The Dirty Little Secret of Doug Phillips
Now that the Christmas season is behind us, it is time to turn our attention to the Vision Forum series I promised back in December.
The first topic will consider the alleged hypocrisy of Vision Forumâ€™s president, Mr. Douglas Phillips. This hypocrisy extends to more than one area.
Beginning with the Christmas season itself, it is of interest to note that Dougâ€™s VisionForum does a tremendous amount of business during the run up to the holiday in question. In fact, it is fascinating to read the emails and other communicational means employed by Mr. Phillips during this season â€“ a season and holiday Doug does not celebrate. In fact, Dougâ€™s loathing of Christmas extends beyond mere contempt for the day, but rather bears more if a resemblance to a hatred for Roman Catholicism.
The reader should note that I am not endorsing Roman Catholic thought or teachings (despite Saint Augustineâ€™s influence on John Calvin) in my noting of Dougâ€™s rather strong disdain for Christmas. My personal take on Roman Catholicism is that in its acceptance of evolution as an explanation for mankindâ€™s presence on the earth, the Church of Rome takes just as much liberty with the whole counsel of God as do contemporary evangelical churches engaged in preaching the Prosperity Doctrine. However, I do not â€œloatheâ€ Romeâ€™s church or its members.
What I do find disconcerting is the open and blatant hypocrisy of a man who bears the title of Elder and opposes celebrating Christmas, while simultaneously earning the lionâ€™s share of his income during the exploitation of the holiday. Something is unseemly with this type of behavior. Yes, one can call me old fashioned, but if someone is willing to compromise in one area, then that individual is willing to compromise in other areas as well.
TEN Pâ€™s IN A POD
The preceding observation concerning compromise is borne out in a recent letter sent to the VisionForum mailing list. The writer of the letter is allegedly Arnold Pent III of Ten Pâ€™s in a Pod historicity. However, what is striking about his letter, ostensibly written on behalf of Doug Phillips and asking for donations to VisionForum, is the observation â€“ the first observation Mr. Pent makes â€“ that Doug Phillips is accountable. Based on this statement, it is easy to conclude Mr. Pent does not know Doug Phillips and, therefore, those in receipt of this letter should not take its writer seriously. In June 2004, the covenanting men of Boerne Christian Assembly (the church Doug supposedly shepherds) voted for Elders and Deacons. As recently as November 2005, Doug Phillips was conducting the business of Boerne Christian Assembly as the lone Elder, in contravention to Godâ€™s holy and infallible Word.
Besides Arnold Pentâ€™s lack of knowledge concerning Mr. Douglas Phillips, this same lone Elder masterminded, oversaw, and executed the excommunication of a covenanting family from Dougâ€™s Boerne Christian Assembly approximately one year ago. Doug, while acting as the lone Elder in this situation, relied on his wife to counsel the wife of the family in question, even though Beall Phillips had refused to speak to this woman for two years! Not only was the record of counseling read alound during the formal public discipline stage that preceded excommunication, Doug had one of his deacons read a history of the womanâ€™s pre-Christian behavior â€“ behavior God had forgiven the woman, but not Doug Phillips.
DISHONOR AND DISRESPECT
It is sad that Doug Phillips presumes to see a capability within himself that God reserves for Himself: Namely, whether a person has truly repented of past sin that occurred before God converted that individual to belief in Christ. The case in question is also perplexing because information exists that Doug and his wife were privy to a letter this woman had written her husband â€“ a letter in which she humbly asks for her husbandâ€™s forgiveness. Doug and his wife read this letter during the time Beall Phillips refused to speak with this woman and before the public humiliation of the woman. Additionally, Doug chose to speak in a dishonoring and disrespectful manner (publicly and privately) to this woman â€“ before excommunication â€“ a woman who is older than Doug, and whom Saint Paul admonishes Timothy to treat as a â€œmother.â€ Dougâ€™s behavior also contravenes the biblical command found in Leviticus 19:32, Romans 12:10, Philippians 2:3, 1 Peter 2:17 and, most importantly, 1 Timothy 5:1-2.
Lastly, despite any good Doug accomplishes, it is always necessary for each man and woman, boy and girl that claims Christ to remember one of the largest stumbling blocks to non-Christians: Christian hypocrisy. Doug would do well to reflect on this fact.