Mathematics is a wonderful discipline, one that some of us love. We know that numbers matter and don’t like to be abused. They speak to the carefulness and veracity of those that would purport to report on a matter. So here are some numbers as we have found them that don’t seem to add up:
March 7, 2014, “As many as 34 women who worked for Gothard claim that he harassed them; four claim that he molested them,” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/conservative-leader-bill-gothard-resigns-following-abuse-allegations/2014/03/07/0381aa94-a624-11e3-b865-38b254d92063_story.html , which attribute to “an organizer involved in the whistle-blowing website Recovering Grace”.)
June 24, 2015, “we’re aware of more than 60 women who have experienced sexual harassment and worse.” (Bev Burrell, speaking for Recovering Grace in http://www.worldmag.com/2015/06/bill_gothard_defends_himself_on_new_website, World Magazine) This number has been out there a while and circulated around in various venues, the sole source being Recovering Grace. Dr. John Cornish personally dropped that number on us as he was attempting to shut down efforts to defend Bill.
January 7, 2016: “According to Kari Underwood, founder of the Recovering Grace website, more than 30 women identified by name have recounted troubling interactions with Gothard that add up to a pattern of sexual harassment and abuse.” (http://www.worldmag.com/2016/01/lawsuit_brings_new_accusations_against_bill_gothard )
Today: Number of women with stories to tell that have been identified on Recovering Grace and in the lawsuit: Somewhere around 15. One alleges sexual intercourse, one “fondling”, and one professes lewdness on Bill’s part. Knowing what we know about the players we remain confident that their stories will not survive the court process. The rest either accuse others besides Bill, or are in the category of “uncomfortable” things, like sitting too close or unwanted pats and taps. One of these has had a police inquiry which ended with no charges, a determination that her claims included no sexual abuse or harassment.
We think that Recovering Grace has been playing fast and loose with their uncorroborated statistics in order to damage Bill’s reputation as much as possible. They have been lobbying for legal action against Bill for many years and openly soliciting for stories to make that happen.
After receiving the 60+ number from Dr. Cornish we challenged him with the reality that publishing false information about Bill that would lead people to conclude him guilty of sexual perversion was defamation “per se” and placed them in substantial liability. After cutting off all social media access to us in response, we see that his second in command, Kari, has now put out a much more precise statement. That statement avoids saying that 30 let alone 34 let alone 60+ women accuse Bill of “sexual abuse” or “sexual harassment”, somewhat specific terms, but that they have had “troubling interactions”. That is double-speak for “trying to make a story out of a pattern that is itself not a story”.
That is how we see the math. So . . . how do you see it?
“They have been lobbying for legal action against Bill for many years and openly soliciting for stories to make that happen.”
Do you have proof of these allegations?
First of all, you seem to be connected with RG. Do they deny it? Some of our staff recall postings back at the beginning on “The Crossings” for these accounts, as they were gearing up for launch. We don’t have the ability to verify that. Did that happen?
We were asked that question on “Did He Do It? – History and Scandal” (http://www.discoveringgrace.com/2015/10/17/did-he-do-it-history-and-scandal/ ) where we say “A great example might be http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2012/05/gracenotes-sexual-abuse-wrap-up/ . . . which was the summary of the annual “Sexual Abuse Month” on the site” Sexual Abuse Month?! On a Bill Gothard whistle-blowing website?! Now why would that be?
We recall such appeals repeatedly, including calls for legal action from others. It bothered us, since whatever enough people want bad enough, it sort of has a way of happening.
I was on Crossings at the time, and I distinctly remember the only people asking for women to come forward were NOT the ones who were involved in RG leadership, but other women who had been the victims of inappropriate interaction with Bill. They were ones who knew there were more victims because we had seen and experienced it. We encouraged our friends with those stories to come forward. However, The Crossings has NEVER been connected with RG, it is also a private, vetted forum. Anyone sharing information off that forum should be banned from that forum.
Nica . . . are you absolutely sure that the person or persons posting that “pinned post”, as others have described it, on “The Crossings” asking for those with sexual dirt on Bill to come forward . . . were not in communication with those that formed Recovering Grace? We are well aware that “The Crossings” is separate from RG . . . but we are quite sure that Recovering Grace was birthed “over there”. We remain at a loss to explain what would motivate someone to put out an “Announcement” for that kind of information without a specific agenda.
Been two years, not sure Nica is around. If anyone else recalls that post, and wants to help answer that question, we would be most grateful. It smells . . . fishy.
Respectfully, if you have had someone close to you go through sexual abuse and harassment, these allegations by the women and admissions by Mr Gothard would disturb you. I would see your point if perhaps one of two women came forward with claims which Mr Gothard completely rejected. However he admits to wrong doing in his affidavit, but he stops short of criminality. As a lawyer I’ve handled similar cases and have also had these situations come up in a couple of occasions with someone close to me. Mr Gothard’s behavior as described by himself is on par with those who have been guilty/liable for harassment and sexual assault. These claims will get to a jury and I think it is dangerous for Mr Gothard and the IBLP Board to think the jury will see it through his eyes. He needs a good attorney because his own admissions in the affidavit do not bode well for him….trust me.
He says he should not have touched girls hair or feet . . . because he didn’t appreciate that the things that seemed harmless and affirming to him were causing a lot of confusion and bad emotions. I have heard from several women that thought nothing ill of some of his quirks of this nature – they “got” him. Others felt creepy. IF he never “saw nor touched the private parts of a woman” in his life . . . and was guilty of insensitivity in some of these matters, what should he be charged with? Sexual assault?! Are you kidding? And . . . harassment is an employment term that would not apply to a counseling situation. Or even to the meals, let’s say, or social settings, or trips, where they were not on the clock.
You say these claims will get to a jury. You are a lawyer, right? The statutes of limitations on all potential charges are past. Besides which this is a civil suit. So the jury is going to try to establish damages to tales that are 20 years old, of touching the hair, patting the leg, tapping the foot.
And, as a lawyer, how does this fly if that affidavit was supplied to a man that alleged to be helping him, explaining how each of these actions, the lawsuit, the affidavit, letters written, would help Bill clear his name and be reinstated as President? When Bill finally understood he was snookered he wrote a letter to Gibbs pleading with him to not use his affidavit in the suit. Two, because the first was not responded to and I helped him write the second. Say, how does all of that work in the world of lawyering? I really want to know.
Yes I realize this is a civil suit. I practice civil law and have defended these cases and represented plaintiffs in these cases in Florida. I do not know what the statute of limitations is in Illinois but I do not think Mr Gibbs would’ve filed this suit on behalf of the women if it was barred by the Illinois SOL. For the sake of being intellectually honest, I believe the women are telling the truth. Nevertheless, I think Mr Gothard needs to hire an attorney asap as the allegations are serious against him. It would benefit the women if he was represented as well in that the attorney could potentially make an effort at resolving the matter with plaintiffs’ attorney so the women do not have to relive these circumstances. I cannot speak as to the affidavit or how it was obtained but there’s a very real probability that it will be admissible unless there is undeniable proof it was obtained through false pretenses.
Of course it is u likely anyone will have direct evidence after twenty years other than testimony of the women and the staff who the plaintiffs attorney will undoubtedly subpoena for deposition. The point I am making is that of the 15 women at least four to five of them are making serious allegations of sexual misconduct. It does not matter what Mr Gothard thinks or what the women think but what a jury thinks. The chronology of events in conjunction with the admissions in his affidavit and testimony of the women and others will make a strong case against mr Gothard and IBLP. I do not practice law in Illisnois but In all likelihood this matter will get to a jury if it is not barred by the statute of limitations. The biggest damage exposure in this type of case is the intangible non-economic damages and punitive damages which can be hard to predict. I think there’s a real probability a jury will award a large verdict against mr Gothard and the IBLP Board All I’m asking is to please consider that even one of these girls is telling the truth about the sexual abuse and/or harassment A jury will likely believe that it is unlikely all the women are not telling the truth in an attempt to conspire to ruin Mr Gothard and IBLP with false allegations. Why would they all lie? They do not want to relive these memories in the public eye. I’m making this point because it would benefit all parties if mr Gothard had an attorney who could then put the pressure on the IBLP board attorney to attempt to resolve this matter with these women early on in the lawsuit to avoid a protracted and awful litigation which would emotionally devastate these women even further than they already are. Hopefully IBLP had directors and officers insurance coverage
“False pretenses” is the only way I can describe the process that brought Bill to accept Gibbs alleged “help” and try to assist him, in part with the affidavit. Look at it, then tell me if you can obectively come to any other conclusion. I recall a case I sat on as a juror . . . car driven by an illegal alien hit another car. The lawyer had a signed confession from the individual stating that he had been driving 45 MPH and taking full responsibility for the crash. Defendant was not present in court. We the jury became uneasy and – we believe correctly – concluded that the lawyer promised the terrified man that they would fix everything if he would sign this statement. We ruled against the plaintiff, more against the sleezy lawyer.
The most recent and youngest participant has already filed a report with the Hinsdale PD alleging all kinds of uncomfortable touching. The SOL on “misdemeanor battery”, which was deemed the appropriate charge for those allegations, is 2 years and had already passed, hence the HPD filed no charges. One woman has alleged rape, at the hands of Bill, Copley, her father, various relatives, and countless others as a sold sex slave. The event alleged against Bill would be about 20 years ago. I have no idea what the SOL is. Is there one?
The case is not a criminal case, but reaching for tort law, civil. Yes, Bill has a lawyer, as does the Institute. My guess is that there is not much stomach for settling early because this is viewed as extortion. But I am not privy to their discussions.
Just because they’ve only published X number of stories doesn’t mean there aren’t more that they are aware of. It could be the case that not everyone wanted their story made public.
Regardless, I feel like there’s enough critical mass to assume something foul has been going on for awhile. An organization with so much unresolved conflict has got serious problems. I feel pretty strongly that even if somewhere between 30-60 stories were fabricated (I don’t believe that, just saying, hypothetically speaking), the fact that IBLP/Gothard has been unable to resolve all this satisfactorily is symptomatic of serious sin patterns. A reasonable person recognizes that IBLP/Gothard can’t be squeaky clean in all this.
The foul thing has more to do with some of the concerns you have been pursuing than actual abuse. That is what drives people to constantly seek a way to get rid of Bill and IBLP.
But let us look at these numbers:
o What happened to the 30 women that got dropped by the RG spokespeople in the last 6 months? They all said “60+”, but suddenly are at “30”. Does that tell you anything? That says, “fast and loose”, lots of imagination. When somebody says, “Hey, be accurate or you may get sued” suddenly the numbers change, by half?
o The women in the lawsuit could be expected to be the most abused, the most violated. Here is the makeup:
6 are in the category of “He touched me in weird ways”, NOT a crime.
1 says he raped her. She also says her father raped her . . . and relatives . . . and she was a sex slave sold for that purpose. I wonder if she is telling the truth.
1 is Gretchen. We have documented some of our concerns with her veracity.
1 blames Ken Copley, not Bill
1 is concerned about other things, getting kicked out of an adoptive home because Bill allegedly said so.
If these are likely “the worst”, what do you think the other 20 are likely to consist of?
Alfred, your passive hatred (as evidence above) for those who come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, including a child being (repeatedly) RAPED, is of great concern. If your daughters had been in these brave women’s situation, I honestly would fear for thier safety. You have placed a man, and a corporation in the place of GOD, no, higher than GOD in that they can do absolutely no wrong. What ever happened to the “testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses”?
Inappropriate touching, or continued touching without consent in a workplace, and ESPECIALLY of a minor is a criminal offence. We in the real world call that harassment/sexual harassment. Also when you threaten to/actually mistreat an employee unless they allow the harassment to continue is also a crime.
Alfred, intentionally failing to report abuse of minors IS a felony. Just because Billy boy says to let it continue does not give someone exclusion from the law.
Lastly, if I had children, and had even the least offensive thing in this lawsuit happened to them, I assure you I would be on the warpath. I pray you would have the same level of GODLY love for your daughters.
Praying for you!
I am going to go out on a limb that you have nothing to do with IBLP, Bill. We know the man, some of us for decades. I have been in ATI for 20 years, a son on staff for a decade, two daughters in Taiwan with IBLP programs. Plus any number of programs that they have participated in. Bill is not a pervert, not even close. When you have women that worked with some of the accusers, lived everything with Bill . . . except nothing even resembling what some are alleging . . . some long outside the IBLP orbit with nothing to gain or lose here. Really, really bothered by what they feel is deliberate deceit.
I was in ATI. It’s taken the last five years to rid myself of that heresy. In that time I had the misfortune of personally sitting through several classes of his, and the greater misfortune of having a 20 minute “counseling” (if thats what you want to call it) session with him.
After having gone through some of your other articles a constant theme popped out at me. William could make any statement he wished and anybody who questions it, or asks for reference is wrong for doing so; but when 30+ women come forward with offences that came from/through/by/in iblp and Bill all of a sudden they must be lies.
Since a another common theme I’ve seen is William’s writings first, then scripture I won’t use the scripture reference, but rather Bill’s teaching. In the wisdom booklets under the law section Bill teaches that an accusation requires at least two witnesses. If the church refuses to handle it properly then it is to go to “worldly authorities”. (Although we see he countered that in his dealings with the duggar case) So why does it suddenly not count when there is 15x the “requirement”?
Just trying to get an idea of why you would have such blind devotion to a falable man, and corporation, to the point of calling a forced child prostitute a liar.
And yes he is a “perv”. When a giant chunk of your “teachings” involve something to do with sex in one way shape or form, and 10-15 minutes of your 20 minute “counseling” have to do with trying pry out any information regarding anything relating to sex; then you’re a “perv”.
That might be true. If the account of forced child prostitution is true. How quickly you are willing to accept an unknown woman’s claims over Bill’s 50 years of ministry before the entire world.
What do you base that on? I have forty (40) years of pondering most everything Bill has postulated, 20 in ATI. Sex is not given any place like what you suggest. Where did you gain that perspective?
Clay said: “When a giant chunk of your “teachings” involve something to do with sex in one way shape or form, and 10-15 minutes of your 20 minute “counseling” have to do with trying pry out any information regarding anything relating to sex; then you’re a “perv”.”
Then the Moderator replied:
“What do you base that on? I have forty (40) years of pondering most everything Bill has postulated, 20 in ATI. Sex is not given any place like what you suggest. Where did you gain that perspective?”
I have to agree with Clay. I had to attend the basic seminar 1982-1985. Seemed to me there was a great deal of time spent on sex (a man was having an affair, his wife saw he was about to lose $10, 000 in a business deal; God was going to punish the man by making him lose the money for having an affair. But since the wife interfered, she got punished by her husband running off with the woman; non-circumcised men are more promiscuous, when and how many days after certain events to have sex). I seem to recall it being talked about everyday of the seminar. I found the name to be very deceiving, “Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts”. Being a youth when I attended, I found nothing that applied to me as a youth or looking back, nothing that applies to me now. I could tell (in my youth) by looking at Bill Gothard something was not right about him.
Haha! Well, it so happens that a lot of “Basic Conflicts” to end up with sex as a component . . . Bill didn’t cause that, right? I guess we can say that any Bible teacher that doesn’t talk about sex problems more than the Bible does is probably doing OK.
“Sex is not given any place like what you suggest,” although Clay was in ATI and Eric attended the seminar multiple times and they (and more) agree on Clay’s description. Who are you to say otherwise? You obviously disagree, but you overstep your bounds when you just write them off as being wrong so that you can ignore their conclusion.
Yet then you said:
“Haha! Well, it so happens that a lot of “Basic Conflicts” to(sic) end up with sex as a component . . . Bill didn’t cause that, right?” So you contradict yourself because you do have to admit that it was a topic that got a lot of focus.
You will argue on any side of any statement just so long as Bill comes out clean. If he were so clean, you wouldn’t have to. Does that ever occur to you, Alfred?
Well, the opponents contradict themselves far more furiously. I was responding to a complaint that Bill talked too much about sex . . .not something I could relate to in 40 years of tracking Bill and his messages. Then somebody noted that Bill addressed lots of sex related problems . . . THAT I could relate to because, well, there are tons of sex related problems. And then there was John Cornish’s interview with CNN where he declared that “sex was a taboo topic in ATI”, which is why, he said, Josh Duggar got in trouble. And THEN I have you roll in to find fault with me for struggling to keep up.
“One of these has had a police inquiry which ended with no charges”
because the statute of limitations had passed. That’s an important fact.
Equally important was the Assistant State Attorney for Illinois stating that the charges that would be brought were “misdemeanor battery”. Not sexual harassment (employment related), not sexual abuse, which has specific statutes that apply.
“Equally important was the Assistant State Attorney for Illinois stating that the charges that would be brought were “misdemeanor battery”. Not sexual harassment (employment related), not sexual abuse, which has specific statutes that apply.”
So when Bill stands before the Eternal Holy Judge will he tell God that the Statute of Limitation had pass so he was innocent? Does the SOL apply in heaven too? Maybe he won’t go to jail but that does not make him innocent. His rewards in heaven will be based on how God judges all of his life not just the 2.5 million who heard the Basic seminar. Intent and motive will matter and he will have the perfect judgement which will be the same for you and me.
And when the “victim” stands before that same Judge and has to give an account for trying to slander a preacher of the Gospel by suing him in secular court and trying to spin “encouraging pats” into “Sexual Abuse”, how will that go down? Let alone the specter of some that might not be telling the truth? Statutes of limitations help avoid frivolous and capricious lawsuits and charges, particularly when memories have faded and the liklihood of a fair trail is about nil. That, THAT is also abuse.
Moderator said: “And when the “victim” stands before that same Judge and has to give an account for trying to slander a preacher of the Gospel by suing him in secular court and trying to spin “encouraging pats” into “Sexual Abuse”, how will that go down? Let alone the specter of some that might not be telling the truth?”
Footsies, touching of hair and long hugs are not “encouraging”. That is flirtatious and is by no means “fatherly” or “grandfatherly”. I have daughters and a granddaughter, I’ve never done any of those things to them. It is very improper and only things I would do with my wife.
Now what if Bill Gothard acted this way to any of your daughters? What would you do?
I asked my daughters what they would think if a man my age (approching 50) was playing footsies with them or touching their hair. Their response was they would think he was a pervert. The daughters I asked are ages 15, 19 and 22.
Bill Gothard is not a preacher of the Gospel. He is a “motivational speaker” who preyed on Christians who lacked discernment.
Here we go again. What gives you the right to call what went on “footsies”? “Footsies” are by definition sexual . . . and obviously not every interaction between the feet of two individuals is “footsies”. By assigning that name you have rendered your judgment, your editorial. One woman who lived every facet of Bill’s quirks said Bill would occasionally – “a few times” in a decade – tap her feet to get her attention . . . emphatically non-sexual . . . and she observed this toward at least one of Bill’s close male assistants. It is wrong to promote that term unless you know that is what it is.
🙂 I know different cultures are different . . . but I could not disagree more. Maybe our society is so steeped in immorality that pure things are tainted with the impurity of others, but goodness, I am baffled where you are coming from. You cannot hug your daughters without feeling it flirtatious? Nobody in your world hugs and kisses their older daughters and granddaughters without you feeling it perverse? Again, please, have a look at the picture . . . from the play . . . of “Shepherd of the Hills” on the website. This is a modern rendering of a novel that delighted wholesome audiences since the early 1900s. The man and girl are not relatives . . . curious if you showed that to your daughters and couched it in non-prejudicial terms . . . if you might get a different perspective. And what about all those “holy kisses” the Scriptures actually command? Our culture cringes . . . others embrace it with joy.
Bill vis-à-vis my daughters? Depends on what you are talking about. The things that I am hearing from people I know, not a problem. Couch it in the terms you are using, obviously not. It really depends on what was going on, Eric. And now we are getting to the crux of the matter. See, I know that some of these women in the lawsuit were happy as could be until they were – in the last several years – contacted by “whisperers” and started reading Recovering Grace. Looking at the same things through different eyes freaked them out. Things that are wrong, are simply wrong. If you have to be taught that something is a problem, well, maybe you are dealing as much with the prejudices – yes, bitterness – of others than a real problem. People wonder how “a bunch” of women could all complain about the same things. It is extremely easy – they all read the same website and dealt with the same whisperers. “A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.” (Proverbs 16:28) That is personally judged by the Lord Himself.
“What gives you the right to call what went on “footsies”?”
Then you said:
“I know that some of these women in the lawsuit were happy as could be …”
I wouldn’t question his right to call what has been called and described as footsies “footsies” nearly as quickly as I’d question your right to ascribe feelings to human beings that you clearly revile. You KNOW no such thing, Alfred, although I expect that you will ignore my reasonable argument.
You do not know what I know, so until you do, yeah, it is hard to approve hacks like this.
Moderator said: “Here we go again. What gives you the right to call what went on “footsies”? “Footsies” are by definition sexual . . . and obviously not every interaction between the feet of two individuals is “footsies”. By assigning that name you have rendered your judgment, your editorial. One woman who lived every facet of Bill’s quirks said Bill would occasionally – “a few times” in a decade – tap her feet to get her attention . . . emphatically non-sexual . . . and she observed this toward at least one of Bill’s close male assistants. It is wrong to promote that term unless you know that is what it is.”
From Rachel’s Story
(from the Recovering Grace Website. Found under “Lunch Dates” section)
Even though I wasn’t working in his office anymore, he made a point to connect with me at either the morning staff meeting or at lunch almost every day, often inviting me to sit across from him at the head table. A few times, I was already sitting at another table visiting with people and he would motion me to move to his table instead. During one of the times I was sitting across from him at the head table, I felt his foot nudge mine. I pulled back instantly thinking that we must have just collided somehow and I mumbled a “Sorry.” I looked up and saw him smiling at me—not at all apologetic. It happened several more times in days following; he would put his shod foot against mine and nudge me slowly, or try to cross ankles with me. Then once I felt his sock foot against my leg and starting to explore up the back of my calf. The tablecloths were pretty long, so things under the table were mostly hidden. However, I remember thinking that if anyone dropped a fork and got down to retrieve it, they would see what he was doing and they would get the wrong impression. I kept my feet swung back under my chair from then on and there was no more footsie (at mealtimes, anyway).
From Charlotte’s Story
(Recovering Grace Website)
Bill would call me into his office for “counseling and teaching.” I was open about my relationship with my boyfriend. As we talked, Bill would play footsie with me. I loved to be barefooted, and he would always comment on the shades of polish on my toes. I’d talk, and he would rub my feet with his.
From Exploited Innocence: Sexual Harassment at HQ
(Recovering Grace Website)
He took his shoes off and suggested that the group in the back of the van do the same. I thought he was just being casual until he started playing “footsy” with me in front of the others. Thereafter I kept my shoes on with toes curled to secure them and unsuccessfully tried to angle my legs away from him, but the man has a talent for cornering a girl’s foot in a small space. I could not figure out how to avoid it without making a scene. I struggled to reconcile the cognitive dissonance between assisting the head of a ministry and trying to gracefully fend off a persistent volley of (usually successful) attempts at physical contact.
From Bill Gothard’s Public Statement
My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong.
There you have it, multiple witnesses and a confession from Bill Gothard himself.
At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
For Bill “touching feet” with a male assistant, I won’t even go there.
Moderator said: “You cannot hug your daughters without feeling it flirtatious? Nobody in your world hugs and kisses their older daughters and granddaughters without you feeling it perverse?”
Now you are just trying imply Bill’s actions and how parents show affection to their children are the same. By no means are they. You failed to mention playing footsies or as you call it “interaction between the feet” in your above statement.
Moderator said: “See, I know that some of these women in the lawsuit were happy as could be until they were – in the last several years – contacted by “whisperers” and started reading Recovering Grace.”
I assume you can back this up and provide proof?
Moderator said: “People wonder how “a bunch” of women could all complain about the same things. It is extremely easy – they all read the same website and dealt with the same whisperers.”
Perhaps they all experienced the same thing from the same man who has a standard method of operation.
Something to ponder: In the early 1970’s, a man and some of his followers were convicted of crimes mainly based on the testimony of one person. Would you stand so strong to come to the defense of this mans innocence the way you do Bill Gothard?
So we are getting a series of accounts remembering details from 25 years ago that somehow were never important enough to bring up in all that time . . . but now have been identified as a sexual activity. Strange that noone noted a problem with “footsie” up until 3 years ago? That is precisely the kind of information Dr. Radmacher and others were looking for in that long phone transcript that RG posted including two of Bill’s long time secretaries, one of which was Ruth. Yet, in exactly the open, safe, compelling environment required to do so, there were no “footies” recalled. Because what he did was not “footsies”.
See, of the citations you provided, we believe that Gretchen – Charlotte – is not telling the truth. That is not a charge that we would levy against the others. But considering how even a man of Gary Smalley’s character can mix up crucial details of a singularly significant event from 35 years ago, it becomes clear how easily a need to find impurity in Bill can be fulfilled by the needs and suggestions of a well organized group that has been actively seeking out such accounts. Which is why there are things like Statutes of Limitations, not to let guilty people walk free, but to avoid the miscarriage of justice that often happens when events from long ago are being recalled.
Fact is, one of Bill’s quirks over many years was tapping the feet of those that he cared about, both to show affirmation and to get their attention. Back in the days when I was allowed to post on RG I indicated my acceptance of the accounts the other young ladies gave a face value. But since speaking in detail to some who experienced all of what Bill Gothard is and does, including “the foot thing”, I have come to believe differently. I am told – with a touch of anger – that it was anything but sensual. Yes, Bill was observed nudging the feet of at least one male assistant as well . . . so, go there. It wasn’t anything like what it has been made to be. And, yes, I have read him the accounts that were posted – he emphatically denied the salacious details that take it far beyond that.
I was around when he published that and have some sense of what he meant. Even in that statement he emphasized the complete lack of sexual motivation – so how about quoting the entire statement? He touched shoulders and feet and occasionally hair – and held the hands of young ladies as he spoke to their heart, often in front of others, even large groups of people. To him it was completely above board, “affirming”, as he said. To get the idea of what he intended, take another look at the “Shepherd of the Hills” photo depicting the unrelated older man and young woman having a very deep and wholesome love and respect one for another.
When the Recovering Grace fueled storm hit everyone was upside down. Many turned away, and even close friends were convinced he had been improper if not immoral. He was willing to declare acts that were without guile to be out of bounds, based on the overwhelming grief of others. But he has never confessed to “footsies” or any other act that involves an impure heart, because it never happened.
You stating this as fact does not make it so. I strongly disagree. The bonds in Jesus are stronger and deeper than any earthly bond.
1 Timothy 5:1-2: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.:
OR, they were all recruted by the same source and prepped and encouraged as they went about to recall events from decades prior. IF you think that a coordinated attack is incapable of making a lot of people say the same false thing, read up on the McMartin Preschool case . . . which happened just down the street from where I was working at the time.
I am drawing a blank on who you are talking about, so help me understand. The only response that comes to mind is, “I thought you said in the mouth of 2-3 witnesses let every matter be established.” AND, BTW, that does not mean just because you have 2-3 people testifying to the same thing that conviction is automatic. Oh, no. You examine the witnesses and their accounts and prove them before accepting their testimony.
By the Bible verse concerning 2 or 3 witnesses, I am by no means implying or suggesting that Bill Gothard be put to death.
Thank you. Others might disagree.
Is it really so difficult to understand some of the differences in these numbers? It’s not difficult at all to believe that, especially in regards to such a sensitive matter, a considerable percentage of alleged victims would share their experience(s) in confidence to someone but not give them permission to publish or further, choose to participate in a lawsuit which has every likelihood of forcing them to relive those experiences.
The existence of a name on a lawsuit or a published testimonial is certainly a hard/specific number, but it certainly does not mean the ones who chose not to publish their account or choose not to join the lawsuit shouldn’t ‘count’ towards a ‘total’.
Put another way, hypothetically, let’s say there are 60 ‘known’ accounts, that happen to break down as follows:
(Experience Categories: A = Awkward, B = Borderline Inappropriate, C = Clearly Inappropriate, D = Definite Abuse, E = Extreme Abuse)
Group 1 (15): Women in this category experienced things they felt ranged from A thru D with a few alleging E – We’ll put these in the category, hypothetically, of those that are on the lawsuit or have published their accounts.
Group 2 (15): Women in this category experienced things they felt ranged from A thru C with some alleging D – We’ll put these in the category of ones who may yet join the lawsuit or who may determine to share their accounts thru another channel.
Group 3 (15): Women in this category experienced things they felt ranged from A thru B with some alleging C – We’ll say these women read the stories and realized they experienced many similar things, but ‘not quite to the level of Groups 2 and certainly not Group 1.
Group 4 (15): Women in this category experienced mostly awkward interactions with some that felt it was borderline inappropriate – Again, this group could very easily feel that the accounts they read of others resonated with their own experiences enough to say ‘yes, that happened to me too, or I know what they were talking about, because I think that happened to me too.
Yes, the above is all hypothetical, though I think it likely provides a numerical structure where you should be able to see the numbers aren’t necessarily in disagreement, they may simply be referencing different groups/subgroups based on the conversation at the time. Certainly there may be other ways to approach this issue, but seeking to dismiss ‘all’ because of what you contend to be numerical inconsistencies between 15, 30, 34, and 60+ is kind of straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel, yes?
Adam . . . are you the Adam that was associated with IBLP for some time? If so, would you mind giving your testimony of how long you were there and what you personally observed or had reported to you from your peers that your considered reliable? I like that way better than the hypothetical. If I misfired, apologies, and I will probably strike my post.
Alfred, who I am or whether I was involved or associated with IBLP matters not one whit in regards to the question I posed. No need to obfuscate by going down a bunny trail of how much contact I personally had with Bill or how many of my peers I consider to be credible – those items have no bearing on the math structure I posited for your consideration in counterpoint to your article.
Your article’s premise seems to be that because different numbers were ‘tossed around’, first 30, then 60, then 34, and now approx. 15 connected to the lawsuit and/or with accounts published on Recovering Grace, that this indicates lack of credibility and calls into question the veracity of everyone’s claims. I do understand the appeal of that logic. However, I think the scenario I laid out in my original comment is at least equally, if not more viable here. It also occurs to me that journalists do occasionally get their numbers wrong – shocking, right? Perhaps that was the case with World? Running that thought to ground, if the World article aligned with the 60 figure, would that have impacted your narrative or would it simply have focused on the ‘precipitous’ drop from 60 down to ‘just 15’ who felt wronged enough to ‘go public’.
You made an interesting comment in the article and I’ll quote you here from the second sentence: “We know that numbers matter and don’t like to be abused.” In light of all of this, I find that an odd metaphor. It could so easily be rephrased to read: “We know that young people matter and don’t like to be abused.” Are you still feeling sure that focusing on ‘alleged’ abuse of numbers is more important here?
If you simply must know my background, please answer the questions posed here and I’ll be glad to share more. After all, if you know where someone sits, you may gain insight into where and why they stand.
Well, it does matter a lot . . . to me. Since you appear to be someone that has extensive experience with Bill. So . . . that experience would trump the hypothetical numbers dance you are enticing me into.
I DO like numbers, have a degree in Math. One reason I was inclined to not dance was, well, I was not exactly sure of your point. I guess you are describing different “sets”, with some overlap, bringing the total number of women to 60? Not sure. In any case, The last statement was the most general, hence should have included the largest number. The number of “named women” alleging “troubling interactions” is surely greater than the number of “women who HAVE experienced sexual harassment and worse” (emphasis mine). Unless they are not named? In which case how can RG say they HAVE experienced this? I can see that the 30 women who got dropped in the most recent very precise statement posted anonymously on RG and RG dutifully claimed them without ever checking any of their stories out. Which gives us a National Enquirer kind of reporting situation. See, THAT is what people get sued for slander and libel over. So, I think my point is made again. Frankly, it appears they didn’t check any of these women out with any discipline. If they had they would find some of the things we have found can be Oh, so much less enthusiastic about putting them on a public pedestal.
But, back to you. Are you willing to give a testimony of what you personally know about Bill and what he did or did not do to women during the years you observed him and listened to the accounts of others? I believe that would be helpful to all, first hand observer, albeit a male.
> Well, it does matter a lot . . . to me
As if you have any right to demand a total stranger spill his guts online for your own personal brand of justice.
You have barely any right to be running this website, and certainly no right to speak on behalf of IBLP Alumni.
And certainly zero right to be trusted with any confidential information regarding any of Bill’s behaviour.
Your combined efforts of the past few years have done more harm than good to Bill. In your effort to clear his name, you’ve shown blatant disregard for the privacy of anyone you felt had a tie to the story.
In your effort to keep Bill clean, you’ve only muddied the waters and worsened his online image. You may not realize this now, but hopefully in future you’ll look back and realize just how much worse you have made things.
Well, I am kinda into justice. See, I think that there have been a lot of people condemning Bill who have never met him . . . the only thing they know is what people say, they have no context to evaluate it in. I know Bill, and Adam knows Bill. So . . . I would think his adversaries would very much like someone who knows him saying what they know and have observed. If even a fraction of what is alleged in these lawsuits is true, people who have worked with him, in many cases quite closely, would be the ones who would observe bits and pieces of what is being alleged. They certainly would have heard rumors of “stuff” . . . people letting things slip, maybe in a moment of anger or frustration. See my point? IF those of us that know him best, watched him up close and personal for years haven’t seen it . . . what could that say about these allegations?
I want people who KNOW Bill to talk and share what they know. Can you think of a reason this is a bad idea?
“I can see that the 30 women who got dropped in the most recent very precise statement posted anonymously on RG and RG dutifully claimed them without ever checking any of their stories out.”
And you know this how exactly? I believe it highly likely, certainly plausible, that there is a significant sized group of these ladies that have chosen to remain anonymous – to the public – but are known to RG. It is easy to take from this that they have given permission to be included in a ‘total known number’ with credible accounts that they have thus far chosen not to publish or ‘go public’. But this is all a numbers dance, as you say. It is sad/disappointing that there are any number that feel they were violated/wronged and it is also sad/disappointing that it seems no number will ever be convincing enough for some to ever believe against the word of one unusually charismatic and masterfully sharp-witted, man.
You somewhat answered my questions and I’ll answer in kind. I know of several sharing my name that have been associated with IBLP over the years. I’m one of them. I have known Bill long enough to have experienced his charisma and to feel his disdain. Long enough to respect his accomplishments and grieve his shortcomings. Among my peers and friends, are many that have been hurt and damaged directly by Bill and many more that have been hurt and damaged directly as a result of his shortcomings, a few of which include: stubborn continuation of denial, diminishment of his victims, and a narcissistic need for adulation.
I’ve been around in life long enough to know that ‘foot-tapping’ with the opposite gender is called ‘footsie’ and when done repeatedly under tables or out of view of others, is not subject to being misinterpreted as anything other than an expression of personal, romantic affection. I’ve been around long enough to also know that it isn’t emotionally harmless behavior and would NEVER be appropriate between someone in Bill’s position and a single young lady. Continuing to diminish or dismiss this as harmless or misunderstood is thoroughly disingenuous. Beyond this, footsie is physical touch and isn’t a ‘stopping point’ activity. Implication being that if Bill engaged in this behavior – and everyone who hasn’t committed intellectual suicide would allow that he did in fact engage in this activity repeatedly, it is unreasonable to assume he stopped there and a very good reason to believe that many of these women are very likely telling the truth.
I disagree with you, Adam. And the larger issue is that, to this day, I am not aware of any outsider, anyone not the alleged target of this activity, ever observing it. So your awareness of Bill footsies is through the accounts you have read on RG, correct? Would your testimony be that you, long time associated with IBLP, working closely with him, not a current fan of Bill’s, are not personally aware of any sexual activity of Bill towards woman, including “footsies”?
“I disagree with you, Adam. And the larger issue is that, to this day, I am not aware of any outsider, anyone not the alleged target of this activity, ever observing it. So your awareness of Bill footsies is through the accounts you have read on RG, correct? Would your testimony be that you, long time associated with IBLP, working closely with him, not a current fan of Bill’s, are not personally aware of any sexual activity of Bill towards woman, including “footsies”?”
Let me be clear, I want to be sure I understand what it is that you are disagreeing about. Are you saying you don’t believe that playing footsie under a table, in a van, etc. is a personal, romantic activity or are you saying you don’t believe Bill has ever engaged in ‘footsie’? If the former, I’m not sure what to tell you… um, you’re wrong. It is. If the latter, you’re asking people to disbelieve some of Bill’s own statements admitting to engaging in that activity, attempting to claim he didn’t have any romantic intent or consider it a form of physically expressing desire. Neither one seems very likely, so I must be misunderstanding what it is exactly you are disagreeing with me about.
To your other point, your seeming total denial of Bill having ever played footsie with any of these women based on a) Bill saying he didn’t do it with sexual intent so it should only be called ‘foot-tapping’ instead of ‘footsie’ and b) Only the alleged victims experiencing or observing it, reminds me of a well traveled college philosophy class story… I’m sure you’ve heard it. The professor claims God cannot exist because he cannot be observed, tasted, touched, felt, etc. The savvy Christian refutes him by pointing out that the same faulty argument could be made about the professor’s brain.
The point is clear – those that are unwilling to see something, willfully look the other way to avoid seeing it. Those that are unwilling to hear something, willfully plug their own ears to avoid hearing it. And in this case, those who haven’t experienced something for themselves, willfully claim that because they didn’t see it, hear it, or experience it, it couldn’t have happened to someone else.
I do think I “get” you. Your testimony is that you, long time associated with IBLP, working closely with him, a current fan of Bill’s, have chosen to disbelieve the claims by dozens of women (by any numerical measure/report) of having experienced any of: inappropriate touching, invasive and repeated questioning of past romantic/sexual histories, unwanted bodily contact, attempts to isolate and discredit, actual sexual harassment/abuse, failure to report claims of sexual harassment/abuse/worse to proper authorities, list really could go on awhile… because, for better or worse, you believe Bill over them. Does that about sum it up?
I don’t want to get into minced oaths . . . but . . . good grief! YOU know Bill! Have you ever seen Bill “expressing physical desire” in any context? If you call it “footsies” you back yourself into a position. Bill has been tapping feet and shoulders and holding hands too long forever . . . 50 years. And . . . suddenly, in the last two years we discover it is sexual and “footsies”? That makes no sense. And, YES, the first report of “footsies” was in the last couple of years. Honestly, Adam, do not judge based on surface things, things your heard, but judge righteously.
“Honestly, Adam, do not judge based on surface things, things your heard, but judge righteously.”
Sadly enough, this is precisely what Bill has made a lifetime habit of doing. Is it so surprising to see him bristle when he feels the same brush?
I would concern myself more with the Lord bristling if we revile a man of God we don’t like with information we heard that is false or exaggerated. Even if true what you say, a second sin helps no one but the devil. The Lord is the only one that can righteously judge you, me, and Bill.
“do not judge based on surface things, things your heard, but judge righteously.”
“I would concern myself more with the Lord bristling if we revile a man of God we don’t like with information we heard that is false or exaggerated… The Lord is the only one that can righteously judge you, me, and Bill.”
Alfred, are you unable to see that you are doing exactly what you accuse me of? You have decided that the accounts I have heard or read – or have personal knowledge of – are false or exaggerated. You have judged, yet seem to think yourself to be judging righteously because you believe you are defending ‘a man of God’. The quotes above are both yours taken from chronological posts. First you say to ‘judge righteously’, then you immediately follow by saying only the Lord can righteously judge… well, which one is it? You can’t tell me to judge righteously and in the next exchange try to slam me for attempting to do so. All that does, is show your willingness to try spiritual manipulation, much like similar tactics for which Bill is quite legendary. And all of this misses the central problem issue. Hint: It isn’t who is at fault between you, me, and Bill. Grieve for what you believe to be – in spite of considerable and mounting counter-evidence – unwarranted or exaggerated attacks on Bill, but do not do so in a way that ignores the reality that there would not be dozens of women who have spent decades and dollars healing and recovering from the effects of their own experiences – not yours, theirs – with Bill without cause. I have seen you do this along with some other times you’ve qualified with ‘if that is true’, but that comment seems routinely followed by throwing your full weight of confidence in Bill. Which, I would hope you would agree, for those who have experienced hurt and damage at Bill’s hand, callously re-victimizes them.
Generally speaking, I think this is what you like to try and do in these exchanges… steer away from a focus on the victims and turn it into a contest of spirituality and/or who knows the ‘real’ Bill better. If you can convince yourself that your discussion partner doesn’t know Bill as well as you do OR has perceived character flaws/apparent dislike towards Bill, then you feel comfortable in your chosen position of defending Bill and discrediting the victims/those who support them.
I’ll allow that it is quite possible, probable even, that you do know Bill better than I do. After all my experience with him, ATI, IBLP, etc., only goes back about 25 years. What you might consider is that on the other hand maybe I know some of the victims better and given my relationships and history of observing both, if forced to choose between them who I believe is more likely to be telling the truth, Bill no longer gets the benefit of the doubt with me anymore. For a long time, he did get that from me and clearly he still does with you and some others.
If I could encourage you with one thought, it would be to allow yourself room to begin viewing some of the accounts not from the perspective of Bill, but from the perspective of the young lady involved. Sometimes viewing the same picture from a different angle reveals things you never noticed before. Just a thought.
Wait, that is what I am asking for! Tell, here, what you know, personally. Not stuff you cannot corroborate, at least to some extent.
With that many women, and your own 25 year track record of working with, around, for Bill, surely you know at least one of them right? Have heard stories from others you know that dealt with some of these women?
See, that is what most galvanizes me. I DO talk to them, I talk to the ones that aren’t suing because they too experienced some of Bill’s quirks, found them innocuous, and find the actions of their friends and coworkers reprehensible for turning on a man – for cash – who frankly selflessly laid down his life for them, to see them prosper.
Respectfully, Alfred, there is nothing I could tell you at this point that I think you would believe. You are, as you put it, ‘galvanized’ in defense of Bill and in offense against those you perceive to be unjustly attacking him. I already shared with you that I do know several of the women personally and I believe them based on my relationships with them and with Bill. You seem to have missed that and think my context is limited to accounts published on RG, etc. It’s not.
In terms of things I can personally corroborate, again, you’ve already shown you wouldn’t believe any accounts that allege what you would consider to be actual abuse/harassment.
“See, that is what most galvanizes me. I DO talk to them, I talk to the ones that aren’t suing because they too experienced some of Bill’s quirks, found them innocuous, and find the actions of their friends and coworkers reprehensible for turning on a man – for cash – who frankly selflessly laid down his life for them, to see them prosper.”
Again, here, you are equating the experiences of those you’ve talked with that aren’t suing and have convinced yourself that no one else experienced anything different/worse than they did. It is incredibly arrogant to tell someone who believes they have been wronged/victimized, ‘No you weren’t, because these other people think they probably experienced the same things you did, and they don’t seem to feel hurt/damaged. So not only are you wrong, how dare you raise your voice against this man of God?!’ The simple truth is we don’t get to decide what someone else experienced. Our experiences belong uniquely to us. Clearly there is and should be room to seek understanding and consider things like intent and context, but the women you’ve talked with were not also alone with Bill and whatever other young lady. They cannot speak for them and decide they didn’t experience what they experienced. They can absolutely say, ‘that wasn’t my experience – for my part I always felt comfortable, or at the very least, not mistreated, by Mr. Gothard – so it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around what these other women are sharing.’ But again, they cannot tell those other girls they didn’t experience what they experienced.
You are making a truly egregious claim accusing these women of coming after Bill “for cash”. You are acting as though this was the first action taken, to sue Bill for monetary damages. This lawsuit looks far more like a last resort option after thoroughly exhausting every other avenue to share their experiences, seek repentance/reconciliation, and ensure accountability – so that no more get hurt. As IBLP was willing to pay $50k to David Gibbs Jr. to conduct his ridiculous, clearly biased, investigation – frankly, due to his obvious connections with Bill and IBLP, he should have refused the job – it hardly seems like a cash grab for the plaintiffs in this case to file their lawsuit using that figure. It actually feels very restrained – an attempt even to prove the opposite, that this has very little to do with money and almost everything to do with seeking justice and accountability for a man and ministry that has a horrible track record of providing those where Bill is concerned.
In short, Bill did not, as you put it “selflessly lay down his life for them, to see them prosper.” Instead, Bill used these young ladies for his own purposes and pleasure, has actively sought to discredit them or accuse them of seeking to damage “my ministry” (not God’s, his), and when discrediting and accusing hasn’t achieved the desired results of getting him restored to his ‘entitled’ position, the tactic is to diminish his actions by calling them different names and then deflect attention from the victims by apologizing for not being perfect – these are clear manipulation tactics of a committed narcissist.
Then give your testimony and let us publish it. That will stand regardless of my assumed disbelief.
See, I have been amazed at the lack of corroboration among people I know from IBLP, foes included. Besides one woman I recently met, nobody seems to have seen foot activity. You would think with as common as it is alleged to be, most everyone who spent any long period of time in his immediate orbit would have seen something or heard something. Hands held as he spoke to their heart, that was common, but he never hid it, doing it in front of large groups.
So, share what you know.
Why is that egregious? It would not be egregious even if true, since Scripture so emphatically condemns suing other Christians for money. It is not egregious because money corrupts so many otherwise good things. It is most troubling that you cannot find any aspect of this that could be compromised.
You give your testimony, Adam, which you give account to Jesus for. We will give ours, and also will give account. That was mine and that of the women I am working with.
Replying to my own comment:
I just checked. My one source tells me Bill tapped her feet – and she never saw it with any other women, even though she was in Bill’s presence extensively. “It was a touch to the top of the foot or to the toe, not a rub, a tap or 2”. Her words, 5 minutes ago.
HOWEVER, she did see Bill do that to a male assistant. That part is conveniently left out by everyone else. That sort of ends the “was it footsie?” debate.
“Knowing what we know about the players we remain confident that their stories will not survive the court process.”
I didn’t realize that what this was all about – whether or not it would survive the court process.
I thought that you wanted to know the truth.
I am a middle-aged woman who was sexually abused as a young girl. Not by Mr. G. My story never went to court, but if it had, the only reason it would have, would have been to have the truth known.
Dear brother in the Lord, I am on no one’s “side”. I have read RG for a couple of years, and received help for the abuse I personally went through. I am speaking primarily to Alfred, but also to any who moderates this blog: I believe you need to take a step back, and see what you are fighting for. Is it for testimony’s sake? Is it for fatherly affection? Is it for God’s glory? Is it for truth?
Sorry, it was a nicer way of saying “I think they are lying and their stories will come apart under cross examination.” Have you read the accounts?
I see it as not really making any difference, given the lack of any sort of sexual harassment guidelines, policies, HR department, or the like which should have existed to protect both Gothard and the board from any accusation of wrong doing. Seeing as how there was nowhere for anyone to turn in the event of awkwardness, misunderstanding, or even actual abuse, IBLP and Gothard are very legally vulnerable. Couple that with fostering an unhealthy view of sex through a ill-conceived and error-filled focus on moral purity to point where everyone was too terrified to even sit near another person of the opposite sex for fear of being labelled a sex-fiend, IBLP and Gothard are ethically and morally vulnerable.
As long as Bill thinks listening to rock music is the gateway to an addiction to pornography, he shouldn’t be surprised that the generation raised in his homeschool program, seminars, etc. consider the sight of a slight bulge in the dungarees tantamount to rape.
Now, that is what you are hoping. “Nowhere to turn?” These are minors . . . some remanded by the courts, most with families, most with strong families. Plus a strong network of staff individuals – house leaders, dorm Moms, etc. You are thinking normal work environments. This – IBLP – has NEVER been a “normal work environment”. I remember when Bill interviewed my daughter. He said, “we can go to the local union shop to find “employees”. What we need is those that want to be discipled.” That implied a committment of IBLP to build into the lives of each person working there, and implied other expectations of the one coming on board. For example, There were plenty of situations that were expected of the one being trained for the Kingdom of God – including staff meetings and participation in a variety of events – things that were not paid. Again, every housing situation had a leader who was responsible for way more than a work situation would require. They were watching and helping their personal lives, their time pursuing the Lord, etc., standards of living. Parents committed their young people, and IBLP was responsive to that.
So . . . that is not correct. Even the court remanded young people had case workers they could go to. They had endless ways to discuss any issues they were experiencing.
” This – IBLP – has NEVER been a “normal work environment””
That’s part of the problem. Normal work environments do their best to protect themselves from lawsuits like this, mostly through policies intended to also protect employees from harassment.
Like any teacher/student, doctor/patient, lawyer/client, etc. relationship, boss-employee sexual relationships are problematic. Teacher/disciple relationships in which the teacher is often essentially speaking for God are incredibly risky.
And perhaps that is the difference between a work environment and a ministry of God. “He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him” (Matthew 27:43)
Deeply saddened by all of this. Not sure we’ll ever know what happened exactly, but why would the board dismiss Bill if their investigation gave him a clean bill of health?
Why are we not discussing Bill’s responsibilty to ensure his actions could not be misintrepreted rather whether the girl’s misintrpreted his actions?
Why are we quiblling over the # of victims and not broken that there were victims?
Recommend you read through “Did He Do It?” (http://www.discoveringgrace.com/did-he-do-it/) See, the Board never dismissed Bill. In fact, they pleaded for him to not resign. However they wanted to handle the allegations themselves, independent of Bill, Bill out of sight . . . and if you know Bill, that is not him. He has to be in the middle of everything . . . he wanted to fix it. When the Board refused to consider that, THAT is why he resigned. In the back of his mind it was temporary, the Board obviously had other ideas. Bill offended a few folks over the years, that was a non-trivial factor.
Hmm, what about the other two questions?
Bill could have done better with the accountability protections. But they were not nonexistent. All of his offices had large open windows for that purpose. He was almost never alone, even when counseling. And if alone, say in his car, a favorite spot, he was parked in full view of staff passing by. I have seen this on more than one occasion.
And . . . the time to complain about things that bother you is right away, not 20 years after the fact.
We don’t think there were “victims”. Not for offenses worth $50K-$150K let alone jail time. We are convinced this entire business has been crafted together by a well organized group of individuals who knew exactly what they needed and went looking for it. The kinds of accusations provided by the majority of individuals, taken without the spin and through the eyes of others who were there too and experienced all of Bill’s nuances reduce to not much of anything. And among the thousands of women that Bill counselled, it was clear before all of this came out, given the pressure provided by the collective need, there might well found some able and willing to craft accounts that would put it over the edge.
So you correctly discern that none of us would tolerate Bill doing anything evil to our offspring. Yet even as all of this went down, to this day, not one of us would hestitate to trust Bill with our young ladies. It is because . . . we don’t believe it. If that were to change . . . I will say so.
You must be really desperate for you to try and call differences in number from different time periods of women who have come to them in privacy to tell their stories as not adding up. There easily could have been 30 more come to them between the March quote of 34 to the June quote of 60. The later quote does not negate the earlier number. Likewise RG does not publish any story unless they have permission and the women are ready to go public. But whether there are 30, 34 or up to 60, the number that counts right now is the 10 that are in the law suite and those are pretty damning as well as the the statement on RG that there are going to be more women joining in this. The credibility isn’t on RG, it’s on Bill and IBLP. You are blowing smoke and trying to make something out of nothing in a desperate attempt to defend the indefensible. Since you have access to your friend Bill, you need to ask him if he is still a virgin, not if he ever kissed someone. You can rape without kissing and his repeated public statements to news media that never “kissed” is a cover up of immorality on his part.
Possible. Then . . . where did they go from June through January? We never believed 30 women alleging “sexual” anything, we sure never believed 60. I think Kari was much more precise in the last statement, that they have 30 names – meaning the other 30 were likely anonymous posters on RG, nothing vetted, nothing verified. Yet out go the statistics. That is defamation, “per se”.
In response to various queries Bill has told me the following multiple times: “I have never seen nor touched the private parts of a woman”. That pretty well precludes intercourse, would you agree?
I don’t agree at all. It is a false leader and smoke. It doesn’t truly answer the question and skirts around it.
I ask him direct questions and I get direct answers. The statement I posted was in direct response to allegations of sex . . . and fondling. That is not smokey in the least. Or, in other words, if you don’t believe this blanket declaration, why would you believe an answer to the lesser question, “Are you a virgin?” I embarrass myself asking the same thing several different ways of Bill because prior responses were deemed unsatisfactory. Unlike some others, I still respect the 81 year old man.
That is not the lesser question, that is the bottom line bare bones question. It is to the heart of the matter. Despite what Bill taught in his courtship teaching and played out on TV by the Duggars, kissing doesn’t make one a non-virgin before marriage. But full blown sex with a previously violated and abused girl does mean that someone is no longer a virgin. He can talk till he is blue in the face about his promise that he won’t kiss anyone till marriage but I don’t see that same promise about virginity which the Bible DOES discuss not the kissing issue.
He is a virgin. Move on.
OK, Rob. Tonight I asked Bill, “Are you a virgin?” He looked me in the eye and said, “Absolutely!”
Absolutely what? Is that all he said? so either he absolutely is or he absolutely is not. You, as a faithful follower will think he is affirming the first, me a no longer faithful follower interpret the later. Either he fully assaulted Jane Doe II which makes himself “not a virgin” by any means or she is lying. Considering the preponderance of all the testimonies plus 4 more added, it doesn’t really look good for Bill to “still be a virgin” and he is skirting around the issue with his defense of himself as “never kissing”, not touching with intent etc etc. He doesn’t come forward with, ” I believe that God’s perfect plan is to reserve sex for marriage and I have promised myself this and have always behaved in such a manner to save my body and sex for my marriage partner if I ever get married”. He never has said that about himself. So again, absolutely what?
This sounds almost desperate . . . Or weird, Rob. He said a lot more, with smiles and joy. He repeated that fact several times. Not a clouded, or guilty or veiled response. I, for one, am getting weary of this.
As to Jane Doe II, I learned a lot more about her. She is well known to IBLP over many years. Many – counsellors, board members included – have interacted with her and her many accusations. All I can say is, “troubled woman”. That account is not going far.
Perhaps she is troubled because she was RAPED repeatedly throughout her life. Since you are in contact with Mr. Gothard on such a regular basis and since he knows who she is, could you ask him why he never reported her abuse to the police?
Looks like we will all have to await clarification of the facts.
And here-in lies the crux of the issue. You don’t believe the accusations. The above post said it best Alfred, you are doing more harm than good to Bill’s cause. I say this only because I feel an obligation to warn, as the charge was to Ezekial. What you do with it is on you.
I wish you peace Alfred, but at the same time feel pain at what you are going through. I know how hard it is to get over Bill’s spell. I would direct your attention to his affidavit, and how often he refers to people being loyal to him and how he refers to his ministry.
Regardless of the veracity of the claims, the other common theme is in his response. He very quickly resorts to the claim that the accuser is simply trying to destroy his ministry.
Even in his affidavit, he’s setting up an arguement that the board was failing in their duty. Can you not see that he will use anyone willing to be used by him in the name of “his ministry” then cast them aside as quickly as he can when they no longer serve his purpose?
People don’t want to talk to you and tell you what you want to know, precisely because your loyalty to Bill blinds you from being objective, and not only would it force them to re-live pain, it opens them up to your blind quibbling, and, as you claim you have a direct conduit to Bill, passes on information to him for his further intrusion in their lives.
Regardless of the nefarious motives you assign to people, the vast majority of his accuser simply want to move on with their lives. The work to hold Bill accountable is based on the fact that he needs to be held acciuntable. While there is natural animosity generated by Bill’s actions, there has been a measured and graduated approach to resolving this, which has been met with every obstacle possible.
Bill is a ruthless pragmatist who will do and say anything to protect “his ministry”. When the day comes Alfred, when he recognizes where your work has hurt him, he will turn you out just as quick as he has everyone else who he deems has been unloyal to him.
You can’t say you weren’t warned.
So, after 20 years they have not moved on? But $50K will let them move on? There is NO chance that money is just really nice all by itself?
Remember, before Gibbs III showed up the Board overtly gave the women a chance to make their case, work out an arbitration situation, just sign a statement that they would not sue. Anyone needing to “move on” without wanting money would have had a wide open door to work that.
I comfort myself on two counts. One is that I rub shoulders with those that have been overt supporters and friends with Bill for 40 years. Not everybody gets kicked under the bus.
The other thing is that I, happily, have never considered Bill as the be all and end all of my life. I pursued association with him because I had Jesus leading me to appreciate what he was teaching. Bill is even now part of a far greater battle, one where an evil Enemy is attempting to crush the last vestiges of the fear of God, reverence for the written Word of God from our nation let alone the world. He hates what Bill stands for, and if he can mercilessly crush him, it greatly furthers his cause.
Our team is of one mind. So, you can see that, as I see it, we have little choice. Eternity will tell.
There is a much different way to look at Bill’s current situation. We have a very jealous God, He wants us to put Him first in our lives. I believe Bill is reaping the consequences of allow his followers to worship him as idolatry. Thus taking the Honor and Glory away from God! There is no persecution of Bill just consequences of sin.
We are in complete disagreement on that. Did Bill ever encourage anyone to worship him instead of the Lord? What would you cite to back that up, starting with the seminar that launched him into the international spotlight?
“What would you cite to back that up, starting with the seminar that launched him into the international spotlight?”
Constant mentioning of accomplishments for starters. Just like Bill Gothard often does, you have mentioned numerous times on this website Gothard’s and the institute’s accomplishments and success while praising Bill Gothard. It crosses a line after a while and becomes a form of worship and pride.
“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2)
Praising someone for the blessing they have been to you is gratefulness and most appropriate. For Bill to praise himself, that is something else. Is that something you found in the Basic Seminar, since that was the topic I asked about?
There you go again putting someone in there place for being off topic or a topic you tire of. I wonder if Jesus would have done that? Sorry I’m healing the blind today, you’ll have to come back another day for the lame. Really Alfred, has your hat sized increased since you started this website?
Having been the subject of plenty of “moderation” myself, I don’t think we are too far out of line.
Alfred, just because you were slighted does that justify doing it to others. Your feel RG slighted you by removing your access, the people posting here are not the admin of RG. Matthew 5:38-40; “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”
We will try hard to not slight others, but this is our house and in this house those that come will show some respect. Anybody wishing to “revile” us may apparently freely do so over at Recovering Grace and on many other venues. Thank you for understanding.
“Remember, before Gibbs III showed up the Board overtly gave the women a chance to make their case, work out an arbitration situation, just sign a statement that they would not sue. Anyone needing to “move on” without wanting money would have had a wide open door to work that.”
This is the first I’ve heard of this. What are you talking about?
I will attempt to get a more precise answer. I know IBLP attempted through David Gibbs Jr. to set up meetings with the women who have spoken to RG. I recall Bill’s frustration with RG and Dr. Cornish in particular because they refused to facilitate that. Check out this statement:
“Instead, Gibbs Jr.’s legal team contacted a member of the Recovering Grace leadership team, in an attempt to set up a secretive face-to-face meeting to see if we could facilitate interviews with the women who had posted on our site. However, after a lengthy exchange of emails and phone calls, Recovering Grace declined their request for two reasons: First and foremost, we do not speak for, nor do we legally represent, the women who have shared on our site; we are a media blog and not a legal team. Second, Gibbs Jr.’s team demanded that Recovering Grace sign non-disclosure agreements as precondition to hold even a preliminary facilitation meeting, and named specific team members whom they did not want to attend the meeting. We sought outside counsel regarding these unusual restrictions, and were strongly urged not to sign anything. We communicated these details in writing to Gibbs Jr.’s team, although our impression is that they simply relayed to the IBLP board that we were unwilling to help them. We also communicated the victims’ interest in speaking directly to the IBLP board, as well as their strong interest in speaking to a legitimate third-party investigation, such as G.R.A.C.E. These suggestions seem to have been completely ignored by Gibbs Jr.’s team, and, as far as we know, they made no further efforts to contact the victims personally.”
The key here was a non-disclosure statement being required. How much RG passed on the Boards’s interest in meeting to the women, I do not know. Allegedly one woman did speak with IBLP directly in response. Point remains that IBLP was definitely interested in meeting – I may have overstated that precise information communicated, i.e. arbitration. Bill in his affidavit indicated his interest in that route being employed instead of lawsuits.
Moderator Says “I may have overstated that precise information communicated, i.e. arbitration.”
This is the most accurate piece of information on this entire website. And yet you understated just how much you overstated the stated situation.
Thanks for that assessment. Do you have more factual information to add to the discussion?
“I will attempt to get a more precise answer.”
I’m sorry, but it really bothers me Alfred, how you throw things out there as gospel truth and then decide to look for precise information only after the fact.
Your whole argument on this post is that you think Recovering Grace is playing “fast and loose” with the truth. You just did the same thing.
Your statement was that the “Board overtly gave the women a chance to make their case, work out an arbitration situation, just sign a statement that they would not sue.” Unless you can prove that these things happened, I trust that you will, as the crusader of truth that you claim to be, retract that false report.
I will most definitely clarify all of that. See, I hear lots of things and am left with conclusions which need to be grounded. So that I am in the process of doing. Not convinced I misstated.
“I will most definitely clarify all of that.”
So you disagree with my assertion that you should seek clarification before accusation?
Your statement that your are not convinced you misstated means that you believe that there is at least some chance you did. And when you misstate things, people get hurt. Shouldn’t you be more careful not to throw things out there before you have undeniable proof of their accuracy?
Once you succeed in applying that standard over there at Recovering Grace, then come and see us. I think we are doing pretty good. AND, if we mess up we will double back and fix it. So let’s drop this inquisition until more information is produced, either by us, or by . . . you.
I think it’s a great topic, why stop now? Just what are the facts? Where have you got your facts from? IBLP, Gibbs jr, or III, or Bill. How many of the girls have you talked to that were hurt? Have you read counts 350-394? Specifically 369-372 but to get the whole picture you should read the whole account of Jane Doe III. You really should, insert one of your daughter’s name in place of Jane Doe III and have your wife do the same. Let us know what you think. She is a real live person with a real medical condition and according to the count 363 Bill suggested she go off her medical diet and meds. I didn’t know Bill went to medical school. I know another staff member that Bill begged not have surgery for a similar condition. He took Bill’s advice and canceled the surgery the day before it was scheduled and the man died leaving a little girl and wife. Ask Bill about Jack.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12: While speaking of the lawless one of satan and those that follow evil (perishing) and reject the Truth, Paul says: “and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
God seems to have sent Bill a strong delusion of not seeing the truth and continuing in his lies and I pray for his soul.
I know this will come off demeaning, Larne, but I am having a terrible time with how accepting you are . . . of accounts of people you do not know. How could you – she is cloaking her name.
“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15)
Call me what you want I’ve been called worse by people close, and this is not about what I know. LET ME ASK THE QUESTION AGAIN. HAVE YOU READ THE ACCOUNT? HAVE YOU READ IT SUBSTITUTING YOUR DAUGHTER’S NAME FOR JANE DOE III? That’s all I ask, simple it would take five minutes out of your time. In fact the verse you quote would be the perfect proverbs to support looking into the facts.
You believe every word Bill tells you and many times on this blog I, and others way smarter then me, pointed out the errors of Bill’s and your statements. Regarding the 1982 lawsuit you were completely wrong. Again you misrepresented the facts of the current lawsuit based on the inaccurate IBLP statement with out checking the facts on the court’s website. Regarding your “legal opinions” you project them as facts even when rebuffed by attorneys. Then made the unbelievable statement “I don’t care”, which goes along with the old adage “Don’t confuse me with the facts my mind’s made up”. That adage has been shared in many forms but the original is believed to have been, “Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind.” Is your mind closed to the truth?
Regarding the counts in the current lawsuit I asked you to read, remember this is a legal document and I imagine (I’m not an attorney) that the plaintiffs could be subject to perjury if they lie. You can be assured that Gibbs III would have made that very clear to them. Regarding your statements of $50,000 being the proof this was always about the money. Well to most of us it’s the proof that this is not about the money, because if it were they would be asking for 2 million each, as told to my by a very respected Doctor of Divinity.
Next time Bill or the damage control people at IBLP tells you something and that is your sole sources remember this verse. “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15)
Remember Alfred, you, me, Bill and all the rest will all be accountable when we stand before the eternal judge and He asks for an accountability of our every word. “The simple believeth every word:”
If my daughter were lying about a servant of God, I would be most unhappy. I believe she is deliberately exaggerating if not lying. One thing stood out right away:
Bill is death on divorce. In fact, that is one of the things that many hate him for, unyielding opposition to any divorce for Christians. Breaking a primary command of God, let alone a vow, let alone having to have the secular authorities “judge” Christians. Not going to happen. AND . . . he is all about mending broken marriages. He has principles which he believes will, if applied, will bring back most any marriage. This would be so unlike him, sort of an official defeat of his principles. Not going to happen.
So . . . what medical condition would this be? I share Bill’s perspective that Americans are way over medicated, from the womb on. Antibiotics are among the top overprescribed drugs (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/10/medication-antibiotic-overuse/2071899/ ). There is nothing evil about trying to get people off of them to more natural solutions . . . depending on what is going on.
“. . . who frankly selflessly laid down his life for them, to see them prosper.”
Alfred, I presume you wrote that, and it was referring to Bill. I think you need to be much more careful, and here’s why:
This claim about Bill laying down his life for the young ladies contradicts Exhibit B, which I thought you helped Bill to write. In Exhibit B, Bill says this:
“Rather than appreciating people as Jesus did, and bonding their spirits to Him, I evaluated them by my criteria and bonded their spirits to me.” He goes on to state the method of the bondage he caused . . . “I was very wrong in holding hands, giving hugs, and touching their hair or feet. I was also wrong in making statements that caused emotional turmoil and confusion. My guilt is compounded by my hypocrisy of requiring standards for others but not following them myself. All of this can only be described as ungodly and sinful.” . . . He goes on to state the general consequence: “I have caused great destruction in the lives of many individuals and families.”
I am NOT talking about the suit here. I don’t want to hear about whether you think it is right, or wrong for them to sue. Any response to this effect will deflect from my point in this one comment.
You have put Bill Gothard on par with Jesus Christ when you said he laid down his life for the ladies who claimed he abused them.
Bill himself admits what he did, he did for selfish reasons, and that what he did was ungodly and sinful. He said he pointed them away from pursuing Christ, and wanted them to be bound to him.
What you said about Bill laying down his life in selflessness does not comport with his statements in Exhibit B. Be very, very careful in making the claim that Bill was being Christlike toward those who were subject to what Bill himself calls “ungodly and sinful’ acts.
No, I did not help with this. In fact, this is the statement that Dr. Murphy pulled together as he was working with Bill back in 2014. When this was sent to us from Dr. Cornish I, of course, asked Bill about it. The salient point is that this was what Dr. Murphy wanted to publish and “shopped around”, but Bill never approved it. Which is why it never ended up getting published. Until Gibbs did so via this lawsuit.
So are you saying that Mr. Gothard did not approve of the statements in Exhibit B, and that David Gibbs III falsely represented these statements in the lawsuit as Mr. Gothard’s sincere beliefs?
I am saying that there was a “confession” by Bill that was in Dr. Cornish’s possession and he cited to us earlier in the year. It sounded exactly like this statement. We checked with Bill then wrote this response to Dr. Cornish:
“With respect to Bill confession, many have undertaken to write out confessions for him – some of us have participated in that effort. Your website posts a “confession” that was written for him back in 1980 which he ultimately never backed. He presented the statement to Dr. Murphy which he later published, but Dr. Murphy wanted it much stronger, so wordsmithed it in that direction. The version you got was favored by Dr. Murphy but Bill was never on board as he was uncomfortable with the implications.”
What Bill told me was Dr. Murphy sent the statement to Dr. Cornish for consideration, approval, whatever. That would be how Dr. Cornish had it . . . and I presume how David Gibbs III got it. I cannot confirm this until tomorrow at the earliest.
What do you mean he “shopped around” and with who? Did Bill tell you this was written by Dr. Murphy? Was the Exhibit “B” approved by Dr. Murphy? If Bill didn’t approve it in 2014 why now and why would he give it to Gibbs III if he didn’t like it then?
As stated in the prior response, we suspect that he did not give it to Gibbs, but will have to confirm that with Bill. Dr. Cornish had the statement because Dr. Murphy gave it to him, according to Bill.
“As stated in the prior response, we suspect that he did not give it to Gibbs, but will have to confirm that with Bill. Dr. Cornish had the statement because Dr. Murphy gave it to him, according to Bill.”
I’m still confused, are you or Bill saying Dr. Cornish gave it to Gibbs III and Bill was unaware of that? I hope that’s not true. Now various documents were pass around between the different players in 2014/15 but they were not being “shopped” as you are saying. They were passed by all parties, including from Bill, for approval or edits. Most died at Bill’s door step.
Ask Bill if he was unaware of how Gibbs III got the statement in Exhibit B. I really want to know the truth.
OK, I just got off the phone with Bill. He had not even read the entire lawsuit, “skimmed it”. He was shocked to read “Exhibit B” as the statement it is. So let’s nail this down:
We will be going over the lawsuit with Bill in detail this afternoon to make sure he has informed his lawyer of all pertinent aspects that would not be obvious to his counsel. The lawyer is also well aware that, according to Bill, the affidavit was obtained under false pretenses, Bill believing that Gibbs was representing him, who then included it in a lawsuit suing Bill himself.
It sounds like you are quoting Bill directly and as your sole source.
Do you have any other sources to verify your statements above? Those are very serious charges and if true, the lawsuit needs to come to a halt ASAP! And these need to be investigated.
Getting this information out will go a long way to proving this is an intentional hatchet job! I’ve been following this with great interest but as THESE facts start to come out I’m taking more of a critical eye at the whole situation…
Spent the evening with him, phone calls were made. I examined the evidence he has, it was compelling to me, dates, times, detailed documentation. Things that the lawyer will be presenting to the judge.
There is also new, compelling evidence that several of these accounts are made up of whole cloth. We leave it there until matters may be examined in court.
But . . . here is a publicly available source: http://www.worldmag.com/2015/06/bill_gothard_defends_himself_on_new_website/page2
At the point this article was written DGIII was representing Bill’s interests . . . and those of “donors”. The affidavit was given toward the end cited, “to request mediation”, not a lawsuit against IBLP. The next thing Bill knows, he is being sued, his affidavit being used against him, along with a “confession” that he did not write nor sign up to.
A couple questions.
1. Question of fact: The affidavit lists as plaintiffs Bill and IBLP. If this was in a lawsuit between Bill and the board why are both listed as defendents? It is not Bill and donors listed as plaintiffs against the board, it is Bill and the board listed as defendents against the list of women. I would refer you to paragraphs 5,6,18 and 19. It is clear he is addressing his actions toward the victims. While he does address the board and the possibility of them selling property, those comments are completely off-topic of the lawsuit and the flow of the rest of the document.
For your claim to be true, DGIII had to have deposed Bill in the action against the board and asked him questions about the victims? Why would Bill do that? Why would Bill go on record admitting anything about the girls in any forum?
It is a more reasonable conclusion that Bill added the statements about the board so he could make the exact claim you propose at some later date.
2. Question of logic: How is this article cited supportive of your claim? On topics remotely close to your claim re:the affidavit, the article quotes Bill (and says nothing about what he did or did not provide). The quote from DGIII (not being privy to all the actions occuring) is more likely indicative that there was never any legal action filed, therefore not affidavit from Bill. You’re in effect saying “I believe Bill because he said it, and this article quoted him on something close to this subject therefore he is right and he fact that the article quoted him means they believe him. If they believe him, you should too.”
A. In any event, there’s nothing in the article that remotely supports your claim Bill gave the affidavit in response to the action between him and the board.
B. The wording of said affidavit has language that, at a minimum, was self-incriminating and unneccessary and WAY off topic in an action between Bill and the board. It was however, remarkably on point with the action between Bill and the victims.
C. Ignoring A and B, and assuming your claim is true, obtaining and doing a copy/paste job to get the words (and signature) of Bill into the lawsuit is highly unethical at best, and perhaps grounds for dismissal or de-barment(I’m conjecturing here, don’t know the law) on the part of the attorney submitting the claim. Why is that something they might potentially risk? The other point of law I do not know is whether an affidavit, fully notarized and filed with the state can be used as evidence in another case as a function of it being a matter of public record. I mean, it’s true, right, he already swore to it once. Did his position change?
Dave: In speaking with the lawyer I want to walk a tad gingerly. But the following is certainly true:
When Bill began to work with Gibbs it was for the sole purpose of getting the Board to take him seriously and see him reinstated. And to preserve the sale of HQ prior to that, since Bill feels this is a big mistake. Any legal steps were to be for that purpose, and Bill was not in favor of any action involving women, since that obviously would ultimately target him. He provided Gibbs with a great deal of information, including those that were accusing him, lists of donors, etc. The affidavit is puzzling to me as well since it does not jibe with anything Bill told me. I know he trusted Gibbs, told me that not only because of is family’s long support of IBLP, but because he was the personal lawyer of a dear friend whom he trusted implicitly. That is something I will attempt to clear up.
Gibbs suggested a legal strategy that would force the Board to talk to Bill, and hopefully reinstate him, at which point he would personally entertain all of the concerns of the women and do whatever necessary to righteously respond. Since the Board overtly demanded that he repent and be reconciled prior to considering him he sought to emphasize his humility and contacts and willingness to contact. But . . . somehow Gibbs convinced him that this statement was the way to go. I recall Bill saying to me over and over, “This is not a problem – Gibbs will drop the suit as soon as I am reinstated as President”. All a bit of a legal game to get results. You can see him in the affidavit overtly calling for “arbitration” instead of a lawsuit to address the concerns of others.
What we can say emphatically is that Bill has never confessed to or assumed responsibility for ANY level of suggested sexual harassment or abuse. Bill has never wavered in this position – That is anathema to him, because it is false. He has been willing to admit to harshness with staff, being more concerned with his projects than the people working them and not understanding the emotional needs of those he worked with. Again, things that seemed harmless and in fact “affirming” to him (his word) caused emotional stress in some, which he acknowledged was wrong.
So I will get more information and pass on what I am able. He has a lawyer watching over him now. But my understanding is that Bill was handed that document and told to sign it with the notary as this would “close the deal” with the Board when they read it, causing Gibbs to withdraw the lawsuit. The “game”. As wise as 81 year old Bill is in many areas, I remain stunned at how naïve he is in others, like how lawyers and the courts work.
And Bill has given me detailed information to support his claims as I presented them here, of what he thought he was doing with Gibbs from beginning to end. I mean, come on, Dave . . . paint me a picture of a scenario that could be anything else given all you know.
The unfortunate thing is that this entire mess could have been avoided if Bill would have just followed his own teaching. Instead, 35 years ago, he lied to and about his staff, he knew, had opportunity to know, and then lied about his knowledge that his little brother and Sr. VP was trading corporate access for sexual favors. Bill lied, obstructed the truth, and used his position to attack the character of those who opposed him and then engaged a minister with no history or experience to conduct an investigation. Who somehow discovered that the victims of IBYC’s sexual abuse and harassment were the perpetrators of their own abuse.
This “new math”, as you call it, is what happens when your boy behaves in this way. He did everything he could to obstruct the truth 35 years ago. Looks like to me like he is still doing the same thing today. He had no qualms about putting his own selfish and corporate self interest ahead of his staff 35 years ago, looks to me like he just continued on. Telling you that his dead father was the one who sent the victims of little brothers abuse up north only proves this point.
Of course you may disagree, but before you do, let me remind you that Bill also believes 35 years to address his deceit still falls inside the Biblical definition of “diligence”. As I have stated in previous comments, once you feel qualified to abuse scripture in this way, you can make the Bible say anything you want it to say. But then again, when you actually believe that you are smarter than all your teachers, you can do and say anything you want and fully believe that anyone who disagrees is just stupid at worst or misinformed at best.
So, if one is godly, none will ever falsely accuse you, in fact, a lot of someones will not falsely accuse you and sue you. And no way will you get everything taken away from you unjustly, even to the point of getting thrown in jail or put to death. Am I hearing you right, Dan?
Don’t think I said this at all and I am more than a little mystified how you can come to this conclusion from my comment. Feel free to enlighten me though.
You said: “The unfortunate thing is that this entire mess could have been avoided if Bill would have just followed his own teaching. “ That implies that if Bill were godly, no one would be suing him. Did I read it wrong?
I agree with Dan. In Titus 1:11, Paul commands us to silence the false prophets, in verse 16 he says they are detestable, disobedient and unfit for any good work. In Titus 3 it says “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” This is what give us the authority to rebuke Bill and that we CAN NOT tolerate false teaching of those that knowingly deceive, weaken sound faith and are selfishly motivated. Titus 1:10-16 command us to rebuke and renounce their false teaching and attempt to reform them. Matthew 18:15-17. (we and others have done that) If they continue with their false teaching they are lost and are defiled. This also gives us the authority to judge the false prophet’s by his actions and their fruit! Bill is a false prophet. If that does not meet your “rules” then ban me. Dan pointed out your hypocritical comments of others according to your own rules that you yourself do not adhere to. In doing so you will become the James 1:8 double minded and hypocritical person, just like Bill. Consider this a REBUKE, but not from my words from the Word of God.
Titus 1:10-11, “For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”
“16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”
Titus 3:9-11, “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”
Am I also lost and on my way to hell, like Bill, Larne?
We must be so careful with these curses. Again, the “unpardonable sin” had something to do with reviling an actual work of God as being from Satan. “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (Luke 9:55)
Here are three examples of his failure to listen to his own teaching. I could site others but these should be sufficient.
1) Bill preached the value of giving up rights (Pineapple story, principle of owndership), but when the pressure was on him and his staff were revolting because they (we) saw him hiding from the truth and protecting his own corporate rear end he hired an attorney recommended by executives from Bob Jones University to counsel him on “what are my legal rights” (Bill’s exact words);
2) Bill preached(s) chain of command and submission to authority but instead of submitting to his board of directors he consistently manipulated them; and
3) Bill preached(s) the principle of responsibility (one of the magical 7) but instead of accepting responsibility for his Sr. VP corporate sexual abuse Bill has deflected blame, lied to and about his staff, used his position as a national figure to discredit those who opposed him, and ignored his responsibility for the personal safety (and shall we say sexual safety) of his staff to pursue and protect his corporate self interests.
Rights and responsibilities are two completely different things. Jesus exercised His “rights” as Son of God on many occasions, including disappearing when threatened by an angry mob, knocking another mob to the ground with a word . . . running a bunch of lawfully placed merchants (the laws in effect at the time) out of the temple, which He acted like He owned. That was when He exercised His responsibility to encourage mortal man to fear Him – the beginning of wisdom – and when the Name of the Lord was being damaged.
So Bill also has a responsibility to stand up for and protect that which is of God. Including His reputation, which is currently being slandered because of false, defamatory statements by others against Bill and IBLP.
I have posted this challenge several times – maybe you will be the first to respond. Show me one precept, example in Scripture to demand, require, or even suggest a Board of Directors over the ministry of a Servant of God. I understand “Obey the law”, and the law requires a Board . . . but that authority is limited to the concerns that the government has. Which do not include matters of the church, a ministry ordained by God, which overtly fall OUTSIDE that jurisdiction.
Bill most emphatically assumed responsibility for all of what happened . . . all while attempting to fulfill his many others responsibilities in the ministry God had called him to. Your analysis to the contrary because you disagree with is actions based on what he knew do not prove he was irresponsible. He acknowledged the mistake in trusting his brother, but that was not irresponsibility. Hindsight is SO accurate, where we get to pronounce what should have been done. Based on all he has told me, the maelstrom of events that swept through that huge ministry made the decision-making far from obvious to those who actually had to make the decisions.
Is that legal language? Come on . . . Bill was never about a “corporation”, let along his personal ambition. It was about the ministry, his testimony that God had called him to. Which is why today he continues living in the house he grew up in and inherited from his parents, and drives old cars he purchases for $1,000. May the Lord remember and judge righteously.
As I take my obligation as a Christian seriously in that I feel an obligation to warn a fellow believer, and you strike me as one sincerly trying to act on your beliefs, I would caution you to very carefully consider your position with Bill.
First: I did nothing wrong.
Second: It’s the board’s fault.
Third (and now): It’s my lawyer’s fault.
When will it Alfred’s fault?
Have you ever been falsely accused by elderly or disabled relatives, some that were even angry with you? There are things of that nature that we are living from time to time in our own family and observe in other families. They remain “yours”, you still love them . . . and eventually they get over it. If they don’t, God will note the love applied to the at that point ungrateful loved ones and give a recompense in heaven.
I’m confused, are you saying your loyalty to Bill is because elderly or disabled people are falsely accusing him, in a way you have also been falsely accused, and you hope your support, while possibly to your own detriment, will be rewarded in heaven?
I can’t speak for either reward or punishment in heaven, but there can be very earthly consequences for the actions we engage in while we are here.
This is getting hilarious. Bill turning on me would effect me much like one of my parents or disabled relative turning on me. It would hurt but it is not outside the realm of things that happen. Maybe it has already happened to some extent in the past. I sincerely thank you for your concern.
“Have you ever been falsely accused by elderly or disabled relatives, some that were even angry with you? There are things of that nature that we are living from time to time in our own family and observe in other families. They remain “yours”, you still love them . . . and eventually they get over it. If they don’t, God will note the love applied to the at that point ungrateful loved ones and give a recompense in heaven.”
Here’s the problem with that Alfred, Bill has been covering sin, lying and being deceitful for 47 years. Its not old age. He is sharp as a tack and has a memory like a steel trap. My mom’s got an excuse, 2 strokes and dementia and we give her a break but that not Bill! Bill is a false prophet that teaches a false doctrine. He won’t ever have to answer to me just to God and maybe even civil authority. Regarding a ‘ministry ordained by God”, I missed the White Dove from Heaven with a proclamation. Bill is about money and power why else would he be seeking legal action to get what he calls a “ministry ordained by God” back? By those words its owned by God!
I could agree and disagree with that statement. Let’s disagree for the moment, irrespective of his age. Sharp as tack people don’t miss some of the things Bill missed with the scandal in 1980, right? Would you call the situation with the current lawsuit as expression of a shrewd “tack sharp” plan on his part? Bill is really, really sharp in some areas, maybe not as much in others, needy. God has made him need others, which serves to humble him.
Paul too was “owned by God”. Yet when threatened with loss of ministry and life by evil people, he went to the ones God ordained to protect people like him, the civil authorities. Was that because God can’t protect His own stuff?
I would just say this, your first responsibility is to your family. Bill is secondary.
Food for thought: You have obviously invested a great deal in this. What would your life be like if you had invested that time in your children’s lives instead of Bill’s? In your wife’s life? How much money have you spent in Bill’s defense? What if you had used that for one of your children’s activities they are interested in?
You’ve hurt a great number of people in your vitriolic attacks in defense of Bill. What of your responsibility to them?
I laud you in your willingness to support Bill out of sincere attempts to live out your beliefs, but at what cost to you and your own reputation, your own life and the lives of those around you?
I trust I have done both 🙂 Investing in their lives has included participation in a lot of what Bill has to offer. Clearly when push comes to shove, Bill takes the back seat in my life to my family, as you have correctly identified.
Can you point me to any that would be hurt by my comments? If my comments were harsh or especially inaccurate, I will apologize.
So far the Lord has sustained and encouraged us, a definite net plus. So . . . we leave it to Him to direct and bless.
That speaks volumes of your character and I respect it! If I were to point some out, do you think you would you be able to see past the natural (and understandable) ownership of your words and ideas and be able to try see how they came across (not just how you meant them)?
Of course I would try to do that. With a wife and 11 kids, I have lots of practice.
Show me one precept, example in Scripture to demand, require, or even suggest a Board of Directors over the ministry of a Servant of God.
At the heart of your question is the role, the value, and the place of of para-church organizations. They don’t exist. To respond you need to be clear….
1) Since they do not exist in the New Testament do you believe they are even Biblical?
2) If you do believe they are OK. what is your basis for believing they are valid in today’s world.
Respond and then we can have a better dialogue about their authority structure.
“And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” (Mark 9:38-39)
I take from that . . . They are cool, “forbid them not”.
So now on to your question.
You write concerning para-church organizations…
“I take from that . . . They are cool, “forbid them not”.
Well, once again we see another abusive miss use of scripture. How you get a discussion of para-church organizations out of these verses is frankly beyond any imagination that I have. It just convinces me once again that it is and always will be impossible to have any kind of reasonable discussion about a Biblical text because Bill wants to make it say whatever he wants it to say. But again, this is not surprising coming from a man who believes he is smarter than all the teachers past and present.
This being said, here is how the argument usually goes:
1) As a para-church organization we realize we are not a church (small “c”); however
2) We should still respect the principles of church governance set up by the Apostle Paul and appoint elders. So even though we do not call them elders but a board of directors (or board of trustees) the principles are the same. Organizations require governance, Paul recognized this and therefore para-church organizations need governance. Governance might look different but the principles are valid.
There is also another more practical reality. IBLP currently carries the logo of ECFA. Has for many years. Not sure when it joined but I am sure Bill thought it important enough that he approved the membership with ECFA. You will notice there are standards that they require members to abide by. One of them (Standard #2) is governance. Here is the link: http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Comment2
So frankly, it does not matter a bit if Bill believes or does not believe he needed a board of directors. Once he joined ECFA he promised and committed himself and his corporation to the principles of board governance. ECFA actually takes board governance seriously and has identified this is a critical component when christian organizations fall into trouble like Bill and IBLP are in today. Here is the exact quote: “When a ministry encounters failure—or even worse, scandal—its difficulties can almost always be traced to a breakdown in governance.”
I made this up all by myself without any help from Bill.
But before you run over my example, this is a “para-Jesus” organization doing Jesus work and praising Him, but not directly under the official lines of authority. Boy, that sure sounds like “para-church”.
So I am going to ignore the rest of what you said until you can fully engage on my example.
this is a “para-Jesus” organization doing Jesus work and praising Him, but not directly under the official lines of authority. Boy, that sure sounds like “para-church”.
Para-Jesus. Whew, Not even sure where to start on this one. It is right up there with Bill being an an Appalachian country preacher in bizarre-ness. Literally takes my breath away. I’ll have to get back to you on this. My ability to follow mental gymnastics is limited.
Whatever it is, you are stating that a para-church can exist without any line off authority. You have two problems with this that I can see after catching my breath:
1) Bill coined the phrase “chain of command” and has been preaching it now for 50 years. Don’t really understand how he can say he did not need and authority over him to run his corporation (and please don’t give me this nonsense about him being under the authority of his local church).
2) As a member of ECFA he committed to board governance.
I ain’t moving on until you explain this section of God’s word, Jesus explanation. 🙂 What are we to learn from what happened and what Jesus said?
Concerning corporate self interest you write:
Is that legal language? Come on . . . Bill was never about a “corporation”, let along his personal ambition. It was about the ministry…
Bill was as much about protecting his corporate interests as anyone I have ever met. IBYC was Bill and Bill was IBYC. He was more concerned about how anything and everything would reflect back on him and IBYC than anyone I have ever met. This is one of the reasons why he felt it was his duty to monitor and control the personal lives of his staff, especially his inner circle and even more so his secretaries. Corporate interests goes beyond any personal gain he might receive as salary or benefits. For him, it was all about his image, and his reputation.
You use “corporate” in a confusing was – would say misuse. A “corporation” is a legal entity under Anerican law. A separate person with his own image and reputation. So Bill has a reputation and IBLP – seen as a separate entity – has a reputation under U.S. law. Bill is not happy with what the “corporation” has been doing, not super concerned perhaps even about how he is affecting its image and reputation. Agreed? So I say you are wrong. Corporate interests have never been a Bill big deal.
I have no problem agreeing that Bill is highly motivated toward ministry. Actually goes hand in hand with his dyslexia. They tend to lean towards ministry or service oriented careers. Helps them feel better about themselves after schools and parents telling them they are stupid and lazy because they cannot read.
However, I would also argue that Bill is practical enough to understand the business end of the corporation. That is why IBYC was “not for profit” corporation rather than a “non profit” corporation. (I have no idea what IBLP corporate status is today.) He was also smart enough to understand that a corporation has a lot of advantages if your mission is national and world wide. With a corporation he could accumulate millions in assets to help fund his ideas. But as I stated earlier, IBYC was Bill and Bill was IBYC. He would protect his corporation much like a pit bull will protect his back yard. This is another reason why your characterization of him as this kindly country preacher is so laughable.
Then how to you explain how quickly he resigned, starting another ministry in the interim? I think the fact discounts your perspectives.
Actually it is the reverse. The real question is why did he leave so fast when the only thing his board did was put him on administrative leave? My understanding is that his board of directors told him to stay be be quiet during the so called “independent investigation” conducted by Joe Gibbs, Jr. (personal opinion on the investigation – it was a sham before it started and I stated so here and on RG).
So from this perspective, he resigned from IBLP, in spite of what his “umbrella of protection” (board authority) asked him not to do (speak out) so that he could (speak out in his own defense). This is just another example of Bill holding you and the rest of the world to one standard but he feels that the standard does not apply to him, (classic narcissism). Just like he held the young men to a no touching no looking policy for his staff but he felt personally free to touch his female staff all he wanted and in ways that made at least a few of them uncomfortable. It is the same thing when I was working for him. When someone bought a new car (as in not used) he “counciled” them about appearing like they were not content. it was not weather they were or were not content, it was the appearance and the reflection back to him and the IBYC corporation). Meanwhile, when he wants to move around the country he buys brand new Lear jet. Another example that I have sited in this blog is his teaching on giving up personal rights. But when he feels his personal rights might be violated (1980) he hires a very “high powered” attorney to protect his rights.
From this vantage point, Bill left IBLP with the full expectation that he would be invited back, but that the investigation uncovered enough that his board wanted to distance themselves and move on without him. Either this, or Bill saw IBLP as an enterprise that was in its decline and this was just a great opportunity to get out and maybe start something new.
Ok, since you are trying to go there, who is the umbrella of protection for the Board? We have a cast of equals who are under whose authority? See, Bill was a member of the Board. How does that work? He is his own authority, umbrella, and as a Board member reports to ______.
Doesn’t work. Again, that “umbrella” reports to secular authorities, and as such wields secular authority.
Any chance you were only hearing half of what he taught? Like Solomon says. . . There is a time for everything . . . A time to love, and stunningly a time to hate . . . A time to build up, and a time to tear down . . . A time for peace, and a time for war. A time to meekly yield our rights, like Jesus, and a time to demand that others respect our authority, role, position . . . Also Jesus.
That story has not run its course. That is ultimately up to the Lord of both IBLP and of Bill. Mine too.
You write concerning Bill’s accepting personal responsibility:
Bill most emphatically assumed responsibility for all of what happened . . . all while attempting to fulfill his many others responsibilities in the ministry God had called him to.
Sorry, I would be a fool if I even remotely believed this. As I have stated in many previous posts, Bill somehow forgot conversations when attractive and single young women on his staff told him in explicit detail where his corporate SR VP tried to touch them. Then he hires a preacher from the west coast who had no experience in these kinds of matters provide an independent investigation only to find the victims were responsible for their own abuse. (To say nothing about Bill’s own family) And then Bill has the audacity to believe that he is/was diligent (according to the biblical definition) in seeking reconciliation from one who by his own words lied about with the purpose of protecting his own reputation. And this does not even account for a second staff person where he took another 35 years to apologize to his family for his lies and deceit.
I am responsible for how I guide my family and spend my time. Another poster suggested that I am irresponsible because I have not taken the time spent defending and supporting Bill and devoted it to wife and children and making a bunch more money. I believe I am very responsible towards them, and so far wife and kids agree. So . . . Am I responsible? A difference of opinion from you does not necessarily mean I am irresponsible in Jesus eyes and it surely does not mean than I am not assuming responsibility for my actions and choices, as one who must give account.
Bill will one day give account for all he has done for which he assumes full responsibility – he knows how he will answer. Irresponsible people have no idea how they will answer.
You write concerning responsibility by Bill
“I am responsible for how I guide my family and spend my time.”
Not really sure how to respond to this. Instead of answering about Bill it seems you protect Bill by referencing your family. Ok, so let’s go there. Would you be a responsible father if one of your daughters came directly to you and said someone she worked for, someone in some kind of authority, even someone you knew, and told you in clear and unambiguous language that this authority figure was trying to touch her and engage her in sexual activity – and you somehow forgot because you were too busy?
Somehow, I think you would go maybe a little crazy and as a father would want to take immediate and maybe severe steps to protect your daughter. From the little I have read about your family in this blog my suspicion is that your reaction would be immediate and swift. Bill’s reaction (remember the Shepherd of the Hills belief, and his own belief that the fathers of his staff gave him their responsibility for authority/protection)…by his own statement forgot. And based on your defense of him, he was too just too busy. He had so many pressures on him, so many responsibilities, so many people wanting his attention, and so many people wanting to listen to him… that he just did not have the mental capacity to remember that his little brother and personally appointed Sr. VP was trying to take his (Bill’s) secretaries to bed.
That would galvanize me into action, actions including the authorities at every level appropriate.
But . . . give me the relationship to the steps leading to 1980. When was Bill too busy to follow up on an accusation of sexual mischief by his brother? As near as I know, he vigorously followed up each accusation. Some he and his father deemed false, some the woman retracted it . . . some they came away with a muted picture, you know, hugging and kissing instead of . . . .
I would think you would and take any and every precaution that your daughter is never subjected to this kind of abuse as long as you had any say in the matter. (As any decent father would do) So how does Bill explain his own questions such as: (the women is reminding Bill of his own questions)
1) Did he touch you below the waist?
2) Did he touch you?
3) Did he touch you through your clothes or just on the outside?
I am not sure what is unclear about this. These were his questions. And when I asked him how it was that he forgot? His response “I have learned to put these things (sensual images) out of my mind”. Exact words.
Sorry my friend, but this was questioning to one specific girl that I as a single staff member was allowed to hear. For the others, we were asked to leave the room.
I believe you, I was not there, I do not know what was going on in Bill’s mind to get him to hear what he heard. There was a track record of at least one pointed accusation of Steve which the woman specifically recanted later. That puts a question mark on things. I am listening to the details in the lawsuit of things that I KNOW didn’t happen based on other things I know.
So . . . I continue to give Bill the benefit of the doubt. The Lord knows – and I have asked Him to make me wise and perceptive and see what He sees so I can do and say the right thing. I know you join me in that prayer.
As a parent, I appreciate the truth and humor in your previous comment.
I had pulled some examples, but I saw that the vast majority of what I could give you might be difficult for you to go through objectively as as it seemed the source of your emotion was rooted in your strongly held beliefs vice a deliberate attempt to be antagonistic. To be honest, as I was looking at old threads, I saw a trend, namely that you would attack attack attack, no holds barred, when presented with any opposition. I’m not sure if my pointing them might be an additional impediment to your ability to be objective.
So, rather than pointing some out, I would counsel you to see if you could go back and look at some older threads and see if, with the passage of time, you could see past your strong feelings and look at how you went about it, and how your words may have come across.
To be honest, you strike me as someone who is sincerely acting on your beliefs, but I don’t know if you’re at a point where you can put yourself in the place of your listener. I think it may be a better use of your time if you went back yourself and looked for interactions where you might have gone abit overboard in your defense of Bill. I think this would give you some perspective on how you have gone about this in the past, and perhaps give you some clarity on how to refine your technique for the future.
With a full time job, 11 kids (somewhere), homeschooling . . . Oh, and a wife . . . I will probably not do that. But if you have some things you would like to bring to my attention, I will happily engage.
Who are you addressing?
“Who are you addressing?”
Dave (post above)
I have to say I’m perplexed in your response. A truism I like to repeat is that “what you find important is what you find important enough to spend time on.”
While I can appreciate the need to prioritize, I thought your comments above indicated you found value in self-reflection and refinement (worthy qualities). I find it difficult to believe that if you couldn’t identify areas of improvement on your own, you’d be open to objectively reviewing what was placed in front of you. I could be wrong, I’d like to see you prove me wrong in this.
Thanks. I will work on that. Let’s move on.
I would be curious to know what you refer to above, how you know some things did not occur? Seems that would help in offsetting some of the negative information in the lawsuit.
Brother Dave: Can you first of all give me a context? As you well know, this forum format is not the best.
Beyond that, I have information that clarifies a lot of things. I bite my tongue a lot, because I am not a lawyer and have limited idea of what is important to not talk about.
But, again, zero in on my comments to clarify.
I can’t embed quotes from threads. It was in your reponse to Dan:
“That puts a question mark on things. I am listening to the details in the lawsuit of things that I KNOW didn’t happen based on other things I know.”
I am going to err on the side of caution and say no more. If this goes to trial there will be much disclosed.
I can certainly say that you are consistent. I wish you the best and hope it all works out for you.
I ain’t moving on until you explain this section of God’s word, Jesus explanation. 🙂 What are we to learn from what happened and what Jesus said?
We are not to learn anything about para-church ministries from this account. I’ll let you sit on your belief if you want. However, it is more than a stretch of the text than I can figure out. I re-read both the Mark and the Luke account and the context just does not allow this kind of application.
Like I said in an earlier post, the discussion usually centers around the principles of governance and authority as Paul addressed with his churches. However, I don’t think this precludes anyone going out to minister in the name of Jesus with a board, without a board or requiring any kind of organization. That is our calling both corporately (the church) and personally. This being said, when Paul took off on his first missionary journey, he did so under the direction and (safe to say) authority of the church of Antioch. Then in Acts 21 we see him submitting to the wishes of the elders in Jerusalem. Without going further, I think it is safe to say that Paul had a high view of authority, respected it fully, and utilized its safety net (as a Roman citizen).
Conversely my observation of many in para-church leaders as well as church ministry leaders is that the more the CEO (or sr. pastor) talks about his subordinates submitting to his authority the more he chaffs at his own requirement to be under authority. I can site you countless personal observations but there was one many years ago that I actually predicted a significant fall was imminent (no I am not claiming any great intelligence here, just observable reality). A few years after the 1980 scandal at IBYC Jimmy Swaggert was quoted in Time Magazine that if he did not like his board he would just fire them and get a new one. A year later he was caught with a prostitute. As I have stated several times in this blog, if Bill would just follow his own teaching this new math that you refer to would never have happened. However, he has such a low view of authority (as compared to Paul) that he feels it applies to everyone but himself – classical narcissism.
So on this round we learned what you are sure it does not teach. Humor me and explain the principles that ARE there for our learning.
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
So on this round we learned what you are sure it does not teach. Humor me and explain the principles that ARE there for our learning.
Mark 9:38-40: 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.40 For he that is not against us is on our part.”
What are you saying with these verses Alfred, that Bill does miracles? Are you saying this put him in the same category as Christ or the Apostles?
Every verse needs to be taken in its complete context of the text to understand the meaning. To understand this you need to include 33-50. Just looking at your verses you seen to be trying to place Bill in a higher relational position with Christ then he deserves with his unrepentant sin and actions. Verses 33-37 is the discussion of who is the greatest among the Apostles something like you are trying to do with Bill. In verse 36&37 Jesus takes up a little child and says: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” That thread about children is continued in verse 42 where Christ says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.,…” then talks of cutting off limbs and going to hell. This ties 33 all the way to verse 50 including your verses. But 42-50 is really chilling considering what Bill has done to girls and women for the past 47 years. If you recall that same thought is in Matthew 18:1-14 and must be important if its discussed twice in the Bible.
In an earlier post above to Dan today and related to your reply in this post you state:
“Ok, since you are trying to go there, who is the umbrella of protection for the Board? We have a cast of equals who are under whose authority? See, Bill was a member of the Board. How does that work? He is his own authority, umbrella, and as a Board member reports to ______.
Doesn’t work. Again, that “umbrella” reports to secular authorities, and as such wields secular authority.”
In your statement: “He is his own authority, umbrella, and as a Board member reports to ______. ” Are you saying Bill was not responsible to his board and was above them? That seems what you are implying. Who gave him that authority? Think hard on that, remember there was only one Jesus and one White Dove with a heavenly proclamation and one transfiguration. All the Apostles died off in the first century. Bill might of had a Turkey Vulture fly over his head one time but that doesn’t count! Where did he get his authority from? The LaGrange Bible Church? In their 2014 letter they stated he was not under his authority. He is not a member of the Independent Baptist Church of Bolingbrook, even if Rev. Shoaf says he Bill’s mentor, they can’t exercise church discipline on Bill. It goes back to Bill own teaching that he does not follow, just like Dan said.
Alfred if the words coming out of your mouth are a reflection of what Bill really believes I think I would avoid standing next to him in a lightning storm. (a metaphor)
My verses make it clear that someone operating outside the normal “church” structure, which by definition has Jesus as head with his appointed servants in authority under Him, such a person conducting such a “para-church” ministry is still blessed and endorsed by Jesus. Not sure how you were not getting where I was going with that.
From the head of the church, from Jesus. I asked those that consider a board essential to a work of God where the Board got its authority from. Still no answer. Can you answer that?
Do you recall the story of Gladys Aylward? Went to China outside of a Board. Tell me, who would discipline her? Georg Muller operated his large orphanages, mission work, with no Board. He was an elder in a local church – but the ministry had no oversight. Was he bad?
For someone like Bill that made “being under authority” a corner stone of his ministry and yet is not under any one’s authority of either a local Church or beyond etc is hypocrisy and shows a total lack of accountability even for himself. Problems with para-church teaching ministries is actually a plague on the body of Christ. The errors, false teaching, heresies, bad behavior and scandals with money and sex are very problematic. Bill had no balance, he had no one to recheck what he was teaching, he had no accountability for his own behaviors. You can’t see this because of your devotion to Bill.
I disagree, but that is beside the point. There are structures that God sets up and there are structures that man sets up. We should treat the former with a great deal more attention than that latter. Family, Government, Employment, Church. Bill should be under the care of church leadership and he is. They are the ones that watch for his soul and would be involved in reconciliation activities. He should obey the secular authorities, and he does, including the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit corporation called IBLP.
I would hope that you and I as responsible adults and members of the Body of Christ are able to be accountable for our own actions without having to rely on outside forces to control us. Again, if God wants it, God will state it. Defend your assertion that God demands that every servant of His have a human layer of authority in between him and God.
Are you willing to go on record that the problems of “para-church” organzations are significantly, statistically worse than churches or public schools or, God forbid, the government?
Yes, I am going on record that para-church teaching ministries in the Protestant world have more teaching errors and heresies and then secondarily behavior scandals than established denominational Churches because there is no control or oversize from some abiding Church structure with established Church doctrine.
In the interest of full disclosure, you favor the “Orthodox” side of things, right? I would accept that you would see heresies in places most evangelicals would not?
Protestantism is much more tolerant of “para-church” ministries. In any case, the Savior acknowledged as legitimate some that did not overtly walk in the official orbit. One size does not necessarily fit all.
Anyway, this is likely a fruitless subtopic.
You write to Larne:
“Do you recall the story of Gladys Aylward? George Muller operated his large orphanages, mission work, with no Board.”
I believe you are advocating that Bill does not need a board and based on your earlier comments, that his board of directors while at IBYC/IBLP was a secular requirement and therefore, he was not required to follow them or consult with them over matters of his personal conduct or of the day to day operations of the organization. While I would not suggest that his current work requires a board outside of the legal requirement, (although it was make a lot of sense given his chain of command thinking) there are three problems with this thinking and the two examples above:
1) Your referencing Muller and Aylward is curious for the mean reason that neither of them accumulated any assets. It was Muller’s practice (as opposed to Bill’s) to give everything away. Bill, in contrast, accumulated somewhere between $80-$100 millions in assets, depending on market conditions. Also, Aylward is a notable example of an individual ignoring the structure of an organization and going to the foreign field. However, for every one that does so successfully, there are dozens if not hundreds that do the same and flame out rather brilliantly. Having served at the board level of a mission organization, the stories of individuals going out without a board and/or supporting organization are legendary and the flame outs often are devastating at several levels – personal, family, donors to say nothing of the people they were trying to serve.
2) Neither Mueller nor Aylward spent 50+ years teaching something called the chain of command, which at its core says God speaks to us through authority. Therefore, for Bill to say, or for you to say, that a board of directors is only a secular structure and therefore in things of “God” does not have to be respected or obeyed is just preposterous. It only adds credence to what many of us have seen for years and is so prevalent on RG – that Bill has one standard for staff and his followers but he himself sees no need to do the same. His attitude is one of “since I report to God I do not need earthly authority”, which is a very low view of authority and not the high view he has been teaching for several decades.
3) Then there is the biblical narrative itself. As I have pointed out earlier, the Apostle Paul, was sent out under the authority of the Church of Antioch and made it a point of submitting to the leadership in Jerusalem. One might think that if Paul had this practice, that maybe you and Bill might consider his example.
Except real estate, right? There were some impressive buildings housing 2,050 orphans. So in that respect they are still alike. Here are drawings of the five buildings that eventually comprised Ashley Downs:
Bill was fairly precise that this was GOD ORDAINED authority, right? Operating within their sphere of jurisdiction. Secular government – Caesar – speaks for things that have Carsar’s image and superscription. Our children do not have that image, for example, but rather the image of God, not to be rendered to Caesar. The first thing a court or policeman decide is whether a matter falls within their jurisdiction. A secularly appointed Board has certain jurisdictions . . . That authority has no say so over how to conduct a ministry of the church, of God.
Now the Board may be chosen to operate in that sphere as well, but those lines of authority proceed from something else. Our church has elders which govern the church, watch over the flock, bring in, put out, counsel, discipline. The same men happen to form the board that owns the property, prepare certain financial statements as required by law. Two different jurisdictions.
So if Bill’s board is functioning as a church, then they would watch for his soul, maybe discipline him. If as a group of counsellors, then they would hear matters and give advice. Otherwise, their authority is limited to the structural and financial matters the government grants them.
To make a point, prove that that Board in Jerusalem controlled Paul’s ministry. Indeed, Paul claimed, as an apostle, equal authority to the others. I see joint decisions being made. And, again, a CHURCH authority. Bill’s church was LaGrange Bible Church, is now a different one. Sort of a point.
I would hope that you and I as responsible adults and members of the Body of Christ are able to be accountable for our own actions without having to rely on outside forces to control us. Again, if God wants it, God will state it. Defend your assertion that God demands that every servant of His have a human layer of authority in between him and God.
Do you remember our conversation where you condemned me and rebuked me for not submitting to Bill’s spiritual authority during my employment there? Yet here you say, ”I would hope that you and I as responsible adults and members of the Body of Christ are able to be accountable for our own actions without having to rely on outside forces to control us.” So I am condemned for not being under Bill spiritual authority but Bill isn’t for not being under any authority. You can’t have it both ways Alfred.
Regarding the LaGrange Bible Church, their 2014 letter to Tony, they stated he was not a member nor had been for at least ten years. So there was no spiritual authority there. The Independent Baptist Church, in Bolingbrook is another matter; he is not a member and only recently submitted his application according to you. Since he has not been attending LBC for 10+ years can I assume he has been attended attending the Independent Baptist? From our conversations with Bill in the summer of 2014 he stated that his former boards recommended he become accountable to several men after his resignation. Bill told us he selected Dr. Don Wood (LBC), Dr. Doty Murphy and Rev David Shoaf (IBC) that summer of 2014. From my math that leaves about 10 years he was not under any spiritual authority not that he every was to begin with.
Now considering your statement, “if God wants it, God will state it”. Para-church organizations are not mentioned in the God’s word so according to you they can’t exist. Neither can your website, or IBLP video seminars, or emails, texts, photographs or your above copied and inserted pictures. No electric lights, cars, airplanes, canned food, modern medicine, should I go on. They are not in the Bible and “if God wants it, God will state it”. So we men need to get rid of our pants and get robes, let our beards grow, no shoes only sandals and our only means of transportation are donkeys, chariots, horses, camels or sailing ships. Forget having a Bible unless you can afford a scribe to copy one and of course we need to learn Hebrew and Greek so we can read it. After all God didn’t talk of printing presses, English or Spanish.
In Acts 6 “the twelve” set up “the seven” to help with the administrative tasks. This included Stephen, one of the early church’s heavy weights who was “full of faith, Holy Spirit, Grace, Power and doing great wonders and signs among the people”. Philip was another one of the seven and it does not say which Philip and could be the Disciple. In Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3 it defines the qualifications and responsibility of elder/teachers. Between those three passages there is plenty of guidance to see the scriptural requirement to establish a group of overseers. Actually using your definition there is more guidance for overseers then there is for you using a computer or me an airplane.
Alfred read these passages:
Titus 1:10-11 says; “For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.[g] 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”
Titus 2:1-2 says; “But as for you, teach what accords with sound[a] doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”
2 Peter 2:5-8; “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[e] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 2:1-3; ” But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
Scripture is clear how we should act and sets a higher example for those that teach. Both you and Bill lack a consistency in your arguments and in your theology. You can’t have it both ways. If you follow your current path it will put you in the category as deceivers and false prophets, “upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach”. (Titus 1:11 & 2 Peter 2:1).
No, I realy, truly don’t. I guess I am like Bill. Tony, yes, I have stated that, because it was true. You, I can’t even imagine a context where that would make sense.
He has been going there a long time. Unless there is another Bolingbrook area church he attended. I also heard rumors 10 years for so ago that he was member of a church in another state pastored by one of the well known repeat speakers at conferences. Something else to discuss with him.
I have provided precedent for independent ministries outside the church structure elsewhere, but nobody will engage (the disciples rebuking one that “followed not with us”). When it comes to authority in the church, of which Jesus is the head, SURELY you do not suggest that this would not be spelled out. Far from a peripheral issue. Again, accountability is wise, on that we agree. David the king had counsellors that rebuked him when necessary. But in the end the call was his should he foolishly just ignore them.
They were most emphatically deacons:
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration (diakonia, serving, deaconing).”
Of course they were in charge of stuff, that is what an appointed servant does, deriving his authority from the church elders.
There are many church boards with their power stated in the laws & by-laws as being able, with a majority vote, to override the pastor of said church on any number of issues. Including firing of the pastor. This is modus operendi in many churches. It’s a common system to which all parties subscribe in ascending to their roles in the first place. IBLP/ATI was never a church. But, if the board had what you say explained to them as they assumed their roles, how did they feel they could violate how you say it ought to be in their firing of Bill in 1980 & their forcing him to resign in 2014? The board never stuck to any such rule that they had to be minions to an autocrat. So…… is it as you say, and they are in defiance of this? Or…….. is it NOT as you say it is, & they ARE rather a governing body with the autonomy to override executive’s orders?
Or……. do they have no idea which it is because they were just clueless puppets of Bill……. until common sense finally took over & they realized they couldn’t afford to be, regardless of whether they actually “had” to be his puppets or not?
Well aware of that. But you will not find that in the Bible anywhere.
You comments were a tad hard to follow. I do not recall any time where anybody “fired” Bill. He resigned in each instance. Regardless, I do not know the bylaws of IBLP, what power the Board possesses as defined in their charter.
You write to Larne concerning para-church ministries:
” but nobody will engage (the disciples rebuking one that “followed not with us”
The reason no one will engage you about para-church ministries with the text is because it is a ludicrous text to equate with para-church organizations. Read the whole text for once rather than lifting one verse or phrase and making up your entire theology. The text has to do with the disciples inclination to make their ministry an exclusive club. If you want to get out of this text that para-church organizations are Biblically authorized go right ahead but it is a really, really week place to start.
And, for the record, that is the first interpretation you have ventured . . . after reviling me for being stupid several times.
And THAT is the point. The “club” is the official one, Jesus prominently in charge, disciples getting projects from him overtly, reporting back to him. The “para-Jesus” ministries off to the side didn’t appear to be in the “club” and so were deemed out from under authority. Yet Jesus acknowledged the validity of these, also under His authority, albeit not as formally.
The “Club” is the church . . . the “stuff off to the side” not under the direct authority of “the church” is parachurch. I think I interpreted correctly.
Numbers 11:24-29 deal with the “Club” also.
A very insightful and much appreciated comment, DA.
“And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord ‘s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.” Num 11:24-30
The “Club” is the church . . . the “stuff off to the side” not under the direct authority of “the church” is parachurch. I think I interpreted correctly.
This is just the point, you jump from the disciples want exclusivity of the club to a para-Jesus thing. You just stretch the text, something you and Bill do with great frequency, to something that the writer could never have imagined. I think we are in agreement that para-church ministries are OK from a biblical perspective, your proof text is just a really bad one from my perspective. So let’s move on.
And I think it nails it completely. Imagine a peron having a ministry that doesn’t report directly to the living Head of the Church. What would you call that? The disciples – Apostles of that church – saw the same problem folks calling for direct reporting ties to the church today see. Unhooked, “para” the church. Can’t control it, can’t check up on it, therefore bad.
But even though we actually only started duscussing this singularly important passage, I agree, time to move on.
If I may understand your position, it is that para-church (as in outside the scope of “normal” or “traditional” church organizations/denominations) activities are tacitly approved by both Jesus and Moses in the respective passages. If I’m reading your comments correctly, you believe that these passages sanction “outside the lifelines” activities in the name of God, to prevent normal/traditional organizations from “circling the wagons” and banning organizations that would take away from their importance/efforts.
What’s interesting here is that I believe you have a valid point. It is the tendency or organizations to protect their organization for its own sake, not the same of its intended work. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and all that. I think its very credible that God would drive some to work outside the scope of established boundaries to illustrate that He is a jealous God, and can work through even the “crying out of rocks” and talking donkeys. Saying that God can only work within the confines of the organizations we believe in is to place controls on God which mankind patently does not have the right, knowledge, ability, or jurisdiction to do.
However, even though God works outside of established mechanisms, He does not violate either His nature or His Word when doing so. The standard he applies to “para-church” organizations is the same standard He applies to Church organizations. He is a jealous God. The record is clear that Bill valued “his” organization over the people who felt called to assist him. He has even admitted it. IOW, the very reason you cite as justification for para-church organizations (keep people focused on God’s work vice protecting their fiefdom) is the error Bill fell in to. So, claiming this as justification for Bill is somewhat disenginious.
Furthermore, the standard applied to Bill is the totality of scripture. One very salient verse is “Judge not, lest you be not judged, and the same standard you judged, by it you shall be judged.”
Bill spent a lifetime teaching a foundational point in his curricula, the principle of authority. I will not re-hash it here because I assume we are all familiar with it, but he stated it was non-optional, as in compulsary. Therefore, the question is asked, to what authority was Bill accountable? I think we can all agree that ultimately we are accountable to God. However, taking this to the extreme leads to the position that one can do what one wishes, and only have to account to God on reckoning day.
We are left with the question then, what was Bill’s divinely ordained authority here on earth? Is it a safe assumption that Bill’s teachings can not be contradicted by his actions? He taught adherence to authority is non-optional, and by extension, everyone has a divinely inspired authority in their life. The bible is clear on some, the establishment of church organization (by precedent), the athority of the state (by statute), the authority of fellow believers over fellow believers (by both statute and precedent.). Again, we are left with the maxim “absolute power power corrupts absolutely” and to your point above that para-church organizations can be viewed as a “check” on established organizations’ power, we are left with the question: who was Bill’s “check” or, to use Bill’s word, authority?
Your statements above RE: the board’s authority over Bill are troubling. For one, if Bill was free to disregard any tasking from them at will, then why was a board established? You indicate this was either for form’s sake, or that the board’s God-given jurisdiction was limited in scope to specific issues. What then where the specific issues that the board’s jurisdiction was limited to?
Was it for financial oversight? That would mean Bill is not responsible for any financial accountability. Why did he engage a lawyer to prevent them from exercising that authority?
Was it for oversight of the accuracy of the curricula? You stated above that was abill’s and Bill’s alone? What about the supporting cast? Jim Sammons for Financial Freedom, Steve Gothard for Character Sketches, Otto Koning for The Pineapple story, Gary Fraley for ATI curricula. The pattern has been more and more that many others actually wrote this curricula. His involvement is in promotion. Were these men dealing directly with the board?
Was the board’s jurisdiction limited to Bill’s personal behavior? If he committed a crime, then their duty was to report it. If he was simply abusive to subordinates, what is their responsibilty? Tell Bill to stop? Ask him nicely to stop? Without an enforcement mechanism, there is no authority, so I ask again, what was their responsibilty in the matter? Wash their hands and say ” well Bill, you’ll answer to God eventually so do what you will.”
Underlying all of this is Bill’s responsibilty to make sound financial decisions, to ensure what he taught/promoted was scriptural, that he wasn’t abusing subbordinates. The differnce of opinion here is that you don’t believe he did any of those, but you are, in the same breath saying, in effect, even if he did, the board had no jurisdiction to correct him.
What then was/is the board’s jurisdiction or responsibilty in the current events?
That does not define his ministry. He was and remains passionate about what God has given him to do, fussy, particular. “Great spirits” tend toward be that way. The better ones can mask it better than others.
Again, to what authority were Martin Luther, George Muller, Gladys Aylward . . . Let alone the apostles accountable? The pattern of Jesus life was to be an example, and “Chain of Command” was part of that. Until age 30 Jesus overtly reported to His parents – to whom did He report after that point?
Bruce Olson, story in “Bruchko” – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruchko – really gripped me in my youth. Nobody, no church, no board wanted him, agents opposed him, so he took off for Columbia, figured out how to make contact with the savage and untouchable Motilone tribe, all on his own, lived with them, taught them of the Savior, saw them saved. Years later it was his kidnap by the drug lords that finally galvanized the hesitant Columbian government into action. Why? Because he was so revered by the indigenous people that threatened a major uproar, after which they secured his release. To whom was he accountable? Just Jesus, and Jesus honored him.
Having said that, Bill reported to his parents, his church, then the board. Reality is that the motivations of all God had called him to kept him pushing the bounds of what was comfortable for them. Regardless, I do not see a violation of Scripture in there.
I don’t know. Someone sent us the IBLP bylaws which I deeply appreciated. The Board controls the “corporation”, presumably whatever is owned by that incorporation. Bill was on the Board until he resigned, and he alleges he always intended to return. It thus comes down to what the individual Board members feel should be done. 2 of 6 supported Bill’s return, immediately – they were forced out recently by the others. Legally those remaining Board members control the holdings. Bill has no authority or influence unless they give it back to him.
Bill was fairly precise that this was GOD ORDAINED authority, right? Operating within their sphere of jurisdiction. . . . That authority has no say so over how to conduct a ministry of the church, of God.
I am not following you at all on this. Are you saying that a Board of Directors of a christian ministry is a secular body and only has authority over those practices that the is of interest to the government? For example, the government has an interest in taxes so it requires certain documents to be filed each year that are validated by the board. This would be an example of board oversight. On the other hand, the government does not care if a christian organization feeds the poor, provides housing to the homeless, preaches to the masses, or runs shelters for run away teens. How these activities are run, operated, set up, torn down, what processes and procedures are put in place to operate them are not under the jurisdiction of a board but the CEO or the director because it was God who gave him or her the vision for the work, he or she therefore answers to God, and the board of directors stays out of it. Do I understand your thinking clearly?
Bible, we want Bible. Unless this Board was set up by the church, whose authority does it wield? The only other option is government. And, no, the government has no sayso over the activities of a servant of Jesus Christ beyond those that bear the image and superscription of Caesar and so belong to him.
The only thing that I can think of coming close to this independent “Board” you envision is the “Mayflower Compact”. Having strayed outside the jurisdiction of the king, the pilgrims had no authority at all, so invented one among them. But, guess what, that authority became the secular governance, back to the government.
Ok so without saying it directly, I don’t understand why responses have to be so convoluted, your position on the authority of a board of directors is that they are there only to govern those issues that the government has an interest in and everything else, the CEO or director answers to God and no one else.
Not convoluted. But you are prepared to condemn me based, not on Scripture, but common practice, correct? So I insist that, if you demand a certain kind of authority, that you establish, from Scripture, the foundation for that. For example, I fail to find a Scriptural basis for an authority structure called “a union”. I know they exist, and I know the God can and does use them, but this is a tolerance thing, not a command. Similarly, I fail to find an authority structure called “Board of Directors over a servant of God” in Scripture. Or, for that matter, “Pastor of a local church”. Again, God can and does use them, but you could understand that when push comes to shove, we may be hard pressed to answer the questions of who should do what and when.
Well, frankly I don’t fully understand your thinking and I would really like to. Pretty hard to respond accurately if I don’t. So I will ask the question again:
…board of directors is that they are there only to govern those issues that the government has an interest in and everything else, the CEO or director answers to God and no one else?
I really was trying to get you to explain what YOU believe . . . from Scripture, since I can find no other explanation on that basis that makes sense. In any case, your question is embedded with your assumptions, which again I am not sure are valid. IS a servant of God ever called a “CEO” in Scripture? Silly, of course not. Well, where does that term come from? Why, from the government invention called a “corporation”. Does God set up corporations and install CEOs? Again, no. So . . . given that a “CEO” carries the image and superscription of Caesar, that CEO answers to the Board that the government created when it created that corporation, which Board answers to the government. However, Bill was far more than that. He was a servant of God, a minister of God, a man of God . . . and as SUCH, he reported to no Board of earth. He would be responsive to those that “watch for his soul”, Hebrews 13, his church, his spiritual “fathers”, etc. Different roles, different purposes.
Good for the 4 out of 6. Apparently, in light of your omitting to answer the same question that both Dave & I have asked you, I have to conclude there was no empowerment of the the board whatsoever in the laws or bylaws. No course of action for administrating, no executive take-over that defaulted to them (on record), no spelled-out responsibilities for holding Bill accountable. Hence, as Dave suggested, the board was just something that was there for form. In light of your having said as much (by your omitting to answer us as to what any established oversight actually was), I have to say: the board was galvanized by their faith & common sense. At long last. For that, I commend these 4, even though it took them long enough.
Maybe you are right, maybe not. The Lord of Hosts is in charge and it is to Him we all report. The tasks before these brave men – and they are truly brave – are enormous. May the Lord remember and guide and protect each one.
I’m perplexed in your response. First, as pointed out, I have to read in between the lines of your words as to your’s (and by extension Bill’s) view on board responsibilty. I take from the totality of your comments that in your mind and in Bill’s, the board of directors was not responsible for truely directing anything, that it was Bill’s perogative alone as he answered only to God and the Bible for the strategic and day to day direction of IBLP. Pending any clarification from you, I’ll take that as yours and his position.
Second, your repeated refrain of the examples of other men and women of God who operated outside of traditional church authority only supports the idea that God allows para-church works to exist. It does nothing to support the manner in which Bill did it. You are in essence saying, they did it, so can Bill.However, in the general sense, Bill often said the following: “Others may, I cannot”. This mantra was used to justify all manner of teachings. However, to now claim, “Others did, I can too” is at odds with his own words.
In the specific, we are not examining those men and women, and I would argue that it is a red herring. We are discussing Bill. Given that there is justification for para-church works with varying degrees of formal accountability, the conversation shifts to how Bill went about it. Do I even need to address how dangerous it is to play fast and loose with comparisons to Jesus?
To the question about how he did it, you made the following statements: he was passionate, fussy, and particular. You said he reported to his parents, his church, and the board. Of those three, the only ones that (to my knowledge) he took tasking from was his father. So, in essence, the only one who could effectively task him in regards to the direction of IBLP and his behavior in it was his father. From what I’ve read, his relationship with his church pastor was more of mentor. Unless you can provide evidence where a pastor of a local church tasked him and held him accountanle for results specific to IBLP and not just personal behavior, we are left with dad and the board. To read your words above, I take it that he held himself only accountable to Jesus and the Bible, and the board did not have the ability to supercede what he divined as God’s will
The end result of this (from your words) is a charasmatic man, who is sharp as a tack, but hazy on details of law stuff, easily mislead by councilors, fussy, passionate, and particular, who answered to no one but himself and what he divined of God’s will for him. Furhermore, In essence the standard of success you are placing on him is how many people came to his seminars and enrolled in his program, and how they felt about their involvement in it.
Would the above be a good synopsis? What we are dealing with is not fussiness or particularity. That has to do with how his employees arrange his desk or the decor of his office. No, we are talking about far greater issues. The inabilty to take feedback. He took pride in this. One oft repeated claim of his is that his superiors at Wheaton college gave him such negative feedback on his IBYC curriculum and he immeadiately set out to proove them wrong. He would (to my recollection) follow this up with stories about how many people had attended the seminar, how many folks who had positive effects from following his principles, etc etc.
The mind is a tricky thing. Have you heard of the placebo effect? In fact, placebo testing is a key component in clinical trials of new drugs. Manufacturers have to prove their success rate is higher than the success of the control group given a placebo. IOW, the human mind is wired to produce measurable, biological and physiological stastictly significant results when it is told it has been given a cure. The actual result is independent and not controlled by the placebo, but the mind believes it to be and in many cases can produce the same effect in the body as the live drug.
IOW Alfred, many of the people who attended the seminars and were in ATI could have been helped. I am perfectly willing to accept that. However, concluding it was only attributable to to the actual teaching is false. It is equally valid to conclude are that they were operating under a placebo effect, or they were simply gullible in the first place. Bill is a remarkable salesman.
Again, I repeat my warning to you. At some point, you will no longer be useful to Bill. I think that point has already past, and it remains to be seen how long it takes Bill to realize it and formulate a plan to mitigate you as he has done with so many others, but you are responsible for yourself, answerable only to God. So while I feel compelled to warn you, I’m sure you feel equally strong that you are on the right path. As we perhaps share the same God, who is equally working in both of our lives, I’m fascinated, and a little scared for you. If I am wrong, then you have nothing to fear. If you are wrong, you are in for very troubling times.
I wish you peace in your decision. Just keep this in mind, when faced with His cross, Jesus said, “Not my will, but Thine.” When faced with his cross (the loss of IBLP and his legacy), Bill has done everything imaginable to prevent it. The day when Alfred will be sacrified on the alter of Bill getting what he thinks he deserves will hurt you alot more than it will hurt Bill. I doubt it will hurt him at all.
So, we do not speak for Bill. We do consult with him, but this site is fiercely independent. For any number of reasons. So you can take this as my perspective, perhaps an attempt to explain Bill’s position as I sense it, but when the dust settles, unless we clearly indicate Bill said this or that, don’t go there.
It is my understanding that there is no requirement for any servant of God to report to another human being during their ministry, mature years. Most of us do, we appreciate how God works through it to protect us, but it is not a requirement. I have cited a number of examples of highly regarded men and women of God who did not have that. So, please, let’s get that off the table.
Accountability boards are a great idea when in the role of counselors, much like Nathan and Gad the prophets in relation to David the King. The king could and should do as he was convicted, but a wise king would rarely run over his trusted and hopefully impartial counselors. Beyond that all of us has “fathers” in the faith, as Paul described in 1 Cor. 2, those that “watch for our souls” in the manner of Hebrews 13:17. There may be in a formal role, like an elder, or something else. We know who those “fathers” are.
Beyond that, the Board of the IBLP corporation has control, by law, of all resources that form a part of the corporation. The government putting a control into the entity in exchange for favorable tax treatment and otherwise. One would hope that the Board of such a not-for-profit entity would have the interests of the ministry – the founder and President of the ministry – as a top priority. Regardless, they report back to the government on those structural and financial matters of that corporation.
So, Bill has always answered to the Lord – and his church elders – for his actions. If he wishes to make use of the corporation funds and resources, for that he needs permission of the Board. Of which he always formed a non-controlling part until he resigned because the Board was demanding he step out of the way and let them determine the best course of action going forward. Under government law they have the power to, as has been done, bar him from access to any of those “corporate” resources, property and money. What should be done before God is another matter. I feel extremely badly for the way things have happened, especially based on the information that I think the Board has had to work with. Regardless, I respectfully doff my hat to them, knowing several of them, knowing that this has been one of the most difficult, thankless things they have ever had to participate in. Things might look much different if I were sitting on that Board. I believe the Lord will make His will clear, and whatever it is, we know it will be the best for Bill and IBLP.
In some obvious respects. However you cannot deny that Jesus, as man, stepped out overtly to be an example. “Learn of me” He said overtly. And when it comes to obeying his parents, submitting to them, what other reason can you provide for Him doing so? Keeping the law perfectly? That is precisely the point. That is what any godly “law keeper” would do. And that was to obey his parental structure until age 30, then report to no one on earth for spiritual matters except His Heavenly Father.
Again . . . again . . . provide a Scripture, ANY Scripture, to demand that all servants of Jesus Christ need a human to take “tasking” from. I know our teaching, our culture . . . humor me and provide the Bible behind it.
And to this David said: “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.” (Psalm 119:99 English Standard Version (ESV))
This is simply not a problem, Dave. The Lord is anxious to make all of us more understanding than the ones officially designated to teach us . . . unless they too are meditating on Scripture in this way.
Of course. But in saying this I can only assume you have not attended Bill seminars, starting with the Basic. See, it grew wildly in popularity unlike anything I have ever seen . . . because it worked, and, more importantly, that inner radar of the Holy Spirit confirmed in the spirit of the hearers that this was of God. It is what “keeps me hangin’ on”. If I know Jesus voice at all, I heard it in those seminars, directed to me, commanding me. So many others say the same thing. For many what changed was . . . things started not working out the way they understood it would, you know, more trouble rolling in. In every way comparable to what the children of Israel encountered on the way to Canaan. One morning there is no food, the babies are screaming in the hot desert sun for water . . . and . . . well there isn’t any, not even close enough to get to before they all die. At that point the Big Challenge comes . . . do you move ahead on the promises you believed from the Lord when all was happy and well, or do you deny you heard those promises, deny they came from God, gather up the pieces that remain, and beat it back to Egypt.
True, and thank you, inasmuch as you are genuinely concerned, as I believe you are, as opposed to some who would just try to discourage us. But you are again dealing with general prejudices. Not everybody gets hurt – I work with some that have been working with and for Bill for many decades. And let’s say he already has abused me and my family on occasion. It is an operational hazard that we have to be prepared for. Looking around, tell me it is any different when working with any number of other public, “actualized” people, especially in this campaign season. You get to work with the fire on the front lines, and you do sometimes get burned. Wife and I have a covenant . . . family and our other callings come first. At whatever point we can’t do that righteously, we lower our involvement to a point where we can. Pray for us.
Sounds like Dave and I are trying to figure out the same thing – in Bill’s opinion and the opinion of the Moderator, just what was the scope and boundaries of Board’s authority and the CEO’s authority. Or in this case, what were the boundaries for Bill’s board of directors and what were in his scope alone as a servant of God?
An example or two would be really helpful.
We have several subthreads pinging back and forth. So, I again, I note your use of “CEO” which immediately implies a position by the government for the government. And your acknowledgement that he was also, separately, a “servant of God”.
Examples: The use of ministry resources would involve the Board, of which Bill was a part, making financial decisions. Whether to buy this or that, whether to purchase a building and how it would be managed. The money and buildings belong to the corporation, which is run by the Board. Bill as CEO would need to follow those jointly made decisions, legally, even though he was not “under” the Board in his role as a voting Board member.
In terms of the direction of the ministry, things taught, materials prepared, opportunities pursued . . . those would be matters of the Servant of God. Collecting disciples to work for and with him is a work assigned by Jesus. Paying them wages, that is the job of the corporation who owns the money to pay them with and has to give account to the government for such things, and taxes to go with it.
AND, when it comes to rebuking or correcting Bill, the servant of God, that is NOT the role of the Board of Directors of a corporation. That is the role of his spiritual authorities, his church in particular. Plus the larger circle of “counselors” and “fathers” which might, in fact, include members of the Board of Directors. But not in that capacity. In that capacity they could fire him as CEO, which they did not do. He resigned from that role, also from the Board. Also could give him no more corporate money, keep him from using corporate resources or setting foot on corporate property, which they did. Whether this is right, cutting him off from those resources which he saw assembled as he labored for 50 years and invested all but living expenses back into the ministry “corporation” controlled by the Board . . . that is a question on which there are varying perspectives. Personally, I am not sure the final chapter is written. I hope not.
Even having a board of directors was just for form, just fulfilling the false advertising purpose of pretending there was accountability in place; obviously, Bill holds your view that THEY needed to only be subject to HIM. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be out doing his own thing in defiance of them; he would instead demonstrate compliance with any majority-board decision.
“Majority-Board decision” That sounds like democracy. Red-white-blue, motherhood, apple pie . . . find me a basis in Scripture for an authority structure based on votes and “majority rules”. Again, God does use that . . . but, if the majority of voters in my city demand that I send my kids to public school or not preach the Gospel, should I do that? I thought the majority was often wrong, and that we should stand alone . . . with the few.
Obviously the plurality of “elders” in Scripture is clearly taught. How they decide among themselves what their unified position is, is not. Some believe that if there is disagreement, the whole should continue to pray and seek the Lord until all – not a majority – are in agreement. That was not followed in the current case with the Board . . . state law does not demand it, so everything was done legally . . . just goes back to, again, what God’s actual direction is that should be followed.
These are not idle responses. Maybe you have never thought this through, just accepting what you have been taught by others without grounding it in – or rejecting on the basis of – Scripture.
BTW, Jesus did NOT “obey His parental structure until age 30”. All we know for sure about those years is that He never sinned, His mother, sister, & brothers were prioritized by Him so much so that they later demanded He pause in ministering publicly to come to them at their bidding, His brothers told Him to go straight to Jerusalem instead of ministering all throughout Israel, & that He’d earned enough in wages during His pre-30 years that His mother relied on this monetary support from Him while he was on the circuit between 30-33 years old. A concern He took care of while dying was that someone take over her support in His staid. He was a man of a household, with dependent(s), not obedient to any “parental structure” WELL BEFORE he turned 30. Any of you DG-ers who have responsibility for households comprised of a mother with her children: this woman isn’t your “parental structure that you obey”……………… let’s hope.
This is what I am basing that on:
“And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:49-52)
He submitted Himself to them. 30 years of age was when He began his ministry – prior to that he lived in his parent’s home.
Let’s see if you see what I see. Exhibit A:
“Ye shall fear every MAN his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:3)
Note the MAN there. The Hebrew word is “Ish”, nothing else but a full grown man.
Exhibit B: Every Jewish boy related to the patriarch Jacob (Israel) . . . here his father Isaac is commanding him, and he is obeying:
“And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. “Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother’s brother . . . When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and . . . that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram . . .” (Genesis 28:2-7)
How old was Jacob here?
Right – About 75 years old. Given that he lived to about 140, that was middle age no matter how you slice it.
No, I think he obeyed and submitted well past the point you think.
You write to Incredulous:
…find me a basis in Scripture for an authority structure based on votes and “majority rules”…
Don’t think you will find one. Not one that we might recognize anyway. However, if we really want to use a scriptural model for group decision making let’s try doing it the way the early disciples did it. Certainly their model should have some value for us.
Acts 1: 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias…
Let God decide. Not a bad idea. “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33)
[Of course, this has a much larger implication. Physics tells us that the entire universe, at the quantum level, is a bubbling sea of randomness, completely and by definition unpredictable. If God controls every coin toss. . . . that means every quantum leap, a spin to the right or left is under His absolute control. All of which percolates up and trumps classical physics.]
Not sure where you were going, but I liked it.
Well it is pretty simple really, if you question the democratic process inside churches, para-church organizations etc, because there is no biblical basis for this model of decision making, what are you left with? One man rule, the pastor (or CEO) becomes the sole determinate of God’s will, or we go back to casting lots. The point that we agree on is that the intent is to determine the will of God and follow accordingly. How an organization gets there is where we get hung up. If you take away democratic process because it is not mentioned directly or indirectly in scripture you are left with very limited choices.
It is frightening to all of us to have to trust the Lord, whom we cannot see and who clearly does not respond in the manner or timing that we desire, require. But the Lord does demand that of us. Our “limited choices” are to let God be God and honor the responsibilities He vests in individuals. 1 Cor. 6 tells me that the Lord expects us, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, to judge angels, a far more complex matter than getting the questions of life figured out. If we are qualified to correctly decide about angels, why are we not qualified to decide matters of life without always having to be double-checked?
For that matter, God vests the individual believer with the authority to judge, correct a failing brother, if Matt. 18 is to be believed. There are no qualifications given for the one who, seeing the error, steps up to seek to win the erring brother. THAT is God’s “Board of Review”, if you will.
Sounds good but you are dancing around question. How is a church, a para-church organization, a mission agency, a social service (Christian) nonprofit suppose to make decisions regarding staffing, allocation of resources, leadership compensation, retirement plans for staff, who gets hired and who gets fired, etc? You can’t say God has given us the ability to judge angels. Either it is all left to the president & CEO, it is left to a democratic process of staff (maybe), it is up to the board of directors and their democratic process, it is done by casting lots (it is in the Bible), just how does it all get done?
Those are different entities. Churches are to have elder “boards” that govern, appoint deacons who make decisions about their jurisdictions. How they decide “depends” . . . on them. Maybe they do cast lots . . . maybe they vote . . . maybe they refuse to make a decision until it is unanimous (I know of some groups that operate that way, and it works).
“Para-Church” is really the ministry of an individual, so that individual, before God, would make those decisions. If that individual assembles a “Board” to counsel him, then he interacts with them however he as agreed with them to do. We differ on the precise point whether such a board should be “controlling”. I would guess that is not what should be done, since the ministry is, again, the responsibility, burden of the individual. Bill was asked repeatedly about his “succession plan” . . . he said overtly he had none, that this was his “testimony” and should end with him, more or less. The fact that IBLP continues on without him is because of the government insisting on a secularly established “Board” that controls the resources of the “corporation”.
“Mission Agency, Social Service” etc. . . . would be however it was set up. Some overtly set up ministry “controlling boards” to ensure perpetuity . . . Some would not.
Maybe that is the salient point. Bill has always seen this ministry as “his”, live or die, sink or swim. The nonprofit board, required for tax purposes, was just a means to help.
Jesus was adamant that His Father is God: John 8:41,42. In your examples that He was subject to a parental structure on into adulthood, you’re saying He was responsible to carry on an earthly legacy, following that of an earthly father. He obviously did not do that in any area; His 2,000+ year legacy is the result of Him imaging His heavenly Father. If Jesus had expended any effort to make His earthly Father look good, He would have been guilty of the very thing He calls out in Mt. 23:29-33. Only much, much more so since these WERE the actual sons of their fathers. Verses 31 & 32: “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of guilt of your fathers.” Do you really think that Jesus spent the first 30 years of his life testifying against Himself- even by dressing-up legacy along with these others- rather than acknowledging Who His actual Father is?
And were His all-night prayer vigils on this hills possible only after curfew was lifted when He turned 30?
Not sure I am saying all that. Just saying that He made a point of honoring the command as He would as a man. And He did not do what they asked Him not to do, start His ministry, until age 30. You did not respond to the Jacob example . . . That is sort of definitive that our sensibilities about adult children obeying their parents under at least some circumstances may not be God’s.
And, back to the point, there was a point where Jesus – the man – pursued His calling despite the opposition of both church and family.
What are you saying “Jesus the man”? what is the world do you really mean? Why in the world are you stating with no proof that Jesus started his ministry despite opposition of “church and family”? Are you splitting Jesus the man and Jesus the God into two separate beings? If you are or are going down that road, you are really going into some pretty significant heresies here. Sometimes Alfred I really wonder about you and if you really realize the stuff you propose here. Your constant excuses for Bill seems to lead you into saying things that I don’t even think you understand or the consequences of stating them. Jesus is fully God and fully a man. He doesn’t have inner conflicts between the two and to go down that road and imply such implies Jesus had sin. This discussion took place in the early Church where a number of counsels debated these issues.
I would imagine that you would instantly relate to the Scripture that states that:
Family: see how he refuses their priority call for Him to come . . . Mark 3:31-35
“There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
Church: that should go without saying right? John 9:24. “Then again called they (Pharisees) the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.”
Well, it says that Jesus hungered, was tired, and was put to death. Does God do all those things? Does God submit to Joseph? Jesus did. He was still God.
There you go again, you are proof texting here. Jesus used that moment in Mark (and the other Gospel record this as well) as a teaching moment that those who follow Jesus are elevated to the status of his immediate family. The verses also don’t say that He did not speak to them because Jesus probably did speak with His mother. You make the assumption here that Jesus ignored or belittled His family which he didn’t do. Likewise, you cannot call the Pharisees the Church because they were not. Jesus also had contact with His mother up to the cross, where He gave her over to St. John to take care of her. Jesus first miracle was at the suggestion of His mother Mary at the wedding feast of Cana. His mother and “brothers” were also present at the feast of Pentecost as recorded in Acts. So to use this as proof text as you are doing to try and prove some point of yours that Jesus had conflict with his family is a bogus argument and is not supported by rest of the NT.
There you go again, inserting your human reason into Scripture. Not one of the 3-4 times this account is listed is there any record of Him meeting with any of them. When told they were there, He made a point of not responding.
REally? Well, first of all, Jesus said they were to be respected because they sat in “Moses seat”. Secondly, the Israelites were in fact called a “Church” . . .
Acts 7:38 “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:”
Speaking of Moses . . . and I know that “church” just means “assembly”, gathering. Still, interesting word choice. “Church” in my nomenclature in this case means “God’s authority vested in a spiritual group”, which in the OT was the nation of Israel, and then the ecclesiastical structure of priests, scribes, teachers, etc.
You do know that, perhaps outside Catholic perspectives, almost noone agrees with you on that. Here is anothere “proof text”:
John 7:5 “For neither did his brethren believe in him.”
Pointing out the total of NT references to how Jesus earthly family played a part with Jesus and His ministry is human reasoning? If one looks at the totality of your blog and all the comments, the disagreements are with you and Bill and not myself Alfred. Throwing out insults at others that have tried in good faith to participate really is more of a reflection on you and who you support than me. When I read your reasoning, logic and use of scripture, all i can think to myself is TGIC and my time here a waste because it appears that I am only “throwing pearls before swine” and the Bible tells us not to do that.
Insisting that He met with his mother where Scripture says no such thing is human reasoning and ironic in a post where you decried me with your own “there you go again” over alleged scripture twisting which you expected me to not get offended over.
Your reverence for Mary causes you to react to some largely incidentals. Point long forgotten which got us over here is that Jesus demonstrated independence from both family and “church” ties in His earthly ministry, that after demonstrating unusual repect for family authority previously. Which by example votes against men of God in rigid, controlled authority structures as they furiously pursue that which God has given hem to do. Examples given like George Muller, Gladys Aylward and others. Which suggests that Bill seeking to minimize some of what he perhaps saw as impediments by the corporate authority structure created by the government perhaps primarily so said government could get all the taxes they are due MIGHT not be as nefarious as has been often suggested.
In reference to your Exhibit B: I DID respond to the Jacob examples- he went as told to go to Padanaram, picked out a wife- when I said that neither were examples that Jesus was to follow. He didn’t need to settle where He was parentally instructed to so as to beget proper grandchildren for them. His earthly legacy was not that of carrying on an earthly father’s. Thus, he didn’t need to take an earthly father’s direction for that earthly father to pass the baton.
In reference to your Exhibit A: Nor was Jesus to OBEY His parents out of fear of them as an adult. He was only to reverence-fear them.
“Ye shall fear every MAN his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:3)
Also- He was accused of breaking the Sabbath, His miracle-workings were so out-of-this-world. “I am working even as My Father is working”. So, in this same verse you gave, His league of “work” did not break the Sabbath. This league in which he carried out His actual Father’s legacy would likewise have afforded Him to be in perfect fear of Mary & Joseph on a similar level. A level likely also condemned by other people but nonetheless perfectly righteous.
Yet . . . He DID take an earthly father’s direction. I am little concerned why . . . except that it was in the Law, and He kept every part of the Law perfectly. Why brings us back to “He did EVERYTHING PERFECTLY like a man would to”. SO . . . whatever He did, we should ponder. And we see no ministry until age 30, and at that point He left His earthly bonds and began to get ready for the work of salvation.
You write concerning governance structure of a para-church
“Para-Church” is really the ministry of an individual, so that individual, before God, would make those decisions
This is a bit off topic so I won’t push the point, but organizations like Word Vision, Salvation Army, and others like them are largely considered para-church organizations. They also were formed out of the vision of their founding president but their visions has now morphed into something much larger than even they could have imagined. Last I looked World Vision is a $1 (plus) Billion dollar organization and I think Salvation Army is now up around $5-6 Billion. I think most would see your description as a bit odd.
Fair enough, you are right. Let’s focus on IBLP as representative of a different class of ministry. I gave you an explanation as Bill provided it that this “para-church” ministry is his own personal “testimony”. So you can see why, after implementing the legal requirements of functioning as a “corporation” in the 21st century, he is far less concerned with organizational structure than some would be. A ministry with a truly independent board ensures, again, perpetuity . . . that has not been a priority for him.
Those that work for Bill note how crazy flat the organization is. Basically everybody reported to Bill. There certainly are directors and department heads, but when all was said and done, everybody knew that you really worked for one man. He was discipling you . . . and he micromanaged the work of those that should have been several layers removed in ways that sometimes frustrated the individual.
This is also why the notion of favorites loomed so large. In a world of equals it didn’t take much to quickly elevate an individual to a status noted and perhaps envied by all. One project, suddenly you were the best thing that ever happened to IBLP. And also didn’t take much to go from that to ministry goat, in a heartbeat.
He also kept the plates spinning furiously – he moved from concept to full implementation . . . and at times abandonment . . . in blazing short order. Staff called it the “flavor of the month”. He would announce “the next big thing” over and over . . . a few stuck and survived. Flexibility has always been the name of the game at IBLP.
It just dawned on me that I am preaching to the proverbial choir. In any case, then you of all people would know how little “corporation” meant to Bill.
You write to Incredulous:
“Majority-Board decision” That sounds like democracy. . . find me a basis in Scripture for an authority structure based on votes and “majority rules”. …Obviously the plurality of “elders” in Scripture is clearly taught. How they decide among themselves what their unified position is, is not. …Maybe you have never thought this through..
I think your tone is response to a very thoughtful response by Incredulous is arrogant and rude. As we have discussed, take some form of democracy out of organizational decision making and we are left with one man (or women) make all decisions, or casting lots as they did in the book of Acts. Maybe the person who has not thought this through is you.
When we talk “corporate” or “board” or “voting”, especially of the regular members of a local body, we are outside the scope of Scripture. That has been and continues to be my point. Common practice, “futile ways inherited from your forefathers” (1 Peter 1:18), is fraught with danger. Otherwise we are reduced to everyone doing “what is right in their own eyes”. So many of us have been drawn to Bill because he takes the Scriptures seriously, a literal roadmap to success. If corporations and boards and voting among peers is not taught in Scripture by precept or example, then we have no authority to try to solve a spiritual problem using that as a means.
Thank your for this statement. I see it as a beautiful statement of clear reality. Again we are gaining significant clarity as to Bill’s core values and operating agenda:
“Maybe that is the salient point. Bill has always seen this ministry as “his”, live or die, sink or swim. The nonprofit board, required for tax purposes, was just a means to help.”
So now we are clear that Bill’s Board of Directors was nothing more than to execute on the State’s requirement for a board and to perform only those functions required by the State of Illinois. Their job was to help not govern. Other than a few activities required by the State, he was the sole decision maker and arbitrator of God’s will for IBYC and IBLP.
There are only two little problems with this:
1) For 50+ years he preached the value and purpose of chain of command. Of submission to authority, of hearing the voice of God through authority. He preached more than just “honor those in authority”. He preached that authority is the voice of God. So for him to say that he is exempt from the Board’s authority, other than what is legally required, is just a duplicitous, two faced, narcissistic attempt to circumvent his own teaching. Disgusting.
2) As a member of ECFA he accepted certain operating ethics and standards. An independent Board of Directors is one of those principles. So I guess he was lying to them when he became a member and placed their logo on his website.
Thank you for this clarity!
And acknowledge, please, that we do not speak for Bill or IBLP. Contrary to confident assertions posted elsewhere, we do not report to Bill, we did not consult with him on this topic. The opinions expressed are ours, gained from observing, listening, being and having offspring on staff.
And, again, as stated previously, that is to God-given authority. If there is not authority that is given jurisdiction over him in a certain area, he is free to operate as the Lord, his conscience dictates. We do keep spinning around on this. Operating within authority that God set up is essential. Inventing authority because one is not defined, that is not part of anything he ever taught. Are we clear on that?
This I plucked from the ECFA website: “Every organization shall be governed by a responsible board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom shall be independent, who shall meet at least semiannually to establish policy and review its accomplishments.”
I know Bill would assert that this is true for IBLP. He was the only member not “independent”, just as Dr. Levendusky is today. The Board acted independently from him, correct? Otherwise he would still be President. He likely felt that they should see their roles more along the lines that I have postulated . . . but I think the EFCA logo may be continued to be displayed with a clear conscience, compliance both in spirit and letter.
Whether this requirement is driven by Scripture or more practical concerns remains a question to me. This is the “Commentary” on this requirement: http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Comment2 What I note is a lot of practical concerns and guidelines, and only two Scriptures cited:
1 Timothy 3:1–10 – To define a suggested standard for selecting Board members, and
Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” given as THE ONLY basis in Scripture to require a “Controlling Board”.
Those of us who look at successful organizations without a Board – George Muller’s orphanages, for example – see that that type of sharpening occurs among a counsel of peers completely as effectively as what is postulated for a “controlling board”. I see nothing in that verse to demand a controlling power. Solomon, the one who wrote that, had himself no such “controlling board” being, as he was, king. Kings by definition COULD NOT have a controlling Board. That seems to me to negate that one verse as a basis for that demand. So, you see, I am still left with: “Show me Bible”.
But I will find an opportunity to ask Bill his perspective, since I have not brought any of this up to him yet.
I hope the past few days have treated you well.
First, I’d like to point out a couple things indicative why its challenging to have a conversation with you. Above, when I asked you to reflect on what your life would be like if you had spent the time and money you’ve invested in Bill’s defense instead on your family, you turned it into this:
” Another poster suggested that I am irresponsible because I have not taken the time spent defending and supporting Bill and devoted it to wife and children and making a bunch more money. “.
Not what I posed and seems to indicate you are automatically on the defensive about everything. I hesitate in bringing this up because I’m trying to have a dialouge with you and keep from putting you on the defensive. I bring it up as you indicated you were open to critique. Again, in one of your posts to me, you indicate that I must have no experience with, or knowledge of the Basic seminar. Again, an assumption. Given your oft repeated antithapy for those former ATI students you describe as “bitter” and “just looking for an excuse to sin” (or words to that effect), and as you indicate I am not old enough to know how great the Basic was in the 70’s/80’s, are you assuming I am just another former student hell-bent on attacking Bill out of a guilty concience? I ask to clarify so I am not assuming. And, for the record, I am not attacking Bill, I am responding to him 😉
It also speaks of a bias, “if you knew what I knew and exerienced what I exerienced you wouldn’t be critical of Bill.”
On to the substance of your claims.
1. You demand a clear scriptural imperative as the only basis for showing that Bill, as a “Servant of God” HAD to submit to the will of others when it came to “his” minstry.
A. This a gross abuse of “Sola Scriptura”. Need I remind you that while the Scripture is the completed Revelation of God, it is not an exhaustive checklist for conducting our lives. To say that “I don’t have to do X because the Bible doesn’t say I have to” is the arguement of a boy looking for a loophole, not the reasoning of a man. The Bible is silent on how to deliver children, even as it speaks of them a blessing. For a midwife in training to tell their mentor or a woman in labor, “It’s not in the Bible, so you can’t tell me to how to do it”, it is more the mark of petulance than sincere devotion to God. One can argue there are clues (…decently and in good order…, life of the flesh in the blood…, examples of circumcision, etc etc) but there is no: Do X to birth a child. That is what you are demanding of Bill’s critics: Show me where the Bible says I should do X.
B. This demand is highly curious given that it is in defense of a man who made a living out of taking a verse here, a verse there, a verse everywhere, and summarizing it into a list of bullet points and saying unequivicably that his meaning was the only one possible (when there in fact many).
IOW, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t demand clear scripture to defend the actions of a man who built his teachings around taking ambiguities in Scripture and convincing people that his was the only intrepretation.
Next, your continued use of “Servant of God” or God’s Annointed” or any one of a number of grandiose descriptors of Bill. Uou stated above that Bill was not the end all, be all of your life. I’m having difficulty believing you on that point.
In Matt 7 we are told that there will be many who will be rejected by God, even though they did good works in His name. In Matt 28 we are told of those who will be rejected by God because they failed to help “the least of these.”
You might be following the saga of Gen. Walsh, CSAAF. Ithink the paralls are instructive. A man, who often claimed to be an advocate for Airmen, who would leave no stone unturned to ensure their welfare, and was highly thought of in the service because of his demeanor, his approachability, and overall personality he projected.
But, when push comes to shove to correct a wrong for “the least of these” in his organization, he is now doing everything possible, including defying the facts of the case, the needs of his subordinates, and the will of his authority to prevent from admitting wrongdoing.
IOW Alfred, it doesn’t take the Bible to convince a man he is an island unto himself. Good ‘ol sin nature does it well enough.
P.S. On to your point of kings. You seem to be implying that Bill was appointed as a king and therefore can claim the royal authority they were given. I will at last allow some sarcasm in my words Where was the prophet who performed such annointing?
Perhaps you can reread your suggestions and maybe you can see why they came off exactly that way. Were you not posing that I was irresponsible for not devoting my Gothard time to my children and more money, money which granted could help Bill?
I wasn’t clear if I ended up being right or wrong.
What exactly would you find fault with that over? That has been a large part of our concern. Drawing supporters out of the woodwork into the fray fraught with consequences, both individually and for our families. We know Bill, have lived him and watched him over many decades and know he didn’t do what is being alleged.
Demanding a clear scriptural basis for things that he is being challenged on based on Scripture and his responsibilities as a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ . . . seems like the right thing to do.
Why is this true? Is God so small that He can’t create a super awesome book that gets deeper and more exciting the more you dig into it, ulitimately holding all the secrets of the great and small issues of life? I think Bill is right.
And THAT would be a general case of “begging the question” since we disagree emphatically that this has been the case. Most every Bible teacher makes lists to distill the meaning of a passage – just because some do not follow his logic doesn’t mean it ain’t there. Agreed?
Now you were not actually reading what I wrote or you would not have inserted a favorite prejudicial Gotharite stereotype. I referenced him as a Servant of God as I would any preacher with a ministry assigned from the Lord. Cited George Muller as another example. And I have never used that other phrase. Fair enough?
Brother, if the facts of the case are wrong, he should deny them. And we have a completely different view of the accusers than you do. Instead of Bill Cosby we see McMartin Preschool (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial). Clearly somebody is wrong and if it turns out to be us, we will publicly ask forgiveness. I trust you have made a similar purpose before our mutual Lord.
Boy, there is no way you could take that from my comments unless you were not reading them. Solomon wrote the verse that was cited to demand a board, yet ironically he as king could have no board. So his words cannot be interpreted as demanding a board which he himself did not have. As simple as that. The fact that EFCA could not find a clear verse to support what is arguably their key requirement is . . . Interesting. Common sense has a role in Christian life, but it also is fraught with danger, given that it defined so from a compromised heart. Seems like an organization purporting to speak for Jesus should do better than that.
Furthermore, Bill’s claim he was not answerable to the board because no Scripture says he should be, is invalidated… by the Scriptures.
“Let your Yea be Yea and your Nay be Nay.”
Once Bill agreed to be bound by the board, he was. To argue otherwise is to parse words. “That’s not what I thought it meant…” Alfred, surely you can see this. How is this not just a variation of “I had my fingers crossed.”?
You rightly point out above that Kings are free to disregard their councilors. Again, we are not dealing with a king. We are dealing with a man. To give him the latitude to renege, is to grant him the status of being above keeping his word. Is that the perogative of a man who claims to speak for a perfect God with whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning?
Finally, I repeat my warning to you. You are the mouthpiece of Bill. But who in your audience can verify what you have said in Bill’s name actually came from him? Probably a few, but not many. When push comes to shove, it will be very easy for him to say, “I didnt say that” or “Alfred must have misunderstood me” or ” I never liked what he was saying and never agreed for that to be publicized.”
Not a stretch to see that coming. I hope ya got a good recorder on your phone.
You appear to have a much higher view of authority than either Bill or I have. So, are you telling me that when the government, clearly an authority you are bound to, tells you to do something that Scripture tells you otherwise, you will obey? If you do not obey, how will you do that? Overt rebellion, or working it so that you can keep the government “happy” while still not violating your conscience? That is how I operate.
Or . . . say you don’t believe in “unions” and yet are employed in a company that demands you join one. Will you wholeheartedly accept this new authority as God’s direction for your life, or might you, again, seek to “not make waves” while keeping your conscience clear?
I am going to guess your responses and in the light of that ask you to reevaluate what you think Bill should do if forced to work in an authority structure that he is not wholeheartedly in agreement with.
Jesus calls both you and me “kings”, clearly soon to be ruling not only the world but the angelic realm as well:
“Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Cor. 6:2-3)
So . . . that puts us in that respect in a status not unlike the Savior as He walked among men, as a servant, under authority, yet never unclear that He was King. Did Jesus keep His word? Of course . . . and so should we. As I said, point out where Bill did not do so. He was a member of the Board and he disagreed with some other members of the Board and sought to work within the bounds of direction the majority took while not abandoning his calling from Jesus.
None of us are “the” mouthpiece for Bill. In fact, this website refuses to be “the mouthpiece for Bill”. Both IBLP and Bill lobbied at various points to have us go away. Bill appreciates our love but he is still at times not sure that we do more good than harm. Ditto for the Board.
But as to who can verify, we can all verify because we are all in contact with Bill and others independently confirm things I am told. Of course Bill will distance himself from things we put here if it counters his purposes. We distance ourselves from comments we have made that later seem irresponsible or even false. That is part of how this works.
I do appreciate you taking us seriously, regardless, Dave.
When was Bill instructed to do something unscriptural by the board? Is being told not to have young girls around him forcing him to violate scripture, his view on scripture, or just his will?
Demanding a clear scripture on authority of the board. Glossing over the point. There is no clear prescriptive in the NT for many things. We are told to work them out. Bill agreed to be bound by the board. He paid lip service, and then worked feverishly behind the scenes to avoid fullfilling his obligation.
You say you are not the mouthpiece. Your credibilty has often been staked on your access to Bill. Thank you for clarifying.
Bias. Yes, your words are very biased. You have argued many times that your support for Bill is based on your experience with the seminar ministry, effect in your life and the resulting belief that Bill was called of God for this purpose. This is anecdotal at best, irrelevent at worst. If you could poll every former participant, that would be more compelling. To hold your experience as the litmus test comes off a bit arrogant and dismissive of others. That study would be interesting, along with a study on the 2nd gen ATI families. I personally only know of one family in the program whose parents were raised it as kids. Anyway, I digress because that is anecdotal.
No arguement he was used of God at some point for some purpose. I believe he was. I also believe that rocks and donkeys and heathen kings can be used of God. Just because one is used by God for a purpose doesn’t mean everything they do has divine justification.
Again, Bill, nor you nor I are kings. Rulers of angels, maybe one day. Not here. This becomes an esoteric conversation and fruitless in answering the question of what Bill did/did not and what was the scope of his wrongdoing. It may speak to his intention, but nothing as to what or how bad.
In essence, we are left with a difference of opinion. You, after reviewing the evidence, believe he is not guilty of the charges against him. Many others do not. As a project in introspection, ask yourself, Why would so many people involved in his ministry over its entire span, all bring similiar charges/accusations? You’ve often repeated the arguement that this is because they are lieing, greedy or bitter, or they are being used to destroy the work of “a man of God”, by which I assume you regard them as agents of Satan or at least being used to advance his agenda.
That’s a serious charge. Have you considered that, if these people are Bible believing Christians who claim Christ’s work on the cross as payment for their sins, and you regard them as such agents of satan, you will have to answer for that someday? I am very careful in how I deal with you, because I believe you are one who believes in Christ. However, you have consistently disregarded this consideration when dealing with many hurting people who are simply trying to make sense of all this.
This significantly detracts from your credibilty. Bill is viewed as doing no less, and when you support him in this manner, it simply reinforces how many view him. It does not persuade or convince. The theme (though you seem to be thawing) is that you have to be right on every point and willing to do/say/be as harsh as neccesary to get your point across. Believe/disbelieve the charges as you will. To treat fellow believers in the manner you have is inexplicable.
And that is not the point. It goes back to the challenge that Bill MUST have a Board and take direction through the Board. By chain of command he had no choice.
That is strange since my access to Bill came about because I – then a nobody, still a nobody – started pursuing fully balanced answers long, years before Bill could identify me by name or face. How a perspective about Bill can be considered valid with no input from Bill seems unfathomable.
Haha! Not to me it’s not.
That is so demeaning to me and so many others that have been blessed by Bill’s ministry over 50 years.
Bible says something different, already quoted.
“And HATH MADE US kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” (Revelation 1:6)
What are these similar accusations? Not a soul said anything about “footsies” until Recovering Grace started promoting this possibility. Think about that. 49 years, even in 1980, no footsies. I have continually asked anyone I know to tell me about “footsies”. You saw me plead on this site for stories. I have one woman who experienced “foot tapping” as she called it. Completely nonsexual . . . AND something she observed on at least one male assistant. See . . . *I* think there is a lot of active imagination going on with 20 year old recollections.
Absolutely! I think there are a number of individuals who have a lot to answer for to the One I call Lord. That is solemn all the way around.
“That is so demeaning to me and so many others that have been blessed by Bill’s ministry over 50 years.”
So Alfred you are saying that when God used the Babylon Empire to take the Israelites captive in 597 BC it was demeaning? Or when God used to Assyrians and other empires to punish the unrepentant Israelites it was demeaning. Or the Romans destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Titus and the Diaspora of the Jews which lead to the spread of Christianity. How about Hitler and the holocaust which lead to the foundation of the modern state of Israel and the filament of Prophesy. Or the Crucifixion of our Savior who died for our sins, God will use the wicked to bring the lost to Him.
“Bible says something different, already quoted.
“And HATH MADE US kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” (Revelation 1:6)”
Alfred there are several versions of the Bible including the English Standard Version, NIV and American Standard Version that would disagree with your KJV. They choose the word KINGDOM not King and that we are priest in that kingdom not kings. When the verse is taken in the whole context of verses 4-8 it has a different meaning as it is talking about Jesus.
Rev. 1:4-8, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail[c] on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.””
“What are these similar accusations? Not a soul said anything about “footsies” until Recovering Grace started promoting this possibility. Think about that. 49 years, even in 1980, no footsies. I have continually asked anyone I know to tell me about “footsies”. You saw me plead on this site for stories. I have one woman who experienced “foot tapping” as she called it. Completely nonsexual . . . AND something she observed on at least one male assistant. See . . . *I* think there is a lot of active imagination going on with 20 year old recollections.”
Alfred we have been talking about lap sitting, sitting next to him in the car, hands on hands on legs, holding hand, touching and late night visits to his cabin for 35+ years. If you would have done an internet search before RG you would have found those things and more. There is not an active imagination but there is 40+ years of unrepentant sin and covering sin by Bill, the Board and his minions. The only difference it God allowed RG to bring the complaint to a central hub to show a lifelong pattern of behavior and sin.
“Absolutely! I think there are a number of individuals who have a lot to answer for to the One I call Lord. That is solemn all the way around.”
I think you have no idea how awful it will be and only God’s grace and what He did that will save us as so illustrated in Matthew 23:1-12, “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi[b] by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
This shows Bill for what he is a prideful Pharisees!
No . . . but saying, as the Babylonians and Assyrians did, “God never loved you and worked through you!”, THAT would be demeaning. And wrong. And accountable to God, who judges those that declare a work of God to be a work of Beelzebub.
Back to us. Those saying such things like these fine Pharisees and their helpful advice to the man born blind: “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) You know, God can use sticks, stone, donkeys and evil people . . . “Give God the glory!”
So . . . are you prepared to accept your role as a priest of the Most High God, now? Pretty cool, you and I are the most important people on earth. But, then again, we report directly to the One Who runs everything:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . .” (Matt. 28:18-19)
So . . . we are commanded to – with “all authority” – to go into every nation and make disciples. We wield more authority than the kings there . . . so that is at least a king, if not better than a king.
And what about 1 Cor. 6 that says that because we are going to wisely judge angels one day, we – the least among us – are smart enough to decide thorny issues of life that would confound the judges of earth.
This is now.
We hear many things that seem to evaporate into nothing when we shine a lot of light on them. Hard to know what to believe. Like that “late night visits to his cabin” thing . . . who said that? The only account that was clear enough to investigate ended with the witness declaring it never happened.
But, for the record, did you, Larne, hear Ruth or any other woman ever speak about “footsies” in relation to Bill? If not, you have made my point.
You write concerning the scope of board authority and authority in general:
” If there is not authority that is given jurisdiction over him in a certain area, he is free to operate as the Lord, his conscience dictates”
Don’t disagree with this in the slightest. Absolutely agree. The challenge is this: “what is the jurisdiction of the authority”. It is the question of scope and boundary. This has always been the debate with the whole idea of the “chain of command”. I am confident that for most of the masses, Bill would define this very broadly. Example, a 21 year old child paying his own way to college, paying his own room & board, etc. Does the parent have the authority to say “change your major, change your school, etc” Or is does the parent have the positions of advice and council? Is the parent the voice of God or is the parent a voice of council and concern. Big difference. I think Bill would say the 21 year old son is still under the chain of command and therefore the parent speaks for God.
On the contrary, what I consistently hear you say is that the boards of IBYC and IBLP have a very narrow scope or boundary of authority leaving Bill great latitude for independence. This might be appropriate for many. However, given his message one would think he would define the scope of his Board’s authority very broadly. That he would invite them or welcome a breadth of scope and boundary. However, in his actions and from what you are advocating, we see this as a very narrow scope. It is the classic “don’t do as I do, but do as I say”.
Well, Scripture demands that we “rightly divide” it. So . . . what does the Bible say about parental authority?
“Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:3)
That word “man” is the Hebrew “Ish” . . . nothing else but a grown man. And we have pointed out that Jacob “obeyed his father and his mother” (Gen. 18:7) at age 75 . . . let alone that Jesus submitted himself to his parents. It is a command repeated in the NT, even citing the promise of long life and prosperity for those that do this.
I see NOTHING like that for any other authority. I mean . . . you can change governments, at times you have to disobey the government . . . you can change jobs . . . in our day you can change churches . . . but where do you find a “Board of Directors” spoken of in that way? Oh, right, there is no such authority structure in Scripture.
So is it your thinking that the authority of the parent, as in must obey the parent, for as long as the parent is alive? Or does the nature of the relationship change at some point to counsel and advice all the while maintaining respect of the parental position?
I have visions of a middle age man calling his mother to see if it is OK to go out and play….
All I did was quote Scripture. You wonder at the middle age man calling his mother . . . after I cite Jacob as a 75 year old taking full direction from both parents.
But, yes, I see all that you said in there. I decry the demands that some parents put on adult children . . . not healthy. But you will have to admit that there is a reverence for parents that Scripture supports that is quite foreign to the modern mind. Frankly I haven’t figured it all out. I am quite clear that once a man or woman is married, “leave and cleave” means just what it says. Of course, the “leaving” can be into another room “in my father’s house” 🙂 . . . as long as the wife has her own world to rule without interference.
I’m glad we can have a candid conversation!
1. Clear scriptural prescriptive for authority of board. To my knowledge (I’m no scholar), there is none specific to what we’ve agreed on would strickly address what we are summarizing as a “para-church” entity.
However, there is no such imperative on many subjects, including rock music. Its very disengenious for a defense of Bill to demand so.
1.A. Bill made a livelihood out of stringing together scriptures and outputting a “here’s what it means” series of teachings. In his organization he deliberalty cultivated an environment of adherance to this “higher” or “hidden” set of derived standards. To come back now and say: I want a specific bible verse before I submit to this authority is very challenging to reconcile with the entirety of his life.
1.B. He and his organization benefited greatly from this teaching methodology in the form of subscribers, and his oft repeated mantra of an independent board of directors and annual finacial audits from independent companies gave an air of accountability that he now seeks to say he had no scriptural imperative to adhere to. So, if he did not believe this, or worked to mitigate the board’s true authority over him, that is misrepresentation at best, fraud at worst.
1.C. There is relatively clear model for “traditional” church structure, at least at the local level. If one is operating “outside of the margins” wouldn’t it be prudent to take that as at least a model to emulate? Would that be wise and foreseeing an evil and hiding oneself?
2. God can use a rock, donkey, or heathen king. If you felt I was referring to you or anyone that feels they were helped by Bill, that was not my intention. A clear extension of the phrase would point to Bill, not a follower of him. However, if you feel like I’m insulting the intelligence of said followers, again, not my intent. The larger points are that God alone is sovereign in whom He chooses to use for His purposes, and that because someone/something is used by God for a specific purpose, does not mean that everything they do is divinely inspired.
So to argue that because God chooses to use a mortal man (which again I believe at some point and for some reason God allowed him to gain the standing he did) doesnt make the man any less mortal. He is still judged on the merits of his actions.
In conclusion, to argue that as a man used of God, he is infallible, and any opposition is because it is opposition to the work of God is impossible to proove, and defies both logic and Scripture.
3. We are kings. I personally do not dwell on the idea that we are/will be kings. I am too well aware of my own fallibility, and I know I would take that to a place of overlaying divine overtones on myown will, but rhat is me. :). In the verse you cite, it follows that up with “unto God”. To make a leap to “I can behave the way I want because I’m in training to be a King” or “I am a king and answer to no-one” is incredibly dangerous and implies an authoritarian view of royal authority, and ignores the army of scripture that teaches us to be the least, to wash feet,to help the most vulnerable,and to be always aware we may stumble.
No more or less so than the many demanding that Bill be under a Board (back atcha). Point being . . . let that man preach. If you demand such accountability from him, apply it to yourself first.
That is almost funny. Because, you see, we just don’t see him doing that. His teaching is crystal clear. Nothing “hidden” about it. “Higher”, perhaps, in the sense that spiritual things are higher than earthly things . . . spiritually discerned . . . not intelligible to the “natural man”, which is anyone living by their five senses and human reasoning.
Again, never forget you are talking to . . . yours truly . . . not Bill. Bill may have a completely different spin on things than I do.
But, again, if the Board were controlled by Bill, would he not still be President?
I dunno. Should the government or business or the family operate like a local church? How about a union? If it is not a church, should it be governed like a church? Some “para-church” organizations operate a lot like a business . . . some like a family.
I keep looking around . . . WHO believes Bill to be infallible? My point: I don’t have to be infallible to have authority over a jurisdiction that God has given me. We believe that Bill received the ministry from the Lord and, infallible or fallible, it was ultimately his responsibility to govern it.
And why am I suddenly thinking of that “dangerous” notion that no matter what we do, we will still be in heaven . . . grace will never fail, the blood will cover all sin? You see, such a notion is deemed OK by virtually all of Bill’s detractors. It is no more dangerous to believe that a saved child of God can govern himself under Jesus direct authority than that a sinful man can be given a completely sure “Get out of jail free” card with respect to past, present, AND future sin. Agreed?
I appreciate your ethusiastic response, and there’s a couple points we are probably so far off on its a fruitless conversation.
1. I wrote that Bill made a livelihood out of piecing together scripture and arriving at a “here’s what it means” teaching, and it is contradictory with this methodology to now demand a specific scripture addressing the board’s authority.
– I could not glean anything from your words whether you agreed or disagreed with this. You responded with a statement stating your observation on others’ actions, and followed it with a tasking for me. Assuming others are wrong, you in essence saying “those others are wrong so they can not accuse Bill of being wrong” and then procede to task me with something to do, implying that I am doing something wrong. My actions (which I’m curious as how you know what they are) or the actions of others are independent of Bill’s.
2. Your final statement. Again, I’m not sure of your position on the statement I made. Your answer indicated that “virtually all Bill’s detractors” believe something just as dangerous.
– How do you know what beliefs are held by “virtually all of Bill’s detractors”?
– The statement you claimed as dangerous is very true and the hope of millions of Christians. We are Christians and have hope of eternity precisely because no matter what we do the Blood covers all, and Grace will NEVER fail.
I’m concerned that you hold this beautiful hope and central theme in our faith as “dangerous.” perhaps you are saying you believe some abuse this grace and use it as justification for continuing to intentionally sin. The Bible is clear some will do that.
However, I’m not clear from your response whether you agree or disagree with the idea that an eye towards future royal authority unto God can be misused by our infallibilty, and whether it is equally important to hold as worthy goals that we should be a servant of all, to follow Christ’s example in washing feet, to help the least of these, etc.
Correction, that should be abused by our FALLIBILITY…
I disagree that Bill did that. I believe I said that several different ways. I also said several times that I, anything but a mouthpiece for Bill, am the one demanding a Scriptural basis for demanding that Bill be under the authority of a Board of Directors. So, see, I WAS clear 🙂 It would be helpful if you could acknowledge our disagreement on the first part, and, if you can find no such Scripture, acknowledge that I am not on a poor Biblical footing for not caring so much about accusations of Bill not being “under authority”.
Do you disagree that virtually all of Bill’s detractors believe that his treatment of grace is not “gracious” enough? That grace is “unmerited favor” to all without, well, merit of any kind, as opposed to his definition that finds more grace given in response to what we do or do not do? And that a primary point made is that Bill does not trust Christians with the freedom of “grace”, so demanding rules to keep them in line?
I guess I felt I was clear that the servants of the Lord can and emphatically should be trusted to execute His will through them without human oversight. Because we are “kings and priests” or a “kingdom of priests”, children of God, servants of the Most High . . . and because no one can find any Scripture to demand otherwise . . . outside of the local church, that is . . . and even there are exceptions. I indirectly challenged the ECFA to Scripturally defend their primary point demanding this, which they did not do well on their website. Practically, I get it . . . but, again, common sense has a limited role in the matters of the Kingdom of God. Indeed, God’s ways more typically oppose our “common sense” inasmuch as that “sense” is grounded in this age as opposed to the spiritual realm.
And, again, please do not blame Bill for what I say here. I have not discussed this with him . . . and have found that he often is less interested in such sword fights and more in “what works” to stop secondary issues like this – to Board or not to Board – from derailing his primary calling and ministry.
But you will have to admit that there is a reverence for parents that Scripture supports…
I think the heavens are opening and the angles are doing a dance. Finally something that we agree on. Yes, scripture clearly support the honor of parents. I take it you believe that the authority of parents, as in “I must obey them” continues on until they get married. We can debate that, but the basic thrust of scripture we probably agree – parents are to be honored.
So in your view, when does the dynamic of the relationship change? It sounds like we both would agree that it would be odd, if not unhealthy, for a adult male (or female) to be asking his mother permission to “go out a play”. When does the dynamic of the relationship change from me (or you) as children required to obey our parents, to one where we honor our parents but we are not bound to obey them? I don’t see Abram asking his father permission to leave, nor do I see David asking his father if he can go out and fight Goliath, nor do I see Paul asking his parents for permission to become a missionary, nor do we see any of the disciples asking permission to follow Jesus, nor do we see any of the prophets first asking their parents permission to “speak”. So somewhere between finishing our toilet training and becoming an independent adult the relationship changes. How or when do we see that happening in your view?
Brother, please tell me what you think :-). I don’t know. How is that for an answer?
I find the Scriotures I cited hard to ignore. I also have seen examples of parenting of adults that I know is wrong. 40 plus year olds asking permission to do things. Parents blocking marriages of 30 plus year olds. Much maligned Mike Pearl has been out front on that, essentially demanding that those that in that position move on with or without approval – he defied his own father on choice of a seminary, with his father later honoring him for that move. And Bill has said often, “You can disobey and be honored for it – you can obey and be disposed for it.”
I just don’t know how to answer your question.
1. As you say you do not speak for Bill, I do not speak for anyone other than myself. I can not agree or disgree with them.
1. Whether you present it, or Bill presents it, a demand for a specific scripture to justify the authority of the board is disenginuous in light of his methodology. Do I take your “I disagree that Bill did that.” to mean that you disagree that it is Bill demanding this defense, or you disagree with the summation that Bill’s methodology is in conflict with a demand for a specific scripture justifying a board? I am perfectly willing to agree that Bill is not demanding such a defense. I’m still unclear on your position on the claim.
2. What do you mean by common sense?
I do disagree! I don’t think you are listening to him as opposed to your prejudices. “Twisted Scriptures” and all. If you want to walk down one or more of those pathways with me to see if we can connect, I am game to keep trying.
Lol. Alfred. I wish you well with your belief in Bill’s teaching. I do. I hope you find what you are looking for in it.
My conscience is clear that I tried.
Thanks, Dave :-). 40 years into this I do appreciate deeply all I have learned from Bill.
Brother, please tell me what you think :-). I don’t know. How is that for an answer?
At last. It is a wonderful answer. I see nothing wrong, in fact I see great value in the “I don’t knows”. Can’t say I know either but I do believe that while the mandate to honor parents is clear, we are not told the exact nature of what this means. In Eph Paul says to obey and then he says to honor. You cited scriptures of men obeying their fathers even into very old age. Does this mean the example you cited is prescriptive for all or just the narrative conveying a cultural norm. As I said, I don’t see David asking his father permission to go flight Goliath. Nor do I see Jesus asking Mary for permission to change the water into wine. But we do see him honoring her even as he was dying by making sure she was cared for – by John.
The earlier example of a young man paying his own way through college and his father telling him to change his major just days before the start of classes was me. My father had lunch with Bill Gothard, who told my father I would lose my salvation if I stayed with my course of study. So I changed the major. I was paying my own way, living on campus, and working to pay for it all. Dad was clear, college was on me. In retrospect, I should have (respectfully) said “since I am paying my own way I shall make the decision of my major, but I appreciate your concern”. I do not know what the outcome would have been, but looking back, it was a pivotal moment that changed the entire course of my life. I don’t know for better or for worse but it changed the direction of my life in significant ways.
But this also gets to the heart of Bill’s use and misuse of authority.
Thank you for your testimony, Dan.
Is that a tad of hyperbole? Since I do not believe Bill believes it is possible to lose your salvation. And without specifics of what might have concerned him and absent a testimony on your part or your father’s part that it was bad advice, I am not sure I am left with an example of “Bill’s use and misuse of authority”. Is that fair?
Since . . . it is clear that God DOES direct young people, even young adults through their parents. You have essentially acknowledged that that does happen, even if you allege it does not happen in every instance. In 75 year old Jacob’s case, absolutely so, cultural norms or no.
You are making a claim that Bill was under no biblical mandate to obey his board of directors other than in the very narrow confines of state mandated legal requirements. This actually may be true. Since there is no biblical model for a para-church organization one has to assume that the structure for authority would mirror that of a local church – much like Paul going out under the authority of the church at Antioch.
However, there are several problems with this, some which I have already articulated:
1) Bill thought for 50+ years the notion that God speaks to us through our authority and that authority is a principle of life that is unalterable. Given this, a simple person might just conclude that Bill would voluntarily want to model this via his board. Instead, as you so eloquently point out, he used his board to “help” him carry out his own objectives. This is in contrast to the requirement or value espoused by ECFA that a board be “independent”. As I have said, it is the classic “don’t do as I do, do as I say”.
2) The practical reality is that one man holding all the power of a corporation worth tens of millions of dollars in assets is dangerous. Sure, there may be examples in history of men with this power holding and wielding it well. History is also replete with men who could not hold it well at all. This is more the norm. Without a history lesson, I think I am safe in saying that secular history and church history can be seen inside the wrecking yards of too much power in the hands of too few. Even the preacher who wrote Bill’s first investigative report noted that staff gave personal power to Bill and this was the cause of their abuse. I also wrote to him and said it was a requirement for employment.
3) You write: “The use of ministry resources would involve the Board…” Well, hate to tell you, that there is little a corporation can do that does not impact financial resources. Bill needs a new shirt and tie and he drops a hint at a seminar and a secretary goes shopping and buys him a new shirt and tie. Guess where the money came from? IBYC! She bought the shirt and tie and then seminar funds reimbursed her for the expense. Think he ever claimed this on his 1040 form or reimbursed the corporation for the shirt and tie? Highly doubtful. An invitation is offered to a minor to come to headquarters and work. Was this the corporation or was it Bill? If the corporation paid for the transportation to and from and the corporation paid the salary, they that relationship is one governed by the corporation and therefore the board of directors.
This is why for you or Bill to state the Board was only there to help and only had jurisdiction over a very narrow, state required, scope is just just ludicrous. A corporation the size of IBYC and IBLP requires money to operate. Furthermore, this is why a simple person might assume Bill would model submission to authority because his personal behavior can have an enormous impact on revenues. Just a guess, but I would bet that donations to IBLP has dried up to a trickle.
Not ANY authority, Dan, but that associated with the “first commandment with promise”, obedience and reverence for parents. When has he stated that the government, the employer, or even the church are the channels of God’s direction like parents and grandparents are?
And I emphatically disagree – again – that “para-church” should be structured like a church. You are making this up. I mean, a marriage is a holy bond, just like the church, with the husband and wife playing out the role of Christ and the church. Would you take that connection to mean that your choice of spouse must follow the guidelines of deacons or overseers, or that you “put out” children that fail in certain ways, to not eat with them? Oh, a great one, must she be silent in your presence, like she is commanded to be in the church meetings?
I guess I should not presume on your answers. In any case, as stated previously, some para-church organizations extend out of a given family and function a lot like that . . . and SOME are very much like secular employers. Folks have demanded that IBLP be run like a “corporation”, CEO and all . . . how does that work, making it like a church? Or was that not your idea?
“Not ANY authority, Dan, but that associated with the “first commandment with promise”, obedience and reverence for parents.”
Yes, this is the issue, is it not? What is the scope of authority? What are the boundaries of corporate, civic, church, and parental authority? We have all seen some rather bizarre practices. Church leaders that approve or disapprove marriages. Civic authorities who want to step in and raise our children for us. Corporations who want to break up marriages because these can get in the way of production. Even fathers who believe it is their right to change their minds about who their children marry moments before the walk down the aisle.
So what is the scope or boundary of the founder and president of a major christian nonprofit over his staff? Does it include superseding parental authority by telling single females to break off relationships that have already been approved by her parents. Does it include giving advice to married staff about when they should have sex with their wives? Does it include authority over single staff on who they date or do not date? Does he even have the authority to determine dating rules that govern the personal lives of his single staff when they are clearly of age and are living independently from their parents? Can he dictate whether they buy new cars or used cars? Does he have the authority to call them into work on a Sunday afternoon so that he can get an important letter out to his followers?
From your earlier comments I take it you would vote on limiting the scope and authority of of the founder and president and that the “chain of command” is really limited to parental authority. I believe you are correct in this thinking. We might disagree on some of the details but I sense that we both agree that the “chain of command” is limited and not all encompassing. However, having worked with your boy Bill for several years and experienced his sense of authority, his view is quite the opposite. He liked to claim that he could and should dictate who dated whom because parents transferred their authority to him when their children went to work for him.
Unfortunately, when he had the opportunity to protect his single female staff from the sexual harassment of his little brother he abdicated to his corporate self interest and “forgot” that his brother had tried to grope female staffers and he had no problem about superseding parental authority and telling his single female staff to break off a relationship as a condition of continuing employment.
Not at all. But he can provide all the counsel he wishes. Applies to all possibilities you raised.
Well, did they? That is the question. If they did, then they should respect that.
“Is that a tad of hyperbole? Since I do not believe Bill believes it is possible to lose your salvation…”
Well, since I was the subject of the statement and since I was the one who had to change his declare major and course of study two weeks before classes started – no it is not. You also correctly point out that the theology of “losing salvation” because of a choice of school or course of study is pure Biblical nonsense. I think the words of Jesus are clear: … no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” However, Bill feels theologically about the doctrine of eternal security his language and practice was that the wrong course of study or the wrong school would cause a student to “lose their salvation”.
You got me confused. What exactly did he SAY? “Your son will lose his salvation if he does not switch majors” . . .?
And I emphatically disagree – again – that “para-church” should be structured like a church. You are making this up.
First, I do not know what you are referring to when you claim I am “making this up”. Your statement condemns me as a lair without any basis in fact. Nor does your statement say exactly what you are accusing me of lying about. This blog would be a lot more civil if you could control your urge to call people names or judge them to be liars.
You might also read my comments with a bit more care to detail. I have not said a para-church organization has to be structured like a church. What I have said, is that para-church organizations that I have been evolved with, even the position of board chair, which desires to be biblically aligned and take seriously the role of governance are left with few models. Either the founder/president does every thing he or she wants and the governance of the board minimal or the board functions more like a body of elders in a local church or they function like a corporate board of directors. Governance models are actually rather few.
What I have argued for, is that the simple lessons of history, both secular and church, are abundant with examples of too much power being in the hands of too few is a disaster waiting to happen. Given this, one can only wonder why Bill would be so reckless with his own power and not move to limit it with a truly independent board of directors. Instead he wanted a board who’s primary purpose was to do the state’s bidding, and “help” him achieve his goals and objectives. As I have stated elsewhere, my experience is that those men who place the greatest demands on their staff to obey, are also the ones who are the first to say “it does not apply to me”. It is the classic “don’t do as I do, do as I say”.
You keep insisting that church rules be applied to “para-church” . . . That is made up out of whole cloth.
Again, what are you looking at? I think you are taking a few exceptions to establish your prejudices. Bible, bible, bible, give me Bible.
Folks have demanded that IBLP be run like a “corporation”, CEO and all…
I have no idea how IBLP was run. But I have a pretty good sense of how IBYC was run. I also have an MBA in international business with more letters I can stick behind my names and enough certifications that I can paper the wall of my office with them. IBYC was as much like a corporation as I have seen. I have been self employed, worked for regional firms and large publicly traded enterprises. IBYC was as corporate as any of them except that the secular corporation actually had ethical guidelines that were taken seriously.
So, again, the IBLP I have known is not like that at all. Very flat management structure. You must know that Bill believes that the advice Moses father-n-law gave him – of a typical top-down management plan, lots of levels, was wrong and why Moses lost the hearts of the people. That being the case – and I heard that in the late 1970s – I am wondering at how the corporate structure you saw worked.
You keep insisting that church rules be applied to “para-church” . . . That is made up out of whole cloth
No I am not. What I have stated repeatedly if you would read more carefully is that the closest thing to a biblical model of organizational governance is the local church. The only other option is the model where one man has 100% control. You are free to use this if you like, but as I have also said repeatedly, history shows this to be a dangerous option and membership in ECFA pretty much excludes this for large organizations such as IBLP.
Somehow I don’t think Paul or any of the disciples could have every envisioned a formal organization that generates millions of dollars in sales, employs dozens and dozens of people, and where the president flies around the world in both private and commercial jet airplanes – all while serving Jesus. I say this with a bit of “tongue in cheek” (this mean a little joke) but I am not sure even Jesus could have envisioned this sort of organization.
We are like ships passing in the night 🙂 In any case, if like a church . . . where is the CEO and all that that I thought you were favoring? Sexual harassment training? Punching a clock, overtime and all?
But I see no problem with a man having 100% control. George Muller and others have done so well at it. It is – again – no more dangerous than trusting a man with the message of grace, essentially a “get out of jail free card”. For the unregenerate man, bad news . . . for the believer, there is desire and power let alone the Lord’s discipline to make it happen. Not so scary.
Again, what are you looking at? I think you are taking a few exceptions to establish your prejudices. Bible, bible, bible, give me Bible.
Well you might try reading a history book. What happens when too much power is in the hands of too few? The American revolution was fought so that power was dispersed. Even the founding fathers had figured this one out.
You seemed enamored with the bible. This is good. Wish you could use it in such a way that you did not stretch it beyond its intent. Case in point, your declaration that Mark 9:38 is a reference to para-church or as you call it para-Jesus. As I have stated repeatedly, when you lift a phrase or verse out of its surrounding context you can make it say anything you want. Which you do with rather wild abandon. So if you want the bible?
Give me chapter and verse of what gives the president of a large non-profit the privilege to go against the approval of a father and mother and tell their daughter she must break off a relationship as a condition of employment? Give me chapter and verse that allows that same president to conveniently forget when he is told that is brother and COO is sexually harassing his female staff? (There actually is a verse but it is beyond a stretch.)
If God is in what you say, then I will have Bible, now won’t I? And America has prospered not so much because of a superior form of government, but because she feared God.
Well, I can’t stop you from saying that – well, hehehehe, I guess I can – but you would honor me be pointing out what I missed. Let’s try one more time: Official lines of authority in the church = Christ as head, His apostles and elders carrying out His wishes. Someone comes along who was not in the daily briefings, who did not take direction from the disciples let alone Jesus in a physical, earthly sense . . . yet was carrying on a ministry that complemented and supplemented what Jesus was personally directing. Disciples said, “Bring him to heel” . . . Jesus said, Let him go, doing a good work.
What part of “para-church” am I missing here! It is like you are not even trying. And then to endure these slurs – at least you did not say “Scripture Twisting”.
Wait! President of a large non-profit?! I thought this was like the church, not like a corporation. I digress.
Well, I could cite this: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (1 Cor. 4:15-16) Now Paul was no parent . . . but he sure sounded like one.
OR . . . I could say, “Anybody can offer hearty counsel to those they care about. The young person, working with their parents, would still need to decide whether to heed that counsel or no.”
Huh? So we are all in agreement that is a bad idea.
You write based on Mark 9:38
What part of “para-church” am I missing here! It is like you are not even trying.
Frankly, I cannot even imagine how you go from the disciples being threatened by someone doing ministry in Jesus name that is not a part of their little click, to this is an example of governance of a para-church ministry. The chasm you are bridging is somewhat like the Grand Canyon but I think you leap at your own risk. Maybe you can convince me if you could find a few verses that actually address governance models of what we might recognize as major organizations with large assets, paid staff, requirements from the government for healthcare, etc (not a one man traveling show).
:-). How about starting with it being a precise example of a para-church ministry per se? If you follow our endless thread the discussion started with denying that such ministries have a Scriptural foundation. Are we at least in agreement that this interchange settles that?
You write concerning the non-corporate – corporate understanding of IBYC and IBLP…
Those that work for Bill note how crazy flat the organization is. Basically everybody reported to Bill…. everybody knew that you really worked for one man. He was discipling you . .
The term “corporate” is actually not well defined. I believe it is one of those words that can be thrown around, usually in a disparaging way, to describe all kinds of evil. However, layers of management is not a defining component of the term, in my view. There are very successful corporations that are very flat. There are others that are very hierarchical and still very successful. The US Marine Corp (though not technically a corporation) is very hierarchical yet they train their solders to operate in a very flat environment. they are also extremely successful in carrying out their mission.
I would use the term to “corporate” (somewhat in the disparaging way) to describe an organization that is very centralized, has a high sensitivity to its brand and will defend its brand aggressively, has a strong focus on the financial bottom line, and see people more as assets to be utilized than human beings that need to be developed. Personally, I don’t see all of this as totally bad. I have no problem with Bill’s understanding of his financial bottom line. When I worked for him, I saw him as very good at expecting fair compensation for value received. This was a first in a christian non-profit. Frankly, I still think this was brilliant. Bill was also very aware of his brand and corporate branding was critical for him. Again, I don’t think this is all bad. Nor do I have a problem with a centralized org structure where everyone reports to the CEO. I think it is stupid (and the very antithesis of what a disciple maker does) but if that is the way he wants to do things as the CEO it is well within his right (unless the board thinks otherwise).
The problem, as you very eloquently describe (“everyone reported to Bill)” is often referred to as a “spider” organization. All the web of the organization leads to one man. Consequently, when the spider dies, the entire web of the organization dies with it. You have described him and his thinking well. In my judgement, this is the ultimate statement of narcissistic leadership.
And I am not sure how you arrive that that conclusion. In fact, regular, daily, constant personal 1-1 interaction is a hallmark of discipling. Maybe you can clarify.
As you likely know, Bill took much from this account in Exodus 18:
“13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. . . . ”
Whereupon Moses took his advice and created a corporate hierarchy of those that created “rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens” . . . and THEN, if the guys at the top couldn’t figure it out, they would go to Moses. So he could relax . . . and manage at a high level. Bill stated many times that this was the reason Moses lost the heart of the people . . . losing the personal touch. This was the reason for the “flat” organization.
You question how I arrive at the conclusion that an organization with one person at the head is the antithesis of disciple maker. 2 Tim 2:2 is the classic verse:
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
The point being, the biblical model of discipleship is multiplication – one disciples another, who does the same. Very quickly no one has ever heard of the original guy, (except for Jesus).
Also, I do remember Bill talking about Moses and how his structure of organizational authority was wrong. Not that God ever told him anything different… But this begs a larger question: how is it that Bill could presume that Moses failed because he lost the “personal touch”? Maybe it was not so much the leadership of Moses, but it was the people? Maybe it was because the heart of man is deceitfully wicked. Do we see anyone in scripture who was successful at turning the hearts of men toward God for more than a handful of years? Yes, we see a few, but the turning always seems rather temporary. This seems to be the whole subject of the major and minor prophets. Wait, isn’t this the subject of the entire Biblical? In the biblical narrative we do not see the hearts and minds of people turning to God in a large scale until the very end of Revelation.
Finally, I would think Bill’s approach to leadership (everything comes to and through “me”) might cause you to wonder about the success of that. In 1980 7 young christian women had to stand before their families and co-workers and confess their sexual relationship with Bill’s brother and hand picked COO. Did Bill lose the personal touch and that is why he failed to remember that many had told him explicitly how and where his brother was touching them? Maybe he was just too busy running the mechanics of the organization to keep track of so many less important issues like the sexual safety of his female staff? Especially after assuming parental authority of his single staff he would have had so many “children” to look after. But then again, Moses could not keep the heart of his millions, why would we think that Bill could keep the heart of his own staff from sin – they just numbered a few dozen? Of course for the last 35 years he has been denying he ever knew about it. So I guess gets to play by his own rules. Rule #1 – I am in charge (and therefore responsible for everything); Rule #2 – when disaster happens, it is somebody else’s fault because I was too busy running the show to keep the little people from doing something stupid.
That counters your point. The discipled ones leave to form their own groups and the “original guy” gets some more to disciple. There is no way to do discipleship in a hierarchy. According to your vision once the first batch is launched, the “original guy” retires.
Of course it is. Which is why the personal touch is vital. Your example of the failure in the 1980s was in fact because the hierarchy was pushing the little guy/gal further and further away from Bill’s watch. Which may be why much of the hierarchy was gone in the time I was more closely associated with IBLP.
And, practically, in the matter of Peor, in the rebellion of Korah, it was these princes, the hierarchy, that led the people astray. So the examples in Scripture would lead in that direction.
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?” (Prov. 27-23-24) <-- Even the big guy at the top needs to know what is going on at the bottom.
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?” (Prov. 27-23-24) <– Even the big guy at the top needs to know what is going on at the bottom
Beautifully stated. Too bad Bill could not have demonstrated this kind of diligence in 1980- when he had the chance. Instead he deflected blame, hired an incompetent man to conduct an investigation that only exonerated himself (Bill), and claimed his innocence for the next 35 years of ever knowing about his brother's sexual harassment. You have just proved exactly what many of us have been trying to say to you. Bill has/was never diligent, was looking out for his own (including corporate) interest, and ignored both warning signs and verbal notification. Both his so call flat corporate structure and his personal leadership failed to protect those who he said were the closest to him (staff) and those who he took upon himself (with or without approval) parental authority.
Bill was well aware of what should have been. One of the comments from him that I recall seeing was the mistake in seeking to hold Steve back from marriage, live like him. Paul said one has this gift (singleness) and another has that gift (marriage). To encourage a person to put off marriage who fits into the latter category is a mistake. That made a lot of sense to me.
And I think you missed my point that things got a lot “flatter” afterwards. I believe that was in direct response to that crisis which came from him being out of touch.
Brother, your point about organizational flattening after 1980 makes sense. Of course a leader will get more engaged once he sees that something caught him flat-footed. And the marriage point is well-taken, too. Many married men will testify that marriage has served to correct some of their imbalances and filled some of their gaps. Perhaps the apostolic few can fly solo, but not I!
One of the comments from him that I recall seeing was the mistake in seeking to hold Steve back from marriage, live like him …
I have never bought the notion that Steve sexually abused multiple single women on Bill’s staff because he was not married. I know bill has spoken this way in the past and I may be putting words into his mouth – a little anyway. But the notion that a man must be married so he has a way of channeling his libido or else he will sexually abuse the staff on his brother’s christian organization is really sort of sick. I do understand that being married can be fulfilling both emotionally and sexually and that is a great blessing, but the idea Steve sexually sexually harassed and abused multiple women because Bill and Mr. Gothard did not allow him to get married is nonsense. I know they even tried to arrange a marriage for him, which I think is even crazier, but that is another story. Please consider the following:
1) What would you think if Bill asked you to give one of your daughters to his brother in marriage because his brother has a history of sexual harassment and just cannot control himself?
2) What does this say about the Gothard family’s view of women in general – primary missin is to fulfill their husband’s sexual requirements?
3) What does it say about men? That we become abusive unless we get our sexual needs met?
4) What does it say about a family when their way of dealing with a sibling with a history of sexual misconduct is to try to get him married off, as if regular sex is going to be his cure?
Frankly, I would hope you, with all your daughters would be able to see Bill’s comments about not letting his little brother get married with a little more objectivity.
Why do I feel like I get pushed into a situation where I have to find reasons to try and defend the Lord. If you don’t like it or think it means something other than what the majority of Christians believe it means, instead of attacking it, explain it, explain Scripture.
“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-3)
How else to read this other than . . . To avoid sex problems, let Steve get married, Bill, instead of getting him to make vows of single service.
I don’t mind answering more pointed questions, but I first want you to address the elephant in the room, 1 Cor 7
Why do I feel like I get pushed into a situation where I have to find reasons to try and defend the Lord.
Well, first of all, if you were just defending the Lord that would be one thing, although I think He is big enough to defend Himself. And I don’t mind at all the relevance of the scripture you mention. I have no problems believing the value and role of emotional and sexual intimacy in both a man’s and woman’s life. It is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Furthermore, God created us to have intimacy with each other and with Him. If we don’t get it from one place, we have a tendency to wonder off to other sources to get it.
However, the situation with Bill’s COO and Sr. VP was not a case of youthful indiscretion, a romance between two believers that got out of hand, or two people that were just at the wrong time in the wrong place and had too much freedom. Nor was it a case of a lonely single man struggling with his needs for intimacy and the solace of a hug from someone he finds attractive. This as a case of long term sexual harassment at a corporate level, using his position and power to seduce, promising marriage to several women (at the same time) in order to get them to bed, having sex in his office, and when it was exposed covering it all up, (maybe the cover up was more Bill’s issue.
This had nothing to do with youthful passions getting out of control or the need for human intimacy and touch. This was abuse of power. So say the problem was not letting Steve get married is only saying he needed a wife to submit to his abuse and then it would have been controlled. Why don’t you try responding to my questions above #1-4? Take a survey of the women you know. Would they agree that their main purpose in life is to be the sexual toy of a man so that he does not wonder off?
By the way, the context of 1 Cor 7 1-7 (as opposed to just 1-3) is about married life and relations between a married man and woman. It needs to be understood within the context of Paul’s entire line of thinking. In my judgement, to say that 1-3 is saying a man should get married to control his libido circumvents the larger and more appropriate context – sexual and emotion intimacy in marriage.
I am a simple fellow . . . “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” To avoid fornication, have a wife. WHAT fornication are married couple avoiding?
This is another area where the Lord sort of . . . Embarrasses us a tad? Maybe humbles us? Why monasteries and vows of celebacy are such bad ideas.
As I have stated repeatedly, I have no argument with the whole idea that Paul is saying it is a good idea for a man to have a wife and a wife to have her man. We are created for intimacy and while some may have a gift where this need is not so great, most of us need the basic intimacy of human emotion, touch, and yes sex. And no I am not embarrassed to say this. For too long, we evangelicals have danced around the whole subject of sex and called it everything but what it is. (I could tell you a funny story about Bill’s mother but maybe a different time).
However, you keep ignoring the real issue – Bill’s excuse for his COO’s sexual abuse and harassment of female staff was that he did not have a wife and therefore was not getting any sex and therefore solution was obvious …. get the man a wife. So as a father of daughters, would you find a proposal for one of them acceptable if Mr. Bill Gothard came for a visit one day with a offer: let one of your daughters marry his brother so he would stop sexually exploiting the secretaries of IBYC and having sex with them in his office?
I have a suspicion, because you love your daughters dearly, that the answer would be obvious – a resounding no and not under any circumstances – no. But from this side of the blog, this is the kind of practical consequence Bill is asking you (and us) to believe – that if his little brother just had his own wife to play with, then he would not be wanting to play with IBYC secretaries. The whole idea is ridiculous, especially in light of Bill’s own teaching – remember 10 steps to moral freedom? Use to be taught on Friday mornings if memory serves. I don’t ever recall any qualification for the application to married people to the exclusion of single people. Besides, if we as staff were running around and having sex with each other at seminars, I doubt we would have lasted very long – either personally or corporately. Also might make some wonder about the validity of the 10 steps at all. but let’s leave that for a different comment.
And, as I have also stated, and been ignored, Bill’s little brother did not so much have a problem with sex as he did with power. When 7 (and that is all we know about) stand up and publicly confess a sexual relationship with the COO and Sr. VP, (and his confession is that he got caught) this is not about sex, it is about the abuse of power. Plain, simple – power.
In that context, no way. Doubt that they went bride shopping under that premise.
In remains that the solution to rampant sexual problems in monasteries and convents might just be . . . Marriage. Working the statistics as an expression of God’s design. Or, put another way, had Steve found himself a bride before he got in trouble, do you think it likely that he might have avoided trouble altogether?
By the way, in the light of the recent lawsuit, were any of the 7 minors? If you recall . . .
No, I don’t think any of them were minors. On the other hand, I am very confident that bride shopping is exactly what the Gothard’s did.
Thanks. Lots of people were panicking at lots of levels. A mess in every direction.
Lawsuit alleged the 7 were “students”. That did not seem remotely right.
Dan’s right they did do bride shopping quite aggressively. It was rather repulsive, but I will not share the details to protect the innocent even if it means protecting the guilty.
Lawsuit alleged the 7 were “students”. That did not seem remotely right.
I would agree. They were not students in the classical sense of the word. However, you did state that Bill was discipling us in an earlier post. So what is a disciple if not a student? Sort of makes one ask the question – in what were they being discipled?
I have in my possessions several deep, heartfelt letters of appreciation from some of “the 7”, post 1980, thanking Bill for pouring Jesus into their lives. That just isn’t consistent with a number of images that keep getting painted authoritatively for me of how bad Bill was for them. They were abused by Steve . . . they did not necessarily blame that on Bill.
They – the 7 secretaries Gibbs calls “students” – also were all adults, BTW. Close to 30 years of age adults. None of them accused Steve of raping them. They were manipulated, deceived . . . but not forced. They unlocked their doors, they met him in hotel rooms (so I heard). The statement in the lawsuit is one of many that are simply blatantly false and misleading. There was an entire multi-million dollar lawsuit in the 1980s dedicated to that hostile work environment that allegedly forced women into sex. As you know, it was dropped before it ever got going. The charges were indefensible.
The charges were indefensible…
I would not be too quick to judge. There were other circumstances that force the lawsuit to be dropped. However, since I was not a part of it, I will not comment further.
The suit being strong pretty much overcomes all of that. Lawyers will make it happen for free. Everybody will get paid. You know the facts of the case. Would a secular jury conclude that IBLP, Inc. in the 1970s fostered a sexually abusive work environment by a preponderance of evidence . . . Vs. a rogue executive? No way.
You write concerning the “7”:
They were manipulated, deceived . . .
Well, at least we agree on this part. Yes, they all adults and fully responsible. They all admitted such. More than Bill’s brother ever did. But as you say they were “manipulated and deceived”. So maybe it was more than just about sex? It was hardly his James Bond chiseled physique. He was habitually overweight. As I have stated, it was power, plain simple power.
Women are not as much into “James Bond” as you may imagine. So, maybe he fit closer to what appealed to them than you think. Power? That sounds like threats, force, fear. That is an aspect that has not been part of any of the accounts I have seen or heard.
Women are not as much into “James Bond” as you may imagine.
I will willingly bow to your experience on this one. You have more women in your life than I do. My reference to James Bond was a bit of a joke. I don’t pretend to be a comedian so maybe I was trying to hard to be cute. The point being that Bill’s brother would never have graced the cover of GQ or any other glamour tabloid because of his dashing good looks.
As for power, power does not have to be associated with threats, force, fear, etc. Jesus is probably the best example of this (in a good way). While He had all the power in the universe he did not exercise that power in a way that would be associated with threats, force, fear, etc. There is a great quote by Napoleon about Jesus being the greatest leader – because he built His kingdom on love rather than force (you’ll have to trust me on the exact quote, it is something close to this).
Colin Powell wrote a book called “it worked for me”, where he talks about kindness as a leadership trait he tried to emulate, both on the battle field (the ultimate exercise of power), and as Secretary Of State.
However, as you so correctly stated about the 7 sexually harassed and abuse women involved in the 1980 scandal: They were manipulated, deceived … so how was it that they were manipulated and deceived? Were they stupid and just willingly took their clothes off because someone asked them to? Did he threaten them with harm if they did not do his bidding? Doubtful. I knew each of them and they were not stupid. He manipulated them with the abuse of his power. I have always considered Bill and his brother as powerful men. Bill walks into a room and everyone stops. He does not have to say a word. Something happens.He can use that power for good, or for ill. Bill’s brother used it for personal gratification at the expense of those women. In my judgement, Bill has probably used his power for both ill and good. Hopefully more the latter. However, I know plenty of examples where he foresaw the judgement of God because someone tried to oppose him (Bill). There are plenty of examples where Bill used his power as a christian leader to instill fear, cause harm, or to buy off some opposition. In many ways, this entire mess is a result of abuse of power. Gets back to our discussion of authority and who was Bill’s authority. Voluntarily seeking the protection (umbrella of protection) of authority can diffuse power and limit its destructive possibilities. In the contrary, Bill and his brother (father too) tried to centralize power and thus they also took on the risk of the abuse of power – which is where Bill is at today. Just my opinion though.
I do find it fascinating the the leadership of Jesus, though holding all the power in the universe, willing gave it away. He gives it to us, to carry our His mission on earth, He gave it to the 72 when he sent them out. Paul writes to the Philippians: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, (one who has no power) ….
Wish I could say the same about several christian leaders I know who’s leadership style is to accumulate power.
I am trying to process this. I am not discounting it, just trying to see what you saw. Sort of a psychological power, force of spirit, personality? Whatever, it is strange. There is much about that time I still do not profess to understand.
Thank you for your frank assessment. I do take your comments seriously even though I disagree with many of your conclusions. The last thing I want to be is a fool.
Thank you for your very honest question,
I suppose if all the books on persuasion were all piled up in one place, the weight of them all would shift the rational balance of the earth. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is one of the classics. During my time at IBYC there was a very successful life insurance salesman who was called “Charlie Tremendous Jones”. His view was that people are motivated by two things – desire for gain and the fear of loss. At a very simplistic level (my simplicity) Bill and each of his brothers know how to use these two desires – gain and fear of loss – to bend the wills of smart and good people. Not long after I left IBYC I was taking a course along these same lines and the instructor said that if anyone can figure out these touch points in another person’s life, they can control them. It stunned me because I had seen Bill and his brother both, in matters of a few minutes, identify where and how they could move a person. Sometimes it was for good, other times not. I saw Bill do this late one afternoon. He hated media interviews but after years of wrangling he finally consented to an interview. I was in an office just outside of his and I could hear and see everything. It took, maybe 5 minutes for Bill to figure this one journalist out, what his touch point was, and the interview was essentially over. Bill took over the interview. I remember thinking something less than complimentary about the intelligence of the journalist. It was really rather amazing. I watched it happen. A seasoned journalists was essentially upstaged and I doubt he even knew what had happened to him. I even doubt if Bill was conscious of what he did.
The point being, from the vantage point of 35 years of hind sight, it was just the cult of personality. Bill is good, really good, really really good at bending the will of someone to his own will. For most of those 35 years I said Bill was cult like, but never crossed the line. However, the further away from him and his logic I am, the more I see him as a really skilled cult leader, and I doubt if he ever once set out to be one. I, along with many others, just fell for his spin. I do not believe for a second that his intent is evil. I also believe that he will never acknowledge, outside of extreme threat to his kingdom, that he has ever done anything of abusive evil to anyone. Yet from where I sit, there is a road that is littered with bodies. Almost by accident, I met one just a few weeks ago. He spent 2 years working Up North at the retreat center. It was one of the training programs. something about fire fighting I think. We had a long talk. He is one of those bodies.
So what was it like to work there during the mid to late 70’s? I had a blast. I was given all kinds of responsibility I was too young to appreciate at the time. However, again with 35 years of hind sight, I should never have gone to work for him.
I saw the video of him speaking at HQ. Tremendous.
Yes, he is! And that is why he got so much done. Getting people to do things they would otherwise not necessarily want to do, but feeling like it was the best thing in the world. Of course it can be used for good or evil. You and I differ on how he used it. I continue to be on the receiving end of the motivation. I study it, especially after I have been motivated. Frankly it remains the mark of great leaders. I watched a documentary on Walt Disney . . . my wife will confirm me jumping up several times and shouting, “That is Bill, that is Bill!” So many similarities . . . not the least of which finding a way to get his people to do that impossible in half the time it took other companies to plan out something ordinary.
Thanks for your, again, frank comments.
Dan, just curious and not really that important – but are you the Dan I used to interact with with Metochoi and some others on the Yahoo boards?
Nope, don’t think so. Sorry
You write concerning a leader’s ability to bend the will of someone he leads:
Yes, he is! And that is why he got so much done.
The kind of leadership when you can move the masses is a rare gift. For the most part, not learned but learning can certainly enhance it. It is also a great power. Jim Jones probably had this kind of power, he used it to convince hundreds to commit suicide and give poison to their children. Bill Graham probably has it. He used it for good and put the structures around him so he could not abuse it. History of full of men and women who used this gift for both good and evil and there are plenty who used it for both.
This is why I find Bill so frustrating. He has this gift. But he could not, has not, applied his own teaching to himself and applied his values on authority to himself and his organization. He chose to be above his need for authority and the safety this brings and now he is reaping the rewards (or the mess).
Please Scripturally ground this “need for authority”. I am not going to disagree that we all need it to one extent or another – we all have to be under the government for starters – but I continue to question this insistence that leaders among God’s people have to run out and manufacture an authority if they are not normally under one. Demanding a “Board of Directors”, for example, that men and women of God have historically not necessarily required to carry out God’s purposes.
I don’t know, why don’t you ask him. He is the one who preached to millions the umbrella of. Protection idea and said authority is a defense against the evils of the world. I’m still waiting for him to apply his own teaching to himself. It is really simple. Just make your own actions consistently with what you preach. He had the opportunity to set up a protection system but then declined it. Why?
Simple. Because too much, unnecessary authority also hampers the work of God.
“Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather . . . Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” (1 Corinthians 7:21,23)
SUBMITTING to one another out of reverence for Christ.
OBEY YOUR LEADERS AND SUBMIT TO THEM, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GOD. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, YOU DOUBLE-MINDED.
When I look at these three passages they scream warning of Bill’s hypocrisy of apply God’s rules to everyone but himself.
Good. Are you submitting to Bill? I do not see him excluded in this passage.
So if the government commands you to abandon your calling from Jesus and no longer preach what He has commanded you, you will obey, right? Or . . . if your church leaders begin embracing a false doctrine and insist you support it, you will comply.
Boy . . . that cuts in every direction. Are you clear of it yourself? I know I am not. That is not an excuse . . . but it does speak to fellow sinners pointing fingers at one another.
I really can’t believe you just said that Alfred. Unbelievable.
I need help identifying what part of what I just said you find offensive, Rob.
Good. Are you submitting to Bill? I do not see him excluded in this passage.
Why would I submit to Bill, he in not currently “anything spiritual” to me and I currently see him as a false prophet of 2 Peter 2 and a false teacher in Titus 1. He is not an Apostle or original Disciple. Only God know if he was called by Him or just called himself. When I was on his payroll I was his employee and I submitted to his employment rules but to not him spiritually. He was not part of my church leadership or those disciplining me. His only interest in me was that I did my job of keeping the airplane out of the trees and staying away from Ruth. He was my employer and I was a good loyal employee, Titus 3. When I saw the sin and hypocrisy of the scandal and I acted with my feet and heart and left the evil of the Institute.
So if the government commands you to abandon your calling from Jesus and no longer preach what He has commanded you, you will obey, right? Or . . . if your church leaders begin embracing a false doctrine and insist you support it, you will comply.
First off, the government is not “commanding” Bill from sharing Christ. We are all called to make more and better disciples for Christ, Matthew 28:18-20. Yet Bill had failed the test of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 which excludes him from Church leadership and to me this would include para-church also. If my church insist I support false doctrine I will leave and find a different fellowship just like I did when I left IBYC, even though it was not a fellowship. The problem I see Bill is the teacher of false doctrine and guilty of Titus 3:9-11 by the reliance of our attempt to obtain God Grace as apposed to Grace being all about what Christ did for us, Titus 3:3-8. He also twisted scripture in an attempt to place himself between God and his employees thus creating the basis of the scandal. Read part of “Ruth Story” and look at the hand written document I found wrote, the last paragraph is chilling;
“”My belief in your dreams, Bill, died long before I left your doors. Yet my soul cannot seem to forget the agony of that death.
Last night, for the countless time, I dreamed of my departure from the Institute. As I walked away, unexpected hands tore at me and pulled away the protection of my clothes as I screamed for help. As I opened my eyes in terror, I was reassured and comforted by the wakeful presence of my dear husband.
These dreams that re-occur off and on are the marks of a soul that remembers and still cries out at the cruel blows that came from the hands of a one-time friend. Bill, true I do not feel bitter, I feel free. Yet the memories must fester somewhere in my soul. They rise in the darkness of night to frighten and trouble my mind. I want to forget and to forgive with my unconscious as well as my conscious self, but something holds me back.
In many dreams I’m confronting you or your family with all the accusations that have never been acknowledged. The grievances cannot rest for having never been recognized and openly dealt with.
Bill, how could one who trusted you so completely live to trust you so little? Young dreams die hard and the dying took ten years of my life. Perhaps, I muse, it is for those years I grieve. I don’t think so, though, for I am wiser for all I learned at your hands. The tragedy is that much of the learning came through the failures of yours and mine alike.
If your soul should lash out at this exposure of mine, I shall not hide. God has strengthened my heart, and I no longer inadvertently begin my prayers with “Dear Bill.” Do you remember being amused at my confession of such actions?””
“Dear Bill” was a inspired by the undying allegiance that Bill demanded of his staff and women who worked around him, Ruth’s vivid recollection of Bill being amused by that confession flies in the face of John 3:30-31, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.” Bill’s amusing is what vs. 31 is talking about as being of the earth and speaking in an earthly way not in a Godly manor. The Institute was about Bill not Jesus!
Boy . . . that cuts in every direction. Are you clear of it yourself? I know I am not. That is not an excuse . . . but it does speak to fellow sinners pointing fingers at one another.
I know where I stand with Christ and I know where I will be in heaven and it won’t be next to St. Peter but on the other side of the railroad tracks reserved for those “just saved” by Grace, I am not proud just a sinner save by God’s matchless Grace. I am not in church leadership because I do not feel I meet that standard and I recognize that. God has call me a sinner to something else. Regarding pointing fingers at one another, in Titus 1:11 Paul is very clear about false teachers and they must be silenced. Since Bill teaches a doctrine that relies on us to obtain God Grace it’s a false doctrine. Then his new revelations (“Inner Brain” ect) that only have been revealed to him are also heresy.
Alfred I stand my ground. What Bill is going through is a result of his action not others. He is not being persecuted but disciplined for his unrepentant sin. He had many chances for the past 40 years and even as recent as two years ago he could have made this all gone away had he acted as we are commanded by God; confess, repent, ask forgiveness and make restitution (not necessary financial). But he chose to continue lying and deceiving those who tried to help him. Now he is dealing with Titus 1:11 and Matthew 18:17.
The Scripture you quotes says we should submit one to another. There is no condition. It is a function of being in the Body of Christ. Just checking to see if you were aware of what you were quoting.
Your point is well taken. In the same way Bill is not somehow duty bound to obey authority that counters what God has told him to do. I am trying to respond to your points, given in ressponse to whether Bill had to obey . . . somebody. It is fine for you to exercise you right to take exception . . . but not Bill?
No more than the orphanages were about George Muller, say. A dominant person directing the show, seeing God do amazing things.
Thank you for sharing that quote from Ruth. There was much there that wrenched and broke her heart. Not all was Bill’s fault, right? She mentions the family . . . and the rest of the family was deeply betrayed by Steve.
I know that. I respect you and you may say so here freely. I disagree. My wife and I and the rest of the team have been in and out of Bill’s home constantly for the past months, down in the nitty gritty, trying to help figure out a solution. We have taken on the task of “recovering a brother”, “entreating an elder” . . . motivating Bill in the directions we felt convicted needed addressing, were lacking. We found a man fully willing to engage us in this. You recall I personally did what I could to actively facilitate the efforts you were focused on, which failed because Bill would not – could not, as he expressed to us – comply with your demand that he confess to sending the 7 abused women to the Northwoods knowing the immortal man Steve was. We have sat alongside him as folks came to see him and he asked their forgiveness for specific areas where he had failed to be all he should have been. There was no matter we came across from the social media or presented to us by the Board that we did not see through to a conclusion. Bill has never refused to engage in a single instance of anything we brought to him in this way.
So unlike yourself we have reached a point where we accept his efforts as genuine see no reason for him to not proceed with whatever God places before him. And, chances are, if you were to examine the facts of the lawsuit, you would agree with me that it is most unjust. The attempt by Absalom to kill his father may have been allowed by the Lord to spank David, but it was still unjust and there was no point where the Lord approved the rebellion . . . and, as you know, He emphatically judged it. Those that sided with Absalom – many deeply and unjustly hurt – where also judged in the harshest way.
Two wrongs do not make a right . . . ever. “Vengence is MINE, *I* will repay saith the Lord . . .” (Romans 12:19) If you are right, the Lord will justly and mercifully deal with it, as He always does. To whatever extent you may be wrong, you will one day regret railing on him.
I wasn’t offended but saying that “too much authority” hampers the work of God” really is a bit of a stretch from what we all know Bill taught which is everyone had to be under authority, not only to “great faith” but have God’s protection. I am incredulous that you of all people would state this.
What about the Scriptures quoted?! That is my proof.
Alfred, the one verse you quoted is taken out of context of the whole. For a die hard committed follower of Bill like yourself and proud of that fact and someone that has admitted more times than not here that you are immersed in all things Bill for 40+ years, to even now say that authority can hamper God’s work sounds like heresy in Gothard land. That is why I am incredulous that you admitted this.
Can we cut to the chase? Three posts later and you still have not told me WHAT about the verses I quoted and the obvious conclusion to draw from them you find onerous. Paul said . . . if you CAN righteously get free of your authorities, you should. Because we are bought with a price and actually report directly to Jesus. That it counters your perspective, that I get. That it is unscriptural . . . still waiting.
“The Scripture you quotes says we should submit one to another. There is no condition. It is a function of being in the Body of Christ. Just checking to see if you were aware of what you were quoting.”
I am very much aware of what I was quoting but the verse assumes true followers of Christ in a local fellowship, not false teachers and prophets. Through out the NT, where my faith is based, there are many references to those teaching a false gospel in fact many of Paul’s letters deal with that. Was Paul telling them to submit to them? I think not! Would you submit to Joel Osteen and his prosperity gospel, or the rants of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, or the healing crusades of Benny Hinn? I will submit to the local fellowship the Lord leads me to. Bill has personally shown me by his actions he is not worthy of any leadership in the Christian Church.
“Not all was Bill’s fault, right? She mentions the family”
Ruth always felt Bill was the heart of the problem at IBYC and the family was the side show and they just mimicked Bill desires. But you are still not addressing the last paragraph on her document, the part where Bill was amused at her starting her prayers with “Dear Bill”. Years latter she was appalled by what she had done and how Bill deception had taken her to that point. She was embarrassed but knew it showed a much darker picture of Bill and his ministry.
….“comply with your demand that he confess to sending the 7 abused women to the Northwoods knowing the immortal man Steve was.”
This is about TRUTH and doing all that Christ commands including repenting and telling the truth. In John 8:31-32. “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If Bill would have done this 40 years ago we would not be having this conversation. Because he failed to do just that, this issues has become a critical point for anything Bill does in the Christianity Community and it immediately eliminates him from any ministry base on 2 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Gary, Ed and Ken confronted Bill and told him in “clear precise words” what his brother was doing. This was the second time that Bill had been made aware of his brother’s actions. Bill knew and admitted it in front of Gary and Norma Smalley, Bill and Joy Wood and myself in Denver. There was no question or pressure regarding the confession, but with Gary’s declining health Bill want to change the narrative of the Denver meeting. Alfred this is want he has been doing since the mid 70s changing the story to suit his needs, not confessing and repenting.
You write about and make a inference and comparison of David and Absalom to Bill is almost sacrilegious, Bill is no David as David took responsibilities of his sins and repented. Bill see himself as David and we see him as a latter Saul.
Lastly I don’t know why you keep trying to compare Bill to George Muller, I know Bill likes him, I have been looking but have not found Muller in the OT or NT yet. He is not a “saint”, Apostle or original Disciple but just a man who rose to the occasion and fulfilled a need. For me my desire is to be more like Christ not George Muller.
I see the humor in it up to the point you tell me it was not humorous. I have said some stupid things in moments of distraction or stress or confusion. I mean, did anyone else “pray to Bill” or whatever you are implying? I have NEVER heard of such a thing. Being as emotionally loaded for you as it is I just didn’t want to get into it.
Because your understanding of the truth and Bill’s understanding differ does not instantly condemn Bill, Larne. There is a point to leave it finally and firmly in Jesus capable hands and move on.
He is an example I know well that counters so much of what folks are demanding that God requires of a man of God. There are lots of other examples. It’s kind of like . . . Did God not speak except just in the last few years to the modern church? Maybe some of this stuff is evidence of why the modern church is stumbling so badly.
…unnecessary authority also hampers the work of God.
From this side of the fence it looks like Bill had way too little. What is the count up to on a charge of sexual harassment – 18? From what Bill has taught for over 50 years, authority is a protection system, it looks like he did not have enough authority. Frankly, it is not an issue of too much or too little authority. It is Bill’s operating system vs what he taught. He taught the value of authority and the protection of that authority from temptation and evil. This is what he taught. Now for him to say he needed freedom from authority because it hampered the work of God… is just unbelievable. Have your or Bill ever considered that the present mess is going to undue his work of the last 50 years? He cannot say on one had that authority is good and will project you from evil and then turn around and say “I am exempt because I have a higher calling”. As you have pointed out in earlier comments, the purpose of gospel is holiness. So I guess Bill thought his work was more important than his holiness.
When you use lies or bizarre definitions . . . 14 is the number of women who put that forward in the lawsuit. “Sexual harassement” is almost entirely – materially – defined by the participant. What is “harassing” to one is welcomed by another. Yes, I work for a Fortune 100 company and I have been through the training, multiple times. For things in the realm of “some are fine with it” the key is what happens in response to a request to stop. There is an overwhelming emphasis placed on . . . reporting. It is NOT just to act like everything is fine – and then roll in 20 years later to claim “harassment”. If this gets to trial, reality will shine its light on the nonsense that has been perpetrated by Recovering Grace for the past 5 or so years. Bill holding on to hands (think “Shepherd of the Hills”) long as he speaks to the heart of a young lady is perfectly fine for some . . . sitting close, tapping feet or shoulders . . . I have spoken to them. To turn him sitting with his legs open into “exposure” leaves me somewhat gasping for breath. And some have embellished some of these accounts to take them from the innocent to something tabloid worthy.
Job’s three friends were full of great advice as they sat in sympathetic judgment on them. In that case they came to deeply regret having opened their mouths to revile him. The Lord is not excited and has everything fully under control. If you are right, eventually I will admit it before you and everything else. Goes both ways.
Like I have said repeatedly, the Shepherd of the Hills analogy is just bizarre. I see absolutely no comparison, none what so ever. Frankly, it just makes you appear as the undying defender that will defend him at any and all cost – regardless. While he may have turned into this man in the last 35 years, this analogy bares no comparison with the Bill I knew prior to 1980.
And if you are comparing Job with Bill, you might want to go back and read the book again. This is what God has to say about the man:
“There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
If you are putting Bill into this same category of man, please let me know – clearly. Simple yes and no would suffice.
Well, after having been endlessly pounded on that there is no righteous way that Bill could be holding hands and gazing into the eyes of young girls I suddenly saw this in a play . . . and was stunned at the correlation. Single, older man, young unrelated woman, he training her in the arts of living, including how to dress and speak . . . and, as an expression of his love and concern, clasping her hand in both of his as he looks into her eyes and speaks to her heart. Which she appreciated and reciprocated. This is really something I dare you to think through, how this is considered wholesome and beautiful and righteous and precious. However you conclude that to be the case, that is how Bill understood his relationship and actions toward the young ladies he counseled.
I do put Bill in that category. I know what he intended to do, I know what he was shooting for, vigorously, dedicating his entire life to it. He was walking by faith, and we are justified by faith – even if the practical expression of our lives in technical terms appears to fall short. I appreciate and anticipate the scorn that will come back in response. But . . . that is the fundamental difference here. The Lord is not confused and He has distinct opinions on all things Bill. To the extent He accepts what Bill attempted to offer to Him of his life, his public confession of Jesus . . . to that extent He will accept and defend him.
I do put Bill in that category..
And yes, this is a fundamental difference. In my judgement, it puts you out so far on a cliff I dare not get close or I will go over too, (forgive the analogy, I was just on a photo shoot in our great southwest and twice I was staring straight down at 1000 ft rock walls, hanging on for dear life, and hoping the wind would not blow from my back).
So if I may, why don’t you consider yourself in this same category as Job? Are you saying you are not as dedicated, committed, hard working etc as Bill? Are you not good enough to warrant the same statement by God?
We are going to get into nuances. Clearly we are differentiated one from another by varying degrees of godliness, things that are used, for example, to separate those qualified for public service in the church from those that are not. But then, again, I read that we are “justified by faith” . . . and walking in the light brings us the daily practical cleansing of our sins to bring our “state” in line with our “standing”, the latter being based on that once-for-all salvation we received the day we first believed. So . . . I am torn how to answer. I can hold my head in shame at times, even as I have seen Bill do, and confess my unworthiness to be a child of God. Yet, I am commanded to trust Him for practical righteousness as I walk in faith, being justified . . . and so I can, with confidence, claim that same category as Job.
Someone not living in faith, that is, deliberately stepping outside of the light and confidence in Jesus, cannot claim that practical righteousness, BTW. Even though their standing – a book with a name in heaven – is unaffected.
Dan, just curious – are you the same Dan I “met” on the now quiet Gothard discussion forum?
Don’t think so. I do not recall discussing Bill on a Gothard discussion forum. Unless it was a while ago and my memory is just slipping.
..they came to deeply regret having opened their mouths to revile him. (Job)
Again, I would challenge you to read the book. The God was not angry about the way Job’s three friends spoke about Job, it was the way they spoke about God.
““I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”
As I have stated repeatedly, context is important. I don’t know if God is happy with people speaking out against Bill or not. But to defend him at what appears to be all costs, based on the idea that God did not like the way Job’s friends spoke about him (Job), is incorrect.
About God being angry at Job, THAT was their folly. They talked about how God was judging Job . . . what else do you see them erroring in? No, I got it right.
I have lost the original context . . . but . . . the general point remains that the degree of suffering and apparent abandonment is NO guarantee that God is displeased. In that case, Paul was the biggest loser of all.
On the first point – if this is your thinking, then agreed.
On the second point – totally agree that – that suffering is not a sign of abandonment by God – agreed.
However, Bill use to always suggest the opposite. He would use terms like “a ground swell of support” , when speaking of how wronged he had been. He used money as a sign of God’s pleasure. He used popular opinion of himself to tell detractors that they had to be wrong. Of course, Bill is not alone in his belief that power, money, and public opinion is a sign of God’s blessing. I won’t name them, but in my opinion, most evangelical leaders today behave exactly the same. Of course I was among them myself. Of which I am not exactly proud.
They can be, although a most unreliable litmus test. But Bill does expect the Lord to deliver Him. And I believe He will . . . not for sinless perfection, of that we are all in agreement . . . but because He loves him . . . and for His Name’s sake.
and so I can, with confidence, claim that same category as Job.
I don’t know if God would ever say anything about you or me as he did about Job, but basically I agree with your statement. Paul referrers to God as “Abba”. What father does not take great pride in the accomplishments, growth, maturity, and development of his son? In my reading of scripture, you and Bill have the same standing in God’s eyes. You are both children of “Abba”.
So why put Bill in the same category as Job (although I think this is extremely dangerous) and not put yourself there too? You (we) are all children of “Abba”. And if there is any greater blessing, privilege, honor, or prestige, please tell me where I can find it.
You would misunderstand me if you believe that. I think I was reacting to the notion that the suffering Bill has endured proves he messed up. I disagree, based on examples such as Job. Judging Bill is no more or less a problem than judging any other believer.
In earlier comments you compared Bill to Job. It sounded like you were elevating Bill to the same heights as Job and his detractors would be judged because of this. Must have totally missed your point. Totally agree that suffering is not an indictment from God. Could be just the opposite.
totally agree that judging Bill is as much a problem as with anyone else. Judging the heart, motivates, and intent is difficult. My guess is that this court case won’t clear up the matter very much. Both sides will probably come away claiming victory. However, based on my experience with him, it is pretty difficult to see him like your loving shepherd who has just been grossly misunderstood. I don’t see Job, Paul, Jesus, Isaiah, or any other Biblical character being charged with the kind of issues that Bill is facing. And I do not mean just the sexual harassment and abuse charges.
I see you left David out of your list. But let’s start with Paul:
“Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” (1 Corin. 4:13)
That would be Bill, right? Defamed . . . made as the filth of the world . . . the offscouring of all things. No, you are wrong
And for the record, Jesus was accused of hobnobbing with “sinners” . . . and the religious folk complained specifically about some of the women he attracted, prostitutes.
Sure, let’s include David, Joseph, Moses, Abraham, Daniel and the rest. Not a one of them got through life without some kind of trouble or false acquisition. The difference between Bill and these guys is when they were wrong they stood tall and admitted it. When they were treated unfairly they stood honorably. On the other hand, when Bill was presented with testimony of single women being sexually harassed by his brother, he said he forgot. When his empire is on the verge of crumbling he hires lawyers. When he felt he was being defamed he writes letters to public figures to squash the reputation of one who is weaker. Comparing Bill with these men is just as bizarre as the shepherd of the hills analogy.
Nah. You are prejudiced. Mark 6:4 – “But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”
We never quite figure out that the people around us that we despise are exactly like some of the things we see in Scripture . . . Those people have this holy glow that we can’t see through.
Let us not forget about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife…
Nah. You are prejudiced…
Not sure where you get this idea from. My bias for or against Bill is based on my own experience as a follower and as an employee. And I chose to not put him on the same pedestal as Job, Paul, Jesus Christ, Moses, etc. While not perfect (except Jesus) these men owned up to their errors, their sin, their mistakes. Conversely, Bill says he forgot, when multiple women who he has claimed he took upon himself the role and responsibility of a father, told him his brother was sexually abusing and harassing them. I do not see how anyone can put Bill on a pedestal that is equal to the men we see in scripture. You are equating men who took responsibility for their sin with one who has repeatedly and habitability side stepped his responsibility, obfuscated the truth, attacked the reputation of others to deflect blame to himself, and ignores his own teaching.
Yes, this is a very fundamental difference. You may put him on this pedestal if you wish but it makes having any kind of reasonable discussion about him nearly impossible.
I see again you left David out of your list. How about Moses? Bill is 80 . . . Tell me about Moses at 80 . . . a man who was later severely judged by God for disobedience at the height of his career . . . Who so lost the confidence of his leadership team over a matter with a woman that they openly rebuked him in front of everyone. Do you remember how that turned out?
Numbers 12:1. “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman . . . ”
See, the law forbade them marrying foreign women (Deut. 7) . . . Looks like Moses was not following his own rules.
Moses made some major missteps. Had a lot, overwhelming majority of those he served turn on him “for cause”. I see a lot of similarity.
We really don’t know when and where Moses married the “Ethiopian” woman. It could have been his named wife Zaporah, Jethro’s oldest daughter. You are making a bunch of assumptions here that this happen when his brother and sister complained about it. We really don’t know because the Bible is not exactly clear and not all things happen are in chronological order as recording in scripture. The rules that you site about not marrying a “foreign woman” are not Moses’s rules but came down from God. You can’t use this to justify Bill in not following his own “rules” so that ok. Moses could have had a second wife long before any of the Torah came down and did so maybe when he was 40 years a shepherd before his call to go back to Egypt. It isn’t clear and unknown.
Being slightly pedantic, Jethro was a Midianite . . . descendant of Abraham, descendent of Shem. Ethiopians descend from Ham through Cush.
Precisely the case with Bill. He has never appealed to his own authority, but directly to Scripture. That is the basis of argument. But . . . Moses preached it. Here are his instructions to his entire family, particularly aimed at brother Aaron . . . no wonder his siblings were incensed at his “hypocrisy”:
“And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments . . . he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.” (Lev. 21:10, 14)
Yes, Jethro was a Medianite but the Bible doesn’t state who he married and if Jethro had an African wife or part African wife that was Zeporah’s mother, then that would account for Moses having married an “Ethiopian” and all of this was before he was called to go back to Egypt and bring the Israelites out and the Torah given. Yes, you are going to state that Bill thought all of his teaching is from scripture but as a die hard supporter, you are going to say this. Respectfully, I do not think any of Bill’s teaching is scriptural or scripture based even if he can quote the Bible like a machine gun to try and prove it. The verse quoted from Leviticus concerns the priestly line of Levites and more specifically the priestly line which didn’t start with Moses’ own sons but with Aaron and his sons. Have you ever wondered by the high priestly line started with Aaron and his sons and not Moses? Could it be do to the mixed marriage of Moses? Not sure, just a question. So, God in giving the instruction that Levite priests had to marry Levite virgins would be consistent and Moses didn’t violate anything.
Why would his “management team” which were his brother and sister (sound familiar?) be so offended by this Ethiopian wife if he didn’t violate anything? I am guessing they had an important point to make. If you have not read the account, do so . . . as you can see, the Lord was not impressed with their self-righteous attempt, in a dismissive way, to straighten him out from a presumably actual issue.
Alfred, it is insulting to infer that I have not read the passage or the Bible. I’m not sure what your point is but I don’t go around insulting other Christians by implying that they have not read the Bible, be rest assured, I have read the whole thing more than once that I can’t keep track.
No insult intended. It IS a striking passage, regardless.
ok, but back to the passage in Leviticus, the passage was specifically talking about the high priest and his family which Aaron was the high priest and the high priestly line came from him, not Moses and his two mentioned sons. My point about this was a question why was Aaron and his sons picked over Moses? Likewise, Aaron and Miriam were not the “management” team. That is reading into their relationship. Could Aaron been picked to start the high priestly line because Moses had a mixed marriage as one of the reasons?
Don’t know. Maybe it is because Moses hesitated when God told him to go confront Pharaoh:
“13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.”
We never quite figure out that the people around us that we despise are exactly like some of the things we see in Scripture
I think you are assuming I despise Bill. Frankly I do not. I despise much of what he teaches and I despise many of his operating methods. Despise him personally? He is not worth the emotionally energy. While I doubt, and I hope it will never happen, if he were to be thrown into jail for sexual abuse, I would be first in line to visit him and try to introduce him to a God who is ABBA. Doubt it would work, but I would love to try. But then at 81 or 82 he may live another few years. Then he will pass into the annals of history and disappear, just like you said he wants to.
Just accept the fact that you despise him, Dan. You despise him too much to waste any emotional energy on him. You see yourself as spiritually superior to him, to the point than you will patiently teach him the basics of Christianity. The world let alone the church let alone you will be much better off once he dies, hopefully soon. “I am not a duck . . . Quack, quack, quack”.
“You see yourself as spiritually superior to him, to the point than you will patiently teach him the basics of Christianity.”
…says the man who posted a 15-part blog series entitled “what is grace?”
I am sure I am not immune from some of that.
Yes, but we need to remember, Bill’s favorite verse is Ps 119:99 – where David says he is smarter than all his teachers. So many of Bill’s followers, of which I was once one, just discount basic rules of Biblical interpretation to arrive at their own preconceived notion of what scripture says. So we should really not be too surprised.
As long as our interpretation is in harmony with what Scripture says, we won’t be too far off. “Basic rules of Biblical interpretation” remains a set of precepts and practices which people dreamed up. Here is what I read on the Bible’s way to interpret itself:
“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 Cor. 2:11-14)
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
Bottom line: A whole lot of Holy Spirit . . . and not much else.
Well, in the words of Ronald Reagan in his debate with Jimmy Carter,
There you go again…
Resorting to name calling and judgments that your are in no position to judge. Congratulations.
Calling you a duck? Was not intended in a nasty way. And if you don’t intend to be dismissive of Bill, you can see how others might take it that. Anyway, moving on . . .
To Lynn from above conversation between us. Respectfully, I am sure you and I can go around and around about the theological basis and view point of Bill Gothard. You see Arminianism, I see some Calvinism. I think Bill is bits and pieces of a bunch of things, some of which are not consistent and even conflict with each other. Wheaton college is not a firm Reformed based institution. It started out from the abolitionist movement from the Civil War which was more based in the pietist movement which, yes is more Arminian based. Yes, Bill is also influenced by Keswick type of theology. But, I think both of us can agree that Bill is definitely a fundamentalist, those are the kind of Churches he grew up in and attends according to Alfred. Dr. Z, that you pointed out was used by Bill, seems to be used by Bill more for his area of expertise which is Greek language. Most real Arminian type of theologians are not going to be found in the fundamentalist camp and from what I’ve read from some of them, want nothing to do with fundamentalists and a number of them would be considered liberal or progressive. The charge of Pelagianism comes from your friends and buddies at MCOI and they based that on according to them on Charles Finley. That is what they have posted on their satirical web site “an introduction to IBYC”. They didn’t base it on Bill being a die in the wool Arminian or even using Arminian theologians in some things. All theological camps seem to have many twists and turns to them and there is even an evolution and branch off with all of them. Even in reformed theology, not all of them follow the TULIP scheme which was an later development and even there, not all follow all five points which I think you know.
Bottom line: A whole lot of Holy Spirit . . . and not much else
All well and good, but there are a few ground rules. One of which you cannot extract one verse completely out of its context and use it as a proof text for your preconceived idea. Something that Bill does with rather wild abandon. We have already discussed this many times but to reiterate – I can make the bible say anything I please if there are no rules to interpretation. Thus, God becomes my personal genie.
Without going back and re-studying my old testament history, I am pretty confident that one of the reasons we have an accurate account of the Old Testament is because the writers, editors, historians, priests, etc – had some basic rules.
And i don’t particularly care if anyone thinks I am being dismissive of Bill or not. I sent way too many years making excuses for the man. And yes, you do have a pattern of dismissive name calling to those who disagree with you. As we have already discussed.
:-). I don’t do that, really. Neither does Bill. I can explain his contexts if you want. Oftentimes when I do, the messages coming back are, “but that’s not what everybody else believes” . . . With zero reference back to the cited Scriptures. I say that is an indictment.
Really? Must have been someone else who told me 2 Peter chapter 1 does not have to be interpreted in light of what is in chapter 2 because…. it is in chapter 2 and not chapter 1.
And while I am on the subject, if a young man were to sense the calling of the Holy Spirit to take the words of Mark (chap 9) literally true would you advise him to take action on this text?
And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out…
In other words, drive a screwdriver into his eyes.
Right. Chapter 2 needs to be interpreted in the light of chapter 1. What am I missing?
Well, let’s start with an important question. If God told you to do one of those things, would you? I mean, where there is no question in your mind it is the Lord. How about if He told you to take your firstborn and kill him and burn him up . . . would you? Abraham would . . . the “father of us all”, the father of faith. It is most crucial. We talk a good talk . . . but when our lives or the lives of our offspring are on the line, we tend to do what we want.
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
But back to your example. Absolutely. Have you seen the movie “127 Hours”? True story . . . any person unwilling to sacrifice a limb, an eye – an arm in this case – to save their lives is an idiot.
Alfred, my hat is off to you. You have arrived and become just like Bill and his use of the Bible which is cut and paste literalist quoting out of context only in an effort to prove whatever point you are trying to make. As I read this and your other quotes from the Bible, I honestly think to myself TGIC and realize that all of this is the rotten ripe fruit of Sola Scriptura. To even think or even suggest that Jesus literally meant people should be going around and mutilating their own bodies or do so if Jesus asked you is beyond logic and reason and you and Bill are the same as those nuts that drink arsenic and hold venomous snakes because the “Bible” promised “protection”. You are the same as those nuts that don’t go to Dr’s because they are claiming healing. I know you well enough now that your come back will be that Jesus calls us to be radical and extreme and what Jesus calls us to do is illogical to the world. The rote memorization of scripture you have followed coupled with the rhema style mediation has only lead you to be able to quote the Bible like a machine gun with verses flying all over the place with little meaning and connection only to fall to the ground disconnected from their real intention and meaning as God wrote the Bible through man. If that is how you see your Christianity and relationship with God, then again my hat is off to you.
I can take a lot but I am getting really weary of this. If I am quoting out of context, then point it out. Saying that your sensibilities preclude the Lord ACTUALLY expecting us to be willing to sacrifice a limb to avoid losing our lives is not Bible and has nothing to do with it. I am completely within the context.
I believe Jesus is the Almighty Son of God and all power in heaven and earth is at this very moment His. He can do ANYTHING He wants, and I am His unworthy servant. I believe His words are 100% pure, the purest thing found on earth . . . and failure to obey them – failure to believe Him – will condemn billions of souls to hell. Losing an eye if that is what it takes for a person to avoid that is a teeny, tiny matter in the endless ages of eternity. There are people who would deny Jesus to keep an eye . . . that is crazy. I am not the idiot.
Alfred, through-out this blog, many of the others that have posted here and interacted with you have repeatedly pointed this out as you have quoted verses to try and prove your points. Your devotion to Jesus isn’t going to be proven by cutting off a part of your body or mutilating it because “Jesus” asked you. If you have the view that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and as the temple, our own bodies are precious. Bill didn’t have a high view of our physical bodies but real and historical Christian theology does have a high view. Besides that and with your love of OT laws, there are a number of them that warn against cutting and mutilation of self. Gnostic ideas do not have a high view of the physical and in fact see physical body as evil. So, in considering all of the above, Jesus comments about cutting off or plucking out an eye wasn’t meant in the literal sense but was more of an allegory or idiom of expression. Maybe your view that “Jesus can do whatever He wants” but do you think that Jesus is going to contradict Himself and God in what was previously commanded. The “whatever He wants” really make God out to be unpredictable and states that God will contradict Himself. Maybe you don’t realize this, but that is the Islamic view of Allah and that Allah can do whatever he wants and is unpredictable and contradictory. Islamic apologists point to Christianity and accuse us that we have boxed in God. I don’t think you want to be in their camp as all, so I am curious why you came out with this “whatever he wants” idea. I honestly pray for you Alfred. I think you are really caught.
So sez you. I emphatically disagree. Abraham might have adopted such a viewpoint, to his own peril. The martyrs burned at the stake rejoiced and sang, not because they had some sort of low perspective of their bodies, but because they knew that whatever happened to it was completely meaningless in the light of eternity.
2 Corinthians 4:16
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
So much was this the case that some of the heroes in the “Hall of Faith” actually refused to be delivered from torture: when they had the chance
“Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:”
Choosing torture – which later includes being “sawn asunder” – would be pretty close to tearing your own limb off, right?
so sez me. yes, Alfred, you are mixing two different things here. Jesus comments about plucking out one’s eye was an idiom of expression about doing what ever it takes to cut out things in our lives that cause sin. That is a totally different subject than talking about martyrdom and being killed for one’s faith. They are not the same things and you can’t take Hebrews hall of faith and turn it around and juxtapose it with verses from the Sermon on the Mount. BTW, the sawing in half is a reference to the Maccabees brothers because that is what happen to them when they refused to eat pork and violate God’s commands. Not sure if you were aware of that. Bill claimed that Maccabees was not included in the canon of scripture because the Maccabees demonstrated the wrong attitude and rebelled. Bill doesn’t know what he is talking about and the Maccabees was part of the canon of scripture until the Reformation. Even the 1611 KJV that you and Bill probably love so well had Maccabees and the other 7 books as part of it’s original set.
They “sez you” comment was an encouragement to back that up. You have stated it three times without substantiation. The only thing you have offered so far is that you find it personally unreasonable. I disagree, so sez me. And the context, let alone the words Jesus used, back me up.
Most people understand that to be a reference to the prophet Isaiah that is understood by the Jews to have been cut in half by Manasseh: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8235-isaiah
I wrote, way back on Jan 19 the following:
So frankly, it does not matter a bit if Bill believes or does not believe he needed a board of directors. Once he joined ECFA he promised and committed himself and his corporation to the principles of board governance.
From their website:
“When a ministry encounters failure—or even worse, scandal—its difficulties can almost always be traced to a breakdown in governance.”
While ECFA standards are not to be equated with Biblical standards, one must respect their experience. The above certainly sounds familiar with regard to Bill and IBLP. Sounds like ECFA just made the decision for them – do they really need an independent board? You can certainly make the argument that Bill did not need an independent Board of directors from a pure biblical base. But when one sees a common thread that runs through massive failure and scandal in both secular and religious organizations it would seem prudent to head the lesson.
Well, let’s see . . . “Practical experience” is fundamentally knowledge derived from this life . . . Whereas Biblical standards are derived from God. They are not remotely equal. You don’t need the Lord for practical experience.
BTW . . . I do read RG comments from time to time. Nobody suggested I shut up :-). We may be posting other pieces as time allows. I prefer to react to questions and comments. And we all have plenty to do.
I did communicate briefly with IBLP leadership. ECFA responded to the temporary drop in the number of board members . . . And proceeded despite an appeal for consideration and time. Tastes . . . Political to me. They stand before the Lord. Anyway, life goes on. I suspect that any donor that will give to Bill and/or IBLP will do so irrespective of that shingle. For all the reasons stated. As Paul said, if we are worrying the opinions of men, we are not the servants of Jesus.