Challenge: Watch Session 1 of the Basic Seminar

imageWe commented that a non-trivial number of Bill adversaries, including some “regulars” on Recovering Grace have never attended a single IBLP seminar or program, let alone met Bill.  My friend Chris Symonds replied asking whether this should matter.  In response we said:

“I really do like you, Chris. Your opinions are important, but not nearly as important as those that have tried it and lived it. Makes sense, right? The club is not secret, it is wide open – and already contains millions the world over. Would you humor me and at least watch the first session of the Basic Seminar? Then tell me what you think.”

Then we included the link to that session:  Basic Seminar Session 01: How to Discern Root Causes From Surface Problems

Chris took the challenge and proceeded with comments, which we will attempt to transfer here.  Those who find themselves in the same situation are welcome to examine this 70 minute session as well, at no cost.

221 Comments

  1. Moderator Moderator
    December 27, 2015    

    Chris replied:

    “Okay watched it. I am going to be brutally honest with you. Bill Gothard could have made millions doing infomercials. There was nothing outstanding in his presentation that gives me any allure to his teaching. I have to question his anecdotes that he claims supports his 7 non optional principles as there is nothing by which they can be substantiated. The testimony from the psychiatrist and the story of the boy whose bones wouldn’t heal because his meals contained milk and meat together have no medical evidence to support them. This was an abuse of scripture in the first order which had nothing to do with the result of eating it the point of not boiling the kid’s meat in its mothers milk was a reference to the pagan ritual behind it. If meat inhibits the metabolizing of calcium then eating many greens should also be prohibited as the also contain calcium. The point here is that Gothard’s attempts to use scripture to support much of what he claims just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny either biblically or otherwise. I took the time to stop the video and compare the bible verses Bill quotes and place them within their context. Bill uses an acontextual ( Eisegesis) approach which on the surface seems fairly innocuous at first glance but can lead to wrong conclusions. The sales pitch is that if we use these principles we will have success and God will bless us. From the families I know personally who have followed Bill’s teaching I am yet to meet one which has had anything but hardship and heart break. Is it that because they didn’t follow the 7 non optional principles? No! It’s because this type of one size fits all, promise of success and prosperity has no more substance to it than the word of faith movement from which it springs. It lacks the razzle dazzle that the word of faith movement often has with it, but it gives the same hollow promise. It is nothing more than a Christianize’d version of all the self help and life coaching schemes that are out there. Let me know if you want more of my opinion. I am happy to oblige”

    Moderator:

    ““The testimony from the psychiatrist and the story of the boy whose bones wouldn’t heal because his meals contained milk and meat together have no medical evidence to support them.”

    What basis do you have for saying that? The psychiatrist is well known, not all embrace his perspectives, but some do. And there is allegedly solid evidence on the problems with dairy saturated meat.

    ” I took the time to stop the video and compare the bible verses Bill quotes and place them within their context. Bill uses an acontextual ( Eisegesis) approach”

    Go ahead – give an example or two.”

    • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
      December 30, 2015    

      First of all, it’s works based following OT rules. Where are the references to all they stiff he wioted? foot notes for us to verify. Not just stories? Where is grace??

      • Moderator Moderator
        December 30, 2015    

        Do you have anything specific in mind, Susan? We are here in part to help explain, and if we can’t figure it out, ask Bill what he meant. With respect to Grace, how about reading through our article . . . “What is Grace?”

        • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
          December 30, 2015    

          Yes Alfred, my specifics are of OT law and being told it’s best to follow them. Way back when my kids were young, and the topics of not eating pork, seafood,following OT laws in partial like how many days after a baby boy or girl to have sex, were being emphasized. In Galatians we are told those who depending on the law and it’s rituals, which ATI booklets promoted, are under a curse, and further says anyone who does not continue to abide by ALL the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and practice them is cursed. Galatians 3:10. Bill was picking in choosing ceremonial laws to follow. The bible says all had to be followed. He doesn’t tell us to offer our turtle doves still, but we’re
          persuaded to follow cleanliness laws in part. The partial following teaching is in error. It was all or none, and that is nit what Wisdom booklets taught.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 31, 2015    

            Bill was picking in choosing ceremonial laws to follow

            That is kind of the point. We respect the wisdom of God expressed in that law and we mold it to fit our lives.

            “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28)

            I see nothing wrong with that.

            those who depending on the law and it’s rituals, which ATI booklets promoted, are under a curse

            Woah. Who was depending on what for what? We are in our 21st year of ATI. Never in our wildest imaginations have we ever seen keeping of precepts or diets as affecting our salvation one way or the other. The Galatians were looking to complete their salvation by getting circumcised and keeping the law. That is vastly different from seeing so much wisdom in OT laws from an awesome God who loved His earthly people, the Jews, and gave them the very best directions to mold their culture. The key is, again, whether the precepts are our servants or masters. I mean . . . my wife and I had pozole today, loaded with pork – delicious.

    • Mary Mary
      January 11, 2016    

      Bill always seems careful not to ever cite sources. He always says “a man”, “a woman”, “a doctor”. These arguments can’t amount to much more than anecdotal evidence. This may be on account of modesty or brevity, but the most reasonable and obvious conclusion is that every mention of science in the Basic Seminar uses wild, disproved urban legends, which Bill hadn’t the inclination nor ability to verify

      I took copious notes during one Basic Seminar on each outlandishly ignorant science “fact” Bill offered as proof of some biblical command or other.

      “Mixing fabrics weakens muscles” (Nonsense)
      “Mixing milk and meat cancels out calcium” (Absurd)

      The fact that this seminar has never been updated to remove these sorts of silly claims is, frankly, offensive.

      • Moderator Moderator
        January 11, 2016    

        “Mixing milk and meat cancels out calcium” (Absurd)

        Check out http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/what-baby-experts-don%E2%80%99t-tell-you-about-iron-deficiency/ . . . as an example:

        As noted above, calcium interferes with the absorption of iron. So to maximize iron absorption, skip the milk products during meals intended to boost iron levels.

        • Mary Mary
          January 12, 2016    

          “Check out http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/what-baby-experts-don%E2%80%99t-tell-you-about-iron-deficiency/ . . . as an example:”

          Maybe the Seminar should be amended to use that new information, which is on a slightly different topic anyhow.

          Also, there’s enough evidence on the other side to say that we just really don’t know at this point.
          http://milk.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000848

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 12, 2016    

            Also, there’s enough evidence on the other side to say that we just really don’t know at this point.

            Yeah, I saw the “Pro Con” one. One is correct . . . which one? Bill concluded the position I cited won. In any case this is far from some farfetched notion he made up.

            And as to mixing materials in clothing and decreased muscle strength, Bill did NOT invent that. Check this out: http://www.fabrics-store.com/blog/2009/05/20/linen-the-preferred-fabric-for-clothing-of-healing-healthy-living-and-well-being/ or http://www.zipporahsthimble.com/shop/index.php/linentestimonies Understand that we are not endorsing this, may or may not follow it, but Bill didn’t make it up.

          • Mary Mary
            January 14, 2016    

            I’m not claiming Bill made anything up. I’m merely asserting that he gives credence to any cockamamie theory out there that might support his hypothesis that there are ‘hidden benefits’ in these commands. It’s gullible in the extreme, and demonstrates a grave misunderstanding of the reasons we are to obey God. (We don’t do it for secret temporary earthly benefits) How is anyone supposed to respect a seminar filled with this kind of nonsense? Why not update it to reflect current science? Why not include proper citations?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 14, 2016    

            How is anyone supposed to respect a seminar filled with this kind of nonsense

            Most people consider the Bible to be filled with cockamamie theories and abandon it for the same reasons. Strange that you appear to accept that widely regarded “nonsense” as real but reject any modern day application of the same? I have seen more than one atheist laughing at those who attempt to reject Bill but still hang on to Jesus. At least they are objective enough time see that he is actually trying to take the Bible quite literally instead of playing fast and loose with it like many of us do.

          • Larne Gabriel Larne Gabriel
            January 14, 2016    

            Alfred writes:
            “At least they are objective enough time see that he is actually trying to take the Bible quite literally instead of playing fast and loose with it like many of us do.”

            So if I follow the literal example of Abraham, David and Solomon it would be OK to have multiple wives and a few concubines (committed mistresses)? How about killing a rebellious child. Maybe take a few slaves (not to minimize that horde practice)? Wouldn’t that be taking the Bible literally too?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 14, 2016    

            So if I follow the literal example of Abraham, David and Solomon it would be OK to have multiple wives and a few concubines (committed mistresses)? How about killing a rebellious child. Maybe take a few slaves (not to minimize that horde practice)? Wouldn’t that be taking the Bible literally too?

            If God told you to, would you, Larne? Abraham knew that God told him to kill his son. And he did it, or planned to do it. See, this is where the modern world and God’s Word collide. IF it doesn’t make sense to us or offends our sensibilities, we do what is right in our own eyes. Which is, frankly, why a lot of good evangelicals are now coming out of the closest as Universalists, i.e. they simply cannot conceive of let alone accept a God that would torture potential billions in hell. Let alone order His servants to brutally kill people over violation of some precept we don’t consider terribly important. The time is coming where those that believe such things will be imprisoned or even killed because is it so offensive. Where are you, Larne?

          • Larne Gabriel Larne Gabriel
            January 14, 2016    

            Alfred you are missing the point, Bill’s use of out of context scripture to proclaim a new revelation based on a literal view or to take a Biblical metaphor and develop a new theology with him as the only source , i.e. “The Inner Brain” is apostasy.

            If God came to you today with the command to sacrifice your son would you kill your son?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 14, 2016    

            Inner brain

            Rushing out. Until I can get to this, humor me and read this: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-18779997 . . . “Gut brain”, BBC

          • rob war rob war
            January 14, 2016    

            The fabric link was about wearing linen from flax and at the top of the article, it did state that this wasn’t scientific. Considering it was published by a fabric company, it is questionable at best. Whether you wear linen, or cotton or wool or whatever, quoting this to support Bill is grasping at straws.
            The other link about having brain cells in the intestines which communicate back to the brain when you are full was looking into trying to understand why some people seem to get quickly full and others not and how gastric bypass surgery interfers with this process is again not about our guts being our second or inner brain. It was about how one organ system may communicate with our brain and the researchers were trying to look for ways to help people loose weight.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 14, 2016    

            Considering it was published by a fabric company, it is questionable at best.

            Kind of silly for a public fabric company to attach their name to something that is as stupid as you allege.

            Bill always has something behind these things. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t make it bogus.

          • rob war rob war
            January 14, 2016    

            Alfred, you are starting to get rude. The problem with Bill is that he takes parts of studies to try and prove his points. I don’t know what Bill’s “new” revelation is about “gut brain” but the link to the BBC and brain type cells lining the digestive track that communicate back to the brain when your belly is full was more about hope in learning how this works in order to help people lose weight instead of drastic gastric surgery. I am sure you read my example on RG about the mom to be that called the blood bank worried about HDN for her baby to be. My point was that some people take a little medical knowledge and come to the wrong conclusions with what they think they know. That is Bill’s medical know how, it is a little bits and pieces of facts which get mixed up and he comes to the wrong conclusions with them in order to support his ideas that he thinks he reads from the Bible. Yes, there is some evidence about calcium and iron but it is inclusive and only seems to apply with some children in some situations. I had a friend that had a daughter that like to drink excessive milk and struggled with anemia for a while. But it was excessive cow milk drinking and the studies were all about cow milk. That is a far cry from claiming as Bill does that for healthy adults, that they can’t eat a cheeseburger because one can’t eat meat and dairy together. Why doesn’t Bill then go all the way as Orthodox Jews do and have entire dishes for meat and dairy? Abraham served the angles that came meat and yogart together. Was the command in OT not to boil a kid in it’s mother’s milk more about killing an animal in a heartless way that baby goats were boiled alive in what fed them, their mother’s mild. This was an occultic practice.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 14, 2016    

            I don’t know what Bill’s “new” revelation is about “gut brain”

            Larne has objected strongly to Bill’s new book on the “gut brain”. Deals with the Scriptures on the “reins” (kidneys), used in both the Old and New Testaments.

            one can’t eat meat and dairy together

            WHY did God include such a specific prohibition on boiling a kid in its mother’s milk? I have heard so many surface level speculations, nothing authoritative. Did you make up your suggestions? Any backup to your assertion of occult in there? And there are SO many other practices that seem cruel that are not mentioned. I understand Simon wrote “Mother and Child Reunion” contemplating a chicken-egg dish he had enjoyed at a Chinese restaurant. Hmmmm.

            His explanation – of a health concern – made more sense than anything else. If you have a perspective, present it . . . Just don’t condemn his explanation because it doesn’t suit you. He has some science to back it up.

  2. Moderator Moderator
    December 27, 2015    

    Chris replied:


    I dismissed it in the same way I would i would mark down an essay for not verifying the source. Simply making the claim that a psychiatrist said mental illness is due to wrong thinking or making bad choices without naming the psychiatrist is dubious. It’s ironic that Bill Gothard challenges conventional wisdom, questions modern medicine, then conveniently uses an anonymous source from the very worldly expertise and wisdom he rejects to support his own arguments. That is called cognitive dissonance.

    You have an academic back ground Alfred. How can you be so noncritical of Gothard’s approach… How could Bill who also has a post graduate back ground make claims like this knowing that if he did this at college that his professors would fail him for making such an unverified claim? It is what we call academic suicide.

    How do we track the expert down who said this originally? How do we check the experts credentials and research method’s? Was this an off the cuff remark by this so called expert or is this his expert opinion based on research? Has he been peer reviewed in journals and what was their conclusions of his findings?

    Do you see my problem? I can’t I can’t go back to original sources. Bill Gothard is notorious for using this method of unverifiable anecdotal support for his own assertions. There is almost a plethora of very bad bible teachers who make claims of miracle headings and other phenomena. Many of them when asked to supply evidence for their claims can’t! Bill makes some very bold claims about the success of his own methods, the fruit that we van verify about Bill’s claims is that the evidence doesn’t support his claims.

    I posted here once before about Bill’s teaching and you deleted the comment. What did I say? I said by you posting Bill’s views here will be his own undoing because you are putting it in the public domain where anyone on the internet can view it. I am posting this response on my own website chrissymonds65.wordpress.com so that in fairness others can see my response. No one can say I chickened out of the challenge”

    He added some kind comments.

    Moderator replied:

    “Thanks, Chris, much appreciated.

    The Jewish psychologist we believe to be Thomas Szasz (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Szasz). He is controversial, but real. He saw diagnosis of mental illness as largely an attempt to cover both professional biases against the supernatural and allow for irresponsible behavior. We would be inclined to agree with that.”

    • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
      December 30, 2015    

      So this is where Gothard gets his beliefs of mental illness that he propogates. Varying degrees of unresponsibility .

  3. Moderator Moderator
    December 27, 2015    

    Chris replied:

    “In defense of Szasz. Szasz gained some notoriety because he challenged the status quo. He challenged his own profession’s seemingly all knowing all powerful “god like” determination of what mental illness was and how and by what criteria is was diagnosed. He only came into prominence when he was contacted by a family who were attempting to have their son released after being institutionalized for longer than the jail term he would have received for possessing a dangerous weapon and causing alarm by firing two shots into the air. He was found to be semi delusional and was placed in an asylum. Szasz and another psychiatrist were enlisted to interview the patient whom they found to be paranoid and uncooperative but not delusional. Anyway the point is Szasz challenged the power of the psychiatry profession to institutionalize patients and the right of the state to do so at its pleasure. Szasz also challenged what determined mental illness. What he failed to do was differentiate between a bad mood and morbidity. What we need to recognize is that this was over 50 years ago. How we defined mental illness then and how we define it now without the stigma is very different. Where Sasz still has merit is that unlike many of his colleagues he didn’t put the idea of God or spirit in the realm of illness. I still reject his argument that wrong behavior causes confused thinking (mental illness) on the basis that many who suffer from mental illness either led fairly normal lives beforehand and to prove his thesis he would have to have provided hundreds of thousands of hours of historical backgrounds of patients to prove his thesis. He simply couldn’t do that. What he did challenge was the non falsification presuppositions strata that were used to diagnose illness at the time.”

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 27, 2015    

      We like much of Szasz perspectives. Psychology is the “study of the soul” (Greek “psyche” = “soul”). Trying to do that without God’s perspectives is a frustrating exercise. On this we agree.

      • December 27, 2015    

        In spite of my misgivings about Szasz I have to agree that ignoring the spirit and or soul and its connection to God is from a christian perspective an exercise in futility. If we simply deal with the mental aspect without acknowledging the spiritual aspect how do we get to the core issue? Much that psychology and psychiatry concentrate on have to do with the mind. The bible deals with the heart and the problem of sin. This is the key issue and this is where Christianity parts way with both the medical and social sciences.

        My own back ground is in social science which looks at both environment and behavior . Excluding the idea of God the social sciences look at modifying the environment and behavior. At other times they simply describe what the environment does, how it effects culture or what behavior is deemed normal. The presuppositions underpinning much of this study is evolution or to put it another way it is the evolutionary process that underpins or determines the whole direction and adaption of us as humans both as a group or as individuals.

        That being said much of what underpins psychology and psychiatry are not based on empirical observation but subjective contemplation. If one was to ask how Freud arrived at his conclusions what empirical data do we have to support his assumptions? Where is the unconscious he so heavily draws upon for his conclusions? Define consciousness! Why is it that Freud’s assumptions are so heavily laden with sexual images and content? You could go on and ask dozens of these questions but at the end of the day you arrive at an almost religious philosophy. Philosophy seems to underpin much of this inquiry even today, not science.

        Back to Thomas Szasz. While I don’t agree with some of Szasz conclusions I do agree with him that by excluding the soul and spirit you are missing what essentially makes man different from all other life. My own conclusion is that the problem is in the heart of man, that he is separated by sin from God. The solution is that through Jesus Christ we receive forgiveness from sins and are reconciled to the Father.

        This does not mean that all our problems will be over and that anyone who suffers from mental illness will miraculously recover. I know many Christians who suffer from mental illnesses however they live with the assurance that one day they will be in heaven where there is no more suffering and perfect peace.

  4. rob war rob war
    December 27, 2015    

    What regulars on Recovering Grace have not attended at least the Basic Seminar? Support your charge here.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 27, 2015    

      Let them answer . . . Chris is not a regular, but he is an example. There are some that post regularly that are also in the same boat.

      • rob war rob war
        December 27, 2015    

        I still don’t know who you are talking about. Someone can review Bill’s material without ever having attended. Likewise, the handful of posters on RG that have not attended any of the seminars often times have had family members, relatives or even belong to Churches where others were heavily involved with the seminars and ATI and watched first hand the problems that Bill’s teaching produced in their lives and Churches. There is nothing wrong with that either. I don’t get your complaint here that the “biggest” voices over at RG and some of the other blogs about Bill have never attended the seminars. You are trying to make some sort of case but unless you can point out who you are talking about, this is a smoke screen and does not deal with the issues of Bill’s teaching or his behavior.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 27, 2015    

          I will pass this through, although we are saying the same thing over and over. I agree that people can make intelligent observations without a direct experience. However, it goes without saying that those that have lived it have a tad more authority in speaking up.

        • December 27, 2015    

          Just to make it clear I used to be a regular on RG until my ex fiance baited me and had me band from posting. I do regularly follow the articles and posts on RG

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 28, 2015    

            Wow, there you go . . . and folks still allege that RG doesn’t ban people? :-)

    • December 27, 2015    

      I never attended IBLP I am familiar with much of the teaching. I lived with an IBLP/ATI family and was previously engaged to a girl from a family who also followed IBLP teaching. As you might guess Rob War it all didn’t end well. I am not a fan of Bill Gothard

      • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
        December 30, 2015    

        I attended for the record, got involved in homeschooling program which negatively effected my family, Alfred. The seminar was the worst thing that happened to my family. Sue Theriault

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 30, 2015    

          The seminar was the worst thing that happened to my family.

          For some of us it was conversely a tremendous blessing. Do you want to talk about it, Sue? What were the issues that you traced back to the Seminar, or ATI? This is a big reason we exist. Not everything was perfect in ATI – and where possible we are getting Bill and those hurt together so he can ask forgiveness, help straighten things out. If you don’t want to discuss in public, email us privately (contact@discoveringgrace.com).

          • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
            December 30, 2015    

            Alfred , I would be thrilled to get an apology since the following if his teachings had great impact on me. But we both know he had yet to acknowledge wrong doings and humble himself before others. I am well read, and as far as I am concerned, apologies have not veen firth coming . It is far too late to straighten things out, Alfred. Scripture says God works all things together for good, and I am moving on. But thw negative effect of Gothard’s teaching have made a deep impact upon my life.
            And what outrages me most is the treatment if the young men and ladies who were treated so poorly and taken advantage out there by this So called fatherly man. God will recompense Bill for all the ungodly tjings he has done to innocent children and teens.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 31, 2015    

            Alfred , I would be thrilled to get an apology since the following if his teachings had great impact on me

            If it is an appology for teaching the things he did, I doubt that will happen. If there are specific areas of negligence that would have made things a lot better, those things he has been most open about, trying to correct, ask forgiveness for.

            And what outrages me most is the treatment if the young men and ladies who were treated so poorly and taken advantage out there by this So called fatherly man.

            Are there things he did to your young people that you would like to talk about?

          • eva eva
            January 12, 2016    

            It was also the worst thing our family has experienced. Why did we go to a second seminar? I can’t explain that. We were deceived for a time by this wolf in sheep’s clothing. And no I do not want to talk about it or share anything more right now. I figured it out when our daughter went to an ATI conference and tried to use the materials for her oldest child. Big mistake but she soon saw it and got out of it – even got a refund. That amazed me more than anything.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 12, 2016    

            I figured it out when our daughter went to an ATI conference and tried to use the materials for her oldest child

            Thousands of families have used the same materials and been richly blessed through them. So . . . sometimes it comes down to how things are applied.

    • February 11, 2016    

      I was a regular on RG until I was banned from posting. I regularly review RG for updates. I did not attend the basic seminars or ATI but I lived with an IBLP/ ATI family and know quite a number of people who did. I have done my own research on Gothardism and I have watch session 1 and shared my opinion about it here…. I wasn’t impressed!

  5. December 27, 2015    

    Chris is not a regular, but most of the Recovering Grace people are former ATI – people who lived and breathed ATI, the Basic Seminar and went to a LOT of seminars, Basic, Advanced, Knoxville, and lived at HQ, Indy, and a number of other training seminars. As someone who went to 6 Basics, 3 Advanced, 3 Knoxville seminars, worked at Indy (4 Months) and HQ (12 Months) and worked in several departments as a roving “apprentice” I find your claims without evidence about people I know to have been heavily involved in ATI laughable.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 27, 2015    

      Glad to get to you know you, Rich. There are regulars on RG that have no direct IBLP experience.

      • rob war rob war
        December 28, 2015    

        Again Alfred and for your own credibility’s sake, you really should not be making sweeping comments like this that are not true. RG was started by and is managed by ex-ATI students. The one “regular” that was mentioned privately has not written any articles and has not even posted that much lately. RG is an open forum to anyone. But the majority that have written articles and even post are ex-ATI students. People like myself that have attended seminars in the past but didn’t become involved in ATI as it was starting up are a minority. Again and for your own credibility, you honestly need to be accurate because making these sorts of sweeping generalizations that won’t hold up under actual facts doesn’t support your other defenses of Bill and his teaching. It makes you look desperate. One or two “regulars” is not the whole of RG nor is it those that started up RG and write articles there.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 28, 2015    

          There are RG article writers who have never attended a seminar. You need to check out your facts. Go ahead and ask the principals there for a response on that.

          • Sandy Sandy
            December 28, 2015    

            Yes, there are. I’ve seen some articles there that are helpful in general terms of spiritual abuse and such. But Alfred, please be fair – of what I’ve seen, full disclosure is given along with the articles. As far as commenters, it’s an open forum, so don’t blame “RG” for that, even the “regulars.” Making up criteria about whether people are a tad more or less “qualified” to have opinions about all things Gothard is just deflecting from points being discussed. I’m guessing the whole issue of whose comments are “valid” was prodded by the man himself, anyway.

            So … quit your whining and let’s move on??

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 28, 2015    

            Oh, dear Sandy, the whining started by those taking exception to my suggestion that it would be appropriate for those who criticize what they do not know . . . to have an actual Berean look. :-) I suspect we agree on that.

          • rob war rob war
            December 28, 2015    

            Whether there are article writers on RG that actually have not attended directly the Basic or not, the few article writers that may fit that category have written articles usually dealing with their expertise in an area whether it be psychology, scripture interpretation etc that cover an aspect or give insight. Bill’s material and videos are now out there, you can even order it from Amazon so I don’t see this is a tree to bark up for you. Again what writers of what articles that according to your claim have not attended any seminar of any sort that you think is invalid because they have not actually attended at least the basic?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 28, 2015    

            Hey, you are the one barking :-) Check in with David Orrison, whom I have chatted with back in the RG days. Has a ministry, blog. He published, posted . . . and, if I recall correctly, has no overt IBLP background. There are article writers who decry Bill directly . . . that have never attended. These are things I would find out as I would discuss things with individuals.

          • Sandy Sandy
            December 28, 2015    

            LOL, Alfred, if I had a nickel for every time you’ve written here that you know or at least suspect that somebody agrees with you!

            I’ve lived narcissistic arguments for years. To claim “I’m sure you’d agree …” to excess is characteristic. I’m not pinning that so much on you, but it’s somewhat indicative that you parrot a lot of what that man says.

            It bothers me far less that somebody’s been in ATI or been to an IBYC/IBLP seminar than it does you. You use that criteria in people’s faces to tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about, and even blanket-accuse nameless people en masse.

            I’m a fan of Bereans. Certainly, it’s responsible to check into something before making accusations. (I don’t post “Mark Zukerburg’s giving away money and GMA says it’s true” junk on my Facebook, either.) But to hold everyone to a standard of having attended a seminar or being in ATI before anything they say about Gothard is valid is just not reasonable or fair. Besides – when/if the “uninformed” take up your challenge and argue the next point, you’re gonna skirt it some other way … they don’t understand, they take it to extremes, etc, so your challenge is really just a diversion. I’m not saying anyone should or shouldn’t take you up on it; each one can decide if they want to or not.

            Here’s what I’ve observed here ad nauseum: Someone challenges a Gothard teaching. Alfred says Gothard didn’t actually teach that, have you been to a seminar? Although the teaching is something that is well-known in Gothardland. He said it, but he can’t defend it, so now he’s saying he didn’t exactly say it like that, and certainly didn’t mean for people to take it to “extremes.”

            A few weeks ago you said “…we are trying to determine a Scriptural basis for suggesting that God requires all of His servants to operate under the auspices of other believers,” and I asked if you were acknowledging fault in Gothard’s well-known authority teaching. Then you asked where I got that from (I think), and as I recall, that was just one more thing I didn’t bother to answer.

            I was cracking eggs into a bowl the other day and had a tiny piece of shell that I had to dig out. Have you done that, Alfred? You reach for it and it keeps slipping away. Aggravating little thing just won’t be pinned down. Not a serious analogy, but it reminds me of the lines of questions you’ve tried to field here.

            You even said on this very thread this very day – “Bill was always changing things.” LOL, that’s kind of the point, sir. He changes prn (as needed) to first manipulate, then second, to skirt responsibility. You also said, “He expected his message to be communicated exactly as he intended, without deviation. To him it was the height of betrayal to counter any part of it.” But he was “always changing things.” Is the cognitive dissonance evident, or do I need to explain?

            Your loyalty is frightening, just my humble opinion, nothing new.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 28, 2015    

            “Although the teaching is something that is well-known in Gothardland.”

            No, not in Gothardland. I live in Gothardland, so I have some idea of what is “well known”. There is a lot of misinformation attached to Bill that folks in ATI don’t recognize. One of the reasons we exist.

            “You even said on this very thread this very day – “Bill was always changing things.””

            Well, it means that even Bill refines his understanding and presentations of things, especially things much misunderstood. The adversarial pinging echo chamber is stuck in many cases at points decades ago.

          • Larne Gabriel Larne Gabriel
            December 28, 2015    

            Alfred you don’t have to be a forger to recognize bad money, in fact the Secret Service trains by studying the real stuff. In our case its the Word of God is the real stuff. You don’t have to attend the Seminar to know its not all good. I rarely go to movies but generally a 30 second trailer is all I need to see to continue that practice of not going. Sometime enough of the wrong theology is enough make a decision to stay away.

          • rob war rob war
            December 29, 2015    

            David Orrison wrote articles about spiritual abuse and friendship. A number of ATI students from their own testimonies have struggled with forming friendships outside of their families. Many on RG found his insights and advice to be helpful. You have narrowly painted yourself in a Gothard jail Alfred. You don’t see or won’t see how unhealthy this is. Complaining about non-attendees in either posts or articles is a straw man and really reflects this jail you are in. You don’t allow yourself to look at other views and ideas to compare to Bill’s teaching.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 30, 2015    

            So, Rob, just agree that some “regulars” on RG, including some prominent article writers, are in the class of “never been to a seminar but have focused things to say about Bill Gothard”. We have already established that that doesn’t mean they have nothing important to say. But . . . you can let me say that it bothers me, just a tad at times.

      • Don Rubottom Don Rubottom
        December 28, 2015    

        That some critics have not attended is only relevant if you use them as straw men. Why not limit your dialogue to those who know what they are talking about and ignore the uninformed.
        And also consider that Gothard limiting access to his materials smacks of trying to avoid informing critics, not a very loving approach. For the record, I attended at least two basics, at least one advanced, two legislators seminars, a mens seminars and was present when much of the material was revisited in related meetings. and we did ATIA for about 10 years. I have all the materials and am happy to engage on the facts of what he taught and how he misapplied and uniquely interpreted scripture, something that was impossible to do during a seminar week given the lack of context for ANY of his legion of scriptural appropriations.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 28, 2015    

          I have all the materials and am happy to engage on the facts of what he taught and how he misapplied and uniquely interpreted scripture, something that was impossible to do during a seminar week given the lack of context for ANY .of his legion of scriptural appropriations.

          Let’s do this.

    • February 11, 2016    

      What are you trying to say Rich, that my opinion and estimation of Bill Gothard lacks credibility?

  6. Nicole Gardner Nicole Gardner
    December 28, 2015    

    Any of us using our real names can be verified by the institute itself. The money envelopes correlated with all the info we had to fill out in becoming “lifelong alumni”. All of our forms were snail-mailed back to the Institute. Our “completion certificates”, I believe, came directly from it. (Although my old pastor was so into IBLP back then he might have made up these certificates with which to award us (his congregants); I don’t exactly know).

    As for me, I took the basic seminar 4 times. I went through 2 full church splits & 3 partial-splits due to controversy stirred up by various die-hard’s insistence upon the implementation of seminar and/or ATI teachings. Not being one who has ever “dated the church”, but rather always tithed, volunteered, become a member of (2 completely different IBLP-systemized churches) & took orders, it is in all honesty that I can say that ATI along with IBLP affected me greatly even though I am a veteran of only the IBLP program. As if IBLP wasn’t bad enough! As a tiny example, I remember one sermon on:
    The 1995 Human Rights Conference (“Of the devil by it’s very title because it’s un-biblical to falsely suppose that humans have any rights”). The whole sermon then went on to detail how the “invention of the term ‘human rights abuse’ is in direct contradiction of the Bible.” And how “the Bible makes it clear that the powers that be are ordained of God & to have a grievance with any of these is to fight directly against His will for you & in rejection of His plan for your life’.” And yes, the American Revolution was brought up by this same pastor in a Bible study as his suggested example of disobedience against God. He was just taking IBLP to it’s immediate & inevitable conclusions.
    There were many, many sermons on the “fact” that the Bible says people have no rights; sermon after sermon of examples given of relational application of IBLP teaching in different scenarios made this the subject that never dropped. Coupled with IBLP’s diagnosis of “bitterness” as the cause for every objection to anything.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 28, 2015    

      As a 40 year veteran of all things Bill and IBLP I just disagree . . . that these are things that Bill taught. I have heard him sigh and complain on more than one occasion on how zealous people would take his teachings to extremes he never intended. Also mentioned those that began to “judge” others for not keeping the standards he was promoting, so putting him and his ministry in a bad light.

      • Tyler Tyler
        December 28, 2015    

        This was an interesting comment! Do you feel that this was Gothard not taking his statements far enough along to their logical conclusion to see where they would lead or simply other people taking them much further than he did and mildly (or not so mildly) twisting them into something they weren’t? And this was something Gothard recognized as happening? Did he (to your knowledge) ever make a public statement/publish anything/say things in the Basic trying to stop people from taking these ideas quite so far?

        Still working on session 1… on vacation with family right now. But I will finish it when I get back home. :)

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 28, 2015    

          Bill was always changing things. As recently as a year or so ago he was talking about completely revising the Basic Seminar – quite a prospect for an 80 year old. With respect to authority, I know he was muting some of that as the years went by. He had strong cautions on adoption early on, but in recent years it was never mentioned, lots of adoptions in ATI. And so it went.

          • Pam Pam
            January 4, 2016    

            Red Flag! Bill is always changing things??? Well, that’s why we should follow God’s Word and not a man’s interpretation of it. And that’s all Bill Gothard’s materials are : his own interpretation. It should not be taken as “gospel truth”. That is a no brainer. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word will not change. The fact that Bill’s materials have to change, e.g. adoption, that says we should not be following a man who is fallible, but a God who is infallible. We are most capable of reading and understanding God’s Word through the Holy Spirit without people like Gothard, writing his own ideas and interpretations and promoting them as though they WERE God’s words.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 5, 2016    

            And that’s all Bill Gothard’s materials are : his own interpretation. It should not be taken as “gospel truth”. That is a no brainer. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word will not change.

            So, Pam, I presume you have never “changed anything” in your theology or things you teach to others? Please answer.

            God’s Word is not the problem – our relationship to it is. And we are making much hay of Bill “changing things”. What he changed was adjustments in presentation to avoid some perpetual pitfalls that were coming back to him. Things like his encouragement to “vow to read the Bible for 5 minutes a day”, backed up with Scripture (Eccl. 5) that tells how serious God takes vows. Some vowed, then had the misfortune of not completing the 5 minutes on a given day, leaving them shell-shocked in some cases that they had committed a major sin. In subsequent years he went out of his way to emphasize the idea of an “average per day”, and if missed, to make it up. He did not change his teaching on authority, but in later years would emphasize that it was possible to disobey, and ultimately be respected for it, and there were those that obeyed fully, but were despised later for doing what they should not have done. Those adjustments are made for balance, not a change of message.

          • Pam Pam
            January 6, 2016    

            It’s a little difficult to reply to your answer to my comment, so I just replied to the original comment you made. First off, I do not sell curriculum or study materials so if I’ve changed my mind on any theology, that only affects me, not potentially thousands or millions of people. I also would add, that telling others what to do is a slippery slope when the instructions are one’s own ideas and not a direct scripture quote.

            I agree with you God’s word is not the problem, but I don’t know what you mean by “our relationship to it is”. What I see is the problem are people who take scripture and use it to write their own instructions, principles, and studies. As you can see, many people have been negatively affected by Gothard’s teachings. That is a fact. Then to simply say, well all those people misapplied what Bill taught, is ludicrous. And that’s the danger of using scripture to write a man’s book and promoting it as God’s words and we should follow them.

            As far as vowing goes, you say Bill originally used Eccl. 5 to support making a vow, but the New Testament teaches against making vows.

            I’m just glad that God doesn’t have to go back and make changes, and clarify, and fix his words. I’ll reiterate that God’s Holy Spirit gives us the power to understand His Word and God knows our hearts so if we don’t get something exactly right, He knows and can work in our hearts and minds to help us on this life long journey to know Him and make Him known.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 6, 2016    

            if I’ve changed my mind on any theology, that only affects me, not potentially thousands or millions of people.

            That is an slightly irresponsible statement. Assuming someone you do affect – offspring maybe – will be affecting thousands of millions of people, you need to live with the weight of the solemn responsibility of your choices and actions. My great-grandfather, a shoemaker, “changed his theology” around 1907, dramatically affecting all his offspring. Including my cousin, who is the president and co-founder of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, University professor, author of many books, world renowned authority on world religions, much sought after for those dealing with, say, Islam and Buddhism.

            As you can see, many people have been negatively affected by Gothard’s teachings.

            I see many things that are blamed on Bill . . . and those in equal measure also blame Jesus and jettison Him. A verse that slaps me regularly: “The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.” Pro 19:3 And many, many more have been deeply blessed by Bill. Do you see those? I do, on a continual basis.

            the New Testament teaches against making vows.

            Well then, you and I – at least I – have a big problem since I vowed to God before my wife on my wedding day.

            And, do a concordance search on “vow”:

            “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.” Act 18:18 Another reference in Acts 21. No, vows are still on the Christian menu.

          • Pam Pam
            January 6, 2016    

            I did do a search on “vow” and did not find what I was looking for before I posted. I figured you would point that out, but I didn’t care, I wanted to post and figured I would keep searching for what I was talking about. Which when I do find the scripture I’m talking about, I will post it here.

            But, that vow discussion is really not what my original point was. You are not really giving me your take on what God’s Word says about listening to the teachings of man. Gothard may use scripture, but he writes his own “instructions and principles”. He most certainly tells people what to do in these materials. See, I have a problem with that. So should you and all Christians. We are called to follow Christ, and preach the Gospel (not a long list of do’s and don’ts).

            You have yet to explain your comment “…our relationship to it is”

            “…blamed on Bill . . . and those in equal measure also blame Jesus…” Ugh, do not tell me you are comparing Bill to Jesus. Now that is irresponsible, since we know that Jesus was perfect, the Son of God, and hated because of that. If anyone is blaming Bill for anything, it should be looked into since he is JUST A MAN. Please explain what you meant if I’m off base here. But, why does it matter if some people were blessed? That is irrelevant. If you go to a doctor and get misdiagnosed, by your logic he should not be held responsible because his other patients were diagnosed correctly. Your argument that some people got something good out of it, so it all must be good is illogical.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 6, 2016    

            What is your take on what God’s Word says about listening to the teachings of man. Gothard may use scripture, but he writes his own “instructions and principles

            My take? We should value God’s word about all else. And people, using the gifts given them by God, set about to explain it, break it down so it is easier to absorb. Can’t imagine what fault you would find with that.

            You have yet to explain your comment “…our relationship to it is”

            Please explain.

            Now that is irresponsible, since we know that Jesus was perfect, the Son of God, and hated because of that. If anyone is blaming Bill for anything, it should be looked into since he is JUST A MAN

            Sort of just like Paul? Or am I not allowed to do that?

            “And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

            Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)

          • Pam Pam
            January 7, 2016    

            I most certainly can find fault in other man’s interpretations of scripture. I’m sure you’ve heard of other interpretations of scripture, such as, the “name it claim it” doctrine. The problems we can have with “…And people, using the gifts given them by God,” is that we have to take their word that they have a “gift” and it came from “god”. It’s highly subjective. The bible teaches us to test the spirits, and to watch out for false prophets. The bible also gives us great guidelines on what to watch for in false teachings and what kind of person can be a spiritual leader. Gothard fails in many of these areas.

            Please do not compare what Gothard has written to what Paul has written. Paul had a first hand experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul’s writings are in the bible! We know that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” 2Tim 3:16 To say that Gothard is somehow on the same level as Paul is outrageous. No Christian leader would be. Let us not take lightly the bible and what’s in it. Gothard’s character is proven by his own admission to be seriously lacking. Which is why people should never put the teachings of man before God’s Word.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 7, 2016    

            I most certainly can find fault in other man’s interpretations of scripture

            As do I. Question is whether you find fault because they offered an interpretation, or because you tested the interpretation and found it unscriptural. Earlier comment appeared to fault Bill for offering his interpretations in lists, perhaps?

            Paul had a first hand experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus

            Unless you have had a first hand experience with Jesus, you will never be in heaven.

          • Pam Pam
            January 7, 2016    

            Bill’s interpretations are unscriptural. But since interpretations are subjective, you probably disagree.

            You said “Unless you have had a first hand experience with Jesus, you will never be in heaven.”
            You just took my comment out of context, not surprising, since that’s Bill’s MO and your his follower.
            I’m done here. In light of the new lawsuit, I’d prefer to watch and see how this plays out. I hope you are not following the man blindly, due to a friendship. Support the man, but abhore the sin. Be his friend, but don’t make excuses. Remember, “faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 7, 2016    

            You said “Unless you have had a first hand experience with Jesus, you will never be in heaven.”
            You just took my comment out of context

            No, I really didn’t. Because Paul had a vision that makes his encounter with Jesus more “real” than mine? I strongly disagree. No halos on his head. Whatever happened to him is normal for believers everywhere. His ROLE was unique, including writing the Bible and special miracles, but nothing else.

            Support the man, but abhore the sin. Be his friend, but don’t make excuses.

            I agree with you. I challenge you to declare where we have failed to do that. Every accusation made here, over there, wherever has been taken by us directly to Bill, often his house, face to face. Among us are those who are various degrees of “Bill-o-Phils” . . . the group would fall apart if some concluded that we were covering fault.

          • Eric Eric
            February 1, 2016    

            why is he changing his teachings if they are biblibal?

          • Moderator Moderator
            February 2, 2016    

            why is he changing his teachings if they are biblibal

            Would you respect a person more for making adjustments, or for declaring infallibility? However, these things that Bill has adjusted are second tier issues.

          • Moderator Moderator
            February 2, 2016    

            which way you swing old earth or new earth creation

            :-) I am emphatically young earth.

            “SIX DAYS shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: . . . For in SIX DAYS the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:9-11)

        • December 28, 2015    

          Tyler take the time to look up the verses Bill quotes and look at them in their context and consult some good commentaries as well

          • Tyler Tyler
            December 28, 2015    

            Thanks for the advice, Chris. Rest assured; I am. :) Dr. Allan’s statements about Gothard’s misuse of Scripture were certainly enough of a warning to put me on guard and make me check for myself. Thank you for the warning though!

      • Don Rubottom Don Rubottom
        December 28, 2015    

        Funny how he never called out such abusers the way he called out those who disappointed him.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 28, 2015    

          Funny how he never called out such abusers the way he called out those who disappointed him.

          In what way, Don?

      • December 28, 2015    

        So if Bill doesn’t endorse these excesses it is incumbent on him to set the record straight and admonish people who follow his teachings to restrain themselves from taking things too far! When a public figure makes a statement only to back away from certain issues at a later stage but never correct their own error one could accuse them of being guilty by omission couldn’t they?

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 28, 2015    

          Information flow back to Bill . . . that is a big part of why we exist. A lot of the changes are adjustments in the message, not recanting. With authority, for example, in recent years I have heard him state many times that there are times where a person can disobey and be respected for it . . . and there is obedience that will be despised. That does not change the fact that rebellion is wrong, and authority is to be revered. But it starts to address situations where someone in authority is being wrong, and one under authority is struggling with their conscience.

          • December 29, 2015    

            But you agree that if someone in authority whether Pastor, Government or parent directs someone to do something that directly contradicts Scripture then they should follow their conscience and disobey that authority?

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 29, 2015    

            Yes, that is emphatically true. We must obey God rather than man. HOWEVER . . . that comes largely down to a matter of jurisdictions. If God has given a juridiction to a person, an entity, then we cannot claim God’s authority to contradict that if they are operating within that jurisdiction. The basic principle is this:

            “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” (Mark 12:17)

            Our taxes are Caesar’s jurisdiction, hence we can’t claim God’s authority to not pay them (this landed a prominent preacher in jail recently). The draft is the government’s jurisdiction . . . traffic laws, property rights, contracts. Some things overtly belong to God and may not be rendered to Caesar . . . our children, our bodies, marriage, the church, proclamation of the Gospel.

            SO . . . disobeying authority is not rebellion, but simply obeying the higher authority, the one that really has jurisdiction.

      • rob war rob war
        December 29, 2015    

        Bill was never open to review or critique of his teaching. For him to state this now after he is out is really too little too late. If someone’s body of teaching has been so misunderstood, misapplied, misread etc., then the real problem isn’t others using the teaching, the problem lies with the teacher himself. He is just again blaming others and not himself by telling you, his number one apologist, that he now regrets what his teaching and lead others to do or not do. But he is putting it on others, not looking at himself. If Bill truly cared about how his teaching may be misused, then he would have had others review it from the beginning, not kept it a “big secret” unless one attended and then instruct them “not to share” with others. That is how he ran it in the early years. He also wouldn’t have avoided the early critics (mostly seminar professors) of his teaching.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 30, 2015    

          You know, whatever Bill does or does not do, it will be wrong or too late :-) “But wisdom is justified of her children.” I am one of Bill’s children.

          “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

          And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

          For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

          The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” (Matthew 11:16-19)

          • Incredulous Incredulous
            December 30, 2015    

            But is it wisdom for Bill to make a habit of shaking his head over his most DEVOUT followers rather than the ones who didn’t implement his teaching as literally as these? Because this is not Christlike. It is, apparently, those who took him at his word “that give the ministry a bad name”. I think this is what the Italian mob calls “double-crossing one of your own.”

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 30, 2015    

            I recall some gentle but pointed warnings back in the day (1970s) at Basic Seminars, seeking to curb some of the zeal. Urging folks to work the principles into their life message, supported by Scriptures, without constant references back to him. Also an interesting object lesson on being extreme. He took a sheet of paper and held it vertically balanced from the bottom with one hand. He then folded it in half horizontally, then straightened it out and attempted the same hold. It continually flopped down along the crease. However, when he hyperextended it by folding it back the other way – THEN it stood up straight.

            Extreme and Exciting Paper Bending

            The point was that when we have well worn creases in our lives by being folded the wrong way, attempts to straighten the error are often short lived – old patterns of thinking and behavior just come back. Sometimes some extreme hyperextending in the opposite direction is required for us to find balance.

            SO . . . Instead of just teaching the benefits of whole grain foods he taught the importance of “daily bread”, of grinding our own wheat. Lots of folks did that, ourselves included (inexpensive grain mill, wheat by the sack), for several years (that was my job). Better tasting bread you will never find, healthier family. That was, we discovered later, not a hard rule at HQ, noted by our first visit there decades ago when we were served white rolls at their staff lunch. Still better, HQ pursues that standard, but in balance.

            Same with the “Blessing of Children”. Although birth control was never described as a sin, there was much motivation to embrace the gifts God has for a family, much discussion of those who were far down in the family order that God built for greatness, that “birth control” would have eliminated. David was #11, as was Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley were around #9, mother Susanna Wesley was the last of 25, etc. Also a description of the reasons Satan hates babies – Psalm 8 suggests that babies – “babes and sucklings” – defeat the Enemy, just by existing.

            Without that encouragement it is doubtful we would have had our 11, and we shudder to imagine life without any of them. When the time came that Momma got sick we learned some balance. But, again, without the hyperextension we would be missing some of our most precious treasures. And we are grateful.

            So, we think he did a great job. It is sort of like isolating vitamins which have been missing from a sick man’s diet and prescribing a rigid regimen of supplements. If you keep on the supplements forever without eventually going back to more normal diet you may get weird sicknesses in the opposite direction. Can’t cram all of that into a single 30 hour seminar. That is why we report to Jesus and our own local spiritual authorities for the long haul, to gain and keep balance.

        • February 11, 2016    

          Just an observation regarding Bill saying others have taken his teachings to extremes…. that screams deflection. Has Bill ever publicly corrected others who took his teachings to extremes? I can give Bill the address of quite a few here in Australia who need a good dressing down by Bill

      • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
        December 30, 2015    

        I can’t see how you can still be falling hook, line and sinker, after all these yeard, for Gothard’s teachings. Look at all that ring doings thar have happened over the years, and the abuse that’s come to light. I sure wouldn’t be proud to be associated with his organization. I have witnessed the horrors it’s done to my family and others. You think we are all making up stories Alfred and calling us liars? who has bewitched you?

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 30, 2015    

          “the abuse that’s come to light”

          Well, we are all about dealing with the abuse . . . or alleged abuse. If you read through “Did He Do It?” you will see how little of what is alleged is actually true.

          I have witnessed the horrors it’s done to my family and others.

          That sounds like a testimony. We want to hear it, maybe help have a part in correcting those horrors. Do you want to share?

          • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
            December 30, 2015    

            Many have written Bill or got in contact with the proper people and not got a response. That doesn’t set right with me. Many individuals and families with marriages and relationships ruined. What I thought as a wife, mattered not. Patriarchy taken too far. in the early 2000s my boys were out at a training center. Not sure if it was main Indy campus. My ex husband sent them out, despite the fact I didn’t want them to be there. I flew out and brought them back home. A week later they were out there again. Driving back home in my son’s vehicle, one of the big Whig was following us when we stopped at a plaza with stores. Los of things…they shouldn’t have been out there if both parents didn’t agree.

            The pull and push was too strong from the church where my brother in law was pastoring. The Gothard stuff was shoved down my throat, and I expected to chew and swallow. Overall , it was a horrid experience. Many of the families in ATI have had their families fall apart, people who were in my church, and many if the ladis I have come to call my friends in the support group. Too many similarities, negative ones. On a positive note, I am gratefull for my six kids and 7 grandchildren. But the marriage ended in divorce. I couldn’t continue on in such a lifestyle. There are many small things that occured and continued and there was no workable solution.
            That’s my biased viewpoint after being married 23 years and always in a Gothard item church. And there are many ladies out there with very similar lufe stories.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 30, 2015    

            Reading between the lines, many of your concerns with Bill had to do with wives “submitting” to their husbands, am I right? That is certainly one of the more delicate matters to work through in a family, but it IS taught in Scripture, so Bill did not invent it.

            “Patriarchy” is one of those terms like “legalism” that is simply not found in Scripture, hence seems to mean all kinds of things for all kinds of people. Again, is “patriarchy” to you husbands as head of the family per se, or some of the abuses that happen as carnal fathers and husbands try to impose their will on their families using Scripture as a club?

            The latter is a problem, but it has always been so, long before Bill. It takes a lot of wisdom and grace to have a marriage where a husband genuinely and sacrificially loves his wife and a wife genuinely reverences and is fond of her husband. My part of my marriage is not yet a fulfillment of that.

          • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
            December 30, 2015    

            Yes Alfred, alot is the pushing of submission. There was no mutual submission. Many of the teachings directly effected the wife and her body, strength, etc. How many people out there listened to their wives and treated them well and how many were treated as I was in my marriage.? if I had been in a non Gothard church, like I have been for 13 years, life and marriage would have improved.

  7. December 29, 2015    

    Must be doing your head in always being on the defensive!

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 29, 2015    

      Nah :-) It is what we signed up for.

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        December 29, 2015    

        Keep up the good work, brother. I admire your grace, if you’ll pardon the pun. Especially in your modest comment above.

        DSK, Sr.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 30, 2015    

          We deeply appreciate that, David.

    • Incredulous Incredulous
      December 30, 2015    

      Moderator, it’s definitely a “thing” in the Bible that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. But where does it say that ANYONE needs to submit to the teaching of IBLP? Because Johnathan Edwards & Susanna Wesley’s kids came from godly husbands with godly wives who never attended any IBLP seminar. Also, I read a Christian-authored-&-published biography of Susanna where her husband left her for a while. This was because she had told him she would not obey him in ceasing to minister to a woman who was a mistress (adulteress). (Her reasoning was because this otherwise-single-woman was the mistress of a married man he was ministering to & she wouldn’t submit to her husband’s hypocrisy in shunning the one but not the other). Seems like her kids turned out as better fruit for the kingdom than a lot of of us Gothard fruit has.

      • Moderator Moderator
        December 31, 2015    

        Also, I read a Christian-authored-&-published biography of Susanna where her husband left her for a while. This was because she had told him she would not obey him in ceasing to minister to a woman who was a mistress (adulteress). (Her reasoning was because this otherwise-single-woman was the mistress of a married man he was ministering to & she wouldn’t submit to her husband’s hypocrisy in shunning the one but not the other).

        I think you were reading some fiction, Incredulous. The version we heard coming from Moody was that they disagreed on the succession of authority in the British government and, discovering that she favored the wrong ruler, he vowed to not have relations with her until she repented. In the end a third candidate arose that they could both support, and the matter was done. They named the next child after the new queen, if I recall.

  8. mosessister mosessister
    December 29, 2015    

    I started viewing Session 1, but I did not get very far. :>

    In the first 2 slides, he juxtaposes wisdom (of God) and reason (from ??). It’s not clear what he believes is the source of human reason. He implies that it is evil, and we should seek wisdom rather than reason. But I think it’s more accurate to say that human reason is fallen, not evil. God created human reason, and He saw that it was good. So it’s not something we ought to completely eschew, and in fact, we are blatantly unable to. Everyone reading this is exercising human reason. It is definitely something that we NEED to filter with God’s wisdom, but to create a dichotomy between the two is erroneous, to reject reason completely is wrong.

    And it sets up all kinds of even worse applications, like….we ought to reject all secular education, all secular biology, all secular media, all secular arts, all secular science, all secular psychology, all secular technology, all secular medicine. Oops, guess most people don’t reject secular technology and medicine. But they are products of human reason…how then SHOULD we differentiate between what is good and righteous knowledge, and what is bad and evil knowledge?

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 30, 2015    

      I won’t be able to answer every question, I am sure. Here is the section I think about when I think about God’s wisdom vs. human reason:

      Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

      For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

      And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20

      Boy, that DOES seem to decry human reasoning, doesn’t it? Like . . . if we think we have that, we should make sure we become idiots in that department so we can be truly wise. How do you explain this?

      • December 30, 2015    

        Where does the bible endorse throwing our brains away? God gave us brains to discern right and wrong. Does the bible promote a cart blanch rejection of human reasoning? If a child has soiled it’s diaper do I need to pray before a change it? If my house is burning down should I consult the scriptures before call I the fire department? If I am running a fever of 104 should I pray and ask God what sin I committed before going to the emergency room? Would I be a fool or lack wisdom if I acted to preserve my own life or the lives of others? It’s easy to quote a verse in an attempt to micro manage every single event in life however there is such a thing as conventional human wisdom and reasoning that is sound.

        Matthew 7:9-11New American Standard Bible (NASB)

        9 Or what man is there among you [a]who, when his son asks for a loaf, [b]will give him a stone? 10 Or [c]if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 30, 2015    

          You make some great points, Chris. The answers are not as intuitive as you think.

          If a child has soiled it’s diaper do I need to pray before a change it?

          1 Thess. 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing”. That’s praying during and about, well, everything. Yes, you should.

          If my house is burning down should I consult the scriptures before call I the fire department?

          Quick answer, absolutely.

          “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

          Longer answer: If you were a missionary in distant places, no fire department, is the first thing you would do is call for the fire department? How about if angry ISIS followers set your house on fire because they hate your Christianity, is that your first call? Boy, I would hope that your first call is to Jesus who actually controls the fire, the angry mob, the fire department.

          So . . . if you have to consult Him first in some extreme location, why would you not do so in a local one? Is Jesus any less concerned, in control where there are fire departments we can see? Maybe . . . maybe He sometimes allows some bad tragedies because we look to the “experts” first.

          If I am running a fever of 104 should I pray and ask God what sin I committed before going to the emergency room?

          You tell me, even based on the preceding.

          “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.” ( 2 Chronicles 16:12)

          I think the Lord gets really offended when we profess to serve an Almighty God that controls all things, yet our first – and often only – call is to resources that we can see, handle, control.

          Would I be a fool or lack wisdom if I acted to preserve my own life or the lives of others?

          Read the story of D. L. Moody. So sick with heart disease, doctor ordered complete cessation of preaching, long rest. On the boat trip to the continent to execute that the boat was almost lost. Leaving Moody with the clear understanding that he basically had the choice: Die in a ship accident, or burn out his heart, preaching. And he chose the latter.

          Hezekiah pleaded for his life to be extended when God had told him he was dying, and the Lord granted him 15 more years. During that time he made a critical blunder in bragging about his riches to the Babylonians paying a visit, which God told him would lead to the destruction of the entire nation later. AND in those 15 years he had his only son, Manasseh, who became arguably the worst king either kingdom ever saw, actually being the one to kill Isaiah, whom the Lord used in Hezekiah’s healing.

          “The day of death [is better] than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

          We all want our lives extended, and we cry deeply over our relatives, family, friends that they may be spared to us. Is that always God’s best? You tell me. Based on what I cited, not always. All I am saying – the Lord and His will is most definitely the first thing we consult on matters of sickness and health.

      • Mosessister Mosessister
        January 1, 2016    

        No, that passage is not decrying human reason, only its fallenness, which is in need first of redemption, then continuing illumination and sanctification. You are ignoring the context of the passage, especially the context of the OT quotations (Job 5; Ps 94). In context, these passages are referring to the evil and wickedness of the fallen world, not human reason in and of itself.

        Let me ask this, Alfred: What do you believe is the source of human reason? What does Gothard believe is the source of human reason?

        I find it ironic that respected seminaries teach there are 4 sources of God-knowledge (in order of decreasing authority): Scripture, Tradition (by which we have the Canon), Reason (by which we understand), Experience (by which our 5 senses interface with God), all bathed in Holy Spirit illumination. Teaching that human reason is to be avoided is not really even orthodox Christianity, it is borderline heresy, implying as it does an extremely low view of God’s wonderful created beings, His Image-bearers, Imago Dei (very similar to the Gnostic heresy of dualism). But as someone who buys into the dichotomy, I’m sure you disdain that human “book-larnin.” LOL.

        This is a serious error; its prominence in the intro to the Basic Seminar, the first thing he talks about, even BEFORE THE PRAYER (he’s not even modeling what he’s teaching, LOL), is evidence of the importance Gothard placed on it as the foundation for his belief system. It kinda calls into question everything he taught after that. On the basis of that alone, I’m very comfortable rejecting his entire corpus of teaching. But of course this foundational error leads to plenty of other easily identifiable errors, sadly.

        • Moderator Moderator
          January 1, 2016    

          Happy New Year!

          No, that passage is not decrying human reason, only its fallenness, which is in need first of redemption, then continuing illumination and sanctification

          So . . . Where do you get that idea from the passage? More from a couple of chapters earlier:

          Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

          For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1:20-21)

          No redeeming, just a hoped for replacement of one with the other.

          On the basis of that alone, I’m very comfortable rejecting his entire corpus of teaching

          Then you better Scripturally support your premise. So far I have heard orthodox seminary theology presented as a support. Prove that God “redeems” human reason to enable us to know Him. I say that human reason is locked in this life . . . things that make me, for example, a decent mathematician and computer programmer, enable me to understand linguistics, know some Greek. All of this helps in this life, but nothing nothing to enable me to know the mind of God. THAT is given by revelation, an organic thing, a relationship. The two are separated by an infinite chasm.

          If you are right, then children and the mentally challenged are at a distinct DISADVANTAGE in knowing the Lord and His principles and truths. Yet Jesus paints them as having an overwhelming advantage, to the point that the intellectually smart need to “dumb down” to become like what smart people people naturally despise before they can get it. You know more of the reality of this than most.

          And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

          Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

          In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. (Luke 10:21)

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 1, 2016    

            What is the source of human reason, Alfred?

            (The idea that human wickedness and evil is in view in 1 Cor 3 is found in the text itself. The text explains the text. Verse 19 – For the WISDOM OF THIS WORLD is foolishness….not human reasoning itself, but…wisdom!! The kind that the fallen world accepts. Also the reference to Ps 94. In 94:3, we see that the referent is the wicked, not human reasoning, but the wicked who are crushing God’s people. The text itself does not support what you are eisegeting in. But the larger issue is that the Christian worldview is respectful of God’s created beings. This is found in the doctrine of Imago Dei. One who brings that to the passage would not automatically assume that human reason is the culprit that is being condemned, rather, that some aspect of fallen human reason is being condemned.)

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 1, 2016    

            WISDOM OF THIS WORLD is foolishness

            Yes, the world, Greek “kosmos”. Here is our relationship to the kosmos, not redemption, but rejection:

            Love not the world[“kosmos”], neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)

            We are not to love the wisdom of this world. That includes logic, philosophy, critical thinking, science . . . All the things that the world respects.

          • rob war rob war
            January 1, 2016    

            Happy New Year. Why have you interpreted the “wisdom of the world” to mean logic, critical thinking, science etc. Whether to the world “respects” any of these tools or not, they are just tools of study. It seems like you made a leap here and equated “wisdom of world” to mean specific areas of study. If you read Proverbs which I know you do, Proverbs says in more than one place to seek wisdom and knowledge and to pursue them. This anti-intellect of Bill’s teaching is more of a relfection of Bill himself than what has been done through the ages in Christian thinking and education and higher learning. Some of the greatest advancements in science and medicine etc have been done by those deeply dedicated to their Christian faith. As Psalms 19 says “The heavens and earth declare the Glory of God …” then we can certainly see God handiwork in the study of science, logic etc. “Wisdom of this World” is more about rejection of God and thinking that there isn’t a God and then that is the springboard into other things. God obviously made a logical orderly world and we can study it a see that this wonderful world does declare the “Glory of God”. Bill’s anti-intellect is only found in some Anabaptist circles but is not the overall idea in Christian history concerning education and study.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            Proverbs says in more than one place to seek wisdom and knowledge and to pursue them.

            The knowledge here is knowledge of the Lord and His ways, experience. Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, the big three:

            The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth;
            by understanding hath he established the heavens.
            By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
            (Proverbs 3:19-20)

            Wisdom is a spiritual insight . . . Understanding comes when it makes sense . . . Knowledge comes when we apply what we know and learn the practical results.

            Through wisdom is an house builded;
            and by understanding it is established:
            And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
            (Proverbs 24:3-4)

            Everything comes from the spirit.

            This anti-intellect of Bill’s teaching is more of a relfection of Bill himself than what has been done through the ages in Christian thinking and education and higher learning.

            Depends on who is doing the thinking and education. Throughout the ages there has been the same divide between those that rely on their human senses and logic and those that rely on the Scriptures and the spirit. No man can serve two masters . . . as Jesus said, you will either openly love one and hate the other . . . or just hold to one and despise the other, when push comes to shove.

            Prime example is origins. The Bible clearly teaches 6 days of creation. Science sees billions of years. So . . . you either love one – science or the Bible – or you elevate one and play fast and loose with the other to make it fit. That means, you believe science and play fast and loose with the Bible to make it fit, or you believe the Bible and play fast and loose with science to make it fit. You can’t serve both.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 2, 2016    

            What is the source of human reason, Alfred? Still looking for an answer to this.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            The source of human wisdom is humans, specifically our soul, our psychology. What makes me a mathematician, for example.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 2, 2016    

            What is the source of our soul? What is the source of humans? Looking for the first, or root, cause.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            I see where you are going. Why stop there? God created our body and the body tells us stuff. About the world we live in. How effective are the 5 senses in telling us ANYTHING about the Lord and wisdom and the spiritual realm? If you answered “not at all”, you are right. The reason is that those senses are confined to the physical realm. And God is a spirit.

            Similarly, “human wisdom”, also known as logic and philosophy, is confined to the world of the soul, psychological, mental things like knowing principles of science and math and relationships and emotions. That is a world, the world of men. It does not sense the spiritual either, since that is in another world, “dimension”, to go with science fiction for a moment.

            The spirit of man is designed to exist in the spiritual world. Like the body it has 5 senses for that world. ONLY with the spirit can spiritual things be seen. The soul is inadequate, the body is inadequate. Close your spiritual eyes and you are blind.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 2, 2016    

            The source of evil is one of those mysteries that are not completely clear to finite human brains. But of this we can be sure: Because God can’t be the source of evil, nothing that He created is inherently evil, including human reason. I believe that THE WILL of humans and other created beings (like satan) are the source of evil. As God is without parts (the attribute of simplicity), so too are humans unable to be separated into parts as His Image-bearers. The Fall affected all of my being (natural man, or old man); regeneration redeemed all of my being (new man), including my reason. Even prior to regeneration, because the law of God is written on EVERYONE’S hearts from birth (general revelation), as you say, human reason is capable of producing both evil (because it is fallen) and righteousness (because God’s creation is inherently good, and even the unregenerate heart is capable of distinguishing between good and evil).

            The juxtaposition of human reason as evil, against God’s wisdom, is outside the pale of orthodox Christian teaching. It cannot be supported by a plain reading of Scripture, it has no traditional support throughout history. It has led you to several inconsistent and insupportable claims, such as:

            No part of your physical senses serve spiritual formation…You need an embodied spirit to interact with, and love and serve God, Alfred. That is the way He created us.

            Not in need of redemption….is not the whole world in need of redemption? Not just parts of it?

            Human reason has produced good things that you readily take advantage of, such as technology, automobiles, and medicine. Why are these products ok to use, but not philosophy, psychology, the arts? Very inconsistent.

            You said, “I think the Lord gets really offended when we profess to serve an Almighty God that controls all things, yet our first – and often only – call is to resources that we can see, handle, control.” Isn’t this EXACTLY what you are doing on this website, defending the teachings of a fallen human? Saying you’ve lived your life by it, how wonderful it is?

            Gothard wants his audience to eschew reason for wisdom, but he wants his audience TO USE THE MATERIALS HE DEVELOPED WITH HIS OWN REASON? Unbelievable.
            ______________________________________
            Up to this point, I hesitated to call Gothard’s teachings heretical. I’m past that now. Your “infinite chasm” between human parts with its low view of human anthropology/ontology is not consistent with the orthodox Christian doctrine of Imago Dei. Gothard’s dichotomy of human reason and God’s wisdom is very close to the Gnostic heresy of dualism, and is also not consistent with orthodox conceptualizations of Imago Dei.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            But of this we can be sure: Because God can’t be the source of evil, nothing that He created is inherently evil, including human reason

            Not going to argue that. But let me ask you this: what is the “natural man” in the passage?

            “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

            But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

            But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

            For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-16)

            Pretty clear that, whatever it is, we do not want to be “natural” but rather “spiritual”. This is the sum and substance of Bill’s concern.

            Human reason has produced good things that you readily take advantage of

            The point is not that these things have no value, just that they have no spiritual value. Bill’s analogy: make a pile of $1 bills and a second pile of $100 bills. Give a contestant – you – 30 seconds to fill their pockets. How much time will you spend on the $1 pile? If you start doing so, are you smart, a fool, or neutral? The answer is a fool. Criminally so, assuming this money is key to future happiness, let’s say.

            The wisdom of man is stuck in this world and will burn with it. Not a speck will survive in eternity. Plus it is completely inadequate to supply spiritual answers, what every man desperately needs.

            See, most people believe that human reasoning will eventually find God, connect us to the spiritual realm. There is an finite chasm separating our human intellect from God. Cannot be crossed. Those that commit their life journey to these things are guaranteed to end up in hell. “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7). THAT is why something created good becomes evil, becoming a dead substitute for something living when your eternal existence depends on it.

            he wants his audience TO USE THE MATERIALS HE DEVELOPED WITH HIS OWN REASON? Unbelievable.

            Can physical materials, words be spiritual? Yes, they can.

            “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)

            So Bill would say that these materials were developed using his spirit, guided by the Holy Spirit, despite using his human faculties to make them intelligible, interesting, orderly.

        • Mosessister Mosessister
          January 2, 2016    

          You use your eyes to read God’s written Special Revelation, Alfred, do you not? You use your hands to hold it?

          You were reluctant to come right out and say that God is the source of human reason. But for talking purposes, let’s say that you agree God is the source of everything. What, then, is the source of evil?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            God is not the source for my reasoning and decisions, even though He enabled me to do both. God’s “special revelation” is written on paper or held as pixels in my iPad, and so obviously I use my eyes to read and my “human reason” to gather meaning from English words. That does nothing for me spiritually – apes can be taught to recognize meaning from written code, but they cannot know God. I am also different from the apes in that the entire Law of God is written in my spiritual heart from before birth (Romans 2:15). That is not my human mind, since my mind needs things written in English or German, languages I learned later.

            Source of evil? Evil is anything that emanates from a spirit independent of God. Animals have no spirit although they have the ability to reason, a “psychology” – therefor they are incapable of evil. Angels have no body and no soul the way we do for they do not inhabit this world, but they are capable of becoming evil. The first evil was Lucifer declaring himself “like God”. Eve became evil when she chose to step outside God’s command and try also to be “like God”. Men are evil until they surrender to Jesus, receive His gift of salvation and confess Him as “Lord”.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 2, 2016    

            I’m having trouble with your commenting format. I apologize if I’m not replying to the correct comment.

            The natural man is the unregenerate man. Unregenerate human reason is fallen, and must be filtered by the Word of God. But it’s not completely evil. Unregenerate humans are capable of doing good.

            Human reason vs God’s wisdom is a false dichotomy; it’s wrong to reject all human reason as evil; indeed, it is quite impossible to do so with any consistency. Gothard would have been better to teach full on discernment rather than putting arbitrary labels on things. Rules about rejecting products of “human reason” does nothing to develop one’s spiritual discernment, and only increases the likelihood that important and necessary knowledge (from General Revelation) is rejected. Like understanding how best to respond to the PTSD that a survivor of child sexual abuse experiences. 0_0

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 3, 2016    

            I’m having trouble with your commenting format. I apologize if I’m not replying to the correct comment

            It stinks.

            The natural man is the unregenerate man. Unregenerate human reason is fallen, and must be filtered by the Word of God. But it’s not completely evil. Unregenerate humans are capable of doing good.

            You so know that every Calvinist and most evangelicals would disagree with you. Based on verses like this:

            “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

            There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

            They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

            Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

            Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

            Their feet are swift to shed blood:

            Destruction and misery are in their ways:

            And the way of peace have they not known:

            There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

            Human reason vs God’s wisdom is a false dichotomy; it’s wrong to reject all human reason as evil; indeed, it is quite impossible to do so with any consistency.

            How do you iterpret this? This seems to make it quite clear that we can’t trust our own heart.

            The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

            Like understanding how best to respond to the PTSD that a survivor of child sexual abuse experiences. 0_0

            :-) Maybe that is exhibit A. The ministry has some amazing testimonies from people delivered from decades of bondage because of sexual abuse. In many cases instantaneous deliverance. That lasted. That is what you would expect from Almighty God, right?

            “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
            neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

            For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
            so are my ways higher than your ways,
            and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
            (Isaiah 55:8-9)

            God doesn’t think like humans do. That is pretty clear.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 3, 2016    

            Generally speaking, I believe that what I have said here is representative of both evangelical and Calvinist thought. I am not a Calvinist per se, but much of evangelical theology is consistent with both Calvinist and non-Calvinist perspectives.

            My go-to reference is Millard Erickson’s widely-used Christian Theology. His systematic theology text is used in most evangelical seminaries today. He is a Calvinist, though not of the “double-predestination” stripe.

            Here is a quote from his chapter on human anthropology:

            “No part of the human makeup is evil per se. Total depravity means that sin infects all of what a human is, not merely the body, mind, or emotions. Similarly, sanctification is not to be thought of as involving only one part of human nature, for no one part of the person is the exclusive seat of good or of righteousness. God is at work renewing the whole of what we are.” (Erickson, 557)

            John Calvin himself had a high view of human reason.

            I won’t add more quotes, but I think it is safe to say that everything I said about the doctrine of Imago Dei and human anthro are practically direct quotes from Erickson, so much so that I should probably give credit more often than I do.

            If I have presented anything erroneously or ambiguously, I am open to correction, and am happy to clarify.

            Having said that, I’ll note, contrary to something I previously stated, that dichotomism (body/spirit) is actually the traditional view of humans. Conditional monism (human nature=a unity, inseparable) is most widely accepted now, however. Your view, trichotomism (body/soul/spirit) has never been widely accepted, and in fact, has roots in ancient Greek pagan thought. (Erickson, 538-557) I apologize for the previous mis-statement.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 4, 2016    

            Millard Erickson’s widely-used Christian Theology

            His Wiki calls him “moderately Calvinist”. I thought the way I grew up to be moderately Calvinist . . . and “total depravity” was never in question. The verses cited previously are often quoted.

            John Calvin himself had a high view of human reason.

            Can you briefly explain that? I do not like “Calvinism” but do respect Calvin.

            trichotomism (body/soul/spirit) has never been widely accepted,

            Boy, if there are words to raise hackles, that type of approach might do it :-) Terms like “traditional” or “widely accepted” are trigger words. It is most definitely taught in Scripture, 1 Thess. 5:23 That is at least as clear as the teaching of the Trinity.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 3, 2016    

            Where is Exhibit A, BTW? You keep referring to all these people who were “freed from the bondage of sexual abuse,” but I don’t see any actual testimonies anywhere.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 4, 2016    

            You keep referring to all these people who were “freed from the bondage of sexual abuse,” but I don’t see any actual testimonies anywhere

            I have heard several detailed accounts, also see them in writing, newsletters. I will ask Bill to see what he has available. I know he keeps a lot of documents of that nature – testimonies.

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 4, 2016    

            I’m confused, I think. It sounds like you believe what I’ve said, as well as the quote from Erickson, calls total depravity into question. I accept the doctrine of total depravity. I believe that all of what makes up a human being, including human reason, is fallen, and capable of great evil, but is not inherently evil, because anything God created is not evil in and of itself. This accords with Erickson’s metaphor of sin as an “infection” of all parts that make up humans, I believe. Humans are capable of goodness and righteousness, even tho they are fallen, because of the activity of the Holy Spirit in both Special Revelation and General Revelation. I don’t think your friend Chris would take issue with any of that, in fact, I have agreed with everything that he’s had to say on the subject so far. Happy to be corrected, however.

            Re: terms like “traditional” and “widely-accepted:” recall the 4 sources of God-knowledge-Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience. While I definitely do not “check my brains at the door,” I do have a healthy respect for Christian “orthodoxy.” My beliefs line up with that “traditional” body of knowledge “widely-accepted” as orthodox. I don’t believe Gothard’s teachings do, and I think that is HUGELY problematic. My goal in any discussion is to point out what I see as flaws in Gothard’s teachings, based on how well it accords with Scripture, firstly, and tradition, secondly.

            I’m sure you will object that just because something is “traditional,” that doesn’t make it right. I agree it’s possible, tho not very likely, that tradition does sometimes conflict with Biblical teaching. Tradition is a fallen endeavor, after all, not inerrant by any means. But I also think anytime a teaching diverges from tradition, and the great minds which have already thought these things through, it should be scrutinized. I am scrutinizing, and what I see falls short of both Biblical and traditional teaching about human reason. Since this is foundational to Gothard’s whole system, I strongly caution against the use of anything Gothard/IBLP.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 5, 2016    

            tradition does sometimes conflict with Biblical teaching.

            I am inclined to believe more often than not. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers” (1 Peter 1:18)

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 5, 2016    

            But of course what we refer to as “tradition” today is quite different from the tradition of the diaspora that Peter is referring to. Our tradition accepts Christ; the Jewish tradition did not. Pretty big difference.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 5, 2016    

            Our tradition accepts Christ; the Jewish tradition did not. Pretty big difference.

            Not sure that is the tradition in mind:

            For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: (1 Peter 4:3)

            Jews walking in all of that might as well be Gentiles. So whatever traditions they had received, they would match anything we would bring with us. I think he had more of this in mind, philosophies:

            “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

          • Mosessister Mosessister
            January 5, 2016    

            I think the reference to the diaspora in the greeting, as well as the fact that Peter primarily ministered to the Jews, makes it pretty certain that the Jewish tradition is in view. Regardless, whether Jewish or Gentile tradition, Peter is clearly referring to a Christ-less tradition. Not the same thing as the tradition of the NT Church for the past 2000 years at all.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 5, 2016    

            I think the reference to the diaspora in the greeting, as well as the fact that Peter primarily ministered to the Jews, makes it pretty certain that the Jewish tradition is in view.

            “Strangers” can also be a reference to chapter 2:11, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul”

            Also . . . how weird that he expresses his ministry thus:

            “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” (Acts 15:7)

    • December 30, 2015    

      I noted that myself the verses Bill refers to actually acknowledge reason as a device for discerning wisdom or wisdom bringing about sound reasoning..
      There is also an argument against Bill’s proposition
      Hebrews 5: 12-14
      12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

      13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

      14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

      • Moderator Moderator
        December 30, 2015    

        Those are great verses, Chris. That teaches us that discernment is a skill we need to work at. Sort of like the development of an effective immune system which comes in part by learning the pathogens in the environment and ever more effective antibodies and techniques against them. Trained by “use”. A baby can only handle milk because the digestive system is immature and sees most everything as an enemy. Over time it gets better at detecting and extracting the “good stuff” while ignoring, passing through the bad.

        That is NOT reason, but “spiritual discernment”. Eminates from the spirit, not the mind, which is precisely his point.

        Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

        But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

        But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

        For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:13-16)

        “Natural” here is the Greek word for “psychological” . . . the “psychological” man, the “soulish” man, since “pysche” means “soul”. Out human reasoning is centered in our psychology – mind, will, emotions. That part of us is built for a different world than our spirit, that which lives in the spiritual realm. So . . . big minds, heavy thinking may make us better physicists and mathematicians, but only mighty spirits can discern and negotiate spiritual things. The “spiritual man” judges ALL things, and nobody can contradict him (“he himself is judged by no man”). [Check out A Salvation Trinity for an examination of the differences between Spirit, Soul, and Body]

        That is what Paul said. How do you understand this passage?

        • December 31, 2015    

          Firstly discernment means to seek out and understand, How does one come to a knowledge of Christ if they do not seek to understand the Gospel, become aware of their sin and repent of it? If your view is correct then unless someone is born of the spirit they have no spiritual discernment and therefore cannot be born again. In some of the verses Bill quotes in his seminar the use of wisdom and reason are used in the same sentence. What Bill is implying is that wisdom is separate from reasoning. Wisdom is somehow only in the spiritual and reason is only ever carnal.

          The verses I quoted from Matthew and Hebrews do not separate human reasoning from wisdom. Wisdom is attained through experience and knowledge how ever knowledge does not always equate with wisdom or maturity even in the Christian sense.

          Bill has employed the same method that the mission group I used to work for employed. That is, if you follow this method you will attain Christian maturity quicker or if you use this method you will avoid all these issues in life. Both uses of this methodology are blatantly false. The verses in Matthew 7 do not deny carnal or worldly think how Jesus is not saying that the desire to do good and treat others well is the exclusive domain of Christians. Hebrews is not saying that reason is only ever a spiritual pursuit when applied properly. Reason and wisdom are not the exclusive domain of Christianity. Where the whole argument falls down is not in the implementation of wisdom and knowledge but who we attribute wisdom and knowledge to.

          I would agree that God is the first cause of all things so by default all knowledge extends from the Lord. All that we know about the world through science, math, medicine etc are from the Lord. If I take the argument that I should reject modern medicine or science because an atheist or secular group founded and organized it; I am playing into the same false superstitious thinking that the Catholic church used to try and retain the idea that the earth was the center of the Universe and everything revolved around it!

          Bill’s argumentation falls into the realm of mysticism that is at its best. Bill’s approach to scripture is called proof texting which I mentioned in another post here is acontextual. Bill absolutely spiritualises into a realm that is exclusive to Christianity. If that is true why does he live in a house and use electricity? Many of those who developed the technology we live by were at best agnostic or deist not Christian. If Bill’s thesis is correct all modern sciences should be rejected. Did you know the modern computer was invented by a homosexual?

          Okay I am raving I will stop now

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 31, 2015    

            How does one come to a knowledge of Christ if they do not seek to understand the Gospel, become aware of their sin and repent of it?

            You sound like a Calvinist. God has ALREADY written the law in every person’s heart from before birth. THAT is how they know enough to recognize the Gospel when it is presented and respond to it. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11) EVERYBODY gets enough light and strength to seek the Lord and then to trust Christ.

            Wisdom is attained through experience and knowledge

            Disagree. Wisdom is a revelation to the spirit, coming as a result of contemplating the Scriptures and by the work of the Holy Spirit. “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Luke 10:21)

            Did you know the modern computer was invented by a homosexual?

            I have to correct you. Turing, by any imagination, did not “invent the computer”. He conseptualized computing in a mathematical way . . . the computer came about by a lot of others doing a lot of things that had absolutely nothing to do with Turing. My math degree and computer programming career come to the surface.

            But you mischaracterize what Bill teaches. Science is not evil, it is simply pathetically inadequate. Smart, super smart people are falling into hell daily, hourly. They wake up to a reality that they cannot logically explain, but they are living in all its insane horror. Dr. Carl Sagan allegedly died making sure all knew that he absolutely did not repent or cry out to God for mercy. Fool – would to God his disciples could see him now. The realities of the spiritual world CANNOT be discerned by a progression of human reasoning. That is why logical, philosophical, scientific proofs of God’s existence, etc. are so foolish. These things cannot be proven . . . only seen. If you close your spiritual eyes, you will NEVER see them.

          • December 31, 2015    

            Aww shucks….. yes I am a Calvinist WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CLUE??????

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 31, 2015    

            I still love you, brother Chris :-). The clue is worrying about people not being able to trust Christ.

            When I think about the conundrums Calvinism ties itself up in, I think of the fact that science has at various times proven that bumblebees cannot fly. And I say, “The Bumblebee CAN Fly!” Against all possibility I CAN surrender to Jesus and receive Him as my Lord and Savior. There may be those that stand before Him in that coming day and try to say, “But I COULDN’T repent because You didn’t given me the ability to do so”. At that point millennia of foolishness regarding “the bondage of the will” will claim another eternal victim, or at least be exposed in shame for what it is.

            Meaning, as a message to any not resting in Jesus on this last day of 2015 . . . Let God judge Bill Gothard, He will do it fairly and perfectly. Hell is real, eternity is endless, life is short, Jesus loves you and really did die for you as though you were the only one, the choice is really in your hand, still, a door open. Do the impossible, repent and trust Christ and be saved FOREVER.

    • Sandy Sandy
      December 30, 2015    

      Mosessister – Great observation, and such an obvious way to start out the week, huh? Ignore your reasoning while I feed you stuff to make you wise. Defenses compromised, mission is all the easier to accomplish.

      • Moderator Moderator
        December 30, 2015    

        Ignore your reasoning while I feed you stuff to make you wise.

        That is precisely correct, provided the “I” is the Lord, right? Or do you feel that your human reasoning needs to crosscheck the Lord’s commands and instruction before you obey? Sort of what “faith” is all about, right?

        Notice the premium placed here on revelation, such as children can receive, and how the “wise and prudent” are bypassed:

        “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Luke 10:21)

        • Sandy Sandy
          December 30, 2015    

          But the “I” wasn’t the Lord is the point; it was Bill. Bill figured a clever way to seduce the masses. Bill’s no dummy, and I’ve never claimed he was.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 30, 2015    

            Well, since the “I” that is the Lord is not actually talking physical words much, He tends to speak through His word, which is also taught us by people. So . . . if Bill comes in the Name of the Lord to teach us things God has taught him to teach us, suddenly it becomes a bigger issue than “Oh, that is just Bill”. The Bereans in Scripture “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:10) But . . . they DID then accept what Paul said after proving it Scriptural, and obeyed, not Paul, but the Lord.

          • Sandy Sandy
            December 30, 2015    

            LOL, Alfred! Quit trying to ascribe “the I” to the Lord and make something out of a simple little parodied phrase I made up. I was speaking as if I were Bill – ” Ignore your reasoning while I feed you stuff to make you wise.”

            Certainly I agree that there are things of the Lord that we don’t understand at least at the time, and there are times we need to trust and obey in spite of what we may think at the time. But God doesn’t ask us to check our brains or our guts at the door of our Sunday School class or at the gate of a sold-out arena, either. My point, sir, is that anyone asking us to is probably up to something. My further point is that anyone that can do it subtlety is gonna have even better success at actually achieving it, which makes a lot of sense to me as a tool in a master’s toolkit. Hence my remark that Bill is no dummy, but rather remarkably good at his craft.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 31, 2015    

            God doesn’t ask us to check our brains or our guts at the door of our Sunday School class or at the gate of a sold-out arena

            We remain accountable, responsible directly to God at all times. But we are to respect, reverence godly teachers that bring His Word to us, teach us, disciple us. Do you agree? If you hear your Savior’s voice in the minstry of another, you are attracted to it, you respect it, you tell others about it. As Jesus said to the disciples, those that sat in Moses seat were to be respected and obeyed, even just for their teaching, if not for their lives. Those that sit in Jesus seat are also to be respected.

            “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

            Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

            All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” (Matthew 23:1-3)

            Again, we prove all things by Scripture first, before we obey. That goes without saying.

          • Sandy Sandy
            December 31, 2015    

            “… we are to respect, reverence godly teachers that bring His Word to us, teach us, disciple us. Do you agree?”

            Respect, but I wouldn’t say reverence, and we definitely differ as to who qualifies in that category. But still – I shouldn’t check my brains or my guts at the door even when under the teaching of the most qualified, most Spirit-filled, most above-reproach teacher.

            “Those that sit in Jesus seat are also to be respected.”

            Are you referring to your Bill again, Alfred? There are no words.

          • Moderator Moderator
            December 31, 2015    

            I shouldn’t check my brains or my guts at the door even when under the teaching of the most qualified, most Spirit-filled, most above-reproach teacher

            If you add “or my spirit” I completely agree. That is our responsibility.

            Are you referring to your Bill again, Alfred? There are no words.

            If Bill was not used to see you saved or discipled, that is your business. If God used him in that way with you, then you may have a problem. Ultimately this is between you and the Lord.

  9. Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
    December 30, 2015    

    I don’t believe that God sent Bill to teach us things God taught him. Many of his teachings are in error

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 30, 2015    

      Many of his teachings are in error

      Well, again, that is what we are here for. Now you have accused Bill three times without any substantiation. If you want to post here, please start including some facts, actionable items that we can address. Otherwise we will drop your comments. Fair enough?

      • Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
        December 30, 2015    

        I replied Alfred. Yes, I have accused and ATIA, IBLP, etc. .Substantiation would be my ruined marriage, having had 6 kids all to close together, being in a legalistic Gothard church, Pastored by my brother in law, who forced the teachings on us parishioners. I never believed in the ATI homeschooling program from the beginning, my ex wanted to be in it with the persuasion of my brother in law and My ex hubbys sister.
        I was just supposed to submit . My opionioname were accounted for. So many things… legalism like for day of circumcision. … my husband threw out wine that was a gift to me, home made wine from my Albanian neighbors. No tv, and on an on and on.. Rules, rules and more rules. Christian music with a beat was no good. a So on and so forth. My worth as an individuals was berated.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 31, 2015    

          having had 6 kids all to close together

          The case with many of us . . . we had 13 pregnancies, 11 births 1986-2008. Understood, no piece of cake.

          legalism like for day of circumcision.

          We did that. I mean, that is the ideal day in terms of blood clotting, right? Because of that we declined the normal Vitamin-K shot at birth. The pediatrician put up a fuss, then suddenly said, “Well, you must have read the study in Lancet showing a link between Vit-K shots and brain malignancies”. Well, no we hadn’t, but we were grateful to do it the way God told the Jews to do it.

          “my husband threw out wine that was a gift to me, home made wine from my Albanian neighbors.”

          We eliminated all alcohol from our lives. My heritage is German, lots of godly believers drinking wine and beer. When my brother made me some special microbrew beer I wanted to honor him and so tried it. I recall the look of alarm in my children’s eyes . . . I could have explained it, but we chose at that point to make them a promise that we would not be sampling any more. Weaker brother thing, at least in this culture. Have never regretted it. Every family must come to their own standards – With all the grief that alcohol has caused, eliminating it from the life seems like not so bad of an idea. Can you see that?

          No tv

          That was how I was raised, long before Gothard. He was not alone in thinking it was a pipeline carrying the world into our homes (yes, we have one now).

          Christian music with a beat was no good.

          Again, how I was raised, long before Bill came around.

          Just trying to point out that Bill is hardly to blame. If things are applied in a loving way, in the deep reverence of the Lord, it can be very acceptible to live with. If no love, no grace for living coming from our authorities, then everything is a burden.

          In any case, may the Lord bless and keep you and your family.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            January 1, 2016    

            Thanks for addressing “standards,” brother. Following Gothard’s Basic Seminar advice, I sold my TV in 1984, and never replaced it. Gothard was far from alone in warning against television. Both Christians and pagans sounded that warning. How about Jerzy Kosinski’s “Being There” as a pagan warning against TV? Or Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death?”

            Like some others, I was a Southern Baptist teetotaler from boyhood, but now enjoy a weekend beer in middle age. But Gothard was only one of many who advocated very conservative personal scruples. For us who observed them, what did we miss? TV, funky music, foreskins, and weekend beer? Those seem like trivial losses, if they even deserve to be called losses.

            As for Bill Gothard ruining marriages and childhoods, let’s remember that Gothard was not positioned to ruin anyone’s life but his own. He had no power to coerce, only to persuade. If some heads of household were tyrannical, that is their own fault. Let’s man-up and take responsibility for ourselves.

            David K

          • rob war rob war
            January 1, 2016    

            This is more in reply to David K. but if the TV is so evil and people get rid of it, then why is it ok for ATI families like the Duggars and Bates to put themselves on it? Isn’t that hypocritical? I can remember at the Basic a long time ago, Bill going through Psalm 1 and drawing his little figures for each verse, when he got to “sit at the feet of scoffers”, he drew a TV and a big roar of applause went up. He paused and I was close enough to see him take it in. Now, I’ve often wondered how many of those that gave Bill the cheer really went home and smashed the boob tube? The TV like anything else is just a neutral communication device. The radio likewise plays evil and bad stuff as well as good things, should we get rid of radios? But whether you decided to go totally TV or not and that was your choice, I just find it total hypocrisy to put oneself and one’s children on TV for others to watch that you are claiming are wasting time on evil. In the Duggar’s case, they seem like they are trying everything to get back on and are addicted to the money and attention it gives them. I think I read somewhere that the Duggars went to Bill about whether they should go on reality TV and do it and he encouraged them to do so. I wish I remembered where I read that so I could reference it. However and if true and Bill did encourage the Duggars, I find that a far cry from the “sitting at the seat of scoffers” that he compared in the 1979 seminar. I guess he had “come a long way baby” (old TV commercial).

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            Some ATI families have TVs. I know we do. Nothing is cast in concrete. Ours was acquired fairly late in the game. If Bill said that I would cheer as well. I hate much of what “TV” is and does. Same with the Internet . . . this from a family with 11 or more computers (lost track), literal dozens of smart phones (a son repairs them for a living), iPads (on which this is being typed). I hate the havoc the Internet has caused. But . . . we use it, at times in fear and trembling.

            AND . . . we watch both the Duggars and Bates voraciously. Love their shows. Some things are worth “cutting off”, eliminating. Many have chosen to remove the TV, and I deeply respect them and commend them. It is an option I toy with returning to . . . at whatever point the benefits obtained are clearly dwarfed by the consequences observed. Others of our moderating staff are in that camp. The internet is harder – for years Bill refused to be on it, but now he has no choice. I work from home, my entire carreer depends on the Internet. So . . . we cry out to the Lord for protection and guidance and proceed, relying on Him.

          • rob war rob war
            January 2, 2016    

            This is a good conversation Alfred and needs to be discussed. I understand you in that you say “you hate what TV does”. Yes, TV, radio, internet, computers, iPhones etc are basically neutral communication devices. Yes, there is an awful lot of junk and evil on all of them. It gets back to how one decides to use all of these things and even more importantly how much time is spent on all of these things. I think part of the concern with TV and now internet is not just the content but the amount of time that is spent and is that time taking away from actually living life and being active and involved. If you or your children are sitting in front of the boob tube watching TV like the Duggars, then are you living out your family life? Bill being such a black and white all or nothing kinda guy, he would see bad shows on TV then turn around and must recommend that everyone dump it. The better is to have discernment and fortitude and self-discipline on what one watches. One doesn’t learn these things if one is never around the TV etc. I have the TV off more than it is on, it is a discipline. Learning to have silence in the home take time to achieve. Some of the testimonies of ex-ATI types is that once they have a TV or internet, they go overboard in watching and involvement. They never learned discipline. Part of the danger of such things is the time they slowly eat away at other things.
            My other issue with the Duggars and the Bates is that they have turned themselves into Christian “celebrities” and have actually joined in and made a “celebrity” culture around themselves with the constant attention. If you “hate what TV does” then you should hate what TV does to those that put themselves on it. Children are not stage props. Raising your children on “reality TV” (which is not reality for anyone) has some pretty serious consequences I’m afraid these people are going to face for years to come. I find it very interesting that the first child star, Shirley Temple never raised her own children to be movie and TV stars. She walked away from it all and raised her family in privacy. That should speak volumes to anyone so concerned. I honestly don’t see much difference between the Duggars and the Kardashians except one tries to promote their faith. But is anyone really saved by watching them or were they an info commercial for Bill and ATI? But this info commercial isn’t going to well for them. It is really very sad.
            I confess that I never watched the Duggars because I do not believe in any reality TV in the first place for anyone. I did go their web site and watched on clip. It was about some rare snow storm in Arkansas. Now between the shots of Jim Bob kissing Michelle and telling her it’s real bad outside, the TV flashed to some mall somewhere and asked total strangers how they think Michelle does it being stuck at home with 19 kids in a snow storm. The responses were the usual stupid stuff before flashing back to the home. So the constant question was “how does Michelle do it?” This is my knee jerk response and actual thought. Michelle does it because she is a stay at home mom, she doesn’t have to go to work so if it is bad outside so what, she is at home. Her kids are homeschooled, so they to don’t have to go anywhere. Michelle has the older kids as buddies for the younger, so again she isn’t overwhelmed with kids. So the question on how Michelle is doing in a snow storm is a mute one and a set up. Michelle is going to do what she always has whether it’s snowing or sunny and warm. That’s my honest gut reaction.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            Some of the testimonies of ex-ATI types is that once they have a TV or internet, they go overboard in watching and involvement. They never learned discipline

            Correct. There are pros and cons to a “sheltered life”. The pros are that lots of problem causing things are just not a temptation. We made a committment to not allow alcohol in the home and not to drink it elsewhere. The pro is that it builds up a protection at the source, very effective in avoiding problems. The con is that if any of my offspring ever chose to sample, they would potentially have a lot bigger issue in finding balance than others. For our part, we have seen this work for multiple generations so accept the risks. TV and internet were never terribly far from our consciousness because we embraced a different standard than others, feeling that total separation was not reasonable in this day and age. So we taught our children along the way. At this point we engage in some excesses at times, but we manage those. Just like delicious unhealthy foods.

            Raising your children on “reality TV” (which is not reality for anyone) has some pretty serious consequences I’m afraid these people are going to face for years to come. I find it very interesting that the first child star, Shirley Temple never raised her

            Kirk Cameron and sister Candice have proven . . . it can be done! We don’t worry too much about the Duggars and Bates. The Duggars, for their part, don’t even watch their own show. They also have suffered deeply along the way, so this is far from a temptation to “cash in”. If some have problems they will have to work them out. Others have done so successfully. Really not much differet from families of politicians. With that analogy, no Christian should enter politics. That makes no sense. The limelight can be endured, survived, prospered through. Just takes more grace . . . which translates into more humility.

            But is anyone really saved by watching them

            They are having life changing effects. I would say overwelmingly so.

            Michelle has the older kids as buddies for the younger, so again she isn’t overwhelmed with kids

            From a family with a “large” number of kids (11 for us), I will tell you that all of us laugh. Those lovely, obedient children serving their siblings with a good attitude, making life so wonderful that Momma can just sit back and sip tea . . . and surf the Internet. No matter how you slice it, it is no “picnic”, as Mr “Cheaper By the Dozen” was want to say. My wife admires Michelle, but we know for a fact that between camera shots they have their share of big fammily stresses. Let alone the torture they just endured . . . on public television, tabloids, to the point they were unable to even live in their home for a significant period of time. While I am sure they will all come out of the fire the better for it, no amount of income is worth that, were that their objective.

          • Cat Cat
            January 3, 2016    

            I attended Gothard seminars in the 80s as a teenager. I was easily impressed and fell for a lot things that was taught by Bill Gothard. Also, the pastor of my church taught Gothard principles with overhead slides, diagrams, stick figures and fill in the blank papers…sort of a mini-seminar every Sunday.
            Subjects that I remember at that time were obviously the rock music and even Christian music. There was also purging your home of any type of questionable relics, trinkets, music, books and even Cabbage Patch dolls. I remember a girl from my church bringing her doll to a bonfire we held at our church. I remember teachings on sexual matters and modesty. Girls should always wear dresses or skirts. Boys, tuck in your shirts.
            I came from a broken home, so I didn’t grow up in an ideal Christian family and these teachings were very impressionable to me at that time. Eventually, I married into a family that was deeply involved in Gothard teachings. As a young married couple, my husband and I purchased several books and materials and attended seminars.
            I often felt pressured to live up to that Gothard way of life and thought I was doing wrong or even sinning if I didn’t do certain things. I wore dresses, didn’t work outside the home, no TV (basically quit cold turkey), no “bad” music. Eventually homebirths, homeschooling, etc.
            Our shelves were filling up with those wonderfully bound IBLP books.
            But thankfully my husband was never fully saturated in BG’s teachings as the rest of his family. He disagreed with several points.
            I saw how my husband’s siblings lived every aspect of their lives, to the tee, in Gothard teachings. Encouraged (pressured) others to do the same.
            There was a lot of pressure ( in my church) from those who followed BG’s teaching given to those who never fully took it to heart.
            I remember a new member to our church who was offered a position to work in the church office. She wore pants all the time. One of the original office ladies complained about this and confronted her about it. The new lady told her that she had a chronic skin condition that scarred her legs and she was embarrassed, which is why she wore pants.
            It was often insinuated that you weren’t a true Christian if you didn’t homeschool your children. Sadly enough, there was a time that I thought you weren’t a Christian if you listened to pop/rock music or if you drank wine. I felt sorry for those who didn’t know about the teachings of Bill Gothard. They were blind and missing out of so much.
            Eventually, the scales came off. We did some more purging in our home. I got rid of all Bill Gothard books and materials. Even all 3 volumes of those beautifully illustrated Character Sketch books which I proudly displayed on my bookshelf.
            I have seen too much damage and bitterness abounding. Broken families, large families with 6+ children, hurt, heartache, evil. Turning their backs on the Lord. One of my husband’s siblings is among them.
            It’s as if many of them just couldn’t live up to all those standards and eventually just threw in the towel.
            I feel, that you, Alfred, are like those people in my old church. Every Bill Gothard teaching is like the gospel to you, as if it were inspired by God. But only the Holy Bible is inspired.
            In hindsight. I see so much error and misinterpretations, self-righteousness, Scriptures taken out of context. And I see hypocrisy from Bill Gothard, which he obviously has now addressed.
            I see a cookie cutter way of life that was taught, but the thing is, we are not robots. Everyone is different and has a different background and history. They come from so many different walks of life.
            But you have a problem with anything that someone confronts with you or questions.you about. You are the one who is starting the debates and arguments. You are trying to prove your point. I don’t see very many people on your “side”.
            You have bitterness, which is obvious in your mean spirited responses. I makes me angry to read it, because you are egging it on.
            When will YOU admit that Bill Gothard is a human and has made some mistakes in the past? BTW, you should not give or show praise to Bill…only to God.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 3, 2016    

            When will YOU admit that Bill Gothard is a human and has made some mistakes in the past? BTW, you should not give or show praise to Bill…only to God.

            Bill is human and has made some mistakes in the past.

            BTW, you should not give or show praise to Bill…only to God.

            Boy, that sounds like something I read in Scripture:

            Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. (John 9:24)

          • Lindsey77 Lindsey77
            January 6, 2016    

            When I read Susan’s account, I feel compassion and empathy. The primary point of her posts is that people following Gothard’s teaching treated her without empathy. They did not value her or recognize her as a human being. They loved rules, but they didn’t love much more than that.

            Your reaction is to talk about you and your wife following rules.

            ????????

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 6, 2016    

            When I read Susan’s account, I feel compassion and empathy

            As well you should. There are always multiple sides to every issue. As fellow ATI participants with her we would bring our perspectives to the table.

      • Larne Gabriel Larne Gabriel
        December 30, 2015    

        Wait a second Alfred, even you in your posts have admitted Billy has changed his positions or realized his teaching was taken to excesses. How about his false teaching on vasectomies causing heart disease, or adoptions, Jewish dietary rules that Paul contradicts, sexual practices in marriage. Your authoritative “power” as moderator is showing. “Otherwise we will drop your comments. Fair enough?” Really! Think about what you are say, “its my ball and if you don’t play by my rules I will take it home.” I know you feel you were unfairly dropped from RG, don’t repeat that pattern because you will lose your argument.

        • Moderator Moderator
          December 31, 2015    

          How about his false teaching on vasectomies causing heart disease, or adoptions, Jewish dietary rules that Paul contradicts, sexual practices in marriage.

          Vascetomies causing heart disease as a false teaching? How come I never heard this? Having dealt with so many health food teachers over the years I have heard a lot of things presented that have not completely panned out. Didn’t seem like the end of the world, right? Clearly not a Bible topic, regardless.

          Adoptions? Bill is on record to suggest that they are not necessarily the right thing for every situation. Lots of cautions from years of counseling. Yet I saw lots of adoptions in ATI, all the way through. Not a big issue, right?

          Jewsish dietary rules that Paul contradicts? Name one, any one, that Paul did not follow.

          Sexual practices in marriage? OT laws are the only place such things are discussed. God is so much wiser than we are, having designed the whole business. Surely it is not too much of a stretch to come to believe that He would give the best practices to his earthly people, whom he loved, right?

          “its my ball and if you don’t play by my rules I will take it home.”

          Absolutely! We – our team – went through a lot of trouble and expense to set this up. We have a purpose which we have declared, and we are going to insist that folks operate in a manner that is consistent with that. As declared in our “rules”, complaints without an action item, things to investigate, solve, explain, correct are not helpful, sour our forum and waste our time. So, yes, posts that say things like, “Bill is a pervert and is going to hell” will be dropped. Those that present specific issues that we can explain or go to Bill for clarification or correction, are prefectly fine.

          That is pretty normal for a forum, we think.

          • rob war rob war
            January 1, 2016    

            Just a simple question, isn’t the real hallmark of Jewish dietary laws not so much the not eating pork or shellfish but not eating blood in meat? Of the kosher cookbooks I have and read, they always had that as the cornerstone of any type of kosher cooking. The animals had to be killed in a certain way with a quick slit in the throat, then turned upside down the drain the blood out as quickly as possible. Likewise any meat eaten, had to soaked in a salt bath to extracted the blood out of the meat. It really was this aspect of Jewish dietary laws, of blood not being drained out that Daniel and his friends were objecting to when they suggested just to eat veggies and drink water. I really don’t remember Bill ever emphazing this over the no pork, no dairy and meat together etc. I also wanted to add that the kosher type killing of any animal was one of the most human ways, it was very quick, to kill an animal to eat. But there are a number of verse from early Genesis story to even the first counsel in Acts talking about not to eat meat from strangled animals or eat meat not drained from blood.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            Bill never made a big deal of that (blood), although if it came up I know he would recommend against it. We agree, Scripture does have more to say in the NT about that than other things, like pork. In the case of Daniel, we believe that meat had been offered first to Bel, their god, and that was what defiled it. Could have been any number of other “kosher” concerns as well, though . . . maybe you are right.

      • December 30, 2015    

        ouch!!!!!

  10. Susan Theriault Susan Theriault
    December 30, 2015    

    So are you going to post both my replies Alfred? please follow through, post my comments and let’s discuss, or agree to disagree :^)

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 31, 2015    

      Patience. This is the holidays . . . which can mean lots of time available, or little time. Today was a challenged day.

  11. Sandy Sandy
    December 30, 2015    

    I just had another thought about the wisdom of using the human reasoning God gave us, if you don’t mind. Over on the Shepherd of the Hills thread I told you on November 28 that if I had the opportunity, I’d hold your hands in mine and gaze into your eyes and tell you that Bill’s lying to you. But my exact quote was, “… and tell you, ‘Use your brain. Bill’s lying to you.'” Then on December 1, I said, when you were giving an absurd reason that Bill felt “called” to “counsel” the pretty girls, “I’ll bet there’s another, more believable reason. Use your brain …”

    You’ve been commended for your faithfulness in defense of your Bill. You’ve even gone “over and above” to defend against what he admitted to Larne, Bill, Gary, and Tony, AND continue on, straight-faced, while the rest of us can only shake our heads and pray God’s provision for you. You’ve defended scripture the way you’ve been taught it. You’ve been inconsistent the way you’ve seen modeled (we’re not supposed to judge motives, we ARE supposed to judge motives – ?). You’ve called into question the validity of others’ arguments and even testimonies … as you’ve seen modeled by your mentor.

    I’ve never claimed first-hand knowledge of specific incidences, things that *happened* that you like to debate so well. I *have* heard the man in person myself, and am extremely familiar with manipulative techniques and with emotional and spiritual abuse. With nothing to add to the did-he-do-“it” debate, I have begged you on even more than these two occasions to use your brain.

    But you were taught well. You have bought into the lie that there is a dichotomy between wisdom and human understanding/discernment/reason, as Mosessister very perceptively noted is taught in Bill’s seminar right off the bat.

    I have said essentially the same before, but I’ll just mention again – you would do well, Alfred, to use the brain that your creator supplied you to your advantage, instead of using it to continue in convoluted defenses of someone you feel loyal to. You have spent MUCH time trying to justify legions of things that don’t make sense. (He said many times for many years he didn’t know, but I have to admit he was told, so the only way I can figure to give him a righteous pass for being so adamant in saying he didn’t know is to say that in spite of the fact he was told – even as he himself now admits being told *specifically* – he and I are just going to claim that since it was something he didn’t WANT to know, that makes saying he didn’t know what he actually did know okay.)

    Save your time and energy. Simplify your life, Alfred. This type of artificial “reasoning” has crippled you. Just consider – for YOURSELF – what is right, what is just, what is pure.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 31, 2015    

      And this is representative of the kinds of posts that are not cool and we delete. I use my brain, sort of demeaning to suggest otherwise. How about using yours to zero in on specific issues that need to be dealt with. Thanks, Sandy.

  12. Incredulous Incredulous
    December 31, 2015    

    Respected theologians have already done what you just told Susan Therialt that you expect from her. Also, it’s hard to cram the whole Bible into one comment. And, I already brought to Moderator’s attention one little fraction of what the Bible teaches, & it was not acknowledged in it’s adverseness to IBLP blaming of a rape victim. (About a person subject to sexual assault not needing to be a hero, even being lawless on other counts themselves, in order to have God-sanctioned recourse in bringing their assaulter to justice).

    Moderator shouldn’t be setting an expectation that has already been met but not received.

    • Moderator Moderator
      December 31, 2015    

      :-) We have some rules and we are going to keep them. Thanks.

  13. Cat Cat
    January 2, 2016    

    You say many of Bill’s adversaries have never attended a seminar let alone met Bill Gothard. I’m just going to throw this out there…Bill Gothard has never been married or had children, yet he can hold seminars, where thousands of married people attend, and teach his principles and his ideas on how to conduct their lives and raise their families. He throws in some scripture to justify his points. Many people have been affected by Bill Gothard’s teachings through pastors or family members or other sources. Also, Moderator, you bring up these issues to start debates and arguments, and you know it. The rock music posting was another one. You have sold your soul to Bill Gothard. He can do no wrong in your eyes. You know that people are going to respond to your postings and debate and argue with you. Sure, you respond to everyone’s comments and questions almost immediately, but you are rude, sarcastic, self-righteous and arrogant. I came to your blog out of curiosity.( I attended gothard seminars in the 80s and married into a family the taught his teachings. Unfortunately, I have seen too many “ATI” families that have fallen apart, badly. Thankfully, I chose to live my life according to the gospel of the Lord. I personally don’t know anyone who follows Gothard anymore) First of all, I found it totally ridiculous and condescending that you would name your website “Discovering Grace”. Really? And, it’s a bit creepy that you have a section that is entitled “Testimonials” , a place to praise(?) Bill Gothard. Also, it’s mostly the same people who are commenting and taking issues with things you post. What is the purpose? How is this helping anyone? Does Bill Gothard approve of this? This blog is absolutely meaningless. All you can do is defend Bill Gothard. Are you getting paid for this? Because you must spend the majority of your life on this blog. Sorry, I’m sick and bored and had nothing else to do, so I came here to see what was up with your blog and it’s the same old malarkey, excuse my language! I appeal to you to stop this argumentative chatter, which is only causing bitterness because my countenance is not looking to good right now and I’m feeling a bit annoyed!

    • Moderator Moderator
      January 2, 2016    

      We are sorry that our forum displeases you, Cat. Some others have found it helpful and told us so. We are just trying to tell the other side of a very lopsided, one way story.

      “Are you getting paid for this?”

      Nope.

      Happy New Year.

      • Cat Cat
        January 2, 2016    

        If others have found this forum helpful then why are they not commenting here? Where are all these people? As I said before, from what I’ve seen, it’s the same people making comments on here, and most of them are disagreeing or arguing with your statements. And you, responding with your sarcastic, “know-it-all” comebacks. It’s very negative. How is that helping anyone?
        Nope, you don’t get paid. Ok. Why are devoting so much of your life to this blog? This is nothing but defending your almighty Bill Gothard. I noticed you even wrote your “Gothard and music” posting on December 25, Christmas Day!
        I think you are just holding a lot of bitterness against the people at Recovering Grace and this is just your way of retaliating. Not good! And not very Christian!

        • Moderator Moderator
          January 2, 2016    

          The people who reply generally do so privately, personally . . . mostly because they are tired of getting beat up by sarcastic people who “know-it-all” better than they do. So in that respect perhaps we ARE unique, willing to put up with some public garbage to set things straighter. When you have sat and ground your teeth enduring a continuous flow of half-truths and lies for decades, forgive us, it is a relief to suddenly be able to speak freely. Most of us got kicked off of Recovering Grace, BTW, others we know had testimonies they wanted posted with the same fanfare that was the negative ones, but were rebuffed. Just didn’t seem fair, right?

          Go on over to Recovering Grace and be sure to comment on how unChristian the negativity and sarcasm and mockery is. Otherwise, perhaps you are not very fair. For our part, we don’t want to be bad, so will try to be as honorable as possible. But, in the arena, it is sometimes a challenge.

          Christmas Day? Yes . . . you take the time you have.

          The Lord bless you.

          • Sandy Sandy
            January 2, 2016    

            Most of you got kicked off RG?

            I don’t believe you were the only one, but you’ve never really (that I know of) told us how many people constitute DG. Could you back that up with some numbers? I realize you don’t want to share names. But (1) how many besides you got kicked off RG, and (2) how many people are DG?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 2, 2016    

            But (1) how many besides you got kicked off RG, and (2) how many people are DG?

            Three RG boots. The number of members of our group is greater than 5.

          • Sandy Sandy
            January 2, 2016    

            3/>=6 = <=0.5, right? Not a majority in any case, just an observation.

          • Lindsey77 Lindsey77
            January 6, 2016    

            Your complaints on this matter are very strange to me because you have always been the meanest, most sarcastic commenter on RG or DG. You are so outrageous, I used to think you were an Internet troll until I went to your personal website and realized you were a real person.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 6, 2016    

            Your complaints on this matter are very strange to me because you have always been the meanest, most sarcastic commenter on RG or DG

            Mean, sarcastic?! As the endless target of everyone’s unhappiness over there, please forgive me. Did you find anyone else supporting Bill on RG more to your liking?

  14. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    January 5, 2016    

    Brother Rob, you make a good point about the Duggars, etc. Of course they would have to speak for themselves about why they appear on TV. I have never watched their program. Unfortunately, no one ever considered me interesting enough to appear on TV. But if by some slim chance I were invited to appear, my answer might be like that of Richard Rich in A Man For All Seasons, “it would depend upon what I was offered.” How’s that for a trader mentality?

    David K

    • rob war rob war
      January 6, 2016    

      It’s sister Rob not brother Rob.

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        January 7, 2016    

        Sorry sister rob war, but my dude bias leaked out. No offense, I hope? Rob and war are terms I associate with my sex. Historically we males have filled our quota of both verbs, haven’t we? But I’ll try to play nicely when the fairer sex is sharing the sandbox!

        And when you mentioned the old Virginia Slims TV ad in your January 1 post, I wonder how many of the youngsters out there missed the humor merely from being in the wrong generation to share our experience from the Bad Old Days of TV watching?

        Peace and love,
        David K

        • rob war rob war
          January 9, 2016    

          I am not offended and I don’t offend easily anyway. I can remember that old commercial before all of them were pulled from TV. I am not a big TV watcher at all. I would say again that if one doesn’t believe in having a TV then they should not be putting themselves on the TV to be watched by others. The problems of TV watching is minor in comparison to the bigger problems one will encounter when they put themselves on TV to become stars which has happen to the Duggars and their children and the circus that now envelops them. Children are not stage props. Reality TV is not reality, it is highly edited and contrived which was my point to Alfred in the clips I watched on their web site. The other clip I watched was the visit by the Duggar to a prezel factory. Now, do you think that the Duggars would have normally trooped all the kids (14 at the time) through the shop and have all of them try making hand made prezels, or did they do this activity for rolling cameras for a show? If you don’t have a TV, then I would think you are being consistant to Bill’s teaching. I would guess you don’t attend movies either.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 9, 2016    

            have all of them try making hand made prezels, or did they do this activity for rolling cameras for a show?

            If you homeschool a large family who turn all kinds of things into field trips, then you will understand that, yeah, they probably really would have done that.

            Not sure if the TV/movie comment was aimed at us . . . we have and do both. Not all ATI families would.

          • Helga Helga
            January 10, 2016    

            Alfred, do you know the Duggars personally? How well do you know them? Do you know the Bates family personally also?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 10, 2016    

            Alfred, do you know the . . .

            My family has been privileged to meet the Duggars on several occasions. A son is a friend of Josh and has worked with him, and has helped with one or more of the weddings . . . I have met Gil Bates.

          • Helga Helga
            January 11, 2016    

            Do you think (just your opinion) that their TV show accurately reflects their lives or do you think it is a little contrived? I think that their giant vacation to England, China, Japan, and Israel had to have been the network’s idea.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 11, 2016    

            Do you think (just your opinion) that their TV show accurately reflects their lives or do you think it is a little contrived?

            The venues may be pushed by the network. Some of them. Derrick in Nepal, that was not contrived . . . nor the current show with them in South or Central America. But, yeah, some of those may well have even been paid for by the network. That is a guess. Contrary to popular opinion, homeschoolers do lead exciting lives. I myself have two daughters currently in Taiwan, really enjoying themselves . . . side trips all over the world. My son travels all over the world as well. Including to Springdale, AR, to see the Duggars.

          • Helga Helga
            January 11, 2016    

            ^You said one of your sons worked with Josh. Do you mean that they went to ALERT together? How did they work together when you all live so far apart?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 11, 2016    

            You said one of your sons worked with Josh.

            They were both working with and for IBLP at the time. But other interests also brought them together, as I recall. Both did video. He has not been in contact with him since the second scandal broke, with Ashley-Madison.

          • Helga Helga
            January 11, 2016    

            Oh. I only ask because the show never said anything about Josh working anywhere other than a car lot and in DC.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 11, 2016    

            Oh. I only ask because the show never said anything about Josh working anywhere other than a car lot and in DC.

            Trust me, there is much of life that never makes it to the screen.

          • Helga Helga
            January 12, 2016    

            “Trust me, there is much of life that never makes it to the screen.”

            Yeah, I recall Jana and Jill went on a trip to Peru with Mr. Gothard that was never mentioned on the show. Jana also worked at Journey to the Heart, but the show showed very little of it. I wonder whose decision it was to never feature or even mention Mr. Gothard on the show.

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 12, 2016    

            I wonder whose decision it was to never feature or even mention Mr. Gothard on the show.

            No idea. Could be network. I am sure they go hunting for angles that could cause reactions . . . and avoid them.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            January 14, 2016    

            Sister, it took me a few days to see your reply on this article. I, consistent with Bill’s teaching? Maybe not so absolutely anymore. After about three trips through the Wisdom Booklets with my brood, I took off the homeschooling training wheels and made my own seat-of-the-pants curriculum about a decade ago. But I am still a Bill Gothard admirer, so I visit this blog now and then.

            I expect you are correct about reality versus film footage which is edited for TV. But Moderator is correct, too. Like his, my own large homeschooling family sometimes does similar stuff. Load ’em all up in the van and take a field trip. Fun!

            Movies? I do not oppose them in principle as Gothard does. But neither am I a very good dinner-and-movie date. Just ask Mrs. K.

            I never watched the Duggar show, but met them at an ATI conference back in 2001. Seemed like nice folks. Mr. Duggar was running for political office at the time. He lost.

            Peace,
            David K

  15. Eric Eric
    January 31, 2016    

    Alfred said: http://www.fabrics-store.com/blog/2009/05/20/linen-the-preferred-fabric-for-clothing-of-healing-healthy-living-and-well-being/

    so now you are having to cite new age beliefs to defend gothard? too bad you don’t put all this time and effort into spreading the gospel and showing people the way to repent and avoid eternal damnation. i forgot bill does not teach that.

    about the mixing milk and meat. I believe that has something to do with boiling a goat in its mother’s milk. which was one of the detestable practices the people around the Hebrews were doing.

    • Moderator Moderator
      January 31, 2016    

      new age beliefs

      Explain the link to new age, please.

      repent and avoid eternal damnation. i forgot bill does not teach that.

      Bill most definitely does teach that. What would make you say he doesn’t? He is continually leading people to Jesus. Just a couple of weeks ago his old car (I saw the car, yes it was worth about the $1,000 he paid for it) died on the way to pick someone up at the airport. A young men came to his aid at the side of the road, offered to drive him there and back home. Along the way Bill explained God’s way of salvation and the young man trusted Christ. I saw the glowing, excited letter he wrote to Bill as he is growing as a new believer. Bill has always been first about seeing people saved.

      about the mixing milk and meat. I believe that has something to do with boiling a goat in its mother’s milk. which was one of the detestable practices the people around the Hebrews were doing

      What is this belief based upon on? Whatever you find, please don’t waste time citing others who also just believe it. That is how urban legends keep getting perpetuated.

      I believe it may have something to do with a design feature of dairy and meat, where cooking them together is harmful. I have some science to suggest that.

      • Flora Poste Flora Poste
        January 31, 2016    

        What is this belief based upon?”
        the belief that the talmudic kosher rules about separating milk and meat derive from Torah/old testament verses about boiling a kid in its mothers milk? Or the belief that it was a common practice among gentiles in OT times?
        Plenty of textual evidence for the first, the second seems like a reasonable assumption.

        • Moderator Moderator
          January 31, 2016    

          the second seems like a reasonable assumption

          Why is that reasonable? I hope we have a higher standard of interpretation than “makes sense”. Lots of apocryphal stories our there, like the proverbial “camel’s gate” called the needle. Makes sense, so everybody passes it around.

          • Flora Poste Flora Poste
            January 31, 2016    

            Ok, maybe the rule about boiling w kid in its mothers milk was just in case someone got the idea in their head. The point is, how do you get from there to no parmesan on meatballs? Weren’t all those rules in the talmud worked out after 33 AD?

          • Moderator Moderator
            January 31, 2016    

            Weren’t all those rules in the talmud worked out after 33 AD?

            The commands in the law of Moses were written by the literal finger of God on stone a lot further back than that. And that particular rule was mentioned several times, in very strange contexts. God seemed pretty insistent on it.

            As to the “pagan ritual” theory, Here is a quote from Rabbi Zev Farber Ph.D. in http://thetorah.com/meat-and-milk-origins-in-the-text:

            The phrase, “do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” is an enigma. Why would somebody do this? Rambam, in his Guide of the Perplexed (111:48), suggested that this could have been a pagan ritual, but there is no evidence for this.

      • Eric Eric
        February 1, 2016    

        sorry I’ve not had a chance to respond yet. hopefully I’ll have some down time tonight. im curious Mr Corduan (i apologize if this is someone else and i addressed you wrong) which way you swing old earth or new earth creation?

      • Eric Eric
        February 8, 2016    

        I apologize for taking so long to respond. Unfortunately my job forces me to work long hours.

        Mr. Corduan said: “Explain the link to new age, please.”

        To quote from your fabrics-store.com link: “The measurement of linen fabric measures 5,000

        signature frequencies. How do other fabrics compare? Plant fibers like cotton and hemp are not

        a healing fiber when measuring its signature energy output. Standard bleached and colored

        cotton measures 40 units of energy. The good news is that Organic unbleached cotton

        measures 100 units of energy which is a ‘normal’ but not a healing fiber.”

        From my point of view, this sounds like you might as well wear a certain crystal or hang a

        pyramid above your bed to direct positive healing energies to yourself.

        Mr. Corduan said: “Bill most definitely does teach that. What would make you say he doesn’t?

        He is continually leading people to Jesus.”

        Bill never taught that at his seminars I attended in the early 1980’s. All I remember hearing was

        ” Principles You Must Do To Get From God”. Never once did I

        hear “here are some practices that have worked in my life; however there is a world full of

        people going to Hell and as believers it was commanded to us to share the Gospel”. I heard the

        name God quite a bit, but not in the way of a God that provided a way to escape judgement

        through His son Jesus Christ (Jesus Christ, a name I don’t recall being mentioned in Gothard’s

        seminars), but as “God who is looking for every opportunity to stick it to you for not obeying

        whatever Gothard saw as the way things should be.

        Mr. Corduan said: “Bill has always been first about seeing people saved.”

        Is that what was offered at the various “troubled child” facilities around the country (namely the

        Indianapolis center)? Not according to firsthand experinces that I have read on various

        websites. Nowhere did I hear of any of these children learning the Gospel, but tales of sadistic

        treatment by staff.

        Mr. Corduan said: “What is this belief based upon on? Whatever you find, please don’t waste

        time citing others who also just believe it. That is how urban legends keep getting perpetuated.
        I believe it may have something to do with a design feature of dairy and meat, where cooking

        them together is harmful. I have some science to suggest that.”

        I am perptuating no urban legend. God gave the Hebrews many commandments of things not

        to do as the surrounding peoples did. The Ugaritic text mentions the boiling a kid in its mother’s

        milk (The Ras Shamra Discovery, Wayne Jackson, M.A.;

        http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/Ras-Shamra.pdf).

        According to Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides) (1135-1204), regarded as one of the most

        influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In 1195, Maimonides had this to say: “As for the

        prohibition against eating meat [boiled] in milk, it
        is in my opinion not improbable that – in addition to this being
        undoubtedly very gross food and very filling – idolatry had
        something to do with it. Perhaps such food was eaten at one of
        the ceremonies of their cult or one of their festivals” (The
        Guide to the Perplexed 111:48).

        I have found that two other rabbinic commentators to hold this view as well, Solomon Luntschitz and Obadiah Sforno (Solomon Ephraim Luntschitz, Keli Yakar, to Exodus 23:19)(Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno, Commentary, to Deuteronomy 14:21).

        Mr. Corduan said: “I have some science to suggest that.” and in a different post, Mr. Corduan stated: “I am emphatically young earth.”

        I have some science too.

        a. The Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years from the Earth (“First Determination of the Distance and Fundamental Properties of an Eclipsing Binary in the Andromeda Galaxy”. Astrophysical Journal Letters 635)

        b. The Hubble Telescope has seen 10-15 billion light years away (http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/ask/284-How-far-can-the-Hubble-Space-Telescope-see-)

        So Mr. Corduan, since we are using science, I will assume by your statement earlier this week that you believe science to be a valid means to prove something and that the creation which was made by God is about 6 thousand years old was created in 6 literal twenty-four hour days (sunrise to sunrise or if you prefer the traditional Jewish, sunset to sunset to make a day.). I have a question, if we go by the belief that a day is the time between sunrise and sunrise (sunset to sunset), in the early to mid 1950’s my father was in the military. He was stationed above the Artic Circle. While in the Artic, he witnessed two sunrises and two sunsets, was he in the Artic for two days or two years?

        Genesis 1:1-2
        1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

        (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
        – II. The Land
        היה hāyah, “be.” It is to be noted, however, that the word has three meanings, two of which now scarcely belong to our English “be.”

        1. “Be, as an event, start into being, begin to be, come to pass.” This may be understood of a thing beginning to be, אור יהי yehiy ‘ôr, “be light” Genesis 1:3; or of an event taking place, ימים מקץ ויהי vayehı̂y mı̂qēts yāmı̂ym, “and it came to pass from the end of days.”

        2. “Be,” as a change of state, “become.” This is applied to what had a previous existence, but undergoes some change in its properties or relations; as מלח גציב ותהי vatehı̂y netsı̂yb melach, “and she became” a pillar of salt Genesis 19:26.)

        • Moderator Moderator
          February 8, 2016    

          I apologize for taking so long to respond. Unfortunately my job forces me to work long hours.

          No apology needed. Thanks for engaging.

          direct positive healing energies to yourself.

          More details here: http://www.lifegivinglinen.com/linen-study.html Apparently there is a real machine, an “Ag-Enviro” machine developed by Bob Graham (http://envisci.ucr.edu/faculty/graham.html) of UC-Riverside (California) that measures these relative frequencies. Bottom line, at least on the surface it is scientific.

          Never once did I hear “here are some practices that have worked in my life; however there is a world full of people going to Hell and as believers it was commanded to us to share the Gospel

          If the fault was not saying “hell” enough, perhaps guilty. Bill opted for the presentation of the Gospel that did not dwell on the ultimate negative consequences, but rather on the short term negative consequences, consequences that folks began to realize were the result of an Almighty God’s hatred for sin. In so doing he is absolutely in sync with Paul’s statement:

          “But if all prophesy (preach), and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1 Cor. 14:24-25)

          it is in my opinion not improbable that

          Even in 1195, the scholars of that day were giving opinions based on . . . well, stuff that could make sense. See the point? There IS no evidence of heathen practices involving the seething of a kid in its mother’s milk. Which brings me back to the good Rabbi that I cited that states that the conclusion is . . . not likely. :-) It is a problem in need of a solution, yet the greatest scholars are reduced to speculation. So . . . don’t be too hard on Bill if he joins them.

          The Hubble Telescope has seen 10-15 billion light years away

          Now, HOW do you know this? :-) You don’t – you accept the conclusions of modern scientists based on the assumptions currently widely accepted. Yet there are a number of cosmologies that render that patently false. Starting with the most simple: IF the universe happens to have a true center, and the earth happened to rest in it, then your numbers are off by many, many orders of magnitude. Same if the speed of light decays. And if you know the current state of physics, you know we are back to a world where the best scientists will tell you that are only confident that they know less than 10% of what the Universe is actually constructed of.

          AND all of this presuming that God didn’t create apparent age into things, like He did with Adam, i.e. the blood in his veins did NOT come from his marrow like ours, neither did the hair on his head come from his hair follicles. He was never a baby . . . and maybe the universe never was either. There are SO many very calm, rational ways to handle “apparent age” . . . IF you believe in an almighty God that scoffs at the wisdom of men, and even deliberately deceives them.

          if we go by the belief that a day is the time between sunrise and sunrise (sunset to sunset),

          I don’t know if this affects your example much, but, NO, we do not! :-) “And the EVENING and the MORNING were the first day.” (Gen. 1) The day starts in the evening.

          “Day” has a discrete meaning separate from sunset and sunrise, that which the latter simply documents. The New Jerusalem will have day to day comings and goings without a sun to provide a visible reminder. In your perceptions that span – evening and morning – does NOT define the day for you imagine billions of such cycles which are not days.

          But to cut to the quick, plants were created on the 3rd day, the sun not until the 4th. Do you have ANY way to keep those plants around for the millions of years you imagine . . . until the sun showed up? And, frankly, how do you scientifically explain the creation of a sun without shredding the stuff already in place, including the plants? See, science and Genesis 1 are not going to harmonize, even if you violate the meaning of “evening and morning” days.

  16. Flora Poste Flora Poste
    January 31, 2016    

    I agree there’s no evidence it was a ritual. That would be covered under idolatry or witchcraft anyway. My point is that it might well have been a not unexpexcted menu item in Moses’ day. The fact that it seemed mysterious to Rambam in the 13th century and disgusting to us is neither here nor there. And yes the exrapolation to all meat, all dairy, all forms of cooking wasn’t written down until after the first century AD. There’s a long chain of human reasoning there.

    • Moderator Moderator
      February 1, 2016    

      My point is that it might well have been a not unexpexcted menu item in Moses’ day.

      I guess if you have one (1) female goat giving birth maybe that could happen. It remains in the words of the good Rabbi an “enigma”. It is a riddle, a parable perhaps, which might steer us to other meanings, just like the scholars do, and you did. But . . . to sit and judge Bill because he, first of all, is trying to solve the riddle, and secondly came up with an explanation that not everyone agrees with but actually has some science behind it AND is supported by the class of individuals directly affected by it and having 1,000s of years to ponder it . . . that ain’t right.

  17. Flora Poste Flora Poste
    January 31, 2016    

    Also, I agree.with you about the fabrics article. To call it ” new age ” lends it too much credibility. It’s a word salad with a few Bible verses tossed in like croutons.

    • Moderator Moderator
      February 1, 2016    

      Also, I agree.with you about the fabrics article. To call it ” new age ” lends it too much credibility. It’s a word salad with a few Bible verses tossed in like croutons.

      Why do you think that God overtly prohibits mixing of thread types in creation of a garment, specifically linen and wool? God does not waste words. Here we have another “enigma”. Since God is a BIG God one could expect the reason to be BIG. Like down at the electronic level. THAT would be cool, typical of an eternal God with infinite wisdom.

      • February 13, 2016    

        I could tell you the spiritual reason God forbade the mixing of fibres and what it symbolised but I am not going to but it had nothing to do with Bill’s explanation of it.

        • Moderator Moderator
          February 14, 2016    

          I could tell you the spiritual reason God forbade the mixing of fibres and what it symbolised but I am not going to but it had nothing to do with Bill’s explanation of it.

          Have at it :-). He was never adamant on that one.

  18. February 13, 2016    
    • Moderator Moderator
      February 13, 2016    

      Here is something to ponder

      Old message, Chris . . . published in 2001. Bill got quite unhappy with the author (Dr. Harry Adams) at that time. About a book Bill published then (15 years ago) called “The Sevenfold Power of First Century Churches and Homes” Which I don’t own, so can’t critique.

      I will note . . . that Paul does not even mention “the cross” in 2 Corinthians, 1-2 Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, or notably in 1-2 Timothy, his last books. So . . . if we were to distill the burden of Paul’s doctrine, it would be hard to make the point that it begins, follows, and ends with the cross. I think the cross is the foundation, but Paul in constantly trying to move us on to all the stands on top of that. Example:

      “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)

      What follows is some of the most frightening text ostensibly aimed at Christians to be found in the NT. Apparently there is a real problem with getting stuck on the foundations that got us saved and never moving on.

      Anyway . . . it looks like Don is recycling some old, OLD messages.

  19. LynnCD LynnCD
    February 14, 2016    

    “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)

    Alfred: “What follows is some of the most frightening text ostensibly aimed at Christians to be found in the NT. Apparently there is a real problem with getting stuck on the foundations that got us saved and never moving on.”

    No, no and triple no! Skipping past whether the passage teaches whether one can lose his salvation, or not, Hebrews 6 follows with a warning of falling AWAY from the foundations, NOT “getting stuck” on them! Hebrews then assures the readers their ministry of love to believers showed they were in the company of the redeemed. Hebrews THEN goes on to FOCUS on JESUS having a priesthhood of Melchizedek. IOW – Jesus’ priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood. They wanted to continue with the overall purpose of the book, which was to teach people to hear Him Who now speaks from heaven, Who is superior to the Mosaic Covenant in every respect.

    It is NOT about teaching health benefits of circumcision and of wearing unmixed fibers and abstaining from sex and etc..

    Bill Gothard is doing exactly what the book of Hebrews warned against there – by trying to force people back under selected Mosaic law so they could have success. The success Hebrews is teaching is found in Christ alone, and the fruit of it is ministry to the saints (by this all men will know you are my disciples, etc.). Their assurance was simply to love their brethren. They were warned repeatedly to not go back to the Mosaic covenant.

    • Moderator Moderator
      February 15, 2016    

      Hebrews 6 follows with a warning of falling AWAY from the foundations, NOT “getting stuck” on them

      “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ” What can that possibly mean, Lynn, other than “move on” from just the foundation? “Leave” in the Greek really means “leave”, even being translated “forsake”. I know you will get all excited with what I said – and obviously no Christian forsakes the cross as they move on – but seriously, is that not a sort of strong statement?

      Here is a similar thought:

      “The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.” (Hosea 13:13)

      Everyone knows that, like an airplane trip, the two most dangerous parts of the journey for a baby are the beginning and especially the end, childbirth. If a baby hangs around too long at the place where children “break forth”, delayed in coming fully out, it means death for both mother and child. As Paul – or whoever wrote Hebrews – says, Christians staying at the birthing process too long is deadly. Time to move on and not continually try to repeat the sequence. The cross is an instrument of death that did its job in becoming the means of shedding Christ’s blood and also our salvation as we received that work for ourselves. Our old man was crucified there with him so His resurrection life could make us a new man. But Paul says that that was done once, not to be repeated over and over:

      “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others – For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:25-28)

      Thus, practically, we cannot look for the power we continually need for success in Christian living in the cross, that once-for-all event, but in the resurrection life that followed it, our now endlessly living High Priest. And, in fact, His promised second coming is what now drags us forward. Even though we are to remember the cross often, is unwise to never leave the place where children are born. And, yes, no matter how you slice it, it is really, really dangerous.

      Bill Gothard is doing exactly what the book of Hebrews warned against there – by trying to force people back under selected Mosaic law so they could have success.

      Since I am not tracking on where you are getting that from, can you clarify?

      How about this?

      “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

      That most definitely sounds like telling them to get under a selected portion of God’s law to gain the promised success for doing so. In fact, that is exactly what it is. So even one exception takes down this rule you are attempting to establish.

      As to being warned repeatedly to not go back to the Mosaic covenant, for salvation from hell, yes. But since it is the truth, they were repeatedly directed to it to learn about life let alone about Jesus. “Do we then make void the law through faith?” Do we, Lynn? “God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:31) “Establish”: “ἵστημι histēmi; abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up)” Which of those meanings would you replace “establish” with?

      • LynnCD LynnCD
        February 15, 2016    

        “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

        Alfred: “That most definitely sounds like telling them to get under a selected portion of God’s law to gain the promised success for doing so. In fact, that is exactly what it is. So even one exception takes down this rule you are attempting to establish.”

        Nope. The Holy Spirit decided which moral laws had universal application, not Gothard, not you, not I. Remember Bill taught circumcision as the only “moral” choice Christian parents can make for their sons I can just picture Gothard, at the Jerusalem Council, agreeing that you don’t need circumcision for salvation, but then going on to plead with the apostles that people should circ. for “health benefits.” And then presenting the council with a Christianized bris, which is in the health booklet (or was). And that the only choice a parent could make for their son was to have him circumcised on the 8th day of life. I can just picture them admonishing him for foolishness and sending him on his way.

        This link explains that the New Covenant has similar morals to the Old Covenant (the Mosaic Law), but it is a New Covenant: https://www.gci.org/law/sct06

        Even circumcision was from before the Law of Moses, and the Bible says we are NOT to do it for salvation (Acts 15), and it NEVER is ordered as a means of sanctification. It is NEVER ordered for health benefits. Gothard was the one who made it a moral obligation – the only choice a parent could make, contrary to Scripture. Which is why, Alfred, Bill HAS LEFT the foundation of Christ to put people under a yoke of bondage that has passed away since the Resurrection.

        Bill has not left the foundation to press on, but he has abandoned the foundation to put people back under a yoke of bondage to certain laws that no longer apply.

        I was given the booklet on circumcision, btw, have read it, have seen the certificate at the end, and have read the contents therein. Here is one quote:

        Bill Gothard: “Because this is one subject which is so strongly commended and reinforced in Scripture, there is no question what the decision of Christian parents should be on this matter. It is important to note that circumcision was established before the Law was given. Circumcision goes back to the obedience of Abraham. Thus, those who would seek to dismiss circumcision with the Law would have no Scriptural basis to do so.”

        Uh, yes they do. Acts 15.

        Paul says Titus remained uncircumcised, although he did have Timothy circumcised so as not to be a stumbling block to the Jews. Certainly not for moral reasons.

        Anyway, Gothard has left the foundations to make people enslaved to laws the Apostles taught were not for the Church in this age. Gothard is a teacher that Hebrews warns against.

        • Moderator Moderator
          February 16, 2016    

          The Holy Spirit decided which moral laws had universal application, not Gothard, not you, not I.

          Paul actually said something very different:

          “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:15-15)

          Sounds like we, because we have the Spirit of God, can and must figure this out. So, on that basis, I strongly disagree with you. The exhortation by Paul was squarely based, not on his apostolic authority, but on the commandment of the law of God. Similar statement here:

          “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.” (1 Cor. 14:34)

          or here:

          “Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.” (1 Cor. 9:8-10)

          I see a pattern here . . . do you? The law is presented as the authority to appeal to. By the Holy Spirit.

          Bill taught circumcision as the only “moral” choice Christian parents can make for their sons

          I have yet to meet anyone in ATI – former or current – that has expressed that they felt a need to circumcise because Bill said so. Have you? You found that one resource that expresses a position on that, and are also likely well aware that he was careful to not get into that since. Because of conversations like this. The fact that that NEVER came up in a single conversation I recall with ATI families, and that I never once heard it mentioned from a platform tells me that you are wildly misrepresenting him.

          But let’s talk it through. You can see first of all that circumcision preceded the law just like the rest day preceded the law.
          “Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.” (John 7:22) Not exclusively a Jewish thing.

          We still observe a rest day out of reverence for that “Universal Principle”, not because Moses taught it . . . so what do you find so onerous about favoring circumcision for the same reason? Please answer this.

          You noted that Paul circumcised Timothy so as not to be a stumbling block to the Jews. That should settle that it is not bad to circumcise . . . let’s get that off the table. Physical circumcision is literally “nothing”, nothing to worry about:

          “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” (1 Corinthians 7:19)

          I have never felt the slightest qualms about having that done with my sons because I felt that God had a good reason to have that in place long before the law. Since it is nothing, do you find fault with me? You sound more “legalistic” than some of those you condemn.

          it NEVER is ordered as a means of sanctification. It is NEVER ordered for health benefits.

          Health: A fair number of believers would disagree with you. In fact, the average Christian would concur that keeping the law would make the average person much healthier than not keeping it. Things like pork and shellfish and fat and blood are openly acknowledged to have health consequences that, again, a large number of Christians would see as a design issue. Makes sense, right? God designed the universe, He designed it for us . . . and He gave His best rules to His earthly people . . . so that would be healthier and more successful than all the heathen. Which would make the heathen envious . . . and seek the Lord.

          ”And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” (Exodus 15:26)

          Sanctification: Circumcision is most definitely associated with “sanctification” – circumcision of the heart, that is:

          ”In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” (Colossians 2:11)
          ”But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Romans 2:29)

          Outward circumcision was ALWAYS just a physical reminder of that same principle, even in the Old Testament:

          ”all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart. ” (Jeremiah 9:26)
          ”Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. ” (Acts 7:51)

          That is most clear here:

          ”And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” (Romans 4:11-12)

          Circumcision was NEVER about keeping the law, like the Judeaizers of Acts. 15 and Galatians believed. It was a sign, a seal of righteousness obtained by . . . faith, by Abraham who is called in Romans 4 my father. Do you see it?

          So . . . I don’t see a problem with Christians getting circumcised . . . do you? In any case, Paul didn’t. There may even be those that identify with Abraham, the father of faith, and see it as a symbol of righteousness obtained by faith, of a circumcised heart. There are many reasons almost all baby boys in the US were circumcised routinely for many decades, not all of them health related. The problem comes when some see it as a ticket to being a Jew and coming under that old covenant for salvation. On that we are all in agreement.

          And if anyone starts pressuring other Christians to get circumcised. On that we are also in agreement. Whatever Bill’s words in that single resource that you happen to have obtained a copy of – and the whole MTIA program was actually fairly short lived – he never followed up on it, it never came up again to my knowledge. It was intended as a resource – I appreciate his insights, in the end it is up to the individual conviction. Stop taking the grief of Scripture aimed at those trying to turn Christians back into Jews under the covenant of Moses, and apply it to the physical act of circumcision and all the lessons of faith attached to it, which has NONE of that concern.

  20. February 19, 2016    
    • Moderator Moderator
      February 19, 2016    

      what is your responses to this

      Let’s see . . . We don’t like lawsuits, lawsuits are not a game, there will be no more plaintiffs added as this was the judge’s well publicized date to end that . . . And, after all the years, all the alleged enormous numbers of accusers, all of the full court press, three months of worldwide publicity, the possibility of real money to pick up participants, this is all they could come up with. Think about 50 years, tens of thousands of participants, Bill deliberately seeking out troubled youth to try to help all around the world, given the fact that by the laws of statistics some small percentage of those thousands would remain troubled, are liars and would jump at the chance to gain some publicity let alone some money . . . And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is it.

      And, of course, both Bill and IBLP will, by God’s grace, be vigorously defending themselves.

      And I can’t help but think about a number of other named people who now get to have their names dragged through the dirt. Maybe issues that were fully resolved, I don’t know.

      So, we shall see. May The Lord examine all involved, take charge, and allow mercy and truth to triumph.

  21. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    March 3, 2016    

    Dear Rob,

    This is in reply to your 1/14 critique of Gothard’s Basic Seminar anecdote about milk and meat. I reviewed the Basic Seminar for lent, just to refresh my memory of it in light of the controversies simmering on these Gothard discussion websites. And the price was right, less than ten bucks, plus capability to pause and rewind as necessary. Of course Bill uses parts of studies as illustrations in anecdotes. You could hardly expect him to quote the entire study, verbatim! The citing of parts would mislead us only if they contradict the whole, don’t you think? No one claims that, unless I missed something. Did I?

    And if you want to object that the seminar is not wall-to-wall Bible exegesis, no one claims that it is. I think the main idea behind the seminar anecdotes is to exhort us evangelicals to take our Bibles seriously. At least that is the impression I get. We boast about our Bibles and sola scriptura, etc. But do we mean it?

    Those old hebrew hygiene laws are mystifying to us moderns, aren’t they? To what extent were they arbitrary, and to what extent were they health regulations? I’ll settle that question right after I finish my ham sandwich!

    Until next time,
    Brother David K

    • March 23, 2016    

      Bill didn’t need to cite the entire study verbatim however it is both academically and professionally appropriate to cite his sources so that others may check their validity and accuracy. The problem with Bill that many of his critics have pointed to is that much of his evidence that he uses to support his ideas are anecdotally unverifiable. Bill made many medical and scientific claims over the years that are reminiscent of the old travelling salesmen who sold their miracle elixirs and snake oil remedies from the back of their wagon’s.

      So here here is the issue everyone including Bill who stands up in front of thousands of people and offers them goods for money has both a legal and moral obligation to be fair and accurate. Bill’s critics have the right to question and critique his claims and expose him where necessary and also challenge Bill to support his claims. Bill over the years has not been open to critique but rather obfuscates through his so-called reconciliation. Bill may have admitted he isn’t perfect but he has never admitted openly and publicly that he was wrong or that his teaching are in error. In fact Bill can’t, because the liability that would fall on him would be far to great and possibly horrendously expensive if a class action civil suit was launched against him.

      Bill has far too much pride to admit he is wrong. I realize those who support Bill would disagree but that in itself raises a whole other set of issues about why certain people are drawn to different groups, leaders and even belief systems.

      • Moderator Moderator
        March 24, 2016    

        Bill didn’t need to cite the entire study verbatim however it is both academically and professionally appropriate to cite his sources so that others may check their validity and accuracy.

        In a 30 hour seminar there are a lot of topics and a lot of examples. Nothing wrong with challenging him on specific statements, many of which were made extemporaneously, i.e. not in the notes. We have sought to respond to specific challenges . . . here. If there is anything else you want to address, post it.

        he has never admitted openly and publicly that he was wrong or that his teaching are in error.

        You would not want him to admit he was wrong, his teachings in error if they weren’t, right? The final chapter has not yet been written. This forum is open to examine any and all of those teachings.

        a whole other set of issues about why certain people are drawn to different groups, leaders and even belief systems.

        Also interesting is that some joyfully and gratefully find Jesus in what he teaches, a lifetime to prove it, and some find the devil. Something is dramatically wrong . . . somewhere.

        • March 24, 2016    

          Moderator wrote “You would not want him to admit he was wrong, his teachings in error if they weren’t, right? The final chapter has not yet been written. This forum is open to examine any and all of those teachings”.

          There are many examples here on this site in section on Grace that have been challenged by quite a number of notable teachers. When it stacks up either all of us who are the majority that disagree with Bill are wrong or Bill is which is it? All I see is a man with an unteachable and obstinate spirit.

          Moderator said, “Also interesting is that some joyfully and gratefully find Jesus in what he teaches, a lifetime to prove it, and some find the devil. Something is dramatically wrong . . . somewhere.”

          Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, not man. God uses human frailty as His vessel to transmit His message by which the Holy Spirit saves and regenerates sinful human beings. I challenge you to find anyone that is without sin other than Christ. Neither Bill, you or I have the power to convert anyone that is a supernatural work. My point here is that like everyone else Bill’s message was used by God. However as I know a number of Gothard followers where I live I generally don’t see that grace that God offers. I see men women and children striving in their own pathetic strength to earn God’s grace to gain salvation….. I saw a church ripped apart by this teaching about 10 years ago,.I see many of those people still in bondage lurching from one fellowship to another appearing to have all the answers but ultimately falling on their faces when it comes to long term commitment. In nearly all cases when they came undone it was someone else’s fault or the fellowship didn’t meet their standards. Always’ ALWAYS deflecting blame. This is Bill’s legacy and Bill is very adept at manipulation, shifting blame and avoiding responsibility while controlling others. I see a lot of the same lack of integrity in many of those who are loyal to him.

          You are right though in the end the truth will all come out.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 25, 2016    

            When it stacks up either all of us who are the majority that disagree with Bill are wrong or Bill is which is it?

            The majority is rarely right, Chris! You should know better than to hang any value on numbers.

            Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, not man. . . . Neither Bill, you or I have the power to convert anyone that is a supernatural work.

            To make a point . . . I disagree:

            “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20)

            Sounds like that is also OUR job, Chris. And a lot more is our job that the mindlessness and sleepiness of Calvinism has stolen from us. No, we cannot regenerate a man . . . but . . . a great deal more authority and responsibility is committed to us than you acknowledge.

            I saw a church ripped apart by this teaching about 10 years ago

            Here is what Jesus said:

            “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)

            He really, truly said that. Ripping families apart . . . churches as well. Loyalty to Jesus – and His words – comes before life itself, let alone any relationship.

  22. March 27, 2016    

    Sorry mate but your defence of Bill and his doctrines are blind and convoluted to the point that you dismiss any and all criticism and simply deflect any argument in his defence with scripture. I think that is truly sad I can’t see the point of any continued dialogue.

    • Moderator Moderator
      March 27, 2016    

      you dismiss any and all criticism and simply deflect any argument in his defence with scripture.

      Those two are not the same. I find that opposition to Bill is often based on very little substance . . . specifically when it comes to Scripture. Super big deal. I am all about the Scriptures. Jesus could shut down the bad guys with simple bottom line points. If Bill is bad, that should not be hard to do. Maybe he isn’t all that bad.

  23. April 3, 2016    

    my final word…… Christianity is a minority world view. There is a majority view among conservative Evangelicals that overwhelmingly agree with and have consensus on the meaning of Grace who have challenged Bill. Bill’s view of grace which is not consistent with the consensus on this issue or the biblical evidence. Simply put, if you agree with Bill over against the majority on this issue you are wrong. Sometimes the majority are right because they follow what is written. Once more orthodox evangelical conservative bible believing Christianity is not a majority view; however it overwhelmingly rejects Bill’s position. If you agree with Bill that puts you in a dangerous and very precarious position.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 3, 2016    

      There is a majority view among conservative Evangelicals that overwhelmingly agree with and have consensus on the meaning of Grace who have challenged Bill.

      Can you articulate this consensus? Is it “unmerited favor”? As we detail in http://www.discoveringgrace.com/what-is-grace/ , Bill generally agrees . . . Since ANY gift of God is unmerited favor. But . . . It defines nothing. Grace is so much bigger, more focused than that generalization.

      And I am not troubled at being out of step with any group . . . As long as I am in step with Scripture.

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