Does Jesus Want Us to Use Our Noggins?

Does Jesus Want Us to Use Our Noggins? Visionary Womanhood

Most of you missed this, but last week on the Visionary Womanhood Facebook page I linked to an article by World Net Daily about the Doug Phillip’s scandal. I didn’t make any comment—I merely linked to it. The responses were interesting. How about a little analysis?

Please note: we can’t know the motivations or the heart behind the women who wrote these comments. But we can address the actual words they wrote. Keep that in mind as you read. I actually had a very sweet private Facebook conversation with one of these ladies. She was very sincerely wondering about these things and was not trying to be contrary.

Nevertheless, I think Jesus gave us noggins so we could analyze stuff, so let’s begin by looking at the following comments:

I’m a Sinner, You’re a Sinner; Therefore, Let’s Ignore It.

People sin, we all do, and we need not forget it. I don’t think it’s our place to analyze the situation. Pray for all involved.

And a similar comment:

What’s the purpose in sharing this? Will it further the kingdom of God? I don’t like it more than anyone else, but prayer is what these folks need. Our family loved and followed this man and his ministry for years. We are deeply grieved at watching it unfold. I guess…I am no less a sinner.

The purpose in reading news articles and discussing them is so that we can be an informed, thinking Church. So we can engage the culture. So we can see blind spots and correct errors. So we can grow in humility. So we can see justice and mercy.

The purpose in sharing this particular, tragic story is to bring sin to light where it can no longer have a strangle hold on God’s children.

“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17.

There are thousands of people hiding in abusive situations. They are scared to DEATH that if they expose their abuser, they will topple little kingdoms (whether it be a ministry or a family). They are scared to DEATH that nobody will believe them. They are threatened by their abusers and, in some ways, by their churches, to keep their problems a secret in order to protect reputations and “bring glory to God.”

When we stand up for what is right and expose sin for what it is, we impart courage to those who are hiding in shame. We teach the world that we are God’s children who stand for righteousness and justice. We are humble. We admit we fall – and we take the just consequences of that, learn from it, and turn away from it in repentance. That is what brings God glory.

When we stick our heads in the sand and ignore it or make unthinking excuses for not looking at it like, “I’m a sinner too,” we are using humble sounding words, but we are not being truly humble. True humility is not afraid to face sin. It doesn’t run and hide. It is not angry and accusatory. It is broken. Broken.

It’s true we should pray. It’s true many of us loved Doug Phillips and his ministry. It’s true that many of us benefited from what we learned through him. It’s true we can grieve. But none of that negates reality. The reality is that Doug Phillips, by his own admission, has engaged in sexual sin and covered it up over the course of many years.

While teaching everyone else about purity.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1

He has defrauded thousands and thousands of families all over the world by teaching one thing and living another in secret.  And now he is taking the whole affair to the public courts instead of making restitution in private. That’s what makes this a public matter now, in case anyone is wondering.

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! 1 Cor. 6:1-8

The Demon of Gossip

Here’s another comment:

What this man may/ may not have done is no better/ worse than what we do/have done. His sins have been paid in the blood of Christ.Yes, justice should be served if a wrong has been done, but we need to undo the nails from the cross we r trying to crucify him on. He has repented. All is forgiven. I thank u for your heart in sharing this, but beware the demon of GOSSIP is not far behind this article.

First of all, the Bible doesn’t mention a specific demon of gossip. Secondly, reading news stories about public figures does not equate to crucifixion. Just sayin’. This comment is another attempt to sweep the whole thing under the rug and ignore it. We could say this about any sin. “Well, what he/she does is no better than what I do. It’s all paid for. Live and let live. Forgive and forget.

God doesn’t talk about sin that way, and neither should we. Sin isn’t trivial. We don’t sniff at it and turn away with a shrug. Sin destroys lives, families, and churches. It’s dead serious business.

Gossip, by the way, is this: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. This news story doesn’t fall into that category.

This commenter claims to know that Doug has repented and all is forgiven. And wouldn’t that be peachy if it were true? In a perfect world, we’d all love to believe that and move on. But a public court case with both sides fighting doesn’t sound like repentance or forgiveness to me. The whole point of the article was to demonstrate that.

Christians, of all people, should not turn a blind eye to impropriety. God doesn’t. To call a careful analysis of public sin “gossip” is silly. If we don’t talk about it, the world will, and they will know we are a bunch of imbeciles for smiling piously in the face of vile behavior.

I’ve saved my FAVORITE comment for tomorrow. It’s a doozy and deserves an entire blog post all to itself.

But Before I Go…

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Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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6 thoughts on “Does Jesus Want Us to Use Our Noggins?

  1. FINALLY, a post about this topic I can respect! I’ve been watching the tragedy of the DP controversy very closely over the last 6 months and it has not been comforting in any way to see MAJOR christian patriarchs and teachers sweep this horrific scandal under the rug in the declaration of “GOSSIP!” But even WORSE has been the victim-shaming I’ve seen by these major players in the patriarchy/homeschool movement. It has opened my eyes in many ways to the agenda of several of these movements, and frankly, I’m severely disappointed, if not disgusted by the men AND WOMEN who have spoken out against the/any victims of sexual abuse. It’s become quite obvious that the victim in many situations like this is shamed as the one who “brought down the leader” and that “she’s nothing more than a lying gold-digger” who is only now speaking out. I’ve even seen comparisons of “Jezebel,” “Delilah” and “Foxy Bubbles the stripper.” I’m still trying to digest this all. I don’t know all the details, NONE of us do. But, I’m ready to call abuse “Abuse” and in the meanwhile, pray diligently for all involved. Particularly the children in this family. God help them.

  2. As a woman in an emotionally/verbally abusive marriage I can attest to the fact that it can take years before a victim goes forward, especially in a situation where hyper-patriarchy is adhered to.
    A victim in this situation will very likely here all kinds of statements about her heart for God, her own sin, her own disobedience to the powers that be etc. etc. etc. She will often be condemned by the perpetrator as not being godly enough, not being submissive enough, not be anything they choose enough. This is the often way of a manipulator, narcissist, self centered man.

    I can only imagine the pain & despair she dealt with all those years. To have a trusted friend, mentor, pastor, victimize her in this way is reprehensible.
    Forgivable? Absolutely.
    Forget-able? Maybe in time.
    Ignorable? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    The church must stand together & hold men accountable for their sins against women. The church must lead the way in showing the world that women are worthy of respect, love & do not exist just for the sexual pleasure of men. Men must stop treating woman as objects for their own gratification.
    If we continue to sweep this type of behavior under the rug we are telling the men in our churches to keep at it as long as you hide it well.

    I say expose & shed light on sin. We do not need to engage in gossip, but gossip in my mind is a totally different animal. Talking about & analyzing facts that are now public information is not gossip, it is discerning what is good, right & pure.

    When good, godly, women are encouraging others to ignore, push it aside I can’t help but think they are part of the problem as well.

    We have been brainwashed into thinking its a mans world & I just don’t see this in scripture. What we need is for strong, godly, courageous women to start saying enough is enough.

    This whole scandal has me sickened and personally questioning so much of the hyper-patriacrhy that we as a family followed. God was opening my eyes to many things already & then this happened. I feel so duped by the whole DP mess. My husband was a follower & used this to support his position of extreme dominance & headship etc.

    I feel truly sorry for his family, I feel truly sorry for him. I know he is forgivable. I know that God can redeem all.
    I pray that this is a catalyst for change in the beliefs within some of these groups that adhere to cult like hyper-patriarchy that they may seek & reexamine what it is that God truly wants of them.

    • When good, godly, women are encouraging others to ignore, push it aside I can’t help but think they are part of the problem as well” WELL SAID. Amen. I love this whole comment – excellent thoughts. Thank you for writing.

  3. Natalie,
    I wanted to say something helpful, but find myself examining why I am so excruciatingly ticked off with the man and his ministry (and have been for some years) even absent his private behavior…..which as a leader is public sin.
    Pride has no place in Christian leadership.
    We are too quick to think that the “gift of leadership” means the ability to gather and motivate large crowds.
    We are also too quick to look for earthly messiahs.
    We are too quick to act “for the sake of the ministry” (protecting the guilty) and too slow to act “for the sake of Christ”, that is fearlessly, justly and humbly (defending the injured).
    We do have a duty to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness.
    We do not have a duty to dwell on them.
    The thing that I found positive in all of this, is that an awful lot of the men I saw as “yes men” surrounding DP, have NOT protected him. Some willingly exposed the issue, some confronted, and some left off working with him when, having been confronted, he did not leave off his public ministry. (Some were not that brave, true). There are also families examining and reevaluating what the Biblical family looks like (It looks like laying ones life down for another – messy but good) That is a good thing too.