Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, and Vision Forum Ministries are being sued by a woman who was a nanny for the Phillips family. All counts of the petition arise out Mr. Phillips allegedly using the young woman for his sexual gratification. The allegations include abuse of power and gross hypocrisy of Phillips himself, but they also depict a larger context: the culture of patriarchy itself.
Patriarchalism, associated with Quiverfull and sometimes “family integrated churches,” may visit or even dominate a conservative Presbyterian church. It’s easy enough to see its errors in supposing there is a detailed regulative principle of the family, that we are called to replicate Old Testament culture, and to see that their detailed project to take back our culture tends to leave the gospel in the shadows. This lawsuit raises the additional concern of whether patriarchalism expressed in such movements tends to produce a culture that is dangerous to women. Continue reading