Doug Phillips has resigned from Vision Forum. He has cancelled his public speaking engagements as well. Doug has been one of the most influential voices in the home-schooling movement, and what some refer to as the patriarchy movement. One can hardly find a home-schooling family that doesn’t have one or a thousand items produced from Vision Forum. At this stage, the Christian Church has an opportunity to grieve over his sin, and trust that Doug’s elders are taking proper steps to restore the brokenness caused by Phillips’ sin. But we have also to accept his repentance as a genuine expression of a man who is deeply committed to his Lord.
I should add that unlike the half-hearted letters of public apologies we have become accustomed to in this politically-correct age, Phillips’ letter puts those to shame. May God bring daily repentance and restoration to Doug Phillips and special comfort to those whom he has deeply offended and grieved–his wife and children.
I believe that every public sin is reason for self-examination. Here are some questions for us to ponder as men:
How committed are we to our wives? What are we doing to foster a greater relationship with our wives?
How do we relate to other women?
How quickly do we deal with our sins? How often do we repent?
What do we do when we are found out? Self-pity? Self-justification?
What are we doing to prevent a similar situation from happening? What kind of accountability do we have? Do we think we are too strong, and therefore not in need of accountability?
What are we doing to protect ourselves from pornography and other images that defile our minds?
Doug Phillips’ Letter of Resignation:
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.
There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness. I thought too highly of myself and behaved without proper accountability. I have acted grievously before the Lord, in a destructive manner hypocritical of life messages I hold dear, inappropriate for a leader, abusive of the trust that I was given, and hurtful to family and friends. My church leadership came alongside me with love and admonition, providing counsel, strong direction and accountability. Where I have directly wronged others, I confessed and repented. I am still in the process of trying to seek reconciliation privately with people I have injured, and to be aware of ways in which my own selfishness has hurt family and friends. I am most sensitive to the fact that my actions have dishonored the living God and been shameful to the name of Jesus Christ, my only hope and Savior.
This is a time when my repentance needs to be proven, and I need to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, not a ministry leader. Though I am broken over my failures, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my family, nurturing my wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life. So, for these reasons I want to let my friends know that I have stepped down as a board member and as president of Vision Forum Ministries. The Board will be making provision for the management of the ministry during this time. To the friends of this ministry, I ask for your forgiveness, and hope that you will pray for the Phillips family at this time, and for the men who will be responsible for shepherding the work of Vision Forum Ministries in the future. Doug Phillips