I have to admit my mind just swims when I look at the different responses from different groups to ‘scandals’ within their circles. Being human I think we all realize coming clean at times isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.
I don’t know about most, but I value people that can fall – even big time – and then pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep going. It can’t be easy to totally own something, and yet you notice at times some individuals don’t seem to have an issue with this at all. While, others – especially some leaders – struggle with even admitting the smallest of issues.
Doug Phillips, of Vision Forums has resigned over an affair that he claims hasn’t gone into the ‘biblically intimate” realms…if you catch my drift. Their ministry seems to be falling apart at the seams that this point, and now you are getting the impression that despite his ‘repentance’ letter he placed online? He truly isn’t all that sorry. Here is a partial quote from Spiritual Sounding board from a another ‘leader’ that was groomed in this movement since the cradle.
He then wrote about the intention of a group of men who were “bosom brothers,” close friends, to lovingly confront Phillips to plea for true repentance and restoration.
What for us was a tender, emotional, mission of mercy and plea for true repentance was met with something, and by someone I never could have imagined. Instead of being received as the “wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6), I was formally disowned and declared to be a “destroyer” to my face.
You could feel the disillusion in Peter Bradrick’s words, and if you see some of his sermons? He was raised in a very insular homeschooling movement that is packaged into a ‘true way to live’ type of ministry. Sadly, for him Doug Phillips isn’t following the rules he presented for everyone else to live by.
It reminds me of one of my daughter's favorite shows: Law and Order, SUV. When I listen to Doug Phillip’s group at times it reminds me of one of the episodes about a Homeschooling mother. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing WRONG with home schooling, but like everything else in life there can be a dark side. The Characters were not in a religious homeschooling group, but the fear of the outside world was very similar.
The show starts by a little boy (Jacob) being caught eating garbage, and that triggers an investigation because he clearly wasn’t homeless. The boy was trying to escape a paranoid mother that refuses to have anything to do with the outside world. She did this partly by controlling their food.
After Marilyn's husband was shot in a holdup, she kept her sons very close. According to Marilyn, processed food causes cancer, school is a place where children are shot and bullied, the city streets harbor killers around every corner, and foster homes lead children into lives of abuse and misery.
When the mother was called in, and questions were asked? They were targeting her NOT because her son was found in a garbage can eating the food, but because she homeschools. The world ‘targets’ them due to this, and she keeps them very close. Since they really have nothing legally to hold them on a ‘home check’ is ordered, and of course everything checks out there.
Problem is her paranoia decides that the ‘world’ is going to come and get them after that. Now her younger child Jacob – the one caught eating the food – has brought the evil world to them. She talked her older son (Adam) into doing the youngest a big favor by killing him, and then he was to kill himself. That way they were safe, and no one could harm them. She would leave her gun at home, and she would go shopping. Adam would do this while she was gone, so she wouldn’t get into trouble.
Adam did kill his brother Jacob, but the gun jammed after that. He couldn’t kill himself, and of course you have an investigation into murder. Adam was brainwashed at this point, and his excuse for killing his brother was to save him from a life of misery at the hands of the ‘world’.
The show ends when they find another brother – Daniel - that was the oldest, and the now Adam was dealing with the fact his mother lied to him. He was told his older brother Daniel was taken away by foster care, and was killed. Something his mother told him he was saving his brother Jacob and himself from now. The reality was he was taken away due to abuse from his mother, and abandoned. Daniel was used as a tool of terror for other two, and was told this is what happens when you don’t listen to mother.
Marilyn (mother) is arrested off-screen and is shown in Novak's office with her attorney. Adam arrives and angrily berates Marilyn for lying to him about Daniel and for making him shoot Jacob. Daniel enters the office and sarcastically greets Marilyn much to her shock. Realizing that she has lost control of her son, Marilyn accuses the police of destroying her family. Stabler and Benson begin dragging Marilyn out of the office, and she begs Adam for help, saying that she's the only one he can trust, but Adam doesn't even look at her.
You can imagine bewilderment Adam felt when he realized how the world was much different than what he had been taught. Now he has to begin a new life with his brother Daniel ‘in the world’. He was so sheltered he didn’t know any different. He honestly felt he did his younger brother a favor by killing him, and was left with the reality of the true circumstance.
To many groups start with a good intention, and go into these controlling ‘la la’ lands. The leaders are good at telling everyone what is wrong with everyone else, but when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar? That seems completely different. What is even more strange to me is the group no doubt would have accepted his full repentance if he had stepped up, and lived out what he preached to others. Instead, Phillips seems to be handing over a crash in their reality like Adam had in our story above. It will cause a ton of heartbreak.
When this type of thing happens? All types of other ‘ugly’ business comes out shortly afterwards. It really does shake people to the core. I do not have the same belief systems as this group, but my heart breaks for them. Now I will pray for their journey forward.
Other Articles of interest:PETER BRADRICK, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO DOUG PHILLIPS, SPEAKS OUT ON BEING “FORMALLY DISOWNED” AND “DECLARED TO BE A DESTROYER”
Vision Forum Ministries President Doug Phillips Resigns Due to Infidelity
Revisiting Vision Forum
Vision Forum: Peter Bradrick Speaks
Under Much Grace – plenty of articles on the aspects of the group think
How Doug Phillips Wreaked Havoc On My Family