Dec 11, 2006

Get a Life?

This is in reply to Get a Life (comment on Ministry Watchman): If you were falsely accused and not charged with anything specific, yet told that your soul was in peril until you repented, and tried to reconcile for two years, would you just get a life? If your reputation was so tarnished, when you had tried harder than probably any wife you know, to the extent that all your friends now turn their backs on you and your children even in public, would you just get a life? If you knew the truth about someone and that person was leaving a trail of hurt all over the world, and you were the only one who could warn others of this potential threat, would you just get a life? If you were "imprisoned" for years with no charges, false accusations, and no trial, would you just get a life?

I have a responsibility before God and man in this situation. If it was just me, or even just my family and me, that were affected by Doug Phillips, I would forgive and "get a life." I have forgiven Doug, but that does NOT relieve him of his responsibility to repent. I know of many people who have been hurt by Doug personally and some by his teachings. My story is not unique and therefore I have a responsibility to warn others who might be swayed by his very charismatic personality.

I want to make it very clear that I bear no ill will toward Doug and Beall or anyone at BCA. I have years of fond memories with everyone there, although there were some difficult times as well. I am not a quitter. When the going gets tough, I will do everything possible to work through the situation. You can verify that by knowing that I did more than was even asked to be a joyful, submissive wife to an extremely angry husband for 15 years, off and on. I did not quit, even though many Christians counseled me to leave him. I am reaping the fruit of those 15 years of hard labor now, and I am very grateful for a husband who dearly loves the Lord now and has since repented.

At BCA, each man signed a covenant of membership. Somehow this bound the whole family. Doug is very open about how he feels regarding "covenant" and feels that a church "covenant" is a lifelong commitment, just like marriage should be. I believe you already know this, though, Get a Life, because you are in the community. Ask some of the people who tried to leave BCA how easy it was to leave. You already know who I'm talking about – and there's plenty of those folks. We had 25 families leave in less than two years. With only just over 20 families left, that should tell you something.

You also know as well as I do that the churches in the community are vastly different from your mainline churches. Most people cannot just pick up and go to another church. Those who did leave usually went to another church in the community because their values were in line with that particular church. Tight-knit community. It's hard to change, and Doug wouldn't let anyone go easily.

Even so, we could have left, probably, but where would we go? Where would anyone who currently attends BCA go, if they left? You know as well as I do, how many families in the "community" are desperate to find a place to go. In a way, I don't fault those at BCA who didn't stand up for me. They would have risked too much – their own reputation, their jobs, church, fellowship. You know it's true.

What am I looking for? My goal is, and always has been, to warn others of danger. We have previously considered moving to other "communities," and were extremely grateful to people like the Austins who warned the Reformed community about RC, Jr. and his crew. RC isn't the only one who has whole families pick up and move to be by him. I am here to warn others that something similar could happen to them if they follow a man and his teachings, especially if they don't know what he's really like. I am sending out a warning signal. It is not my responsibility for how people respond to the news, but I am carrying the message. If justice were to be served, if Doug Phillips and those involved were to see their sin in not protecting me, in falsely accusing me, in so many areas, if they actually repent, then that would merely be a bonus for me, but it would still serve my main purpose – to protect others. For, if Doug repents, truly repents, it would follow that his abusive ways would take a 180 degree turn as well. It would be a win, win situation for his followers as well.

This situation has not consumed my life, so I would say that I have already gotten on in life. I will not dwell in the past, but I have a responsibility to fulfill and I shall do my best to bring that to completion. My life is very full with many things, and I do not live in the past. I was not willing to share my story until I knew there was full forgiveness in my heart and that I could proceed with NO bitterness, NO spirit of revenge, and a true desire to only warn others of danger. If you are on the "in" with Doug, you may not understand this, because he is a great guy with his friends, but remember that you were warned if you ever cross him. My heart actually aches for Doug and Beall; we gave them so many chances. I pray for them every day.


TheIronHare said...

Jen and Mark,

I'd just like to take the opportunity to publicly offer my support. As one of the people abused by R.C. Sproul "Jr." and his crew I have sought to do as you are doing in regard to BCA ("Belligerent Cult of Authoritarianism" fits). I moved over two thousand miles and wasn't the person who moved the farthest to attend Saint Peter! People need to be warned. We have an obligation. I hate the thought of anyone having to go through what you and the Austins and I went through when it could have been prevented. May God continue to strengthen and encourage you both. - Dennis

Anonymous said...

Your'e NOT the only one with this story. I'm not going to get into it in order to protect certain people, but I have seen firsthand the abuse that comes from the teachings of Patriarchy, how it is actually applied. It is nowhere near Biblical. I am indeed praying that this issue can be resolved. God is a big God... nothing is impossible with Him, even tearing down the walls of pride and self-deceit in man's heart.