Adopting a Scriptural Position

Ben_Hur_adopted

The topic of adoption has been a contentious one because Bill, perhaps uniquely, has raised some concerns about the scriptural basis of our modern day practice.  Part of this is his position that some family problems involving adopted children who are in a destructive spiral cannot be solved without a permanent separation of the adopted child from the family.  Separating out of control young people from the family is in itself not an unusual recommendation, but the fact that he believes that God intends this in some cases and cannot bless either the child or the adoptive family until it is done is what gets some folks upset.

Invariably we are challenged with the thought that God adopts us all, those of us who are saved, hence adoption is universally correct, if not mandated.  And we are quick to respond that believers are BORN into the family of God, a completely new genetic makeup, as opposed to “adopted”, which implies the old “us” is simply given a new status and “improved”.  The Roman adoption – term is “sonship” in the Greek – to which Paul refers is the practice of taking an adult slave and granting him a standing in the family with rights and an inheritance.  The most famous depiction of this is in the classic novel “Ben Hur”, movie screen shot above.  The point is that this is a limited analogy that refers to our rights as believers in the family of God, “grafted” in where we do not belong.  The analogy is limited and incomplete – in any case it did not refer in Bible times to the modern practice of taking a child, even baby, out of one family, and adopting them into another.

To open this topic, we received the following question from Chris in response to this position being mentioned in another context:

“On what authority did Bill recommend this [removal of an adopted child]? please cite the specific text”

To this we answered:

“I did cite the story, but I will give more specifics:

Genesis 21:10-14
“10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. . . . And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.”

Ishmael was Abraham’s “adopted” son, based on the rule that the son of the handmaid of his wife, if the baby was born “on her knees” (the wife), it would be legally considered his child. Yet things were not working out, the older son Ishmael was disrupting the family . . . and God directed a very hard solution, sending him and his biological mother away.

Bill has dealt with a lot of tough family situations over 50 years. There have been times where he has recommended that an adopted son or daughter be separated permanently from the family. Based on the account of Ishmael, this actually was better for both sides of the equation. Ishmael never acheived his personal potential until he was out on his own, and Isaac could not find his destiny with Ishmael in the house.

There are those that feel with every fiber of their being that this must never be. A “forever family” is “forever”. In defense of Bill, the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” engineered a different solution which in hindsight was best for everyone. “

He then wrote:

“That is an interesting interpretation however I have consulted quite a few commentaries none of which either in the exegesis nor the form of language refer to Ishmael as adopted. Ishmael was a biological son of Abraham nowhere does the text refer to him as adopted. It does however point to him as not being part of the seed (faith) Promise that was given to Abraham. Ishmael was cast out along with Hagar because they were not believers (especially Ishmael. The passage in its context has nothing to do with adoption. It does appear to be almost exclusively a Bill Gothard original. Just some noteworthy observations: Ishmael was not an infant when he was cast out he would have been at least 14 or 15. Isaac was born when Ishmael was 14. Once more Bill if you have correctly transmitted his belief on this matter misses the whole point of the text being one of belief in the covenant. and in Ishmael’s non belief. How does this give validation to abandoning adopted child who is unruly? It doesn’t! In terms of who would be more authoritative on the meaning of this text and its true application I will take the dozen or so scholars I consulted on this issue over someone whose approach borders on naturalism at best and Christianised mysticism at its worst.”

So here is where we will start this thread.

106 Comments

  1. Moderator Moderator
    April 25, 2016    

    nowhere does the text refer to him as adopted

    And you make another Gothard point beautifully. They didn’t adopt among the children of Israel, in the OT. There are no “pure” examples, the law of God did not discuss it let alone encourage it. God overtly expected that the blood relatives of an orphan would take him in and raise him.

    There are three examples that provide a similar legal standing: This example, and then the general principle of “leverite marriages”, where the brother of a deceased man would marry the widow, but the firstborn son would be legally “adopted” into the dead sibling’s “family” to take his name and inherit his possessions. The third is Moses being “adopted” into the Egyptian family of Pharaoh’s daughter.

    In our day adoption is considered equivalent to birth. No such concept existed in the law of Moses. And, to be clear, not in Roman culture either, at least as highlighted in Scripture. As mentioned, the “adoption” – Greek “sonship” – that Paul refers to was a legal act that made an adult slave an heir in a family. Does that make it wrong, unscriptural, to care for orphans by bringing them legally into the family as a member? No, nobody is saying that. Especially not Bill – ATI families feature many adopted children. But it does give pause to at least ask the question of how sure we are that God is in our stance that adoption is completely equivalent to birth in God’s eyes. Especially when there are major problems stemming from an adopted child tearing the family apart.

    “How does this give validation to abandoning adopted child who is unruly”

    So let’s move from the concept of “unruly” to “out of control”, at least if you want to understand the instances where Bill made this recommendation. Fact is, this is an excellent Biblical example to help us understand the mind of God. If He authorized this type of radical response to a family torn apart because of a prior joining of those from different “seeds”, then this must be considered as perhaps the mind of God in some extreme situations involving adopted children in the modern day. This is especially noteworthy in opposition to the wishes of godly Abraham, who loved his son Ishmael and whom the Lord regarded with love and respect.

    And really . . . what would you recommend in a family where a biological son is tearing the family apart? Some sort of separation? Folks get excited because Bill is questioning the otherwise unquestioned support of adoption in all cases in the modern church, but the reality is that the application of a severe response is limited to instances where something equally radical would be required for any child.

    Ishmael was cast out along with Hagar because they were not believers (especially Ishmael)

    I see no evidence that Ishamel was an unbeliever. How would support that? And you correctly point out that Hagar was NOT an unbeliever. Hence “casting out” was not a response to unbelief.

    “Ishmael was not an infant when he was cast out he would have been at least 14 or 15”

    And I am not aware of any instance where Bill recommended sending a child “back”. We are looking at rebellion issues in young adults.

  2. rob war rob war
    April 25, 2016    

    Alfred, Abraham did not “un adopt” because Ismael was his biological son. There was no adoption there to begin with. You can try to twist this story around all you want but Ismael was not adopted even if his mother was a slave woman and actually had not choice in the matter. One’s can’t use cultural norms of the ancient world as recorded in the Bible and then raise them to so called Biblical standards for today. You have learned very well from Bill himself the fine art of Bible twisting and abuse. You have become just like Bill. You would probably see this as a compliment but it is not.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 25, 2016    

      Ismael was his biological son

      Yes he was. Ishmael is also called the “son of the bondwoman”. There was a formal “adoption” ceremony that took place to call her the son of Sarah & Abraham:

      Genesis 16:2 “And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.”

      The way this was done was that as the baby was born, he landed on the knees of the adoptive mother, in this case Sarah, and then legally became hers. Example, as practiced by Rachel:

      Genesis 30:3 “And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.”

      So, yeah, this was a real adoption. There were legalities involved.

      Can you find a better example?

      • rob war rob war
        April 25, 2016    

        You know Alfred, I honestly can’t believe the stuff you come up with. The verses you are quoting do not prove that this was a “legal” adoption by Abraham or anyone else. You are taking about an ancient middle eastern culture here where women didn’t have rights and surrogate motherhood was done with slave women who BTW were raising the children they bore for their masters. This has nothing to do with adoption or even to prove Bill support of un-adoption. I think if you want to support un-adoption, Bill ought to look at Islam which does not recognize adoption because Mohammed un-adopted his son so he could marry his son’s wife because Allah told him he could. Islam incorporates ancient middle eastern practices. So if Bill want to prove his ideas based on ancient middle eastern culture, he is looking at the wrong religion.

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 25, 2016    

          In a culture when binding legal contracts were executed by handing your shoe to someone, or by putting your hand under their thigh, this was as binding of a formally executed legal move as there was. The child so born was thereafter known as Sarah’s son. Boy, that sure sounds like an adoption.

          • rob war rob war
            April 26, 2016    

            Alfred, again this story has nothing to with adoption at all. She was a slave forced into the situation, she obviously raised Ismael and he saw her not Sarah as his mother. Sarah certainly didn’t seem to have any affection with Ismael and easily wanted him kicked out when Issac came around. This whole story has nothing to do with adoption but has everything to with surrogate parenting, the status of slaves and how mixed up family life was at that time. The situation is also true with Leah and Rachel when they forced their own slave girls to have babies in their names. None of this has anything to do with adoption. None of these stories from the OT have anything to do with adoption even though you are trying to use them to prove that Bill is “Biblical” in recommending to others to un-adopts troubled children. It is sick and heartless and the family arrangements of the OT that forced women into having babies also sick and heartless. Slavery, polygamy, concubines, endogamy etc should never to used as “Biblical” standards at all for anything and for any reason. The Bible records the lives of it’s major characters but that doesn’t mean that their lives, their choices and results are meant to be followed. Bill’s heartless teaching on adoption was a major turning point for me in completely turning him off and cutting ties with his work. It was the final straw that broke the camels back and I never looked back afterwards.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 27, 2016    

            has everything to with surrogate parenting

            “Surrogate parenting” IS adoption. A surrogate steps in to assume the responsibility dropped for some reason for another.

            None of these stories from the OT have anything to do with adoption

            They DO have something to do with what is right and reasonable when dealing with “mixed up family life” as you call it. To help define what the bottom line responsibility of a “surrogate parent”, since you do not want to use the term “adoptive”, is toward the child in question. See, marriage is a “forever family” – nothing but death is to separate that bond, and anything that seems to suggest otherwise is, as Jesus said, “because of the hardness of your hearts”, suggesting that divorce is never a righteous thing. [EXCEPT when the marriage was an illegal one, i.e. when David’s wife was given to someone else while he was in exile.]

            But this is not true for “surrogate” situations. Including, I guess, “concubines”, which is what Hagar became to Abraham. In this case, given the trouble, it was better for them all, both sides, for the second family to split off from the first.* Make no mistake, the Lord loved Ishmael and meant him to be blessed:

            Genesis 17:18-20
            “And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, . . . And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” Chapter 21:12-13 “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”

            Neither Ishmael NOR Isaac could be blessed until this separation took place. A “Severe Mercy”. And, since this is a primary point, please explain it in a different way if you are convinced it doesn’t mean that.

            * Similar point was made a thousand years later, after the return of the Israelites from captivity:

            Ezra 10:1-3 “Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.”

            Harsh, yes? Sending these concubines and their sons and daughters away, forever? It was not that they were not loved . . . but there are situations, however ever rare they may be, where neither side can be blessed until that bond is dissolved.

  3. Outraged Outraged
    April 27, 2016    

    Are you fully aware that for you to “win” this debate you will need to persuade us (with Bible verses) that we ought to hold a certain set of children at arm’s length?

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 27, 2016    

      you will need to persuade us (with Bible verses) that we ought to hold a certain set of children at arm’s length?

      When a child – any child – is out of control, there is not much else to do. The question is whether God demands that the best, and only way, to deal with an adopted young person with major problems is to continue to try to solve it within the family. There are times where that is absolutely wrong . . . God wants to deal with the individual directly, out on their own. Look at Ishmael – had Abraham disobeyed so he could be “loving” toward his son by keeping him protected, counseling him, taking him to church, Ishmael and Isaac both would have been damaged.

      • Outraged Outraged
        April 27, 2016    

        I suppose you could try to use the tactic of threatening the child that if they cause you grief you WILL be throwing them out eventually since they weren’t “yours” to start with.

        Please just stop this madness.

        The courts would find this information very interesting.

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 27, 2016    

          Please just stop this madness.

          Have you ever known of a situation where a child is removed from the home because they are destructive to themselves and everyone else? Of course you have. This is mad because . . . Bill said it? I know you would not say it was because God said it. There is a time when dissolving all formal ties may be the best solution for all involved.

          The strange thing is . . . as harsh as this Abraham act seemed, hindsight proved it really was for everyone’s benefit. Which is obvious because God engineered it. Clearly it did nothing to alienate Ishmael from his father, since he came all the way back for the funeral later. See, he too realized that, although Abraham loved him, this separation really had been for his best.

          If that bothers you, you don’t ever have to worry about doing it. You execute the solutions that the Lord gives you to deal with the crises you face.

  4. rob war rob war
    April 27, 2016    

    Alfred, your excuses are going from bad to worst. The marriages you are pointing to were illegal under Mosaic law. In other words they were not valid marriages. That again has nothing to do with adoption. The response or conviction taken is likewise extreme and not repeated anywhere else in the Bible. The response of sending all these people away under extreme conditions under Mosaic law doesn’t not justify Bill Gothard’s views and teaching that parents can and should undo adoptions. Throwing people away seems to be the mode of operation with Bill. If he didn’t like someone, he kicked them out of his programs. Those stories are repeated over and over again on RG and many other blogs. He seemed to have little regard for anyone else but himself. That is using people not serving others. You have been taught very well by a completely self serving man. If you believe that every person is made in the image of God, then there is no excuse to throw out, kick out, un adopt, banish etc anyone. Unless of course, one is influenced by Tulip Calvinism where God only means to save some and others … well… are meant for damnation and created for that. Bill can try and write a recent book about genuine love but his teaching and actions are the complete opposite of genuine love for anyone else but himself. Your white washing of Bill’s ideas of adoption are an example of how you have been manipulated and brainwashed by Bill. I think deep down you are a very decent man but this stuff has you really mixed up. I feel sorry for you Alfred.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 27, 2016    

      Alfred, your excuses are going from bad to worst. The marriages you are pointing to were illegal under Mosaic law

      Perhaps. Of course you will need to explain Rahab and Ruth and others. Point being, REAL kids, even blood. The same God that is my father did this with as much love as He does everything He does. This is not some Jekyl and Hyde Jehovah . . . same Lord. Some “severe mercies” are necessary for all involved.

      As to your comments about throwing people away, there is a time to walk together, and there is a time to walk apart. There are times that “walking together” is more damaging than not, even for godly purposes. It is not a curse, sometimes not even a rebuke. Gary Smalley never found his ministry until he left Bill’s ministry . . . at a time where he wanted anything but that.

      And Bill is ANYTHING but a Calvinist. Me too, I am an “anti-Calvinist”, at least for the matter of “God loves and wants to save some, but not others”. But you knew that.

      • rob war rob war
        April 27, 2016    

        I’m not sure what your point is about Rahab and Ruth. Both women were converts from other religions. Rahab brought in her whole family and became the mother of Boaz which is probably why Boaz was sympathetic to Ruth’s situation. I have no clue what their examples have to do with Bill’s ideas that children can be un-adopted for problems. One of the plaintiffs in the current lawsuit was about Bill encouraging an un adoption. To me this seems like CBA (Cover Bill’s ***) in trying to justify this kind of advice as “Biblical”. Do you really think God “un-adopts” us? If we ourselves are adopted into God’s family, does God then turn around and un-adopt us? Better yet, does God leave us or do people leave God? Does God sever ties with any living person because Bill’s promotion of this is stating that God will un-adopt his children or those calling Him.

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 27, 2016    

          I have no clue what their examples have to do with Bill’s ideas that children can be un-adopted for problems.

          Well, you said that Ezra’s case was “OK” because they had illegally married foreigners. Both Boaz and Dad married foreigners. Please explain how that was not illegal, as you define it.

          Do you really think God “un-adopts” us?

          Interesting question. I KNOW He does not “unborn us”, since that it impossible. NT “adoption” – υιοθεσιαν, “sonship” – refers to a different piece of the process, that of assuming responsibilities, bearing a name, exercising authority. A slave, the property of the owner, is given “the name” and authority and an inheritance. What do you make of this?

          Matthew 10-32-33 – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

          One in the audience was Peter, who later denied the Lord. He was clearly saved, being acknowledged by Jesus to be believing in him (unlike Judas, whom Jesus pointed out as NOT believing). Was Peter “denied” or not during that time of human weakness? You know that I am rabidly “Once Saved – Always Saved”, so a denial of that is not where I am going.

          See, I think the “adoption” is a legal status as far as exercising authority in requests and even commands is concerned. Wielding “the Name” before God, the angels, men and demons. Yes, I think we can “lose” that authority for a time. We might even lose some of our inheritance. But we can never stop being His child.

          • rob war rob war
            April 27, 2016    

            Both Rahab and Ruth were converts to follow Judaism first. The situation in Erza seems to be a situation where Jewish men married non-Jewish women and were raising families and children not in the faith or to follow the laws of the Torah. Rehab choose to follow God and gave shelter to the spies which in turn saved her and her family. So she is a convert. Ruth wanted to follow Naomi and follow the God of Naomi. They are converts. The marriages in Erza were obviously not with converts which would have made them “illegal” marriages. The Bible boils the whole thing down but I would guess that the separation would be more to do with the spouses not willing to convert and raise children in the faith. I am not sure if you are aware of this but children are considered Jewish if the mother is Jewish, not the father. Children of a Jewish man and a non-Jewish woman would only be considered Jewish if the mother converts and raises them as Jewish. That insight should be considered when reading the Erza passage.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 28, 2016    

            Children of a Jewish man and a non-Jewish woman would only be considered Jewish if the mother converts and raises them as Jewish

            I understand that . . . but . . . you are acting like this is some kind of exercise to get right. These are their KIDS! “Outraged” told us to “stop the madness!”, to suggest that anything was big enough to sever a child from a home. Apparently the breaking heart of father or child is not significant enough in the ways of God to overcome some of these much more significant issues. Apparently there are issues that make it not evil, heardhearted to send a child you love away.

  5. rob war rob war
    April 28, 2016    

    Right Alfred, these are kids and Outraged was telling you ,not me to “stop the madness”. The madness is this:
    1. trying to twist different OT verses to justify Bill’s advise and anti-adoption teaching
    2. trying to defend un-adoptions as Biblical
    3. twisting OT surrogacy as some kind of adoption which any one that thinks normally know is not.

    That’s the madness Outraged is talking about and Chris is arguing with the Bible and verses about.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 28, 2016    

      That’s the madness Outraged is talking about and Chris is arguing with the Bible and verses about

      One person’s madness is another’s paradigm shift. You are heavily and emotionally invested here … as, actually am I. It was at a 1973 Basic Seminar that I, a 15 year old fatherless young man, learned that God declares Himself as the “father to the fatherless” to me. That is a role that He jealously will not surrender to another, so that even if we bring the orphans into our homes it must be with the clear understanding to all, including the child, that we are only helping Him, not replacing Him. Ultimately every orphan reports directly to the Lord for “father” issues, including support, protection, advice, and, yes, discipline. Which is why at times the Lord wants the “helpers” to move out of the way so He can do what only He can do.

      For me I learned to ask Him for money as I would have my Dad, and was, for example, able to graduate completely debt free from a private Christian University, my widowed mother supplying only things like clothes and snacks. And He has never failed to answer when I have gone to Him for counsel, like what a Dad would do . . . and He has consistently protected me from bullies, just like a father. And spanked me, harder than any earthly father might do, to the point that I learned that I was not going to get away with anything. For which I am so grateful.

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        April 30, 2016    

        Brother, thanks for relating the story of your youth. I followed Rob War here from an adoption discussion over on RG. I see that all three of us, you, Rob and I, have skin in this game. Rob adopted children more than two decades ago, and I myself was adopted as an infant more than five decades ago. So abandonment and adoption are not merely academic, but rather personal for us. I’ll leave it to you to parse the Bible verses, but it is not unheard of to have family members and friends-of-friends who find themselves in cruel dilemmas because of adoptions. It may be as extreme an adoptive boy fornicating with a daughter. Stop the madness, indeed! But how? Every case is different, but if I faced that extreme situation, I would not be likely to heed a keyboard warrior lecturing me on compassion vs. callousness.

        Sincerely,
        David K

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 1, 2016    

          Every case is different, but if I faced that extreme situation, I would not be likely to heed a keyboard warrior lecturing me on compassion vs. callousness

          I hear you. If is all theory until you get to live it. In any case, I remain of the opinion Bill has a piece of this puzzle that is quite significant. Not that the compassionate should not adopt, but that we must acknowledge that the fatherless have a special standing with God that demands that His perspectives and power be front and center in all decisions that are made.

          Years ago I got into the middle of a heated discussion on adoption on the old “Quiverfull” list, an email list focused on “letting God plan your family”. Some postulated that building your family through adoption was in every way equivalent to the children God gave by weaving them together in the mother’s womb. My suggestion that every child, even if orphaned, should be taught to honor and build up the lineage that God had, in fact, with such great effort, placed them in by birth was met with some focused opposition. One husband and wife in particular was quite vocal, the wife being adopted from birth, indicating that she, raised in a godly, loving family, had absolutely no need nor desire to discover let alone be a part of the birth family she was taken from. Months later I received a surprise email from them, directly. As it turned out, she had stumbled across some aspect of the birth family and suddenly had the opportunity to connect. The life wrenching emotions she suddenly discovered were a complete surprise . . . and they had come to the stunning realization . . . that I had been right. There was an enormous God ordained hole in her that all the best aspects of adoption could not fully fill. I remained a bystander of a wonderful drama . . . but was in awe of a small confirmation of what I had been taught.

          I remain of the strong conviction that we treat adoption far too casually, at times to the harm of both families. Thank God for all the blessings that adoption has brought . . . and you are Exhibit A.

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

            Thanks for the sentiments, brother. Like many adoptees, I have mixed feelings on the topic. The Knechts (RIP) who adopted me were good, professional-class people. So I grew up quite comfortably, and live comfortably now. That’s all a blessing. But the adoption reform movement has some good points, too. These include the staggering amounts of money circulating in the adoption trade, and the state withholding of original birth certificates from adult adoptees. I tried to mention these over at RG, and attracted some sheiks of indignation. Fortunately, Don Rubottom at RG knew enough about adoption issues to say some kind things. Unfortunately, many of our evangelical brethren have extreme, lopsided, ferocious pro-adoption views. I wonder whether they want to amend the Apostles Creed to endorse child adoption! Too much, brother.

            That is quite a reunion story you tell about the adoptee woman who had such a reversal of feelings. I wonder how I would feel in the same situation. Organic nature matters, and not merely as a metaphor for spiritual things. As C.S. Lewis said, God loves the material world, including our flesh. He created it. Look at all the attention given to genealogy in our Bibles, and God’s family tree in Romans. Gentiles like me get grafted into it by faith. PTL

            Peace on the 6th Sunday of Easter,
            David K

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 1, 2016    

            Great thoughts, brother. I think we are on the same page. On a practical note, I know a ton of ATI folks that have adopted or are adopting. Big topic on the Duggar show at the moment. For my part I know of no child that was “sent off” in the manner described. So all of that remains quite an exception.

            Adoption has been justly promoted as the alternative to abortion. A world better. But I do hope we can be rescuing the little ones to help them fulfill their role in the heritage God placed them in. I read this:

            “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

            IF God has to go through all of the trouble just described to create a baby . . . HOW can we imagine that there is any arbitrary aspect to it? God, like the master craftsman, creates a child with specific characteristics including parents, grandparents, race . . . talents . . . appearance . . . dare I say gender . . . and then somehow walks away while we decide what we think should be done with this priceless work of engineering and art? No way. And if God visits both the righteousness and the iniquities of fathers and grandfathers on children . . . WHICH family will have that influence? We are told that Levi “gave tithes” to Melchizedek while he was in the “loins of his great-grandfather” Abraham. Pretty amazing stuff. I think the devil has a vested interest to separate as many children as he can from the heritage God designed for them . . . so they may never fully understand their purpose in life, let alone have that crucial leg up on family “problems” that visit generation after generation. If you know your ancestors were drunks or perverts, you tend to look at alcohol or porn differently than others, extra layer of protection.

            Obviously God can and does reach through all of that and gives grace and blessing. It is just a piece of the puzzle that occasionally becomes quite significant.

  6. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    May 2, 2016    

    Brother, may I address that claim that adoption is the alternative to abortion? Of course, that is a powerful marketing claim for the adoption trade. But how about none of the above? What if we stake out a moral position that children should be neither killed, nor abandoned, nor traded for money?

    But I cannot believe that trading child custody for money, and issuing a misleading birth certificate, deserves to be called “better” than a worse alternative. The best we can say is that it is less evil than worse things.

    One of the troubling things is the state-worship which is packaged with modern adoption. May caesar make a man cease to be the father of his child, and make another man the “father”? It reminds me of that line from A Man for All Seasons: “Some men think the world is round. Others think it flat. But if the world is round, can the king’s command flatten it? Or if it is flat, can Parliament make it round?”

    I like that passage about Levi paying tithes through his grandfather. Organic stuff matters. Other things matter too, but the natural has its place.

    Till next time,
    David K

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 2, 2016    

      But I cannot believe that trading child custody for money, and issuing a misleading birth certificate, deserves to be called “better” than a worse alternative. The best we can say is that it is less evil than worse things.

      And I am in complete agreement. Whenever I see parents all excited about a child they are about to receive . . . I wonder . . . about parents and siblings left behind. So quickly familial bonds are broken these days. Yes, there are situations that have no solution. We have a dear friend that adopted two little girls from China. At least one, maybe both, had no heritage, being basically “dropped off”. One had a medical condition that affected her appearance as a baby, making any adoption difficult. She is paying – a lot – to fix the medical condition for this sweet girl . . . and they openly celebrate all aspects of their story, heritage. Unless the host country was lying, these would be cases of the permanently “unwanted”, who are now very much wanted.

      But many of these cases, notably pressuring young unwed girls to “give it up so you don’t ruin your life”, that I have an enormous problem with. God gave the baby to an unfit mother for a reason. Perhaps it is so that others may gather around her and encourage her and help make it happen. And the flow of children from other countries coupled with, as you point out, the huge amounts of money involved . . . that is a prescription for abuse.

      • readerrabbit readerrabbit
        May 4, 2016    

        I do not understand these comments that are negative toward adoption. Are we not told in James that part of true religion is to care for orphans? There are an estimated 150 million orphans in the world, not counting likely the same number of street children, children who are trafficked and all those children forced to become soldiers in various parts of Africa after their parents were murdered. The VAST majority of orphans will never be adopted. A birthday is not a cause for celebration in an orphanage as it puts children one year closer to aging out of the relative security of the orphanage and being forced to life on the streets.
        I DO understand that the system is not perfect, that many in our broken foster care system in America are not available to be adopted, that the high cost of legal fees and red tape opens the door to corruption, and that not all of those included in these staggering statistics are double orphans. But isn’t this the Church’s opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ to the least of these? If there was ever a case of throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water, this is it.

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 4, 2016    

          I do not understand these comments that are negative toward adoption. Are we not told in James that part of true religion is to care for orphans?

          You are right, that is the heart of God and command to us. But the fact that, say, God wants us to help the poor does not mean that every possible instance and means to help the poor is good. In fact, some is very bad, both for the poor and for those trying to help. Same applies here.

          The negative comments come because ANY challenge to the practices of modern day adoption is considered by some unloving. Yet some of what we do seems, to me, to ignore clear Scripture. There is a right and a wrong way to do most anything. Adoption starts creating orphans that didn’t exist before, permanently separating them from their birth families far, far too quickly. And the care of orphans is done in many ways that do not necessarily include mixing two families together in a permanent way. Bill has seen some horrific trouble over a lot of years . . . so he compared our practices with Scripture . . . and raised an alarm.

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

          Hello, Mrs. Rabbit.

          That was a thoughtful comment you posted. You both raised a fair question and then answered it, at least partly. Why the negativity? You listed a few of the negatives, then warned against throwing babies out with the bath. That is an ironic metaphor, considering our topic.

          The apostolic command to care for widows and orphans deserves our attention. Christian Adoption advocates such as Russell Moore have emphasized this. But others point out that James was thinking of widows-and-orphans as a family unit. The model he had in mind was a head of household who dies, survived by his widow and young children. Supposedly James was thinking of caring for this vulnerable, grieving household. But fast forward to 2016. We have Christian staff in crisis pregnancy centers counseling mothers to be “loving” and “brave” by surrendering their infants to the adoption market. WWJD? (What Would James Do?)

          Your brother,
          David K

          • readerrabbit readerrabbit
            May 7, 2016    

            I think we all agree that there are troubling issues with adoption, after all, it is the result of brokenness. Despite the difficult situations, I stand by adoption as the most viable alternative to the plight of orphans. As long as we have humans involved, there is potential for injustice, whether purposeful or not! I am sorry that you have experienced the issue with your birth certificate. Perhaps it is more common to have open adoptions these days, because pregnancies out of wedlock are more accepted vs days of the past when young girls were shipped out in secret by their embarrassed parents.

            My brother-in-law actually works full time with public policy to deal with MANY adoption issues, advocating for the best policy for each person involved. Best interest of the child is the trumping by word. He has experienced much backlash from adult adoptees who are quite bitter about their adoptions. As one of the faces for adoption policy, he has a pretty nasty website dedicated to ridiculing him as well as a voodoo doll in his honor! I trust his stance as a child of an adoptee and an adoptive parent 2x that much more harm than good comes form the system. Our extended family counts 4 adoptions between us, one of them special needs. All has not always been rosy, but no one regrets the path they have taken. He spends time taking children and parents on heritage tours after 10 years out of their birth county, tries to put out international fires ignited when adoptive parents send their children back or abuse them as well as host of things on the national level. So many children suffer when a country shuts down completely and will not allow adoptions.

            I am aware that those work in crisis pregnancy centers have often counseled a girl to be brave vs abort and even then, many times, girls will often decide to not only bring the baby to term, but keep their baby themselves vs adopt it out. I cannot imagine a more emotional time for a woman and the centers I know train their volunteers and workers to tread lightly and treat each case as a unique opportunity to see how God will work. No doubt there is life long regret, even if a mother 100% believes they have made the best decision at the time.And surely not all those volunteers give perfect counsel.
            I do think the face of adoption is changing significantly. There is a shift from predominately the childless couple who desperately wants to parent, to those who feel they are called by the Lord to show true religion. Most of the adoptive parents I know fit into this latter category. They have other natural born children and want to make a difference in another child’s life. I think this is a very positive trend in our normally self absorbed Christianity.
            I have never heard your interpretation of the passage in James will have to do some study. If that is the case, what is the role of the Church in the lives of those orphans who do not even have a widowed mother to care for them? Is that not the case of the majority of true orphans? Wish every child had a loving perfect home and experienced unconditional love!
            Heaven is the only place that exists so perhaps some of the dilemma is creation groaning for final redemption.

      • Pam Pam
        May 7, 2016    

        “God gave the baby to an unfit mother for a reason”

        So, do you believe that all conceived children are a direct result of Gods doing? I recently read a story of a 10 year old girl who gave birth. She was raped by her step father. Do you believe this was Gods will? I have more to add, but before I do, I’d like to see your answer so I will know where you stand. I think this topic is important to address. First, to all the women who are having as many children as they can thinking they are getting some extra blessing, and also to the women who are devastated by their inability to conceive for whatever reason.

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 7, 2016    

          So, do you believe that all conceived children are a direct result of Gods doing?

          How can you believe anything else, Pam? Consider this:

          “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

          God Don't Make No Trash

          The courage and hope that each of us has . . . is that God personally formed us for a purpose. “God don’t make no trash”. Why would that not apply in ANY situation where He is busy weaving a baby together in the “lowest parts of the earth”? Other scriptures make it plain that God and ONLY God “opens the womb (to give conception) and closes it”. That would have to be so if He creates every baby with the same delight and focus.

  7. Dan Dan
    May 6, 2016    

    You write:
    Part of this is his position that some family problems involving adopted children who are in a destructive spiral cannot be solved without a permanent separation of the adopted child from the family.

    So are we to believe that biological children are not be be separated from their biological parents? The problem with this entire discussion is taking a passage of scripture that has nothing to do with the question and forcing it to say something about the question. Child psychologist advise families all the time to separate unruly children from the home – not that they do it with wild abandon – it is a difficult decision for any family. But then Bill thinks the study of psychology is right out of satan’s most sacred writings so we can hardly use them as a resource.

    I think scripture is clear on what should be done with children who have become unmanageable: “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death”. So maybe this should be our approach to children that get out of control. Or do we just apply this remedy to biological children? Then again, if we are going to be Biblical about it, let’s use Ezekiel 16 where God rants and raves about his daughter that he raised but turned into a prostitute who pays her clients to have sex with her. What does he do with her – kick her out into the cold? Hardly, He loves her all the more.

    I don’t have any problem with Bill’s thinking that it is best for all if some children are removed from the home – temporary. But just don’t prostitute scripture in the process of coming to these conclusions. But then again, Bill does think he is smarter than all the teachers so I guess he can believe anything he wants to. Like I have said before, when you make up your own rules for Biblical interpretation you can make the Bible say anything you want it to say and make God your personal genie in the process.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 7, 2016    

      So are we to believe that biological children are not be be separated from their biological parents?

      Not saying that at all. If you know the law of Moses, you know that a son in open rebellion against his parents was brought before the city elders . . . and then stoned to death. Fairly permanent separation. The difference is that there was an additional problem in here, the mixing of two “seeds” in the same family, which, per se, caused a problem for both “seeds” to the point that neither could prosper until separated. The problem was highlighted in the bad attitudes that both Hagar and Ishmael expressed, but was really inevitable. Similar trouble ensued in the case of Jacob . . . in that case sending folks off was not the answer. God’s ways are balanced among His many principles. However if we deny some of His counsels in situations where they do apply, we do so to our own loss.

      So to recap. Neither Bill nor this blog ever advocates for the removal in all cases of adopted children, let alone being opposed to adoption. The goal is to bring all of God’s perspectives into play . . . so everyone can make wiser decisions. One extreme assumes God’s blessing and approval for all adoptions, however conceived . . . Another declares adoption against the will of God. Neither is correct.

      Ezekiel 16 where God rants and raves about his daughter that he raised but turned into a prostitute

      Great story. Only, unless you believe in incest, this analogy has NOTHING to do with an adoptive relationship between the Lord and Judah and Israel. See, He always intended to marry them, the ones He, in the analogy, finds newly born out in the field. Then the time of love came, not of Father for daughter, but of young man to a woman He longs for.

      I don’t have any problem with Bill’s thinking that it is best for all if some children are removed from the home – temporary. But just don’t prostitute scripture in the process of coming to these conclusions.

      Since you accuse him or us of “prostituting Scripture”, kindly explain the sense behind the absolutely permanent separation between Ishmael and Abraham . . . and what lessons you think we may derive from it.

      • Dan Dan
        May 8, 2016    

        Well the obvious ones of course: 1) don’t mess with a jealous wife, and 2) God clearly did not know what he was doing because the so called permanent solution has certainly resulted in mutual love and respect – last time I looked-about 10 minutes ago- they are trying to slaughter each other.

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 8, 2016    

          Are your comments aimed at exposing the “prostitution of Scripture”? Was trying to figure this out. Your comments SEEM to imply that the Bible is NOT God’s Word . . . since if it were, it would be infallible, and jealous wives and subsequent slaughter notwithstanding, God told Abraham to NOT keep the child, but send him away for the long term blessing of both sides. So Scripture clearly tells us – and the lesson we learn – that this was the best solution to the problem despite any consequences.

          • Dan Dan
            May 8, 2016    

            I am glad you see the inherent conflict. Anytime we push the scriptures beyond their intent or start pulling individual verses out of their context we can make the passage say most anything we want. By making Gen 16 some kind of proof text for separating adopted children from their adoptive parents (which is not at all what the text is about) you must open the door to any kind of personal adaptation. One of which might be that God did not know what he was doing or in the least that He did not care about the slaughter the children of the two brothers would wage on each other over the thousands of years. We could go on until we get to the point of pure nonsense.

            I think the responsibility is on you, to explain the major lessons of Gen. 16 (and the surrounding chapters) and then explain why this is a proof text for separating adopted children from their adoptive families, and how it is that this only applies to adoptive children and not biological children.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 8, 2016    

            I think the responsibility is on you, to explain the major lessons of Gen. 16 (and the surrounding chapters) and then explain why this is a proof text for separating adopted children from their adoptive families, and how it is that this only applies to adoptive children and not biological children

            And, of course, I am certain I have met that burden, but you are not interested in the conclusion, nor have to offered any alternative explanation that matches the reason that God gave to Abraham. To recap:

            A loving father is forced to send a son away, never to be seen again. The sole reason given is that God intends the covenant heritage to flow through Sarah’s seed, not Hagar’s. From this we learn quite clearly that there are times our attempts to mix lineages in the same family are contrary to God’s will. A similar reason is given in Malachi, BTW, as to why God hates divorce so:

            “But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless” (Malachi 2:14-16 ESV)

            GOD is seeking “godly seed” . . . divorce works against that, the mixing of seeds, mixing of families, after God made a union, with a piece of Himself in there as spark, as glue.

            So . . . from all of that I conclude that that for those that are not real orphans, i.e. father and mother, extended family dead or unavailable, God wants the lineage, the “seed” to which God gave them, to provide for and direct them. Where that is not possible in the short term, the “help” that caring individuals and families provide should be geared toward making it so.

  8. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    May 8, 2016    

    Hello again, Mrs. Rabbit. You taught me something. So your brother-in-law works adoption from the political side? Small wonder that he gets caught in a crossfire of emotions. A voodoo doll? I hope you don’t mind me laughing at that one. And I hope he is thick-skinned enough to take it in stride. I hope I am not like those bitter adoptees who give him such grief. My adoptive parents (RIP) were good people. But still, etc.

    I hope I did not place too much emphasis on the birth certificate thing. If your brother-in-law works the political side of adoption, I am sure he knows that the legacy of Georgia Tann has perpetuated that birth certificate misfortune. At least that’s what Wikipedia says. Adoptees just have to gird their emotional loins and move on. If you cannot choose the circumstances of your birth, and rarely of your death, at least you can try to be a good man in between. (Or a good rabbit.)

    Mrs. K has volunteered in a crisis pregnancy center, and 100% of the pregnant women kept their babies during her tenure. Hopefully that was a victory for the home team. (Pardon the pun.)

    BTW, I would be interested in your opinion. I am fascinated that these adoption threads on RG and DG even exist. Of all the controversies which have swirled around Bill Gothard over the decades, I might have expected this one to be small compared to the others. I don’t remember it being covered in Gothard’s actual seminar materials, but he would just address it tangentially now and then. So why are we even addressing it? Are we just fussy? Or is it because people like you and me and your brother-in-law have a personal stake in it?

    The novel interpretation of James is not original with me. I wish I could take credit. I read it online somewhere. But I think it makes some sense.

    Your post ended on a hopeful note. Maranatha! Meanwhile, our little corner of creation indulges in some loud groans now and then.

    Peace to you and to all little rabbits.

    Until next time,
    David K

    • reader rabbit reader rabbit
      June 1, 2016    

      Perhaps you will see this reply, David K. Life comes at ya fast and it’s been quite a while! I think the reason adoption has surfaced on these sites is because of the Basic Care Bulletin on Adoption- #5, as well as the stories about those BG encouraged to unadopt. I don’t know any of those personally so can’t confirm. If true, this is a grave disservice, not only to the child, but to all potential adoptees from that country or adoption agency. The political muck it causes results in adoption being shut down due to the short-sightedness ( at best) of a few. So children who might have had a chance for a loving family that would model and preach the gospel, age out ( ages 16-18) and are left to their own resources and a life on the streets. Birthdays are dreaded rather than celebrated for such children. These things ought not to be!

      I believe part of the issue stems from BG’s teaching that the original particulars of sin are inherited in an adopted child and therefore endanger/contaminate the new-formerly-pristine home. (gag!) He seems to promote a low view of adoption as well as the redemptive work of Christ to make one a new creature. Does this not oppose scripture as God uses that analogy to show how we become part of His family?
      Our particular church family takes the admonition from James seriously and views adoption and foster care as part of God’s plan. We have a goal to wipe out foster care in our large county and are seeing a host of children find permanent homes, despite miles of govt red tape. LOTS of education and prep work going into this and families who cannot adopt also play support roles. Some children are even being restored to their birth homes with believers providing support bases to those who formerly had none. A huge percentage of home school families who have adopted both foreign and domestic play a vital role in our church – close to 25% if you count families that have adopted multiple times. So my personal stake is that I see adoption as primarily positive (though certainly not through rosy colored glasses), and a viable way to give out the gospel. Isn’t that what we are all about as we seek to glorify our Heavenly Father who held back nothing as He adopted us?
      Not sure if that answered all your questions.
      Here is an article you might find interesting exemplifying the kinds of public policy work my B-I-L does. http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/publications/2016/06/adoption-advocate-no-96

      • Moderator Moderator
        June 1, 2016    

        I believe part of the issue stems from BG’s teaching that the original particulars of sin are inherited in an adopted child and therefore endanger/contaminate the new-formerly-pristine home. (gag!)

        Bill has perspectives that are unfamiliar to the modern age . . . but so absolutely based on Scripture. The “visiting” of the inquities of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents is clearly taught by the Lord. Consider:

        Exodus 34:7
        “. . . that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

        “Iniquities” are not sins. Iniquities are tendencies, bents towards sin. Parents, grandparents, even great-grandparents who give in to sin pass that tendency to their offspring. God gives extra grace, a “way to escape” for each iniquity . . . but those ways to escape often are tied to the heritage of the family. Children growing up watching the destruction caused by drunkenness may well choose to go completely in the other direction. A young boy seeing his father abandon his family may choose to invest extra effort and energy in learning how to avoid that. With an adoption, you lose all – or at least much – of that.

        Confirmation:

        Hebrews 7:9-10
        “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.”

        Whatever we do, those in our “loins” share in the blessing or curse of those things.

        “He seems to promote a low view of adoption as well as the redemptive work of Christ to make one a new creature. Does this not oppose scripture as God uses that analogy to show how we become part of His family?”

        You ironically nailed the problem on the head. How DO we become part of His family? Is is NOT by adoption! We, the lost, are not “added” to His family so we can get better training, love than we could as part of the devil’s family. No, no . . . we are BORN into that family . . . given a new heart, new DNA . . . born of God. As discussed in the OP, adoption is merely one analogy that describes the authority we wield as Sons of God . . . and the inheritance that is ours. People looking on us see no outward change, same person . . . yet suddenly we have a name, authority. That is precisely how “sonship” worked among the Romans. A loved and trusted slave was given standing in the family he had served . . . as a son. But . . . that is NOT how we become Christians! The notion that “salvation” is simply giving status and courage to a previously downtrodden and misunderstood person is the fodder of liberalism . . . not Christianity.

        And let’s be clear. The “adoption” culture that is being promoted is self perpetuating. Just like “car insurance” guarantees the creation of a whole industry of repair shops that live off of the environment that allows minor scratches to turn into $1,000 repairs . . . in the same way, irresponsible adults learn to plan on, rely on the notion that someone else owes their kids a happy, healthy, safe, loving home . . . while they get to live their dream – nightmare – of drugs and sex and rock and roll. The pain of their children needs to be felt by the parents . . . and if so, often becomes the sole motivation that actually works to turn irresponsible people around.

        • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
          June 11, 2016    

          Brother, that is an interesting analysis in your second paragraph. Among the many moral issues which can be raised, the insurance market analogy never occurred to me. But it seems to fit.

          You raise another point, too. I have sometimes wondered what to make of that verb “visit” in the old KJV. In what way should the positive visiting of widows and orphans be like the negative visiting of iniquities of the wicked across generations? The Christian’s visit should obviously relieve the vulnerable, but what sorts of visitations did James have in mind? If I deny that “visit” means “take custody,” then what should I affirm when I practice true religion? Any ideas? Readerrabbit is proud of her church’s thriving adoption ministry. If I doubt whether they are “visiting orphans” in the apostolic way, do I have any better ideas? Unfortunately not.

          Creativity challenged,
          David K

          • Moderator Moderator
            June 11, 2016    

            If I deny that “visit” means “take custody,” then what should I affirm when I practice true religion?

            Excellent points and questions. Let alone “visiting” Christians in jail, same Greek word, as Jesus cites as proof of our salvation in Matthew 25. Clearly more than a “visit”. I think it means hands on financial and emotional support. It certainly can mean opening the home . . . Maybe for a long time. Or, like Mueller, to create or support homes that do that.

            And maybe that is the point. There are different responses that answer to “visit”. Adoption is at the very least not presented as the only solution, and it carries its own set of risks and issues. Not the least of which – and yes, I am going to say it – sometimes being a lack of faith in letting God plan our families as He normally intends. In Abraham’s case, his end run around trusting God in that area lead to many serious consequences.

            On the other hand, There are two families I know, unmarried women whose passion has been to adopt the neglected and needy . . . Hats off to them. That is first of all a ministry, not “family building”, and involves that “pure religion” in its fullness.

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        June 10, 2016    

        You are right, Mrs. Rabbit. Life does come fast, and I finally resumed browsing DG after some absence. Yes, I remember those old ATI medical bulletins, although I no longer have my copies.

        You referred to shut-down of international adoptions for reasons related to American adoptions. Like me, you may have read the Kathryn Joyce book (The Child Catchers) which describes some of this. You imply that you think these international adoption market closings are always a bad thing. I am not so sure. If Joyce is at least partly right, adoption moratoriums are probably less bad than morally problematic adoptions.

        And thank you for that link. I read the document you linked, though not all that closely. I liked the advocacy for fathers, but I get suspicious when third parties prate about “best interests of the child.” That term sounds good, but it can be code for “playing God with the lives of others.” How many homeschooling parents have lived in dread that some bureaucrat would decide that a child’s “best interests” lie in being forcibly enrolled in a government school? Not so many now, but thirty years ago? Plenty.

        If you think that Gothard went too far when he warned against spiritual problems which adopted children might bring to a family, I am sure you have plenty of company. But I submit it is possible to err at the opposite extreme. Of course all adopted kids are not demon oppressions looking for a place to happen. I hope I wasn’t that bad when I was a baby-scoop kid adopted in 1960. But some probably are. Even within the evangelical adoption movement, warnings are sounding. Adoption advocates are trying to cure prospective adoptive couples of their rosy optimism, without smothering their zeal altogether. You have probably seen this.

        I am glad to hear that your church takes James seriously. So does mine. In fact, we are “St. James United Methodist Church.” So at least we invoke James nominally, however well or poorly we heed his apostolic word.

        Either your church is very large, or very ambitious, or both. Bill Gothard boasted of “giving the world a new approach to life.” Apparently your church is not less ambitious. “Wiping out foster care in America!” I hope you succeed.

        Back on May 7, you questioned my novel interpretation of James. I concede your point. It does sound novel in the context of adoption in 2016. That’s where I think this article on adult adoption in NT times is helpful. It reminds us that the topic of adoption is saturated with novelty in our day. There is quite a gap between today’s child adoption and the old Bible-time adoption between consenting adults for estate purposes.

        Speaking of novelty, consider how casually we distort the term, “orphan.” It formerly meant a child whose parents are dead. Now it means a child under state custody for any reason. Was James thinking of children in caesar’s custody when he exhorted Christians to relieve orphans? Maybe so, but beware. We can get our Bibles to say all manner of bizarre things so long as we don’t mind novel definitions of words.

        To use Thomas More’s term, I think adoption is “planted thick” with moral issues. It can be both good and evil. But I admire your “primarily positive” attitude on the topic. Now if only we could get the state to quit the scandalous birth-certificate cover-up operation. It besmirches the altruism in adoption to burden it with false birth certificates for the entire life of the adoptee. But attagirl for your good works.

        Keep reading to your rabbits,
        David K

        • reader rabbit reader rabbit
          June 11, 2016    

          Ha! Well, our church is not quite so bold as to take on the entire nation’s foster care system, but rather that of our own county which currently has 300 children in foster care. That in itself is a daunting task. About 5 years ago, our church body was challenged to put feet to our prayers and over 500 families signed up to consider the grueling red tape filled process of becoming a foster parent, with the hope of being eventually available to adopt. I think there were a little over 400 children in the system at the time and about 5000 in the state. So no, we have not wiped out foster care for our area, but there has certainly been much progress and many evidences of God at work to put children who earnestly desired a home into forever homes. The system, of course, is complicated, broken, and far from God’s ideal of an intact loving original birth family. I’m not even sure that rosy picture exists in most birth families today. God does allow us to fail as parents and permits holes in our children’s hearts that only He can fill. That has been an encouragement to me in my own failures as well as when I consider the lives of some children I’ve known. in very hard places. My first principal used to comfort his teachers when we were burdened over a student’s difficult life with the idea that sometimes God allows the waters of childhood to be troubled in the lives of those He intends to use greatly. Ex.- Joseph, Samuel, Naaman’s little abducted servant girl, and Timothy all found themselves in hard circumstances we would never want for our children.

          Please don’t think I am overlooking the many flaws in the system, locally and internationally. But still, our call is to respond to the Lord as He leads us to be His hands as He highlights needs. Each child’s situation is unique and might play out differently and often with an unexpected result. Not many of us have the wisdom Solomon demonstrated when called to act in “the best interests of the child.” :)
          I have not thoroughly read all of THE CHILD CATCHERS, but think Joyce highlights some serious and legitimate problems. She does come across with a negative and an anti-Christian tone and I question why. Do you think she is able to see the positives of adoption as well? I was wondering that for every not-genuine-orphan trafficked unknowingly through adoption, how many are saved from sex trafficking because they now have a parent to protect them? I hope my limited response does not sound calloused toward Child #1, as certainly we would all hope for a better outcome for those who have a living parent who is unable/unwilling to function as one. Compassion International does a fine job of supporting some of those children and allowing them to stay connected to their original home. An older lady who discipled me always says that (besides a moment by moment yielding to Christ,) balance is the key to the Christian life. Perhaps Joyce’s book is meant to bring balance to the too rosy picture often painted of adoption, but I wanted her to at least acknowledge some of the wonderful adoption stories. Hmmm…Seems like I had some rose-colored glasses on in my early days of parenting as well, so perhaps this is human nature’s tendency.

          You mention you were one of the scoop babies of the 60s. Do you know why this course of action was deemed right for you? I really can’t imagine the whole birth certificate ordeal on top of all the wondering inherent with adoption. Your experience brings a different perspective. I’m sure we can wholeheartedly agree that we could live without most government regulations and this is great example of a disservice.

          Romans 5:8 is one of my testimony verses and I am forever grateful that the Lord did not wait until I cleaned up my life to extend love to me, but sought me while I was a sinner and acting as his enemy. This is the backdrop of the problem of undoing adoptions based on Gothard’s theology of generational curses. Not only is this questionable theology, but demonstrates a lack of love for the least of these. When in doubt, I’d rather be found dealing with difficult circumstances than fingering the rope attached to a millstone. Pretty sure I didn’t thoroughly address all your points. I would hope you could see the glass half empty toward adoption even if you don’t view it half full. I see it about 3/4 full. Only in Heaven will it be overflowing.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            June 12, 2016    

            Hello Mrs. R,
            I enjoy reading your posts. My baseball team is losing this afternoon, so I gave up on them after seven innings and pulled up DG on my Mac. If my team salvages any dignity in the next two innings it must be without my support.

            Anyway, I was happy to see your post. You may know the statistics better than I, but what we once called “broken homes” because of divorce seem more common than the unbroken variety, don’t they? When I was a teenager, my girlfriend’s parents were divorced. Five years later when I married, my bride’s parents were divorced. (Come to think of it, I just noticed the common thread. I hope those families didn’t collapse because I was romancing the daughter!)

            And, good for your principal! Naaman’s slave girl was a good example. Who would expect anything good to come out of a wartime tragedy like hers? But it did. Though the good was more for her master than for her, at least it was good. And middle-aged adoptees like me have something to learn from your principal, too. Some of us adoptees cannot help the occasional indulgence in the “what might have been” fantasy. What if we weren’t abandoned, etc. Your principal’s words apply to us, as well as to those adults who look after children today.

            Speaking of Solomon and the best interests of children, have you ever wondered what would have happened if the real mother had not cried out when the sharp cold steel was threatening the harlot’s infant? Was Solomon bluffing, or was he really prepared to divide the baby in two? All ended well, but where was it headed, otherwise? But maybe we are locked into competing shock. You mentioned the rope and millstone, and here I am speculating about horror for the harlot’s poor baby. But I’ll drop the shocking images now.

            About the filling of glasses: Your three-quarter-full-glass attitude sounds fair, and I won’t try to cure you of it, considering that you and your entire church seem to have your hand to the good-works plow. I’m not qualified to critique you from the sidelines. You mentioned the glass in the world to come. I hope you join me in a toast from the eternally overflowing glass in due season.

            Yours is a good question about Kathryn Joyce. I also read her book, Quiverfull, about the Christian large-family movement. She comes across to me as a New York feminist writer with a hobby of embarrassing Christians. Personally, I like her books, because we probably deserve to be embarrassed now and then. If Joyce is actually anti-Christian, at least she doesn’t seem like a hard-core scoffer. She seemed a little sympathetic to Rick Warren’s adoption ministry if I remember correctly.

            One more thought might be worth raising. It is sometimes claimed that adoption and foster care are the only alternatives for young wards of the state, and therefore Christians must adopt kids to rescue them from the government fostering. But I live near a Baptist children’s home which seems really well run. But someone will say, isn’t a forever family better than the best children’s home? I don’t know. My adoptive family was pretty good. A good adoptive family is better than a bad one, and a good institution is better than a bad one. That’s all we can say with any certainty. How would my actual experience in a perfectly decent adoptive home compare to being raised by my parents? Or an institution? That question has no answer, and as you say, Romans 5:8 applies equally to adoptees and non-adoptees. So does Romans 8:28.

            All for now, sis.

            Peace,
            David K

  9. Dan Dan
    May 8, 2016    

    You write:

    The sole reason given is that God intends the covenant heritage to flow through Sarah’s seed, not Hagar’s.

    I was pretty excited that we might actually agree on something until you followed up with this leap into the unknown:

    From this we learn quite clearly that there are times our attempts to mix lineages in the same family are contrary to God’s will.

    Sorry, but if this is your proof text for removing adopted children from their adoptive families then you just a wonderful passage of scripture and crammed into a box of your own making. It is as bizarre as your claim that Bill Gothard should be understood as a kindly old preacher from Appalachia. You build the box – you make scripture say anything you want it to say.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 8, 2016    

      OK, Dan. At this point we all know that you disagree, with distain . . . I cannot discern that you spent any time trying to understand what was said.

      • Dan Dan
        May 9, 2016    

        You are correct. I have little tolerance for those who want to take a hand full of scriptural passages out of their context, then string them together and “presto” we have some new Biblical secret that has just revealed itself. The result is usually the proponents of said new theology can now feed their insecure and/or narcissistic need for superiority at the expense of the masses. I think Jesus had something to say about this. He called them “whited sepulchers”. Matthew 23: 27-28

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 10, 2016    

          OK, I and everyone else know your opinion. If that is all, then let’s leave that and move on.

          • Larne Larne
            May 11, 2016    

            Dan’s right Alfred and why move on and not deal with truth? That seem to be DG’s moto when the truth is overwhelming and negative about Bill’s ministry.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 12, 2016    

            Dan’s right Alfred and why move on and not deal with truth?

            Of course we are officially all about the truth. Trying to present truth that that we are convinced has been savagely violated and ignored. These last several “go-arounds” really do nothing. What does something is when one presents a truth, and then another examines it. This is how those that are “approved” are identified. For 5 years RG has held forth essentially unopposed, systematically banning any that dared to counter their “truth”. We have hung out our shingle here so we can finally present the truth as we understand it, and let other examine it. Once it is discovered that we won’t fold after a few pokes, that we actually search out things that are alleged . . . and report on it . . . we are summarily brushed off as confused, deceived, and all interest in engagement is lost. In the end, as Jesus said, “Wisdom of justified of her children”.

          • rob war rob war
            May 12, 2016    

            Really Alfred, RG has over 900+ post of yours still on there. That is not systematic “banning”. There are other posts on there with supportive views. If you really want “truth” , my suggestion is to stop stretching this beyond truth which is what you are doing with your repeated complaint about RG “banning” you after 900+ posts.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 12, 2016    

            Oh, as long as you function as a foil to bounce against, no problem. When you start connecting with facts and realities that materially damages the agenda being promoted, you are not long for the blog.

          • Sandy Sandy
            May 12, 2016    

            … says the man who has deleted numerous posts of my own that he apparently didn’t want to acknowledge.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 13, 2016    

            :-) We very rarely delete posts. We do occasionally delete those that constitute – essentially – a “slap in the face” with nothing substantive. That is a violation of the rules of the forum.

  10. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 12, 2016    

    “Report on it”, you claim. So, YOUR version of things is “report(ing)” ?!?!? In that you “actually search out things that are alleged” so as to supposedly trump the testimonials of firsthand witnesses?!?!? Sorry, a “report” is not made 2nd or 3rd-hand. A “report” is 1st-hand. And many have been made by such witnesses relating their experiences in first-person accounts. So, as to any claim that you “report on it”, you would only be doing so if you took reports into account.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 12, 2016    

      No, “Incredulous”, we deal with first hand information. We talk to women who spent considerable time with Bill, including contemporaries of a number of the women in the complaint. We have spoken with several of the women who were abused in the Steve Gothard scandal back in the ’80s. Plus . . . we talk to Bill, which nobody else does, and hear his side of each story. And we would be thrilled to talk to anyone else that has a story they want to tell. We will take the time to make sure we get it straight.

      If you have a specific complaint you want to lodge about “misreporting”, please do so. Not fair to wave it all away because it counters a conclusion you favor.

      • Incredulous Incredulous
        May 12, 2016    

        Talking to “contemporaries of a number of the women in the complaint” is not going to come up with anything more recent than the ’70s for the simple reason that he wasn’t much of a two-timer. Not after the ’70s, that is. The individual accounts of the women give the time-frames: there was a little bit of overlap in a few cases but, other then that, no two-timing going on (other than in the ’70s). Emotional affairs are always one at a time, at least that’s what former sister-wives from the fundamentalist Mormon community have abundantly testified to.
        Again, you have only heard 2nd-hand that he had integrity with young ladies (speaking to Alfred here as I think this is who you are). Your only FIRST-hand testimony would be this: “I have been in the presence of Bill Gothard and, during those times, he has never hit on me.” Even though you have not exercised FIRST-hand witness, you nonetheless claim to refute the 8 published accounts, apart from 1st-hand witnessing. I ask you, even if you DID post a clear face-shot of yourself in conjunction with that “he’s never hit on me” statement, how would that possibly controvert all the reports along with the face-shot pictures that biography the opposite of your experience???? That would kind of remind me of a very vain woman who says “well, if he didn’t go for me, he’d never go for anyone.”
        Honestly, I would need to see back-then pictures (to show they were commensurately young & Bill’s-taste-attractive), and get enough of a written narrative to gain insight into their way of perception that thereby indicates each witness was either attachment-disorder- warm-hearted and/or self-deferring & meek and/or still a teenager while at headquarters, & also confirm that each had at least one of the following going on: (A) having parents further than 1,000 miles away (B) Having no father (C) Having an incestuous and/or otherwise assaultive father (D) Having been labeled “an encouragement case” (E) Having been requested by Gothard to come to headquarters while she was still a teen.
        I would likely believe a glowing-report IN A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT if they had at least one of the lettered-highlights in their profile along with all the items in my sentence before that listing (to prove that any such first-hand witness is commensurate with those others by whom Gothard indicated what his tastes were/are). Otherwise, it’ll carry about as much weight with me as you saying “He’s never hit on me.” Also, I would need 8 of such as these, the timing of which that did not greatly overlap with that of those he was busying himself with, to even consider discounting the reports that actually exist.

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 13, 2016    

          I am kind of at a loss as to what to make of this. I speak to young ladies – and former young ladies – that give me first-hand accounts of their time with Bill. They lived with and in the same manner as those that provided contrary testimonies, so they not only testify of themselves – and Bill – but of those making accusations – and Bill. They tell me, “That didn’t happen” . . . “That is a material exaggeration” . . . and “They are lying”. I also read the written statements from the women who presented stories – the statements that RG did have access to and would not have printed regardless – that paint a completely different picture than that painted by the motivated and biased group of angry, disgruntled ATI students calling themselves “Recovering Grace”.

          Not sure where we are going with this. You can read the statements and facts that we post and draw your own conclusions. Resist the temptation to call the information presented invalid, hearsay, lacking foundation . . . just because it counters the narrative you prefer or at least have – in the absence of contrary information – become accustomed to. I keep drawing analogies in my mind to the Y2K debacle . . . having spent so much time trying to counter, answer the concerns in the years leading up to it, finding intelligent minds snapped shut because, well, they had heard the same narrative over and over and over and it seemed reasonable and logical as a result. The reality of Bill Gothard is SO much different than the caricature presented in RG, a man I have had the privilege of interacting with, watching closely for the last several years, let alone the privilege of interacting with so many others who have known him and worked with him even more closely in the decades preceding. Like Y2K, this has been a catastrophe that just needed to happen, psychologically, by a motivated group of hurt and angry individuals. It was going to happen, no matter what, and so it did until it reached the mob frenzy riot level. God is the ultimate judge – but it is now high time to bring in some accountability.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            May 13, 2016    

            Speaking of accountability, brother, I am interested in what form the accountability is likely to take. For the lawsuit, there was something called a “hearing” during the first week of May. This was conducted by a judge. At the hearing, the judge promised to issue an “opinion” no later than 5/11. The opinion was supposed to settle whether Gibbs remained on the case, and whether to dismiss the case, right? If this case proceeds, is it to be settled by a judge? or rather a jury? Is there to be adversarial examination of plaintiffs and witnesses under oath? That would seem to be the most certain way to achieve accountability, at least among men.

            Your non-lawyer,
            David K

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 14, 2016    

            From one non-lawyer to another: Every lawsuit has a number of phases, steps that happen before it ever reaches a judgement stage. This case is unusual from a number of perspectives, trying to find a legal footing. Reading between the lines it appears the initial offering was going nowhere so the judge gave Gibbs time to add some substance. In the two revisions since then plaintiffs were added and removed, all without any court consideration of merits. Gibbs made a – to him – bold move toward adding substance by extracting an affidavit out of Bill on false pretenses which he immediately used to add him as a defendant. I have spoken to a number of legal individuals, not all necessarily favorable to Bill in general, who agree that this was a major breech of legal standards. Both sets of defense lawyers pounced on this immediately, filing separate motions to dismiss the David Gibbs law firm from the case and apply sanctions. There is also a separate motion subsequently submitted to dismiss the entire lawsuit . . . for having no legal footing.

            Judge Popejoy heard the arguments on the “Motions to Dismiss and Sanction” on May 3rd and then took it “under advisement” to issue a ruling in writing by May 11th. Apparently he gave himself more time, extending that date to May 20th. The extra time may be for any number of reasons, including making the opinion as appeal proof as possible.

            If he does find against Gibbs that is not an immediate end of the case. The hearing on May 31st would be for the purpose of determining the state of the things. Gibbs brought in a local personal injury lawyer who was sitting with him during the hearing. He can elect to continue bringing the case forward depending on the merits that he sees, so that would not be an automatic end. He is a much different lawyer than Gibbs, DG being much about the public image, donations, etc . . . whereas he would take up or pass on matters based solely on the likelihood of success. What he would be thinking, I have no idea. Or, I have a little idea, but far from conclusive.

            The current lawsuit requests a jury judgment. If the lawsuit proceeds it could be completely restructured.

            I do know that Bill is quite focused on “accountability”. It is his intent to see that this happens, one way or another. From where we sit, Recovering Grace has had an unimpeded and essentially unchallenged opportunity to savage Bill’s reputation and ministry. This will end. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. Now is the time to speak.

          • May 16, 2016    

            On the other side of this is your own biased view of Bill, your view is not objective either, you’re not an expert investigator you should stay out of it and let the courts decide whether or not Bill is guilty. To be blunt whether or not he is guilty it wont change some people’s opinions. He could be innocent and be found guilty or guilty and be found innocent. Please understand I am not criticizing your loyalty to Bill that isn’t the issue. I only know of Bill through what has been said and written about him. Having viewed some of his IBLP stuff and his ideas you have promoted on this website I don’t think I would get on with him very well or agree with him.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 16, 2016    

            On the other side of this is your own biased view of Bill, your view is not objective either, you’re not an expert investigator you should stay out of it and let the courts decide whether or not Bill is guilty

            Of course I am biased. But I trust we are objective enough to respond to what we find. Had I found an actual instance of Bill immorality I would have “taken it to the top”. Ultimately I could not support an immoral man or pervert. I have put my findings out in the open where anyone can examine them. As to “letting the courts decide”, that is so not Scriptural, not if we are doing our job as believers. 1 Cor. 6 says that even the “least” among the believers is more qualified than the average judge to settle these kinds of things. Sometimes one is forced into that scenario, but it is never a first or preferred choice.

  11. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 13, 2016    

    The point is made in the cumulative 1st-hand testimonies themselves that Gothard only carried on one emotional affair at a time. Even Bettina says in her testimony that he remarked to her “that he liked long, soft curls, which I rarely had.” So, according to her, she wasn’t his stated type with regards to hair.
    She was not his type in 2 other respects, too; #1, a judge had already ruled on the affairs of her life before she ever met Gothard. She was a ward of the state with the state’s continual involvement in light of her mother’s protests at her being in his organization. (Where was the “umbrella-works-through-the-will-of-unbelieving-parent” THERE?!?!?!? Also, in addition to ultimately being a ward of the state, she additionally had 2 other men she considered father-figures; Gothard was one of 3. One of these men may have been the husband of the couple who took her under their wing before she even met Gothard who were running the Indie training center. At any rate, she was probably the least isolated-unto-Gothard of all witnesses. I am curious as to why she chalked up Gothard’s hugging her as “the 2 most uncomfortable hugs of my life” to his supposedly not having hugged any other young females. Why did she think she was the special exception? Was it because he had told her that he never hugged other young women? Or merely a conclusion she drew because it was so uncomfortable?
    If you could ask her to clarify this would be good.
    Also, speaking of clarification, why did Gothard leave the hugs-gap in his apology letter? He acknowledged ‘touch(ing) the feet & hair of young girls, and said “I have never kissed a girl.” Does he yet remain silent even with you with regard to uncomfortable hugs that are taken by the girl as being his unique interaction with her & only her? Because, in lieu of his filling in this gap for the rest of us, Bettina’s, Meg’s, & Charlotte’s testimonies certainly do.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 14, 2016    

      “The point is made in the cumulative 1st-hand testimonies themselves that Gothard only carried on one emotional affair at a time. Even Bettina says in her testimony that he remarked to her “that he liked long, soft curls, which I rarely had.” So, according to her, she wasn’t his stated type with regards to hair.”

      And these types of comments just scream how removed from reality all of this is. “Emotional Affair”, “Stated Type”?! There is one instance that I am aware with that might have been – although denied formally by both – on a track toward marriage. He had warm relationships with many young women that he regarded with affection as “daughters”, as he considered many young men his “sons”. He worked with many young people to increase their personal effectiveness, which included improved appearance, deportment, skills. Bill studied “Dress for Success”, a book, a movement, that scientifically analyzed the effects of any number of attire and personal appearance on effectiveness in “sales”, trust. Recommendations on “soft curls”, “blue and while” were based, NOT on his peronal tastes, but on things proven to enhance effectiveness.

      “At any rate, she was probably the least isolated-unto-Gothard of all witnesses.”

      If and when she feels like it, Bettina may respond. But that is baloney. Bill was her entire world for a number of years. And, for the record, she was emancipated during her time there. For 1.5 years after age 18 she continued on working with and for Bill in exactly the same manner as before. She reported to literally no-one . . . except Bill.

      “I am curious as to why she chalked up Gothard’s hugging her as “the 2 most uncomfortable hugs of my life” to his supposedly not having hugged any other young females.”

      She read the comments a few moments ago, plus my comments (she is sitting next to my wife and I). She may respond. She studies people and draws conclusions on their motives, what they are “about”. She has studied a lot, in a great many stressed situations. That remains her emphatic assessment. Bill does things out of principle, and certain things – his counseling “quirks” – are deliberately done, some idealist principle in play. And, NO, there was never a point where she ever had the sense that he had any motive other than encouraging her.

      “Also, speaking of clarification, why did Gothard leave the hugs-gap in his apology letter? He acknowledged ‘touch(ing) the feet & hair of young girls, and said “I have never kissed a girl.””

      He has never denied that he touched the hands – and on a rare occasion the hair, feet, or shoulder – of young women he counseled. But it was for every pure reason, as part of his long established – and very effective – counseling techniques. With everyone – including me – yelling at him about boundaries he agreed to put out the statement you refer to. For my part, I have since completely changed my perspective, particularly because of long talks with Bettina and others. And you will notice that that “apology letter” has disappeared from the official site. I am now convinced that, while he should have, for his own protection, respected modern boundary and accountability standards for counseling, he did nothing wrong, not even “inappropriate”. And I am confident in this assessment as I continue to note that the ones trying to turn this into “sexual harassment” expressed no such opinion for decades . . . not until RG came knocking, looking – like the vast teams scouring the world for dirt on the current Presidential candidates – for things to smear him with and “take him down”.

      “Does he yet remain silent even with you with regard to uncomfortable hugs that are taken by the girl as being his unique interaction with her & only her? Because, in lieu of his filling in this gap for the rest of us, Bettina’s, Meg’s, & Charlotte’s testimonies certainly do.”

      I speak to Bill constantly. In what way is he silent? What are you looking for? At least one of those “witnesses” is lying, and the others have given in to “whispering” and peer pressure. And just so you know how this works . . . As I was just discussing this with Bettina, she mentioned that the judge that was instrumental in getting her remanded to Bill as legal guardian was genuinely interested in her and came to see her several times. He, being an outspoken conservative, was targeted for removal, sort of like Bill has been targeted. The well organized group that was behind this came to her – Bettina – and offered to place the funds for her entire university education in escrow for her if she would make up testimony that the judge had been seeing her for “immoral purposes”. As poor and “nothing to lose” as she was, she had enough character to refuse that generous and illegal offer. Much like that same character drove her to speak up in the last several years to counter the attacks against Bill with the facts she knew – and, yes, she was “recruited” by Recovering Grace early in this process.

    • Butterfly Butterfly
      May 15, 2016    

      My husband has hugged Bill on different occasions. He thought he needed it. It was totally platonic. If we are going to interpet all hugs as sexual in nature, presidential candidates would be in big trouble, as they go around hugging people at rallies, even get pictures with their arm around a female they never met. Does this mean “sex scandal” material for the National Enquirer?

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        May 17, 2016    

        Hello, Butterfly. I am sure you have noticed that politicians are in big trouble much of the time, and for worse offenses than hugs. But your point is well taken. Not all hugs are created equal.

        Smiles,
        David K

    • Bettina Zabel Bettina Zabel
      May 16, 2016    

      Incredulous, I have read over the comments here and it seems that both you and the moderator are going back and forth on some things, a few that pertain to me and a few that don’t, but before I go any further let me say that I appreciate your curiosity and your uncertainty. I personally am skeptical of those, on either side of this issue, that aren’t more curious and that don’t ask questions while trying to get to the heart of this matter.

      I don’t have much to add to what has been said, at least in this comment, with the exception of adding to the question of Bill Gothard’s “type” and how I do not fall into that category. One of the young ladies, that are bringing accusations, is just as much BG’s “type” as I am. She had very straight hair, wore little to no make-up and dressed extremely sporty, wearing tennis shoes often. Having personally been sexually harassed and assaulted by a more than one man, I can assure you that opportunity is much more important than type.

      Please feel free to ask me whatever you want, I am an open book. I think you might be surprised by some of my answers, I don’t drink the Kool-Aid but I do tell the truth and sadly that’s not always what people want to hear.

  12. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 15, 2016    

    First of all, I am not here to grill ANYONE who has ever had to undergo physical interaction of any type at the hands of Gothard. I do not want to add to the burden of emotional stain endured by these many people. I speak to you, not them, in hopes you will qualify your claims of being banked by numerous 1st-hand testimonials of Gothard that reinforce your position.

    #1 Who were each of Gothard’s personal assistants trying to earn the trust of so as to sell something (what?) to?!?!? Were there really that many who were dubious of buying into the Institute who were in Bill’s executive offices & traveling everywhere with him? If so, what other sales techniques were his personal assistants trained to engage these potential customers with? (Besides looking as desired).

    #2 Why are you pretending that I asked whether or not Gothard had any other motive besides encouraging her? I never asked any such thing. It’s one thing for you to candidly explain that she does not wish to answer my question. (Thank-you for your openness). It is another thing altogether for you to pretend that my question was a completely different one than the one I asked. What I asked was, did Gothard tell Bettina that he never hugged other young women???? Or, was that a conclusion she stated without his having said anything to that effect. That is my question. THAT is the question that you say Bettina read, sitting beside you & your wife, which she may at some point answer when she’s ready. (I’m just trying to clear up some confusion for you in this paragraph).

    #3 I am looking to see if Gothard is silent, even with you, about his hugging of young women. If not, and he does concur with Bettina’s account, then why do you call everyone else who had already testified of the same thing “witnesses” “who are lying”?? Because, if this is the case, you know they are telling the truth about the hugging. But, on the other hand, if Gothard IS silent even with you about the hugging then why do you defend him on such matters?

    #4 You really need to read “A Matter of Basic Principles”. If you do, you will stop slandering RG for letting the victims of Gothard’s emotional affairs publish their testimonies on that site. (btw, of course YOU haven’t done any “recruiting” in setting up DG ; ) I do not know if it’s the same “Charlotte” in that 15-year-old book whose testimony is also on RG or not. But, years prior to this book being written, a gal named Charlotte in that book had gushed on & on about Gothard’s carryings-on with her. This gal had done so WHILE GOTHARD HAD BEEN CONTINUING TO DO SO. The time frame was a little over 20 years ago. A cook at the Institute quit over hearing this & necessarily having to question his own wisdom in working for the man. It was this cook, not the “Charlotte”, whose testimony was published in “A Matter of Basic Principles”. Where was RG 15 & 20 years ago, Alfred?

    #5 I have alot to say about Gothard’s double standard in only heeding the court’s injunctions that imposed the will of Bettina’s mother on her situation. He continued raking in dough from around the country, telling every unmarried person to run to their unbelieving parent to beg their guidance so as to learn God’s will for their lives by so doing; but that is not as serious as the matter at hand. So I will leave off the corruptness of his umbrella’s tenets.

    #6 Please respond to my points and questions only with absolute continued tact toward Bettina.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 15, 2016    

      “#1 Who were each of Gothard’s personal assistants trying to earn the trust of so as to sell something (what?) to?!?!? Were there really that many who were dubious of buying into the Institute who were in Bill’s executive offices & traveling everywhere with him? “

      We are all selling Jesus first and they were also advertising IBLP. Nothing wrong with that. We want to attract people, be attractive. First impressions and all.

      “”What I asked was, did Gothard tell Bettina that he never hugged other young women????”

      So I asked her that specific question. She told me that hugging was not a topic he ever discussed. And, as indicated in her testimony, these hugs came during two extremely difficult times in her life, times where people need hugs. He tried to comfort her as he might as her substitute Dad, but he clearly was not used to doing that. Seems to her to vote strongly against the assertion of some that he regularly gave hugs to young women.

      “#4 You really need to read “A Matter of Basic Principles”.”

      I want to laugh. OK, I did laugh. My “career” as a Gothard examiner started when a trusted friend, formerly very pro- Bill wrote me that he had changed his mind because of this book. Then sent me a copy. I read it end to end . . . Several things bothered me deeply and I purposed to do whatever I had to to come to ground on the accusations, including taking my case to the Board and my fellow ATI families. IF you read the article on the book on RG you will see many comments from me, unless it got stricken. I even wrote a book report on it on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RXC7PNL5YOWOX/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B005PR4UKY. Suffice it to say, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15)

      “I do not know if it’s the same “Charlotte” in that 15-year-old book whose testimony is also on RG or not. But, years prior to this book being written, a gal named Charlotte in that book had gushed on & on about Gothard’s carryings-on with her. This gal had done so WHILE GOTHARD HAD BEEN CONTINUING TO DO SO. The time frame was a little over 20 years ago. A cook at the Institute quit over hearing this & necessarily having to question his own wisdom in working for the man. It was this cook, not the “Charlotte”, whose testimony was published in “A Matter of Basic Principles”.”

      Incredulous, I would like to respect you, but please do a tad more research before grabbing random accounts as clubs to bash Bill with. You MUST be talking about the unnamed young lady that was alleged to have brought Bill food in Flint, Michigan. The cook was Pastor Johnny Jones of California, and, for the record, I was one of the men that gave a contribution to him when Bill asked him in our Men’s Session to come and help him in Flint. I was also an observer when he and Bill and a few others went into a room a few years later to work the matter out, a session that included a Bill apology and other things that allowed Pastor Jones to forgive him and call the matter closed.

      So, I do not know her name, and no one else seems to know – I interviewed the man who was Director there at that time. Gretchen Wilkinson – “Charlotte” – was at least 15 years away from IBLP by that time, to answer your question. For the record, the then director – who left IBLP years ago – did not recall any improprieties by Bill towards women. He spoke candidly, not as a Bill-o-Phil. And Bill ate in his office along with the others working the kind of workaholic hours he kept (4AM – midnight) – he only came to Flint for brief stints). Bill was NEVER alone. The only food brought during his visits came from a staff wife. So there is a reasonably good chance that there was some confusion in the account.

      “He continued raking in dough from around the country, telling every unmarried person to run to their unbelieving parent to beg their guidance so as to learn God’s will for their lives by so doing; but that is not as serious as the matter at hand. So I will leave off the corruptness of his umbrella’s tenets.”

      You are willfully ignorant of what Bill actually teaches. Unless you never attended a seminar. So I am grateful that you dropped that topic. When you gain a situation from court appointment, you need to follow the court’s direction. Bettina is very grateful for all Bill and IBLP did for her.

      “#6 Please respond to my points and questions only with absolute continued tact toward Bettina.”

      I ran your comments and my responses by her. I have every intent to continue to do so.

  13. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 16, 2016    

    #1 Why was it that only those working in the executive offices had Jesus? Because, since these were the only ones needing to “sell” Him to those close enough to observe the sales techniques of their physical appearance, they must have been the only ones to have Him so as to sell. The others at the Institute, who by your approximation needed to be witnessed to by these in this manner, presumably would have been hoped to acquire a taste for Jesus by observing such selling points. As to your additional point about also advertising IBLP: Were not ALL those working there representing IBLP itself? So, it’s very odd that all those upon whom it was incumbent to have long, soft curls, etc. in representing the Institute were nonetheless to be sold “Jesus” upon viewing those in the executive offices who modeled such under much heightened expectation of the same from Gothard himself. To your defense of physical-appearance-only “sales techniques”: Anything that is sold 100% on physical appearances to be bought into on the same basis is not worth selling & certainly isn’t worth buying. Sales generated (or at least hoped to be generated) by 100% physical appearances may well sum up how IBLP itself “earns trust” but they are certainly not representative of Jesus or of how He earned trust. Your confidence that it’s perfectly acceptable to train those in “sales” in no sales techniques besides looking as desired would not have sufficed for Christ’s mission while on earth. And such certainly has not advanced His kingdom since.

    #4 In my turn, I am summing up YOUR fallacy in aspects of your answer as follows: “Pastor Johnny Jones has been known in person by me for over 15 years. And so, to find out what he meant by his most damning testimony against Gothard that he issued to public record, I tracked down his boss to ask HIM about P.J.J.’s testimony.” I ask you, Alfred, where in P.J.J.’s testimony did he ever say that this 15-year-old girl gushed on & on about Gothard’s carrying-on with her TO THIS DIRECTOR????? Why on earth you went to someone else to pick a bone over what was said by the one you yet accuse as being a “whisperer”, “given to peer pressure”, & one of “witnesses” who is “lying” is quite puzzling. Your accusations of RG for supposedly having started all this a mere 2 years ago is controverted not only by objective facts, but by your addressing accusations of Gothard’s “immorality” in the Amazon book review you yourself published 11 years ago. On that score you are right: a 60 year old man indulging in emotional affairs with young women caught in business arrangements by Gothard’s target marketing campaign to their particular demographic by effective selling to their parents, pastors, & civil authorities, IS immorality.

    #5 With regard to my being “willfully ignorant of what Bill actually teaches”: I only wish that an ignorance of past history could will it into oblivion. As it is, I cannot erase my experience as a chronic, life-swallowed IBLP-er; hence I understand your vernacular perfectly. Your coining the phrase “What Bill actually teaches” is worlds away from what it would mean to instead say “What Bill teaches.” You are keynote on that distinction. Because, instead of appealing to the truth of the Bible in accepting that God’s rhema will make this seed grow in hearts, he/you instead have no acceptance of hearing straight-forward what IBLP says. Oh no, a person has to be drawn into the web of IBLP connotation in order to “benefit from it.” Whereas, in the Lord’s realm, words & concepts need reference their meaning as afforded by The Logos. The concepts contained in the Bible are what these words derive their meanings from even as, arranged together, they comprise definitions of meaning afforded to every word by overall truths of the same. This 2-way of connotation (3-way, actually, because of the Holy Spirit speaking rhema through The Logos), is not IBLP teaching nor is THIS what is billed as “what Bill actually teaches.” Rather, what is “billed” (pun intended) are Gothard’s “hidden meanings”- these are what were mass-marketed as such. A shepherd guides his flock. Whomever “gets it”- rhema of Logos- becomes apparent to any good shepherd as he oversees. Those who have life, demonstrate this fact, & what they abide in & by “sells” in accord with the abundant life it affords. This is a greater indicator of the viability of a particular teaching, Alfred; the bottom line is not how well anybody lines-up with what anyone “actually teaches.” All those called by the Lord have at least had gospel teaching (& hopefully expansion upon that!) from THE BIBLE. Those actually taught will be revealed at the end as the chosen for having understood what The Bible/the Holy Spirit actually teaches. And Gothard has absolutely no monopoly on that. He never did. So saying “I get you” to Gothard, or, “I get that IBLP stuff”, or, “I get that ATI stuff” is saying nothing with regards to being part of God’s kingdom. Which well explains how a devout IBLP-er could publicly defend un-adopting, “investigate” a matter without making any reference to the one making initial claims about said matter, put blame on all the general population of children who’ve been sexually abused on these same children for any such abuse, & slander all who speak up regarding ever having experienced this and/or sexual harassment and/or immorality………. for speaking up. Believe me, all these opinions/attitudes are deja vu to someone like me whose been able to recover sobriety from IBLP’s influence over these past 6 years.

    #6 I never asked whether or not Gothard discussed hugging -or the hugging of other girls- with Bettina. I would never suppose him to actually “discuss” anything he ever did to any girl. I wanted to know if he in any way verbally indicated to Bettina that he didn’t hug other young women.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 17, 2016    

      “#1 Why was it that only those working in the executive offices had Jesus? Because, since these were the only ones needing to “sell” Him to those close enough to observe the sales techniques of their physical appearance, they must have been the only ones to have Him so as to sell”

      What does that mean? Dress codes and such were applied throughout the organization. Obviously the more the contact with the public, the more appearance mattered. Kind of like when we dress up for Sundays and when meeting important people, shows how important it is to you

      “To your defense of physical-appearance-only “sales techniques”: Anything that is sold 100% on physical appearances to be bought into on the same basis is not worth selling & certainly isn’t worth buying.”

      Be sure to tell that to your local McDonald’s with their dress code. For that matter, “Dress for Success” was based on the “IBM” phenomenon . . . the tight dress code for salesmen, white shirts and all. So . . . your conclusion is that IBM had nothing worth selling, right? Nonsense.

      “I ask you, Alfred, where in P.J.J.’s testimony did he ever say that this 15-year-old girl gushed on & on about Gothard’s carrying-on with her TO THIS DIRECTOR?????”

      Your imagination doth run wild. IF Bill were doing . . . whatever . . . with young girls, reports of it would get to the Director . . . or he would observe it himself. By his testimony to me he was with Bill the entire time Bill would be there. Remember, Flint was not his normal abode . . . he came there only for “work”, and he worked everybody around him furiously, NEVER alone. Mr. Director was very open with me . . . candid. If he knew something, he would have told me. And it was simply not possible, by his assessment, that anything of that nature would have happened without him knowing.

      “Why on earth you went to someone else to pick a bone over what was said by the one you yet accuse as being a “whisperer”, “given to peer pressure”, & one of “witnesses” who is “lying” is quite puzzling.”

      I have no idea what you are saying. If I believe they are not telling the truth, why would I not go to others to check it out?

      “Your accusations of RG for supposedly having started all this a mere 2 years ago is controverted not only by objective facts, but by your addressing accusations of Gothard’s “immorality” in the Amazon book review you yourself published 11 years ago.”

      Not even remotely! :-) The lengthy phone transcript posted on RG is about as telling as anything else. The entire purpose was . . . . to take Bill down, not because he was some sort of pervert, but because his doctrine was – to them – so dangerous. That doctrine, by his own published testimony, is what Dr. John Cornish, founder of RG, blames for messing him and his family up. No, RG is just the latest effort to see it done, finally shut him up once and for all [and it has been about 4 years, for the record]

      “a 60 year old man indulging in emotional affairs with young women”

      And I am so happy to tell you that this did not happen!

      “Your coining the phrase “What Bill actually teaches” is worlds away from what it would mean to instead say “What Bill teaches.””

      I will cut you off right there. My comment was what he “in fact” teaches vs. the perversions that you and others are promoting. I KNOW what he teaches, I have been following his ministry for over 40 years. So I will stand in front of you flat-footed and call what you are asserting – maybe even what you believe? – as a major imbalanced twist on what he “really” teaches. If you want to discuss this – “Umbrella of Protection” – I might even cut a separate article to accommodate it.

      “Which well explains how a devout IBLP-er could publicly defend un-adopting, “investigate” a matter without making any reference to the one making initial claims about said matter, put blame on all the general population of children who’ve been sexually abused on these same children for any such abuse, & slander all who speak up regarding ever having experienced this and/or sexual harassment and/or immorality………. for speaking up.”

      So, let’s discuss that:

      “Unadopting” – Nothing suggested is any different than what God commanded Abraham or Ezra commanded the children of Israel returned from Babylon and their “mixed marriages”. It’s really in there, in the Bible.

      “without making any reference to the one making initial claims” – Please explain that – that went right over my head

      “Put blame on . . . sexually abused” – This is modern psychobabble. You have been taught that all sexual abuse is the one sided fault of the stronger one. That is simply not true. Except when it comes to children, however, we agree on that point. But in teaching children how to scream when attacked, we are far, far from alone in finding that a good idea.

      “slander all who speak up” – Nonsense. We do bring the facts to bear on those who would use made up tales as weapons to hurt or extract money from a public figure such as Bill, and that by definition is not slander. Slander in any case is printing lies, which we do not do.

      “I wanted to know if he in any way verbally indicated to Bettina that he didn’t hug other young women.”

      You are making me embarrass myself in front of her. Tonight I asked her several different ways, in the end put up the exact question you posted. Her emphatic answer was “NO”, he never said that.

  14. Dan Dan
    May 17, 2016    

    You write:

    “Put blame on . . . sexually abused” – This is modern psychobabble. You have been taught that all sexual abuse …”

    Psychobabble or not, sexual abuse can leave deep and long term impacts on those abused.

    This being said, I do not totally disagree (what a thought!) but I am curious though, at what point would sexual abuse be a shared responsibility?

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 17, 2016    

      This being said, I do not totally disagree (what a thought!) but I am curious though, at what point would sexual abuse be a shared responsibility?

      The stars are colliding in the heavens :-)

      Those that put a stumblingblock in front of the weaker are guilty before God. You know this verse as it relates to little children:

      ““If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

      A grown man tempting a child with drugs or teaching them how to do sex is placing a stumblingblock before them, and is severely guilty. And if there is one area where men are weaker than women it is in the sex drive. Women have learned to manipulate men through . . . sex. That is a stumblingblock deliberately placed to help him fall. Proverbs 7 describes a lady in the “attire of a prostitute” . . . boy . . . what would that be? Proverbs 7 describes her:

      “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Prov. 7:26-27)

      She is definitely the hunter, the man is the prey . . . she is stronger than he. That woman is fully accountable to God for her actions and will be judged as well.

      Reality is that men just as often – if not more often – tempt women to sin in this area. My point is that God weighs the spirit and assigns responsibility. But this modern perspective that women are never responsible for tempting men to sin is wrong, Scripturally.

      • Pegasister Pegasister
        May 23, 2016    

        Once again, sorry about just showing up in a conversation I haven’t yet participated in, but I am very confused by your response.

        Proverbs 7 is a classic chapter used to describe the “crafty harlot”, a married adult woman who walked around half-naked, deliberately searching for someone to have sex with while her husband was away. She knew what her end goal was–this is clear when she describes her perfumed bed in an attempt to reign in the young man she catches. This was a woman with a goal, deliberately searching for someone to sin with her. This was NOT a young woman or girl who was maybe wearing a top that didn’t cover as much as it could, and was attacked by a man who couldn’t control himself after seeing her “sexy” attire. (Pardon my not quite child friendly terminology, I just want to make myself clear.)

        Sexual abuse by definition is unwanted or coerced sexual contact of any kind, even if it doesn’t extend beyond inappropriate touching (without getting too graphic, I’m referring to touching in “those” places). The word “abuse” implies that the victim is forced against their will to endure this. So the Proverbs 7 harlot, who deliberately seduced the young man with her elegant speech, does not serve as a valid analogy for sexual abuse and fault on the victim at all. I guess I’m at a loss as to why you picked this example, out of the entire Bible, to fit a situation which it clearly does not fit.

        On a slightly different note, wearing “the attire of a harlot” doesn’t necessarily make a woman at fault if she is attacked and raped. I constantly hear stories from the Middle East about women being sexually assaulted, and I can send you stories about victims who were Muslims and thus wore burkas or similar clothes. Some of the women from Muslim nations literally look as if they’re wearing a trash bag over their heads! And yet with that extreme covering, they’re still assaulted, and then shot for having sex outside of marriage? Do you see the problem with this logic or is it just me?

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 23, 2016    

          Proverbs 7 is a classic chapter used to describe the “crafty harlot

          Technically she was no “harlot”, but . . . she dressed like one. Like you said, the purpose of that dress – or lack of it – was to get men to stumble, fall. You make the point well: some women deliberately seek to ensnare men, and they do it with . . . sexy dress. Sexy dress is designed to get men to think about sex, engaging wild hormones that they may have difficulty controlling.. That is sort of a “duh” concept. Some do it for sex, some just to “get attention” from males, which they like. Regardless, that attire – “or lack of it” – is working through men’s sex drive to control them . . . maybe much like swindlers try to exploit a lust for money in wealthy people with bogus get rich schemes, as I look for an analogy. Does a woman who dresses to “catch” men’s sexy stares share responsibility when unstable men give in to their lusts? Thousands of years of experience said, “Yes” . . . but suddenly, in modern times, we are not so sure.

          The word “abuse” implies that the victim is forced against their will to endure this.

          The case of Cheryl Araujo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheryl_Araujo) is one that sort of pushed this entire issue to the forefront. I am trying to find details which were told me in discussions back when it happened, but I recall hearing that the woman flashed parts of her private anatomy at drunken men she knew at a bar, perhaps while drunk herself . . . and was then gang raped. Yet she shared no responsibility, at all? [And why are those details now so hard to find?] Sex is by definition “mindless”, which is why we have to avoid the circumstances that would leave us vulnerable to the powerful surges that God built into that. The one casting a stumblingblock in front of another IS, according to Scripture, also guilty with the one who is ensnared.

          Romans 14:13 “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”

          No rape – or extra-marital consensual activity of any kind for that matter – is ever justified. A man who does that to a woman will bear his blame regardless of the circumstances and should be punished to the full extent of the law. The question is simply whether God would turn to the woman and find fault with her in some circumstances, maybe calling her a fool? I think so.

          • Pegasister Pegasister
            May 23, 2016    

            I think we can safely agree that we ladies can put ourselves in situations where our safety is far from guaranteed. I do my best to avoid those situations. (For instance, walking alone at night in certain places, especially in certain cities.) Is walking alone at night a wise choice to make, whether it’s done on purpose or not? Of course not! I think we can both agree on that. Does it make me an accomplice to my own rape? No! Having foolish behavior pointed out is one thing, but that doesn’t make me guilty, just stupid (and that can be debated in some cases). And regarding Cheryl, the Wiki article didn’t mention her flashing other men and my own googling didn’t turn up any similar results. (Would you mind sharing where you heard she flashed her attackers first?) But it also sounded like she was quite intoxicated. I agree she shouldn’t have been drinking or flashing (if she was), but legally, a woman that intoxicated CANNOT consent to sex and thus what happened to her is legally rape, if it happened even somewhat as she described. Her credibility of several details is in question but legally, her mind was so clouded she couldn’t consent any more than a child could.

            Think about this. A man flags down a taxi and asks to be taken to a nearby bank. Once they get there the man asks the driver to wait for him while he cashes a check. Two minutes later he runs out of the bank with a gun and a bag full of money, gets in the car and holds the driver at gunpoint, yelling “Drive!” The driver fears for his life and thus obeys. Eventually the robber bails and the driver is questioned by police. I can tell you that if this is how the situation went down, and the police believe his story, he’s not an accomplice for letting the criminal escape–he literally had a gun to his head!! In fact, he may even be considered a valuable witness since he saw the man up close. He might be considered stupid for not questioning the man about his intentions, but he’s a taxi driver–that’s not his job unless he believes himself to be in danger. And there were likely no warning signs of danger–thieves can be very experienced.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 23, 2016    

            Does it make me an accomplice to my own rape? No!

            Law enforcement might disagree. Sort of like walking into a lion’s den with no clothes on, like the idiot did recently. At what point do you stop blaming the lion – you know, kill him – and instead blame the idiot who went there? I mean . . . there are parts of LA you simply do not go if you are white. The likelihood of survival is small – quite literally. There are places that you can go, clad in a bikini, where you are absolutely guaranteed to be raped. At what point does that become at least partially the fault of the idiot?

            And regarding Cheryl, the Wiki article didn’t mention her flashing other men and my own googling didn’t turn up any similar results

            Which is precisely my point. It has been excised meticulously. A family member – female, very much a “victim” advocate, also a lawyer by training – told me that pointedly . . . that the bottom line – after flashing her boobs or “whatever” – was still her right to say “No”, and sex not happen. If you look REALLY hard, using the word “exposes” and other such things, you will run into comments from people who were there, or from that time. Again, THAT part has been declared irrelevant, but the community she came from knew. And was angry that all the wrath landed on their drunken friends, and none on the woman who left her kids at home, sleeping, while she had drinks at a bar and, apparently, in an act of defiance and distain, flashed herself to the men – whom she knew – who were making passes at her. There you go.

            As to what she can and cannot consent to . . . she consented to be there, with a group of drunken idiots. Choices have consequences. Maybe the law sides with her – as it should – but maybe the Lord not quite as much. And her community, not at all.

          • rob war rob war
            May 23, 2016    

            Alfred,
            there is a huge difference between the case you just referenced to and sexual abuse of children. You can not use a situation where a drunk woman was gang raped in some bar. Now did she have great judgement, no, but that doesn’t excuse the men in that situation either. I think if they were “real” men, one of them would have put a coat on this chick and called the police to take her home. Likewise the bar owners shouldn’t have been selling her drinks to the point that she was flashing men to their amusement. You again are blaming victims and even more importantly you are implying that men are such out of control animals that they can’t help themselves at all and can take advantage of an equally drunk woman.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 23, 2016    

            Children are not part of this story, Rob. The children come into play in that we must teach them to scream when attacked, i.e. fear God more than they fear the threats of the attacker. But nobody blames children in that case, only we parents who didn’t fully teach them the word of God.

            When members of the Donner party turned into “animals” and began to eat each other . . . who is to blame for that attrocity? I want to know. Same with that airliner that crashed in the Andes mountains . . . canibalism. Clearly a sin against God . . . who is to blame?

          • rob war rob war
            May 23, 2016    

            Alfred,
            I have know idea in a discussion about rape and blame what cannibalism that happen with the Donner party as well as the Rugby team in the Andes have to do with each other? You are not making any sense here. In both situations, people that have died already were eaten. They were in dire situations. In fact with the rugby team, most involved were Catholics and the Catholic Church came once the men were rescued and home that they had not sinned due to the extreme situation. Again, I have no clue here what either of these two pretty horrible situations have to do with a gang rape of a drunk woman in a bar. But again, rape and blame and who is at fault has everything to do with what Bill taught about rape and has more to do with the accusations against him in the current law suit than the extreme situations of the Donner party and Andes rugby team.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 23, 2016    

            In fact with the rugby team, most involved were Catholics and the Catholic Church came once the men were rescued and home that they had not sinned due to the extreme situation

            So . . . eating human flesh is OK . . . if you are hungry enough. Is that what I am hearing? How about stealing food when you are hungry . . . same deal? Women, after childbirth, have had such violent hormonal swings that some have killed their babies – one ran him over with her car. Is that distraught Momma guilty of murder, or not?

            I want to hear you say that messed up hormones – such as brought on by severe hunger or childbirth – renders one less responsible than at other times. And then hear you tell me that this cannot apply to men under the influence of alchohol, knowing how powerful and deceitful those sex hormones are, making even sober people think that they are doing a good thing by committing fornication or adultery. Just because . . . they are men, right? They are always fully responsible, no matter what.

            I just want to know what you think.

          • rob war rob war
            May 23, 2016    

            Alfred,
            I didn’t say that cannibalism was ok. Both of those situations were under extreme circumstances and the people eaten were already dead. You are not answering why you are bringing these very extreme and isolated circumstances up in a conversation about rape and who is guilty or to “blame” in a rape situation.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 23, 2016    

            I most definitely did answer, but you don’t wanna play. You could humor me and answer my questions . . . my answers are found in the answers you provide.

          • Pegasister Pegasister
            July 19, 2016    

            I realize this comment thread is kind of old and it’s been a while since I commented here. I took a break and then got busy with other stuff and this took second fiddle. But I thought it would be good to respond to the allegation about law enforcement, even if late. I happen to know a young man training to enter law enforcement. I posed the scenario to him and asked if the police would consider a victim under the circumstances I described, in my words, “an accomplice to my own rape”. You told me they might. My friend was disgusted by this assertion and replied quite emphatically that no law enforcement official is trained to believe that or to consider the victim an accomplice because of when she was outside and what she was wearing. Keep in mind this is a PURELY LEGAL standpoint, not getting into the morality of the situation, because that’s what the most recent disagreement was over. The fact remains that law enforcement does not hold to the same twisted view of sexual abuse Bill does, thankfully, and treat the victims as such. (I recognize there are exceptions, but they ARE exceptions and they go against what law enforcement officials are taught.)

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 19, 2016    

            Officially, LEGALLY, absolutely not. Politically they would get reamed out, as they routinely are for expressing the truth when it counters the perceptions or needs of the public. In reality, the police are well aware that crime is opportunistic, and certain things enhance the likelihood of you getting harmed. Ask him this: If I walk through the ghetto in the twilight wearing several heavy gold chains around my neck . . . what would the policemen say privately to each other as they carry my corpse away, or listen to me decrying their ineffective protection? Are you telling me that they would have no professional opinion, maybe a tad less sympathy, even if unspoken, for a young lady that gets herself drunk in a seedy part of town, then flashes a group of drunken men to taunt them? I THINK they would call each of us . . . idiots. I think the Lord would call each of us idiots as well.

          • Pegasister Pegasister
            July 19, 2016    

            If you’ll look at your original comment and my reply, the focus was on the legal aspect. Your reply heavily implied you believed I could legally be held culpable for “my part” in my own rape. What the policemen say privately to each other is NOT a professional opinion but a personal one, just like your opinion or mine. And assuming I don’t get a corrupt officer, his personal opinion won’t cloud his duty as a law enforcement official. Once again, read the analogy I typed that you seem to have ignored. (Also I believe that most sound-minded people regard the police as “crime responders”, not necessarily “crime preventers”. Generally calling the police means that a crime is either in progress or just happened. So decrying “inefficient protection” is demanding the police do something they aren’t necessarily sworn to do, and something they can’t do often anyway. Only God knows a crime before it happens, and unless the situation is unmistakable AND police are in the area, cutting off a crime before it happens is difficult.)

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 19, 2016    

            The only legal mind I am interested in is the Lord – I just think that common sense would come to the same conclusion. That is where I believe the Lord, who unlike the police actually knows what we are thinking and why we do things, does assign some guilt as we violate rules He given us. Nakedness in Scripture is a really, really bad thing . . . so much so that a son of Noah who gazed at his father’s nakedness while he was lying that way, drunk, in his tent was cursed, and all of his descendants. So . . . covering up our skin is good, exposing it gets into problems. If the Bible is our rule of law we can come to no other conclusion.

            As a man I can testify how women walking by in next to nothing pulls at me, screaming at me to “gaze”, feeding my sex drive. The beach on a summer day is a constant series of stimulations. I know the things that are worse than others in that regard. As I interact with the world of men I find that it is the same for others. For me it is a battle . . . one that, if I lose, I will give in to those drives in one way or another. Most women are completely oblivious to what they do to the men around them when they dress – or undress – in that way. Part of the “women’s liberation” movement is to declare men’s problems to be their own, the right to dress as the woman sees fit, putting all blame for any ensuing trouble on the man, and the man alone. I think that is a crime . . . one that Scripture would agree to. The bottom line responsibility still rests with the one committing the physical crime . . . but . . . the Lord does not miss a thing and, yes, there are times when He points to the victim and says, “You fool”. The Lord, who can easily stop any such attack from happening . . . may not at times because there are lessons to be learned.

  15. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 17, 2016    

    #1 There’s still no reason that those in the executive offices should have been directed by Gothard to have “advertised Jesus” with intensified emphasis on long, soft curls more than other staff. As I said, the person being advertised by this was not Jesus. With regard to IBM’s leading the way in dressing for success: are you saying that IBM would have gotten where it did on the Dow Jones by selling pet rocks as long as they put whomever was carrying them door-to-door in pressed white shirts, etc??? If looks are indeed 100% of sales techniques, why not outsource salesmen via the dept. of immigration? People who don’t know a word in English & willing to be paid less could save American companies billions on payroll! By what they wear.

    “…..reports of it would get to the Director . . . or he would observe it himself.” Is this the reasoning on which Gothard tells you he’s innocent? Because to imply that “Gothard’s most direct subordinate didn’t see/hear of him doing anything, therefore he couldn’t have done it” is faulty reasoning. Case in point: not all wives know of their husband’s affairs while they are taking place just because the wife is in the closest subordinate relationship to her husband.

    You said a few days ago that all those accusing Gothard are only supposed “witnesses”, & “whisperers”, “they are lying”, & “given into peer pressure.” You gave RG top billing for this. Yet, your own book review indicates that questions about Gothard-immorality were in the public square 11 years ago. Why have you not yet referenced what Pastor Johnny Jones said he’s heard from the mouth of the 15-year old girl? To follow Mt. 18, you’d have had to go ask him 1st, then either Gothard or this girl (1st-person, you know).

    You DID say: “What he actually teaches”, which, as I pointed out, is worlds away from the simple statement “What he teaches.”
    You know what I mean. You know that there’s his web of interpretation of Scripture that he teaches that those outside of it are missing the “hidden meaning” of the Scriptures. Only those IN this web can understand what he’s ACTUALLY teaching. Yeah. Have been caught up in that long enough- no thanks, Bill!

    Your denial of Gothard’s emotional affairs is on a par with your saying that victim-blaming is psychobable. It is very highly indicative that the former have occurred as orchestrated by Gothard. And his orchestrations are without doubt. It is also without doubt that the latter has occurred in general society, that it still occurs, & does so at a phenomenal rate in societal groups that foster rape culture. Speaking of rape culture, this directly relates to the Umbrella (you’d mentioned doing a feature). The Umbrella- gospel is utterly toxic.
    You’ve said multiple times in December that kids can be/are at least partially responsible for whatever happened to them. You now still indicate that some responsibility is yet left after grown perverts are pegged as “severely guilty.” Why not say 100% guilty??? Why is a child who’s been groomed, time-gauged-stalked (so that the perv can finally be alone with them)- or somehow else the perv has convinced parent(s) to “let me help care for your child” -in any position to correct the behavior of an out-of-control adult?? How is a kid’s exertion over an adult supposed to be greater than that adult can manage to exert in reigning-in their own aberrant self-will? And how is a kid’s startled screams supposed to counter months of crafting this which they are suddenly made aware of? The Bible talks a lot about both strategy & bidding one’s time (also in the case of Ammon with Tamar, no less) in achieving success. The Bible also talks about the calamity of being suddenly caught unawares. With regard to all immorality, Proverbs says: just don’t go there! Suddenly finding yourself “there”- in a bad place, as O.T. Joseph found himself imprisoned by an evil women’s wiles, is getting messed over by another while yet being innocent oneself. O.T. Joseph was an arch-type of Christ, you know; the Bible declares his innocence in this matter in which victim-blaming of him occurred. If you maintain your stance, Alfred, I really think you should come up with a curriculum called “How to Babysit Your Pedophile” & hold workshops for those from birth through 16 to perfect implementation.

    And yes, grown women still tempt men, both by how they conduct their own personage & by letting their teenage daughters run around half-naked. However, when it’s the inverse, men do more than “tempt” women. In this inverse, what occurs is an abuse of natural dominance, leveraging-off of cultural norms such as the Umbrella. And there’s often layers of strategic lies laid down over time before the play. Especially if the woman is not “easy.” So no, it is not just a matter of who-tempted-who; not when it was a man playing a woman. As you say, in these cases, only God really knows along with the 2 people knowing.

    Anyway, thank-you for answering my question about Gothard’s verbal conveyance/lack of it with Bettina.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 18, 2016    

      “With regard to IBM’s leading the way in dressing for success: are you saying that IBM would have gotten where it did on the Dow Jones by selling pet rocks as long as they put whomever was carrying them door-to-door in pressed white shirts, etc???”

      Have you read the book, “Dress For Success”? The recommendations are scientifically proven to affect first impressions. The rest is on you. So . . . yes and no. If Pet Rocks are something that people actually want, with that intro a lot of people will buy Pet Rocks. Nothing more.

      ” Because to imply that “Gothard’s most direct subordinate didn’t see/hear of him doing anything, therefore he couldn’t have done it” is faulty reasoning.”

      I suspect that there is no combination of testimonies and recanting that will change your mind about Bill’s morality . . . because it really isn’t the bottom line issue. The heart to heart interviews I conducted convinced me. Maybe they will convince others.

      “Yet, your own book review indicates that questions about Gothard-immorality were in the public square 11 years ago. “

      1 Corinthians 4:13 “we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” There have been MANY levels of accusations, but many accusations sometimes mean . . . you are doing the right thing.

      When the heart grows bitter it becomes capable of believing the very worst. And then seeks to validate those beliefs. I went to the authors with my findings before I published them. I repeatedly requested them to defend their assertions along the way, a very frustrating experience. All of that . . . is in my book report. And I have learned so much since then that has only confirmed it. There is no accusation in the book – at least of crimes that would place Bill as an evil man – that has proven true.

      “Why have you not yet referenced what Pastor Johnny Jones said he’s heard from the mouth of the 15-year old girl? To follow Mt. 18, you’d have had to go ask him 1st, then either Gothard or this girl (1st-person, you know).”

      The story just doesn’t bother me enough to invest a lot of time on. Many young girls have honored Bill like a hero – Bettina said like “Jay Cutler” – and made much of their relationship and access to him. Pastor Jones had an unhappy relationship with IBLP and Bill at the time the authors interviewed him – and the matter was formally closed later which is where I would imagine Pastor Jones would prefer to keep it. And, since you cite Matthew 18, that remains the burden of the one observing and being offended.

      “The Umbrella- gospel is utterly toxic.”

      If you want, summarize your concerns in a separate post and I will use it to start a new topic.

      “You’ve said multiple times in December that kids can be/are at least partially responsible for whatever happened to them.”

      I struggle to process where you are going with some of this. Children should be taught to “cry out” when attacked. That will preserve them from any number of issues. They must be taught that this requirement exceeds the authority or importance of whatever adult is seeking to harm them. Those cries are heard by God Himself, His holy angels, as well as those that are near . . . AND may well strike fear and confusion into the heart of the pervert attacking them. Being more afraid of people than of the Lord is a mortal crime, according to the Bible. Children are inexperienced and no crime like that is ever their fault . . . but it may become our fault if we did not teach them to reverence their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit such that they have the moral courage to fight back.

      “Anyway, thank-you for answering my question about Gothard’s verbal conveyance/lack of it with Bettina.”

      Most welcome. I am trying to treat you with dignity – I expect that if I knew you I would be more respectful, i.e. it is easy to be sarcastic and harsh with people you don’t know. BTW, Bettina answered you directly, in case you missed it.

  16. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 20, 2016    

    #1 A cosmetologist may well bill her beauty advice as “the professional training of sales reps”- but it would be better for her to at least supplement her beautician’s advice with training on sales technique itself. After all, people (even sales reps) are not objects, & may want to play an active role in selling whatever it is to whomever might possibly be looking to buy.

    This is what I have issues with regarding Gothard’s Umbrella:

    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2015/10/15/what-j-richard-fugate-says-about-tolerating-child-abuse/

    This is direct application of the Umbrella in a home setting. Except that Gothard’s Umbrella teaching is directly to the child themself, not to concerned onlookers (the above url is addressed concerned witnesses). Versions of this scenario also occur in Gothardite pastoring over heads of families, & amongst/between the leaders themselves of such churches, in this implementation of what is commonly referred to as “the pecking order”.

    Meeting a person should have no bearing on how much respect is had for notions as laid forth by this person. Paul the Apostle & Peter/James/John do not need to be introduced in order for their discoveries of the tenets of the faith to define said faith. However, I admit I’m a bit of a hypocrite in this area: I jettisoned Gothardism out of my life because of people I had meticulously obeyed for 10 years (in all their life-dominating instructions & demands). The Red Notebook was their rule for faith & practice & proselyte-making & I took (& implemented) no less than 2 hours of instruction per week from them on this note. In the company of others receiving the same. I also volunteered for their organization an additional 4 hours per week (although my financial contributions definitely compensated them for the instruction). Of course, going through the IBLP video seminar 4 times was at their instruction (although I was given the breakdown in finite detail in all it’s philosophies & the applications expected of me by them, over & over, in the 2 hours per week over those 10 years). I give direct quote here: “It’s not in the Bible, but it should be. It’s the Cornerstone that a person either stumbles over so as to come into obedience to or else gets crushed by, which, if they don’t……….. they do” (chuckle). “I’ve seen it happen over & over.” A more die-hard follower of IBLP probably has never existed. One of these 2 people often said how, “after attending the Basic over a dozen times, I lost track.” The other wasn’t so much into the Basic, but was 3-time ATI alumna & had met Gothard in person. After I myself became the 19th or 20th person that one of them went all-out to “crush” for a slight lack in conformity, I left this organization & went to another one for 4 years that touted itself as having nothing to do with Biblically-abberant teachings. After 4 years of every bit as dedicated involvement, I met up with a closet-Gothardite who participated in running this place (hence he had to be a CLOSET Gothardite) who had drawn for me the diagram of the Umbrella. The circumstances concerning which it was drawn, as pertaining to myself & 25 other young women all in our 20’s, are not what I deem printable here but regarded the “missiles” rained down on us by one (& only one man) of prominence. The session revolved around explaining we had to be rebellious in order to have been thus targeted, & fishing & prodding & trying to latch onto something-anything!!! that might qualify us as such. In the meanwhile it was made clear that this one man was receiving no “counseling” whatsoever, in fact had retained his official title (including use of their letterhead) as a mentor at this organization, & was called up front of the whole assembly following this to call attention to his “accomplishments” for the gospel of Christ. On a happy (in my mind) note, this closet-Gothardite who had appointed the creep to his position in spite of knowing of his, er, previous indiscretions, did eventually get fired. By the board of directors. Who, it seems, were none-too-happy that the closet-Gothardite had kept it a secret that the creep had already been fired, consecutively over a 15-year period, for innappropriate conduct from 3 similar organizations by the time this closet-Gothardite appointed him a leadership role at their’s. (The creep was also then removed from his official mentor position). I consider this particular organization to now be a sound one for routing-out both a perv & an IBLP-touter from it’s rolls of leadership. What’s sad, though, is that he was able to con the board of elders for 15 years. Pretending to be complicit with the organization’s Bible-central tenets while holding to heresy that he practiced against his own (their own) people. I occasionally return there, even though it’s now too far to commute weekly. The place I NEVER return to, though, is the die-hard IBLP church. THAT is a scary place. btw I still have the drawings of the hammer-mallet-chisel & the Umbrella as rendered unto me by both places, respectively. It serves as a personal reminder to me that any subscription to false doctrine will most definitely affect me personally.

    This is where I’m coming from. Do you blame me for recognizing the Umbrella as an evil tool in the hands of corrupt people? And for recognizing that the most corrupt people have corrupted themselves VIA their brandishing of the Umbrella (might makes right!!!)? If only the actual gospel was held to; it affords none of these abuses. Rather, the actual gospel exposes an abuser as a sinner & an abused as a sinned-against. (How can sin even exist, which is by the tutorial of the Law of Moses, without there also being another human being sinned-against?!?!? All punishable activity, according to the Law, has sinner/sinned-against.) Thus it’s the sinner- in their abusing- who needs to change how they relate. Not the other way around.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 21, 2016    

      This is what I have issues with regarding Gothard’s Umbrella:

      Truth be told, my employer – Fortune 100 company – is meticulously blocking Homeschoolers Anonymous so I will have to find a home computer to try it out on. What I would really prefer, though, is your synopsis of other people’s opinions. It is you that I am interested in discussing this with. In the comments you posted below that I gathered that some excesses were largely to blame for your rejection of “Umbrella” teaching. We definitely do not hold to “It ain’t in the Bible, but should be”. Bill has often stated in recent years, “A wife can disobey her husband and be respected for it; she can obey her husband and be despised for it.” Hey, that would give any “die-hard” Gothardites pause to at least think, right?

      So . . . can you summarize your concerns in bullets that I can address? I want to discuss this to you, not HA. I will take your bullets and start a new topic with it. If you want me to run with what you have, that is fine, too. I am not concerned with theory but “shoe-leather”. These are things you experienced, and I want to discuss it.

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        May 27, 2016    

        Brother,

        I agree that the umbrella topic may be worth a separate thread, but I doubt you can do anything which will render it absolutely immune to straw-man abuse. Of course our language is full of metaphors, all of which can be distorted for comic or straw-man effect. I have always thought that Gothard’s umbrella metaphor was pretty good, and he was careful to balance it with instruction on appeals, and suffering when necessary. Remember the booklet with Balaam’s ass on the cover?

        But Gothard’s umbrella is his metaphor for the ancient legal principle that the right to rule is balanced by the duty to protect. Like a proverb, it can be made absurd and dismissed if we make it more absolute than was intended.

        Singing in the rain,
        David K

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 27, 2016    

          But Gothard’s umbrella is his metaphor for the ancient legal principle that the right to rule is balanced by the duty to protect. Like a proverb, it can be made absurd and dismissed if we make it more absolute than was intended

          Boy, that was pretty good! :-) The current discussion has not tracked on the normal paths, so I am waiting, maybe will pull together a bunch of scattered thoughts and comments and complaints. It remains a big topic for many and does ulitimately need its own topic. Personally I have been baffled at the grief that many feel with it. Really baffled. “Authority” in general is a tough topic, and on the surface there are many Scriptures that would slap the modern Christian upside the head. Wives obeying their husbands, silent in church . . . patriarchs who “obeyed” the commandments of parents when they – the CHILD – were in their 70s . . . even Jesus “submitting” to Joseph and Mary. None of us like to be told what to do, especially with God telling us that we need to “obey” another flawed human being. So the complaint is far, far bigger than simply Gothard’s interpretation of all of that. He, uniquely, has a way of making it very real and relevant, “out of the shadows”. So many have deeply appreciated that . . . others find that really confusing and scary.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            May 28, 2016    

            Thanks for the compliment, brother. I just sensed that Gothard devoted a lot of thought to a metaphor which would be attention-getting and also capture an orthodox principle. Of course the attention is divided into favorable and unfavorable. Mine is favorable. Others, maybe not so much.

            But I am not surprised that some people bristle at the umbrella thing. No one likes to be bossed around, so we insist that the burden of proof lies with him who presumes to rule us. Jesus may call me his sheep, but if my neighbor attempts to make me his sheep, I expect to see his credentials.

            Peace,
            David K

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 29, 2016    

            I share your favorable rating. Also the notion of not wanting to be bossed around. Here is at least one set of Scriptures that suggests that the Lord expects some “abuse” of power coming from our authority to be normal . . .

            “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” (Heb. 12:9-10)

  17. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 22, 2016    

    The heavy touting of IBLP in teaching & practice, by the one who proclaimed-&-maintained that “It’s not in the Bible, but it should be”, was accurate on the first count. Very, very wrong on his second point!!! But dead-ringin’ on the first part.

    MY paraphrase of Gothard’s Umbrella:
    “Go to whomever is your authority(ies) & ask forgiveness for any mistakes you’ve made in being under that person/people. Tell them that such mistakes were, specifically, failing to stay under that authority. [Me: As opposed to owning up to any sloppy execution of reasonable objectives foiled by one’s lacking in their own productivity with respect to within-reach assignment(s)]. Then, in light of this revelation of said failure to stay under authority, pledge your obedience & undying devotion until which time they may release you from your serfdom.”

    This is a play off the gospel. The terminology is changed: Sin is redefined as failing to align oneself under human authority. Being repentant is defined as becoming a bond-servant with this bond-slavery -rather than working off a debt or apprenticeship- as the objective-unto-itself. What is also changed (& this is even more significant), is the identity of the one to come before in asking forgiveness. Instead of God being appealed to directly, it’s whomever has anyone under them who is to be sought for the issuing of forgiveness, & to subsequently guide this transformation of this other life. Since God has already issued His forgiveness to anyone applying for it from HIS gospel, & since He is already guiding the person doing this by the Holy Spirit, it’s baffling why He should need anyone else to be solicited to start offering what it is that He’s already abundantly supplying.

    The closet-Gothardite was being very true to the Umbrella in how he handled the whole situation I mentioned. From the time of the perv’s initially coming to him for a job to his lying to the board of directors overseeing the organization he presided over. The perv’s whining to him about how his “authority” & “position” hadn’t been upheld by his colleagues in his previous 3 firings, & how this had come about because his “authority” & “position” weren’t regarded by all those who had made reports to the 3 different administrations about him (disregarded by these in their reporting)……… all this was taken at face value by the closet-Gothardite. Hence, the perv was given a job. Along with letterhead. And personally handed every “communication card” -filled out at the behest of the organization- by everyone between ages 23-37, both female & male, detailing their phone number & e-mail. And a room there at the organization for his personal use with placard outside the door identifying it as such so that all whom he introduced himself to via telephone & e-mail would know where to meet in accepting his invitations of “life-coaching.” I have to say that, even if the perv hadn’t made things a whole lot easier for me & my contemporaries by leaving such a prolific wake by the time he got to us, we would still have been behooven to come forward. And would have gone through the same hell that those in the first rounds went through. I don’t know how they did it. I don’t know how the plaintiffs are doing it.

    Humor me here: Tell me which of the following descriptions apply ONLY to IBLP-dogma, OR to the situation I’ve eluded to:
    (To show if there’s any pragmatic difference between IBLP-dogma & a situation of this type):

    (A) Central emphasis on needing to come under -or, if already under, to crouch even tighter under- the approval of another human.
    (B) Adamacy from the exact same camp that behavior need not be acceptable to others- as long as it is not behavior that can fit under the all-time bad of insubordination!!!
    (C) As a matter of fact, anything (except unsubmission) that is hinted at as being unacceptable by anyone is, to the contrary, perfectly acceptable & serves as a “test-case” for subordination! While underscoring their immunity to another’s disapproval by behaving in ways hinted at as being unacceptable, the one exercising their authority is not only afforded to carry on with their behavior, but they can identify those who are out from under the Umbrella! As evidenced by the hints given by such as these! And, if not daring to give hint of it, the absence of adulation reveals such as these. They give themselves away as rebellious in this edge-of-the-rim marginalization of themselves!
    (D) The need for submission is “proven” by the existence of such dynamics & is thereby reinforced with even greater adamacy. The “magic bullet” of subordinates becoming ever more adherent to their superior(s) is re-emphasized as the cure-all of such situation.

    Of the A-thru-D, just try to tell me which-is-which: IBLP-dogma, or merely an unconnected situation.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 23, 2016    

      You know, I need to release this . . . and try to work through it later. I want to answer each question, but was having trouble processing my way through.


      “Go to whomever is your authority(ies) & ask forgiveness for any mistakes you’ve made in being under that person/people. Tell them that such mistakes were, specifically, failing to stay under that authority. [Me: As opposed to owning up to any sloppy execution of reasonable objectives foiled by one’s lacking in their own productivity with respect to within-reach assignment(s)]. Then, in light of this revelation of said failure to stay under authority, pledge your obedience & undying devotion until which time they may release you from your serfdom.”

      I was trying – hard – to process through this. This just doesn’t resemble anything I deal with. Obedience to God ordained authorities is mandated by the Lord . . . I trust that is not in question. But . . . groveling, slavery, undying devotion? Ask my wife about that :-) Or my kids, for that matter.

      A) Central emphasis on needing to come under -or, if already under, to crouch even tighter under- the approval of another human.

      We should seek “loving favor”, as Daniel did with his captors . . . and we should submit to church leaders so they can give account with joy:
      Hebrews 13:17
      “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

      But we seek the approval of the Lord, and that sometimes means making earthly authorities unhappy with us for a while. Can’t be helped. I reject any notion that I am more accountable to any authority than to the Lord Himself. When HE tells me to obey, well, that is a different story. But it is all limited. Nobody has lordship over my conscience.

      (B) Adamacy from the exact same camp that behavior need not be acceptable to others- as long as it is not behavior that can fit under the all-time bad of insubordination!!!

      1 Samuel 15:23

      “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

      Rebellion is always bad. That is my will against the universe. Obedience to the Lord rather than man, that is not rebellion, even though it feels like that to the one in authority. Stubbornness is also bad . . . those are classic sins of a sinful being who does not like to be restrained. But once I am under authority to the Lord, there can be no such thing as rebellion, even if I disobey.

      (C) As a matter of fact, anything (except unsubmission) that is hinted at as being unacceptable by anyone is, to the contrary, perfectly acceptable & serves as a “test-case” for subordination! While underscoring their immunity to another’s disapproval by behaving in ways hinted at as being unacceptable, the one exercising their authority is not only afforded to carry on with their behavior, but they can identify those who are out from under the Umbrella! As evidenced by the hints given by such as these! And, if not daring to give hint of it, the absence of adulation reveals such as these. They give themselves away as rebellious in this edge-of-the-rim marginalization of themselves!

      I am getting lost . . . but that is NOT the ways of the Lord. We people get petty which our supposed “authority” and try to get everyone to come to heel. The Lord is not into that. Indeed, whoever is on the top of the pile MUST serve everyone below, so says Jesus. Sort of flips upside down. I assure you I have not always done right in this department . . . being, again, petty with my wife, some with my kids. I was wrong. Nobody can survive as the mindless vassel of another. That is not the Lord’s way.

      (D) The need for submission is “proven” by the existence of such dynamics & is thereby reinforced with even greater adamacy. The “magic bullet” of subordinates becoming ever more adherent to their superior(s) is re-emphasized as the cure-all of such situation.

      Again . . . not God’s way. BTW . . . if you ever want to actually talk this through with Bill himself . . . I bet I can make that happen. Contact us privately through the “contact@discoveringgrace.com” email. You wouldn’t believe how few people actually have the guts to look Bill in the eye and say what they feel. A handful. He is not that scary, 81 years old and all. You might be really surprised.

      I found a great graphic for the “umbrella” . . . but am going on a bit of a vacation, so we shall see. At that point I would try to summarize your points . . .

  18. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 25, 2016    

    “But once I am under authority to the Lord, there can be no such thing as rebellion, even if I disobey [my earthly superiors].” I concur with your statement here. But it is totally contrary to IBLP’s main tenet & it’s examples in the seminar.

    IBLP-gospel hinges on doing right by other people. Even your “proof” that it doesn’t mandate absolute submission by quoting “A wife can disobey her husband and be respected for it; she can obey her husband and be despised for it” refers to (dis)approval of others as the only counterweight to the Umbrella. That quote, if said to an individual already indoctrinated by the Umbrella (as all hearing Gothard speak indeed are), carries no weight other than shame. And any release from a spouse’s expectations wouldn’t likely be elicited by this quote’s appeal to the wife subject to them. Since the essence of it is to instead develop an overriding fear of the attitudes toward her of people besides her husband. Except, apparently, in Gothard’s estimation: if it really is ok with him for you to use this quote as your purported evidence against him mandating a status quo of totalitarian control.

    On IBLP projector screens, Gothard spells out the substantiation of the Umbrella: rendering oneself obedient to one’s fellow man, any & all personal failure chalked-up as failure to have done so previously, with this as the primary focal point going forward. After all, it’s billed as how God’s kingdom operates, the secret knowledge of success. Any lapse in doing this, & it’s already established that there’s a lag in God’s Kingdom coming, in direct proportion.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 25, 2016    

      On IBLP projector screens, Gothard spells out the substantiation of the Umbrella: rendering oneself obedient to one’s fellow man, any & all personal failure chalked-up as failure to have done so previously, with this as the primary focal point going forward.

      Again, what you appear to be reacting to is at best a characature of what Bill teaches. In a 30 hour seminar he just doesn’t spend that much time on it. I was hoping for some specifics . . . Having a hard time plugging into your concerns. You never answered my question, or if you did, I missed it. Did you attend Bill’s teaching on Authority, or are you responding to what others did in response to what thgey allegedly heard, perhaps in Bill’s name?

  19. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 28, 2016    

    Just got back in town after being away on business. No time to respond before now.
    I attended the Basic 4 times, as I’ve said. It was Gothard on the projector screen the whole time. I filled out the slip that got mailed in with all my info, just like everybody else had to (“lifelong alumni”, you know).
    Besides that, because of the fact that the Umbrella is Gothard’s gospel, it wouldn’t matter even if I HAVE only been “responding to what others did in response to what thgey allegedly heard, perhaps in Bill’s name?” Gothard’s gospel is as I summarized above. It’s fascism for implementation by anyone wanting to take the reigns in ruling over any social structure. If Gothard were intellectually honest, he would be shaking the hand of the closet-Gothardite while slapping him on the back; after all, this guy was merely following what is taught in the Basic. Especially since this closet-Gothardite lost his job for his Umbrella-implementing (& subsequent lying about this to his elder board). Seems like Gothard shouldn’t be distanced from such a one who took one for the team (team Umbrella).

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 29, 2016    

      It’s fascism for implementation by anyone wanting to take the reigns in ruling over any social structure.

      So, here are some God quotes:

      “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands . . . For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:1, 5)

      “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Eph. 6:1)

      “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves” (Heb. 13:17)

      Are these statements, in your mind, subjugation to fascism? If not, why not?

  20. Incredulous Incredulous
    May 29, 2016    

    No, these Word-of-God quotations are not fascism. Neither is the Hebrews verse you quoted about reverencing earthly fathers “chastising us unto their own pleasure” which is, in this verse, contrasted with God’s way of it being for our good. (The contrast here is that God’s way is for the child’s good VERSUS that of earthly fathers). Yet, God says to reverence earthly fathers even in light of this contrast. But:

    (A) He doesn’t say to grovel before them on one’s hands & knees, either as a result of being struck down or,- as Gothard instructs-, in going back to them as an adult to beg for direction for one’s life.

    (B) He doesn’t say that an authority structure itself begs any submission as the final rule. He doesn’t even say that all COVENANT relationships do, as a FINAL rule, only as the rule: husband/wife, parent/child. But Gothard, in his saying that those in authority positions inherently deserve the submission reserved for covenant relationships, has challenged Scripture in inventing a marketable “hidden wisdom” of his own. The cautions against associating oneself with religious leaders “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14, as well as Jesus’ command to do what these say but taking care to never imitate what they do (as opposed to “Imitate my faith”, & “Imitate their faith” which is what God instructs us to do concerning Paul & other legitimate pastors), as well as the “Do not be unequally yoked” admonition all strongly suggest that having a non-covenant authority does not entail any need for subjugation. Nor does it entail going all out to make such a one successful. Rather, God says to watch & see which church leader is successful & then imitate their faith so as to be successful in the faith ONESELF. Big difference.

    (C) He never says that making an appeal is the way to go, although does provide ample examples in Scripture of godly subordinates doing so. One thing about making such appeal: it’s only the reasonable & just leaders who would adjust their M.O. in accomodating one. Thus, it’s those who are good to “be under” in the first place who would make favorable arrangements for their subordinates. Whereas appeals are not even heard by tyrants. People with Borderline Personality Disorder, for example, have their self-worth in imagining that everyone in their life thinks that everything they do is perfect. So, making an appeal to an authority with this disorder means only one thing to them: the “I do everything perfectly” “status quo” is being challenged by the one making the appeal. Because making a suggestion presumes upon there being room for improvement and, since people with this type of disorder depend on others’ opinion being that they hover above the threshold of perfection, it is therefore “a personal attack” to make an appeal. A “personal attack” on an authority equals rebellion that must be punished. As Gothard’s Umbrella reinforces. So, if you’re “under” a tyrant, you’re not only never going to be heard regarding a particular situation. But, also, the overall experience of being under such a one is that of living in bondage to a person who is untrustworthy due to their mental imbalance. In family relationships there is little to be done about this until one reaches adulthood & can break free to make one’s own decisions (although this also is contrary to what Gothard teaches). There is no reason to extend such a relationship, or to enter into one. And care needs to be taken; like felons & guns, it’s always these types who try to illegally (illegitimately) obtain what others lawfully (by covenant) gain.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 29, 2016    

      OK, I finally pulled this topic out as its own post. If we can, let’s make our further comments there.

  21. reader rabbit reader rabbit
    June 13, 2016    

    Dear Brother David,
    I think we have exceeded the number of replies the site will allow so maybe you will see this at the end. I am acquainted with a few homes for children and they appear to be doing a good work. This link is to a recent bittersweet adoption story from our church family. You might be encouraged and imagine your adoptive parents having such a love for you, even in the midst of hard circumstances. I believe that how the church treats “the least of these” is a testimony to the world and adoption, even with its flaws, plays a role in reaching hearts of unbelievers. Everyone is not called to adopt or have a prison ministry or go to an unreached people’s group, but we are called to say, “Yes” to what the Lord has for us. When we say no, we miss not only the opportunity to bless others, but to be blessed ourselves. http://injo.com/2016/06/623586-born-with-no-brain-not-given-long-to-live-baby-avas-adoption-story-is-leaving-people-in-tears/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=entry-meta&utm_campaign=Sharing

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

      Sister, thank you for that link. It is quite a story. Notice how even the dog got into the act!

      There is even a slightly eerie connection between the Lewis story and my own story. Not my adoption story, but my brain injury story. More than twenty years ago, I suffered a severe brain injury in a military accident. After three brain surgeries, my prospects were looking pretty bleak. if I survived at all, I was certain to be vegetative or severely disabled for the rest of my life. Mrs. K was counseled that no-fault divorce was justified on the grounds that this burden was not what she “signed up for.” But you and I both know that spouses “sign up” (vow) for exactly such extremes, “for better or worse.” Mrs. K waxed indignant at the offer of treachery, and the matter was dropped. So here we are in 2016, happily ever after.

      Fortunately, my fate worked out longer and stronger than the brief life of the poor Lewis baby. I live with some disabilities, but Mrs. K and I were able to have five more children after that fateful day in 1992. We were even able to homeschool all ten kids. In fact, we still are homeschooling the younger ones.

      I wonder, does the mother even know that she had twins or what happened to the little girl? I wonder whether she might like to know that her little girl was so loved and laid to rest when her little body finally gave out a few weeks ago?

      The Lewis family is remarkable. Extraordinary people. Do you know them well?

      Peace and Love,
      David K

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