten that it was a woman who first suckled our Lord at her breast as a new born babe? Or the respectful way He spoke to the ignorant woman at the well? What about His humility in allowing a sinful woman to wash His feet with her repentant tears and then lovingly dry them with her very own hair? Or perhaps you have forgotten that it was a woman who our Lord first revealed Himself to after His resurrection?
Oh men who abuse Biblical headship, you should tremble with fear at the thought of facing our Redeemer and King! I believe He takes special care of His female followers and will soundly rebuke those men who have treated them shamefully.
I am posting some links to blogs that will more fully reveal the abuse that has been going on for years in the name of Jesus Christ and my advice is for the reader to truthfully search their heart to see if they have been guilty of destroying their family with abuse in the name of “Biblical Patriarchy.” If so, may you truly repent of abusing the precious, sacred trust given to you by God Almighty to protect, love, and respect your wives and children. After all, He is their Sovereign – not you. You are His steward.
In Lord Jesus Name, I pray this message brings revival to Your Church and families all across America. I pray to hear reports of men falling on their knees before You and humbly asking Your forgiveness. And may You show them grace and mercy that will truly give them new hearts, changed lives and godly love for their wives and children. Amen.