By Jen Epstein. Originally posted on Jen’s Gems.
Doug Phillips is responding to some of the questions many people have been asking, but without really saying much of anything:
by Douglas Phillips, Esq., November 14, 2013
I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received. With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice. This is heartbreaking to me. Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of my sin. Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years. The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance. Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries.
I want to be clear on my own part that I am NOT Doug Phillips’ enemy. I want God’s best for him and his family, which is why I am here. Sometimes tough love is necessary, and that is the kind of love I have toward Doug right now.
I also want to be clear that I am in no way rejoicing over this. What has happened has not only sent ripples throughout the “community,” and has affected the larger Christian homeschooling communities, but leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who are looking in from the outside as well. While I believe that Doug Phillips is reaping what he has sown, it brings me no joy whatsoever. I would much rather that he would have repented years ago when his sins and the consequences would have been smaller. But, they still continue to grow. And I still see no true repentance on Doug Phillips’ part.
Doug Phillips states his resignation is sincere and necessary. Of course it was necessary, but how can you have an insincere resignation? Did he really think through his words here? Did he mean that his repentance was sincere, but he was so focused on the devastation of his resignation that he said “resignation” accidentally? Or does he expect us to think better of him because he states that his resignation was sincere? Yes, the board “sincerely” forced Doug Phillips to step down!
I do agree with Doug that we should not be speculating on the specifics of what has happened. I sincerely believe that this woman should be the one to come forward and tell her story. It is no one’s business to postulate certain things about her that are not true. Speaking from experience, I know that the best thing I ever did was to come out and tell my side of the story here, admitting to my part and my sins, as well as telling the facts of the story. I hope this young woman will do the same. It will free her from the guilt and shame that she is unnecessarily bringing upon herself right now. I know that she will be amazed by the support and help that many, many others are willing to show her, that she will know the freedom of not having to live in “hiding,” and that she will be able to begin healing.
This “clarification” from Doug Phillips simply confirms that I still see no true repentance and that this is a slick political move that sets him up for a season of “repentance” before he makes a big comeback in a year or two. When Doug Phillips rights the wrongs he has committed against dozens and dozens of people, as well as this other woman, his wife and family, then I will begin listening to his words of repentance.