In “Questions” a poster called “Incredulous” expressed her grief with the “Umbrella of Authority” teaching that Bill is well known for. The “umbrella” concept is an analogy for the way that he believes God’s authority functions, fundamentally to protect us from forces or temptation greater than we can bear. And we must be so clear that such temptations exist . . . if we do not avail ourselves of the “way to escape”, we will fall:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
The “reign” we are protected from is that of the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2) God appointed authorities protect us from his jurisdiction and authority. Ground zero is seen in this verse:
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1 Samuel 15:23)
Witchcraft, as Bill defines it, is “deliberately opening yourself to the control of the devil”. Apparently rebellion does exactly that . . . allowing his “reign” come right into my heart.
If the authority that functions as the “umbrella” gets a tear in it – from personal compromise – or the one under the authority umbrella moves out from underneath, then forces both moral but primarily infernal – Satan and his minions – have a far greater freedom and effectiveness in getting that previously protected one into sin.
Trying to pick the conversation up, her comments:
“Gothard’s gospel is as I summarized above: It’s fascism for implementation by anyone wanting to take the reigns in ruling over any social structure. If Gothard were intellectually honest, he would be shaking the hand of the closet-Gothardite while slapping him on the back; after all, this guy was merely following what is taught in the Basic. Especially since this closet-Gothardite lost his job for his Umbrella-implementing (& subsequent lying about this to his elder board). Seems like Gothard shouldn’t be distanced from such a one who took one for the team (team Umbrella).“
“So, here are some God quotes:
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands . . . For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:1, 5)
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Eph. 6:1)
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves” (Heb. 13:17)
Are these statements, in your mind, subjugation to fascism? If not, why not?”
“No, these Word-of-God quotations are not fascism. Neither is the Hebrews verse you quoted about reverencing earthly fathers “chastising us unto their own pleasure” which is, in this verse, contrasted with God’s way of it being for our good. (The contrast here is that God’s way is for the child’s good VERSUS that of earthly fathers). Yet, God says to reverence earthly fathers even in light of this contrast. But:
(A) He doesn’t say to grovel before them on one’s hands & knees, either as a result of being struck down or,- as Gothard instructs-, in going back to them as an adult to beg for direction for one’s life.
(B) He doesn’t say that an authority structure itself begs any submission as the final rule. He doesn’t even say that all COVENANT relationships do, as a FINAL rule, only as the rule: husband/wife, parent/child. But Gothard, in his saying that those in authority positions inherently deserve the submission reserved for covenant relationships, has challenged Scripture in inventing a marketable “hidden wisdom” of his own. The cautions against associating oneself with religious leaders “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14, as well as Jesus’ command to do what these say but taking care to never imitate what they do (as opposed to “Imitate my faith”, & “Imitate their faith” which is what God instructs us to do concerning Paul & other legitimate pastors), as well as the “Do not be unequally yoked” admonition all strongly suggest that having a non-covenant authority does not entail any need for subjugation. Nor does it entail going all out to make such a one successful. Rather, God says to watch & see which church leader is successful & then imitate their faith so as to be successful in the faith ONESELF. Big difference.
(C) He never says that making an appeal is the way to go, although does provide ample examples in Scripture of godly subordinates doing so. One thing about making such appeal: it’s only the reasonable & just leaders who would adjust their M.O. in accomodating one. Thus, it’s those who are good to “be under” in the first place who would make favorable arrangements for their subordinates. Whereas appeals are not even heard by tyrants. People with Borderline Personality Disorder, for example, have their self-worth in imagining that everyone in their life thinks that everything they do is perfect. So, making an appeal to an authority with this disorder means only one thing to them: the “I do everything perfectly” “status quo” is being challenged by the one making the appeal. Because making a suggestion presumes upon there being room for improvement and, since people with this type of disorder depend on others’ opinion being that they hover above the threshold of perfection, it is therefore “a personal attack” to make an appeal. A “personal attack” on an authority equals rebellion that must be punished. As Gothard’s Umbrella reinforces. So, if you’re “under” a tyrant, you’re not only never going to be heard regarding a particular situation. But, also, the overall experience of being under such a one is that of living in bondage to a person who is untrustworthy due to their mental imbalance. In family relationships there is little to be done about this until one reaches adulthood & can break free to make one’s own decisions (although this also is contrary to what Gothard teaches). There is no reason to extend such a relationship, or to enter into one. And care needs to be taken; like felons & guns, it’s always these types who try to illegally (illegitimately) obtain what others lawfully (by covenant) gain.“
So this is a great point to launch this separate topic thread.