Welcome to my new blog visitors. This has been a really high traffic post for me, with nearly 3,000 page views from November 1-12 and a total of over 7,000 by the end of May. There is a follow-up post linked at the bottom. Also, Vision Forum's non-profit ministry and profit-making business have since closed.
Yesterday, the Christian blogosphere was abuzz with the news that Doug Phillips, founder of Vision Forum, had stepped down from his ministry responsibilities due to a lengthy inappropriate romantic relationship with a woman other than his wife. The news saddens me, but doubly so because this ministry and others associated with it had set themselves as the standard of how to have "godly Christian families." Unfortunately, because of spiritual abuse, legalism, racism and chauvinism at the core (in my opinion and that of many others), they have ended up destroying many of the families they sought to instruct. It is true that I used to admire them and buy their books. I got sucked in out of a desire to do things right in my family. Since then, I've had to dig out of the damage that I caused or allowed in my ignorance. I have already apologized to my own children, but to others whom I led into this mindset through my encouragements and endorsements, my sincerest apologies are due.
And now, years later, what a tragic blow to the family of one of Vision Forum's own leaders. My heartfelt prayers are with them, especially his wife and children.
As I lay in bed in the dark and quiet of the morning, I thought about what went wrong. I couldn't help but wonder if Vision Forum lost its focus -- if they put their vision on the wrong thing.
You see, when it's all about....
... then it's time to "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace."
- Roles and rules instead of love and liberty
- The system instead of the Savior
- Following Pharisees instead of following Fairest Lord Jesus
- Controlling others instead of controlling yourself
- The earthly father instead of the Heavenly Father
- Silencing and shaming instead of giving voice to the victims
- Intimidation instead of inspiration
- Authoritarian dogma instead of authentic dignity
There are many more articles on the web that you can Google. I'm sure you'll get quite an education.
I'd also like to share some of the other posts in my Gender & Authority series.
- Manifesto of Liberty and Responsibility in Christian Families
- My History in the Conservative Quiverfull Home Schooling Movement: An Introduction to the Gender and Authority Series
- Web Links about Parenting with Grace Instead of Authoritarian Legalism
- Women's Voices Rising
- Dignity, Decisions, and Liberty of Conscience
P.S. in April 2014: At the top of this post, I mentioned that I would be writing a follow-up. Now there is a lawsuit and a flurry of posts on other sites. Here is mine: On Patriarchy, Scandal, Abuse... and Grace.
Grace and peace,