Disgraced Homeschool Leader Doug Phillips Excommunicated from Church He Founded

( [email protected] ) Nov 25, 2014 03:09 PM EST
Doug Phillips, the former President of Vision Forum Ministries who fell from grace after admitting to an extramarital affair with an unmarried woman, has been excommunicated from the church he helped found.
Doug Phillips resigned from the President of Vision Forum Ministries in Nov. 2013

Doug Phillips, the disgraced former president of Vision Forum Ministries, has been excommunicated from the church he founded.

Earlier this week, leaders of Boerne Christian Assembly in Waring, Texas, announced their decision in a statement released on the church's website.

"After much prayer and careful deliberation, and having fully communicated to Doug Phillips his Biblical responsibilities and our concerns, regarding sins, arising out of his public confession, there has not been a response we deem satisfactory. Therefore, the Elders of Boerne Christian Assembly have moved to excommunicate Doug Phillips from the Body of Christ. In doing so, we have sought in good faith to follow diligently the process set forth by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:15-17. This has been a process in which BCA has demonstrated great longsuffering and patience, has offered many and earnest appeals, and has sought much counsel from men of other churches."

Phillips' wife, Beall, posted a lengthy response to the church's announcement on her Facebook page contesting the church's actions.

"BCA's statement has nothing to do with biblical love, with legitimate church authority, with truth, or with the Gospel," she wrote.

"I believe it has everything to do with self interest, fear, and a mess of conflicts of interest, many related to a lawsuit."

She also noted that her husband is "not able to respond by direction of legal counsel."

Doug Phillips was formerly a leader in the Christian homeschool world and an advocate of "Biblical patriarchy," a belief which observes strict gender roles in which men have authority over women. Last fall, Phillips confessed to an extramarital affair with Lourdes Torres, the family's nanny, and stepped down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. Shortly after, he resigned from Boerne Christian Assembly, where he served as an elder.

Ugly legal battles subsequently ensued after Torres, 29, claimed Phillips "methodically groomed" and made unwanted sexual contact with her after serving as an authority figure in her life.

The lawsuit asserts that "Ms. Torres did not tell anyone about [Phillips'] conduct because he manipulated her into believing that it would ruin his reputation, destroy his ministry and get her in trouble with the church."

However, Phillips continues to deny the allegations, calling them "sensationalist" and suggesting that they are motivated by a desire for financial gain. He has also argued that the relationship was consensual and "often initiated, encouraged and aggressively perpetuated by Ms. Torres" and has challenged her credibility and the legal basis for her claims.

Pastor David Murray, author of "Jesus On Every Page," says the downfall of Doug should primarily serve as a serious warning for Christians to stand guard against sin.

"[The devil] attacks the strengths of Christian leaders, the areas they've built ministries upon, the moral and spiritual qualities they are best known for promoting," he writes.

"[The Doug Phillips saga is] a warning to us all, especially to those of us who have leadership roles in the church, and especially in the areas we are strongest and most vocal on. 'Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12).''