Bill has reached out to all those that he has been aware of that have concerns with him, a process that continues. Many have fully forgiven him. Others have laid demands on him in exchange for offered forgiveness, such as “renounce all of your teachings publicly” and, “confess publicly that you are evil and your ministry is evil”. In one case Bill and a mediator traveled thousands of miles to a foreign country to meet with an individual who was offended, to ask for forgiveness from her and her parents. That forgiveness was granted, in the presence of witnesses. The same individual subsequently began attacking Bill again in public without making further attempts to contact him with her concerns, as commanded in Matthew 18. There is a point one begins to develop a keen sense of frustration that there is literally nothing that can be done. It appears in those cases the primary problem is not his personal offenses, but rather what he stands for and teaches.
Members of this committee have all taken hits on Bill’s watch. Some have been sent away from headquarters, demoted, had our children passed over for service, unfulfilled financial promises, felt abandoned in our hour of greatest need. We have watched Bill and the ministry for over 40 years, some of us have lived at Headquarters for years, traveled the world with him, spent countless counseling hours with him, including many late night hours, watched him as he interacted with and counseled others, got to field questions from investigators who were sure he was abusing us. None of us are being paid for what we are doing. We came to Bill’s defense because we still appreciate all he has done for us, we know who he really is, and knew that most of what was being alleged had to be false. Not one of us is personally aware of anything that even approximates the sex related allegations, including “harassment”, nor have heard this from people we have worked with, nor from the families of the same.
Please Be Patient – God Is Not Finished With Mr.Gothard Yet
Those of us attending Basic Youth Conflicts seminars in the 1970s recall with joy the little “graduation pin” that was presented to each of us at the conclusion of that week long program. The letters stand for “Please Be Patient – God Is Not Finished With Me Yet”. It stressed that we are all on a journey of grace with the Lord. Even those of us that feel that we are fully committed to Him will find how untrue that is from time to time, how far short we actually fall of what we should be. This is as true for Bill as for any of those of us that listened to him over the years. Yet God is patient with us, and extends His grace to us over and over, to pick us up, dust us off, and put us on the road again, running with renewed strength the race He has set before us.
So, God is not finished with Bill . . . yet. May his latter years be full of the grace and strength of the Lord, and may he be a blessing to many in ways that he could only have hoped for before.
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