Why Evangelical and Reformed gnostics hate Doug Wilson, RCJR, and Doug Phillips...

One longtime friend of Baylyblog commented under Pastor Wegener's post, "What's up with the Aquilla report...". First quoting another's criticism of Doug Phillips, Ross followed with his own question:

//Maybe because Doug Phillips was a legalist who majored in minors and encouraged people to live by an increasingly strict set of man made rules?//

With an eye to the reputation Bill Gothard got for himself, is this comment about Doug and the Vision Forum ministry a fair one? (I don't know, honest).

To which I respond:

Ross, the other thing worth saying about Doug Phillips, RCJR, and Doug Wilson—the three patriarchalists that female feminists claiming to be Christians live to gossip about and spit on—is that, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

But let's change this slightly: in the land of blind Reformed Evangelicals, the one-eyed man is a monster. Evangelicals, Reformed or otherwise, hate any man who has faith, particularly when that faith is demonstrated in the most earthy and organic matters of sexual body parts and what we do or don't do with them.

Because Reformed Evangelicals are gnostic, we refuse to be pinned down with anything except words—and even those confessional words have no visible content... They're just vain repetitions: "God's decrees," "God's Providence," "God's Sovereignty;" and always and perpetually, "justification by grace alone through faith alone."

Contrary to our confessions, though, that faith is always by itself. There's never any obedience.

Then along come three men who, with the joyful support of their godly wives, call us to live God's decrees, trusting in His providence and submitting joyfully to His sovereignty in making one man/adam (Hebrew 'adam' is God's name for the race, both men and women) a man and another man/adam a woman, in commanding us to be fruitful and multiply while Himself opening and closing wombs; and in the land of the blind, all Hell cuts loose.

There's little that Reformed gnostic Evangelicals hate more than men who live by faith in the flesh and blood matters of sexuality, and that's the reason they attack Doug, RCJR, and Doug.

But I say, "God bless them."

Privately, my own church and blood family know I am diffident about the family-centered church movement most closely identified with Doug Phillips. I'd prefer we talk about the church-centered family (which I did recently at the WPC's Heritage Conference in Vancouver, Washington.) Also, I've always felt a bit of an ick-factor over the cloying graphics of Vision Forum.

But note these are not the things Doug Phillips has been attacked for over the years. Overwhelmingly, what he and RCJR and Doug Wilson are attacked for is their straightforward and unapologetic commitment to 2,000 years of Biblical faithfulness in giving our sexuality to God as our confession of true Christian faith. They are attacked for being shepherds who call Christian men to take responsibility for women and children, who call Christian women to give themselves to motherhood, who call Christian children to honor their fathers and mothers, and who call all Christians everywhere to honor their elderly parents by having them live in our homes where we love and care for them until death. You know, no Corban stuff for us.

Rabid feminists claim to be Biblical, but by their fruitlessness we shall know them. They viciously attack these men for their "militant fecundity," for instance. (See former PCA Moderator Dominic Aquilla's promotion of such feminists in this headline from his Aquilla Report concerning Doug Phillip's adultery:

"Thinking Thoughtfully About Doug Phillips’ Resignation: It is past time to challenge the church to clearly examine the teachings within the patriarchy, family integrated church, and militant fecundity movements and warn each other of their dangers" by Karen Campbell

That phrase "militant fecundity" demonstrates perfect godlessness at the most important juncture of faith and life. No previous generation of God's Covenant People would or could have understood such a phrase, but today it appeals to all the Reformed Evangelical gnostic Christians who claim to be confessional while loving money and status and education and hating God.

(NOTE FROM TB: A brother in Christ just sent me a message telling me that it was Doug Phillips who quoted Scott Brown's use of the phrase "militant fecundity." I insert that information here, but haven't changed what I've written above because it would not make this correction as clear if I did. So I apologize to Dominic Aquila and Karen Campbell for not accurately identifying the source of this phrase, and specifically that the source is not those writing and editing the Aquilla Report, but Doug Phillips himself. PS: I have searched Scott Brown's web site and find that "militant fecundity" is simply a title Scott gave to a post providing a link to another blogger's post on fruitfulness.)

So, as I said, Doug Phillips and RCJR and Doug Wilson are one-eyed men in their fairly tepid affirmations of God's Creation Order of Adam first, then Eve; and God's oft-repeated command that we "be fruitful and multiply," "fill the earth," and "propagate a godly seed" for Him. I say "fairly tepid" because that's what their writing and speaking is compared with past generations of Christian fathers addressing these issues. I don't say it to diss any one of the three of them. I honor them for having the faith to be fairly tepid in such a wicked day and age when faithless feminists committed to rebellion and fruitlessness will attack them and their dear wives for their "militant fecundity." 

As I said, in the land of the blind, Reformed and gnostic Evangelicals will call the one-eyed men "monsters."

As for Bill Gothard, he was child-rearing for engineers and engineers converted through Campus Crusade ministries were helped by his teaching. Linear—very, very linear. Engineers are great when I'm in an elevator or driving across a bridge, but I'm very grateful to God I didn't grow up with an engineer for a father. Unless, of course, it was a railroad engineer! Then I would have been able to sneak onto a locomotive and drive it!

Having said all the above, I'm very sorry that Doug Phillips fell and seduced a woman into adultery. He made a shipwreck of his faith and ministry and now must seek repentance from the Holy Spirit and spend the rest of his life working hard to rebuild his marriage and family, also praying for the others whose homes and families he's destroyed. This is very sad and we pray for our dear bother, doing so knowing how easy it is to fall and how much each of us has to be thanful to God for that we've not fallen as Doug has.

Really though, sad as it is, this is a very old story. Remember King David bedding Bathsheba and then murdering her husband? Remember that David repented and God called him "a man after God's Own heart?" Remember the terrible consequences in David's life, starting with God killing the firstborn child of David and Bathsheba's adultery? Remember their next son was chosen by God to succeed David?

Well, long response to a very short question, but those are my thoughts. All of us should praise God for the godly work that's been done by the half-hearted patriarchalists of our day calling us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to our God, which is our reasonable act of worship.

Our bodies.


Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


Thank you. Very well said.

"But note these are not the things Doug Phillips has been attacked for over the years. Overwhelmingly, what he and RCJR and Doug Wilson are attacked for is their straightforward and unapologetic commitment to 2,000 years of Biblical faithfulness in giving our sexuality to God as our confession of true Christian faith."

Yes! This is why, with reservations about Vision Forum much like yours, and possibly more strongly felt, I have always tried to stay far off the anti-Phillips bandwagon, except in very small circles made up of people with very similar views to mine. I saw no real need to engage in belligerence in that direction, and all the less so because of the co-belligerents one would be identified with.

Amen. All the way through.

Amen, but I've got to note that, being not that impressed with Gossard's work, I must be a defective engineer.  :^) 

One thing that comes to mind regarding many of those attacking Philips is that--being interested in what he did if not entirely convinced of his arguments--they do tend to jettison certain things when they become inconvenient, theologically speaking.  The debate does not have a common ground for argument--that of the Scriptures--because one side has deliberately abandoned it.

I know RCjr personally and I can't say I hate him. I also know Doug Wilson. I don't hate him as a person, but he denies justification by faith and calls himself "Reformed." So I certainly hate him as a schismatic and divisive heretic. Since the Baylys are oath-bound to the Westminister Standards, they should do likewise.

Dear Mr. Packard,

Nowhere do the Westminster Standards say, “Thou shalt condemn Doug Wilson.” If he denied justification by faith, we’d condemn him. Your stating that he does, doesn’t magically make it so. He doesn’t.

Thus, actually, we are oath-bound to defend his good name by said Westminster Standards.

Thank you for this, Mr. Bayly. I appreciate your humble, discerning, bold, gracious, and wise words on this subject.

Correction to my comment #3; it's Gothard's work, not Gossard's, that I'm not particularly impressed by, and my interaction with anti-Philips blogs (reading but not posting ) is due to MY interest in Philips' work.  My apologies for the lack of clarity!

And I've never seen anything by Wilson or Philips which would amount to their rejection of sola fide. 

Thanx for the feedback. I think that a discussion about 'man-made rules' would be a useful one to have, although not at the moment or in the current context.

Joseph Bayly: So the Federal Vision controversy never happened?

>>So the Federal Vision controversy never happened?

Dear Mr. Packard, permit me to insert myself as a correspondent, answering that if the PCA can't find anyone in particular guilty of any Federal Vision heresy, you're absolutely right. The Federal Vision controversy never happened. Which is to say, if the oatmeal stout F-V of men like Peter Leithart and Jeff Myers is actually orthodox according to the judgments of both their presbyteries and the SJC, how on earth can anyone question the pale ale F-V of Doug Wilson?


The angle the feministic people are taking on the Doug Phillips scandal is also illogical.  Here we have a  man who is a family-centric extremist.  If he were accused of keeping his kids locked in the basement or something, that could be blamed on being family-centric. But he has had an extramarital affair. That's the opposite of family-centric.  Presumably if he were less family-centric  and thought marriage, family, roles of husband and wife were less important, he'd have MORE affairs, not less. 

     Another thing that's noteworthy here is that it's being handled right. He has confessed to the world and stepped down from his ministry positions. That doesn't always happen. Any Calvinist has to believe that there's major sin in every church and ministry, so it says good things about the ministry (if not the individual) if we see it brought to light instead of hushed up or excused. 

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. 

"Evangelicals, Reformed or otherwise, hate any man who has faith, particularly when that faith is demonstrated in the most earthy and organic matters of sexual body parts and what we do or don't do with them."

"There's little that Reformed gnostic Evangelicals hate more than men who live by faith in the flesh and blood matters of sexuality, and that's the reason they attack Doug, RCJR, and Doug."

I have to believe that RC Jr and Doug Wilson would be cringing over your tossing them in the same category with the now notorious Doug Phillips. No doubt King David too would cringe at your comparisons.

[NOTE FROM TB: I have removed a link to a post that makes a number of allegations against Doug Phillips we are not in a position to evaluate. Further, the above post is not intended to be a defense of Doug Phillips, but rather an explanation of the vitriol these three men have suffered for a number of years, now. As I pointed out above, the differences between these men have been quite visible to anyone watching.]

Eric I think you need to get a little up to date on the story. Doug is not repentive so has been stated by Peter Bradrick on his facebook statements(you might want to take a look as he made them available to the public). Dr. Joe Morecraft wrote his agreement with Peter's assessement as did other men who are on the inside of this mess.

Sarah, that's a good recommendation. The problem is that Tim has already made it clear that he's not going to get up to speed. That's how you should interpret "not in a position to evaluate." It was the same tune Stacy McDonald was whistling about Doug Phillips just up until a few days ago. After speaking to Peter Bradrick she's changed her tune. Based on my observations of Tim Bayly (liberal deletions of links and comments, etc.), I'm confident he'll keep his head firmly buried in the sand for months to come on these Doug Phillips sex scandals.

You're missing the irony. Aren't the feminists critics doing exactly what Wilson has done for years - - demonizing people in their blogs while making themselves unaccountable to anyone? Both groups are rebels.

Dear Jason,

First, Doug Wilson doesn't demonize people, and only rarely criticizes them. He argues with them.

Postmodern men have a terribly difficult time seeing this distinction. To a narcissist, every single thing is personal.

Second, Doug has never sought to avoid accountability. Regularly he offers to meet with those publicly opposing him, to answer their charges. He would have been happy to meet with Lig Duncan and his committee. More than once he's publicly offered to meet with that man down at Escondido who flames out now and then. There are others he's sought to answer.

After three decades of membership in PC(USA) and PCA presbyteries, it's my considered opinion that Doug has had more accountability in the CREC than he'd ever have had in either of these two larger Presbyterian denominations. I've attended meetings of CREC presbyteries and their national judicatory and seen accountability far beyond anything I've ever seen in either the PC(USA) or the PCA—and this particularly in the all-important matters of pastoral faithfulness.

The CREC has been inspiring to me precisely at the point where you claim otherwise. Meanwhile, I've been very disappointed in the unwillingness of PCA presbyteries to apply their national commitments on the local personal presbytery level.

Over the next few years, I expect to see more work of correction within the CREC for those tending toward the sacramentalist/Lutheran error than I could ever hope for in the PCA.


Sarah, thank you for pointing me towards more info on Doug Phillips. I just returned to this blog entry and saw your comment. I haven't been following Doug Phillips at all. I think you're wrong, though, in how you interpret the Bradrick and Morehouse comments. I looked around and found this blog post, very biased against Doug Phillips because of his work but which has the relevant, very short, Bradrick comment. It appears that in November 2013 Bradrick said
What for us was a tender, emotional, mission of mercy and plea for true repentance was met with something, and by someone I never could have imagined. Instead of being received as the “wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6), I was formally disowned and declared to be a “destroyer” to my face.

But he seems to be talking about a particular meeting which must have occurred months earlier, probably in 2013 when the scandal broke. I wouldn't be surprised if Phillips lost his temper at first. Repentance usually takes some time, especially for proud men. Remember, "metanoia" means "change" in Greek. Phillips's November 2014 statement sounds repentant to me. http://www.visionforumministries.org/ In fact, the whole thing looks like an organization that has responded unusually well to the sins of its dominant figure. It's not good that Phillips sinned, but the fact that the organization was willing to let itself die rather than cover up the sin is impressive, and his November 2014 statement is rare in its frankness.

Now that this thread has been revived...

I appreciate your comment about "these are not the things Doug Phillips has been attacked for over the years". My main problem with Doug Phillips was that he was the pope of his own house denomination. And so my reaction to the scandal was "I told you so—that’s what you get when you reject presbyterianism." But - the Torres lawsuit notwithstanding - it's very hard to see how Phillips' actions were consistent with patriarchy. After all, it has this very pronounced emphasis on faithfulness within marriage - surely Phillips' was (simply?) failing to practice what he preached.

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