Recovering Grace, the website forum founded by disgruntled former ATI students 6 or so years ago recently released a statement on the dismissal of the 17 lawsuits which their fervent efforts represented a culmination of. Since many of the members of this team were banned from commenting there by way of response, we will make a few comments here.
“In late February 2018, we were told that, despite the merits of the case, the plaintiff’s attorneys had suggested that they discontinue their suit due to a couple of factors”
The two points cited are certainly true. The “emotional toll” has been evident all along, one that those cognizant of such things should have warned the plaintiffs away from. Instead, it was like recruitment to a club: “Come, join us, won’t cost you a penny, you can remain anonymous, may get a lot of money, and do your part to shut Bill Gothard down!” Now they know better. They have been forced to expose some of the most personal aspects of their lives through 30,000 pages of private chats they had to turn over as part of discovery. This displayed the detailed inner workings of Recovering Grace, the planning for the lawsuit and heavy role they had in it, and even unmasked the women that posted anonymously on the site. What’s more, the date they chose to drop the lawsuit coincided with the date given in the subpoena to turn over the contents of several additional “top secret plaintiff forums” that they had thought privileged. While even the peripheral documents given impeached them over and over, there can be no doubt that the additional information would have been all that multiple times over.
The toll was evident on members of RG’s team. The obvious toll on Bill, let alone on all of us supporting Bill and on IBLP staff and leadership, was life bending and staggering as well. About the only clear win here might be the legal teams. Which is usually how it works out.
The other point was true as well. The incoming plaintiff legal team – brought in after the former team was kicked off by the judge for misconduct – called the prior lawsuit “insane” and worked to resurrect it. They quickly learned they had gotten into something that was altogether unpromising. We were given clear hints months earlier that they were down to one, maybe two plaintiffs that they had any hope of getting through to trial – this on the “merits of the cases”.
As to countersuing, while it is a fact that defamatory statements cannot be pursued in court after a year from the point they were posted under Illinois law, that same law does allow that statute to be overridden for anyone who sues the aggrieved party. Meaning Bill would have been able to use all statements of “false facts” made in public, or in private chats with others presented in discovery, to pursue a remedy. Any plaintiff that consistently told the truth would have no fear. But accusing Bill of, say, “footsie”, a sexually charged term, or calling him a “pervert”, or even alleging “sexual harassment” would have come into play. None of those things can be proven, because they never happened.
In point of fact, Bill’s attorney has filed a motion in Circuit Court as of 03/28/2018 to ask the judge to declare the lawsuits “frivolous”. That is the legal remedy against those that file actions that have little to no basis in reality and exist primarily to punish the defendant, this by draining funds for legal defense and harming his reputation by pleadings that are themselves protected from prosecution. That is just wrong. There is absolutely no doubt that this is what drove the plaintiffs – with Recovering Grace behind them – into this ill-advised act. Bill’s defense alone has cost IBLP more than $200,000, and it is likely that the total expense will be more than a half million dollars. For those that hate IBLP, hate Bill, and perhaps hate their supporters, why this is a big win. For others, it is a crime all by itself.
“Bill Gothard went on a verbal offensive against the former plaintiffs and against Recovering Grace”
Yes, Bill has been busy trying to reach out to plaintiffs, trying to reestablish communication. There are scriptural ways to quickly solve the issues at hand. Somehow that seems more right than continuing to meet in Judge Popejoy’s courtroom. Some of our team has been busy reaching out to Recovering Grace and others that have continued to post defamatory statements against Bill, with a warning. The same warning we provided them years ago when they were posting falsehoods completely unbridled. Neither Bill nor Bill’s legal team asked us to do this, so we will take the blame. Or credit. Would to God they had listened.
“One of these statements exposes private medical and deeply personal family information about a former plaintiff who released a personal statement after the case was dropped—information gleaned by Gothard’s legal team as part of the discovery phase of the lawsuit and by Gothard personally during counseling sessions with the plaintiff several years earlier.”
Emily Jaeger “unmasked” herself as a plaintiff and then made a couple of large statements on Spiritual Sounding Board. On Bill’s behalf we asked if she would speak to Bill. We also then asked on his behalf to post a response on the venue it was up on. Both requests were declined.
Bill wrote the response we published, referencing the actual events that were in play as documented in public posts and private emails and letters. Even after this Bill asked us to relay to her that he would love to just talk, and take all of the statements down. Again, she declined.
For the record, I have in front of me Emily’s April 24, 2012 post to Recovering Grace wherein she tells her entire story. It is public record information, even though it was deleted some time hence as she and her mother tried to distance themselves from this action. So . . . none of this statement is correct.
“a website run by a self-described paid member of his legal team”
That would be this website. We are a team, nobody pays us, and nobody tells us what to do. Other than the legal team if they feel it jeopardizes the case. Both Bill and IBLP have sought to influence or alter us. While we listen to everyone, and we obviously support Bill, we proceed as the Lord directs. Indeed, we believe it was Bill’s ignorance of, indifference to the entire social media aspect of modern life that allowed this disaster of hatred and lies to reach this level of effectiveness. So, we feel it our responsibility before the Lord to help with that.
And, for the record, the “paid member of his legal team” was paid – at his request – an amount more than $1/day and less than $2/day for the privilege of assisting the legal team as a member.
And we might want to point out that the discovery docs show members of the RG leadership team positioning themselves to receive their own share of the “winnings”, an amount that, had the lawsuits all prevailed, would have been at least $400,000. This for the purpose of funding the website and its future activities. Also showed that RG had their own lawyer – referred to openly as the “Recovering Grace Lawyer” by the plaintiffs – actively engaged in supporting all aspects of the lawsuit that they could, signing most of the plaintiffs as clients. Information passing freely back and forth. To allege that Recovering Grace had essentially no role in the suit . . . is a lie. Dr. Cornish, please correct the record for your own conscience sake.
03/30/2018 – While we have not often been official bearers of first hand legal threats it should be noted that all such things are passed by the legal team before putting it out there. The lawyer reminded me today of the significance of this public statement by the plaintiffs:
“we are not recanting our experiences”
That states, for the public record, that all of the plaintiffs are declaring that all of their pleadings in the lawsuit are true. We believe – no, we know – that a large number are NOT true. Contradicted by their own statements in private chats. This statement – as of 02/26/2018 – suddenly opened a new one year window of opportunity to sue them for defamation, and now for every word in the lawsuit, previously off limits for that purpose.
We would plead with the plaintiffs: Please, for everyone’s sake, take your matters directly to Bill and figure it out. We will help you. A number of you declared in private that some of what was put into the lawsuit is false, put in without your knowledge. Yet in public you declare that you are recanting nothing. Now is the time to make it clear. Armed with the statements in the discovery docs, proving your “malice” against Bill is a simple thing, the only additional hurdle that a public person needs to get past to sue. Melania Trump won a good sized settlement last year against a blogger for a single statement, a morally degrading “false fact” that he in fact believed to be true. That and allegations of moral perversion that are in the pleadings are defamation “per se”.
You simply CANNOT state things in public that are false and designed to destroy another human being, let alone a servant of the Lord, no matter how much you disagree with him. The amount of money you have wasted in this frivolous exercise is staggering. So far every attempt to reach out in private has been rebuffed. No, it is not OK to just “move on”. You must correct some of the damage that you have done by false statements. Let’s make this straight and put this behind us.
Dude, that is lavish compensation for a paid legal assistant. After a month’s work you can order a pizza to celebrate. Next time you work for a defendant, the pizza is on me if you don’t mind passing a slice. I’ll even tip the delivery boy for you.
That would be a delicious pizza indeed. 🙂 The unknown legal team member was offered an hourly fee equal to what is being paid by the month. There is a reason why Mamas raise their babies to be lawyers.
So mamas raise their babies to be lawyers instead of cowboys? Don’t tell Waylon Jennings!
Rather than the pay, it seems people are more interested in the relationship the pay represents. It’s not free, so it has meaning, like selling an asset for $1, etc. You are also Bill’s spokesman. It seems you are literally all things to him! 🙂
Well, just so it is clear that money isn’t what is driving us. And no matter how you spin it, we just aren’t Bill’s spokespeople, not officially. By default, perhaps, just like “Spiritual Sounding Board” has briefly become a sort of “spokesperson” for the plaintiffs. We would very much like to work ourselves out of that job.
All this gets very confusing, as both sides seem to think the discovery documents say different things yet they are still hidden away from the public. Are there any good ‘excerpts’ from them? I supported the RG lawsuit at first but it’s beginning to sound more like “The Crucible.” At the same time though, it’s mostly two parties arguing very publicly over a stack of papers while the public has no idea what’s in that stack, so it’s pretty much impossible for an unbiased observer to know.
There are now “excerpts” available as they have become part of the public record in the newly filed motion. Others remain private, although we get to quote as long as the quotes do not link to a specific plaintiff . . . in ways that have not been otherwise already made.
Would an unbiased observer waste his time browsing RG or DG? We browse because we’re biased. We are biased because we have been involved with Gothard to some degree or other. Neutral parties do other stuff with their time. Perhaps they are wiser than we?
Thank you for your response, but I think you’re confusing interest and bias. I read stuff in the newspaper all the time that I’m interested in but am also neutral about. Since there is no “official source” for most of this and you wouldn’t find it in a newspaper, all I really can do is weight both sides from their respective websites.
Yeah, fair enough. In this case I assumed that interest and bias would inevitably go together. BG seems to stir up strong feelings one way or the other. People are often either fervent Gothardites or equally fervent Gothard-haters. Toward Gothard, authentic neutrality is hard to come by.
But you’re right. There really is such a thing as neutrality. Perhaps we would be better served by cultivating it more often. Both religion and politics need more neutrality. It might produce the peace to which we pay lip service but rarely attain.
Speaking of peace, Happy Easter 2018
1. I read the entirety of the motion that Bill filed. While it seems obvious to me that the plaintiff’s lawyers made some mistakes in their legal strategy in an attempt to get around SoL, all quotes by the plaintiffs (which come from private conversations, by the way) concerning the details of Bill’s misconduct are consistent with what has been posted on RG and other sites.
2. Why is Bill suing the plaintiffs for legal fees, when you yourself said the IBLP had been paying them? If Bill is out no money, then why the motion? This seems vindictive.
3. I am friends with a couple of the RG team members, including (I think) the one you label the “Recovering Grace lawyer.” Based on what they tell me, they are truly baffled by your accusations that they were going to profit from a win in the case. Even Bill’s motion shows no mention (in it’s listing of all involved lawyers) of anyone remotely connected to RG (no former ATI students at all, for that matter). Fake news, perhaps?
4. Concerning your addendum addressed to the plaintiffs, Bill taught for decades that Christians should not sue other believers. Seems self-serving that he would threaten to do so now.
5. It seems that Bill’s lawyer is encouraging him to sue. Keep in mind that he only continues to make money on this if Bill sues. Otherwise, his job is done. He’s not exactly an unbiased advisor.
1) Whether consistent with public statements is materially irrelevant to the motion. It is only concerned with statements they made elsewhere – in chats or in other venues – that impeach their statements in the lawsuit. If they contradicted their public statements at the same time they contradicted their lawsuit pleadings, that is even worse.
2) The “sanctions” are a spanking on plaintiffs – more specifically their lawyers – based on doing something they should not have done. The sanction against Gibbs for his mischief was getting kicked off the case. The amounts are somewhat secondary to making an important point . . . That the cases themselves were “frivolous”. I am not aware of any discussions on what would be done with monies recovered.
As to vindictive, Bill officially proposed to the plaintiffs that they agree to reconcile in lieu of requesting the sanctions. Sit down with him and work this out in a scriptural way. Also agree to never sue again, and also turn over the documents they refused to turn over when demanded by the court. No money. They refused as of this past Monday. As it has been from day one. You tell me what is to be done.
3). If we are dealing with the same person, he will surely remember the terms that he requested of each plaintiff that he signed up as a client in support of the lawsuit. He handed them each a form to complete and sign, which was the ticket to enter his private plaintiff forum. Those terms defined the portion of the winnings that he was requesting for his services.
No, this has nothing to do with the motion. It has to do with the concern expressed by RG that one of our own is a “PAID member of the legal team”, implying, one would imagine, a motive compromised by greed. Which causes us to be amused since we know that they were busy trying to make some serious bucks off the case themselves.
4). Bill did not sue anyone here – he was sued. So, the case needs to be landed. The same court has jurisdiction over the same case for 30 days after the last action. This motion is part of the same case – that the plaintiffs filed.
BUT . . . For the record . . . Several of the plaintiffs declared in their chats that Bill is not saved, allowing them to happily sue him. At least as far as they are concerned, the rules don’t apply anyway. So there should be no reason anyone would complain on that basis. Conversely, since Bill can’t talk to them he has no way, for argument’s sake, to know if they know Jesus or not. All the more reason . . . To start the discussion now.
But the discussion is moot, since this is still a matter of Bill protecting himself from future trouble as well as attempting to command some responsibility on the part of others that have wasted an insane amount of precious ministry money by suing him.
5). Bill’s lawyer is, again, doing his utmost to protect Bill, as is his job. It was his perspective that the plaintiffs would happily choose to forego the option of filing future lawsuits – in the next year – in exchange for avoiding the consequences of doing what they did. And finally sit down with Bill and, like, talk to him, and work out their concerns. That carrot was summarily rejected. So we will see what the judge has to say.
1. It most certainly is relevant. You have been stating on this blog for quite some time that the plaintiffs are liars who manufactured sexual harassment claims to take down Bill Gothard. Unfortunately, the sexual harassment statute of limitations is quite short. It seems the attorneys attempted a creative approach to the statute of limitations, one which thus far the judge was willing to go along with. Though it seems hard to tell for sure without the context of the plaintiffs’ statements included in the motion, there is some indication that they weren’t entirely comfortable with the attorneys’ strategies. However, at no point in those 85 pages did I read of a plaintiff admitting that the allegations of Bill’s behavior were falsified.
In fact, I read again and again statements that said the opposite, one plaintiff even saying, “He touched my feet constantly, he held my hand, he sat very closely to me, wanted me alone in his office after hours, etc. The footy thing made me really uncomfortable, as well as the late-night meetings.” This behavior is textbook sexual harassment, and is consistent with what all of these women have been saying for years. Regardless of whether this motion succeeds or not, making these statements public only serves to confirm that the women never wavered about what Bill did to them. I am certain that if you and your legal team had found an admission of lying or falsification of claims in discovery documents, you would have screamed it from the rooftops by now. I am only left to assume that you found no such evidence in your “30,000 pages” of private conversations.
2. Bill’s demands of the plaintiffs are laughable. An best, he sexually harassed these women. They never want to see him again, much less “reconcile” with him. What Bill is doing is bullying: telling them to keep quiet, give him their private conversations, meet with him, promise never to seek justice, or he’ll file a motion for $18,000+. Which he has now done. Bill doesn’t care about these women. He cares about their silence.
3. I called my friend this morning, and he assured me that you have no idea what you are talking about. Apparently in the early days of the lawsuit (2015 or so), when Gibbs was the lead attorney, some of the plaintiffs wanted my friend to serve as a “consulting attorney,” one who helped explain some of legalese involved in the case. They trusted my friend because of his involvement in the RG community.
Some of the plaintiffs wanted to offer him a small percentage of any winnings for his time, which he stated would be used to help the RG community in forming a fund for counseling and other outreach services to ATI/IBLP survivors. This was certainly not a requirement to be a part of the case, and my friend was not an active part of any legal proceedings. You should know this, because apparently you attended most of the legal proceedings, and I’m sure you read all of the documents.
As far as a “ticket,” he says you are referring to a very short document that was used to ensure the legal privilege of his conversations, and to validate that plaintiffs were who they said they were (he didn’t know many of them at first)…for his protection and the protection of the other plaintiffs.
Answer me this: was my friend there in court? Did his name appear on any of the filings? Do you have any signed documents stating that he (or anyone involved with RG) would stand to gain $400,000 if the plaintiffs won? If not, you are grossly misrepresenting his/their involvement and for that matter, defaming him and them.
4. I clearly stated that this point was in reference to your addended threats to sue the plaintiffs for defamation because you think the window has been reopened. That would be a new suit, not an old one. The arguments about Christian/non-Christian is just smoke and mirrors. Suing these women would be a clear violation of Bill’s lifelong teachings on lawsuits, not to mention his teachings on yielding rights, forgiveness, and dealing with persecution.
5. You have a much higher trust of lawyers than I, apparently. Bill lawyer’s job is done if Bill lets this go. If Bill sues, he’s got another few years of work lined up. Worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, no doubt.
1). Dealing with lawyers for a while you get to learn a few things. One is that this “sexual harassment” thing you speak of has some very clear parameters. It is defined in a work setting, and it has to be undesired, and it has to be “harassing”. There simply are no instances of anything that Bill did that were sexual in nature, that were TAKEN as sexual in nature, and absolutely nothing that, when brought to his attention as undesired, was repeated. I am sorry, but that, again, is “defamation”. After ALL you read on Recovering Grace and even in the pleadings of the plaintiffs, from where you sit, SOL excepted, the case should have been a slam dunk. It isn’t. The lawyers that dealt with it knew that too. Your friend even said so in private, unguarded moments, things that really rattled the plaintiffs.
Oh, that that “grooming” charge? There is no such thing. Look it up. What we have is “grooming for a crime”, as it relates to a crime, but, see, Bill never committed a crime. And NOTHING he did was in preparation for a crime. I observed the lawyer chuckling a bit at this.
Creative is true, but also effective. The judge was clearly sympathetic to the cause, and he gave no indication otherwise.
As to Charis’s statements – contrast them with this statement of hers:
“I feel bg’s theological errors are infinitely more damaging than his physical sins.”
Have you EVER known a woman genuinely subjected to sexual abuse that could make such a statement? Neither have I. Also, this is a correct observation by the lawyer:
“Nothing within any of her Answers to Interrogatories, chat room statements or her own “story” published at the Recovering Grace web site (Exhibit A-11) support the pleadings that GOTHARD ever sought or attempted any kind of sexual activity.”
Again, a woman who has been marred is not going to act like that.
Yes, we have clear evidence of falsification. We have some limits on our ability to produce it, as the chats are private.
o Look at Melody that told an officer in an official report that Bill had never done the things she later stated he had done in the suit (touch her private areas). Small wonder that she quietly excused herself last year before she had to make statements under oath.
o In another post we highlighted a plaintiff that was not really there for sexual accusations, but needed them to make it to the next iteration of the lawsuit. After struggling to try to recall anything, that night she had a dream in which she was being molested by Bill. She told the lawyers about it, and Gibbs assured her it had to be real, put it right in. Later quote, “what if Im wrong, ____? what if my brain is playing tricks on me? what if Gibbs just led me on? regarding BG molesting me?” Indeed. So . . . there is a charge with her name on it. It is quite specific in presentation. And it all came from a dream.
o How about Rachel Frost? Her words: “They had sexual abuse listed on mine as well, which I have questioned. Miller said that they were on the fence with that for me, especially with the rough hair grab incident. When he sent me the legal definition for sexual abuse though, I really don’t feel right about calling my experience that. I have asked him to remove it and only list sexual harassment.”
There was a twinge of guilt there, conscience condemning the allegation of “sexual abuse”. She left it in, BTW, after stating that she could not call anything Bill did, that. The lawyers likely figured they weren’t going to get anywhere with ‘sexual harassment’, especially given that Bill’s lawyer specializes in “employment law”, and pressured her to, well, make it up.
We have a lot more. I guess I am surprised you are not seeing what we are.
2). Now that we understand that he never “sexually harassed” them, that barrier is removed. The private conversations? The JUDGE demanded they turn those over. They quit instead. Bill wants them to comply with the order. Here is the order.
What they want is up to them. Some want peace, some want to help others, some want notoriety, some definitely are interested in money. But they have all opened the door to litigation, sued Bill for millions of dollars, savaged him in public – now that it has spun against them they would like to just say, “nevermind”? That just doesn’t seem right.
3). These statements may jog his memory:
“a very short document” as you describe it is referred to as a “retainer agreement and confidentiality agreement”. Retainer would be a “make me your lawyer” document. Do we have these signed documents? No, I don’t think we do. Or maybe we do. There were a lot of “discovery” docs. Why don’t you ask him for a copy? Regardless, tell me if this changes your mind. Any __% of $8 million, which is what the suit morphed into, is a lot of cash. That BEFORE punitive damages. A lawyer would understand that.
4). “Violation of Bill’s lifelong teachings on lawsuits” Well, maybe there is a change, and maybe it is just that the plaintiffs didn’t understand what he taught, so figured they had an unimpeded ride to a beach in New Zealand with mimosas in hand (that was the trip they were working on). Bill takes Paul’s “Appeal to Caesar” quite seriously, that involving those that Romans 13 calls “Ministers of God for Good”. We are over in the “Umbrella of Protection” side now. He did talk a lot about that. Paul appealed to Caesar, so does Bill.
5). Hard to say. See, with all the best efforts of RG Bill has been removed from the ministry that has been his passion for 50 years. All that energy and support from donors that still believe in him, and nothing to do? He doesn’t fish, hasn’t much family. He really, strongly believes that the lies that have been spread about him are damaging a lot of people – 2.7 million alumni, plus thousands of ATI participants – folks that trusted him and “took a risk” on believing the Lord and His promises. Some have have turned away from Jesus, or fallen into Satan’s lies. He seems to feel it is a worthwhile effort to get the matter set as straight as it can be.
One option is for those that have misrepresented him to fix this. Straighten out the narratives. Work it through with him so joint statements can be published that make both sides happy. Frankly, it is the only right thing to do.
Alfred, you write, “I guess I am surprised you are not seeing what we are.” This may be because you fill in any holes in what you’re looking at with what you want to see? We see this in all of your bazillion comments on RG (that seem to all still be there). What did your drawings look like when you were a kid and played connect-the-dots!? You were supposed to draw a dog, but it came out looking like a demon?
For example, the bit you show about the “RG attorney” demonstrates his kindness and generosity. And it doesn’t make the case you claim. But you will disagree, and I won’t belabor it.
Bill should take up fishing.
Well, “kindness and generosity” toward plaintiffs, certainly not to Bill. Or else one would not be trying to continue to fuel the conspiracy with an ostensibly privileged “plaintiff chat forum”, AND take a hefty fee from Bill and his ministry and donors at the same time. I know “hefty” is relative, especially for lawyers.
It would be fair to say that there is not a whole lot of anything that could be posted at this end that would have any hope of changing your mind, right? Which is the hardened heart and mindset that has characterized “the other side” for many years now. And resulted in the mess that we have now. Ponder though the possibility that the Lord may have heard Bill’s cries and has stepped in to help him.
A lot of us would prefer to buy the fish for Bill so he can do the things that only he can do for the kingdom of God. Another man’s treasure.
1. All I take away from this rambling is that you are completely ignorant of what sexual harassment is and what it looks like. In my place of employment, we have policies and procedures that specifically address the kinds of things that Bill did. If I did them and someone complained, I would likely be fired. Cut and dry.
And those quotes (likely out-of-context) from plaintiffs and former plaintiffs? All they do is show a desire to be completely truthful. Particularly Rachel Frost. There she is, clearly stating that it was sexual harassment. And Charis’ statement does nothing to take away from her claim. Just because she feels that the theological errors were more damaging doesn’t mean that the other wasn’t.
2. No one understands any such thing except yourself and BG’s inner circle. You can’t declare yourself the victor and assume everyone is crowning you as such.
3. Your quote of my friend (funny that you would provide THAT private conversation but not ones alleging that the plaintiffs are lying) proves exactly what I told you he said to me, and makes me feel even more confident in his truthfulness. Thanks for sharing that. I was almost afraid you might produce a real smoking gun or something.
4. Interesting how Bill will jump through theological hoops to abandon a lifelong teaching now that it is convenient.
5. Bill sure is giving himself a lot of credit if 2.7 million people are at risk of losing their faith over this.
And I don’t know most of the plaintiffs, but I do know a few of them and have even spoken with them in recent days. There is no “straightening of narratives” to be done. They recant nothing. If anything, they are more steadfast in their claims.
1). I work for a Fortune 100 company. The government defines “sexual harassment”. LOOK at it. It entirely focuses on that word, “harassment”. You will see “unwanted” in there . . . And it most definitely involves “employees”. While some plaintiffs were employees, others were “counselees”. And many of the supposed offenses were outside of the work setting. Come on . . . There are other words that describe evil things that wicked men will do to women, especially children, as has been alleged: “Sexual Harrassment” is a completely inappropriate term.
“Sexual Abuse”, maybe? That is when it gets goofy. Rachel’s worst was Bill allegedly grabbing her hair and saying how she should never cut it. For his part, Bill has no (0) recollection of that event, if it happened. The lawyers inserted their standard boilerplate charges of stuff “in a sexual manner”, where in fact there was nothing of the sort. Her demeanor after these supposed sexual events that caused her such emotional damage as to steal a normal life belies that entirely. I am looking at her “Obedient Daughter” card to him on his birthday 1995, after all of this allegedly happened. “I look at you as a father . . . Thank you from the bottom of my heart”. And there is the personal, handwritten note to him on the birth of her first child. I dunno . . . People that knew her then never knew her as anyone’s patsy, ignorant pushover. It just don’t add up.
And whatever was going on, ALL of the plaintiffs claimed to have been unaware of it being offensive, damaging, until Recovering Grace reprogrammed their thinking. There is simply no way that a charge of “sexual harassment” could ever have survived. They simply were not feeling . . . “Harrassed”.
The lawyers picked the quotes there, but you can be sure the judge will get whatever he needs to decide the case. The quotes are completely accurate.
2). In any case, a door remains open for a period of time. From what you say, they all know and don’t care. If that is not the case and any want to straighten this out and forget it, Bill is more than eager. Some of the plaintiffs he quite frankly has zero recollection of. For others, these things have broken his heart – “we were such good friends”, I have heard him say, over and over. If somebody feels it worth their while to reach out, I suspect they know Bill well enough to know how it will go.
3). No smoking gun, other than the fact that RG was heavily involved in every aspect of this case, up until Gibbs got kicked off, in any case. Just last night I was told of a very recent meeting planning to hold RG leadership financially responsible for all that they did to destroy Bill and his ministry. I have seen documents drawn up a while back toward that end, but nothing has come of that thus far. With all of the smarts that your friend has – actually, with all of the smarts that Gibbs and his team have – it shocks us how such hatred for a fellow believer can lead people to so such wrong things in seeking to savagely destroy another, giddy with excitement while doing so.
4). There are a great many things emphasized in a deliberate “out of balance” way in Bill’s material designed to shore up the side of matters that are usually hopelessly tilted in one direction. He discusses that openly, IN the seminars. For his part, I would hope you would commend Bill for hardly opening his mouth for decades even as reports came to him of slander on this side and that. He has always felt that God would make his defense. Despite that reality, and in part because of it, there comes is a time to speak, even as there is a time to be silent. Reminds me of these verses, which Bill teaches from:
“Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own conceit.” (Proverbs 26:4-5)
It is as wrong to not answer when people become “wise in their own eyes”, as it is to answer when we risk becoming just like the ones we are fighting. Now is the time to speak. Bill has sued no one yet, although that may end soon. What he has done so far is exercise one of the “rules” prescribed in the law to provide financial protection against those that file lawsuits they never expect to win, filed as a weapon, not as a remedy. Somehow that is shocking.
5). Would you deny that some of his previous supporters have, in fact, rejected a lot more than just Bill in the wake of these allegations? Assuming you believe in a devil, he using this confusion to tear people apart?
“They recant nothing. If anything, they are more steadfast in their claims.” As we stated earlier, we strongly welcome them saying so. For our part, we believe their claims to be fundamentally false. Evidence presented in the Motion to Sanction are enough for a neutral party to conclude that these women were NOT seriously harmed by Bill’s physical activities, although they HAVE been harmed as they second-guessed the spiritual foundation they accepted from him, and stress levels went through the roof when they joined the lawsuit.
See, as mentioned in the OP, Bill could never sue for defamation directly for lies in the suit because that is the law. But a statement outside the lawsuit, alleging that all the statements in the now terminated lawsuit are true, THAT is actionable. Clearly, if they are sure that all of that is true, then they should recant nothing, have no fear to say so because, in a suit for slander, the truth is the absolute protection. But if those pleadings include material lies, allegations of sexual perversion that, say, the lawyers put in without their knowledge, as some plaintiffs have claimed(!), or of “recovered memories” that a trial would demonstrate have no basis in reality, that provides a lot of “false facts” to present to a judge or jury and claim damages around.
I wonder about your choice of words. You mentioned a share of winnings, as though the victors were dividing the spoils in advance. Were the plaintiffs seeking damages (compensation for injury, loss, or harm), or were they seeking winnings?
Apparently they couldn’t make a case which proved injury, loss, or harm. Did the lawsuit discovery show damages which needed compensation, or merely a quest for winnings?
As I said many months ago, these things have a way of making no one happy. Both sides always seem to declare some degree of victory. I just remember a little book Bill published many years ago. Title was the Pineapple Story. It thought the value of giving up personal rights to God so He can work them out. Story was about a missionary operating in the Pacific. The local natives kept stealing his pineapples just before they were ripe and he was ready to pick them and enjoy them with his family. Guess legal rights don’t count. Maybe God is big enough to save pineapples but not strong enough to save one’s reputation. Never could figure out why Bill was always asking about his legal rights…. even many, many years ago.
WELL . . . The clearest application to this – God protecting our rights – would seem to us to be to the 17 plaintiffs – and those behind them – howling for Bill to be brought to justice for his many faults. Defrauding them of a happy life, so much so that there was no time for God’s justice to prevail, instead turning to Caesar’s justice to give them relief. Bill, if you have forgotten, was SUED here, the defendant. And the current motion for sanctions is not a lawsuit . . . It is an action within the same lawsuit to recover from the attempt to misuse the court system to effect punishment on him.
Would you elaborate on your point that for many years, BG was asking about his legal rights? Beginning in the mid-1980s, I don’t remember him ever raising the topic. Sure, Otto Koning’s Pineapple story was widely told. But legal rights? I don’t think they ever came up. Can you cite an example?
Really? Of all the days to announce this, Good Friday is pick? Bill ought to reflect on this that the first words that Jesus spoke on the cross was “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”. This is a mistake and trying to sue these people will not bring anything back to Bill, his reputation, his position at IBLP and his old ministry. All this will do is make him look like an old embittered man grasping at straws when he should be on his knees praying for them.
Well, if you check the motion you will see that was filed a couple of days ago. Hey, the response was trying to be filed on Thursday, but got draped into Friday.
Funny how not too many folks were speaking up in the last four years or so to decry the unbridaled attacks ON Bill, say calling the plaintiffs “embittered women grasping at straws”? How do you feel about that? Should they have forgiven Bill and left him to Jesus and His justice instead of filing these suits? Or how about now, when Bill communicated to them through their lawyers that he would really like to personally work through this with them in exchange for them giving up the right to sue in the future . . . Do you think they should have made an effort to make that happen? They summarily turned him down. Bill doesn’t want to be sued any more. Do you blame him?
Interesting, BTW, as a side note – Jesus, on Good Friday, left Judas to perish for his sins AND sent an unrepentant thief to hell. There are many sides to that, the most awesome of days.
Yes, I did see that the motion was filed on March 28th. Jesus did not “left” Judas to perish in his sins. Judas himself did that by his own choice to hang himself in remorse. You are mischaracterizing the Bible again. Likewise, it is recording in the Gospels that Judas was managing the money purse and secretly stealing from it. So his sins seem to have centered on greed and love of money in which it was money that Judas betrayed Jesus over (30 pieces of silver). Peter likewise betrayed Jesus by denying him 3 times. He too had great remorse and even “bitterly” cried over it. However, Peter was repentant and came back to Jesus. Judas did not by his own choice (probably due to the fact that he would have had to confess his previous stealing).
By Bill filing this motion, Bill has in fact gone against his teaching on rights and the Wednesday night of the basic. Bill is also going against his repeated statements about Christians suing and going to court over issues. What really does this do for Bill? Give him his reputation back? Bring him back to IBLP? Set him up to be the big name he once was? None of those things will come back to Bill if this is successful which I personally do not this it will be. People to have the “right” to talk about how someone’s teaching affects or affected them. Whether that be Bill Gothard, John Piper, TCG, WoF etc. Most of RG in articles and comments was about how Bill’s teaching especially in the ATI set up affected them and for most of it, it is very damaging and screwed up their lives. But there are a ton more blogs out their that talk about Bill’s teaching and ATI. At least the folks behind RG are still Christians. You have HA which is a bunch of atheists running that blog. They have many articles about Bill and various characters from IBLP. This filing does not make Bill look good and in fact makes him out to be a big hypocrite.
Really. Well, please explain this in that context:
“For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.”
Bill is going back to Caesar to get relief, under state law, from those who would use illegal means to try to destroy him. What problem do you see with that? Here is what God says about Judge Popejoy:
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
The judge’s sword hangs ready to smite evildoers. On God’s behalf. Swings both ways, to be sure, but it is God’s will.
Well, this is easy, St. Paul was the accused for teaching about Christ, and this was his appeal to Rome due to the fact that he was an actual Roman citizen and that was his right to appeal to as a Roman citizen. He was not going after the others that were accusing him or trying to counter sue etc. So if Bill is using this to justify a counter law suit, his situation is totally different from St. Paul’s. The Romans 13 was about the legitimacy of government authority to begin with and one has to consider that this was written when Christians were openly being persecuted by the Roman government and St. Paul who wrote that was executed under Nero. I think what you are saying or trying to say is that Bill is going back to sue these people because he considers them “evil doers” which is also your opinion and that Bill want the government to go after these “evil doers”. Romans 13 does not tell Christians to go after “evil doers” by way of the government in law suits. Nice try but I don’t think these verses apply to Bill or justify him in this.
I weary of this. What you do is up to you. If you are ever brutally, maliciously sued by someone claiming to be ‘a brother’, I would like to see what your principles lead you to do. Say someone, a “Christian”, threatens your family, attacks you in your house because you are of a different church brand than they. They are driven off by a policeman, but as soon as the policeman leaves, they sneak right back in and hit your kids again. Tell me: How would handle that? Any chance you might go for a more permanent solution? Maybe even as a warning to all the other “Christian” thugs out there that hate you? I just bet you would . . . appeal to Caesar to make them go away.
re: how BG looks.
In 2018, probably the only people who know or care how BG looks are us diehards who patrol RG and DG. Don’t you think most of us have already made up our minds about BG’s appearance? If he defends himself in court, who will change his mind? Even innocent parties defend themselves in divorce courts. No one thinks it diminishes their testimony, so long as they retain their dignity and integrity.
If what I see here is true, I think BG was pretty restrained. He is seeking less than a tithe of his defense expenses. Most defendants would demand that the plaintiff in a frivolous lawsuit pay the entire defense bill. Wouldn’t you? I probably would.
I am not following what you mean by appearance because I never talked about his physical appearance and again I am not sure what you are talking about or referring to. You are making assumption here that the previous withdrawn lawsuit is “frivolous” or without merit. I do not share in that opinion. I am curious here, since you are not apart of ATI and have been so for a number of years now, why do you continue to defend Bill at all costs?
If I can jump in, David made a point I was pondering as well. You emphasized over and over what Bill must “look like” to others because he has chosen to defend himself in public court. I would echo the sentiment that, frankly, those that despise him will continue to do so, those that respect him will continue to do so. For a few folks trying to make up their minds, hard to say. But I am guessing a strong, personal rejection of these most serious charges will have an overall better effect than just . . . “going away quietly”. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent, so says Solomon. Much wisdom is needed, since staying silent when it is time to speak is as serious of a crime as speaking when it is time not to.
When I mean “look like” I am referring to his reputation or character, not his physical appearance.
Here’s a thought for next Good Friday: watch the great 1959 Ben-Hur. It helps one appreciate Atonement and forgiveness.
The recent posts on this site are written as though this author alone, even when admitting partial knowledge, has supreme knowledge from which to draw conclusions.
I particularly like that you call Cornish a liar and follow it with: “You simply CANNOT state things in public that are false and designed to destroy another human being, let alone a servant of the Lord, no matter how much you disagree with him.” I read a letter that Bill wrote about Tony (a human being and a servant of the Lord) and widely distributed. The letter was false (as supported by other witnesses and Tony’s explanation) and designed to destroy Tony, and I’d estimate that it didn’t come from disagreement with Tony as much as from a hatred of Tony. Or loathing, if you prefer a milder word. You will disagree with me and with Tony and say that Bill had a good reason to write that letter. But then you refute your own writing that “you simply CANNOT” do that “no matter how much you disagree with him.” Bill cannot write such a letter, but he did. Does he do as he wants and not as he teaches? You see, Bill has proven that he has a huge credibility problem. And you support him in doing as he pleases, which gives you a huge credibility problem.
The author isn’t the Lord and definitely does not have “full knowledge”. On the other hand, the author is assisting the legal team and has been trusted with details of the suit for a period of time. The author consults frequently with the lawyer to be accurate and stay out of trouble. No more than what RG used to do, and folks like Julie Anne over at “Spiritual Sounding Board” do.
Dr. Cornish is recognized as the founder of Recovering Grace. The other important people over there understand that. So there can be no doubt that he authorized the statement. And other statements we have of his. Where he denies RG had any involvement in the suit. So, that would be a lie, in my estimation. What do you think, especially with the evidence presented in another post to “Concerned”?
Tony, you had to bring him up. No, we disagree with you, Bill’s letter was NOT false. Some of us have had a fair amount of interaction with Tony. 10 years of dancing around with him, trying to get him to substantiate, corroborate allegations of sexual misconduct by Bill that he had made, that the LA Times published, that Don Veinot of “A Matter of Basic Principles” had assured us he would do. 10 years. He finally admitted that he was referring to “The Cabin Story”, which he got from his friend Gary Smalley and which he knows now that Gary emphatically, to multiple folks he knows, repudiated in the year or so before his death. Folks that knew him during happy days liked him, that I have heard several times. But our experience with him would mirror the frustrations that Bill expressed.
I’m pretty sure Tony, Larne, Veinot et al would say the same things of you and Bill. You two have danced yourselves into a hole. Your arguments make a person take a look, but there is little beneath the surface. Sorry, but I don’t see you convincing any great number of people.
But Happy Easter, seriously. I probably should be posting today. 🙂
I was using the term frivolous in the technical sense of the Gothard legal motion. Apparently the BG lawyers think the lawsuit meets the legal definition of frivolous. And if what Alfred reports here is true, then your 4/1 question should be answered with a question. Why do BG’s enemies continue to attack him at all costs? They have probably been out of ATI longer than I. Why not ask them to explain their attacks before I explain my defense?
I don’t have to ask anyone to explain anything, either attacks or defense of Bill. The withdrawal of the law suit does not clear Bill’s name. Also they have a year to come back. It is curious to me that when someone supports Bill 100%, they turn around and point to those that don’t as “hating” Bill which is a false characterization. Talking about the body of Bill’s teaching which is pretty big is not “hating” Bill. The only time anywhere on the internet where someone openly stated that they hated Bill and wished him dead was on a blog NOT run by RG. I have never seen open hatred and wishes for Bill’s death posted on RG. Bill’s teaching and even behaviors ought to be open for discussion. That is not hating Bill and to say so is nothing more than melodramatic antics. Whether Bill’s lawyers think the previous lawsuit is frivolous doesn’t mean a thing.
I have send plenty of hatred in the chats. One of the plaintiffs with almost nothing to say by way of accusation cursed him and wished him to burn in hell. In so many words. She was not alone. We will leave it at that. The words are written in heaven. If it were me, and I had said “idle words” that I regretted, I would make sure to clear the record on the matter, that that also might be “written in heaven”.
I am not speaking to the “chat rooms” that were meant to be private and you now have access to due to discovery. I am speaking to public posts on public forums, not private chats which were meant to be private.
Look at some of the recent sporadic posts on RG. We may have a different definition of “hatred” to not come to the conclusion that there are several folks that hate Bill with about every fiber of their being. But . . . this is unlikely to be a fruitful discussion, so perhaps best left.
What’s the difference between secret hatred and open hatred, Rob? Does secrecy diminish hatred, or increase it?
David, all sin begins in the heart, reread the Sermon on the Mount. I certainly do no believe that any one should go around stating privately or publically that they wish someone harm or hurt or dead, whether that be Bill or Trump or the Pope or anyone else. Likewise, I also don’t believe in making sweeping generalized statements about the many people that have commented on blogs like RG as “hating” Bill or out to kill Bill because they talk about their negative experiences with Bill and his teaching. No one should try and judge was is in someone’s heart. Stating that Bill is disqualified from ministry due to his behaviors is not a “kill Bill” which RG did state openly in one of their articles. And that did happen with the actions of the IBLP board based on their OWN findings and they didn’t use any RG people to do so. Bill is still out there in trying to do Power Teams. No one is stopping him. And people still can go to his new web site and buy his 28 books. No one is stopping this. And finally, your question borders on the ridiculous and is trying to split hairs.
We can say that “hatred”, whatever it is, causes individuals to lose all objectivity when trying to assess the faults of another. Everything is interpreted in the worst possible light. All accusations are instinctively believable, proof “per se”. “Love”, on the other hand, thinks no evil, delights in truth (brings things to ground) . . . goes to the person privately to try to resolve things . . . believes, we read, the best.
The leadership of RG approached us privately and, among their statements, claimed that they had a verifiable sighting of Bill on “Navy Pier” in Chicago with a young woman. In the several weeks preceding. Bill laughed and told us that he has never set foot on that entertainment venue in his life. We took it back to them and, of course, they could not offer any proof or provide anything to help us pin Bill down, assuming he was lying to us as they surmised. I think somebody said it, and they believed it. Which is par for the course for they way they have operated. THAT is hatred.
The Board statement has certainly been of the utmost concern to Bill and those that support him. The charges that it is based on have never been disclosed to Bill, and that obviously has precluded his ability to respond to them. As painful as it may be to all, that process must be undertaken, one way or another. Every indication we have received place the accusations at a level substantially below what was in the lawsuit. It is wrong, both morally and legally, to condemn a man in public without supplying the foundation for it. We shall see.
I have a hard time believing that a life long Chicago resident has never been to the Navy Pier. Did Bill tell you he has never been before the accusation in conversation with you and your family because you and your family have been there recently or was it after someone spotted him on the Navy Pier and notified you of it? I would suppose with cell phones these days that it is pretty easy to snap a picture like this. But the whole thing sound fishy and fishier than the Navy Pier of Chicago. Having been there myself more than once, it is a pretty big place to walk around but someone can easily take a nice stroll along the outside along Lake Michigan without going into the shops of the place.
Hey, I have not tracked Bill for his entire 83 year life, but given his upbringing I can easily see that being the case. He told us that in response to our presenting the claim. And, for what it’s worth, I am baffled how, at least in this day and age, you just “stroll” up there. Parking is $25 . . . For shopping, food, rides. You COMMIT.
Regardless, giving Dr. Cornish every benefit of the doubt, since he brought it up as proof of Bill’s malfeasance, we told him we would run it to ground with Bill and, if Bill were lying to us, we would stop supporting him. What we needed was anything that would help us catch Bill in this act. Date, time . . . As you said, picture? Of course he declined, telling us that “his team” would never allow him to release the details.
Yes, I forgot about Chicago’s expensive parking prices. That’s right, it would be about $25 to park at the pier, let alone anywhere else and walk there. I wouldn’t think the carnival ride part and the little ethnic type of shops would be Bill’s cup of tea either. But there is a stroll walk along Lake Michigan with the museums as well as the Navy Pier so maybe that was where he was seen? I would think if someone saw him walking along this area, they would have snapped a picture with the cell phone. Of course Navy Pier would be a pretty big walk from the Museum and Aquarium part and then there is parking.
I have been to Navy Pier a number of times – I have NEVER strolled anywhere in Chicago. I think you may begin to see what his attestation – with an open laugh of irony – was quite believable to us, especially given how “worldly” that venue would be for someone raised as strictly as he was.
You guys must not be walkers. We have parked by Shedds Aquarium and walked from there to the Museums and Planetarium along the jettison of land there. There were all sorts of people walking, jogging and biking along that part as well as along Lake Michigan. Navy Pier is north of that a ways. You can see it from the Museum area. We also walked along Navy Pier along the outside of it to the end.
You know, there may be the point. I have 11 kids – I don’t have time to “walk”, let alone to drive into downtown Chicago, which takes years off your life . . . to “walk”. 🙂 For better or worse, although Bill has no kids, he has his entire life been driven with filling every minute in a profitable way. For him to end up at Navy Pier? The Bill I know just wouldn’t have a reason to find that a worthwhile investment of time, let along the wear and tear and money to get there.
Well, walking even if it is just around the block is pretty basic exercise that most people can and should do. It gets one out and into fresh air, it can clear one’s brain, you can enjoy nature or even the weather if nice and is not a waste of time because everyone needs a break, even Bill. You always paint a picture of him as someone that fills every waking minute of the day with doing something. That honestly does not sound healthy, mentally or physically. He also seems like someone trying to run from something and hides that with sounding so spiritual in doing things for God all day long. It’s like the Mary/Martha conflict. Martha was busy, Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus. If Bill is so busy doing things all day long, where is the time to “meditate” on scripture? I don’t see it. Trust me, one can very much meditate or contemplate while walking, so it’s not a waste of time. Bill’s work-a-holic type of life spilled over into his expectations on those that worked under him both pre-1980s and post 1980s. While maybe that was how he wanted to live, most people cannot because it really is unhealthy and unnatural.
So, if you know what Bill teaches on this, you know the answer. He teaches the 4 periods of the day identified in Deuteronomy 6:7 –
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou
sittest in thine house, and
when thou walkest by the way, and
when thou liest down, and
when thou risest up.
His interpretation is . . . meals . . . going places . . . while going to sleep . . . and while waking up.
And, something similar seems to have been the case with Jesus and His disciples:
“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” (Mark 3:20-21)
After all the exhortations about the day being short and the harvest large . . . the sun setting . . . eternity rushing toward us when “no man can work”, seems like his perspective is not all that bad.
For the record, Bill would periodically grab the staff for a day outing, often at Starved Rock State Park. But, no he didn’t play volleyball with them. He barely could bring himself to not wear a suit, most times, he still had it on.
Psalms 119 states “seven times a day I will praise you”. That is the basis for liturgy of the hours which the Jews practiced and continued with the Apostles as mentions in Acts in different parts and has been followed since the Apostle’s time. It is also recorded that Daniel practice at least 3 times day. I take it as a compliment that I didn’t know what Bill taught from Deut 6:7.
Well, what would YOU teach from Deut. 6:7? His interpretation makes good sense to me.
Well unlike Bill’s “one interpretation” of the Bible, I would read Deut. 6:7 in context with the “Shema” or the Great Command of verse 6:4 and in context and focus on loving God with all your heart, soul and strength and is referring back specifically to loving God with everything you got and to drill, speak, write them etc. as to love God with everything you got and to always focus on God and loving God no matter what you are doing, “whether you are busy or at rest” as it says in my Bible.
Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God , the Lord alone. Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are buys or at rest. Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of our houses and your gates”.
OK. Now I presume you are comfortable with the fact that Almighty God does not waste words, every word is precisely placed for a purpose. There are four (4) distinct times in the day when we are to talk about, murmur the Words of the Lord to ourselves and those around us. Notably absent are “while you are working”, “while you are fighting”, etc. I like what Bill took from that, I think it is correct and carries the intended meaning.
No, I did not say that up above at all. You can think and follow whatever Bill tried to teach or use this one verse as, but I do not see that there are “4 distinct” times during the day that we are suppose to “meditate” or review in our heads Bible verses one has memorized. I see the emphasis of this verse in conjunction with the whole section that our focus all day long, no matter what one is doing, on God, loving God and focusing on what God wants us to do.
Again, I think Bible words have precise meanings. Like . . . The fact that the precept in the 10 commandments about not working on the Sabbath lists everybody in the household . . . EXCEPT “your wife”. God doesn’t slip up with his words, Scripture is precise enough that that MEANS something. And 4 times a day that exclude the time you are plowing or fighting . . . Why? Only times when your brain is unoccupied are mentioned . . .
The Ten Commandments says “you” which can mean a man or a woman. That is the most bizarre interpretation I have ever heard. So what you are trying to say is that everyone but the wife, get a Sabbath rest? Why are you assuming that the you of the ten commandments is addressing only men or the male of the household and not the female as well. Maybe you ought to see how Orthodox Jews view that because, everyone in those sorts of households take a Sabbath break, the food is already cooked, they leave water in the sinks to soak dishes etc. If this is the result of what Bill has taught you through-out the years is to come up with nonsense like this, then God help you. Bill taught to single out words and focus on the single meaning of word which takes the whole thing out of context. Words mean something in context and context gives meaning to words. What you just said here is totally unbelievable I am almost speechless. There is a Catholic blog I read and one of the threads was listing goofy things people come up with using Sola Scriptura. I think I will submit this one to them.
You are easily tweaked :-). I would be hard pressed to see anything but a male head of a household here, right? Women in the OT were always under a male head, even if that were a son . . . Her father, in the case of a divorce, or even an uncle or cousin, as in the case of Esther. It just was interesting. Basically, my take, that wives had no independent “work” identity in the law. Like . . . “Her job” and “His job” . . . But together, they had a job. She was not a servant … she was not working for anyone else as a servant.
We have gotten lost. We can leave it that I take the literal words of Scripture much more seriously than you do. As does Bill, without apology.
Alfred writes:”EXCEPT “your wife”. God doesn’t slip up with his words, Scripture is precise enough that that MEANS something.”
I presume you are referring to Ex. 20:10 where the specific listing of the “wife” is left out of the laundry list of the people who are not to do any work on the Sabbath, to make her exempt from the law. (Exodus 20:10 KJV – “But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:”)
From MacArthur and Mayhue’s “Biblical Doctrine” textbook a clear understanding of the “Five interpretive principles guided our explanation of biblical revelation and doctrine:
1. The literal principle. Scripture should be understood in its literal, natural, and normal sense. While the Bible does contain figures of speech and symbols, they are intended to convey literal truth. In general, however, the Bible speaks in literal terms and must be allowed to speak for itself.
2. The historical principle. A passage should be interpreted in its historical context. What the author intended and what the text meant to its first audience must be taken into account. In this way, a proper, contextual understanding of the original meaning of Scripture can be grasped and articulated.
3. The grammatical principle. This task requires an understanding of the basic grammatical structure of each sentence in the original languages. To whom do the pronouns refer? What is the tense of the main verb? By asking simple questions like these, the meaning of the text becomes clearer.
4. The synthetic principle. This principle, the analogia scriptura, means that Scripture is to be its own interpreter. 3 It assumes that the Bible does not contradict itself. Thus, if an understanding of a passage conflicts with a truth taught elsewhere in the Scriptures, that interpretation cannot be correct. Scripture must be compared with Scripture to discover its accurate and full meaning.
5. The clarity principle. God intended Scripture to be understood. However, not every portion of the Bible is equally clear. Therefore, clearer portions should be employed to interpret the less clear.”
(MacArthur, John; Mayhue, Richard. Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Preface). Crossway. Kindle Edition.)
In applying these five principles it can be clearly seen the absence of “wife” does not imply she is exempt. Considering that a “female” daughter, “female” maidservant, or the possibility that a “female” strangers within thy gates are prohibited from working would also apply the same law to a wife, or any other female as other “female” possibilities also exist because of sickness, injuries, disabilities ect. In Leviticus 23:3 it say: “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein:” Here a repeat of the law with no possibility of an exemption. In Deuteronomy 5:14 the Ex. 20:10 wordage is repeated but the writer adds at the end “that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.” Again “wife” is missing but a “female” maidservant is present as is one of the reason for the sabbath “may rest as well as thou”. No male patriarch would have his wife work and the maidservant napping, that would fit into the historical principle above.
Scriptural interpretation is first understood in its literal, natural and normal sense. But literal does not mean the absence of a noun or pronoun excludes or includes. But here it list both male and females of very different classes or status thus it would be considered inclusive of all whether listed or not. The second principle is a contextual understanding, which again would look at the genders and positions mentioned and, in this case, would be inclusive to all because both genders are listed as is a variety of positions in the family structure. If a specific gender family lineage was to be specified it would say so, for example a male of the Levite tribe was required to be a priest or serve in the temple.
Rob is right, ask an Orthodox Jewish woman in Israel what she can do on Shabbat. They can save a person or an animal but that is about it. If this is part of Bill’s teachings, he has gone way off the rails which shows how out of tune he is with understand Biblical Doctrine. But then again that would go along with his inner brain belief, or definition of grace.
One quick question, I know Bill won’t eat pork or shellfish but will he eat cheese with meat?
Thank you for that. But you completely miss the point. I was not lobbying for a wife working . . . I was pondering a wife not having an independent work identity apart from her husband. THEY don’t work, they are one. That calls in question the wisdom of a wife who is the servant of some other person, other than her husband.
You run your “interpretation” by your WIFE and then see who is going to be tweaked! If the issue is taking the Bible “seriously”, then I would think someone that claims to take the Bible “Seriously” would not be making baloney interpretations in order to tweak or argue with someone else. I honestly probably read more Bible in a day than you do. But point blank type of one word literalism is a false method of Bible interpretation and isn’t even taught in scripture anywhere.
Proverbs 30:5. “EVERY WORD of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
That Scripture, part of the 10 commandments was actually written by the literal finger of God . . . On a rock. Do you really thing that God is not concerned about . . . EVERY WORD? I can’t even imagine it. That is plenty “serious”, don’t you think?
Nice try, the Hebrew for this is “col imrath eloah tseruphah” or “Every oracle of God is purified” which is a metaphor about purifying metals, or in other words, everything spoken or pronounced by God is pure and without error and not mixed with anything else. In other commentaries reviewed, the verse is talking about all of God’s word or scripture and is not talking about single words taken out of context and twisted to mean something that it is not. See Psalms 12:6.
OK . . . Here is the same Hebrew word: Psalms 12:6. “The words of the Lord are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Pure words, seven times pure. Even if we go with your “oracle”, it is something God said . . . And it ain’t to be improved on.
And here is the verse after the one I quoted – I will give them both:
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
That “words” is a different Hebrew word, Dabar. I can’t see – IN context – anything that would dissuade me from believing that God likes the things He said EXACTLY like He said them – word for word.
It’s not letting me reply above, so starting a new comment thread.
1. Where did the plaintiffs claim that Recovering Grace reprogrammed their thinking? And how is a mostly anonymous group of bloggers accomplishing such a feat? Is it your opinion that all of these women are so weak-minded that they can simply be “reprogrammed” by a website?
2. If one of these women were to meet with Bill, what is your ideal scenario of what would happen? Do you think he would apologize for his behavior and seek forgiveness?
3. I’m still having a hard time reconciling your assertion that RG was “heavily involved in every aspect of this case.” Your previously shared quote at most proved a connection to my friend, who had no formal role in the case or the legal proceedings. You seem to believe that RG served as some sort of puppet master, brainwashing these women and controlling the legal proceedings. There is simply no evidence of this.
And just how is Bill going to hold RG “financially responsible?” Bill resigned of his own accord. The board publicly refused to bring him back after their own investigation. How is RG responsible for that? And “destroy Bill and his ministry?” You have said many times on this site that Bill is as productive as ever (28 books or something). Doesn’t sound very “destroyed” to me. And paying his legal team to pursue these claims doesn’t seem like the wisest use of the income he is getting from them.
4. Try again. The Proverb has nothing to do with suing people. I personally don’t have a problem with lawsuits, but I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy. That being said, can you imagine the PR nightmare Bill will face when he starts suing former plaintiffs and RG members, all of whom are his former apprenticeship students, employees, and as you said, friends?
5. I have many friends who have left the faith at least partly because of Bill, but all did so years before RG or this suit ever existed. I know of no-one who has left the faith because of these allegations.
If the lawyers did something without their permission, why is Bill going after the women for $18,000? Seems he should be going after the lawyers instead. It’s likely they’re the ones with money, anyway.
Or why not just sue RG for defamation if he thinks they are to blame? Not recommending that, but seems quite distasteful to go after these women.
1). The “reprogramming” seems obvious to us. To a person they all allege that they had no idea that Bill had done something bad and harmed them until they ran into Recovering Grace a few years ago. Check the lawsuit – every one has a pinpointed time of “awakening” that coincides with that. How do YOU explain that?
And . . . Scripture bears that out:
“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”(Proverbs 26:22)
“And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2 Samuel 15:6)
2). Scripture puts out some fairly precise steps to resolving a situation where one has a complaint against another. It is where this should have started for each plaintiff. Go to Bill, tell him, try to resolve it. If not possible, get some help, some people, witnesses. Witnesses are important because they, like is done in a legal action, bring things down from hearsay to “facts”. Bill’s pastor stands ready to help, as do others.
Bill has been asked in the past to apologize for things that he is adamant he did not do. But we have heard him readily apologize for things that he was even in part responsible for.
And, the plaintiffs have sinned against Bill and the name of the Lord in failing to have followed though on that. Suing him for $500,000 each instead is a lack of love at the very least. They ended up wasting huge amounts of money with Bill having to defend against that, kind of like stealing. I suspect he would appreciate an apology on that front at the very least. Plaintiffs have additionally made statements about Bill in public that he alleges are not true. I would imagine that they would work out a joint statement they could both live with, and publish it as the end of the matter.
3). Your friend is far more than a cursory bystander in RG. As a founder, he was active in meeting with representatives from IBLP, officially representing RG. As the smear plan galvanized he was at the forefront – I recall his unbridled chortling with delight as he was reviewing new stories that RG was preparing to post, or hold in reserve until they could be most effectively be used. Gibbs got immense amounts of information from RG, with friend’s wife being offered as a consultant to him on the case. Friend traveled long distances to meet with various legal folks and other supporters regarding the case, representing RG. He regularly consulted with the plaintiffs, most of whom signed him up as their “consulting attorney” on the case, set up a forum just for that purpose. Late in the game as the plaintiffs turned on him, he was quite hurt . . . Because he felt they did not appreciate all they he had done for them.
If your friend wants to give us permission, we will name him and supply a fair number of statements of his from the discovery documents. To the point that I wonder what this little game we are just now going through exactly is.
As a direct result of RG incorporating and mounting a coordinated attack on Bill’s reputation in public, the entire ministry lost confidence in him. Part of that trouble was the Board treating him as a evildoer and demanding a great many things of him that he could not comply with, leading to his resignation. We have the RG scheming and planning documented with even the documents we have, let alone the documents that remain subpoenaed and have yet to be produced. They published a host of stories which where fundamentally if not entirely false, becoming THE only source for allegations that ended up in newspapers, magazines, and Bill’s own Wiki. They consistently lied about a large number of women that were accusing him things that they either were not accusing him of, or they had no proof of, which RG did, or should have known.
Bill has no income, hasn’t for 4 years, other than the sale of books and the generosity of donors. He lives in the house he grew up in, works from his kitchen table as his desk, relies on a ragtag bunch of unorganized volunteers such as your truly to get IT help, other kinds of support. The DIRECT impact of RG’s maliciousness is fairly easy to quantify in terms of “financial responsibility”.
The RG “team” has boasted of the amazing impact they have had in sidelining Bill. I remember Dr. Cornish taking a “victory lap” after his interview with Don Lemon on CNN. With the lawsuit underway they had about everything they ever dreamed of. Had not the Lord stepped in, it would have been Bill’s complete destruction.
What Bill does is his own business. We are reporters, also offer help as we are able. But please don’t profess ignorance of these things. As much as you appear to know what RG is all about, you most certainly can, if you wish, confirm all I have said. Regardless, I see the legal team that I have grown to respect indicate that they see it as we do. We shall see.
4). PR nightmare?! You have got to be kidding. There is no “PR nightmare” worse than the bloodshed that Bill has constantly endured over the past four years.
Many – Most – of Bill’s “friends” turned on him over the course of this process. Some savagely. Young men screaming at him, staff members chiding him like a little boy, family members of IBLP staffers mocking him openly. The laugh of many tabloids, high school kids creating widely watched documentaries . . . The slurs, the reviling, the hatred. Frankly it would have destroyed about anyone else. I am amazed to see a man that has somehow managed to keep a smile and a positive outlook through, to us, unimaginable suffering.
So, I find your words somewhat humorous in the light of all of that. Bill’s friends long for some degree of accountability and justice to be done. Plaintiffs abandoning a bloody fight they suddenly discover they have no hope of winning doesn’t do that, right? Donors have come to him with contributions earmarked for no other purpose than to see the legal process that RG, Gibbs, and 17 plaintiffs initiated come to a conclusion that at least partially repairs the damage. We confess that we are not altogether sure of what all the steps now should be, but there is no one on this side that feels that the Lord has spoken for the last time here.
5). The women filed the lawsuit(s), the women sued Bill for $500,000 each, slandering him along the way with accusations that they in private acknowledged they could not support. It was their responsibility to not put their name to anything they did not agree with – THAT is why you sign. One word from them, and the lawyers would have amended any issue they chose.
You will notice that the Motion also mentions the lawyers along the way. How that all works itself out, I have no idea. Maybe they will indemnify their clients, should the action prevail. Maybe they won’t, depending on whether they feel the plaintiffs violated their agreements.
Just as you demanded the where and when of Bill at the Navy Pier, who “screamed” at Bill, give name, time, date etc. Likewise who, when, where chided Bill like a little child? You defense of him is becoming so bizarre and unreal. Sorry but did you witness poor Bill being screamed at or chided like a little child? Is there a recording we can listen to of Bill being screamed at? The same standards you are using on others apply to poor old Bill as well. Just reading this latest feel sorry for Bill causes me to believe that Bill was walking around the Navy Pier area with some young chick.
These were witnessed by people we have spoken with, or even relayed to us by the individuals themselves. That this is bizarre to you is bizarre to me. Trust me, it happened. Not going to name names as some are folks we do respect for other reasons. Regardless, former staffers, former assistants, former board members, kids of staff families. Reminds me of Job:
1. You didn’t answer the questions I asked. How did an average group of middle-aged former ATI students with a website manage to reprogram/brainwash/manipulate a group of middle-aged women into filing a lawsuit against someone who was formerly their mentor and friend?
Beyond that, you stated that Bill’s entire ministry, friends, board, etc. turned against him. How did this group of former students also “reprogram” them? Was everyone around Bill so weak-minded that they mindlessly believed what they read? That is giving RG an awful lot of credit for mind-altering powers.
2. Through the grapevine of former ATI friends, I heard of just such a “reconciliation” meeting that took place in Mexico a few years ago. It also involved a witness. The young woman, her husband, and even the witness have nothing to positive to say about the experience. The x-ATI community is small. Bill likely blew his chances at further “reconciliations” through the way he handled that situation and his failure to follow through with certain things he promised her he would do.
Side note: you keep complaining about Bill having to waste money on a defense, when you already said that IBLP paid for it. IBLP is worth tens of millions of dollars and likely has a healthy insurance policy. This didn’t hurt them at all. And there is certainly no reason to keep complaining about the costs of something he didn’t pay for.
3. From what I understand, IBLP leadership never met with RG, even when Dr. Cornish himself reached out to Tim Levendusky in an attempt to arrange such a meeting. I would be curious to know what meeting you are referring to. I would also be curious as to this “unbridled chortling with delight.” Did you speak to him or something? And yes, two of the plaintiffs turned on him as they left the suit, but I’m pretty sure he’s still on good terms with the rest.
And I’m curious about Dr. Cornish’s “victory lap.” To what are you referring?
4. Bloodshed? No one has died here.
Again, why did all of these people turn on Bill? Why did they believe the charges against him to such a strong degree? It doesn’t make sense if he’s completely innocent.
And the plaintiffs didn’t abandon the suit. Their lawyers did. You know that. Again, they said they did not recant their experiences. But you can’t continue a suit when your legal team quits.
5. Well, again, they don’t recant their experiences. If something is true, it is not slander. Regardless, it seems unlikely that a judge will be willing to litigate the truth of the claims in a motion for sanctions.
If Bill’s ultimate goal is to get back on at IBLP, wouldn’t he be better served by presenting your “evidence” of an RG conspiracy to the IBLP board, or even filing some sort of wrongful termination suit against IBLP?
1). How did Absolam capture the hearts of basically the entire nation, away from David that had been their champion for so many years? Scripture paints malcontent, “whispering”, as a disease, as a fire that spreads from person to person. If you don’t put it out, it leaps from person to person.
Proverbs 26:20. “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
2). Yes, Julie. We are well aware of that. Bill and Dr. Murphy travelled to Mexico to meet her, and met her parents. Our understanding was that she/they accepted Bill’s apologies. Later she changed her mind and started bashing him in public again. Sorry, that is not right. See, if she found more issues that would be the point where she reaches out to the witnesses again and brings the matter into the open. What exactly is so difficult to understand about the process that the Savior laid out is beyond me.
I happen to know that IBLP’s financial situation is far from healthy. I have not heard of any insurance – maybe there is some, but I have not brushed up against it. Regardless, you are careless and bash my car and hurt my kid bad. Because I have insurance you demand that I “let it go” and be happy. More than likely I will want you to at least assume responsibility for your carelessness, and maybe make sure that you are dealt with under the law to the point that you will never be careless again and hurt someone else.
We have two problems here. One is the money, the other is responsibility. I suspect if the plaintiffs, individually, assumed responsibility for what they did wrong in the process, Bill would stop caring about anything else. So far there is the general “thumbing of the nose ceremony” and lots of “we recant nothing, we stand by our stories”. Those stories are what bother him most of all, because he knows what actually went on there, and what didn’t. As we have said several times here, we have what the plaintiffs said in private countering what they said in public. Some of it they openly confessed being ignorant of . . . Which is too bad, because they signed it. In other cases they is a clear track record of creativity, poetic license in coming to specific “facts” stated. Regardless, it would seem right, before the Lord, to state those openly, instead of covering a falsehood by saying “I recant nothing”.
So, money is one way unfriendly adversaries are made to acknowledge that they were in the wrong. There are other much less painful ways to do that.
3). I am not sure, just have documents documenting interactions and meetings. Yes, “Friend” and I used to be “friends”, at least in the Facebook sense. I have long chats from that time. Yes, I was really bothered by that, as he, at the time of being “on” with yours truly, and brand new matter or matters came to his attention. His open delight knew no bounds.
Two of the plaintiffs were the biggest complainers, but others had their unhappy moments too. Maybe you can explain why the plaintiffs chose to make their grand closing statement on SSB, not RG?
I was also “friends” with Dr. Cornish at the time of the interview, so saw his posts in the wake of it.
4). Why did all of Paul’s former associates and disciples and converts turn against him toward the end of his life? The animosity was real.
2 Timothy 1:15. “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me”. 1 Corinthians 4:13 “Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.”
How about Job? His friends were sure he was a wicked man. Helpful advice from one of them:
Job 22:23. “If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.”
So if you can explain those, I can explain what happened to Bill.
“Plaintiffs didn’t abandon the lawsuit, the lawyers did”. 🙂 That is partially true, but I am guessing any with an actual case would have been urged to fight on, so the lawyers could get reimbursed. Interesting that you acknowledge that, though, as the tale being spun elsewhere is that the plaintiffs just found the process too time consuming and life interesecting to continue. Also, you do know that 12 quit end of February – 5 quit months earlier. I saw an explanation given by one of them, and it wasn’t “the lawyers made me do it”. It was overtly that interrogatories were freaking her out. You know, stating things for the record, under oath?
5). “If something is true, it is not slander”. Truth, that. But it IS slander if it is false, and if, for a public figure, malice, ill will is present. That is the “test of the bitter waters”, to reach back in the OT for an analogy. If you are clean and true, you have no fear. If you are lying, your claims cannot be proven, then you have a problem.
All those options have been on the table to one degree or another. Bill’s goal, BTW, is not necessarily to return as president, although he would step back in, I think, if offered. His main goal is to clear the cloud of lies that has damaged the work of the Lord. He believes, we believe too, that the Lord has given him an essential and unique ministry and role. A missing “vitamin”, long absent from the church. The vitamin remains as essential as ever and damage continues to come to individuals and families for the lack of it. That becomes material in the universal battle between good and evil. Those that oppose him theologically have never made too much headway with the mass of Christians – the “common man heard him gladly”. So there has been an intense desire to take the battle to another level, and that has been to smear him morally. Dr. Rademacher said it in so many words as he urged Ruth to slander Bill – Plaintiff Charis said it too:
So IF this is the case, then the conclusion of the lawsuit is the lesser concern. Undoing the mischief that has given the devil a big advantage in these last days would be job 1.
1. Lots of people say lots of things. That doesn’t mean people believe it. RG shared the personal narratives of many people, including a handful of the plaintiffs in this suit. What was it about RG’s efforts that were so persuasive? I personally think it was the “ring of truth.” There are too many people who loyally served Bill for decades that now will not defend him. Why? Because what has now been made public aligns with what they saw themselves privately.
2. False. They accepted his apology, and there was agreement that Bill would do a short list of mutually agreed-upon minor tasks that would prove his sincerity. He failed to do so, and this young couple shared that in a few online forums. Dr. Murphy was in agreement with their assessment of the situation. But they aren’t bashing Bill online. They are way too busy with their Jamberry empire for that. Regardless, Bill is most certainly in the wrong her, as he failed to keep his word.
I’m pretty sure that even if this judge were to grant the motion for sanctions, the plaintiffs would still not recant. As I said, I know a couple of them. And I believe them.
3. If you are not sure, then you probably shouldn’t be making public claims.
I asked about the “grand closing statement” being posted on RG. The answer is simple and has nothing to do with what you speculate. But that info is not mine to share.
Concerning Dr. Cornish, I was able to search his facebook profile from that time. The post I found was “CNN just sent me a link to last night’s interview. What an incredible opportunity it was to shed some light on a dark corner of the Christian homeschooling world. ATI is by no means representative of all homeschooling, and Bill Gothard is absolutely not representative of the Christian community at large. But ATI and Gothard did affect thousands of lives, including mine, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak out about it.” Hardly a “victory lap.” You may not agree with him, but he’s hardly gloating.
4. Guessing only makes one a fool. As I stated the other day, I’ve spoken with a couple of the women in the past month, and there is just so much more than you know. They were all willing to proceed to the end. They longed for their day in court and were devastated by the way it ended.
5. It’s hard to prove claims to events for which there are only two witnesses. Such is the problem with any allegations regarding anything of a sexual nature. He said, she said. But in this case, he said, she said, she said, she said, etc.
1). Lots of people say lots of things, but SOME people have a driven agenda designed to create a movement toward the destruction of a person they dislike. What is it that makes the “fake news” all over the place so appealing? “The ring of truth” is what makes lies so appealing, particularly those we wish with all our heart were true.
A LOT of people have wanted Bill hurt, gone, erased. The reasons vary – one is the same reason that people start pounding on McDonalds or Walmart: Ya gotta have someone to blame for your woes, and the biggest one out there is usually the best, sort of like lightening. RG was an expression, historically, of “mid-life crisis” for a LOT of ATI kids raised in the program from 1982 to to the early 2000s. You get to “mid-life”, you wake up to find your life is dogged by problems, you look for someone to blame. Bill is so delicious toward that end, because what he teaches makes us all uncomfortable, and is 180 degrees opposite to our “natural inclinations”. The fact that it appears to line up with at least the apparent meaning of Scripture makes it all the worse. So, we fight him theologically, to make that irritation go away, and we bloody him in general as we blame him for about everything bad that has gone on in our lives, including bad decisions we have made.
And defend? Few rise up to defend? Maybe you recognize this:
“And they all forsook him, and fled.”
2 Timothy 4:16
“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
Lots of reasons people hide when someone important is under attack that have nothing to do with malfeasance.
2). Maybe you can get that list for me, because I am unaware of it. If it exists, I bet there is a record of it, right? I have never heard from Dr. Murphy, but I can check into that. If Dr. Murphy never followed up with Bill after Bill allegedly broke the rules, that is where the breakdown is. If you help us on this, we will follow up.
“Not recant”. Again, believe me we are not upset. Simply because we know that truthful people would at least straighten out the slanderous parts that are not true.
Proverbs 18:17. “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.”
Sad that the searching out has to be by court action? They each need to imagine each word attributed to them in the lawsuit being on display in a defamation suit, and having to prove them to a jury. For example, that Bill touched them and, most importantly, was “in a sexual manner”. Or that they really saw an erection. Or that he “sexually harassed” them, under the legal definition we were looking at. It might help them to imagine their own Dad or Mom checking into this, BTW, people that know both Bill and their offspring well.
We know they didn’t, so that looks like an opportunity to prove a “false fact” that is damaging, clearly “with malice” . . . And the lawyers get to add “per se”, since moral accusations bypass the other preliminaries that other classes of defamation have to go through.
We know a bunch of plaintiffs too. Believe me we were in contact with one quite recently that had no idea what she had alleged in the suit. Nor knew of the proposed motion and offer to go a different way.
3). We recall some letters back and forth between IBLP and “Friend”.
Wonder what would be so mysterious that is different? :-). Unless, maybe, it is a vain attempt to cloak their involvement?
BTW, see if friend remembers saying this: “I’m going to meet him [Primary RG contributer and active lawsuit helper] at his sons house . . . and we will drive . . . together to meet Frank”. That would be Frank Cesarone, plaintiff lawyer. Now WHY would he be traveling many hours away from home to do that? 9 hour car ride. IS he telling you the truth, about his support of this lawsuit? One of you isn’t telling the truth.
Cornish: We have been blocked by him so cannot verify. Look down in the comments . . . He did make comments that amounted to a victory lap.
4). Of COURSE they were willing to proceed to the end. The one that we know that quit solely for personal reasons definitely wanted to stay in and fight. So thank you for acknowledging that they did not leave for therapeutic reasons. They left because they had no other choice. And, I am thinking we know most of it. I have a feeling few plaintiffs know what was in the endless volumes of chats they turned over. But, you never know.
5). You seem to assume that there are not an equal or greater number of witnesses to the contrary. That is not true. We have a list of women willing to testify completely to the opposite, and counter the recollections of the plaintiffs. Who were there, also. One of the big problems every single plaintiff had was finding someone, ANYONE to corroborate even part of their stories. See, the Scripturally demanded 2-3 witnesses is not 2-3 telling similar tales, since that can happen through hearsay . . . Like trading and listening to tales of others. No, 2-3 to confirm a specific event. Even people they relayed the story to around the time it happened. If you were shocked to see all 17 plaintiffs suddenly drop against their will, you are not smart to try to blame that on misfortune or the lawyers. They simply didn’t have a case. Which is why I no longer worry about plaintiffs coming back to sue. Because now we know, we have seen “the cards”.
And, yes that is the case with things of a sexual nature. But, honestly, if you think the women you know would just move on with their lives, writing happy letters to Bill after suffering something of a “sexual nature”, you are living in a dream world. Friend: It DIDN’T HAPPEN.
re: BG’s ultimate goal
In your 4/5 post, you raised the question of BG’s ultimate goal and steps he might take to achieve it.
If BG’s ultimate goal was to restore his reign at IBLP, he would likely not do the things you say.
If the articles here are true, his lawyers have already settled the RG conspiracy question. So what remains for BG to do?
A wrongful termination suit against IBLP? Doesn’t that sound like destroying the village in order to save it?
But what if BG’s ultimate goal is to follow Jesus? Who knows where that path might lead? The lawyering and politicking you asked about might not apply.
(Tiny side note. When that happens, won’t let you reply, just reply to the last post in the thread that has a Reply button, which may not be the last reply. Your comments will fall into the right place. Or starting over, as you did, is fine)
Alfred writes:”Dr. Rademacher said it in so many words as he urged Ruth to slander Bill”
That’s funny, I was part of all the conversation with Radmacher and at no time was she asked to slander Bill! In the conversations with him, just like the “interrogatories” questions were asked to establish what happened. He was just seeking the truth in his quest and Ruth was emphatic about telling the truth! What I read in your statement Is an attempt to slander Dr. Radmacher thus discrediting his critique of Bill.
So . . . here is the entire letter, thanks to RG and perhaps to you, and here is a snip of the parts I find particularly concerning:
That Dr. Radmacher was a well known and ferocious opponent of Bill’s on theological grounds is well known. To FINALLY bring Bill to heel on theology, he would need help from Ruth and other women at HQ. Why is that? Because people will pay attention to allegations of moral impropriety in ways that would never happen with theology. Because they are “more vivid, obvious, and graphic”. He is asking for evil reports about Bill that he can then spread around, derail Bill, cause the Board and supporters to lose confidence in him, and FINALLY be rid of the greatest thorn in his side. Personally, I find this revolting.
BTW, do YOU see any Scriptural backup for this notion that “hermeneutical abuse of the Scriptures” leads to “moral impropriety”? That sounds like something a professor of hermeneutics might say. I am at a loss to find a foundation for it.
My question to you: DID she? If not, why not?
I remember very well Bill repeatedly stating that one’s morality dictates one’s theology. The reverse of that is even more true that bad theology will lead to bad behaviors. That has been proven over and over again if you ever bothered to study heresies in history. That is what Dr. Radmacher is talking about. If one’s view of God or Jesus or scripture use is off, that will end up leading that person more often than not into questionable behaviors. One doesn’t need to dig too far back into Christian history. Many of the big sex and money scandals of the 80s came from WoF teachers whose name it/claim it, prosperity gospel lead them into all sorts of questionable immoral, greedy behaviors. Gnostism in the early years lead people into immoral behaviors. THAT is what Dr. Radmacher is talking about.
So . . . suddenly Bill Gothard is the Bible expert? 🙂 I asked for Bible, you didn’t give me any. Especially for his twist, reversing it.
You are real funny. I’m wasting my time here.
Not meant to be funny, just . . . Irony that you would quote Bill Gothard as a support to Rademacher’s unfounded assertion. Since Bill Gothard is supposedly unable to interpret Scripture correctly. 🙂 I would be curious if anyone has a foundation for “bad hermeneutics produce bad morals”.
As an ironic sidenote, I have in my collection of books one on “hermeneutics”. I was given it by a friend who had just graduated from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, studying under . . . Dr. Radmacher. I have always wondered where you find support for “hermeneutics” as a fundamental means of understanding the Bible . . . IN the Bible.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how to interpret itself but there are some clue in that Jesus mentioned He fulfilled the law, explained on the road to Emmaus that scripture pointed to Him. Acts and the Epistles pointed to to use of OT pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. So I would say that is how one should interpret the Bible via the Bible. What is why I said to you is the Bible a how to book or a who is book?
I am driving a bit blind as to what comment this references, likely the “hermeneutics not in the Bible”? I was actually shocked as I opened the Wiki on hermeneutics. Why, it works just as well on secular and occultic literature as the Bible. That is troubling. Somehow I don’t think the Bible, written by God, was ever designed to work like any other volume in the world.
re: your 4/6 post about bad theology producing bad morals. Do you really want to make it that absolute?
If bad theology by WoF teachers caused bad morals among them, then how do we account for pedophiles among Catholic clergy? Do we blame bad theology or something else?
Radmacher and you may have a point, but can you see how distorted it gets if you take it too far?
I would highly suggest to you to read Jude, II Peter, Revelations (the chapters to the seven Churches) and various comments sprinkled through-out St. Paul’s letters where false teachers are described, warned about and discussed and immorality and out of control appetites are mentioned which include greed as signs of false prophets/teachers. The priest sex scandals had more to do with poor screening in seminaries of candidates and their ability to be committed to celibacy. WoF is a prosperity now, health and wealth false gospel. I just read a shocking quote (to me it is) from one of their current big names Paula White who said that anyone that tells you to deny yourself is speaking for the devil. Now this is a woman that is on her fourth marriage. Now, I would like to know where someone finds that in the Bible. But don’t you think that people that teach such stuff might end up with problems with money and sex? Been proven a lot. Bill taught a very heavy handed authoritarianism as well as ridged roles for men and women which puts women in subjection to men. This sort of thing leads to the abuses that occurred with women and girls at IBYC/IBLP and that is probably what Dr. Radmacher was trying to connect the dots with. Likewise, people that follow the Pearls or complimentary TCG have had more abusive marriages.
I read a lot of stuff and see very little Bible. I know all those passages . . . WHERE do you see that “bad Scripture interpretation begets moral issues”? IF Bill had said that, lots of folks would be howling. You KNOW they would. So it is my turn. I don’t believe it, prove it. *I* think moral problems come from covetousness, “the root of all evil”, and that from doubting God, His love, because of some area where life hung a left where we expected God to push things to the right. The Scripture reinterpretation follows, NOT precedes that.
No offense, BTW, taken as other seek to defend me. Fiesty challenges is something we signed up for and can live with.
I remember Bill Gothard himself in all the seminars I attending stating that “one’s morality dictated one’s theology” and he used examples of atheists and he was trying to make the point using his usual anecdotal evidence that if someone became an atheist, they usually didn’t want to follow God’s morality and were immoral or hiding their immorality , so it is easier to be immoral as an atheist and deny God’s existence. This was Bill’s reasons why people became atheists. This goes along with his other quote about the Bible “one interpretation, many applications”. So where in the Bible can Bill support either of these quotes and common statements to himself? You want to hang this on the late Dr. Radmacher, but the reality is that Bill made these statements which according to you are not found in the Bible.
I can talk to morality begetting messed up theology. But that is a different topic. Dr. Radmacher said that “Bad hermeneutics” caused moral problems. THAT is very precise and I think, false. HOW I interpret the Bible, what method I use, that makes me become immoral. So . . . Do you agree that that has no support in Scripture? If so, then we can discuss the opposite, which still doesn’t specifically finger “hermeneutics”, but the theology, the conclusion, specifically coming about because of losing the battle morally first.
this is trying to split hairs here. One’s hermeneutics influences one’s theology and visa versa. I do not see anything “unbiblical” about the late Dr. Radmacher’s point or even question to Ruth. Again, one’s hermeneutic’s feeds one’s theology and one’s theology feeds one’s hermeneutics. Bill had a very distinct hermeneutics and theology whether you and him want to admit it or not. And Bill’s proof texting, hyper-literalist hermeneutics and theology is not “biblical” any more than what you are calling Dr. Radmacher.
Truth be told . . . You just based your entire argument on . . . What you think. I counter that by saying . . . I don’t see it. Some of my perspective is prejudice, I know. I am suspicious of “hermeneutics”, as often as this “thing” is cited to condemn Bill. With the Wiki telling me clearly that it “works” as a sort of science on sacred and profane writings as well, I may be inclinded to call this the “wisdom of the world”. Sort of . . . If really smart people don’t believe it, it can’t be true. The Scriptures say the exact opposite.
My challenge is – tell me why I am wrong.
re: your 4/5 post
I wonder if your Catholic brethren to well to mock their sola scriptura brethren. When Calvinists mock Armenians, or any communion mocks another, are we getting closer or further from the peace among his followers which Our Lord was seeking in his John 17 high priestly prayer? Different Christian communions believe that their neighbor communion is mistaken in this or that. That’s what distinguishes (and divides) us.
And what about the partisan spirit against which His great Apostle warned us in his Corinthian epistle? You know, the juvenile “I am of Paul, I of Apollos” boasts which brought down the apostolic rebuke?
So I hope you won’t indulge in mocking brother Alfred online or anyone else for that matter.
I wasn’t planning to “mock” anyone and I would never use Alfred’s name to begin with or plan to humiliate him or anyone else. But the proposed interpretation by Alfred which I think was more of a joke should be discussed as bad conclusions that come from an extreme literalist or fundamentalist positions. And those things are discussed all the time without “mocking” people that hold them. You equate talking about problems with Bible interpretation with “mocking” people that hold them. That is not true and you are mistaken.
re: theology and sin
Your explanation of the clergy screening problem makes sense. And that’s the point.
If I sin, there will be plenty of blame to go around. Defects in my theology are the remotest of causes. They line up way behind “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life” in my parade of causes. O wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Then again, if only I didn’t have this bad theology!)
Now if why you say about Paula White is true, she didn’t make the self denial all-star team. She ranks down there with the Samaritan woman (at the well) in John 4. She is riding the self-indulgence bench.
Of course I acknowledge the connection between philosophy and morality. As you said, BG used to teach about it. You and I and BG all acknowledge the obvious.
But the Radmacher letter sounded like a fishing expedition. Soliciting tales of bad morality to support accusations of bad theology against BG.
If I were Ruth, I might have been offended when Radmacher told me that my trauma mattered less than his theological agenda. Who wants to be a mere tool in a toolkit to discredit BG’s theology? Ruth’s personal interests sounded secondary to Radmacher’s anti-Gothard agenda.
(At least Radmacher had the decency to acknowledge the “painful process” which he “had to ask” her to undergo. So let’s give him due credit for some decency.)
If my theology is evil, bear witness of the evil. But if well, why smitest thou me by fishing for gossip to discredit my theology?
Every Church has it’s saints and sinners. I don’t see how Paula White is like the poor Samaritan woman. Paula is a popular WoF pastor, the other is a broken outcaste that went at noon (the hottest part of the day) to get water in order to avoid others. Jesus reached out to her by speaking to her first. Your assessment of the letter lacks compassion. The point of the letter was the idea that bad theology/hermeneutics result in the types of abuses Ruth and the others experienced under Bill.
re: Paula White and the Samaritan woman
I had not heard of Paula White until you wrote about her. When you noted that she is on her fourth husband, you did not seem to be praising her. Quite the contrary.
Similarly, when Jesus confronted the Samaritan woman he put her husband count at five, plus one non-husband whom she presently had. He did not seem to be praising her for admitting a half-dozen men to her bed. Quite the contrary.
That’s the comparison. But when I checked Wikipedia, I saw that some Christian traditions commend her. Hopefully she deserves it, but the Bible text says what it says. Her love life seems defective from the facts we find there.
Anyway, I’ll address compassion and the Radmacher letter in a separate post.
In regards to the Samaritan Woman, most sermons/homilies that I have heard on this section usually point out that she was going to the well at noon because she was quite the outcaste since people in that day usually filled up their water jugs either in the morning or evening when it was cooler. She was alone and went at noon to avoid others. Jesus in asking for a drink was really offering her living waters that will satisfy her need for love and ultimate satisfaction. Jesus wasn’t “confronting” her in a condemnatory way at all but offering her true and living water that will satisfy. It was more out of compassion than confrontation as you seem to be viewing it. I heard someone say once that she was looking for love in all the wrong places until she met Jesus. What ever her life story was, it probably was a very sad one to have been in so many broken relationships. Maybe your view of her is that she should be an outcaste having been in so many relationships. But that apparently isn’t Jesus view of it since He met her at the well to offer her living water. But that is what Jesus is all about.
I view Paul White’s marriages and divorces as more of a sign of the problems with her teaching and the fruit of it in her own life. She isn’t the broken outcaste going to the well at high noon to avoid others. She claims to already have Jesus and is a pastor on top of that.
re: confront, prevent, and Paula White
You objected that I should not speak of Jesus confronting the Samaritan woman. Okay, I might have used an old KJV verb, “prevent.” It conveys a similar idea, without any nasty edge.
Even so, there is tension in the scene at the well. How could it be otherwise? We are shown a meeting of strangers, in which one boasts that he can supply living water (whatever that is), then launches into a recitation of the other’s most shameful and intimate sin. Apparently the woman took it all in stride. She acknowledged his prophetic office. Scrappy woman, that!
Scripture doesn’t tell us the rest of her story. Rather, it continues telling the story of Jesus. One hopes that the Samaritan woman got a grip on her personal life and lived happily ever after. Hopefully even happier than Paula White (a fellow sinner with slightly fewer husbands).
I think we have debated this section to death. I have no clue how you read this section and come to the conclusions you have or the views. The so called tension which was in the beginning was concerning the tension that already existed between Jews and Samaritans. She brought up those issues. To say “whatever that is” over Jesus being living water that satisfies our deepest longing which is what He offered her is equally bizarre. And then to state that “got a grip on her personal life” is rather harsh and uncompassionate and really over looks the transformation the Jesus offers all of us. This woman left her jug at the well and went and told the village about Jesus. She became a mini evangelist and it ended up to look like the village converted due to her initial testimony. But someone that hold patriarchal views on women stemming from Bill Gothard’s teaching probably isn’t going to read this beautiful section in John any other way.
re: purpose of the 1983 Radmacher letter
He stated his purpose in the second paragraph, third sentence: “to cause people to see.”
Previous sentence named the tool which best served that purpose: “vivid and graphic” sex scandal tales about the IBYC leadership.
So the purpose of the letter was public relations tactics against IBYC, not academic pursuit of truth.
You have learned very well from Bill, take a word or two, isolate them from the context of the letter and then twist them to the conclusions that you have. What does this letter from 1983 have anything to do with the current withdrawn law suite or even counter law suite of Bill against these women? Nothing. I’m not sure why Alfred even brought it up. Dr. Radmacher’s point in the whole letter was that the sexual abuse of female staff under Bill with his brother point to deeper problems with Bill’s theology and use of scripture which over emphasized authority and submission, especially women towards men. Theses problems are not just a result of sinful human nature but point to deeper problems of Bill’s theology and use of scripture. And despite Bill or his defenders claiming that Bill was not a “theologian” or Bible scholar is just a bunch of baloney because Bill was both and had degrees from Wheaton college in a Masters in Divinity and it was at Wheaton that he launch IBYC.
The reason I brought it up was that Bill’s primary theological opponent of the day appeared not beyond doing “whatever it takes” to get him out of the way. After speaking with her he knew two things:
1). Whatever she could say about Bill, lap sitting, canoe rides, hand holding and all, if spun correctly, was likely salatious enough to do the job and destroy him.
2) Despite the horrors of what she had been through with Steve, fueled in part by Bill’s insensitivity, she kept insisting that Bill, for his part, had never been inappropriate with her, and she refused to be party to that kind of a smear campaign. Let alone joining in a lawsuit against Bill.
That frustrated him. This letter was a direct appeal to let some of those scruples go and help him. Because the end – removing Bill’s, as he saw it, damaging theology from the evangelical church – should be worth putting up with some conscience tweaks because people at large would be making assumptions about Bill that she knew were wrong, to serve the greater good.
*I* think – no I know – that this is exactly what the current cadre of plaintiffs went through. EXACTLY the reasoning presented to them. Stopping a lot of damage by Bill, as they saw it, against a lot of people justified playing fast and loose with a lot of details. I recall one of the leaders of the group, when grappling with made up details in her story to make it read better suddenly noting to the leadership of RG that, since Bill did the same thing, as she saw it, stretching the truth to make a point, she could and should be free to do the same. And they merrily agreed. As recently as weeks ago a plaintiff heard material details in her statement in the lawsuit, things she had allegedly witnessed, acknowledged them to be false, yet reiterated her unwillingness to “recant anything”. A point where hatred crushes the conscience. It is solemn, it is scary.
To Ruth’s credit, she could never bring herself to do it. And in a coming day Dr. Rademacher gets to explain why he allowed his love for the intellectual disciplines of hermeneutics and subsequent ability to bring Scripture under control – let alone hatred for a theological opponent – to appear more important than a few matters of absolute, practical truthfulness and the conscience of an abused woman that had far more invested than he would ever have.
You have many assumptions here. The times from the 1980s have greatly changed. In the early 80s, it was still shameful for victims of sexual abuse to come forward to tell their stories, especially in conservative Christian circles which includes these girls.
So considering this, I’m not surprised that Ruth and the others didn’t want to come forward. These were the pre-internet, social media days where everyone lets everything out. Blame and shame towards sexual abuse victims was still very much the norm.
Dr. Radmacher was not the only voice of concern. You have completely ignored the out of print book “Gothard” by Wilfred Bockelman, first published in 1976. One can still get it used. He took a different approach than Dr. Rademacher and Venoit. His book was suppressed because he was “critical” of the ever popular Bill Gothard. It was a shame, Christian book stores would not sell it. I highly recommend it. RG also has links to pre-1980 articles that raise concerns about what Bill was teaching. I’ve read them all. One of the best ones was “Bury my umbrella at Wounded Knee” which points to actual historical incident of how Bill’s umbrella of protection “didn’t work” to save innocent American Indian lives.
To make some bold comment that the late Dr. Rademacher loved the “discipline of hermeneutics” over an above anything else is so off the wall and ridiculous that it ends up not answering anything he and the other early critics said about Bill’s body of teaching and use of scripture. That is just grasping at straws. All these sort of assertions by you in defense of Bill makes be admire him even more in that he was willing to step forward and try and raise concerns when too many others were asleep at the wheel of popularity.
There is no need for assumptions. Fact is that Ruth was sexually abused by Steve Gothard, and said so, so that puts to rest your concern that she was afraid to speak up because of shame. The same woman accused Steve and justified Bill.
Yes, there were more opponents to Bill than just Dr. Rademacher, but he was the most well known. And the only one, apparently, to step up to try to adopt weapons and techniques that would not be normal for a teacher of God’s Word. There were many opponents to Jan Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Bunyan, the Wesleys/George Whitfield . . . on and on. In fact, opposition is the PROOF as Jesus gives it . . . of being “right on”:
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23, 26)
Ponder these words by Paul. Tell me HOW this could be possible:
1 Corinthians 4:13 ” . . . being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.”
2 Timothy 1:15 “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me”
And, of course, whatever we may say, multiply it many orders of magnitude for the Savior. No, the unbridled support of “everybody” is as much a sentence as anything else.
Whatever you may say, “Hermeneutics” is not for children, even babies . . . right? Not a good fit. But this is what Jesus said:
Luke 10:21 “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”
Sigh…. the assumptions I was talking about had nothing to do with Ruth and the other young women on staff that Steve took advantage of. I was speaking about the assumptions that you made concerning Dr. Rademacher in his motivations etc. Likewise you keep bringing up in your defenses of Bill’s teaching that opposition was a sign or proof and then you quote the usually verses that Bill’s teaching is correct or true. Having opposition isn’t proof of anything at all nor is a sign that something is true. Bill actually had little “opposition” in the 70s and early 80s. The seminars were very popular and well attended during those years. One heard very little opposition of questioning of anything to do with IBYC. The few voices of concerns were drowned out with the stampede of people attending the seminars. So your “opposition” defense does not hold water. You didn’t acknowledge the 1976 book by Brockleman which was actually suppressed because Bill and his seminars were so popular, how dare anyone question it. Facing “opposition” is not a sign of truth, Godliness, accuracy, etc. Your use of the repeated same verses to prop up your defense here is just another proof -texting error.
I lived it, first seminar 1973. There was opposition from almost the getgo. Dr. Rademacher was highly regarded in the evangelical world, so his concerns were not ignored. At least by the big people. The “common folk” had little care for hermeneutics but recognized things that their spirit winessed were of God and that worked. So if that is “suppression”, I guess. I didn’t see active opposition to the opposition. It was more just ignored. Which, of course, drove the smart people crazy. There were a lot of years of frustration expressed in all that active involvement of Dr. Rademacher with that plot to topple Bill in the wake of the 1980 Steve scandal.
I never heard of Dr. Rademacher until the Venoit book. Maybe he was a bigger deal in the west where you grew up but I never heard of him until then. During the years I attended the seminars, I never heard a negative thing about the teaching, seminars or Bill until the sex scandal broke. Bill filled big city arenas pre-scandal. Cobo Hall in Detroit was full to the max. Churches arranged buses and car pools for people to attend. I rode one of those car pools. When I was on campus, the Christian groups for students all talked about attendance. Bill back then was popular and a big deal. Even living in Grand Rapids, the WoF pastor talked about the seminars. The sex scandal, not Dr. Rademacher started the process of re-examination because it obviously came out that this was being run by a hypocrite. One can’t teach and promote high moral character then turn around a ignore or tolerate blatant immorality due to the number two man helping in running the show for a number of years. Turning to homeschooling was Bill’s efforts to keep it going.
You keep mocking hermeneutics and even intelligence. Do you realize that what you are really saying is that people that bought into Bill’s teaching are ignorant of scripture and stupid because that is what you are saying. So Bill appeals to the stupid, ignorant and Biblically clueless. Pretty bad self statement about die hard Bill supporters. If you want to consider yourself stupid and are proud of it, be my guest. I think that should be pretty embarrassing.
Dr. Radmacher says himself, in the discusion that preceded the letter, that he had then, 1983, been opposing Bill for 18 years, so 1965. So, no, there was nothing new by way of “reexamination”. Just a new opportunity to seize with a wounded adversary.
Nothing I have said would suggest favoring ignorance of Scripture, stupidity, Biblical cluelessness. Quite the opposite. People who know their Bibles, and the author of it, are far greater experts than those that attack it as one might attack literature . . . Written by a flawed dead author. There is a reason the Savior said that it was the children, not the “wise and prudent”, that His Heavenly Father chose to reveal things to.
1 Corinthians 2:13-16
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Thank-you for the link. I have read that transcribe before and did just reread it again. I am assuming that the highlighted yellow parts are your doing? Anyway, I do not see at all this as a “kill Bill” and Dr. Rademacher looks to have had many attempts in approaching Bill about the seminar materials over the years. Trying to state now that this was a “kill Bill” is just paranoia and another sign of a corrupted mind. Dr. Rademacher was correct. I’m not sure why this stuff is even coming up now with the new suite by Bill unless Bill is trying to make the case that people were “out to get him” all along. If so, he is a paranoid man. I think in reading the “Agent of Satan” letter, that it is more like Bill kills than kill Bill and going after others like Bill has throughout the years can come back to haunt him. And to your verse quoted from I Corinthians, does not “prove” that Bill’s wisdom is God’s wisdom at all. If Bill is hiding behind such verses that he thinks he is above accountability for his teachings and the things he has done to others is just beyond reality.
The highlighted parts are not ours. That is a link to RG. Yes, there were many attempts. They were unsuccessful. That is precisely why Dr. Radmacher was so focused. And, yes, they most definitely have been out to get him. The reasons vary, sometimes individuals haven’t even known exactly why. The “Agent” Letter – Bill NEVER called him an “agent of Satan”, not even once – was sadly mostly if not completely accurate. Tony did more harm in the long run than good, although he meant well. There is a side to him that you either don’t know or are choosing to ignore.
The point with 1 Cor. 2 is that God’s wisdom doesn’t look like anything anyone in the world would recognize as “wise”. And “Hermeneutics” looks REALLY wise to the world.
Hermeneutics is not “wise to the world” but just how does one interpret and use scripture (or other religious books). You have one which is really adopted from Bill. So it’s a tool or mode of interpretation or use. Anyone that reads and take scripture seriously will have some kind of “hermeneutics”.
Now in rereading the transcript, Dr. Rademacher reiterated his call on the idea that Bill was disqualified from ministry and should step down. That is the same call from Venoit and even an article on RG. Now maybe you are calling this the “kill Bill”, I’m not sure but that is my guess. The problem with calls for others to step out of ministry in para-church groups like IBYC/IBLP is that there is no controlling authority or enforcement behind these sorts of calls. Back in the early 80s, sexual misconduct by ministry staff did not result in more heads rolling than just Steve’s. That is no longer true. Ignoring your second in command who also happens to be family, not releasing him from duty in order to get proper help and then sending him to an isolated location with access to female staff in order to write books on Character is really beyond the pale and should have shut the whole thing down. Just now in your neck of the woods, the head and founding pastor of Willow Creek just resigned due to allegations. He was going to retire but now he upped it to step out, still denying any wrong doing. Teaching ministries like IBLP have no control. They are the wild west of Christianity. Anything goes, there is no control. So calls for others to step down end up being rather meaningless because there is way to enforce such calls. If that is your kill Bill, it seems like what killed Bill was his own based on their own “investigation” using his own buddy GII and ultimately have he has nobody to blame but himself.
If “hermeneutics” is the ONLY way to correctly understand Scripture, then we have placed the wisdom of man, of the mind over the authority and leading of the Holy Spirit. See, that is the difference between man’s wisdom . . . and what 1 Cor. 2 is talking about.
Of COURSE they wanted him “disqualified from ministry”. Because he messes with the beautiful and tightly controlled systematic theology that they favor. NOT for sexual misconduct, or even his alleged mishandling of the matter with his brother. Those are all grand means to the necessary end.
No controls?! What controls do you see mandated by Scripture? Somehow, in the highest of callings, those that are sent out directly by God and report to Him . . . somehow God cannot keep His house in order. If we REALLY don’t believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful God that cares, why then of course we have to insist on ourselves knowing and controlling all things. We are the only ones we trust.
Yes, the witch hunt continues, thinking of Mr. Hybels. We are at this time unaware of the particular facts of his case, but have seen and heard enough to make us suspect that it is somewhat if not entirely like what Bill Gothard has endured. May the Lord remember and speak to each woman in these cases that has twisted the truth to condemn an innocent man. No, He should in no way ignore men that have abused innocent women, but there is much that is going on in this day and age that is absolutely no better than what was going on in an age gone by. God is the God of complete justice – He sees the smoking flax, the bruised reed. Nothing escapes Him. His final judgment is in a day to come, His vengeance is certain; vengeance is something we are not very good at, applying it to each other. Despite the tears some of us will go through, thank God for everyone sheltered under the precious blood of Jesus.
re: book suppression
Happily the book market in America is as free as the market for cell phones or athletic shoes. Bad books get suppressed in exactly the same way as bad phone service and bad sneakers. Customers won’t buy them, so retailers won’t sell them. It’s not mere suppression, it is ruthless exclusion by that fiercest of censors, Mr. Market. So who suppressed the Bockleman book, Mr. Bonehead Retailer or Mr. Market?
CBD used to offer the Bockleman book about BG. Were customers buying it or not? If not, why not?
CBD no longer offers the Bockleman book, but it does offer books by BG. So who does Mr. Market want to read? Bckleman? or Gothard?
Again, another uninformed statement. Bill’s books and seminar materials were never for sell in any Christian book store, especially in the 1970s, the time period I am talking about. This wasn’t a matter that the book would not sell, it was a matter that Christian book store refused to sell them because he was critical of Bill’s teaching. THAT has been pointed out in Venoit’s book and is fact. This is just uniformed fantasy.
re: Mr. Market wins again or, “the multitude is accursed”
If Christian bookstore customers shunned an anti-Gothard book forty years ago, Don Veinot needed little more than pulse and respiration to notice it and gnash his teeth.
Mr. Market has rewarded Gothard with much more revenue from seminar attendance and book sales than Veinot would likely receive in many lifetimes. So maybe DV suffers from suppression depression. How dare Mr. Market smile upon BG instead of DV?
Many Captains Ahab have sailed forth to slay Moby Gothard. BG has Radmacher, Bockleman, Veinot, and RG harpoons in his flesh, but he swims on, to their dismay. The multitude is not so accursed as they think.
Gothard’s enemies make Gregory Peck seem temperate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMPW4R727QQ
You are not listening. The different “Christian” book stores did not put out the book to sell. This had nothing to do with the market. Bill Gothard was big in the evangelical Christian world but no further. This had nothing to do with Mr. Market.
Even Ricardo Montalban hates Bill Gothard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsYT8YHL-R0
Was unaware that Khan had attended a Basic Seminar. Makes perfect sense. 🙂
re: 4/13 moderator post about driving smart people crazy
Indeed the smart people must seethe when the multitude is accursed. Beginning with Caiaphas, the smart people have resented every instance when the common man rolls his eyes at their credentials and finds Truth in spite of them. Oh, well.
And you like Chesterton and read his books? doesn’t make any sense.
re: the Gothard motion for relief
I am guessing it will take maybe another couple of years for a ruling on the Gothard motion? So a long wait before the question of legally frivolous gets settled?
Actually, the initial presentation is this morning. Likely outcome is a new hearing for the plaintiffs to respond. No, this part will not go on and on.
re: Gothard motion timeline
That sets expectations for us who are neither legal eagles nor even legal beagles.
Current agenda has the matter actually being heard by the judge, perhaps ruled on, June 21st.
If he had attended an Anger Resolution Seminar there would have been no wrath to expend either upon Admiral Kirk or even a galactic lawsuit. And Spock would have lived longer and prospered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHAOWLhrxhQ
I know we are far afield. But . . . truth be told, you are absolutely correct. 🙂
That is a great Star Trek movie, and I am amused that the enjoyment of the film you communicate in these references proves that neither of you come from true ATI families…or you once were but are now in open rebellion against Bill’s teachings. (As you say a few posts down from this one, Bill sees things you don’t, so you must defer to his excellence. You do not get to pick and choose.) Even if you claim to be able to pick and choose teachings for your own families, you cannot compare yourselves or your children to, or elevate your stories above, the people who grew up in true ATI families, that tried to follow all of the teachings and did not get to choose.
Oh, brother, Jay :-). It makes me wonder what ATI you came from. Yours truly is still in ATI today, have been so for 24 years now. Perhaps the Southern California way of doing business was different from other places. I can tell you that for all the years we were there, the ATI families met regularly in our HSC meetings and almost never watched the resource sent from HQ. We focused on our families, how to support them and each other. Some had the deepest conviction that their children – a lot of them – should not go to “opportunities” offered by Bill, apprenticeship and all, all the while holding Bill as one of the wisest individuals they knew. We did our own stuff, and never once got any sense that anyone “up there” was unhappy. And MAYBE that is a key that explains why some folks survived . . . And others had such a hard time, for which they bitterly blamed Bill.
Jay, you have pointed out what I have thought here for a long time, that die-hard defenders of Bill and his teaching actually modified what they followed of it and can’t understand those that didn’t, and ran into major problems and screwed up their lives. Then turn around and point at those that did really follow Bill to the T and blame them for anger and bitterness. But truth be told, they modified Bill themselves.
Bill overtly presented his programs as options, for ATI families to manage. Every wisdom book is a expression of that, an enormous smorgasbord of options. Families often add their own projects to that.
Bill’s/ATI teachings are like fertilizer. In measured quantities, carefully applied, things grow like crazy, much fruit. Too much, sometimes you get scorched earth. At some point you have to ask how much is the fault of the fertilizer company, vs. the one applying it.
“Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself? Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?”
Alfred, take what they are saying to heart and do not dismiss it. What they are saying is real. Just because “you* adapted the whole schpeal yourself and walked away fine in no way negates that others who applied things more whole-heartedly came away with a much more negative experience. You seem to not understand this to the fullest, sober degree.
Try looking at things through the lens of other people less discriminating than yourself in application of all things Bill.
You defend as if you were all in (as some have been), but you talk as if you more selective. The difference is important.
I have observed that people have walked away from Jesus for much the same reasons. They gave it their all, and it didn’t work out. Blame this church or that, various Christian leaders. The “children of Israel” waking up in the middle of the desert, seemingly all the promises relayed to them by Moses ostensibly from God not having worked out, babies crying for thirst, wives besides themselves, everybody hungry, sore muscles, no home. A mid-trip, mid-desert, mid-life crisis.
There comes a point where we all need to stand before the Lord, look only to Him, stop blaming everything and everybody else. We had our opportunities to blame as well, trust me. But inasmuch as it was Jesus that directed us to accept this or that, it was ultimately to Him we went, not to Bill. Some things were big enough to crush us, make no mistake, so that is not lightly spoken. When we have come out of trouble, the Lord was to thank, but we also thanked Bill for launching us out on this amazing adventure.
Your continual allegorizing/comparing BG to Jesus is just simply frightening. It’s as if BG actually is Jesus to you.
Strange as it may seem, Jesus made sure that we understood that our trials and experiences with how people react to our preaching were going to precisely mirror His, for the same reasons (John 15:18-21). God told Moses He would get the unbelievers to compare him to a god, (Exodus 7:1), and Jesus said the same thing (John 10:34-36). Surely my analogies are not that frightening.
I posted the above, then went back to reread. This is really quite stunning. First . . .
John 13:20. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”
The act of receiving those sent by Jesus is linked to receiving Him. The opposite is also true. First, people will hate us BECAUSE they hate Jesus:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
And hating Jesus is the same as hating God (23):
“He that hateth me hateth my Father also.”
If Jesus sent Bill, then that analogy that you find frightening is quite real. Which explains why folks – from Dr. Radmacher to Dr. Cornish – have made it a life calling to prove that that is not the case.
Personally, I would find that legacy of hatred also quite frightening. It is certainly our job to judge, discern whether this voice and that “spirit” is of God or not. But even as Gamaliel spoke of Jesus, if a man is not sent from God, God will personally handle that, but if a man IS sent by God, then “ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39). Gamaliel counseled the Sanhedrin to “leave them alone”, those disciples. Given that Jesus linked calling something done by the Holy Spirit as done by the devil “blasphemy” and even “unpardonable”(Mark 3:22-30 – and, no, we do not believe a believer can lose his salvation, or even that any sin other than refusing to trust Christ can bar a person from salvation), that would seem to make it all the more vital to back off and not make charges that could, because of our fallible and compromised perceptions, be wrong.
God is big and He can handle Himself. He takes hypocrites, those that lie in His name so very seriously, personally. In the end, THAT vengeance is His. When we come along to execute our vengeance because He is taking too long, He also takes that very seriously and very personally.
Then the premise and question is “did God/Jesus send Bill”. You would say yes, however many of us would say no. Jesus was the second person of the trinity, He and God the father are one, so a rejection of Jesus is a rejection of God. Colossians 1
“He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creatures, In him everything in heaven and on earth was created…”
If you are trying to claim that God then sent Bill, where is the proof of that? Just because Bill said so and claims God spoke to him or showed him this or that?
And another thing. You stated above that people gave it their all (I am assuming Jesus) and “it didn’t work out”. Jesus isn’t something we try. Jesus is God, the second person of the trinity. We don’t “try” Jesus, we encounter Jesus. What causes some people to “fall away” because it “didn’t work out” is that they were taught the wrong things about God and if one follows these rules from the Bible that Bill found through memorization and meditation, then one’s life will be just perfect and work. That is a false message and misuse of scripture. I’ll say it again to you, is the Bible a how to book or a who is book (like who is God and His efforts to save His wayward children which culminated in God becoming man and dying for us)? Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT law. He stated Himself that Moses, the prophets and Psalms testify of Him and that is how the apostles used scripture as recording in NT in the book of Acts and the Epistles.
Proof? The proof is in the fruit, in the children:
2 Corinthians 3:1-3
1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2.7 million alumni . . . So many testify of the powerful changes God made happen through Bill’s ministry. There is a reason why he has endured when so many would have disappeared. As children to a father, there are many that continue to bless him for all that he poured into them. If you are not one of them, that is fine. The shrill voices of those – the few – that gathered together under Recovering Grace do not negate the fruit that remains.
People exit many other situations and churches because Jesus “didn’t work out” for them. And, of course we would agree that a wrong focus, and lack of genuine faith, let to those results, not caused by anyone else, and certainly not by Jesus.
The repeated 2.7 million alumni does not support your premise here. All that stat say is the 2.7 attended Bill’s seminars that covers over 40+ years. what is the point? Are all these 2.7 million devout solid Christians? I don’t think so. And looking at the many blogs, books and articles about Bill and his teaching, the majority is quite negative and there is more negative stated fruit and results in people’s lives than positive. And if positive, I agree with Jay and Observer that the people that say they have positive fruit in their lives are more do to modifications of Bill’s teaching in application than anything else. Considering the moral shape our country and culture are in right now, the 2.7 million figure is not a compliment, because we are in serious rough shape.
Some of this, Rob, is so subjective. If I believed the “many blogs, books and articles” I would have understood that Donald Trump was never going to be more than a fly flicked off Hillary’s shoulder on her way to the White House. Regardless of your political persuasions, that has to be a wakeup call on what people believe, vs. what is going on in the noisy marketplace.
2.7 alumni is a stunning figure. The fact that so many of them attended over and over is even more stunning. To sit through a 30 hour seminar, commit an entire week, all day Friday, all day Saturday . . . AND come back and back is worth something no matter what you think of Bill. And it is clear that you do not believe the glowing testimonials that we hear every day. That is a prejudice . . . And we will leave it there. Reality is, JUST like the “Trumpians”, people are just tired of getting beat up, second guessed for supporting Bill. Just tonight I spoke with a man that was in a teaching position in two different churches. One day someone discovers that he favors Bill, and suddenly . . . He is shunned, then removed from his position. He like so many others is a trophy of God’s work in his heart through what Bill taught over so many years. Lots of folks don’t care what the blessings are. Bill has broken the rules of orthodoxy, and he shall be shamed and punished, and all those that support him as well.
If there weren’t 2.7 million alumni, I shudder to think of how bad it would be, much worse than now. Trust me . . . There is no real bottom to that toilet.
Curious that video clips from the writings of an avowed humanist and paganist as well as a frequent philanderer along with drug and alcohol abuse would be sited in support of Bill Gothard and his teaching.
A little levity in the middle of a lot of grumpiness didn’t seem out of line.
Are you grumpy? Painting a picture that those that have had problems with either Bill’s teaching or himself as an out of control angry Khan doesn’t seem like “levity” to me. But if people want to use fictional characters to describe others, I would suggest Digory’s Uncle from CS Lewis. In Chapters 10 and 11, the uncle has it so locked in his head that animals don’t talk, that all he hears are growls and barks when he is approached by them. So instead of really being able to listen, his hearing is corrupted by the ideas in his head which override real words spoken to him by animals. Something like some die-hard Bill supporters, real stories and real problems are not listen to or heard and even real problems experienced in their own lives are over looked, ignored, blown off etc. because the fantasy becomes the reality like Digory’s Uncle. When fantasy becomes the reality, fictional characters take on new meaning.
Do love CS Lewis and Narnia. That word picture can go both ways. I, for example, think often of the dwarves in “The Last Battle” that, being very pragmatic and self-centered, eliminated all “supernatural” from their existence. To the point that they were unable to enjoy the blessings of deliverance and freedom – beautiful new world, wonderful feast – seeing only the dull natural world that were convinced was all there was – dark stable with its filthy contents.
Bill sees things that many others do not, things that are, in fact, RIGHT THERE in Scripture, things that our bitter, grumpy world has convinced so many believers simply can’t be. I think of all the abuse and mockery that has been applied to him because of the principles he counsels victims of sexual abuse with, principles that have seen so many women walk free, weeping tears of joy, deliverance that lasts the remainder of their lives. “Can’t be”, we are told, that violates all the “rules” . . . Because it is based on personal responsibility and faith in a God who loves us and never makes a single mistake . . . Complete release of offenders on a personal level as a response. Instead they force women into a lifetime of “coping” and bondage. The feast is there, doesn’t cost a dime – get up, and walk free.
It is curious you would like CS Lewis. My understanding is that Bill Gothard did not like him at all. I’m not sure if you have read much of Lewis outside of the Narnia series but there is nothing “evangelical” about CS Lewis, so considering Bill’s fundamentalism and use of scripture, I could see that. Considering that the Narnia series used classical Greek mythological creatures, magic, imagination etc. I’m a little surprised. I do remember the very anti-imagination and magic movement in the evangelical world in the 80’s, so why many Evangelicals read and admire Lewis is an oddity. Lewis views and ideas are conservative Anglican and Catholic than Fundamentalist/Evangelical.
To the rest of you expressed views, I think you have unknowing prove my point that you are more like Digory’s Uncle than you realize. There is no proof that Bill’s “counsel” help hundreds of sexual abuse victims. You can’t find them anywhere on the internet singing Bill’s praise. But you can find many personal testimonies to the opposite. This is just pure fantasy. There is no real proof at all of this.
Oh, Rob . . . Not everyone that heartily supports Bill holds to every item that he has put forth. That is a bit of the difference between a cult . . . And IBLP/ATI. I do respect the perspective that eschews all myths and stories involving magic, but there is a bit of that that falls in the area of “meat offered to idols”. So that is a good place to leave that. But count yours truly as one that moved CS Lewis in for our family while keeping a lot of other things out.
And if you were to just think about it for a moment with something other than a prejudicial perspective, tell me what you think would happen to each and every woman that comes forward to tell of having recovered from the damage of sex abuse because of counseling received from Bill. You KNOW what would happen. Besides being a deeply personal issue, not every person in the world can sit and endure the angry reviling of a great many that simply find that impossible and unacceptable. They prefer to live their lives in peace .. . But they DO contact Bill and tell him, with tears, of all that he has meant to them. We hear testimonies constantly, far more even since the shadow of this evil lawsuit has been lifted.
Alfred, I have Bill’s Basic and Advance materials and his advice is horrific. It is Gnostic heresy which divorces the body from our soul. I also consider most of Bill’s advice horrible. The stories that are all over the internet confirm this. Your claim that there are grateful women that were helped is as bogus to me as Bill at Navy Pier to you.
We are going to have to disagree on Bill’s materials. As to the testimonies, I have read them myself, not sure there is much else to say.
re: caricatures of Gothard enemies, skeptics
I used Melville’s Ahab and Star Trek’s Khan as caricatures of the Gothard enemies. My hypothesis was that the Gothard enemies were going to extremes in their quest for revenge.
Lewis’s Uncle Andrew was so corrupt that he lost his capacity to hear truth. If I am skeptical about the anti-Gothard accusations which comprised the late lawsuit, I have plenty of company, which includes the plaintiffs’ own lawyers. Are we skeptics all so corrupt that we have no ears to hear?
There is no indication that the plaintiff’s own lawyers were “skeptical”. Remember, they had to get new lawyers after the first one was kicked out due to conflict of interest that was brought up by Bill’s and IBLP lawyers. Likewise, the stated reason was that statue of limitations were going to be a factor and problem for them. (or a majority of the plaintiffs.) Maybe the first lawyer GIII should have known this and advised them against proceeding with the law suite. Your assessment here is more in line with Digory’s Uncle.
re: curiosity about Melville and BG
It is curious indeed that Melville’s fictional 19th Century magnum opus about revenge should foreshadow a real-world 21st Century quest for revenge by former homeschoolers. And none of them even have peg legs.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. It is very cold in court: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vwHLMs04XA
re: CS Lewis fans among Gothardites
What is surprising about that? Is it any more rare than Catholics who disagree with the Pope about economics or politics (plenty on the internet)? Evangelicals are no more likely than Catholics to be passive, unthinking sheep.
Personally, I admire Lewis, Gothard, and Chesterton, each for his own reasons. If I consider one of them mistaken at some point, that does not diminish the credit he otherwise deserves.
Well, I’m not one of those “al a cart” Catholics. So being consistent and true to one’s Church and teaching, I do find this surprising especially with the memories of the 80’s and the anti-imagination/magic in children’s literature was rather wide spread and talked about in a number of places (not just Bill Gothard directly). Being consistent and true is not the same as being passive unthinking sheep. Over all and especially in America, there is too much “al a cart” Christianity among too many Christians no matter what Church they call home. This leads to the wide spread inconstancies in people’s faith and practice of it and actually lead to a shallow commitments even to one’s faith in God. One ends up being “blown about by every wind of doctrine”. So having been there and done that, I have learned that reading consistent material lead one to live a consistent faith that is built on a rock and not shifting sands.
re: consistency and noticing
I admire Chesterton for everything except being too fat, Lewis for everything except tobacco addiction, and Gothard for almost everything except using oaths to regulate moral conduct. Am I inconsistent for noticing that my heroes make mistakes? Or do I get credit for being attentive?
Good for you, Rob! Consistency is an important virtue. House on rock beats house on sand.
Your stated reason for Chesterton and Lewis have nothing to do with writings or theology and are based on their personal habits (smoking and both men did smoke, Lewis a pipe, Chesterton cigars) and both men were not non-drinkers either. Considering the times they lived in as well as the English culture of their day (educated, upper crust, academia, etc.), I think one could give them a pass with their personal habits that may or may not be considered sin based on one’s theology. The recent movie on Churchill showed him smoking and drinking. Those sorts of habits were very much a part of upper crust English culture. It’s too easy for conservative American Christians, influenced by the piety temperance movement to look on such habits and think of them as sinful. When I talk about consistency, I am talking about theology and that sort of point of view, I’m not talking about personal habits that might be more culturally based. Chesterton was quite aware of his girth. Someone’s girth should not have that be held against that person. He used his size to make fun of himself as well as a point of humility for himself. In that I can actually admire someone like that. When I say that I am consistent, I mean I do not read religious materials that conflict with each other and are all over the place or would give me a double message.
in a foot note to “consistency”, Chesterton did say, ” The moment we have a fixed heart, we have a free hand”
re: BG and Gnosticism
If Gothard occupies a place on the gnosticism spectrum, it would be on the opposite material extreme. For evidence, consider the complaints of his critics. “Legalist” was the charge, never “Gnostic.” Gothard was accused of imposing Hebrew ceremonial law upon Christians. He placed a great deal of emphasis on avoiding carnal impurity. The Gnostics supposedly were indifferent to carnality.
So if BG is a Gnostic, he must be the world’s worst. Way too fussy about carnality to be a good Gnostic.
You do not understand Gnostism
In reply to the man in a teaching position that was found out to “like Bill” and then removed, I am sure there is more to that story than this. If that man was using Bill’s materials in Bible studies and was doing so incognito and the Church or Pastor deems them heretical, then yes, he should be removed from teaching positions. I am sure this is more deeper than this man “liking” Bill. There are many comments and testimonies of Church splits and Pastors being run out of Churches over Bill’s teaching materials so I consider them quite divisive to begin with. Growing up in UMC, the director of Sunday schools/religious education was quite open that she didn’t believe in the virgin birth. She held that position till she retired. I wish more Churches were more on top of their people put in leadership/teaching positions and what their views or orthodoxy according to the particular Church. So maybe this man turned crying to you for sympathy over widespread “Billophia” but I am taking an educated guess here, than he not just like Bill but was using Bill’s materials incognito and when someone looked into it or caught the connections and these two Churches considered Bill heretical, then he should be out.
This is someone I know fairly well so am quite comfortable with there not being anything else going on. Meaning I have interacted with his materials. He is much nicer and blander than I am. Meaning . . . There is nothing much Gotharite about it. Mostly guilt by association, from what I can see.
I would think then it would have been more charitable to him to sit down and talk with him about the materials he was using and/or Bill’s influence on it if it was a concern. I take it that this is probably a fundamentalist type of Church and I would think based on that that a majority of Bill’s teaching would fit in in a fundamentalist Church. If he was using the same materials and teaching for a while, (that seems to be what you imply) and people were benefiting from his classes etc. then they should have reviewed everything together instead of offering him the “left foot of fellowship”. I do believe that people that teach and do Bible studies in their respective Churches follow what that Church believes, teaches and thinks. If not, then they shouldn’t be there in a teaching type of position. There are of course two extremes over this. The one is where the Church tolerates too much variant in teaching or is too slow in removing such and the opposite extreme is where the “left foot of fellowship” is offered and people are booted out without recourse or discussion.
That is wise advice. The teaching roles have been minor, but the noteworthy point seemed to be a deliberate preplanned response to a “dangerous and sneaky cult” which in fact was not based on any expressed issue with his previously accepted, beneficial presentations. I understand that completely – I know how I feel when very friendly people chat me up and then start talking about the evil government and corporations that have moved the holy Saturday worship to Sunday, or how amazing it is that Jesus once visited North America. But . . . Jesus addressed Himself to the cults of His day, not by arguing, but with short summary challenges that the others could not answer. When someone is your friend, that is not only nice, it is required, in my mind. Otherwise we are all equally susceptible to our own errors based not on truth but hearsay and prejudice. In his case no further discussion or appeal was allowed.
re: fixed heart and free hand
Yes, I think that was in Orthodoxy that Chesterton connected the fixed heart and the free hand.
Perhaps I was too hasty to criticize BG for using oaths to regulate behavior. BG might argue that the oath fixes the heart and liberates the believer for all other lawful behavior. Fair enough, but I am not willing to sprinkle oaths around too liberally.
Any truth that Bill was asked to leave the IBLP Big Sandy ATI conference this week? It sound pretty extreme if true.
Yes, it is true. We are monitoring the situation. Basically there has been a physical ban on him being on any IBLP premises for some time. Sounds like Bill had had enough and went there, and sat in the front row. He told a a couple of us, didn’t tell yours truly, FWIW. So this was at the very least not a big PR move. Have not spoken to him yet. Others are there. Can confirm police were called. Threats, etc. All we know. He is still there.
If there has been a physical ban on him from IBLP property, then why would he deliberately go to Texas, go sit in the front row on top of that, refuse to leave to the point that police were called in to escort him out? What does he really get by all of this? All of these actions are quite deliberate on his part. Maybe that gives him cheers from his most loyal supporters but the reality is to those on the outside of the IBLP world, this doesn’t really make Bill seem either wise or mature but more desperate and looking for a fight with IBLP in order to get back at the helm.
This has nothing to do with “getting back at the helm”. It has to do with his life work, which really are the people that he has blessed, that found him as a “father”. As expressed in these annual conferences. This is far more complex than just a “trespassing violation”, as you well know. Bill is 83 – for the past 4 years he has been cut off from most everyone and everything he cherishes. He did not consult with most of us, not with myself . . . Most of our were surprised. He has, in our mind, earned the right to proceed as the Lord leads him. That leaves it to others to find the response that they feel is the most appropriate, righteous for the circumstances and the individuals involved. To us it feels most heavy handed. One cannot help but wonder that there would be other ways to defuse this and avoid crossing this line in response.
Sorry, but the “other ways to diffuse this” would be if he didn’t make a deliberate effort to travel to TX and then sit in the front row when he has been banned from IBLP. He forced this issue, IBLP didn’t. I know you feel that he is “entitled” because he founded this ministry but in the bigger picture, all ministries belong to God, not to individuals, even if “they started it”. And how do you know that the Lord “lead him” to do this? Yes, I think the whole thing is unfortunate but the person at fault in causing this is Bill and no one else. He decided go and put himself in this position where the police had to be called to remove him. If people love Bill, they can still go to his web site, buy his books, email him, write him letter, go visit him, participate in power teams and do all of that. If IBLP is of God, then it belongs to God and not Bill. If he cared so much about IBLP still, then he would do the things that help the ministry, not cause problems, confusion, division etc. among IBLP and its supports and participants. It’s sad, it really is. It was so preventable. It didn’t have to happen and it did because of Bill’s own choices and no body’s else.
Why is it that you assume Bill to be guilty of causing “problems, confusion, divisions”, and not others? If you loved Bill, if you believed that he remains innocent of any reason for the Board to have condemned him in the first place, let alone keep him away from the ministry he founded and loves, you would not be blaming him for the unpleasantness that occurred – you would sympathize with Bill and would be blaming others. There is nothing objective in your response.
Of course the ministry belongs to God. Are you suggesting that every action performed within IBLP is ordained by God as a result?
Alfred you have to realize Bill does nothing without a reason. I have seen this over and over again is the 45 years I have known him. He compartmentalizes information, as was evident in you not knowing about his trip to Big Sandy. He doesn’t want the left hand to know what the right hand is doing, all part of his plan. If you don’t know, you can honestly keep defending him, as you are doing now.
If you were fired and “trespassed” at your old job, would you go back to say hi, then sit in the front row of a company meeting and refuse to leave, even when the asking was by the board members? Would you wait till the police had to be called to escort you off the property and tell you not to return? I very much doubt it. But if you did than that’s more than a friendly visit, you are making a statement, like in the movie “Independence Day” as one of the heros is crashing his jet into the space ship yelling, “Hello Boys, I’m Back”. Is that what Bill thinks and is saying by sitting in the front row, thinking he is innocent of all charges? This might be difficult for you to accept but maybe just maybe the last four plus years are not the result of angry, vengeful, money hungry, spiteful people (as you say) but actually the hand of God using his children to nudge Bill to swallow his pride and repent. Are you even capable of considering that as an option?
Maybe you can explain what advantage this “compartmentalization” gives Bill? Those “out of the know” support him as do those “in the know”. Nobody seemed bothered. I see a “need to know” providing a lot of speed.
David was “fired” from his old job by those that were convinced he completely mishandled the “Bathsheba Matter”. His old counselors and friends, even a very hurt son, due to his mishandling of the “Tamar Matter”. So . . . Was he right or wrong to defend himself, fight, even see a bunch of people die, to get that old job back?
King David was never “fired” from his job. He didn’t mishandle Bathsheba. He committed adultery and then tried to cover it up by having her husband murdered. That is more than “mishandling”. King David then did repent when confronted by Nathan (read Psalm 51). Things were never the same for him afterwards and he died still King but he was confined to bed as a sick man. Your misuse of scripture is so incredible. Is this the result of following Bill’s teaching and misuse of scripture.
Some felt David was not repentant enough, that his sins could not be forgiven – mishandled his response to the affair. Ahithophel, David’s inner circle counselor, dear friend, joined the rebellion . . . Being Bathsheba’s grandfather. (2 Samuel 23:34, 2 Samuel 11:3). It was of him David wrote:
Psalms 41:9. “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”
Holding on to grudges, things that are personal, that “root of bitterness”. is most dangerous.
Same thing with Absalom. Tamar, his sister, was raped by Amnon, the crown prince. When told about it, David was angry, but did nothing. Amnon should have been put to death. So Absalom took matters into his own hands and killed him himself. So started the rebellion that ended in the coup against his father, and his eventual demise. 2 Samuel 13
Tell me where I mishandled Scripture!
Alfred, IBLP isn’t Starbucks. While Starbucks capitulated and threw the manager under the bus when following their own policies because the two men in question were of a certain race, IBLP isn’t going to capitulate on their own rules and authority which BTW was what Bill set up and repeatedly taught. Bill was defying their authority which is quite amazing for a man that taught obedience to authority. And until patrons at Starbucks with ready cell phone cameras rolling, I highly doubt this whole affair would have been captured on cell phones to be posted on the internet in order to drum up sympathy for Bill against the big bad mean IBLP. I would wager and guess that IBLP told people in attendance to shut up about it and like good obedient children as has been taught by Bill himself, they would be compliance. The Duggars and Bates are speakers at this conference. Do you think they would post about this on their own blogs? I highly doubt it. Big shot people can go to Bill all they want to support him. Except for you blog, I don’t see this whole affair being talked about anywhere else. Not RG, not HA, not SBB. Maybe the other law suite against RG won’t be going anywhere (?) and now Bill is going to go after IBLP and this stunt which is what this is the first round against the mean old board that called the police on Bill.
And yes, Bill is being divisive because this “stunt” was meant to divide the supporters of IBLP to be against the board and their actions of calling the police on Bill. It’s really sad, it really is.
So, we spoke to Bill tonight, in the presence of one that was there for confirmation. We are preparing a full statement once we have all the facts, and may have a statement from IBLP as well. They clarified that they followed all the rules for attendance, and Bill was promised a meeting with the Board that Monday. When he went to where the meeting was to take place, a policeman was there to greet him.
As to obedience, that is an interesting concept. See, Paul felt that his “children in the faith” were actually accountable to him, a lifelong responsibility (1 Cor. 4:14-16). That includes, by their own testimony, a majority of Board members.
For newsworthy outlets . . . You mentioned all the ones that hate Bill. :-). RG and HA seem to have scattered, SSB is interested in a lot of topics, with Bill a passing interest. Places where supporters of Bill and IBLP focus, that is a different story.
Having lived through Bill’s history of “compartmentalization” it becomes a perfect place to hid sin, especially when his followers/employees are never allowed to question his actions or theology.
I do believe you have your history of David a little confused. David was not fired as a result of Bathsheba affair, he repented when confronted by Nathan (2 Sam. 12, Ps. 51 & 32). Scholars believe the “Tamar Matter” happen shortly after the birth of Solomon. When Absalom finally was allowed to return to Jerusalem he began a four-year plot to overthrow his father (2Sam 14:28-33; 15:1-7). David wasn’t fired he was unable to control his family. It was at least 10-12 years after the Bathsheba affair that Absalom’s revolt steals the hearts of the people from David (2Sam 15-19). While David was a man after God’s heart he also paid dearly for consequences of his sin, sometimes years later. Sound familiar?
I answered Rob on David . . . And Ahithophel . . . And Absalom. Lingering bitterness at a former friend – father – For having not dealt with his sin correctly, repented enough or correctly . . . In the case of Bathsheba, and Tamar. I think we got it right.
re: BG eviction from Big Sandy conference
The incident sounds ugly and unfortunate.
Larne, regarding your response about why certain actions were taken in Big Sandy, can I just say that you are a wise and insightful man? You nailed it. Matters regarding Monday’s events are being reported wrongly by those advocating for Bill on FB. It is quite sad. I have observed you from a far for a while now and so appreciate your humble, Christ-directing responses.
Beth: Maybe you can highlight how the “Monday events” were “reported wrongly”?
I’ll pass on the highlight, sir. Praying today for healing and truth for all (and all sides) involved.
re: former employee analogy
Larne makes an analogy comparing BG and IBLP with a former employee and his former employer. It doesn’t fit any better than calling Steve Jobs an employee at Apple. In a narrow sense Jobs was an Apple employee. He was on the payroll like many others. But a corporate officer is not an employee in the usual usage of the term. No more is a founder an employee of his creature.
All that is irrelevant to whether anyone sinned in the BG eviction incident. Hopefully any bad blood can be resolved.
The difference between Steve Job and Bill Gothard is that Bill was a minister of the gospel (or suppose to be) and this just wasn’t a “firing”, it was also a disbanding from ministry and ministering at IBLP. It would be similar to a priest being defrocked and then band from any Catholic Church due to immoral or improper behavior. That sort of thing includes being banned from the premises of any Catholic Church. According to Alfred, Bill was told he was banned from IBLP, their properties, their conferences, their ministries etc. Likewise, with Larne’s analogy of being fired from a job, if one was, that fired person is not suppose to come back and show up at company functions and premise. When I’ve seen people fired before, they are literally walked off the premise, not to return. While Bill initially volunteered to step down, their subsequent investigation obviously turned up problems with him and then disbanded him from ministry at IBLP.
re: Rob’s 4/ 27 post (defrocked Catholic priests are also excommunicated?)
Wow, that sounds very severe. I assumed that Rome makes a distinction between whether an erring man may continue to preside at Mass or simply to attend Mass. Are defrocked Catholic clergy so anathema that they may not be Catholic on any terms?
Yikes! Rome must run very tight ship.
If someone has been “defrocked”, they usually are at the point of sitting in jail and if one is sitting in jail, they usually are not free to go attend Mass or go to any Church in that matter and this has to be pretty grievance to even get to that point to begin with.
a couple of things
First of all you yourself wrote that David was “fired”. He wasn’t fired, he was king. Then you wrote that he “mishandled” things. I think adultery and murder are called sins and big ones at that which should have caused him to be stoned. On top of that you also stated that King David did not fully repent. I’m not sure where you got that from but I highly suggest you read Psalm 51 which was his response and repentance which God accepted. The resulting chaos in his family which included, rape, murder, rebellion etc. came consequences of David’s sins, David’s multiple wives etc. You answered me in some kind of spin off on Absalom and court intrigue. I don’t see where you got your interpretations of King David but I think you are capable of more than this bizarre twisting of scpripture to fit Bill’s situation.
The other thing is that you mention that Bill was going to met with IBLP board on Monday and then went to the place to be met by a police man. You end it there. Did the police man prevent Bill from meeting with the board? Did Bill meet with the board? Did Bill see the police man and then just walk away? You need to clarify this instead of ending the narrative that Bill went to meet with the board and met a policeman instead. Doesn’t make any sense here. But Bill going to Texas doesn’t make any sense either.
We will be posting a fuller account, hopefully tonight. But, no, that was the end of the session. The policeman cited him with a warning that explicitly threatened him with a hefty fine and up to a year if he set foot on the premises again. He was told to leave immediately, not even allowed to drive his own car. The one he had just driven 14 hours to be there.
Ahithophel and the others that led the rebellion and “firing” did not accept David’s repentance as genuine. That’s how it goes.
You mean that an 83 year old man drove 14 hours from Chicago to Texas in one swoop? By himself? I’ve done a lot of driving myself in big road trips but even 10 hours is very taxing, let alone someone in their 80s. OMG.
I don’t know about the trip down, they did two swoops on the way back, spent a night in Memphis. Bill did drive the entire way.
I have known people (nuts in my book) that have driven in one trip from Michigan to Fl. (about 20 hours), or Mi. to Colorado or Mi. to Boston, all of them about 20 hours. Usually, there is a shared driver to do such feats, but I’ve seen single drivers go the Florida in one long trip. Not safe. Can’t imagine someone in their 80’s doing all the driving.
In answer to your implied doubt, I specifically asked the young man that went with him, and he confirmed: His hands never touched the wheel of Bill’s car, other than when he had to drive Bill back to the hotel after the policemen forbade him from driving. Again, sounds like they made one stop along the way.
re: Texas cop forbade BG to drive his car
One wonders whether any statute was invoked, or whether the prohibition was arbitrary. Apparently BG was charged with neither infraction nor crime. Do Texas cops issue sanctions merely because they are better armed than motorists? Or for some other reason?
Oh yes, “driving is a privilege,” blah, blah, blah. But a privilege granted by whom?
“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
— George Orwell in Animal Farm
At this point we felt it best to report it exactly as it occurred, with the hope of adding more explanation later. We were not told what basis that was made on. There are a number of aspects that remain strange, if not troubling.
” About the only clear win here might be the legal teams. Which is usually how it works out.”
Yes, that is usually how it works out. And yet, Bill is taking IBLP to court. Brother suing brother! Remarkable. Is anyone giving Bill sound counsel? Is he seeking counsel?
Curious the degree to which you were decrying the lawsuits filed by the women, most of whom, if not all, would call themselves Christians. Secondly, Bill is taking action against a legal entity, the “Board of Directors” of IBLP. The redress sought is under the law of the state of Illinois for corporations. If there were no such laws and no IBLP corporation there would be no issue. The church, which is the venue that one defers to by not going to law, has no jurisdiction over IBLP. Acting by the power vested in them by Caesar, the Board has taken steps against Bill, so Caesar is the correct venue to seek redress.
“Curious the degree to which you were decrying the lawsuits filed by the women, most of whom, if not all, would call themselves Christians. ”
And you don’t think a teacher is held to a higher standard? A teacher who spent decades telling others not to do this specific thing, as it is against scripture?
Of course they are. But their accusers are also held to a much higher standard. “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.“ (1 Timothy 5:19). That implies a high degree of suspicion being applied to charges leveled against . . . An elder, a leader. Bringing me back to – where were your denunciations recorded with respect to the reckless, unfounded, unproven charges leveled for years against Bill resulting in a scandalous public lawsuit against a servant of the Lord? By your response I know whether you love the Lord and love Scripture most of all . . . Or are just seeking another avenue to hurt Bill.
“But their accusers are also held to a much higher standard. “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.“ (1 Timothy 5:19). ”
Here we go again. Bill is not an elder and IBLP is not a church. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that Bill is justified suing brother because there is no church authority having jurisdiction, when it is convenient for you, and then turn around and say that Bill is an elder in a church like entity, when it is convenient for you, and therefor has protections that others do not have.
As Jude 1:9 highlights, we are not even to “rail” on the devil, because of his standing as a “dignity” (dignitary). And as we have meticulously pointed out, the section cited, 1 Tim. 5, is clearly in the context of elder as “older person”, contrasted as it is with “older women” and “younger men”, and “younger women”. The more public your position and role, the more protections you get in this regard, even if you are the devil. If “The Lord rebuke thee” is as far as the mightiest and holiest angel is willing to go against the most evil entity in the universe, then, yes, this behavior is completely wrong in opposition to Bill Gothard.
“Bill is taking action against a legal entity, the “Board of Directors” of IBLP. The redress sought is under the law of the state of Illinois for corporations. ”
You’re playing games with semantics to try to rationalize Bill’s actions, as you always do. The Board of Directors are all men who are Christians. So, brother is suing brother.
A “Corporation”, as you likely well know, is itself a “person” – “embodiment” – under the law. And while some Board members are individually the targets of a different action now active, the current matter is against a corporation. And that “person” is not under church authority, but under secular authority. If it were then Bill would have been able to appeal to that higher church authority.
Paul went straight to Caesar based on his rights under secular law to gain protection from the Jews. Because, as you know, that government is a “servant of God for good” for God’s people. The poor widow went to the unjust judge instead of staying home and praying. David gathered his men and, with the Lord’s blessing, defeated the much larger army of his brethren that had kicked him out. If the same Jesus that said “let the man suing you have your coat too” also said “sell your coat and buy a sword for protection”, well, then we can assume that we have balancing principles in Scripture.
If what you claim is true then, based on Jesus words, the Amish and all other pacifists are right and everyone else is against the Lord. If you can tell me that you have never “resisted evil” by defending yourself in court and, when sued in court, insisted on giving the person suing you more than they asked for, then we can continue this discussion.
re: brother suing brother?
Happily, brother need not sue brother when a Christian sues the legal fiction we call a corporation.
If a Christian sues the legal abstraction instead of the brother who rules it, he seeks redress without making personal demands of his brethren, right? That’s one of the purposes of corporations. They limit liability of natural persons, Christian or pagan. So the IBLP officers probably need only defend their reputations instead of their mammon. And if their conduct stinks, why do they deserve good reputations? Whether they deserve their mammon is another question.
re: counsel, etc.
What counsel would brother James himself give to all the contending parties? To the women who sued Gothard? To Gothard who defended himself? To the corporate officers of IBLP who shut Gothard out of the corporation, even while denying him due process? Is there insufficient counsel? Insufficient justice? Insufficient mercy? Insufficient charity?
“What counsel would brother James himself give to all the contending parties?”
Bill has many solid Christian friends, of may decades, who are in a position to give him good counsel. I am not one of those individuals. My communication with Mr. Gothard has been minimal and I would not be the one to whom he is likely to seek counsel from, nor should he. The good judge has known him many years and has offered his services here on this board just recently. Why not take him up on it? Surely there are dozens of others who could be a sound foundation for him in this regard. It appears to me that he may not be seeking such counsel, but I am only going on observations of his actions to ascertain this. I certainly have not every heard of him seeking counsel.
I will offer this, for what it’s worth: Going forward, don’t ever put yourself alone with a teen girl in a counseling position or otherwise. Heed your own warnings, offered in the Rebuilder’s Guide, cautioning about counseling members of the opposite sex.
As for the women, it is a moot point. They received poor counsel, from my estimation, but that is in the past. They are not the ones pursuing anyone legally at this point, so there is not much point in offering counsel regarding the matter of Bill Gothard and things that happened between them and him in the past.
Do you believe that we should seek the counsel of trusted Christian brethren? I have seen so many men make terrible decisions when they stubbornly refuse to seek counsel when making major decisions.