With heavy and bothered hearts, yesterday Brenda and I both read the following statement:
(Source: http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/news_and_reports/the_closing_of_vision_forum_mi.aspx, accessed November 12, 2013.)
As for the resignation and serious sin(s) of Mr. Phillips, he explains in his own words:
(Source: http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/news_and_reports/statement_of_resignation.aspx, accessed November 12, 2013.)
Over the years, our family has gleaned much from Vision Forum Ministries and its companion for-profit arm, Vision Forum, Inc. Every year, we excitedly received its annual catalog in the mail and browsed the pages while taking in the latest devotional, educational, and recreational material. Our son Isaac was most interested in the play weaponry and adventure apparatus. At our annual home school convention, the Vision Forum booth was one of our favorite destinations. We were so positively affected by the ministry that we contributed to it. After Isaac’s death, we even directed memorial contributions to be made to Vision Forum.
There is some chatter and speculation on the Internet about the specifics of Doug’s infidelity, which have not been publicly disclosed. Personally, I make no excuse or apology for his sin(s). He is responsible for himself and accountable to God and his family. I hope that he is sincerely repentant and, after some time, his family can be reconciled and a testimony of God’s mercy and restorative power.
This is evidence of how one man’s sin can impact so many people. There is no such thing as private sin, for you can “be sure your sin will find you out.” (Num 32:23)
You see, I have some taste of where Doug is now. I too dishonored my God, wife, and family through sexual sin. I felt God’s heavy hand of conviction upon me, which pushed me to confession and repentance. I’ve experienced the amazing grace and supernatural forgiveness from my God and my wife. I know that my sin is taken away and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I believe that Doug and his family can be restored and glorious for God.
However, it will come with a great price. Doug’s testimony for Christ is tarnished and his work in the name of the Lord is all but destroyed. Doug and Beall’s marriage will never be the same. Even though there can be forgiveness, restoration, and renewed wholeness, there will always be a scar from the wound of this betrayal of trust.
So men, it is vitally important that we guard our hearts. I cannot stress this enough. Take every Godly measure necessary to protect your purity. If you must, flee from sexual temptation. Proverbs 7 warns about not even going near the vicinity of the seductive woman. As a safeguard, put Internet filtering protection on your electronic devices (we’ve recently downloaded and implemented K9 Web Protection software recommended by Steve and Teri Maxwell – read their recent article here). Pray to God that he will give you the proper heart towards members of the opposite sex. And finally, but most importantly, stay near to the cross of Christ. Do not be overconfident in your own strength:
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1Co 10:12-14)
Finally, please pray for the Phillips’ family. Some are speculating about the nature of Doug’s sin and tearing him down. I don’t want to see a fellow brother’s name dragged through the mud. Yes, what he did was extremely wrong and very disappointing. He deserves to be confronted with his sin. But, if he is truly repentant, let us admonish and encourage him in a spirit of restoration. I follow these scriptures as my model for this perspective and course of action:
But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2Co 2:5-11)
Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. (Pro 24:15-18)