I’ve been recently reading about the Doug Phillips affair, and thinking about how the media coverage has been purposefully and maliciously skewed. Even–perhaps especially– by Christian sites which have covered Ms. Lourdes Torres-Manteufal’s suit against Phillips have used unfair weights in their measure of reporting. One gets a sense of this with the manner of the reporting of their names; which is just as I have done here. Lourdes is presented with her title and full name throughout the coverage. This conveys a sense of status. Doug, after the first introduction in a report, is relegated to merely “Phillips”.
Before I discuss the particulars of what I found in that sorry mess, I want to talk about my priorities in examination; how I look at the things I see. Like anyone else, those near me in my youth greatly informed how I perceived the world. By God’s grace (and not a little discipline) my lens has been ground down and refined as I realized (to my surprise, anger and sadness!) that–with the unstudied lens I had–I could not touch truths that appeared to be right at hand, yet toppled over stumbling blocks that had seemed much smaller and distant than they really were.
The successful bits of the lens-grinding process, basically, was to encounter pain and trouble and then turn to the Lord in prayer (often angry and bitter), the Bible, and the counsel of men I respected…part of the grinding process was to scratch off the list of the respected those men whose counsel did not match my readings of the Bible; many of them my close friends. Do not put too much emphasis on the word match and think I mean verbatim, or exactly. I mean that there was no resemblance to the Bible’s teachings. My lens was revealed to have been largely formed by a haphazard scouring of instincts, baseless taboos, unfounded liberties, and platitudes; all conserved as a sort of tradition.
Unless you have experienced it you cannot imagine the joy and peace of relief from simply the acknowledgement from the Bible and Its pin-point descriptions of the distortions around and within me, and to which others around me were pained (while yet oblivious!) about the causes. There was no fix applied to me, per se; just relief that I was not insane.
I want that those problems were fully behind me, but there is still more work needed. Though…sanity can be lonesome.
I’m very sorry to say that my family was eradicated from the list. I still see these people; still love them. We’re just not close. Cannot be close, however we try.