Vision Forum Ministries Closing

Vision Forum Ministries Closing November 11, 2013

by Suzanne Calulu cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape

Today it was announced on Vision Forum Ministries site that in light of the Doug Phillips scandal that the ministry would be locking the doors and shuttering the building. They are completely shutting down. Here’s what they’ve posted on the Vision Forum Ministries site.

The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries

In light of the serious sins which have resulted in Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of all involved to discontinue operations. We have stopped receiving donations, and are working through the logistical matters associated with the closing of the ministry. While we believe as strongly as ever in the message of the ministry to the Christian family, we are grieved to find it necessary to make this decision. We believe this to be the best option for the healing of all involved and the only course of action under the circumstances.

Say what?

My first reaction upon hearing the news was ‘oh holy *expletive*’ Could not believe it, First Baptist Church and Hyles-Anderson College didn’t close when either Jack Hyles or Jack Schaap were outed as adulterers. Jimmy Swaggart has been caught with nasty cheapo hookers more than once and he’s still on the air touting his special blessed Bibles and other religious geegaws as it only ever temporarily slowed him down. Oh Lawd, oh how the money still rolls in!

I could just be engaging in idle speculation but this makes whatever it was that Mr. Phillips did or didn’t do much worse than his published confession on the website of ’emotional infidelity’. VF has stopped taking ministry donations. When the money stops rolling in it sounds like something more serious. Could be there were other improprieties going on that haven’t hit the press yet.

If I were a betting woman I would say it’s likely some financial ‘situation’ has taken place and someone is nosing around the ministry’s books. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Wonder what the staff at VF is going to do? The loss of jobs has to be heartbreaking to those staff members that believed they were helping do the Lord’s work, had nothing to do with the scandal and are now facing unemployment at a time when the government has made serious curtailments to unemployment, food stamps and other assistance programs. They are being punished and have done nothing to deserve it.

Mrs. Doug Phillips and assorted little Phillips are being punished by no fault of their own.

But the ones I feel the worst for are the thousands nationwide that supported this ministry financially. They’ve been fleeced for years by someone that cannot even practice the same things he insists on from everyone else.

There’s nothing that hurts more than finding your dreams turned to ashes and everything you’ve believed in isn’t quite what you thought it was.

I’m of two minds about all of this. Glad that this means that Doug Phillips will no longer have a public bully pulpit to spread his warped ideas of what following Jesus means and unhappy for all those people that are humiliated, losing their livelihood or being punished in any way by the ministry closing. May a merciful God restore them to wholeness.

Who will the Botkin Sisters follow now?

Tell me what you think about this sudden and unexpected news.

Comments open below

Read everything by Calulu!

Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blogs are True Love Doesn’t Rape and  Calulu – Seeking The Light

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Sarah Florek

    Just vision forum ministries? Not the making money hand over fist vision forum inc? I know I received an email from VFI today about some sale or another… Try for real repentance and change when you walk away from that which is making you money! Sarahgirl

  • Jennifer

    I’m really not sure I can feel bad for any of them but the kids, Suzanne. Mrs. Phillips was a willing member and so was every person who worked there or supported them, none was kept from being very familiar with their materials. When I get more settling news about this, more completion, I may jump for joy, then bend my knee to pray for thanksgiving and any casualties. This is what I have prayed for: bring them to repentance, save any good work they’ve done (book, CD, film) and shut down the rest. Idk yet if every one of those has occured. In all these, praise God.

  • Levedi

    I agree – I bet it’s money, not a sex scandal. The experienced cynic in me says that groups like this will gladly forgive sex scandals because those can involve messy, dramatic public repentance and absolution. Take their money on the other hand…

  • That’s what I’m thinking. If Phillips really cared about integrity or repentance, he’d shut down both.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Its a tough economy out there regardless of what Obama says. So its hard for me not to feel for those now out of a job. But I get what you are saying.

  • Saraquill

    Is the VF company and its product line still up and running?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Ms. Florek up top says she received a promotional email for a sale or somesuch, so *something* is still running.

  • Fledgeling Feminist

    I think the fact that they said “sins” in the plural and “only course of action” is a veiled threat to Phillips to keep his mouth shut and head down. If they were trying to keep ranks with him they would have been more careful to match his story.

  • Sarah Florek

    I actually received an email from VFI on 11/12 about buying a book about the First Thanksgiving.

  • Independent Thinker

    I was thinking something along the same lines. That potentially if cash, gifts, personal vacations, or other similar expenditures were spent on Doug and his female accomplice that would be a violation of IRS regulations. If Doug is found by the IRS to have used ministry donations for his own personal leisure that would qualify as tax fraud. Famous homeschool creationist Kent Hovind of Creation Science Evangelism is currently serving several years in prison for tax fraud associated with his ministry. He is scheduled for release in 2015. Perhaps Phillips fears an in depth IRS audit of Vision Forum ministries books.

  • teaisbetterthanthis

    My cynical side wonders if they’ll shut down Vision Forum Ministries now and launch a new ministry arm in six months or so.

  • $190147

    The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries

    Wow. He must have been caught with a dead girl and a live boy.

  • Nea

    I’ve said from the start that letter was glitter thrown in the air to distract from a much deeper set of problems. But if the idea was to have Phillips come back after repentance, this wouldn’t be the way to do it. Whatever the real truth is, it’s ugly. Too ugly to keep his seat warm for a return. Will the Forum market survive without the ministry to peddle it? Was the sale advertised actually a fire sale?

  • Sarah Florek

    It looked just like the regular weekly or biweekly email touting family values you can only have by buying whatever it was advertising… And it said nothing about VFM closing down at all.

  • Trollface McGee

    Let’s see.. he announces this on a holiday when people aren’t as likely to pay attention.. he keeps the profit part of the ministry running like nothing’s happened.. and is very vague as to what happened while passively-aggressively attacking anyone who doesn’t believe his less-than-believable repentance is genuine.. classy.
    I feel bad for any innocent people involved in connection with this whole mess, but I really would like to hear the whole story.

  • Trollface McGee

    Oh, I don’t know, there’s plenty of the “God wants me to have a gold toilet and a new jet” ministers out there and their parishioners don’t bat an eye. I do bet that it’s more than just an affair though.

  • Jennifer

    “there’s plenty of the “God wants me to have a gold toilet and a new jet” ministers out there”

    You’re not supposed to make me laugh about that, darn you..

  • Nea

    The apology letter didn’t say anything about the entire ministry closing down. We can hope….

  • Ginger

    “They are being punished and have done nothing to deserve it” You mean other than make him into the hero that he is (was)? Mr. Phillips wouldn’t have any power without those that gave it to him with their, love, support, and adherence to his bull*#&$ propaganda. He didn’t build an empire alone. If you play with fire, you’ll get burned.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    You have a point I had not considered. His latest bit was particular disgusting when he apologized to all the men of VF he’s just unemployed. Don’t tell me they didn’t have females working there, at least as lower level positions. Even in his apologies he’s still spewing the same sexist crapola he’s always said.