Michael Farris of HSLDA has publicly denounced Philips’ brand of patriarchy. He and the board of HSLDA have apologized for enabling Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard. They even apologized for renting out advertisement space for Vision Forum.

But the errors of Phillips were broader than patriarchy. They included radical homeschooling and family integrated churches. Doug’s philosophy was a complete package:

“Home educators, almost by definition, have turned their heart to their children [Mal. 4]…So there’s been a revival that’s taking place in the heart of these homeschool families. And this revival works itself out to the local church…our prayer: every Christian in the world is in a family integrated church. And there should be nothing but that, but you know what that is going to lead to? That’s going to lead to people homeschooling!”

Farris called upon Christians to resist the siren call of public speakers who touted their methods as God’s methods. And he called upon homeschooling conventions to better vet their speakers, to be careful who they implicitly endorse.

These concerns should be equally applied to radical homeschool and family integrated church leaders.

In fact, it behooves these men and their organizations to make their positions clear: will they continue to silently stand with their past relationship with Doug or will they formally and publicly distance themselves from Phillips’ errors?

Will Phillips’ brainchild, the National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC), likewise distance themselves from Phillips’ patriarchy?

Will homeschooling organizations, such as Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC), Generations with Vision or Forge Ministries, formally and publicly distance themselves from Phillips’ patriarchy, radical homeschooling and family integrated churches?

Some of these groups have recently expunged all evidence of Doug’s relationship with them. But expunging is not the same as publicly recanting.

Or do the NCFIC, CHEC, and other homeschooling groups have no problem with Phillips’ views on women, schooling and church?

Perhaps they even embrace some of these views.

Certainly the NCFIC embraced patriarchy since it was part and parcel of Vision Forum for years. When it had its own website in 2009 it still had the same board members as Vision Forum up until the fall of Doug. And it had a link to Doug’s Tenants of Biblical Patriarchy until relatively recently.

At the least the NCFIC, being the spiritual heir of Vision Forum, should make its position clear: if patriarchy is biblical then stand by it publicly. No one is asking them to stand with Doug and his sins. But if what he believed was true, then there should be no embarrassing silence.

Until that day arrives, Farris’ warning should be taken seriously by all homeschoolers:

“Our movement will only be tainted by extremist views if we give our platforms over to such teachers.”


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