PBPGINFWMY . . . letters that were worn on the lapels and dresses of hundreds of thousands of people in the 1970s. The message they signify has become poignant again after 40 years, not just to those who came to attend Bill Gothard’s seminars, but to Bill himself. We will circle back to the meaning of this acronym at the end of this article.
In recent months the main question on the minds of Bill’s friends and supporters is expressed in the title of this section – “Did He Do it?”. Bill has been accused of sexual crimes by some accounts against over 60 women. Those of us assembled to provide this website in support of Bill are absolutely convinced that he did not. The website sprang from the grief of having another side of the story to tell, and nowhere to tell it. To a person we all love Jesus and fear the Lord and could not support Bill Gothard if we had a reasonable doubt of this fact. Most of us, in fact, set out to come to ground on the allegations with the heavy burden of being prepared to do whatever required if it was as alleged. What we found is a man who has not been wise in every matter of the way he handled those under his care, but still fully retains his integrity.
Bill has had dedicated opposition for many years which has gone far beyond reason in reacting to the real or perceived deficiencies in his doctrine and treatment of others. This is in part because he has from the beginning of his ministry sought to focus on the often forgotten and watered down claims which an Almighty and holy God brings to bear on mankind. While his supporters see him doing this in a very creative and positive way it remains that no one comes away from a Bill Gothard seminar without a renewed reverence for God and a dedication to holiness in moral issues, obedience and responsibility, and genuine sacrificial love. The “offense of the Gospel” is back. The established complacency and religiosity of our day has been as brutal to Bill as it was to Paul in his day.
In addition, he has been known for a very literal and direct interpretation of Scripture, relying less on scholarly analysis and more on a living book that God has designed to speak directly to the individual. As such he emphasizes the practice of memorizing and meditating on large sections of God’s Word and receiving insights directly from the Holy Spirit. A favorite verse of Bill’s is Psalms 119:99: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.” This has been offensive to Bible “experts” who believe that ordinary believers are incapable of understanding God’s truth without guidance from teachers. Most of the earliest opposition was of this type.
Bill is not perfect. He has hurt many people with some of his failures. We stand committed to helping him make as many of these wrongs right with the time the Lord yet grants him. It remains that he has been the channel of great blessing in countless lives and families, seeing many saved, caring for the broken and abused, the fatherless in many countries. It also remains that much of the vocal and angry attacks on his moral character are driven by a number of unrelated motivations to “kill Bill”, whatever it takes. This allows some otherwise intelligent individuals to abandon normal skepticism and quickly accept and promote accounts that would serve to that end. Whatever wrongs they are attempting to resolve, they are matched by these offenses of false reports against him.
So, we shall tell the story we know…
Continue to Did He Do It? – History and Scandal
“It also remains that much of the vocal and angry attacks on his moral character are driven by a number of unrelated motivations to ‘kill Bill, whatever it takes.”
Yes… that hits the nail on the head, and goes along with what I have been saying. What you have is a desire to completely shut down IBLP. It would not matter if he had done everything that was demanded, because that was not the issue. The goal has been to remove IBLP’s existence. This has been going on for a long time.
As one who is strongly opposed to Bill and his theology based on working for him during the later 1970’s, flying around in his really cool Lear jet, and living daily with the impact of his teaching on myself and my family for well over 45 years I can tell you that I don’t give a hoot about IBLP. Organizations come, they go, they disintegrate, they merge and some just fade away. IBLP will do what all organizations do, eventually they die. People go to heaven, organizations don’t. There are plenty of very fine organizations that are doing the work of Jesus, the work that Jesus Himself said was evidence of who He was. Reference Matt 11:5….
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
As soon as IBLP and Bill Gothard can say this about themselves, then I will care about their future.
You mention the Learjet. I assume you went as a passenger, since I know two pilots, not sure he had more? In any case I had happy fellowship with the original pilot and his wife in the last couple of months. I bring up the Johnsons only to note that they, having some degree of heavy exposure to Bill comparable to yours remain steadfast, active supporters to this day. I have been involved since 1973 (Portland, Oregon), on into ATI, family on staff. Just noting that “mileage will vary”, experiences and conclusions are very different.
Jesus work was evidenced by power, healing. Are you ignoring the many testimonies of powerful healing of lives and families that have followed Bill consistently over the years? “Lame walking” . . . You can’t be unaware of Joni Erickson Tada’s testimony, how comments Bill made to her at a break in response to her question revolutionized her life?
In any case, I think the criteria you cited have been met.
Joni Ericsson Tada is still in a wheelchair. While you are trying to make some case over “healings” by Bill, she was not physically healed at all. I’m not sure why you would bring her up at all. If you have read her biography and seen her movie, both of which I have done, she attributes her attitude to reading the Bible when she was in bed and she would read when she was facing the floor and when the bed was rotated upward, she would try to memorize it. She never mentions Bill Gothard in either her biography or movie as playing a role. She is a shining example of how God can used tragedies on one’s life. What I have an issue with her over is stating her accident was God’s will. No, if one dives into a shallow pool which she did and didn’t check the depth, then one most likely is going to brake their neck and the results are what they are, paralysis. If there are “powerful” healing by Bill, where are they then? Can you verify them? You keep trying to give saint like healing powers to Bill but even in the Catholic Church, all miracles are thoroughly examined and verified by Drs, not personal journals. Likewise, the first step in sainthood is to have lived a virtuous life, it is called “heroic virtue”. In other words, they walked the walk and talked the talk and rose to the occasions and circumstances. With everything that is going on with Bill, I don’t think he would qualify for heroic virtue in his life. He doesn’t qualify for Servant of God (1st stage) or even Venerable (2nd stage). While you have canonized Bill yourself, he doesn’t cut the mustard for even the 1st 2 levels. I am curious now where you obtained the ability to canonize Bill?
Joni’s turning point came at a Basic Seminar. I have heard her speak at an ATI conference . . . and she was to be a featured speaker at the large “50 Years in Ministry” bash that was being planned for last year.
Please try to stay objective with the points being made. Dan cited miracles, healing as a sign of veracity. We found that interesting since there are thousands, maybe millions that credit Bill with being a channel of God’s blessing to them. 40-50 years later they still say the same thing, i.e. the fruit has lasted. Yes, some have experienced physical healing by God when applying principles as he taught – no, Joni was not one of them. The point that he made to her was that God was able to roar her out of that wheelchair any time He chose . . . and until He did, that wheelchair was to be her unique frame, platform for the wondrous blessings that God had for her, meaning, she would not want to be free of it in that case if she knew what God had planned. It completely altered her perspective . . . and we all know now that without that tragedy, that wheelchair, none of us would never have heard of her. And, for that matter, if it weren’t for Bill, the same may well also have been true.
No, I was not a pilot. Maybe in my dreams but never in real life. And yes I knew John. Not well but but he was one of the funniest guys in the world. If he has not done so, get him to sing Row, row, row your boat for you. For a long time I have felt that one of the great tragedies of the implosion 35 years ago was the kind of organization that – could have been.
As you can guess, I do not share your enthusiasm for either IBLP or IBYC. Nor do I see either one as you say “criteria has been met”. Not by a long shot. I am very aware of Joni and I know of many who have been very helped by Bill and his organizations. What I am also aware of are many who have been seriously wounded. A few years ago I was having lunch with a young man and as we were talking he made references to a home schooling program he was a part of. He also referenced a home of dysfunction that was very wounding to him and his siblings. There were references to someone who’s influence on his father was such that today, he is I think, the only one walking with the Lord. So I asked him the name of the home schooling program – turns out it was ATI. However, I would not even lay this family at the feet of Bill Gothard. Anyone can take any teaching and pervert it for their own use and destroy a family. But when I am speaking with one of the pastors from a large church (5000+) and he says to me: “I could start a 12 step recovery program with all the people I work with who have been impacted by Bill and others like him”, it gives me concern… . While I did not hear this first hand, it was told to me very clearly by a member of John MacArthur’s church, that even John as referred to Bill Gothard as “a Fad”. Maybe he said this ore maybe he did not, but the lady had no reason to lie about the message she heard.
As for the millions he has supposedly helped? I am sure he has helped many. I know several myself. I would give credit to the Spirit of God working through the Word of God and leave it at that. Christian history is full of people being influenced positively by men and women were were first class jerks outside whatever ministry they were involved with. Does not mean I am going to turn a blind eye to them if they are abusing people though. There are plenty of examples of missionaries who turned out to be pedophiles, alcoholics, and adulterers yet people still came to the Lord because of them. Does this mean we should silently ignore the obvious or confront them with an effort of getting them some help? Of course not.
Also, I keep wondering where are the millions that are coming to his side right now. I watch the pages of this blog, and as much as I enjoy the exchange I keep looking for the “ground swell of support” Bill use to talk about and I am sure he was expecting from your efforts. Maybe I am missing something, but it looks to me that most of the exchanges are with others who find Bill and his teaching an affront to the Gospel of grace.
Will have to ask for that song rendition 🙂
Here is a question. If you were to be a pastor or counselor in the Israelite camp out in the desert, what would be your assessment, say right after Kadesh-Barnea . . . or so many other points along the way? Assessment of the success or failure of the “Mosaic Basic Principles Seminar” as preached by Moses? See, a lot of folks tried it, didn’t like it, and bailed. They were ready to head back to where they came from, physically and spiritually . . . . and frankly were in need of a 12 step program, deprogramming . . . washing that prophet out of their hair, shuddering for the rest of their lives at what they had actually believed and attempted to follow him on.
I am personally not bothered by those statistics at all. I think they are to be expected. When the seed is sown, it falls a lot of places. Some springs up quickly, with joy, but never lasts through the trouble for there is no root. If Bill is the root, nobody is going to survive the trouble, for there will most definitely be trouble. If Bill sowed the seed that took root in Jesus, those folks will survive, bear fruit. The key is that they NEVER blame Bill, because they never trusted him. The Israelites that accepted Moses credentials as provided by God trusted the God that sent Moses when they followed Moses program (which he got from the Lord). In Bill’s case his alleged authority is Scripture. The “Bereans” took what he said, they went to the Scriptures, and if it passed, they trusted the Lord and stepped out.
My question to the “12 Step” participants: WHY did you start out what you did not finish? If it was from God, even the most extreme suffering is no proof it was wrong. And if it was not from God, WHY did you follow it? That is the entire point of the “counting the cost” parables Jesus gave. When you go to build a tower, figure it out ahead of time . . . know your foundation, know how much money is in the bank, know what you will do if everybody you hired quits. Take as much time as you need. Once you have a plan to complete, well, execute it and never look back.
As to the “millions coming to his side”, I am not sure that we will see that. We are seeing some of that, but that is not what motivates us. We are trying to provide the rest of the story so that wise, godly people can make their own informed decisions in ways we were blocked from doing. And, remember: Paul died with a handful around him, openly testifying that almost all of his converts had “turned away from me” (1 Tim. 1:15). If that is the conclusion to one of the most godly, successful Christians in history, maybe that is normal.
Anon I know a lot of people who dislike Bill and his IBLP. However, done of them want to “kill Bill” either literally or figuratively. Personally, I feel that Bill has so marginalized himself by some of his wacky teaching (stuff that he is coming out with now especially) that he is irrelevant. Any destruction of IBLP he has done himself. If his teaching is so fabulous, if his ATI program is so good, if all of the materials he has self published under the manner of IBLP is so tremendous then IBLP is on good footing and will survive just fine. If however, it is not all that good…. then IBLP will simply fade away and be lost into history.
If you don’t think a fair amount of people want to “kill Bill”, I suggest immersing yourself in the RG archives. The level of vitriol has few bounds, and I say that cautiously. See, there are not a few that blame Bill for losing their family, losing their sanity, losing out on a good life vs. the miserable one they are part of. For some of these it is literally “whatever it takes” to hurt him back.
And agree that the Lord can and often does protect that which is of Him. Up to a point. The church, the masses allegedly being served by the church, lost the Gospel and pretty much all of the help provided by godly believers explaining God’s Word for practical living during the millennia of the “dark ages”. Since it took the unflinching courage of convicted, godly individuals to reclaim that, it is presumed that God was looking to the same class to have stood up to keep it from happening in the first place. God doesn’t do it all. Oft times He looks for some to “stand in the gap”, and if no one answers that call, He lets us taste some bitter and longstanding consequences.
“I suggest immersing yourself in the RG archives. The level of vitriol has few bounds, …”
Well, I have read RG archives and I don’t see the vitriol. For the majority of the articles I have read, I see pain, hurt, disappointment, and no small degree of betrayal. RG has even published one of my articles. You can look it up if you wish. It is on the negligence of the Board of Directors and the white washed investigations they and Bill initiated, (both of them).
You also write:
The church, the masses allegedly being served by the church, lost the Gospel …explaining God’s Word for practical living during the millennia of the “dark ages”.
I am curious, this assumes that for the last 1500 years the church has been awash in its own dark ages. This during a time where the church has gained a foot hold in roughly 70%-75% of the world’s population. Some might consider this clear evidence of a successful growth model. Also, since you have already determined that Augustine was a fatalist and therefore a poor representative of the good news, just who do you respect from the period of… let’s say Paul up to and through 500’s AD. Must be a few in there that you can help me identify. I would love to look them up.
I tried to find your article, not sure how to get there.
I am focusing mostly on the comments. Maybe you are comfortable with it . . . there is anger, there are threats, there is sarcasm . . . the number of times Bill, myself, others that hold a position similar to what I do, have been called heretics, perverts, every name and brand of evil you can imagine.
So you are taking my comment out of context. Here is the context: “And agree that the Lord can and often does protect that which is of Him. Up to a point. The church, the masses allegedly being served by the church, lost the Gospel and pretty much all of the help provided by godly believers explaining God’s Word for practical living during the millennia of the “dark ages”. “
The “dark ages” referenced would be about 1,000 years from the fall of Rome to Martin Luther, when the Bible was chained, unavailable to the average believer. See, so much was lost during that time. God could have protected it, but didn’t.
One would have to be blind or prejudiced not to see the bitterness coming from many of the posts. Recovering grace for everyone but BG not punishment is too great for him in many of their eyes..
From your comment about the dark ages it sounded like quality basic bible teaching was lost during the dark ages and never fully recovered. Which suggests that 1) the best Bible teaching was pre-dark ages, 2) that the last 1500 years (including the 1000 years of the dark ages) biblical teaching has been less than great, and 2) it sounds like you are making the claim that Bill is recovering this early teaching. Forgive me if I misunderstood you.
Here is the url for my article concerning the IBYC and IBLP board of directors.
“Dark Ages” had little Bible teaching in them. That’s a fact. I made no comment relating to teaching since then, feeling the church was basically back to doing its job post Luther.
I read it over, thank you. A couple of comments:
1) Why are you so quick to believe “Charlotte” on any of the “facts” she produces? I am not aware of any Board involvement regarding her. It is my suspicion that just like she invented a wonderful story of her “call” to HQ because of her positive character qualities – instead of being there as an emergency intervention for out of control rebellion – she may well have invented extra attention from the Board . . . that never happened.
2) Are you saying the Board broke the law, or just was unwise in the things you cite? There is a big difference. A Christian organization forced to utilize a Board due to the rules of secular government will likely work that requirement far differently than one that believes a Board is a Biblical requirement, somehow. Our church has a “Board”, but Biblically the authority is vested in the elders . . . and government has no right to say otherwise.
Are you saying the Board broke the law, or just was unwise in the things you cite?
I would not describe myself as a legal expert in nonprofit board management. However, I have plenty of professional qualifications and experience about the role and responsibilities of nonprofit boards so I would limit my remarks to this areas. As I pointed out in the article, the board has been negligent in its professional conduct and responsibilities.
However, dismissing the role of the government outright because it does not have a clear Biblical mandate is in serious error. A board of directors is a requirement for a nonprofit to achieve nonprofit corporate status. Also, the government holds the Board responsible for any misuse of corporate funds. If a corporation spends nonprofit dollars on CEO compensation that is excessive the organization will lose its status as a nonprofit. So I would not be so dismissive of the government’s role in nonprofits, (including your own church’s). While your elders clearly have the final authority for matters pertaining to the functions of the church, the government will, can, and should step in if there are issues of misappropriation of funds, excessive compensation, or (in most extreme cases) physical and/or sexual abuse of children.
That sounds like a law or two broken. Can you zero in on the salient points? What statutes have been violated? You mentioned excessive CEO compensation . . . I suspect you know what Bill’s compensation has been, so we are good there. You mentioned “physical and/or sexual abuse of children”. THAT is covered by any number of laws that have nothing to do with nonprofits, right?
Laws broken in Board of Directors (BOD) negligence:
I would look it in terms of three levels
CRIMINAL: I would not think any criminal laws were broken by the BOD. It happens but I am confident that IBLP BOD has done nothing criminal.
CIVIL: Would reasonable people have a reasonable opportunity to know, or were told that sexual harassment or abuse of adult staff? No criminal laws were broken but certainly civil laws may have been violated. In other words, no one goes to jail but civil action could be warranted damages awarded.
ORGANIZATIONAL: If the BOD says the organization upholds the highest standards of ethical conduct but has no clear policies, processes, or procedures to demonstrate its commitment to these standards, then as an independent evaluater I would and could question its commitment. Having done these evaluations, when I read statements of high ethical conduct but the BOD can not articulate or demonstrate a clear approach to how they enforce ethical conduct – then get a nice fat “0” on their score. No laws, either criminal or civil may have ever been violated but the trust of the donor base might be.
Explain why damages would be awarded. That was the point of the then lawsuits, right? And that is the point of the current lawsuit, the one that just got rejected by the court. It seems that the salient points in both cases, as far as LAW is concerned, are weak.
What authority do you wield when you evaluate? At whose behest is that conducted?
“And that is the point of the current lawsuit, the one that just got rejected by the court.”
According to online court records the suit is very much active. Not sure why you think it has been rejected by the court.
I have it on good authority you are wrong, DJ. http://iblp.org/news/judge-dismisses-david-gibbs-iii-lawsuit
Actually, that link says I’m right. The headline is rather misleading, but the content of the release is accurate per online court documents.
Essentially, three thing have happened in the case:
1. Gibbs filed a suit.
2. IBLP filed a motion to dismiss (which was never ruled upon)
3. Gibbs (as required by law) asked for permission to revise and resubmit the suit in order to address the complaints made by IBLP, permission which was granted by the judge.
This is all standard legal procedure, and there is definitely no dismissal or “rejection” here.
Thank you for clarifying . . . I suppose we hear what we hope to hear, wishful thinking. I would suspect there is SOME truth to the assertion by IBLP publically that “rather than defend the existing complaint, plaintiffs’ lawyers asked if they could file a new complaint.” Meaning they had their work cut out for them.
Would you be willing to provide the link to the case, online, so we do a better job of reporting what is actually going on?
Case #: 2015L 000980
There are any number of reasons for an amended complaint, so really no need to draw conclusions.
I did have a look, and I thank you. It definitely says, “COMPLAINT STRICKEN OR DISMISSED”. That has a note of finality about it, official court action. With permission to refile, I got that. Or are you saying Gibbs asked them to “Strike or Dismiss” to free him to refile?
If you look at the legal status of the case, it says “active.” A dismissed or concluded case would say “closed.” Also, you will note that on the same date that the original complaint was stricken (which is what happens when a petition to amend is granted) there was a “leave to file” and “continuance” granted. Additionally, there is another court date of 1-13-16. Definitely not a dismissed case. The judge has not ruled on the merits of the suit in any way at this point. Again, this is all very normal.
Interestingly, this information came out last night, in which Gibbs’ explains more of his plans: http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2015/12/23/while-the-board-of-bill-gothards-former-ministry-iblp-claims-judge-dismissed-lawsuit-attorney-for-plaintiffs-says-four-new-plaintiffs-have-come-forward/
Apparently, one of the reasons for the petition to amend was to add four more plaintiffs to the case, one of which is 19 years old. This definitely changes things.
The case that was filed originally lacked foundation, substance, and that, incidentally, included Gretchen, the first plaintiff. That was presumably “best foot forward” – it is not like this is a new matter, Recovering Grace claiming an astonishing 50 women with complaints for some time. We suspect adding 4 more to the suit is not going to help (and we are fairly sure we know who the 19 year old is). We shall see. We look to the Lord.
“The case that was filed originally lacked foundation, substance, and that, incidentally, included Gretchen, the first plaintiff.”
Yes, that’s what IBLP’s PR department said, but not a judge. So we’ll wait and see. I personally have qualms with the suit, simply because it will do nothing to prove the truth of the matter. The judge very well could rule that the IBLP board is not liable for Mr. Gothard’s actions and that their refusal to rehire him was the responsible course of action. But the chance of their actually being a hearing for the accusations with all evidence on the table seems small.
You say you know who the 19 year old is. Do you have evidence to prove that she is lying? To me, I think she will be more of an issue than Mrs. Wilkinson, because it would allegedly indicate that Mr. Gothard has been doing these things up until the past few years. I would also tend to think that this would mean that her parents are involved as well, meaning less of a chance of a “misunderstanding.”
As you say, it will be the judge’s day, not ours. So for our part, our hope is in the Lord, not the skill of the lawyers. I do think you are ignoring the fact that the case, as presented – you you surely have read – formed an insufficient basis to proceed on. And, again, Gretchen and her very public story was part of that.
As to the 19 year old, we shall see. We are aware of a young lady about that age that gave a statement to, then was interviewed by the Hinsdale PD. Her situation is known. The HPD deemed her accusations “misdemeanor battery” and already outside the statute of limitations, as recent as it was. In many ways the testimony she provided did Bill as much good as harm him. But we do not know (the identities of the four new plaintiffs are known, just have not been communicated to us yet).
Lawsuits are never good, even if you sit in what you think is a good place. The name and cause of the Lord Jesus is damaged regardless. Our cry is to the Lord and not anywhere else.
How does the HPD identifying Mr. Gothard’s behavior as misdemeanor battery help him? I understand that the statute of limitations allows him to breathe easier from a legal standpoint. Is that what you mean?
Also, was this young woman lying? Seems like it must of been something that really bothered her since she was willing at her age to contact the police.
RG sent her to the HPD, just like they sent Gretchen (who apparently never showed up, but said she did). She told them she was not interested in legal action, just helping. She had motive for a bad report to hurt Bill, anger because Bill communicated her confessed rebellion to her parents who brought her home. She recounted some of the “sitting too close” and “touching” complaints. The HPD asked her a standard cadre of sex offense questions, which were negative. The Assistant State Attorney ruled it “Misdemeanor battery” which is “you touched me when I didn’t want to”, the appropriate albeit unproven charge, statute of limitations 2 years. It helped because her answers to the detailed questions proved it was non-sexual.
Do you have evidence that RG sent her and Gretchen to the HPD? This to me is slightly problematic, and I would like to follow up more with some acquaintances at RG.
The documents we received from the HPD included her statement that Recovering Grace had put her in touch with the department, even the specific officer. Dr. Cornish told us personally that they verified that Gretchen had in fact given a statement to the HPD. We spoke with several layers of the HPD over a period of months and they did exhaustive backflips to find that report, finally attesting officially that so such contact and report ever occurred, either by email or phone or in person. Putting two and two together we presumed that RG was also the motivator behind that and they had received confirmation from Gretchen that she had done that. Otherwise it would be difficult to understand the firm response we got.
OH MY GOODNESS.
So, I asked my contacts about what you are saying here, and he just allowed me to view a copy of the police report regarding this young woman. I am shocked. Your lies and half-truths are disgusting.
You said: “She had motive for a bad report to hurt Bill, anger because Bill communicated her confessed rebellion to her parents who brought her home.”
The report said: “I began working at iBLP to escape physical abuse from a parent. When I told Mr. Gothard about my abusive parent he called my parents and told them everything I had told him about their abusive behavior. Which of course resulted in me going back home.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A student reports physical abuse and he CALLS THE PARENTS?!?!? He should have called the POLICE!
You said: “She recounted some of the “sitting too close” and “touching” complaints.”
The report said: “———– told me Gothard would call her into his office late at night, to do bible study and mentor her. ———– told me Gothard always wanted her to sit on the couch with him. ——— told me the second time on the couch with Gothard resulted in Gothard putting his arm around ——– and pulled her closer to him. ——— told me she confronted Gothard. ——- told me Gothard would continue touching her in ways that made ——– uncomfortable. ———- told me Gothard would rub her back and legs. ——- told me when Gothard was rubbing her legs, he would move to her upper thighs, and rub his hands on her. ———— told me Gothard did not touch her b—– or v—— area, but she described Gothard as being “very close” to her v——— when rubbing her inner thighs on the outside of her clothes.”
I don’t even know what to say. There is no way this behavior was not sexual. No man should ever be doing this with a teenaged girl. This makes me sick. You all should be ashamed.
“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15) There are always two sides to every story. Be smarter. When have you ever known Bill to bring on young people who happen to show up at his doorstep, allegedly running from “abuse”? All he did was “under authority”, either remanded by the courts, or at the behest or at least permission of parents. Think “juvenile delinquent” on whom parents have been applying increasing pressure to turn them around – all kinds of things count as “abuse”. The police didn’t get the whole story here.
Again, you read her account unfiltered. Read it with some objectivity. Besides some extra spin for effect, you know that Bill sitting close, giving affirming pats and taps is how he has done business for 50 years. In front of everyone. Sexual? You left out the part where the officer pointedly asked about that, since men, when they get arroused, they get . . . aroused. Why did you leave that part out? With as much private time as she claims to have had there, she surely would have noticed that, and would have every reason to say so. That sort of votes against the whole “fetish” theory.
There is a reason that “sexual abuse” was not even considered by the State Attorney as a charge.
I don’t even know what to say. I can’t argue this with you, because your only standard of truth/righteousness is what Mr. Gothard says or does. You don’t bat an eye that a child was wounded enough to contact the police. Thankfully the rest of the world isn’t as blind or heartless as you folks.
On this subject, I leave you with Isaiah 5:20:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
and Matthew 18:6:
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Of course I care. But we care less when it is part of an orchestrated attack. The young lady had a serious issue while on campus, “the other half of the story” – she was in trouble before she came. Recovering Grace got ahold of her and greased the track to accuse Bill in this report. Interestingly, she overtly asked to not have her matters pusued, just was there “to help”, in case others came forward. Again, part of a campaign. And the police and Assistant State Attorney examined her account and could find no potential basis for a charge against Bill other than, “You touched me when I didn’t want you to.” How wounded do you think Bill made her in this case, allowing for everything she said to be true?
You have asked:
What authority do you wield when you evaluate? At whose behest is that conducted?
Usually the Board of Directors or executive leadership seek an third party or outside vendor to assess the organization across a broad spectrum of criteria. Can be as simplistic as evaluate our customer service or as complex as a comprehensive assessment of every aspect of the organization. Without getting into the details, there are a variety of frameworks but most of them have the same core. Essentially we look for 1) are there systematic and intentional processes in place to do what you say is important, 2) are these processes intentionally deployed consistently throughout the organization, 3) is there intentional learning in place to improve on these processes, and 4) are these processes integrated vertically and horizontally throughout the organization.
If an organization said that protection the physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual safety of young people they had better show me well designed processes, how these processes are deployed consistently throughout the organization, a patter of learning on how to improve these process, and finally they need to provide evidence that these processes are fully integrated both vertically and horizontally.
The bottom line would be that this is not part of an official government inquest. So . . . if the government were to get involved in these corporations you investigate, what might that look like? What would prompt them? What action would that take? Or are such things handled through the courts?
Think we are missing something:
CRIMINAL – someone in an organization is selling drugs out the back door and laundering the proceeds through a non-profit.
CIVIL – Violating some part of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) – you cannot sexual harassed employees or promise them corporate status for providing sexual favors. Actually my experience with this is that almost anything can be determined sexual harassment.
ORGANIZATIONAL – Your favorite nonprofit solicits donations for water wells in Northern Africa but uses the money give the CEO a nice raise and new car. Probably did not break any laws that would get anyone thrown in jail nor be enough to trigger damages, but if the word got out, donations would dry up. The government has no interest in how the money is spent, as long as it is consistent with the articles of incorporation and nonprofit status.
The fact that Psalm 119:99 is one of Bill’s favorite verses is not the sign of a humble man that you state that he is. It is really a mark of someone that is arrogant about his beliefs and teaching. If the so called principals and teaching that Bill claims are just straight from the Bible are really based on the Bible, then why do we not see them in 2000 years of Christian teaching both Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox? To dimiss concerns raised about Bill and his “literalist” interpretation in opposition to other methods of Biblical interpretation that are valid and recognized by all three main branches of Christianity as “Bible experts” being “offended” by Bill is likewise the height of arrogance and is totally ridiculous. That doesn’t even address valid concerns that have been raised by a number of well respected pastors, theologians and seminar professors. But if Bill’s favorite verse is Psalm 119:99, then it appears that he thinks he knows it all. And that is not a sign of a humble man.
Apparently David – assuming he is the author of Psalm 119 – was himself also arrogant. We rather think that his experience was intended to be ours. The key is how precious God’s Word is to us, and how much time we are willing to spend meditating on that living book. That really isn’t pride though, just an indication that our teachers stopped meditating on and saturating themselves in Scripture. Somehow I don’t think God is too worried about that offending them in that case.
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise” (1 Cor. 3:18)
James 4:6 states that “God resists the proud but give grace to the humble” Since you site name and dedication is about discovering grace, I am not sure how this verse fits in with a verse claimed to be Bill’s favorite that states he knows more than anyone else because he meditates and memorizes scripture? To justify that the author of Psalm 119 is arrogant too so that ok for Bill is excusing him and his own attitudes that he “know” more now. Scripture balances Scripture.
Again, you appear to call the author of Psalm 119 (whom most people assume to be David, although some ascribe to Ezra) proud. Are you?
I’m not calling the unnamed author (David or Ezra or whoever) proud. That one verse should be read in the context of the other verses around it, 119:97-104 where the author is talking about his love of the law and how it has made him wiser than his enemies first of all, then it goes on to teachers, aged etc in that section of Mem in Psalm 119. Now with Bill and just quoting one verse to prove that he is “wiser” than anyone else is self-serving and needs to be balanced out with other Bible verses such as the “God giving grace to the humble and resists the proud”. It is one thing to study and love God’s word or law and in that study, meditation etc causes someone to have wisdom and insight that as a by-product gives that person wisdom and understanding, it is another to “claim” this verse for one self in order to boast that they are better than anyone else and in Bill’s situation better than other Biblical scholars and experts. Bill is using this verse to justify himself, he is not using this section of Psalm 119 to point to God’s Word as what gave him wisdom and insight. Is the purpose of meditation and study to be superior to others or is the purpose of meditation and study to bring oneself closer to God?
If you want to blame anyone, blame us for plucking that verse out and highlighting it. However, we like that verse a lot. See, genuine humility is not denying the truth . . . instead, it is acknowledging that whatever benefit I have, in whatever way I AM better than others, it is all due to things God or others did for me in turn. For Michael Jordan to say he is an average basketball player is a lie – it is not pride to say he is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. It WOULD be pride if he fails to mention that it came about because of gifts God gave him coupled with excellent coaches, loving parents, things that others lack and so never develop into superstars.
I am reminded of a story of Charles Spurgeon, “Prince of Preachers”. From http://www.sermoncentral.com/illustrations/sermon-illustration-michael-tkachuk-stories-giftsprophecy-giftsgeneral-19385.asp . . .
Was he conceited? Nah . . . just telling the truth.
SO . . . if David and Bill are wiser than their teachers because they meditate on God’s law, it is not pride to get excited about it. It is pride to fail to note WHY that is, and the reason is doing what God commands us all to do, yet few of us do . . . “meditate” on Scripture.
Spurgeon is not a teaching I follow or has any meaning to me. Maybe he does to you but some hard noise Baptist 19th century preacher is not someone I admire or read. Yes, his statement you just quoted is arrogant and a sign of someone full of himself.
No, it’s a sign of reality. The reason God does not bless most of us with special gifts that cause a lot of people to bow before us . . . Is that we can’t handle it, heart lifted up with pride. Again, “Disney Princess Syndrome”. Spurgeon handled it, even though he was a superstar when he was 19.
Back to the point. Genuine humility is never lying – THAT is fake modesty. If you are the best, you are not godly by denying it.
Genuine question here, my friend – In your statement about being the best, I think you’re implying that your friend Bill Gothard is “the best” at something. I’m not questioning or criticizing your assessment at all, but was just wondering what exactly you consider him to be the best at?
Bill has a unique ability to take the difficult matters of life and make them make sense from Scripture. “Why did God do it?” is a key aspect to his entire ministry. Some have stated this way, that he is unique in his ability to “creatively explain the sovereignty of God”. He was able to hold enormous audiences – multiple 10s of thousands in the largest arenas in the world – hanging on every word for 30 hours in a single week. Many coming back over and over for the same seminar (for free, BTW). As such he rivals Spurgeon in that ability, the “Prince of Preachers”.
I’m not sure what a “Disney princess” syndrome has to do with this or anything else. I would suggest your reread Luke 18 which contains the parable of the tax collector and the pharisee that went to the temple and the tax collector was asking for forgiveness and the pharisee went to remind God how good he is and better than everyone else. Then right after that, Jesus tells us that we need to be like children to enter God’s kingdom. Then after that, Jesus encounters the rich young man. In other words Alfred, humility is pretty important to God. If your blog is about “discovering” grace, I would think you would be focusing on how God “gives grace to the humble but resists the proud”. Spurgeon was an arrogant man, if that is your model, then that might explain your thinking (besides Bill here). I prefer real models like Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who lived her faith out serving others, not some Baptist preacher looking at his library of sermons at the end of his life, full of himself.
We also seem to be getting focused on your Catholic oriented theology, Rob. Most evangelicals have a deep respect for Spurgeon, so that would make sense to them. They know his story well enough to know he was far from arrogant.
The problem of young people with great gifts being unable to manage their gifts without getting proud and falling into the “snare of the devil” is quite real. Seems like that is important enough to work on finding some solutions . . . which do not include denying that they have a special gift.
I suspect we have flipped back and forth enough times on this sub-point, so . . . let’s move on.
The “offense of the Gospel” is back. The established complacency and religiosity of our day has been as brutal to Bill as it was to Paul in his day.
This is a fabulous statement and one that I so very much appreciate. It is has the core of pro – Bill Gothard vs anti – Bill Gothard debate and you have stated it perfectly. Since the statement is in quotes I assume you are referencing Paul’s statement to the Galatians in chapter 5 verse 11? If I am not correct then let me now and I will happily retract my comment.
If by “gospel” you mean:
1) Bill’s gospel that replaces the Cross of Jesus Christ with a moral code (7 unalterable principles) … then I am happy to confess “guilty as charged”
2) Bill’s gospel that turns a relationship with Jesus that Paul describes as demonstrating the intimacy of “Abba Father” (daddy) with a cause and effect relationship whereby I initiate the cause and God responds with the effect (not sure what he uses today but this was common statement 35 years ago) … then I am happy to confess “guilty as charged”
3) Bill’s gospel that says public opinion is a worthy barometer of God’s blessing on me… then yes, I am happy to confess “guilty as charged”
4) Bill’s performance based system then yes, I am happy to confess “guilty as charged”
However, if one believes that the gospel of Jesus Christ is:
1) God’s magnificent gift based on who He is and not of who I am (or do);
2) Demonstrated by Jesus when confronted by a leper and He broke major moral codes (and probably a few Biblical ones as well) and had the courage to reach out a healing had and…. touched him;
3) The safety of a relationship whereby I can enjoy the intimacy of a “pappa”;
4) A relationship of trust whereby even if I think I am holding hand of Jesus but in reality He is holding my hand and will not drop me no matter how far I may fall; and
5) A heavenly father who is outraged when men design a religious system that puts men and women into a performance based system that results in bondage rather than freedom……
The the accuser stands accused! Bill and his theology is the offense that you accuse me of because I have the audacity to disagree with him and his actions! Just so I am clear, Bill Gothard is the offender of the Gospel because of his own religiosity and complacency towards the person of Jesus Christ.
So a question my friend.. just when was this pristine time when the gospel was not an “offense”?
The Gospel, the cross is offensive when it is declawed of all of its implications.
The Gospel is ultimately focused on holiness – “without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:11-12)
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27) Holiness is quite practical, as we point out in the “Salvation” paper. Holiness does not save us, but salvation is, as always, proven by the “desire and power” to be holy, practically, and the absence of that, a life comfortable with sin, would greatly question whether we have actually “believed the Gospel”.
That sounds like all in . . . the “eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood” (John 6:66 and preceding, former disciples so very offended) . . . all the stuff the makes people who consider themselves good to “persecute” us and, by killing us, think they are actually serving God. People that eat and drink in His presence, preach in His name, even do miracles in His name, yet Jesus says He “never knew them”.
Focusing on the passage:
The offense – to the Jews, the Pharisees – was NOT that salvation was free, but that it was . . . deep, of the heart, not surface things. Most people miss the point completely. Here it is:
The offense of the Gospel is that God requires our heart, not our actions. He desires a clean heart, a heart that loves Him, hates iniquity, loves holiness. Our actions, of course, may prove that we have evil hearts, hearts that secretly love money, pleasure more that Jesus. THAT is the offense, to tell people that they are NOT righteous based on any number of things they do, churches they attend, pledges they have signed, altars that they have visited, prayers that they have prayed, sacraments engaged. They are righteous, saved, if they have actually trusted Jesus as master, believed “in” Him, heart humbled before Him as almighty God, something that only God can see . . . but others can question based on the fruit they bear.
You spend a lot of time focusing on the actions of the recipients of grace and there responsibility. The whole point of the cross of Christ is that Christ obtains redemption for us through His holiness. This is the focal point of the Christian faith and why it differs from all other religion. The cross proves my unworthiness to approach the throne of grace by my own works
Eph_2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Rom_3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Rom_4:16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
Rom_5:2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
Rom_5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Rom_5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Rom_11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
1Co_15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
As we point out in the article – the one on “Salvation Trinity” (http://www.discoveringgrace.com/2015/10/13/a-salvation-trinity/) – holiness comes from God as a gift at salvation. Yet we are commanded to make sure that happens practically. The Greek tenses provide the “present continuous” for “be” making that “become”. Also in the imperative, a command:
“But according as He who did call you [is] holy, ye also, become holy in all behaviour, because it hath been written, ‘Become ye holy, because I am holy;’” (1 Peter 1:15-16, Young’s Literal Translation)
Clearly we would have no chance of doing that without God’s enabling grace, but once saved, we have all we need to “become” holy practically. God is not going to pick us up, let’s say, and remove us from the smutty movie or send an angel to click the computer and delete porn we might have previously saved there. No, we have arms and legs and now grace to get busy and make it happen
I agree with you in principle however practically speaking Gothard emphasise relies heavily on external appearance and practice. The IBLP family I lived with had the appearance of purity. Sadly around the dining table they spent so much time comparing their own holiness and appearance of holiness to all their non IBLP/ATI friends that it was hard to distinguish them from the world. I have heard similar stories repeated multiple times by other families and individuals and ex IBLP?ATI who confessed to this very same practice. Bill’s version of holiness is nothing more than a weapon to beat up on others while insulating ones self. It lacks grace!
You paint with a broad brush, Chris. That has not been my testimony or experience in ATI. I mean, there were exceptions, but most were really humble people with their own set of problems seeking to find a path that was pleasing to the Lord . . . walking with a bunch of other people with problems seeking the same thing.
Alfred, real holiness is defined by what we do for others, not defined by Bill’s standards. If people are sitting around the table and bragging about how holy they are, then they are not holy at all. In the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector in the temple, the pharisee bragged to God about how great he was in the things he did, the tax collector prayed for forgiveness. Jesus stated that the tax collector was the one that was justified not the pharisees that did all the right external things. St. James stated that real religion was visitng the poor, the orphans, the widows, he states nothing about personal peity especially the Bill Gothard kind.
I am going to disagree. Holiness is defined on how much we are like God.
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16)
It goes without saying, however, that Bill does not define it. Gotcha.
‘Being like God”. Then St. John says “God is Love” so being Holy is being like God who is love and that love is not about us but about giving and serving others. I don’t think you “gotcha” me at all. I “gotcha” you.
St. John first says “God is light”. And God says, of course, that “I am holy”. Love does not tump light and holiness. Holiness is not love, but separation (the very word) from sin.
What I saw wasn’t isolated and I am not using broad brush strokes. When it destroys whole church fellowships you have to look at the fruit of Bill’s teaching
Obviously you have only seen some of the fruit of Bill’s teaching; other church’s have gone on and prospered, thanking God for what they learned.
Alfred, I really don’t know where you get your stuff from. You cannot even justify from the Bible what you just said. It’s unbelievable. Holiness and love are not in conflict. And to ignore what St. John wrote plus even St. Paul in I Corth. 13 about love is simply beyond the pale and out of the ball park.
Holiness and love are different things and come to different conclusions. Why that is so strange to you is strange to me. Let’s start with an interesting verse from the Psalms:
Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Psalm 85:10)
Clearly they don’t always kiss and meet and get alone. God is all of those characteristics. Sometimes it takes a mediator to make it happen. And Jesus is that mediator.
Holiness is being set apart, separated from sin. The word: ἅγιος hagios; from ἅγος hagos (an awful thing); sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated): — (most) holy (one, thing), saint.
An “awful thing”? This has nothing to do with love. Holiness is being pure, blameless, consecreated, a saint. The fact is that we need “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14) Unless love can find a way to get us holy, love will have to step out of the way as God’s justice throws a person into hell forever. Holiness as a “standing” before God comes when Jesus saves us through His precious blood and gives us a new heart like His. Practically, however, we must also find holiness in our lives, or we are not going to see much of God . . . and enjoy much of that fellowship of love that God longs to have with us. So, holiness is back on the menu . . . and, as pointed out, it – the practical “working out” of that remains our responsibility, driven by the very practical “grace of God” which gives us both the desire and the ability to do so.
I rebuke that lawsuit in the Name of Jesus Christ. I command the evil forces behind it to stop. I command the lawsuit to cease in the Name of Jesus Christ. I come against it and tear it down. May it fall to pieces in the Name of Jesus Christ. I command it to go away, cease, not to prosper or be succesfull in the Name of Jesus Christ. I come against it. I tear it down. Cease in the Name of Jesus Christ. Come to nothing against my brother. May the court and judges show Bill favor. This lawsuit is not above the Name of Jesus Christ. I render it powerless. I command the people behind it to stop their activity in the Name of Jesus Christ. May this attempt stop in the court system and the lawsuit disappear, May it no longer exist in the Name of Jesus Christ. I command the demonic spirit to cease their activity in the lives of the people who started it. May be be done Almighty God in Jesus Name.
I understand you’re passionate but taking the name of the Lord in vain in this matter is highly offensive and sacrilegious.
When you invoke the name of the Most Holy as an incantation to effect some particular result, you better be certain that you are praying according to His will. Otherwise you are guilty of breaking the third commandment. This prayer is shocking in its use of God’s name to somehow magically summon action against a lawsuit. Are you sure you’re not relying on the power of your own words over the power of God?
Kim you forgot to pray for the mystical hedge of protection over the lawsuit against Bill. Before you do that you should read the references to people building hedges of thorns it is really very enlightening.
I see that Julie reviled this in her blog. Fine. Done. We can now stop pounding on Kim.
Okay I apologise for my sracasm
“The Gospel, the cross is offensive when it is declawed of all of its implications.”
Seems to me the Gospel is just fine when “declawed of its implications”. What is there to get threaten anyone if there are no nasty implications like “take up your cross and follow me”.
That made no sense to me. Can you clarify?
Sure. It might not have been best to comment after several days of travel and minimal sleep. I was commenting on your statement about the gospel being de-clawed. My point is that if one takes away the hard parts of the gospel like “taking up your cross…”, “if you even look upon a woman…” and “but I say love your enemies..” then you have effectively de-clawed the gospel, stripped it of its power, and made it just another moral belief system.
I am curious about your introduction of Bill on this blog. You leave out his history with early grade school failure, his inability read until his middle school years, undiagnosed dyslexia, and remarkable success after memorizing scripture. Any particular reason?
Those stories and a lot of others are told in the Basic Seminar.
Too bad. These early experiences actually go a long ways toward bringing clarity to his actions (or lack of) throughout his career. I would also doubt that he has fully integrated them into his life story which means he will always be fighting the impact they have had on his life. The healing that would result would give him a great deal of peace, clarity, and closure. He would also gain dramatic new insight into human brokenness that the Psalmists speaks of in 34:18: “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. This awareness would also give him some real tools for his personal healing as well as the millions of others who suffer from this most basic of human conditions – pain from childhood.
Why do people swallow all this garbage about how childhood impacts adulthood?
I had many things happen to me as a child, my parents were far from perfect and non-believers. I have Asperger Syndrome, all the major milestones in my life have been a disappointment… But I am not a victim of any of those things and I don’t need to psychoanalyse any of that. I am an adult I can choose to learn from it and move on or become a spiritual, emotional cripple stuck in the past. I learned from it and moved on!
First of all it is not garbage to understand that childhood experiences do impact us. Take a visit (after reading Mat 24) into a prison and talk with the offenders. The vast majority of them have been severely abused, if not violently abused. Does not mean they are innocent or even irresponsible. They are responsible. The old saying is true – those who have been abused tend to abuse.
The problem is that many never move on. Never incorporate the past into a present that is positive and productive. It sounds like you have. I have a friend who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when he was in his early 30’s after blowing through his first marriage. It has taken real work for him to understand the impact, understand his strengths, understand his weakness, and develop strategies to move forward and improve. He has done so very successfully. It is not crap to understand the impact of the past. It is only crap to ignore it. The value add is understanding the past and incorporating it into the present and future.
Dan secular psychology blames many of our problems on the past which is an extension of Freudian theory. Freud’s whole theory is based in subjective self reflection which is a great scapegoat for anyone wanting to blame how their lives went wrong because their mother didn’t hug them enough or validate them; or they became a sociopathic axe murderer because their frog died when they were four years old. I worked in counselling therapy and with homeless youth for a time as well as sex abuse victims and perpetrators as well. All of the above made choices about how they would live in the world but a common thread for many is how they responded or reacted to their life experiences. The misconception is that their unconscious determined how they live now. I am not trying to trivialize how trauma and disappointment can effect us. What I am saying is that psychology is hardly an empirical science, if anything modern psychology enables people to remain victims while it makes a minimum $200 an hour per session. Psychology doesn’t solve the problem it shifts the blame and makes a truck load of money inventing illnesses . Then it has the gall to call sin psychologically damaging.
I could use my Asperger Syndrome as an excuse for my insensitivity towards others, I could use my inability to personalize interactions with others; i could even use it as an excuse for my childish meltdowns but I don’t. I could use the sexual abuse I suffered as a child for my Asperger Syndrome because I don’t handle intimacy very well. But I don’t. I call it selfishness and sin.
Psychology is humbug Philosophy
I think we both got a couple of passionate licks in. So, let’s land this, please. I, personally, can see both sides.
Landed and moving on
My three sisters and I were raised by a father who followed Bill Gothard’s teaching and looked up to him. It fit my father’s personality as it allowed him a format to control every aspect of my sister’s lives. My two younger sisters were sent to Bill Gothard’s institute for children (I forget the name). Long story short. All three sisters got pregnant before age 18, rebelled from the stifling and sick incestual control of their father, and made their own way. I bring this up because Bill Gothard posted a group picture at some point, with two of my sisters in it, stating as witness to his brilliant method the group’s deep and honest smiles. Bill Gothard and his ilk are cancer. It is about control. Control of one’s wife, control of one’s children, every little aspect of their lives. It is unnatural and a narcissist’s dream structure if you can get your family to believe in your God given divine leadership as husband and father. It was interesting how Bill Gothard took no responsibility for his actions, deflected and blamed, then used female tool witnesses to point out what a good guy he is. Adolph Hitler himself could have found females that spoke of his divine moral character. Molestation is done in secret, Bill knew this. Bill Gothard and his followers that lead others into that way of life are cancer on this earth.
The desire of a person to control others is strong in many of us. It is a part of sin and not from the Lord. I am very sorry for what happened to your siblings. May the Lord bring your family out of the darkness into the light.
We have dedicated this site and a great deal of effort to investigating charges leveled against Bill. We know a lot of families that have had a different experience and are deeply grateful for Bill’s ministry and influence on their families. If you know of things done in secret that we should pursue, let us know. And if you would like to speak to Bill directly about this, he would be glad to talk to you. He does in fact assume responsibility for all of his actions. There is nothing to hide.
re: Bill Gothard and natural law
On 9/24 above, brother Abraham objected to Bill Gothard’s teaching, labeling it unnatural.
Gothard organized his teaching around seven life principles. His teaching about design, authority, responsibility, suffering, ownership, freedom and success is familiar to readers here. Even pagans recognize these principles in natural law.
This raises the question, what do we see when a family submits to natural law? We see virtue instead of vice and beauty instead of ugliness.
Where natural law operates in a family, we also see some suffering. “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons. For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
We also see training in the naturally ordered family. As C.S. Lewis said, “The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likable, disgusting, and hateful.”
Brother Abraham described his father’s house as a disaster and blamed Bill Gothard for it.
Who can speak for the Phillips house in which young Abraham was raised? Adult Abraham seems to resent it. But Bill Gothard’s seminars and ATI homeschooling were very helpful in my house. I and the “little human animals” in my house were well served by Gothard’s teaching.