One of our contributors “JM” has focused on Bill’s relationship to the Board, expressing his conviction that, Biblically and legally, Bill needs to take what they have given him and move on. As the discussions were long and the blog constraints were making it difficult to continue the “side thread”, we are breaking this out here in response to his frustration. A few statements expressing our position, then we invite him (and others) to restate their positions to continue the discussion.
POINT 1: Among the many complaints against Bill Gothard has been the accusation that he has not submitted himself to the IBLP Board of Directors, consistently defying them.
We have spoken to Bill about this repeatedly, having brought up the various examples presented to us, and it is our conviction that while Bill remains fiercely independent in his first loyalty to the Lord and the calling He has given, he has never failed to address issues that he has been challenged with, at times going to great lengths to fix the issues that the Board has directed him toward. We do not believe Bill to have ever disobeyed the Board.
POINT 2: The general concept of the need for a servant of the Lord such as Bill to be directly accountable to a Board is widely held. It is our conviction that there is no Scripture requirement for this outside of obeying government rules. In support, we have mentioned:
- Lack of Scripture Evidence: There is no command in the Bible to demand that “everyone give account to another person”. Although Paul and his companions were “commended” to the work of the Lord from the home church base there is no evidence of an ongoing control of accountability. George Muller administered a large ministry in the 1800s serving thousands of orphans and involving huge amounts of money. He had no Board overseeing him and was one of the leaders of his local church, so not reporting to anyone there either. We believe the drive to have all Christian ministries under outside spiritual authority is a result of fear in response to known instances believed to be abuse, not as a direct result of a command from the Lord.
- To Whom the Board Reports: IBLP has a Board, as established by the state of Illinois. The purpose of the Board is to make sure that the citizens of the state are not defrauded, potentially making the state liable. Corporations need to pay their bills and keep their promises. The jurisdiction of the Board over Bill, at least under the bylaws of the state, does not extend to the ministry that Bill has been given by the Lord. In fact the Board has taken steps we believe greatly harm the Lord’s mandate and calling through Bill and so have actually damaged the ability of IBLP to pay its bills and keep its promises.
- The Board Reporting to Bill: Every one of the Board members, present and past, were chosen for their loyalty to Bill. Every one has testified that Bill has had a life changing spiritual impact on their lives, for which they will forever be grateful. Some verses:
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
“I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (1 Cor. 4:14-16)
As such they are, in fact, individually accountable to Bill as a spiritual father and have a responsibility to respect and obey him. Which doesn’t mean they can’t independently do their job as required by the state . . . but it does change the “obey” and “spiritual authority” question substantially.
POINT 3: Our greatest grief has been the unwillingness of the Board to directly address their concerns with Bill, whatever they be. Bill pulled away, “resigned”, when several family members and staff, overwhelmed by the crush of accusations, demanded he do so with the threat of resigning themselves. His acquiescence was based on the Scriptural mandate to “leave your gift at the altar”, first go and be reconciled with those that are offended . . . and then return to “offer your gift”. Instead of supporting Bill in this effort to fix the situation as demanded by the Lord, let alone reconvening the conversation once no accusers remained a year ago, the Board summarily cut ties, including banning him from ministry property and then calling the police when he showed up at a conference. Since they continue to insist that Bill is unworthy to return because he was “inappropriate”, they owe it to him and the alumni, let alone the Lord, to spell these accusations out and allow him to respond. The Scriptural mandate:
“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren. . . Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Tim. 5:1, 19-20)
None of this has happened. He has in no way been treated with the respect of a father, accusations were accepted before validation, 2-3 witnesses cannot be produced who have “established every word” of an accusation against him, allowing him to answer and prove otherwise, and he has subsequently not been “rebuked before all” for proven issues. They just want him to disappear and not trouble them any more.
“JM” has taken exception to this, believing that these precepts for an “elder” do not apply to Bill given that IBLP is not a church. We disagree. “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:7) With millions of alumni and ATI family and students standing behind him, Bill is due honor that has not been given him, and it is time to rectify this situation.
Addendum: Whether Bill and his supporters must accept the edicts of the Board because they have unlimited, unchecked power to relieve him of his life’s work without lodging any formal charges against him and continue to use that work and the substantial resources accumulated in support against his wishes may be put to a formal test soon. We understand a lawsuit was filed last week in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court of Dupage County, Illinois against the Board on behalf of Bill and portions of the ministry that side with him. May the Lord have mercy on us all, preside as the ultimate Judge over all to glorify His name and advance His kingdom in these last days.
#1. Bill repeatedly disobeyed the board all through the 90’s concerning women. I know for a fact that the board forbade him to be alone with a woman, and he repeatedly disobeyed. I personally know 2 board members that went to him one on one, then with their wives, and then finally resigned when he would not stop. They were afraid that something exactly like what has happened would happen… and it did. Bill told them he was seeing ladies one on one because they were unique situations and required openers that could only be found in a trusting consulting atmosphere without others around. Go ask Gary Fraley, Michael Lefebvre, Jim Sammons… the men that sat with him day after day and witnessed this happening before their very eyes. I have spoken with them and know their stories are true, they have no reason to lie, and all three of their stories line up with each others. He would say “God placed it on His heart to talk one on one with these ladies”. A man who usurps God given authority with God, is not to be trusted with power. I witnessed a board member telling Bill one time “Bill we just sent 2 students home for being caught alone with women talking, you can’t be alone with women either” to which Bill respond “I make the rules, I don’t have to keep the rules”. I witnessed this conversation with my own eyes and ears… this is the exact attitude that caused all the accusations (true or false) to be lodged against Bill. So sad, yet Bill could have easily avoided it had he listened to the wise counsel of the Godly men that he surrounded Himself with. That is the main accusation, and it is clear he should not be in power when he will repeatedly, over decades, ignore warnings and cautions.
#2. Who defines Bill’s “stepping away”? If you ask the board, that will tell you he was fired. If you ask Bill, he voluntarily stepped away. Who is lying? Since the board is the one who let him go, I would trust their word over Bill’s. The board had an attorney involved and there were legal papers involved. If he “resigned” he would have been given financial compensation. He was fired, and das such… no legal compensation was given AT ALL. Just ask Bill how much money he has received and that is how you will know what actually took place.
Lastly, this is so embarrassing for the name of Christ… every time “you guys” or Bill try to defend him it goes against the very principals that Bill taught. Bills future is not defined by man. Bill taught this. Why can he not just accept it, right or wrong, trust God and move into new ministry? What would be more amazing and supernatural… for Bill to forgive the board and start a new ministry that takes off, or for the old board to bring him back on? They sound equal to me… why not pick the open door? Every time Bill chooses to defend Himself he is limiting Gods power to propel him into future ministry, and every time you guys defend him you encourage this unbiblical behavior. Why can’t he let it go? I’ll tell you why… because it means more to him to be in a successful ministry than it does to manifest the power of the Holy Sprit in his daily life. Bill doesn’t need IBLP, or the board, or his followers blessing… if He is truly seeking to follow God. Why not become a servant? Why not forgive, and tell the board he loves them and volunteer to speak anytime they need it, and then just move on!? Who knows what could happen! Maybe they would actually let him speak sometime… but as long as he is wanting to “claim his right” and “place of power” they will block him out. They know that he wants control back… they know you can’t give him an inch because he will take a mile. They are wise men, and they know how Bill is. Ugh, I’m done…. I wish you guys would just leave well enough alone, and let God be God. Bill is being spanked for years of not listening to the counsel of those around him, and now he is paying… he needs to take it, and move on.
“Bill repeatedly disobeyed the board all through the 90’s concerning women. I know for a fact that the board forbade him to be alone with a woman, and he repeatedly disobeyed.” We do not believe this to be true. When challenged Bill made a number of changes, including taking on his sister as his personal secretary. If you are aware of specific violations after direction was given, we want to hear about it. We were made aware of one, in recent years, which the Board brought up to us. In backchecking it was a most unusual situation with a very distraught young woman who threatened repeatedly to commit suicide right there on campus. Bill did make an exception with her on that one occasion after a great number of others had tried to help and she refused to engage with anyone else present. She was interviewed afterwards and confirmed that all had been proper.
We have spoken to a number of folks, some you have mentioned. We would be happy to speak to any others. As to making the rules, yes, we would suppose that the 60-70+ year old founder of the ministry might not be under the same rules as young people sent there by their parents with specific expectations. Jesus was, in fact, most alone with the woman at the well, and with other women in other contexts. Because He makes the rules?
“Bill fired”. The Board would not say that. If they have, let us know. Bill resigned to pursue Scriptural reconciliation with those with “ought against him”, before returning “to offer his gift”. The Board barred his return. And, yes, he received a severance pay . . . I think around $5,000? For 50 years of faithful service. But you can see your test would indicate you are wrong.
“Why can he not just accept it, right or wrong, trust God and move into new ministry?” We addressed that in another post. What should David have done when his son Absalom stole the hearts of his leadership team and then kicked him out? Pray and wait? What he did was cry out to the Lord, arm his men . . . And take what was unjustly taken away back again. As Solomon said, there is a time for peace, and a time for war. A time for turning the other check, and a time to defend oneself vigorously.
And this is so much bigger than Bill just getting stuff back. 2.7 million alumni of the Basic Seminar, how many tens of thousands associated with ATI and other ministries have been shellshocked by the allegations. False allegations. It is time to clear Bill’s name. The ones leading that charge, having that responsibility, should be the Board, actually following all of the steps the Lord requires to deal with such things affecting a man they love and respect. I suspect Bill could walk away if that were in fact taken care of. Yet . . . When the Lord wrought a great deliverance in the stunning defeat of the $8 million lawsuit with all of the energy and money behind them, the Board could not even bring itself to publish this good news and let the world know. And subsequently went as far as calling the police to remove Bill from a conference, treating him like an evildoer.
No, there is unfinished business here. The devil has destroyed lives and families in the wake of this through the doubt and turmoil that ensued. This must be rectified for the sake of the Name of Jesus, let alone Bill.
Dear Discovering Grace,
If Bill simply moves on, his innocence will be in doubt. And it will make people lose faith in his teachings.
Thank you, Nancy. We feel as you do.
This is a letter I have been working on. I do not know if this is the right spot to put it on. But I hope it helps Bills cause.
“In regards to Mr. Gothard
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father…1 Tim5:1
“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:32
Someone told me that there are people who hate Mr. Gothard and people that love him.
The anger of the Lord hath divided them; He will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders. Lamentations 4:16
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Heb 12:14-15
Our family decided not to look into the details about the case from the very start. I still do not want to know anything about it because I do not want to judge.
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. Romans 3:10
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John1:10
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7
Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:1
And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psalm 143:2
My husband read online that the board are planning on making Oak Brook an old folks home. I think it would be nicer if they just gave it to him to work from.
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. Pr. 2:2-3 This one makes me feel like crying. Mr. Gothard is the Lord’s anointed, God has worked through him to raise up IBLP. God has used IBLP to bring healing to many many families. I believe the Lord would want him honored. The paintiffs dropped all the charges. That means he is innocent.
Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Nehemiah 5:11 It grieves my heart that this has not happened.
For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:18
When I phone Mr. Gothard he just says he is rejoicing in the Lord and he talks about his books. He is excited at what the Lord is doing. It really really grieves my heart that Mr. Gothard the founder of IBLP, is not honoured and exonerated. Mr. Gothard would have had to submit to God and humble himself many many times for God to use him to raise up IBLP. My husband and I are of the opinion that if Mr. Gothard is not honoured and exonerated, that the whole organization will wither away.
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Timothy 5:17
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Heb. 6:10
I believe this is the heart of God.”
We are praying for Mr. Gothard and will continue to do so. God bless him and everyone who supports him!
Thank you, Nancy. We will pray the right people read your letter. I will be sure to pass it on to Mr. Gothard.
I have been supporting Bill and believing the best about him. I remember when Bill made his public confession he admitted the main reason he had failures was because he was no longer following God‘s word through scripture memory. I admired his honesty and his ability to recognize a root problem. I knew that God would continue to bless him as he turned to following the commands of Christ as he taught us all to do with great abandon. Yet this latest decision by Bill and his supporters have me withdrawing my support. Suing his brothers in Christ goes directly against scripture, and also a principle he taught us in his seminars. This is very sad to me and it does reveal that Bill is more concerned about the success of his ministry than following God‘s ways. So very sad. I am praying for him.
I appreciate your concerns. Let me see if I can explain this a little differently. The list of plaintiffs are: Embassy University, IBLP Ministry Tulsa, Oklahoma, IBLP Ministry Mexico, a not-for-profit Corporation, IBLP Ministry Romania, IBLP Ministry, South Korea, and Basic Seminars, Canada. The defendants are IBLP, Inc., controlled by the board. From the above you can see that it is a group representing separate associations or institutes all around the globe that have been served by and helped build up the larger entity. “Embassy University” is an entity that Bill had set up with the help of the Board, the latter dropping, and Bill assuming control, part of the “Life Purpose Power Teams” nonprofit that Bill currently runs. As group of stakeholders looking for the Board to be held accountable for a series of actions that they feel are not in their best interests. They have had no voice in any of the decisions – indeed, the Board members that agreed with their concerns were forced out early in the game after the majority voted to remove the previously sacred requirement for “unanimous decisions”.
Paul in 1 Cor. 6 focuses on believer going to court against believer in lieu of putting the matter before “the church” for redress. The reason, Paul states, is that people in trouble tend to dismiss the church as unimportant in solving the “really big matters”. In opposition he says: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Cor. 6:2-3)
So . . . go to the church to resolve your issues. Including, BTW, in context with the prior chapter and the remainder of chapter 6, domestic issues, marriage, divorce and the like.
Bill, on behalf of his disciples, those that support him, including a number of independently controlled members of the “IBLP Institutes”, have been seeking to get the Church involved in solving their shared concerns for 5 years now. He placed himself under several spiritual leaders and got a clean bill of health. The Board refused to meet with him over and over, even calling the police when, in a period of frustration at getting no audience months after the lawsuits were stunningly dropped, he drove himself down to Big Sandy to look them in the eye. Bill asked his pastor to intervene, who, with his assistant, convened three meetings toward that end. The only accusations they brought against Bill were that he had offended staff members and needed to make it right. This after 4 years of trying to do exactly that and getting no help whatsoever from the Board toward that end. That process was started anew and fizzled out when it got back to the “secret offenses” that the Board has, to this day, refused to present and allow to be addressed.
So can you blame Bill for a great deal of frustration? We can’t. The anguish we have seen from him watching what he feels are unwise steps tearing down in a few short years what he built up over the prior 50, hearing of alumni and other parts of the ministry, people, families he loves dearly, suffering, is intense. Not sure what you would do if you were he. We aren’t either.
Paul appealed to Caesar as the correct jurisdiction to handle his protection and justice when all other attempts had failed. In this case the Board is claiming authority from the state of Illinois to do the things they have done, so the state appears to be the only one able to adjudicate this.
And, again, this is far from “Bill suing”. It is other portions of the ministry that are seeking to have the Board’s right to take actions detrimental to faithful ministries here and in other nations with resources that were jointly collected and dedicated otherwise affirmed or denied. Folks, families who have given large amounts of themselves and their money to IBLP have urged for years to take these matters to court. There is no guaranteed end result here, but it is the just and prudent thing to do after every other avenue has been summarily rebuffed. Of the latter we can, here, give direct and personal testimony.
re: BoD downgrade from unanimous to majority rule
I don’t get the downgrade. If the former IBLP by-laws required unanimous rule, how did the BoD downgrade to majority rule without unanimous support for the downgrade? Wouldn’t merely one dissent preserve the status quo for unanimous rule? Or did all the dissenters resign rather than dissent?
Not sure how that worked, correct. But it was an early action when it was clear that the two vociferously loyal to Bill were not going to agree with kicking him out.
Well, I just finished looking over the by-laws from 2010.
It is likely NOT a change or downgrade. Follow me here:
Section 7. pg. 4 Quorum.
“A majority of the Board of Directors then in office shall constititute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board.”
Section 8. Manner of Acting.
“The unanimous act of the Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Directors. If any of the Board Members are not present at a meeting, it is the policy and practice of the Board to contact, if possible, the member(s) not present for their input before making major decisions.”
So all the Board needs to do to make a decision to remove an officer is have a majority of the members present to constitute a quorum and have contacted those absent for their input on the decision. The “unanimous decision” only applies to Board members present at the time of the meeting, not a unanimous decision of all members.
In other words, if two of them dissented and didn’t want to kick Bill out, that was fine. But the rest of the members who did would simply have had to call a meeting in which the two dissenters were not present but had their opinions on record and then voted. No change would need have been made to the by-laws for this to have happened to vote Bill out. You would just need all members save the two dissenters all together for an official meeting. Since these would constitute a quorum under the “majority of members” clause, it would have been entirely proper and entirely legal for them to have voted and dismissed Bill in this fashion.
I wasn’t there. I don’t know that this happened, but it seems likely to me. The Moderator will probably correct me if I am mistaken, and I look forward to that. I am certain I can make sense of those details too.
I was told that the two Board members siding with Bill were told that they would not be indemnified in the cases filed in court because they were actively helping Bill. They did not leave willingly.
That does not speak to the “unanimous” rule change. I do not know how that change was made. Will have ask ask for more details.
I have heard several people now say that Bill was not allowed to be alone with a woman and repeatedly disobeyed. This is the crux of the issue, is it not? If it is true (which it seems it is, otherwise none of these girls could make their claims… without a witness). unless you are privy to the depositions and documentation the BOD’s attorney had done when they fired Bill, then you wont know the actual facts which severely discredits these efforts. Unless you hear those, or interview the board members from the 90’s and the staff, you’ll never know the truth! If you have that info or quotes from actual board members, please post them!!
We were granted an extensive interview recently with one of Bill’s longtime deputies. He alleged to us that Bill had repeatedly disobeyed this edict, something Bill denies strongly. We asked for an example, were told of an incident where Bill was “caught” sitting in an open public corridor speaking with, counseling a young lady at 2 in the morning. We ourselves would see him sitting in his closed car with young ladies. Mind you, the car was in a public place with folks wandering all around. His offices were notoriously open, no curtains, visible for “miles” it seems. The first woman making an accusation against Bill on RG made the point that Bill was alone with her in a closed Apartment . . . Standing in front of an uncovered window with folks able to see them.
THESE are the kinds of incidents they are talking about. Bill Gothard is a counselor, his calling. We think he observed not only the spirit . . . But the letter of the direction.
Re: your comments:
“I appreciate your concerns. Let me see if I can explain this a little differently. The list of plaintiffs are: Embassy University, IBLP Ministry Tulsa, Oklahoma, IBLP Ministry Mexico, a not-for-profit Corporation, IBLP Ministry Romania, IBLP Ministry, South Korea, and Basic Seminars, Canada.” and “And, again, this is far from “Bill suing”. It is other portions of the ministry that are seeking to have the Board’s right to take actions detrimental to faithful ministries here and in other nations with resources that were jointly collected and dedicated otherwise affirmed or denied.”
That diverse of a plaintiff group requires someone to spearhead and organize. Those things do not just happen. Therefore, to answer the question as to whether Bill is suing to get his kingdom back, it would be helpful to know who is organizing the lawsuit, and how much contact that person(s) has with Bill. It is easy to take actions through proxies and then deny involvement. More facts would be helpful.
The plaintiffs include several ministry “entities” as described. Funds for the pursuit of this are provided by other “entities” with an interest here, representing IBLP alumni. Bill is obviously very much involved but I am not even sure if his name is on the lawsuit, per se.
Yes the Bible says one should not sue a brother…. A brother… Christian, right?, how do you know a Christian? “by their fruit ” ! If the” Board” won’t follow the teaching of Christ, “keep my commandments ” then they disqualify themselves. Don’t think this is right? Who is known as the “accuser of the brethren ” the Board won’t reveal the “secrets ” no, people don’t fool yourselves, the Board is trying to steal, kill and destroy the ministry. Y’all should look up John Todd, he tells how the satanist would go to IBLP to learn how to be Christ like to infiltrate the church and bring it down from the inside and destroy unity…. Seems like some are still there. Look at the fruit. Campus morals have gone down hill at the Big Sandy campus. Also with the TV familys turning on Mr Gothard, looks like things are getting off with them too.
Lawsuits are never great in the church. As you state, the entire point of not suing is to get a better resolution from venues run by and for believers.
BTW, some disagree, but my discussions with one of the “TV families” would leave me to conclude that, unlike others, they have not turned on Bill. In fact, two summers ago I was in attendance at an ATI conference where they, unlike virtually complete lack of acknowledgement from the others, they went out of their way to praise Bill and acknowledge his powerful influence in their lives. Not once but repeatedly, deliberately, multiple messages. Respect, on my end, grew tremendously. They being the ones who have taken the most abuse for any association with him.
So Bill is suing the board? For what?
There are several other responses that get into more details. It is a series of stakeholders, other parts or former parts of the ministry, suing to hold the Board accountable for mismanaging their shared resources, acting in personal animus against Bill as opposed to what is best for those served by the ministry.
Thank you for posting so I and others can be praying. If financial assistance is needed, where might it be sent?
Bill’s ministry has a website, LifePurposePowerTeams.com which can accept donations. I believe, actually, his personal website as well, BillGothard.com. In the latter case one would want to indicate the stipulations on how it is to be used, if that is important. And thank you for praying. At times we are like little children, trying to find our way. The Lord alone is all wise, all just, and loves us all.
I knew Bill had threatened a lawsuit, but I never thought he would actually support a lawsuit against the board… shouldn’t they be considered brothers in Christ? This surprises me. Man it really is a bummer, it seems like he is repeating the same mistake. He confessed that his “big failure” in all of his failings was that he “stopped meditating”, which was one of the commands of Christ. Now he is suing his brothers, which also goes against scripture. If he believes that success in the Christian life hinges upon obedience to God’s word, which he teaches, then I don’t understand why he doesn’t follow Christs example in scripture. Jesus never defended himself, took it on the cheek, gave of Himself, never demanding his own way. I pray Bill drops the lawsuit (or encourages his supporters to drop it) and move on, into the next area of service God may have for him. Otherwise he will be stuck on this treadmill of claiming his own rights (which he taught against in the seminar) and never be able to move forward. I wish he would stop all this. It is embarrassing for those people that really love him to watch, and hurts his reputation even more. Now when his name comes up in Christian circles I am involved it, everybody gives a big eyeroll and chuckles… so sad, and yet he continues to do it to himself through these actions. I don’t want to judge him, but It really appears these actions reveal his heart and his priorities. Makes me really sad for him.
1 Corinthians 6:6 But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated?
8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.
Bill has indeed been “meditating” on Scripture day and night for the past several years. One result has been over 30 books, plus the launch of several new ministries. The man who wrote that, BTW, about meditating day and night and prospering was David, the “man after God’s heart”. What did David do when his “inner circle” savagely betrayed him and ripped his God-given ministry away from him? Right – he gathered his army and, crying out to the Lord, attacked and the Lord granted him success. See, David had a duty to the millions of his subjects who were suffering under an unjust rule. To go hide somewhere and wait was unthinkable.
And as for Jesus, when a bunch of God-appointed authorities allowed the temple to be desecrated He did not call down fire from heaven or send angels to clean up. He wove a whip with His own hands, and walked in, and smashed the show up with . . . His whip and bare hands. Interesting, right? If anyone could wait for justice from above, it was He. But He became an agent of that justice. There is a time to turn the cheek, and there is a time to act. Back to David.
On your eye-rolling circle. How many of them, including yourself, stepped forward to see for themselves whether these things were so? To personally confront Bill with the accusations and become a means to resolve them, one way or another? Let alone join him in the fight against wrong, like David’s men gathered around him? This group, Discovering Grace, came about for the very purpose of expressing our respect for Bill by holding him directly accountable, going straight to him, and then to others to seek to validate, resolve, and rebuff where wrong. All is here, all is transparent. But we wonder – where are all the folks of which you speak that are now mightily concerned that Bill not defend himself or fight for the ones God has given him in any way? Our group is tiny . . . how we would have appreciated the help. From those that also respect Bill, have been deeply blessed by him, and just want the best for him and the millions of alumni who have been battered about these last 5 years?
Exactly! It’s unscriptural to take brothers to court. Gothard has sinned in doing this. There is no justification for explicitly violating the Word of God. I’m always surprised how Gothard taught us “how to respond to critics” yet doesn’t follow his own teachings himself.
The widow highlighted by the Savior in Luke 18 took her abuser to court. Are you saying she was wrong, or that Jesus slipped up?
All of you need to read your Bible, it doesn’t say you can’t sue someone it says you should be able to settle without court, but the board Won’t talk. With that said, how could Mr Gothard settle it out of court?
It seems like Bill is invalidating his teachings by suing fellow believers. I’m sure his supporters can always find reasons why “those rules don’t apply in this specific case” but it is nonetheless it is obvious that he doesn’t really believe what he teaches about authority.
Authority? What part doesn’t he believe? The entire reason for this action is to “appeal to Caesar”. We laid out a lot of Scripture in the OP to give some perspective here. If you think he violated his teachings on authority, you don’t know what he teaches. Authority is always limited in jurisdiction. Failure to understand that leads to an almost idolatrous perspective on authority, issues which have landed a few folks in a lot of trouble. Bill spent a lot of time shoring up the concept of authority, for good reason, because it is pretty important. Failure to see the Lord working through authority is usually a matter of unbelief. But when one is fully focused on the Lord, then there is perspective to not go to bad extremes. Bill has also regretted some of the narrow applications he was known for. Recently he told me that he had changed his mind on Abigail – previously he had taught she was completely wrong for “taking matters into her own hands”. While the principle of wives, operating in fear, not faith, doing things to counter a husband’s decisions is still very much a concern, based on 1 Peter 3, apparently his newer understandings have come to a place where he believes Abigail to not have been an example of that. I, personally, am still not sure, but obviously respect him a great deal. He promised me details which I have yet to get. I will report back when he does :-).
Bill is not “appealing” to Caesar”. Bill is not St. Paul. St. Paul’s appeal to Caesar was because St. Paul was a defendant. Bill is not a defendant but the aggressor here in suing the board of IBLP. Stop trying to twist St. Paul who was being tried for causing riots, civil unrest and religious turmoil to Bill who is suing to get back in charge and be in control.
Luke 18:1-5. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.“
The judge is petitioned by the widow against the one who illegally took her stuff. In the end he uses his power to extract it from her adversary. So . . . Who is the defendant in this account?
Nice try but the parable was about persistence in prayer. Bill is not a victim even though he is in your mind.
And that would be where this discussion would have to stop. Yes, Bill is most definitely “the victim”. It is his ministry that has been taken from him. The end justification I keep hearing from those in the “know” or even in control, is, well, he has had a good run, he is too old, time to move on. That just flabbergasts us. I presume that if the Lord gave this to him and him alone, the Lord would have a say in it. Bill is as vigorous as he has ever been, 30+ books in the last several years, launching several new ministries. No, that it not a choice that others get to make for him, let alone for the myriads of alumni that still really need him. I, personally, am working with three different individuals today that have reached out to him. And his phone is constantly ringing.
So, for those that never really needed what the Lord gave him, him leaving the scene is quite acceptable. It is not for others, as expressed in this pending suit.
Also so much of this goes against his legacy, IE
“There is no command in the Bible to demand that “everyone give account to another person”. Although Paul and his companions were “commended” to the work of the Lord from the home church base there is no evidence of an ongoing control of accountability.”
What about all the things about Christian authority in all the Wisdom Books? Am I seriously to believe that if the board was in favor of Bill being reinstated right now, you wouldn’t be cheering on the board and using their recommendation as proof of God’s blessing through authority? Couldn’t you also argue that a church board of elders is ultimately under the state, so it shouldn’t matter either?
I think that Bill would do more to protect his legacy by bowing out.
Again, one of the problems is that folks have run off with one half of the puzzle when it comes to authority. Glod sets up authority and He works through it. Even to the point of using Caiaphas’s mouth to proclaim an accurate prophecy about Jesus. (John 11:51 “And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation”)
But Caiaphas was an evil man, just fulfilling a role God had scripted for him. No, not everything he said or commanded was God’s will. This is what Peter said to Caiaphas’s Father-in-Law Ananias, also high priest: Acts 5:29. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” The “men” here were . . . Authorities, the HIGH priest, the man at the top. And Peter said, respectfully, “No, sir, not going to do what you command”.
When the Board usurps the authority and mandate given to no one else but Bill, there may be time for action. Like David took action. Or do you believe David was wrong to fight the “new” authority in the land? After all . . . God sets up one and puts down another. Apparently God meant to use David to “put down” Absalom, acting as God’s agent.
“When the Board usurps the authority and mandate given to no one else but Bill, there may be time for action. ”
It seems like you just said what BG’s detractors have said for years but which he’s always denied – that BG really doesn’t have any authority, that he acts independently, and that he doesn’t have to be accountable, because the authority was “given to no one else but Bill.” So let me ask, who would you view as a legitimate authority for Bill, that if this person/group said something, he would respect it? Is there actually anyone? He’s appealed a judge’s ruling twice, ignored his board, been told to leave by police, etc., so I can’t think of what he would consider a suitable authority to be.
The example we gave was of Peter, speaking for the apostles and all believers, speaking to the High Priest. Denying the high priest. The High Priest was Peter’s authority. But overstepped his jurisdiction when he commanded the believers to disobey the direct command of the Lord.
Bill has multiple authorities in his life, as we all do. Including the Board and the government. Each has its jurisdiction. None of them exceed the Lord’s authority, obviously. And when the Board oversteps its authority, it is proper to challenge it. Bill has appealed to the Board’s authority, the government, for relief.
I have been fairly critical of Gothard’s actions in previous comments, but I also wonder at the actions of the BOD regarding continuing to use his materials.
In general, authors, artists, etc. have legal rights to their creations, unless they have signed them away.
We, of course, agree. It would be one thing for them to leave, or even to flesh out a split, negotiate. To reject and revile him to the point of actually calling the police on him when he shows up at the conference he built at the facility he facilitated with the people that came because of him and his teachings . . . There is no excuse.
And again, there’s plenty of excuse there. A resigned executive has no legal right to the premises of the company he resigned from, especially when it was declared so. The police action was a result of Bill breaking that.
I understand you think it was Biblically wrong for them to do that. I do. I get that. But it wasn’t illegal. In fact, in the eyes of the law, Bill was the violator (and it is that simple). I still split with you when you say it was Biblically wrong. I believe we’re in strange waters here. The Biblical principles are going to be more complex to be determined.
Bill, breaking in . . . By showing up with a lot of other people, registering for the conference, paying money, just like everyone else? :-). No, not so much.
It is still very simple. He was told not to come onto ministry property. He did. It is that simple.
Paying for admittance still does not give him a legal right to be there. The prior request stands resolute. That is what is legally defensible here. In this case, the Board and ministry would be judged to simply refund his money (which I believe they should do).
But no. It is that simple. He was told not to come by the owners of the property in accordance with their by-laws. He had violated it.
Bill is the owner of the property :-). That property being held in trust for the ministry as per Illinois law. The Board has no more or less right to ban him than they do to build a strip joint on premises. If intervening if they are using the “trust” in a morally reprehensible way might seem more acceptable to you, well, that is how a great many feel about the moves against him, personally.
Well, yes and no. It depends entirely on how the organization declared it.
I, for example, work for a place in which it is stated out-right that everything we produce for the company is considered a work-for-hire. In other words, everything we make for the company belongs to the company. We agree to this when we get here. Everyone understands it. That means if I leave, I have absolutely NO legal right to anything I made for the company while employed here.
In Bill’s case, it would depend on how IBLP defined all this. If they did as my workplace does, Bill would have absolutely no right to everything he produced while in leadership or employed there. It belongs to IBLP, not Bill. This is a strange provision of law and by-law. It is weird, I’ll admit. But these things do happen.
I, for one, would really like to see IBLP’s by-laws from now and back in the day. That would shed a LOT of light on a lot of these issues.
It is a mistake to try to define spiritual responsibilities . . . In terms of corporate law. When the sun sets these “things” are things that God gave and are holy. They were kept in a sacred trust by the ministry to help get those materials to the people who needed them. Huge amounts of money and property given to Bill for that purpose, again held in trust. Bill believes the trust was broken because of malice. And has asked the government for relief.
For the record, this is the version of the bylaws that we have —> IBLP Bylaws
Thank you for providing that document. I have been looking over it carefully.
You are mistaken if you think this isn’t an issue of corporate law. I agree. These things belong to God, but again, we are not talking about a church. We’re talking about a business. That’s why we have by-laws.
And that’s the issue you don’t seem to catch. Whenever you have by-laws or a constitution, or articles of incorporation, you have a document that spells out legal terms regarding ownership. Those documents are what we appeal to in disputes such as these. The problem here is not spiritual responsibilities, but a matter of who legally owns the things we are talking about.
Argue Scripture if you want. It’s not going to help you here. This is a corporation that operates according to by-laws. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything in these by-laws regarding who owns the things issued by the ministry. That can be a problem.
By the way, I work for a Christian ministry, and we operate according to legal by-laws. That is why I mentioned the statement above. Everything we make for the ministry is understood a work-for-hire for the ministry. If the ministry uses it, it belongs to the ministry. I can’t design a new logo for abeka, leave the company, and then use that logo on my own business. Even if I made it. I own none of it. It was made for the company, and they made use of it. All of that is understood when we get here.
Since I don’t see any such clause relating to this in the ministry’s by-laws, it could be argued that Bill has a right to it. It might be worth pursuing. BUT there are likely a number of clauses that could work against it. It would probably take a judge’s ruling. I’d recommend pursuing it. You might be surprised where this ends up.
But I was responding to Daniel here. He was talking about authors holding rights to the things they produced. That is partly true. The problem is simply that the author doesn’t have to “sign it away” to be legally considered to not hold the rights. Copyright law is a complex entity here in the US. I have been on the receiving end of it at times myself. It gets really complicated when you discuss an author who is employed at a corporation, writing for the corporation. These are muddy rivers. You can’t just explain any of this away.
Matters as complicated as you propose may need a court to help unravel, right? Again, in the court of Heaven – to whom the courts of earth give account, whether they realize it our not – it is pretty clear to whom the foundation of this ministry was given. The Board members, as honorable and noble as they may be, are bit players in this matter. Their job is and has always been to keep things orderly . . . Not to impede or even control what God has given to Bill. That should be so obvious as to defy discussion. The fact that they – and it appears you – are leaning on black and white letters in Illinois corporate law to justify doing otherwise is, we believe, a direct violation of the wishes of the One who started all of this. The letters in black and white corporate law would, again, not prohibit them from selling assets to buy an island in the South Pacific for staff to live on. Seriously, nothing. The Board answers to no one. Since they will not submit to a church authority to arbitrate this, hence the appeal to the government for help.
re: the creator’s claim on his creation
Brother Daniel made a good point above, which calls to mind the copyright notice in the original Basic Seminar textbook. It emphasized the need for each believer to be a living (not static) translation of God’s Word. Therefore, IBYC reserved copyrights.
Back then, how could Bill Gothard have imagined that someday IBLP would evict him yet retain copyrights of material he authored. It does create the appearance of bad faith on the part of the current BoD. Are they a living translation of God’s Word? Or the antithesis?
See my comments above. Copyright is not so cut-and-dried as you might think at times. The issue here is whether Bill really retains the right to any of his material. Typically, an author who writes FOR someone else is understood as supplying that other entity.
In other words, the other party (be it another person or a corporation) is the one who ultimately owns the rights. Unless there’s an agreement in place beforehand, the author has very limited power over what he can do with his work upon leaving the company. I work for such a ministry. Everything we produce for the ministry is a work-for-hire. If I leave, I don’t have any rights to use what I made. We all know that when we get here.
This would be a very interesting legal argument for Bill to make. I’ve checked the by-laws, and I don’t see any direct clause stating that the ministry owns what Bill produces by default. BUT there are several clauses that I could see working for that end. I’d be very curious to hear the word of a lawyer and ultimately a judge on this.
Copyright law is much more complex than you might realize.
Wow! I got an article written because of me. How you like that, Rob?
I’m glad this happened. It puts points in black-and-white so the arguments are easy to see (and refute if necessary).
Moderator, I actually don’t think we disagree on too much here. What I worry about is your understanding of these issues, especially in regard to state law. State laws provide a framework within which something can operate. It is not the be-all and end-all of all things. Here’s an example, An Illinois State Highway posts a speed limit of 55. That does not mean all vehicles MUST go 55. 55 is the LIMIT of speed in which a vehicle may travel on that highway. A driver may drive his vehicle at 45 should he choose. He could also go 50. But he cannot cross the 55 mark (well, in some places it’s more fluid, but you get the idea).
When it comes to BoD’s, it’s the same idea. State law gives them a framework within which they may operate. You have done well to find them for the state of Illinois. But that does not mean that is all a Board may do. Boards are only in one part organized under state law. The rest is institutional by-laws. In other words, the organization drafts by-laws that determines how it will operate, including the powers and functions of the Board of Directors. But state law says they must follow something in addition.
You can’t just look at state law and say “this is the only thing a Board does.” It doesn’t work that way. So I would say your real challenge here is to find out what IBLP’s by-laws were when the Board was formed. We would need to see if there were any changes or modifications to the Board’s powers in the years leading up to Bill’s resignation. That will determine whether they acted as they should have. That’s the smoking gun we’re looking for. I’d be very interested to see that.
I also agree that there is no Scriptural command to form a Board. That’s a major duh! But I believe this is exactly what we’re tripping over. If we want to argue “the Bible doesn’t say,” there are some other implications that come with such an argument. For one, we’d have to conclude Bill was wrong to establish a Board in the first place. It would mean Bill did something contrary to what Scripture teaches. I’m okay with that. I have a feeling you are not.
But what about owning automobiles (and driving)? Neither of these are mentioned in Scripture (and we wouldn’t expect them to be). Wouldn’t that mean we are doing wrong when we go purchase a car?
Well, perhaps that’s not the best way to look at it. Arguments from silence are problematic. Silence on a subject is not the same as a condemnation of the subject. It is simply silence. That is where we use Biblical principles and common sense to make decisions. A BoD has certain practical reasons for existence, including protection and accountability. Owning and driving a car is the same thing – a practical consideration.
I saw the Board acted as they should have according to the general understanding of Board operations in the business world. State law still applies, but these state laws do not negate anything I have claimed – there are additional responsibilities the Board has to consider. But the organization’s by-laws would spell it out in clear detail (at least they should – the organization that has no by-laws is doomed to fail). I believe that is what we need to see here.
I provided the link to the bylaws of IBLP in several places here. The Board, under corporate law, could sell liquor to make money. That would offend virtually every person served by the Board, let alone major donors, let alone Bill. Say they did, what should be done? If the Board got “possessed” by a ruling majority that did that – make it worse, built a strip joint to raise money – would you be bothered by a lawsuit brought by portions of the ministry, and Bill, funded by some of those major donors, to asked the government for redress? Would you be equally able to just brush it off? If not, then please understand that to those filing this lawsuit consider the actions of the Board to be very bit as egregious in violation of their moral charter and trust.
To answer you simply.
That’s not what you want to hear, I know. But the answer from where I sit is literally that simple.
The problem with your argument is that there would be need for redress legally. Let them do that. They will definitely lose support should they do so. I would say they stand to lose ALL their customers. In that case, the company files for bankruptcy and is set for liquidation. Those donors you keep referring to can swoop in at that point and buy back ministry property and the rights to put the ministry back in Bill’s hands. That is how it would go down from where I sit.
The truth is. Yes. The Board in that situation would not be acting illegally. You and I agree that would be terrible, but you would have much less of a leg to stand on legally, unless you argue the by-laws creatively (and it can be done).
I want to see the result of these rulings just as much as you do. I have nothing to lose from this. I’m not involved in the situation. I have simply stated that the Board has acted as any Board should according to their own by-laws. If a judge rules otherwise, that might actually change the legal landscape of all this. I would welcome that. It’s something new to learn, and it’s a new world in which to do so. (In fact, it might spell good news for corporations across this wonderful country of ours.)
But I stick to what I said. You need a ruling to get this. Until then, it has to stand. Please keep me informed of the events. Time will tell. But, are you prepared for time to tell a different story than you’d like?
“Yes” to what? That they could, and you would have a problem with that? If so . . . We may have found a point of agreement.
One of the matters to be considered in this suit is whether a board controlling hundreds of millions of dollars of assets can be “self appointing”, as is the case with the current IBLP board. It all is lovely when they are in sync with the purposes of that which they control, but when they start to wander, that is a lot of power in a few hands. Other than not having relatives serving – which was in violation for several years until very recently – there is not much else to affect the appointment of Board members. If a majority hates Bill, they can run over him. The need for unanimity was supposed to make them work out thorny issues. Instead they jettisoned that and forced the opponents out. Maybe the state of Illinois will care. We pray that they will.
Yes, they can. Legally.
Yes, I would have a problem with it. BUT, as I see it, no legal recourse. That would be a moral issue. Not sure a legal case can be brought against a Board acting under the auspices of its own by-laws. Certainly, we agree what you described would be a problem, but yes, I can brush it off. They would be acting as their by-laws dictate.
Again, the need for unanimity wasn’t a need as you describe it. Unanimity was qualified as to only those who constituted the quorum, those being only a majority of those members currently serving. Why they wrote them this way is beyond me. Perhaps they were hoping to avoid a deadlocked Board, where the way forward was hindered by disagreement. Okay, but they didn’t work into the by-laws any recourse for an affected minority.
There wasn’t anything jettisoned here. They were unanimous, according to the by-laws. The problem is that the unanimity is qualified. Again, this is what I’d like more clarity on. I wonder of the reason for this wording.
And I am with you awaiting a judge’s ruling. This could be groundbreaking for business and ministry-based business across the country.
As I said in my original post, you and I are not that far apart here. It’s a matter of understanding more than anything, from where I sit. We have to look at these issues as the by-laws and written and interpreted. I believe we have now. But that raises yet more questions. And of course, there can be no by-law that violates State or Federal law. I await that decision. I trust you will keep us informed of these events.
We shall see. Appreciate your focused interest.
I would say JM that you have arrived.
We do read the sporadic comments on RG :-). Yes, JM has arrived.
Brother suing brother. And, of course, rationalized, as with all things. Remarkable.
There are other, similar edicts in Scripture, including this:
Matthew 5:38-41. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
There are those that believe that “resist not evil” means to never defend yourself, even when a defendant in a lawsuit. That IS the surface reading. How do you feel about that? Most understand that there is an essential principle here which is balanced with other principles. That is made especially clear by the Savior’s own words:
Luke 22:35-36. “And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
As Solomon said:
“A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.”
As usual we have a hard time . . . Telling the time.
I don’t think you read my response to David properly. Please re-skim it.
The unanimous ruling clause applies only to the Board members PRESENT at a meeting. AND you only need a MAJORITY of Board members to have a legally constituted meeting (a quorum as defined by the by-laws). The fact that two Board members didn’t want to vote for removing Bill is immaterial. The rest of the Board simply had to come together and all vote for it. If they were a majority of the Board (say 3 of 5 members), they would have had a quorum as defined by the by-laws, and a unanimous vote in that setting would be the will of the Board, as defined by the by-laws.
You don’t need a change to the by-laws. I would stop looking for one. They didn’t need these two Board members to vote at all. They knew how they would have voted (which fulfills the “consent and advice” clause). They were never going to have a hung Board. They didn’t need to dismiss them at all. All they needed was the remaining members to come together and all agree. That was it. That is what appears to have happened based on what you are telling me.
Those members that left/were dismissed is immaterial to the case. They didn’t need to be there for this to have gone down. This action stands.
Again, I hope to get some further clarity on that. However you slice it, “unanimity” was supposed to be a bond that humbled everyone to “work it out”. If the cause of the majority is right, and the ministry is suffering, the minority – all good, righteous men – would eventually figure out a compromise. Or vice versa. Instead, they took the easy road, eliminating Bill, as troublesome as they found him, and helping themselves to ministry assets to balance the books.
Well that is exactly the problem with these by-laws. They are written to favor majority rule. It’s not the first time I have seen this, either. MANY ministries and organizations have such governance.
I would have preferred a work-it-out solution, but they specifically worded their by-laws where they didn’t need to. So yes, they have unanimity, but it’s only unanimity of those present, those present needing only be the majority of Board members. That’s a weasel-way, if you ask me.
But that is exactly what we’re looking at here. Legally speaking, they acted exactly as their by-laws said they could for the exact purpose for which their by-laws empowered them. It’s unfortunate, but your complaint here is less with the Board and more with those who drafted these by-laws.
re: unanimous quorum?
If I follow the above, unanimous consent might be rigged by a bare majority acting in bad faith. I mere 51% might quietly convene, declare a quorum, and make a unanimous decision which the absent minority oppose. That would be apalling, but a means of prevailing without transgressing the letter of the unanimous consent rule. It calls to mind what Jesus said to Nicodemus about operating in the light vs. darkness. (How ironic that Jesus delivered that teaching during a secret meeting after dark.)
That’s an apt way to put it. I think you’ve got it head-on.
I would really like to know what the drafters of these by-laws were thinking when they wrote them. Surely there was some reason to word the laws this way. I wonder if there was some situation they were trying to avoid, such as a deadlock or filibuster. There may be a good reason, but I am at a loss here as well.
I have seen companies with such governance have clauses such as these but other clauses that would give some sort of “rebound” for the silent minority, such as allowing them to publish their dissent for public view of the company. The reason for this would be to generate support among the employees, get the employees to lobby the shareholders and the Board itself, thereby calling a new quorum and turning the votes of some previous Board members. Think of it as the Response to the President’s State of the Union.
Yet, we have nothing of that here in these by-laws. It leaves me more than a little curious.
re: unanimous consent
I once attended a small church which used the unanimous consent rule. No policy could be adopted without unanimous consent of the elders. The bias was in favor of disfavor. I don’t think the rule was formalized in a document, but was observed by (what else?) consensus.
The presumption was that if Jesus wanted his church to act, he would manifest His will by creating consensus among the officers. Apparently IBLP had a similar idea, regardless of whether it was expressed in the corporate document.
Well, that’s not what Bill got if that was his intention. The example you described does not match what Bill has here in his by-laws. Bill had a very qualified unanimous consent. It was only unanimous in the sense that everyone PRESENT had to agree. And they only needed a majority to have a satisfactory quorum. I’m not entirely comfortable calling this unanimous consent. That term implies something different than what we have in these by-laws.
I’m not sure I agree with you on the presumption of Jesus. I’m uncomfortable many times when people claim “God’s Will is. . .” That’s because I’ve seen far too many times where those folks either walk away from the faith afterward or wind up failing with no recovery. When it comes to God’s Will, the proof is always in the pudding, not in the main course. So many young people don’t see this and jump off on the wrong track. (But this is really another argument for another post.)
Getting back to the subject matter at hand, I am firmly convinced that no matter how big or small, EVERY church needs a set of by-laws and needs to follow them as written. NO EXCEPTIONS. EVER. PERIOD.
Why do I say that so harshly? By-laws give us as humans something tangible that we can go to and look at when the need arises. In the church, let’s face it, the need arises more often than not. We find ourselves needing to know how we are supposed to appoint officers upon someone’s death or relocation. These are matters where Scripture may be silent or simply address vaguely.
If anyone were to accuse someone in the church of acting inappropriately with church authority, the by-laws are a way to shut that down. It’s a “we’re doing what we’ve been authorized to do” argument.
I am also very deeply pained when I hear of churches that do have by-laws not follow them when selecting officers or pastors. I know of exactly one such church in southeast Michigan about a decade ago that did so. Pastor brought in his son on church staff, and told the folks his son was the next pastor. He was being groomed for the pulpit. So a couple of years went by. Pastor resigned. They brought the church to a meeting to a vote on pastor’s son as pastor (all according to the by-laws). He did not get the votes he needed. In fact, he received less than 50%! When Pastor read the results, he lost it.
He announced immediately that he was coming out of retirement, returning to the governance of the church, and sitting in leadership until the matter turned out the way he wanted it. This was NOT in accordance with the by-laws. THIS kind of situation is AWFUL. This is what pains me the most.
Can you please provide a link to the lawsuit? There is a lot of speculative talk about copyrights and getting back the position that “rightfully” belongs to him. Perhaps it is about both. Perhaps neither. At this point, we don’t really know any specifics about what he is demanding in the suit, and it is like blind men debating on which part of the elephant that they are holding.
I have been holding on to this for a bit. I believe it to be a public document, but have yet to receive confirmation. So until we understand it is OK for us to make it generally available – and given that Bill made it available to us, we want his OK – we will hold on a little longer. Bill is usually largely unconcerned about such things. But we defer to him. Has not responded to us yet.
I completely understand.
I noticed that IBLP is having big blow out sales on materials right now. I find that….interesting. Coincidence?
I would not be surprised if IBLP has been hurt considerably by all this. Whenever the leader goes down, be it earned or not, that can have a devastating impact on the operations of the organization. In many cases, there can be no way forward.
The issues that Paul faced at the end of his life should have been the end of his work. It was only the beginning. David, for all of the turmoil brought about by the rebellion of his own son and many trusted supporters should have been the end of him and his kingdom. It was, also, just the beginning. Jesus, David’s son, is about to retake the thrown for the House of David once and . . . Forever.
Bill is not Paul or David.
We need to look at more modern examples to compare them with Bill. These events may not play out the same way. They haven’t always done so in history.
Jim Bakker never recovered his original position. David Hyles never reclaimed his standing in fundamentalism. Jimmy Swaggart has tried comebacks at least three times, but he has never re-achieved his original success. In fact, the only case of someone who did return to success that I know was Michael English, and that is a weird case. He was caught with escorts and prostitutes. Wrecked and ruined his music career. But, he returned a few years later. Still in music. Still achieving some success. But, as far as anyone would know from the surface, unrepentant. It seems he wants the public and industry to simply forget about his past.
Not sure any of this is going to help Bill.
Do not know your past involvement with Bill or the ministry. Bill is simply not like any other Christian leader we know. His ministry is also . . . Very different. Yes, we appeal to Biblical examples. The ones you mentioned involve ACTUAL malfeasance. Which has simply never been established for Bill. That is what this blog is all about. Again, we cry out to the Lord . . . And we will see.
If you take a look at the publicly disclosed financial statements, you will see that the financial hemorrhaging started when Bill was very much still at the helm.
“Hemorrhaging” is a relative term. Yes, difficult days were already being seen, it was a time of transition. Bill was in the process of reinventing the ministry on new footings. The process obviously was interrupted.
I am at a loss to understand your actual position here. You seem to understand the need for legal recourse. I agree with you here. When you can’t appeal to church governance, the legal system is where you go. No argument there.
I am leaning on that legal side, because that is where we will find the most help here. I hope you understand this. But you keep arguing for Scriptural principles here. I keep resisting you, not because I disagree with those principles. The problem is that we are talking about things best discussed in a legal setting. This is a ministry, for sure, but its operations are that of a business. I have worked for two such ministries. I am not green to any of these issues. The problem here is that determining what is “wrong” for a corporation, business, organization, or company will be determined by by-law and legal ruling. It has to be.
We can still discuss moral responsibility and Biblical principle, but these will have to apply to these legal settings as well. We can say we believe the Board did wrong in dismissing Bill rather than working it out. (I don’t quite go that far.) But we cannot say they acted illegally. Therefore they can be both right and wrong at the same time. Yes, these are mental gymnastics, but that is the world you find yourself in. Join the club. Some of us have been here for years.
But I am confused based on what you have said in previous discussions. So does this belong to Bill, or to Jesus? You have argued the divine right in the past. That was and is your justification for many posts on this blog – it belongs to God, therefore only God can divest it. But you also claim all this was given to Bill. I see you are arguing one way when it suits you and another what that one suits you.
But was it really given to Bill? You see. The minute you have a Board and by-laws, you place yourself in a position where you cannot properly claim that. That is because these become legal matters. That ought to be obvious. Your argument ought to have been and be for the dissolution of the Board and renouncing of it from the start, as with the by-laws. They are laying out a system that you believe is in violation of divine ownership. This ought to be your argument. Instead, you are trying to work through the very legal system in which these elements operate to get your way. You are more likely the one doomed to fail.
I will for the sake of argument give it to you. All of it was given to Bill. So what did he do with it? He kept it all in his pocket, bringing it out when he needed it and putting it away when he was done. Right? No. He placed all of it under his ministry, IBLP, and he appointed a Board, and he had them draft by-laws. This is the problem with your arguments. The minute you have these elements you are no longer appealing to Scriptural authority. It becomes legal. That is why we are wasting so much time here.
You and I do not disagree on ultimate divine ownership, but that ownership is divested among those of us who are stewards. In this case, it’s corporate. That’s unfortunate. I would like to see it another way, too. But it is as it is, and it is largely because of the decisions Bill made. We have to accept it, until a judge rules otherwise. And I look forward to that. I am curious to see that happen.
Romans 11:29. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.“
What does that mean? Most accept that . . . When God gives something – “vouchsafes” in the old KJV English – He never takes it back, never “repents”. If we can find exceptions, let’s not focus on them, but on this statement, rather startling. There is a powerful point that God gives . . . And He expects the one He gives to to perform the task. He goes to some insane levels to make that happen – think about Jonah. Instead of calling on the second best prophet for the Nineveh job, He invents a storm and a boat and a big fish . . . And even a plant that grows in a day, and dies in a day.
God gave this job to Bill. Not to the Board. The Board is there to help Bill do his job. They are not doing that. He can remove the impediment in many ways, if He chooses too, with or without the government. He can also allow a lot of problems that lay a man low, like David. But . . . The bottom line remains that these are Kingdom of God issues. In the end we doff our hat, bow the knee before that God of the Kingdom. But it is our understanding that we are pursuing His will by working to bring what God has given Bill back to him. We will all see how the Lord spins it all out.
You know. I still say I disagree very little with you here.
I agree this was Bill’s calling. It was given to Him. BUT he is the one who had the Board formed, and the by-laws are his by-product. And so much concerning this is spelled out legally there.
So I still challenge you here. Are you prepared to say that Bill did wrong in establishing the Board? Establishing the Board had a very practical end, and I believe it was very important. It doesn’t affect me at all. But it certainly affected Bill, and continues to hamper these discussions.
See the problem is we have the Board here. They exist. Bill caused them to exist. Why would he do that if he felt the ministry was his? Do you see where I stand now? You are trying to have it both ways. You acknowledge the Board’s existence and some authority but want to strip it away and argue for Scripture. I agree with you on the Scripture. But it doesn’t help you here. We cannot just ignore the legal matters. They don’t go away.
Again, your stance is plain. Morally, ethically we disagree. We feel right to do so. The court we are appealing to is in heaven. And also the court on earth, which we hope will be moved by the Lord to right a very grievous wrong. We shall all see.
I am cool disagreeing here.
But please answer my question. You claim the Board should not have final authority or say over these matters. I say they do simply because they exist as a Board, under the by-laws.
So are you prepared to say that Bill erred in creating the Board? This is what you need to accept in order to consistently argue your position. In this case, a Board exists. The by-laws tells us how they operate, what they have say over, and how matters can be held. It is clear in that sense.
If we’re not going to follow a Board, why does it exist? Why have by-laws that outline its powers and responsibilities if we’re adhering to another form of administration? No matter how you slice it, Bill is responsible for this part of the equation, and it’s that part that you have ought with.
So answer me plainly, are you prepared to say that Bill erred in establishing this Board? Are you prepared to say that the Board should not exist at all for this ministry?
Bill did not err in creating the Board. A man who loves and trusts a woman with his heart and wealth by entering into a lifelong union with her is not erring if he is using all of the available information to do so (as opposed to just “following his heart”). If she later is deceived by Satan and others and leaves him, taking half or even all of his wealth with her, it is a sad day. There is always second guessing, but that is often foolish. You do the best you know how, and leave the rest with the Lord.
Can you prove that Bill owns any of it? Are there documents to state that? I would like to see them. That would indeed be a smoking gun for you. Produce this if you can. It will be incredibly helpful to your case.
Morally, yes. Legally, I don’t know. That appears to be something a court may figure out.
Well you see how that is a problem. You are arguing that he does in fact own it. But you do not know if you can produce a document that can show that.
I will challenge that he owns it morally, too. I see the ministry first and the person second. That’s me. Obviously, many of you do not. That’s fine. But I have a hard time saying your position is more moral than mine.
I have a feeling this will not bode well for Bill legally.
Your point is understood, and we still disagree.
I don’t want to keep circling the wagons, either. But you do see the problem. These are matters of fact. We should be able to search and know what is what. If Bill is the property owner, we should be able to prove that. If that is true, this case is open and shut.
The fact that you are saying “disagree” tells me you cannot prove what you have claimed. That’s a problem. And it not only hurts your side, it handicaps it. This is not something we can simply disagree on. These are matters where something can be black and white. You’ve made a claim. I expect you to back it up.
I can back up my claim that the Board has operation of this facility. In fact, it is spelled out as much in the by-laws. I’d like to see something that supports you here. I am disappointed that you can’t return anything better here.
We have spun around the point a few times. Legal authority and moral – God’s – authority are not the same. I would hope that the latter is where our focus should be.
I’m coming in late, so I apologize if my remarks have been previously addressed. Moderator, you mention that Bill owns the property. Does this mean his name is on the deed? If the property is in his name, wouldn’t that mean he could evict them, or charge rent, or something of the like? I’d like to understand in whose name the property is listed.
No, all properties are legally in the “trust”, if you will, of IBLP, governed by the Board.
Moderator, you said above that Bill had a right to be at Big Sandy because “he owned the property”. Did you mistakenly say that then?
I believe I called it “his property”. I have been trying to be careful about legal terms like “owned”, but if I did, my apologies. The properties were given TO Bill FOR the ministry God gave him. Some were outright purchased by large donors, some in part or partnership with such. The donors, as near as we can tell ALL side with Bill in these matters. The largest sent a letter to the Board asking them to transfer one of those properties to Bill’s new 501C non-profit so it could continue to do what the donor intended. The Board instead . . . Sold it . . . And, no, none of the money was returned to the donor let alone given to Bill.
So we have no problem stating that they are “Bill’s properties”. That little matter of the trust that the properties sit in and that the Board controls now being used for purposes other than what it was set up for . . . We do not accept that as legitimate.
I wonder if the proceeds from the sale that you speak of went to pay bills. I think the ministry is hurting for money, not sure though if that’s an oversimplification. If that’s the case though, then the sale was for the good of the ministry, and not a man or men. I sure hope the profits weren’t used to line the pockets of any men.
We are not aware of any “pocket lining” at this time, although concerns in that direction continue to be raised. The point remains that selling off assets to stay afloat is a poor way to proceed, especially in the light of the fact that the dynamo that drove IBLP to the heights it had enjoyed was waiting in the wings to bring renewed vision and direction to the ministry.
Well, legally that’s going to be a stretch to prove. “Owned” and “his property” do in fact mean very much the same thing in the courts. If they are held in trust by a Board (which I am still hoping you have a document to prove), the Board still exercise legal discretion over its use. Bill would still have no right to it.
The donors don’t necessarily have the last word. You still have the by-laws which grant powers to the Board. It will take a judge’s ruling to get it any other way. I look forward to seeing such a ruling.
The name on the property deed is the person or entity that owns the property. Whether or not someone “gave” Bill Big Sandy for ministry, if IBLP is on the property deed, then they are the one’s that own Big Sandy, not Bill Gothard personally. You can try to claim or spin or cry me river that Bill “owns” it, but if his name is not on the property deed itself as owner, then he didn’t and doesn’t “own” Big Sandy or anything else but the old farm house he grew up in and lives at. All one has to do is look at who owns the property as registered in Texas where Big Sandy is and find out because I would think that who owns what property is a public record. I though IBLP moved their headquarters to Big Sandy in Texas so Illinois has nothing to do with it. Why don’t you produce the property deed so everyone can see who actually owns it. If I do bets, I would bet it is not Bill.
My church is officially “owned” by trustees . . . whose sole job is to administer that property for the benefit of the congregation. If those trustees decided to sell the property and head to Hawaii . . . yes, we would “cry me a river”. What you say is completely cerebral, unconnected to the realities of the moral constraints on those “trustees” of the Lord’s property.
You did not answer my question which is “whose name is on the deed of the property for Big Sandy”? If Bill’s name is not on it, he has no claim to the property whether someone or not “gave” it to Bill for use in IBLP ministry. He doesn’t own it obviously by your wiggling around an issue you brought up and charge that Big Sandy is Bill’s. Who owns your Church is meaningless to this conversation. It is a false lead to deflect off of a charge you have made that Big Sandy properties belongs to Bill and because Big Sandy properties belong to Bill, he should not have been given a trespassing warning and escorted off by police. You and Bill cannot prove Bill’s own name is on the deed of the property. I would suggest that bringing this up like you have will only embarrass you and Bill because his name is not on the deed of who owns the property.
OK, your second reiteration of your first post added nothing to the discussion. And you, in fact, did not reply to the point I made. So, how about let’s resume there. Let’s say there is some country where your church could not legally own property and so they worked out an arrangement where trustees would hold it for them. Would you “cry me a river” if the trustees all got converted to another religion and, legally enabled, started using those building and properties, all secured by monies provided by your church, to promote this new religion? I KNOW you would. Please respond to that, since I responded to you. [And truth be told I have never seen the title deeds to the properties but assume they are held by “IBLP”, a public corporation set up to ensure those properties were used the way Bill Gothard designated in support of the ministry God gave him.]
There have been through-out history change overs of religion for different building (churches, mosques) due to war. The Muslims took over Hagia Sophia when Mehmet captured Constantinople and turned it into a Mosque. The Cathedral in Cordoba was once a Mosque and is now a Catholic Church which happen in the Christian recapture of Spain from the Moors. Actually, Muslims are demanding the building back while they have no intention of giving the Hagia Sophia back to the Orthodox Christians. These things have happen due to WAR, not boards. BTW, the property of Big Sandy is still owned by IBLP and is still the same religion as Bill which is Christian. I answered your “scenario” with real history facts, not make believe set up to justify Bill. So my simple question and point is that if Bill’s own personal name is not listed on the deed of the property in TEXAS, not Illinois as the owner, then he has no claim to the Big Sandy property at all and IBLP has every right to kick him off by police escort when he refused to leave and has been told that he is not to go on IBLP properties via lawyers.
So there IS a moral ground to “cry me a river” when others use force or the rule of law to appropriate what is not theirs. Since you don’t care about Bill Gothard, you don’t care. If it carved closer to home, you might feel differently. That was the only point.
Your emotionality is very telling. Bill has no “moral” or legal ownership to the properties of IBLP, especially Big Sandy. They have and do belong to the ministry and would wager if someone looked at the actual deed of ownership that Bill’s name is no where to be found. It also looks like the properties are still being used by IBLP for conferences and Alert training as they were set up originally. So people can still go to these conferences and hear the Duggar and Bates tell us how wonderful they are. I fail to see any of your claims that all these things “belong” to Bill. They do not. They have not seemingly turned into something else like the Cathedral of Rochester England where the Church of England that now owns it due to King Henry VIII have turned that beautiful Cathedral into a mini golf course to earn some money. That one is “cry me a river”, but Big Sandy and IBLP properties still seem to be used for their conferences which seems to be what they were set up for. Bill’s name isn’t on the deed, he is no longer at IBLP due to his own resignation and the fact that emotions and feeling are being brought up and thrown into the mix is skirting the issues, facts and truth.
Point made . . . Many times. It is not necessary to reply to every reply :-). At least move in a new direction or introduce a new fact.
A legal trust? As in overseen by trustees? Is Bill a trustee?
The term “trust” we are using loosely, but it most accurately reflects the purpose for which the Board and the corporation it controls was set up for. Bill was a member of the Board until he resigned. There are other “trusts” controlling other properties in other nations which he still remains a trustee of.
You keep saying Bill “resigned”. If that is true (which i don’t believe it is) wouldn’t he have also resigned all legal claim to IBLP and the properties it owns? Did he not issue or sign an exclusion? In the business world, once a partner or business owner resigns, he relinquishes all authority, control, future earnings, and ownerships, back to the entity from which it is resigning… UNLESS he becomes a LEGAL share holder, partner, or places a legal document in place by which he continues to benefit or have ownership. If Bill knew it was a temporary resignation (again, I think he is the only one claiming this as well), then why wouldn’t he have put an agreement in place? He is a very shrewd businessman and would have done this, IF the board would have allowed it.
Also, do you have an update on the lawsuit? Does it have a date in court yet, or have they already met?
He did in fact resign abruptly after family and leadership pressed him to do so. His intent was to take the time to pursue those that had causes they claimed against them, get it straightened out, then be invited back. If you read the letter that ATI sent to its membership at that time it clearly states this.
When you are operating in an environment of trust you don’t need nor want “legal agreements”. Sort of like pre-nuptial agreements, which I think are completely wrong. The principles outlined in Scripture should be enough to work it all out.
Last time we checked the public records a court date was set for 12/16 to begin the matter.
Can you point me to the letter ATI sent out, that you are referring to? Do you have it online here, or know if it’s publicly posted?
Here is the Letter From IBLP to ATI The purpose of the resignation was understood to be to follow the steps given by Jesus in Matthew 5.
So you say Bill did not err in creating the Board. I agree he did not. But I hope you can see why I am still having a problem siding with you on these matters. By establishing a Board, and drafting by-laws, that establishes certain legal matters and precedence.
Remember that possession is 9/10s of the law. You seem to want to play the card that it was given to Bill, it’s Bill’s ministry, therefore he owns it, and the Board should have nothing to do with it.
Well. . .That flies in the face of having a Board. This is where we’re stuck. There is no reason to have a Board if this is the card you insist on playing. There is no purpose of having by-laws written these ways if you insist on playing this card. The idea of a having a Board, and one operating under these by-laws is antithetical to your claim that the ministry is Bill’s. You’re trying to have it one way Biblically and another way legally. That will cause problems, as I believe you see by these arguments.
So why not say Bill erred in establishing the Board? Why not say he erred in having these by-laws drafted? It’s not the same as saying Bill is wicked. It just means he miscalculated where his future would take him. That does happen. Even good decisions can have negative outcomes. But I would suggest the problem is the decision itself.
You liken this to a marriage. That’s an interesting, though perhaps flawed, comparison. But would you say that in that case, the young man who entered into marriage only to have his wife leave and take half of everything he had, it may have been better for that young man not to have married that woman? Is that not an option? I look back at my own history here, and I would gladly say that. I wish I had NOT gotten involved with some of the ones I did (and they were all saved and conservative girls, too). Are you not willing to consider that point?
You see, we do not disagree on Biblical authority and legal authority. I agree with you that God’s law comes first. But that’s the problem. Bill had a Board established with these by-laws. You claim in this very article that there is no Scripture for that. Yet you say Bill did not err by doing so.
Forgive me for saying, “WHAT?!” If there is no Scripture for it, how has Bill not erred in establishing it? According to your own logic, you ought to be claiming this. You ought to be saying he made a mistake. If you’re claiming that Bill was simply operating as best he saw fit (something I would not disagree with), you really should drop the argument that there is no Scripture for it.
Establishing a Board and drafting By-laws are serious matters. I am sensing that Bill may not have foreseen potential ramifications that could come from this. That’s unfortunate. It’s like a kid who finds his father’s gun. These are costly mistakes, as I believe we’ve all seen.
Sept 19 Moderator says: “He did in fact resign abruptly after family and leadership pressed him to do so. His intent was to take the time to pursue those that had causes they claimed against them, get it straightened out, then be invited back. If you read the letter that ATI sent to its membership at that time it clearly states this.”
Unless I am missing something, that letter you posted a link to does not say at all that he would be invited back. After their review, I believe they found him to be inappropriate but not criminal. The Board seems to have made their own decision, and it doesn’t seem that it had anything to do with the court case that was brought by the accusers. Correct me if I’m wrong, to simplify, you think and Bill thinks since that lawsuit was dismissed that that somehow is evidence of his innocence, and therefore Bill should return “business as usual”. But that’s just not the case. The board was not making their decision on that court case, they already did their own investigation, found him unfit to lead, and left his resignation in place. It doesn’t look good for Bill to resume his position with IBLP.
(There was no reply button under the comment I wanted to respond to so I had to make a whole new one.)
To reply, travel up in the thread to the last place a button is visible . . . And reply there. It is not very user friendly.
We are making a point that Bill intended to return, and everyone knew he intended to do so. The “resignation” was a formality to remove him from the equation on their side for however long it took to take care of things. Lawsuits were being furiously threatened, if not filed, so that most definitely figured into things. The Board was “running scared”. Cutting their losses. I assure you that we have had enough private conversations to make that crystal clear.
There is not a single charge that the Board has ever raised to justify their actions, let alone their charge of “impropriety”. If they had we could produce a letter or email or text or statement to that effect. Does that bother you? It bothers us. That is simply not how those in the body of Christ operate, let alone in our enlightened land. A man deserves to be able to face his accusers and to enter a defense. The board has studiously avoided having to do that. Because they know they will not prevail. The truth . . . The truth is that they are just tired of Bill and want to “move on”. “Time to retire” is a comment I have heard over and over. That is literally the bottom line. Sorry – that is wrong.
For sure I agree that the board should face him with all charges against him and their reasons for not having him back. Its not right as Christians to have such secrecy. Christians should always be honest and transparent. I’m surprised the board has not had people banging on their doors for answers. But, didn’t Gothard have specific teachings on gossip that might prevent those from asking for details? I know in my old church, the pastor got away with a lot by simply saying, we shouldn’t be gossiping. He was a man who taught Bill’s seminars. I never went through it, but I think I remember teachings on “gossip”. It definitely protects those who have something to hide.
I think we all would agree that gossip is evil. Bill preached against it in the larger context of actually investing the time, effort to seek to correct and recover those that are erring. We all tend to be “crop dusters”, zoom in, drop a huge load, and zoom out. Would to God even a tiny fraction of those freely accusing Bill and passing evil reports back and forth would, instead, have gone directly to him, and to the Board, and the accusers, and actually get to the bottom of it. Nobody much has cared, which is a crime.
I stood with a Board member back at the beginning who said to me, “Well, if it turns out Bill molested girls, I would not be surprised.” Mind you, this Board member had spent virtually no time working directly with Bill. When pressed he waved his hand at the gossip blog, Recovering Grace, for proof. That grieved me more than tongue can tell. It was HIS responsibility, not to assume or surmise, certainly not to gossip, but to investigate and know. Be able to give an answer to anyone asking. I found this same individual consistently uninterested in our findings, our interviews, facts we uncovered. When challenged about the complete absence of any steps to even “correct” or “recover” Bill, if what he apparently assumed to be true was so, he said to me: “We know that whatever we tell Bill to do, he will do it, so we are not going to tell him anything.” This is a direct quote which was said to me, personally.
Would you be willing to name this Board member? I’d be curious to hear that from his lips himself.
Are you going to speak to him . . . and provide a synopsis of your discussion? I can communicate the name to you privately, even though you really have a tiny group to have to choose from. But not interested in engaging in a lot of rhetorical drama.
I might. I still maintain that I have no real dog in this fight. If Bill is restored or not, it won’t affect me at all.
What I am interested in is whether you really did hear this. I’m trying to crack the “trust me, it’s there” wall. If you are willing to provide a name and contact information, that would go a long way to telling me that there is some verification on what you say.
The fact that you didn’t name him in your post is suspect to me. If you are really interested in being transparent, the names should not be a problem. You’re not protecting anyone from controversy here. The controversy is already widely blown open.
I’m curious. But I don’t know that I absolutely need to contact him. I’m just wondering if you are willing to provide it.
And there it is. This individual is a person, a responsible person. I consider him a friend, at least he has been willing to interact with us. I limit my comments to what I feel is appropriate to the level of involvement and commitment on the other side. Your side. I will happily produce all the evidence you need if you are committed to becoming part of the solution. And in this case that involves you making contact and verifying my statements for yourself. Sort of goes without saying. If you don’t want to get involved, we are not interested in the damage to good will that public disclosure would bring . . . Up until, at least, it is unavoidable. Where we may certainly arrive in the not too distant future.
Everybody has an opinion. Everybody fusses and analyzes and discusses and all. Almost no one is committed enough to seeing God’s will done to get their hands dirty down in the trenches where it really matters and really makes a difference. Sort of the difference between genuine love . . . And whatever the opposite is.
Ultimately, you’ve answered my argument here. I believe you are willing to put a name with this nameless face. That’s what I was getting at.
PLEASE, do not call me “the other side.” I still maintain that I am not part of any side here. I am however for truth and against error. That has often pitted me at odds with many teachers and organizations, such as Bill and IBLP. I see these matters as having a basis in some absolute facts, such as the nature, purpose, and powers of the Boards, the importance of By-laws, etc. That is where I’m coming from. I am not anti-Bill. I’m trying to stand on fact here, with no loyalty to person or organization.
I am trying to get you to see that you are making claims that may be very true, but you’re not backing them up here. So all this talk about “said to me personally” does not matter. Not one iota. We need to be able to confirm it to side with you.
One of the best standards of truth is verifiability. That is how scientific testing is performed, and how case studies work. This is the basis of peer review. That is why I am making such a big case here. (I’m trying to help you make your case, if you haven’t figured it out by now.)
I challenge you on public disclosure destroying good will. I fail to see how that would even happen.
I would agree that everyone has an opinion. I hope you include yourself in that, too. But let’s try to step away from that. I want to deal with matters of fact. You have done very well in many areas here. You provided the order which dropped Gretchen when I challenged you. You provided the By-laws when I asked for them. This is good. This lays very good groundwork.
In the same breath, I was able to show you from those very By-laws that no change was needed to them to get the Board to oust Bill. You have to read it carefully to see what it is actually saying, and the language is strangely clear and somewhat odd for an organization such as IBLP. This is not a matter of opinion. It is simply reading what the document says closely. That’s what I’m trying to get at here.
I published your comment, but not sure how much further I want to run with this. You have plenty of evidence of “good faith” on my part. We are spinning our wheels.
This sounds like a lot of speculation. None of us who commonly post here were acquainted with the Board at the time to confirm your claim that they were running scared. I give you they may be. But can we confirm that? I’m not sure.
If the resignation were temporary, why don’t we have some document or account of it? This website and its forums are the only place I have seen that mentioned. So how do I know this to be true? Is there a way to confirm what you are claiming?
If there is, this would be very big to your case here. You’d have perhaps another smoking gun to help Bill.
A non-profit being sued for an opening sum of $8 million, long before punitive damages . . . Is running scared. That is one of those self-evident facts. From personal conversations I assure you this was true. Let alone the reputation savaging going on in the press.
Bill previously resigned . . . And then returned shortly thereafter. ANY person who has worked with him more than a few days knows how he thinks and operates. Yes, it was obvious that he planned to return. What he did not want was the frightened Board isolating him, muzzling him. I agreed with him on that point, still do. So he cleared the air so that he could do his God-mandated responsibilities, clear it up, and get back to what God called him to do. The fact that there was some “bad blood” with some members of the Board gave some the opportunity they needed to wrest the ministry from him permanently. And fix things their way, reshape it in their image. Individuals certainly with value but nowhere in the same region as the man they so freely “wrote off” and sent packing to an ignominious “Retirement”.
Maybe Bill was counting on returning like in 1980. However it is no longer 1980 and for him to “plan” that shows his own foolishness. When someone resigns, they resign and they shouldn’t resign if they really didn’t mean it or thought or hoped or planned that it was “temporary” and were to come back. There is no evidence that he “took” care of the issues or reconciliation with those that had an issue with him. You have not produced any evidence of that.
There is plenty of evidence! We have detailed his detailed efforts to secure that, some successful, some not. You can only do what you can.
We will just have to disagree on the rest as well.
Again. That is speculation. There are surely other ways of interpreting those events.
Just because he has done it once doesn’t mean it was clear that he would do so again. You do need a document to argue that. That’s what counts today. We do have a document supporting the Board’s operation, the By-laws. They state clearly that the Board runs the organization, not the President.
I don’t care for your personal conversations. That’s the point I’m trying to make. We can all claim we had a phone call here or there. Give some documented proof and the weight carries farther. I don’t deny that you may have had these conversations. The claim is just not convincing in and of itself. You do need some support here.
We have been fairly transparent we believe. It is not speculation if I have had dozens of face to face and phone conversations to verify. You believe me, my character, or not. Some documentation is not possible or wise to provide.
You have no proof of any ‘reconciliation” with anyone, but plenty of failed attempts. The Denver meetings ended with Bill walking away. Suing 7 women for a frivolous lawsuit which was not successful for Bill is not what I would call an attempt at reconciliation.
I like and respect you, but that is a statement borne out of ignorance. Bill has met and reconciled with a number of folks and reached out to all that were willing to work with him.
Denver was, as you likely know, specifically interested in rehashing the perceived grievances from the 1980s vs. any local or recent issues, specifically matters being bandied about on RG. That is why that failed. Nothing short of him bowing before the ones who felt spurned from that time frame would suffice. A criminal waste of a golden opportunity.
Bill was interested in bringing the plaintiffs to the truth instead of the lie they were living. But he also was very interested in getting them to assume responsibility for the damage they had done. Reconciliation was a secondary interest. That story may not be over, FWIW.
Well you see how that is a problem, I trust. Arguing matters of fact are hard to do without documentation. That’s how this works.
I cannot simply take your word for it, when many others can make claims with the same level of verification.
And you see that we are, in good faith, responding to you with data. I am just hopeful this will not turn out to be armchair quarterbacking, sports analysis from the comfort of your own home vs. the dangers and stresses of the “field” . . .
Where the mess is the data? I see a bunch of claims but no documentation. This is not as you have just described it.
Do you see how I call this a problem? I’ll give it to you. You are likely dealing with privilege here. You may not be free to show everything. But in such cases, you may have an affidavit that proclaims the evidence to exist. That would help a lot.
Until you can provide such evidence, I will claim you are making this up. You can’t just expect people to trust you in these matters.
I am starting to doubt your sincerity, JM. I would hope that you have sensed that we have up to now been taking you quite seriously, and have gathered that we do not “make things up”. If that level of trust has not been established by this point I am thinking it is not going to happen. Having been a formal part of the legal team defending Bill and having some of us named in slap back petitions we are a tad careful, as you can imagine. I have already offered to correspond with you privately on matters we are not comfortable publishing, and noted you quickly backing away. Again, the difference between the fellows on the field for whom the consequences are direct and personal, and the fellows on the sidelines free to cheer or jeer, turn the whole thing off and walk away for any reason.
The letter you spoke of officially said he was “placed on administrative leave”. That is not a resignation, that is, as several people have already stated, a forceful directive from the board. Why do you keep saying he resigned? It seems misleading, and not truthful, according to the official letter you supplied.
We would encourage you to call or email the IBLP administration. They will confirm that Bill submitted a formal letter of resignation. That is a matter of fact. The purpose was to free him to handle this as Scripturally as possible. As to the letter, this is a snip . . . David Waller saying that Bill resigned. I am baffled why this is not clear, let alone important to you.
I think she’s trying to stress that “administrative leave” and “resignation” are not the same thing, necessarily. One is voluntary (resignation); the other may not be (administrative leave). It seems to me a little of both has happened. Bill did resign, but the Board also claims he is on administrative leave.
That would mean, if my assessment is accurate, it would not matter if he saw his resignation as temporary. They have another level on this. That may not be the case, and in these matters the terminology can be confusing, even misleading.
Not a little, all of each. They did place him on administrative leave, demanding he not speak to the plaintiffs or anyone else and “let them handle it”. That was onerous to him, completely unscriptural, so he subsequently resigned, in part to allow him to complete what he had started in this matter. The reasons he did that was clear to management – David Waller cited this section:
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
The point is to LEAVE the gift, GO and be reconciled, RETURN to offer the gift. And as to the reconciliation, the Scriptural mandate is to the offender, not the offended one . . . And the standard is “as much as lieth in you” (Romans 12:18). On the offended party’s part, the standard is . . . If the offender apologizes – not even asking for forgiveness – forgiveness is the immediate response.
Luke 17:4. “And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.“
Bill has been to ALL “offended” parties and asked for forgiveness. Members of management, Denver committee, have told me on several occasions that he has not “repented enough”. I simply do not find that requirement – repenting enough, being more sorry – anywhere in Scripture before we release a person from their debt to us. Do you?
This “is important” because this seems to be at the crux of Bill’s suit. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought he was saying he voluntarily resigned, and as such, should be able to voluntarily come back into leadership. When the board states they “placed him on administrative leave” that denotes a forcible removal… not voluntary, which changes things. I understand Bill resigned, AFTER being placed on administrative leave, but that was only after the board and their attorney did their background investigation (which I assume you are not privy too) and gave him the option of stepping down. If he had not stepped down, he most certainly would have been fired. If you have a “friend on the board”, or even a friend of a past board member, as stated above, you may want to ask for some details of the investigation… will be eye opening to you, and would give you more clout with your followers here.
Now you say “
I have confirmed with both Bill and members of the IBLP management that Bill was subjected to intense pressure to resign, including the threat of members of his team resigning if he did not. The reason for this pressure was the tsunami of attacks that were coming from all quarters, and the fact that leadership – without having any proof – believed Bill likely to be guilty. As mentioned, one member of the Board, frustrated that we continued to believe Bill innocent, during a face to face conversation pointed the Recovering Grace website as proof. Now that we know that the entire affair was orchestrated by an organized group of disgruntled former ATI students and after a very expensive dance with the legal system that there is STILL no evidence that Bill did any thing worthy of having to resign over, it is time to revisit this particular witch hunt . . . And rectify some of the evil that has been done as a result.
“Bill has been to ALL “offended” parties and asked for forgiveness.”
” I simply do not find that requirement – repenting enough, being more sorry – anywhere in Scripture before we release a person from their debt to us. Do you?”
You have a problem here: Denial. How does one repent for something that they deny having done? It is not possible to be repentant for something that one is denying.
Of course you cannot confess to something you have not done. I have in my possession a stack of “confessions” that were written by numerous helpful entities for Bill, which he simply could not publish, because they were not true. As mentioned we know there is “bad blood” between most of the players on the IBLP side and Bill due to incidents of harshness and insensitivity and maybe some pride on his part over the years. That this was the ONLY complaint that the assembled Board put forward to Bill’s pastor and his assistant as they sought to understand the problem and become a means of solving it. Bill can and has and will ask forgiveness for those things. Being improper let alone immoral with young women? No, he can’t confess to that because it never happened. The Lord who knows every heart deal righteously and justly and with mercy on all those that allowed themselves to be manipulated into lying about such things.
It is totally irresponsible on your part to encourage anyone to contact any of the IBLP board members to confirm private conversations you have had with different members and the things that may or may not have been said between you and them. First of all, they have no business to talk to any of us. Second, they are now being sued by Bill and legally have no business to talk to third party no bodies going off of blog info put forth by you. Finally, reporting these snippets of conversations you may or may not have had is gossip.
Talk to you? Likely correct, because you are neither part of the problem nor part of the solution. We have folks that believe themselves to be the latter. So, enabling them to do so is very much our business, our charter, and in no way gossip.
To Bill. Bill, you probably remember me as a young trial court judge you invited to Oak Brook many years ago to speak to your young people there about law and government. I am so thankful to learn about the total vindication of your issues with young women. But I am grieved about your on-going issues with your former Board of Directors. I haven’t read all the specifics. But my sense is you should be like Moses when Dathan and others opposed him. He fell on his face and let the Lord defend him and his name. Jesus didn’t spend time defending His name when the Pharisees and others slandered Him. It’s hard to go against the teaching in I Cor 6. Again, justice would require you to pursue your rights. But there is no perfect justice on this side of eternity. Regardless of your choice, Bill, I say thank you for the helpful life lessons you taught me and our family. Marcia, to whom I have been married 12 years, and We are grateful for our twelve children and now 32 grandchildren! God is so good!
We will go ahead and provide a response based on what we understand. Scripture is a study in balance. The Lord on the one hand instructed His disciples to “Resist not evil” (Matt. 5:39) with a series of examples, including offering the second check when hit, and yet on the other hand told them to sell their coat to buy a sword for self defense. (Luke 22:36). The same man that wisely instructs us to be willing to be defrauded rather than take our case before unbelievers (1 Cor. 6) appealed to Caesar, the secular authorities, for protection from the enemies of the Gospel. The God that protected Daniel in the lion’s den and his three friends in the furnace speaks with respect of a poor widow that repeatedly petitions an “unjust judge” (Luke 18) for redress against powerful enemies that planned to take her livelihood. AND instructed Joseph to grab Mary and baby Jesus and flee to Egypt for protection, a place that God forbade His people to return to, when threatened by Herod. Sometimes the Lord is glorified by us doing nothing and letting Him fight for us . . . And at other times by our stretching out our hand to avail ourselves of the opportunities before us, even as David did with Goliath, and later with Achish when he pretended to be insane to escape death. As Solomon wisely points out . . . There is a time for battle and a time for peace, as well as many other contrasting principles . . . And it takes the “wisdom of Solomon” to know what time it is.
Having said all that, your suggestion regarding, and it appears offer to help with, mediation is wise and welcome. The Body of Christ should be able to arbitrate this matter, far better than any court. The failure of attempts to secure this in the past is what has lead us to the unpleasant point we are at now.
At least be willing to submit to Christian mediation with your Board. That would be consistent with I Cor 6. If I can help in any way, let me know.
Randall Hekman, retired Kent County (Michigan) Probate Judge
Judge Hekman: Thank you for your direct, personal and “hearty” advice for Bill. We have forwarded it on to him – If he wishes to formulate a response we will publish it. We will refrain from any response on our part until he has decided if he wants to do that.
I understand the two of you spoke, which is great. He indicated to me he is more than open to mediation. His pastor with his assistant put out some focused effort in that direction last year. It seems like whenever it gets to the “nitty gritty” the Board signals its unwillingness to engage. Over a several week period last year Bill’s pastor, with assistant, attempted to mediate, a total of 4 meetings, I believe. In the end, as was the case consistently in the past, the Board refused to engage on any of the issues that Bill brought up – “Board matters” it was called. That cloak of secrecy behind which they are hiding is a crime against the Lord, let alone Bill or any of the alumni that would like to see Bill reinstated. I am sure that you agree that at the very least they owe Bill a clear list of charges against him. Let alone the opportunity to respond. So your involvement is welcome.
We will pull together a separate response to the points you raised in your first post, as we understand the situation. Thank you for being a friend and true brother to Bill.
“I am sure that you agree that at the very least they owe Bill a clear list of charges against him.”
As someone who is very critical of BG, I agree heartily with you on this. “Let’s see them aliens.”
Here’s the problem though… the next question for the BOD is, “when were you first made aware of this?”
“What, you had a pattern of claims forwarded to you over the years and did not report anything to the authorities?”
“What, you knew about a pattern of claims and still allowed this man unsupervised access to young people in the organization?”
The BOD is likely in a dilemma- if they level actual charges, then they have to fess up on when they knew about it and what their response was at that time. One of the cardinal sins of an organization is to ignore claims of abuse. Several of the accusations range from creepiness to sexual harassment or worse. If they received accusations of crimes and did not forward them the appropriate authorities… oh my. They are in trouble.
Or on the other hand, they may have known nothing and the RG explosion was their first clue that something was going on.
As I said, “let’s see them aliens.”
The only problem with your scenario? I was told – emphatically – by IBLP leadership speaking for them all that they are clear on at least this, that Bill ever did another untoward with girls. Besides that overt statement given to me several times those kinds of issues have never been brought up with us during the untold hours of conversation.
A man who is guilty, even partially guilty, would take the current situation as a win, a parachute and move on with his life, you know, don’t ask, don’t tell. Bill is not like that, is he. The charge and authority of Jesus Christ demands that they handle this accurately and thoroughly. And if they cannot, within that context, bring themselves to do so, then Bill has little choice but to appeal to the government courts, His “Ministers of God for good” (Romans 13:4), to bring justice.
That sounds just like what Jesus would have done, doesn’t it? When his friends fell asleep on him, lacked faith in Him, talked against Him, lied about Him, Jesus took them to court and demanded they stop wronging Him and give Him back his “what was RIGHTFULLY His”…. errrrrr, wait… ACTUALLY – When Jesus was being wronged by believers and unbelievers alike what did he do? He “took up His cross” HE “took on the form of a servant, and humbled Himself, even to the point of death”, and oh wait… He didn’t even have a place to lay his head (much less print his books). Yet He reviled not against them. He turned the other cheek. But you know what else He did?? He led THE MOST fruitful ministry in ALL of History… without one building, without a savings account, without claiming “his rights” (as Bill taught us in the Basic). Many people have said this, but what Bill is doing is unbiblical, embarrassing to the body of Christ, and it’s no wonder that his supporters and friends from the 90’s are not rallying around him, and probably the same reason you don’t have more support on this page. Sorry, I know i sound bitter… I’m not, just frustrated… Bill knows better, and in your heart and spirit… you do too.
Let’s see if you recognize the Jesus of Whom you are speaking:
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.“
That is coming . . . There is a day of reckoning coming, of vengeance. There is a time for everything. Bill has endured a great deal for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven over many years, refusing to get involved in the attacks against him. 50 years worth. Now is a different time. Sort of like Jesus beating up the folks that were squatting in the temple for their own purposes using a whip He meticulously wove with His own hands, or David returning to defeat those that had unjustly conspired against him and tore the kingdom God had given him away from him, harming so many others in the process.
We have pointed to Paul several times too, right? Talk about fruit, he reaped the fruit that the Savior did not Himself gather in, by the hundreds of thousands. There was a time, after enduring much suffering, to seek help against the enemies of the Lord Jesus through the legal system.
I am sorry for your frustration. You can be sure that emotion has and continues to be felt by many who side with Bill as well. May the Lord intervene and have mercy on us all, for His Name’s sake.
Predicting what Jesus would do is speculation, but hopefully informed by what Jesus did and promised to do in the future.
In the NT we see Jesus either merciful or militant, depending upon the sort of people with whom he was dealing. Sheep got one treatment, goats another.
re: selective frustration?
In his 10/24 post above, brother Will expressed frustration that Bill Gothard would resist attacks leveled against him by professing Christians. Will regrets the embarrassment this heaps upon Christians.
Is brother Will frustrated at the anti-Gothard attacks, or only at the defenses?
You speak as though there were ongoing attacks? Bill is the only one attacking. Bill sinned, the board asked him to resign, story over. Bill is the one who doesn’t like what God allowed to happen to him or “his ministry”. He is kicking against (to use a Bill analogy) the hammer. Let’s say for argument sake that the Board should allow him back. If Bill was not a hypocrite, wouldn’t he follow the tenants of the Basic Seminar?? Wouldn’t he “make a wise appeal” “accept Gods design” “pray for his enemies”. The LAST thing he would do is sue his “brothers” in a court of law. This is where my frustration lies. Bill does not want to accept what Gods hand has dealt him. Now he is violating scripture and suing his own brothers rather than “turning the other cheek or giving his cloak also”. That is what is embarrassing… he is not practicing what he preached.
Bill did NOT sin. Neither you nor anyone else has proven or can prove that . . . Not like that (We are all sinners, obviously). I am baffled by the attestation that Bill was not attacked. Several years of being “defendant” in a lawsuit should clear that up.
Again, how would you have counseled King David in the light of his adultery and murder, when his kingdom was stripped from him?
How can you claim “Bill did not sin”. that directly goes against I John 1:8-10. ‘
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If We confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sin, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us”. KJV
You can’t have it both ways, quote the Bible like a machine gun to try and give some sort of feeble support to Bill while ignoring verse that go against him.
Rob: That is a strange statement. If people observe you appearing to place items in your purse at the store and accuse you of shoplifting, and you declare they you did not do it, and a jury in a court of law who hears the case and examines the evidence declares you to be “not guilty”, what problem do you see?
More to the point, how do you relate to this statement in Holy Scripture:
Luke 1:6 “And they [Zachariah and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist] were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”
IS this statement true or false?
The verses you just quoted about Elizabeth and Zachariah apply to them and not to Bill. You can’t have it both ways. Bill resigned. Whether or not he felt pressured, felt he had to, etc., he resigned. Nothing was stolen from him. He obviously isn’t going to be called back to run IBLP again like in 1980s. The righteousness of Elizabeth and Zachariah does not apply to Bill. Your stolen purse scenario doesn’t apply either. All you have just done is pit Bible verses against Bible verses.
Also in an addendum to Elizabeth and Zachariah, the “righteous and blameless” comment should be seen in direct relationship to Elizabeth being barren. Her inability not to have a child had nothing to do with sins or failings on her or Zachariah’s part. That fits the overall context and has nothing to do with Bill Gothard or his situation. Again, grasping at straws here to excuse Bill again.
Rob: I understood your comment to be that “nobody is sinless”, hence to declare Bill to be “without sin” could never be correct. My response (not David) was that Scripture declares folks to be blameless who are no more sinlessly perfect than Bill.
I wonder if Bill is receiving the same legal council for this action as he did for the last? The last one, in which he tried to sue many of the women, turned out to be a big waste of time and money for all involved. My sense is that he is getting some very bad legal advice and this last move comes across as an act of desperation. How much of the work that God would have us do is left undone when brother pursues brother in the courts of man?
I am amazed at how quickly the narrative changes. Bill NEVER sued any of the women, and has not sued anyone else up until the most recent actions, in the last several weeks. The matter of the women was him as DEFENDANT, asking for them to help pay the legal fees he wasted on this. No more than fair, right? All that hoopla, half a million dollars changes hands, and then they ALL say, “nevermind”. What a great way to bankrupt someone, with frivolous lawsuits.
I just want to put my two cents in on this thread.
If he wants the property, give it to him. (That’s my message to the board)
Aside from all this other dog and pony show (I’m not discounting any real issues people have had – just the ones who withdrew from the suit- you have to discount that somewhat), I’d say that the 50 years in the ministry shows he earned it. Or at least “stewardship”/management of it. I doubt he would do anything with any of it that was anything other than beneficial to some group of people that he had a heart for. Right?
Maybe I’m missing something but haters are everywhere and sometimes people get jealous over things that others have. I don’t necessarily agree with him “bringing a lawsuit”, but I don’t think he should have had to bring one either. I’m sure there were lots of letters and phone calls (he’s pretty good at detailing what he’s thinking in writing) that were unanswered or answered incorrectly in regards to what he would like. So he just took it to the next level that he legally could.
Only reason I could see someone who had the authority to give it to him not wanting to is they are hating on him. And that’s not a good reason.
And for another two cents—the “elephant in the room” is not being considered.
The ministry and its assets were given to Bill who has already been clearly exonerated by the Lord when the lawsuit was dropped. This would not have happened if he had been guilty as charged—and y’all know it.
What about the BoD elephant? “Thou shalt not steal” (#8, along with #9, 10) comes to mind. What would the members of the BoD, individually, stand to lose if they and their motives were to be exposed for public discussion, and they be held legally, spiritually and morally accountable? Would they suddenly (as they did to Bill) lose their income/salaries, their positions, their reputation, maybe even their homes? There are only 3 categories of sin: “Lust of the eyes…flesh…pride of life.” So which is it with the BoD? What is the “elephant” hiding?
Did they not take over (steal) a ministry and all its assets, and are now in control of millions of $$, selling some to pay salaries of themselves and perhaps some of their family members, without any consideration of Bill? From their actions, the BoD has evidently justified their actions in their own minds and quieted their consciences.
How would things change and what would the BoD look like if the property at BS (and others) were to be suddenly transferred to Bill and put in his current 501-C?
re: rendering unto caesar and God
Of course the BoD stewardship of IBLP assets must be bound by the Ten Commandments. The BoD must render their corporate stewardship to caesar and their moral conduct to God. As for their morals, don’t we owe them the same presumption of innocence which we render to Bill Gothard?
Bill was not exonerated. The lawsuit was dropped because of the statute of limitations. The ministry assets were not given to Bill, they were given to IBLP. Bill wanted no assets, no huge income, it was all “for the Lord”. That is why he set it up as a entity with a board or director’s. Nobody has stolen anything. Bill relinquished control when he resigned, but now he has changed his mind. No path for returning was ever setup by the board, Bill is demanding a right that the board doesn’t agree with. The current board is filled with sweet, godly men seeking to please God. They could destroy Bill With their knowledge, but are having mercy on him by silently keeping him at bay and responding gently to his legal battle. They aren’t publicly attacking Bill. Those are all actions Bill has taken. Bill acts as if they are evil men and propagating a false gospel, leading people to hell. They aren’t. They are simply continuing on the work God has called them to and teaching families to seek God with all their hearts, mind, and soul… as Bill once did. Bill should accept the discipline that has been handed him, and continue with what God is blessing in his life! Bill was guilty of touching women’s feet, spending time alone with women, and lingering unwanted hugs and hand holding. No court of law is going to punish him for such mundane offenses… but it does make him unfit to lead a ministry or be a pastor. I’m sure Bill has repented fully, and wishes he would have listened to his boards warnings and cautions through the years for those very things (I’m personally aware of this). But the fact remains that what the board has done is biblical, and Bill would be humble and blessed if he would accept it and just continue to pray for Gods blessing on IBLP and the board. Who knows, maybe someday they would invite him back on their own volition. Probably not going to happen if he keeps attacking them in a legal battle.
By Judge Popejoy’s own statements in the final court action you can be absolutely sure the case was NOT dropped for “Statute of Limitations”. We think it should never have been allowed into court for that reason, but Judge Popejoy, in defending letting it on through, made it clear that he saw an exception there. No, no . . . As the opposing counsel made it clear to Bill’s lawyer, who communicated it to me, they simply came to the conclusion that they had no case on the merits. End of 2017 we were told that they had given up on all but one of the defendants. We were told which one. We were told, “But her case is big and getting bigger every day!” Within a month from that point 5 plaintiffs quietly dropped out . . . And 5 months after that the remaining 11 also . . . Quietly dropped away.
Bill is not guilty of any of what you said. If you have proof, trot it out. Not one but 3 high powered law firms would have been thrilled to hear from you. But, see, you have none. Because it never happened.
I’m truly flabbergasted. You really don’t believe Bill was guilty of touching women’s feet, spending time alone with women, and lingering unwanted hugs and hand holding??? I know for a fact he did all of those and have talked to the girls it was done too… heck I even witnessed all three on different occasions! Did Bill not confess that and ask forgiveness of those girls? Heck I thought everybody knew he did that… I thought the big battle was over the other accusations that could be be substantiated! If you don’t believe he did any of those three things then you have most certainly not spoken to the right people… or you are calling 20 + women liars. That is the entire reason the boards actions are resolute.
Not sure what you are all saying, Will. Without more clarification I am not sure how to answer. “Touching women’s feet” – he from time to time tapped the feet of those around him, male and female, to get their attention, or as a sign of affirmation. We know a bit about this as one of our team who worked closely with Bill described it. As she said, it was emphatically anything but sensual. A fist bump, if you will. If you saw it, do you think it was dirty? People do dirty things behind locked doors.
“Spending time alone with women” – that again depends. He had personal secretaries for years that worked with him. He also counseled many, many men and women, alone. If you were an observer you will recall the open windows with no curtains, or seeing him sitting in his car with a counselee, with people walking on by in all directions. He was careful, and the fact that he made it 50 years without anything untoward happening testifies to that.
“Unwanted hugs and handholding” – You will have to clarify. Especially “unwanted”. In a church setting where “holy kisses” are supposed to be the norm, as with a family, there will be a lot more wholesome contact of that sort than in, say, a workplace. Elsewhere we have a picture snapped of a long running play, “The Shepherd of the Hills”, which depicts a young woman’s hand held in both of the hands of a trusted friend, the “Shepherd”, who has been her counselor and guide. Not unwanted and not improper. Such things were far more common on a day gone by, but it is a day Bill came from. So, no, nothing unwanted and nothing improper, ever.
So if you believe to know exceptions to what I have described, please make it known. We will, as we have done with every other instance that has been alleged, will speak to anyone willing to talk to us, and with Bill as well to try to bring it to ground.
As to calling 20+ women liars, no, not all are liars. Some are, and we have proof of that that was obtained during the trial. Some have 20 years old memories that were tainted by the influence of others, some in the eager zeal to bring Bill down. When confronted with the facts, stories change. Why do you think that, again, 3 reputable, high powered law firms could not, in several years of trying, bring any of their testimonies to ground and some kind of payday? Why a third of the women dropped out immediately before interogatories and then all the rest just before depositions, in both cases where the “facts” had to be disclosed in a manner where they could be investigated, under penalty of perjury? The defense of Bill alone cost over $100K . . . We can only imagine what the law firms representing 17 women paid out. Where were you when the lawyers so desperately needed something to hang their case on? And, again, please do not cite “Statute of Limitations”. Judge PopeJoy made it crystal clear, with great detail, that he was well aware of those statues but allowed the case to proceed on other grounds.
Did you follow and especially believe the “Cabin Story”, as it swirled for at least 15 years? Nobody was more honorable and reliable than Gary Smalley, who told those questioning him just a few years ago in literal terms: “You can quote me on this”. And yet, just 1-2 years before his homecall, he completely changed the story “on recollections of my wife” and, to his credit, told friend and foe alike. People used to say the same thing to us as we attempted to challenge the account . . . Of Bill alone in a remote cabin at night with a secretary on his lap in a “skimpy nightgown”. We have posted the emails from Gary to our staff elsewhere on this site where he completely backed away from the key accusations.
So . . . It is time to back up your claims. If there are details you prefer to not make public, then we will reach out to you privately, just let us know.
“What about the BoD elephant? “Thou shalt not steal” ”
“What would the members of the BoD, individually, stand to lose if they and their motives were to be exposed for public discussion, and they be held legally, spiritually and morally accountable?”
You are making some pretty serious allegations Hally. What evidence do you have that the BOD has broken the law and stolen? What do you really understand about their motives to be able to speak about their motives being “exposed” this way. You do not know their hearts.
From all appearances, they have acted lawfully and in good faith, as men who love God and seek his guidance in all that they do. They were placed in a very difficult situation that was not of their making and I believe that they have done the best job they could, seeking God for direction, as they moved forward.
Stealing is a crime. If you have evidence of criminal activity please share it or, better yet, report it to the authorities.
re: attacks and resistance
In his last few posts, brother Will raised the question of who attacked whom. Obviously in a lawsuit, one party accuses another of dereliction. Whether that is an attack may depend upon which side you are rooting for. Brother Will appeared to be rooting against Bill Gothard. But as the first lawsuit was filed by Gothard’s enemies, shouldn’t we say that Gothard’s legal petitions were counterattacks or parries rather than attacks?
Whether this resistance contradicted Gothard’s teaching or Christ’s teaching is another question. But were attacks resisted? Indeed they were.
I would like to clear this up once and for all. Here is an excerpt from Bills letter of repentance that he himself wrote. Again I am flabbergasted by your denial that “Bill never sinned”. You clearly are defending something that isn’t even a reality. It makes the statements and facts in this blog not rust worthy and seemingly fictitious.
From Bills letter “ My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong. They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust. Because of the claims about me I do want to state that I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.”
Now maybe you will believe my statements.
We addressed this in response to an earlier post that cited the entire statement. I have, personally, with my wife, looked Bill in the eye on multiple occasions, going over this statement. I can tell you without hesitance that this was in no way ever a confession of wrongdoing . . . But taking the high road to assume that he had crossed boundaries with some that he was not aware of. And the further we got into the matters, especially with the legal evidence provided in the case, he came to the conclusion that that statement should never have been made. Which is his stance today.
Wow. So let me get this straight. His statement of repentance was made falsely. He only did it to “Take the high road to assume that he had crossed boundaries with some that he was not aware of”. So… he admits in a letter that he held hands, touched hair, and feet, but only stated he did it because some people he offended, thought he did it, but he didn’t actually do it!?? How confusing!! How can you even believe what you wrote? And now he says that statement is completely false and he shouldn’t have ever said it? How can you believe anything he says then? And how can you be so naive as to believe him every time he changes his story? That’s ridiculous! He is not to be trusted, even more so than I thought. Reminds me of some politician trying to change his story after the facts come out.
After the 5-6 years we have been pursuing this – YES, that is how it is. The sin part. He clasped young ladies’s hands in his as he counseled them, out in the open, in front of everyone, he “tapped” feet, fellows and girls, of which we have first hand testimony, a quirk, nothing more, not sin. The most interesting thing to me, at the moment, is that you have testified to knowing exceptions, of places Bill did, in fact, sin. We challenged you to put it out there. That is where you need to be going, not to dive back into generalities. See, with virtually no exception Bill’s actions were not regarded with suspicion for decades, certainly not rising to the level of sin. Suddenly, now, with the benefit of new animosity and the wonders and creativity of distant memories, NOW it all of a sudden is clearly “sinful”. The spotlight of 17 witnesses multiplied by 3 legal firms and around a half million dollars of legal work has been shone on this. Bill has been savagely violated by a number of folks. It is time to present ourselves to the Lord for every word we speak . . . And if there is any chance that we are somewhat if not altogether mistaken, we would do well, as Job said, to put our hands on our mouth and back out of the arena.
Sir, with all due respect, you aren’t listening to the sins. I and others have listed them and you have clearly stated several times “we don’t believe that to be true”. You keep asking for more evidence but it’s already out there. You have chosen to not believe it. The sins Bill committed are the very things he repented of in his letter. And yes there are many testimonies that prove that fact that he did indeed do those things, maybe not in a sexual way, but an un-welcomed and creepy way nonetheless. But regardless, he had no business doing that! He was not avoiding the appearance of evil. God is not the author of confusion, and Bills waffling on what he did and didn’t do is very confusing. If somebody was mad at me because I “touched the daughters hair” but I really didn’t… then I would NEVER ask them to forgive me for touching her hair, that is ludicrous. I would state the truth about the situation but never apologize for doing something I didn’t do, Especially when it comes to something physical with a woman! That is damming! If what you state is true and “Bill couldn’t remember” then how would he ever know if “he did it”. That is a bad defense and won’t stand up as a reason to have made a false statement, repenting for something he didn’t do. I believe God allowed Bill to make that statement for the healing and help of the many that experienced those things. I am sorry that so many of the testimonies on RG are not believable, I am with you there… and probably most of the women in the lawsuit were not being totally honest. I’m sorry Bill had to go through that. However, I personally know a couple of the other stories that are true. I also happen to know that some of the interviews in the investigation the board did, specifically claimed Bill did not heed the mandate given to him by the board when it came to his interactions with women. I personally know 3 women that the board sent home because of Bills inappropriate interactions with them (meeting one on one when told not to, foot incident on a plane, and then a romantic interest that had started up that was inappropriate) Bill should have been the one to be reprimanded, not send the girls home. These 3 incidences happened. If you ask Bill he will know exactly which girls they are. To get the full story you need to hear the other side… either from the girl directly or from the staff member that had to have the conversation with Bill when they sent those girls home, against Bills wishes. I can see from the tone of your response that you are frustrated and want me to “put a hand to my mouth”. However I know there is not the slightest possibility that I am mistaken. I am sharing facts with you that are sustained by others testimonies to me personally, and my personal experience. Not just rumors I’ve read or heard. If you have talked to these people and heard their stories, And still say Bill never sinned, then you are calling them a liar. I also do know that you have not seen the Investigation report the board did, and have not spoken to all the men interviewed in that investigation, which is where you will hear the “rest of the story”. Until then, I would agree with your statement from Job.
”many testimonies that prove that fact that he did indeed do those things, maybe not in a sexual way, but an un-welcomed and creepy way”
No, there are not “many testimonies” to that. If you are referring to Recovering Grace, seems like they put their best out there in the lawsuits. And, as one that read through the discovery documents as part of the legal team, no, not valid. We have seen enough retractions and open contradictions let alone obvious cross pollination where it turns out that events testified to were echoes of tales that others told. And, in reading your comments, you are not wholly in disagreement.
You testified that you have witnessed it. So I am asking you to document the sins you have personally witnessed.
I would love to go over these incidents with you in detail. The “foot on the plane” incident I am sure never happened, not as alleged. Perhaps we can get some clarifying information on that soon. And my challenge to you, again, is: Did you never observe him doing anything close to that, or at the time – not decades hence – had a first hand witness tell you that? THAT is, again, the kind of testimony that opposing counsel was crying out for. Can you think of any reason that kind of evidence would have been withheld from the 17 women and their legal teams to make ANY kind of case against Bill, to drag even just one of the hundreds of counts filed against Bill over the finish line? Call me an unbeliever – Yours truly was on record on RG in the early days to state that I believed the women, all except Gretchen. That is no longer true.
We have interviewed women and we have interviewed staff. Long interviews. Listened as Bill’s lawyer interviewed key individuals. In one case a key witness was made available to us, whom both my wife and I spoke with at length, hours. In going back to obtain more information on one of the key allegations she, to her credit, admitted that what was told us on the first pass never happened. This particular woman is no liar. Decades later memory gets blurry, and things others say start becoming part of our own story. That is, BTW, exactly what happened to Gary Smalley who committed to a tale that even on the surface could not have happened, because he was not there at the time. He mixed up things that he had witnessed with things that others alleged. I saw this first hand with my own wife where she was so sure of something that, in a court of law, she would (in theory) have testified to it. It was about something she recalled I had done (relating to Bill’s defense) which I could not have done because I was not in touch with Bill at the time. It came up because of the interrogatories that Bill had to complete and I was helping him with. And that was only 4 years removed.
THAT is why there are statutes of limitations. And why we are in Missouri mode these days. “Show me”. The Scripture states that 2-3 witnesses must be able to confirm “every word” of an allegation against an elder.
Again, we can take this offline if that allows you to speak more freely. I want to assure you that we take every accusation extremely seriously. Some in IBLP management have urged us to “let it go”, because it will “embarrass Bill”. And as we have stated repeatedly: We are way beyond that. We have in fear and trembling swung open every closet door with rattling and shaking inside . . . And continually are stunned to find . . . Nothing at all, occasionally a mouse, nothing more.
I see above that you made a statement “Bill did not sin” in referencing Will’s accusation of Bill, hand holding, touching feet, etc. By Bill’s own admission, he did the things that Will stated he did. I remember reading it in the letter he wrote. Also, I was employed by IBLP from 1982 – 1992 and also witnessed these very things happening… the awkward hugs, lingering hand holding, bumping of the feet (never thought much of it at the time). One of my close friends went home after a weird “foot incidence”. I would walk by the staff center (where Bill’s office was) late at night and sometimes early in the morning, and it was rare, but on occasion I would see Bill counseling a young lady alone. I held Bill in such high regard, I never questioned his motives but I knew if any of us “apprenticeship students” were caught alone, we would be sent home immediately. I was personal friends with several of the board members at the time, and spoke to them in confidence about this one time, because it concerned me and didn’t look good. They stated that Bill had been asked to never meet with a woman alone, to avoid any accusations. I told them I had witnessed him doing it on several occasions, to which, one of them shrugged and said… “Bill is going to do what Bill is going to do”. Lol. He had his reasons for doing what he did, I am sure! It was known that he had a hard time heeding the advise of his board whenever he disagreed, which was why he had a board in the first place. It’s sad, because that struggle seems to have landed him where he is today.
No, he did not sin. The times alone with the young people . . . If you were there to observe it, he cannot have been too alone, right? I have seen him myself with a young woman in his big blue car, sitting in the carport of the Staff Center . . . With people walking on by from every direction. In fact, EVERYBODY saw it, for 50 years. Everybody remembers the lack of curtains on his office windows, lights blazing so that everyone could look in. Can you confirm that? One of our members used to have a room overlooking that office and could and did look in at night, seeing everything. “Alone” is a relative term, then. We are aware of one incident, much described here, where he did take a suicidal young woman under special circumstances completely alone, who was debriefed the next morning, confirming that all was handled properly.
Mr. Moderator, I don’t want to argue with you… but your claim that “he did not sin” is concerning. Bill admitted in his letter that he did… he has pursued forgiveness from many, for the sins he has committed. If he changed his tune after he wrote the letter, then did he lie when he wrote the letter? I listened to the police audio from the Big Sandy incident. Bill tried to retract something that he said while talking to the police officer, but since it was part of the official recorded audio, the police officer would not strike it from the record. Bill tried numerous times to get him to amend his report, which the police officer told him was illegal… even at the end Bill said “well if you can’t change it, let me do it”. I am sure you are aware of the exchange. So if Bill originally wrote his “sins” in the letter, and then later said, he didn’t do it… then it is hard to know what Bill is admitting to, since the story changes, as he sees the impact it makes. I see why you say he didn’t sin, if Bill is now telling you that he didn’t.
I do know this to be true – His board forbade him from being alone with a woman. I know this firsthand from conversations with board members I know. They had concerns that someday, somebody would be able to make a claim, even if nothing ever happened, and it would be hard to dispute if nobody was around to witness it. It didn’t matter if he had “good reasons” for being alone with a woman… and it does not matter that other people were around. The men who he placed around him for direction, wisdom, counsel, and accountability told him not to do it. (I’d be curious to know if Bill would admit to his board telling him this, if he doesn’t, then he is calling three of his past board members, that I know, liars. Men that are not a part of the current board, that still love him and consider him a friend.) The times I saw him alone with a woman, it was after hours in his office. Yes his windows were open, and anybody walking by after dark could see them, which is why I observed it… but that did not make it right. It’s why I quietly brought it to the board members I knew. Even you seeing him alone with a woman in his blue car was wrong. I am assuming you came along sometime in the late 90’s or 2000’s, well after the board had given him that rule. 8 years ago one of my friends happened through HQ on a weekend, they had not been there in 10 years and were showing their kids where they worked for years. The Staff Center was unlocked and they walked through, they were shocked to walk into Bill’s office, and find him there alone with a young lady. A guy was working with them that day, but had run an errand… and there they sat. Now I happen to believe Bill’s heart IS pure. I do not believe he ever kissed, or touched a girl in a sexual manner. However, Bill ignored the cautions of staff and the board about being alone. I truly believe because his heart is so pure, that he never saw a problem with it and saw the potential good that could come from those alone times. But the right thing done in the wrong way, makes it wrong. Billy Graham had a great standard that he kept all through his ministry years. He would never be alone with a woman under any circumstances. He would even have his staff walk in each hotel room he stayed in, and do a “sweep” to make sure there was not a woman in the room. He lived as Bill would say “above reproach” and avoided “all appearances of evil”. I wish Bill would have had the same commitment. Mr. Moderator, may I humbly submit to you that I am very concerned you are rationalizing away the appearances of evil and giving grace to Bill where it should not be given. I know first hand from talking to the very people that had these encounters, that these conversations with Bill did indeed happen, and Bills first statement of asking forgiveness for those things was well received, welcomed and brought healing. I’m saddened to hear that through your conversations with him that he has now retracted his repentance in that area, and I know of several people I won’t be sharing this with, since it will break their hearts. Brother Moderator, I pray that you are not being biased in your research and that you are able to talk to the right people. May God bless you for your efforts and the time and dedication you are putting into this. I for one, truly admire your loyalty to Bill. I am sure he appreciates your effort and friendship. I love the man, and pray for him often, but saddened by his actions of late.
Thank you for your lengthy post. Bill did not confess to ANYTHING objectively improper. Imagine for a moment you had given your life to serving tens of thousands of young people, constantly in counseling, since you were in your teens to the present. And in these last days a chorus rises up to accuse you of a variety of misdeeds. You do not recall doing any of these things, but are largely backed into a corner as even your closest associates are reacting in fear, urging you to “fix it”. You assume you have crossed some lines you did not understand, and since so many others seem so sure, you step out to state that any such actions would be wrong and you ask forgiveness for offending others. You also clarify in the next sentence that nothing you have EVER done was sexual in nature, out of selfish motives.
Later, after a lot of investigation, even legal investigation, you slowly come to understand that a heavily coordinated group of disgruntled former students got together with the sole purpose of taking you down for any number of reasons. They include your doctrine that they have “woke” to discover is wrong, the guilt they were made to endure for things they now consider OK . . . Difficult lives including broken marriages that they feel you promised them would never happen. And that they went hunting for stories that they didn’t already have, of any kinds of sexual impropriety that surely must be there since no single man could ever work that closely with so many young women and escape unscathed. During the disclosures demanded by the legal process you actually have documents where ones accusing you confess to “making it up”, using dreams and possibilities they discuss with their mates in private to craft counts that might stick. AND that the former statement you made is now being used to “prove” that you confessed to evil, turning into pages and pages of inquiry demanded by “interrogatories”. What . . . What would you do?
I am guessing you would remove the statement and strongly counter any notion that you confessed to anything. The regret you feel for posting it has nothing to do with disclosing truth, but by the woes of the smallest possibility being turned against you.
As to Big Sandy . . . Imagine that you found yourself tricked into saying words that imply that you were not going to comply with directives given, and, that, in fact the ones who set you up lied to you to get you into that position. That you agreed to leave as soon as the meeting they promised you was held. The meeting was not held, in its place a policeman with an open mike is waiting to entrap you so he can write you a ticket. What . . .what would you do? I bet I would go to furious lengths to get the record straightened out.
“Being alone with a woman”. Every incident ever brought up of a supposed violation has had a clear explanation. Bill was not a law breaker. He did skirt the edges, but, again, there was always an explanation. Did you bring the incident you refer to to his or the Board’s attention and can you relay the resolution? In the mouth of 2-3 witnesses every – EVERY – word must be established. You should be able to testify that Bill either said, “You saw right, and I don’t care”, or you can testify what explanation was offered to the Board and what they did about it. EVERY incident ever brought to our attention has been deliberately raised with Bill and with Board members, some of which were in that position in the time frame you indicate. The sole exception we are aware of, again, involved the suicidal young woman on a crisis night which was well documented, including an interview with the young lady after the fact.
For the record, Billy Graham told Bill – with admiration – that he could not counsel young people like Bill could. And, for the record, Billy’s daughter was saved in one of Bill’s seminars. There are things you go to Billy for, and things you – desperately – go to Bill for. Millions all over the world testify to the life long blessing they received from Bill Gothard’s unique ministry.
Thank you for the thorough reply. We see these stories from filtered lenses don’t we? Me through the lens of what I know to be truth (my experiences, and my conversations with the people directly involved give me my perspective, and you through your experiences and conversations have a different belief and perspective about the same situation). I wish we could get everybody in one room and talk it out! I have a feeling I already know the outcome… board members would remember conversations one way, and Bill would remember them a different way. Women would remember stories one way, Bill would remember them another way. That is the pattern is it not?! I know a lot of these conversations have already happened and the outcome seems to be the same. I don’t know why I would expect it to be any different with a group of believers, but with Bill and this group of women, it certainly is not. This has gone the way of every other worldly business or domestic dispute. I guess that is why Bill has now sought to engage in a legal battle with his brothers in Christ.
The fact remains that there are numerous accusations, and some hold truth… there is enough truth in those accusations that the BOD will not let Bill back in control. I pray someday that you are able to see the actual investigation the current BOD did, and understand the other side… interviews with men that loved Bill, gave to Him for years, that have NOT spoken bad about him publicly, and still love him… yet behind closed doors, and in front of legal counsel, shared their concerns and truthful stories of their interactions with Bill and areas where Bill did not heed counsel. I agree that Bill never INTENDED anything to be improper. Bills actions of not listening to the “spirit of the law” when it came to listening to the counsel and advise of his BOD have landed him here. The 80’s and 90’s BOD would concur with this, and I believe that is what you will see in the investigation that took place.
So we largely disagree on all the above it seems. But here is the question of the hour… IF Bill, was indeed too much of a loose cannon and the BOD felt he was a liability to IBLP and the name of Christ, then Is the punishment to severe that Bill cannot have any part in IBLP ever again?
Biblically speaking, does it matter? And the answer is that it does not matter a hill of beans in God’s economy. Bill taught us that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He shared his story of starting and building the ministry from absolutely nothing. God did it all. Bill gave all the glory to God, and all the provisions he claimed as the miraculous hand of God. No matter what Bill wins in court or doesn’t win, it will not change the minds or the hearts of the people effected. Only God can do that. So where is God now? Is He shocked by what has happened? Is He withholding provision from Bill and His new ministry for a reason? Could God REALLY be telling Bill “You are in the right, however, I can’t do this for you unless you sue your brothers first”. God would not give counsel to Bill that was contrary to His word. Is God not able to restore and provide for Bill as He did 50 years ago? Why does Bill feel that his only recourse is go to court and sue? Why can’t Bill do what he once did so long ago… gain the favor of God by practicing all the Biblical principles that he believes will bring “total success”. I watched the video on Bill’s new college. He “guarantees success and God’s blessing IF you follow meditation and rhema searching”. Why is it not working for Bill? Why is it that He is having to pursue man’s method by going to a court of law, suing His brothers in Christ, and “Claiming his rights” in order to succeed? If I wanted total success, saw Bills new college, and then heard that he built it through monies he earned by suing his brothers, I would have to ask how in the world I could expect to gain success through “just meditating and rhema searching” when the founder couldn’t even do it.
You asked me “what would you do”? I think that is a fair question… but I think the better answer, although it may sound cliche, is, what would Jesus do? The only time Jesus chose aggression was with un-believers. Could this not be Bill’s cross? Could this not be the time that Bill needs to “die”, turn the cheek, and trust God? Jesus never defended Himself (Phil 3) but made Himself a servant. I’d love to see the servant, Bill Gothard emerge, rather than the “fighting tooth and nail, by suing, defending himself, and changing his story” Bill Gothard that we are all seeing today.
I wonder what God thinks of all of this… truly. He can’t be pleased. What if both parties are wrong for what they are doing? Where there is smoke, there is fire. I am positive there are truths on both sides, and to some degree, both have sides to rightfully claim what they are doing. Well the only way for a party to do the right thing, is to do the right thing, regardless of what the other chooses to do. Bill can’t control the current BOD, he can’t change their minds or hearts. But what he can do is commit it to God and stop trying to defend Himself. Let God act on his behalf and restore to him what the locust have eaten.
I pray Bill drops the suit. And if Bill is meditating again, is/was without sin, and his new ministry prospers, just as it did 50 years ago… then It would be just the story Bill needs now to grow a new ministry, and Bill’s college would no doubt succeed, since he practiced his own principles, and it worked once again. If he uses mans methods to grow the new ministry/school (meaning with money gained through a lawsuit against his brothers) then his school will no doubt be limited in it’s success by Bill’s own measure of what God chooses to bless, and what He doesn’t. Praying for both sides of this hurtful and confusing situation, and praying somebody becomes the bigger person, steps into their true identity of Christ likeness, and doesn’t wait for a courts ruling, or for the other person to surrender. Wow that was long… sorry, it just kept coming 🙂 I’m done, for now!
“ there is enough truth in those accusations that the BOD will not let Bill back in control”
Then the task at hand with the BOD is simple. Do what Scripture demands and validate “every word” in the mouth of 2-3 witnesses. This would be 2-3 folks that have worked to bring one or more specific accusations to ground so that ANYONE, including our team, can ask and receive the facts behind the conclusion. Would you agree? See . . . We had labored for 5-6 years now to find that place, the actual proof of sin that lies at the bottom. God is my witness, to this day this has not been done. I remember several – not one – conversations with Dr. Levendusky where he pointed generally to Recovering Grace, the mass of stories there, as his “proof”. Several times he suggested that we take all of those stories and line up 2-3 witnesses, tell the stories, and let them decide. Do YOU see a problem with that?
See, when WE take the stories and investigate them, they seem to all go in other directions. Either we find lies, facts that the individual, in another contexts contradicted, or we find confusion, where the individual is forced to admit that the specific points that are sin never happened. In most every case the “witnesses” then point on to all of the “others” that they are sure have the actual beef.
No, NO. This is wrong. Please confirm that you concur that if it is as I stated, you agree that a miscarriage of God’s commands has occurred.
“ Is the punishment to severe that Bill cannot have any part in IBLP ever again?”
Most emphatically, YES, dead wrong, IF he never did it. And everyone whose job it is to bring this to “smoking flax” and “bruised reed” level accountability is too frightened or too busy to do so. Then . . . Then we have a big problem, and the problem is not Bill.
Of COURSE you want Bill to drop the suit. Just go away and go fishing and live out his days with his children and grandchildren. Works for everyone else, I suppose. We take what we have received from Bill and the ministry, thank the Lord . . . And we MOVE ON!
Unless there has been an extension, it seems that the court date is almost upon us. We’ve been left in the dark as to the specific claim, but it has been suggested that Bill is seeking control of the ministry again. It has also been discussed that he may be claiming some type of rights to materials he authored. For the sake of discussion, I’ll assume that these are the issues he is challenging.
As far as being reinstated to his position on the board, that’s not going to happen. He resigned. There is no law that states that after you resign you are entitled to be reinstated if you change your mind a few years later. Whether he was pressured to do so or not is not material. The board had a right to pressure him to resign given the nature of the allegations and given that they have a report which they claim shows inappropriate conduct on Bill’s part.
Now, if he is in fact claiming the right to materials that he authored, he may have something there. It all depends on whether IBLP’s contractual documents relating to content ownership were clear on this account or if they were done haphazardly with loopholes. So, it would not surprise me if Bill has some court victories in this area, if it turns out that the contracts were done sloppily.
An idea to settle the dispute- just give Bill all the rights to the material he authored and try to settle this out of court. It certainly seems that IBLP has been moving away from his teachings anyways, and they contain some strange and controversial content. Most families who now participate are going to the conferences to fellowship with like minded home school families, while they receive teachings from a solid Christian foundation. They want to hear from speakers like Gil Bates, Peter Magnusun, Bill Fay, Jobe Martin and Darren Myers, not to learn about how Cabbage Patch Dolls are possessed, unbiblical reasons why they shouldn’t listen to certain types of worship music, and mystical formulas to cure infertility. So, let him have all the materials. There is a new direction that is much more grounded on sound doctrine.
As we understand it, the lawsuit is a group of IBLP associated stakeholders, including Bill and IBLP satellites in other nations, seeking to challenge Board’s discharge of their responsibilities in managing the jointly held resources, including materials and properties. This includes Embassy University that was scoped and chartered while Bill was President, abandoned after he left, and was picked up as part of Bill’s new efforts. That they violated the fundamental purpose they were given, which was 100% to support Bill Gothard’s ministry, and violated trust. It is actually very sound logic, from what we have seen. It remains to be seen what the judge will do with it.
If IBLP is moving away from the reason it exists then the Board should remand all those pesky “old” materials, mailing lists and such to the new institution that Bill has stood up and be on their way. Especially all that Bill himself is the author of.
And it is interesting that you mention the “Cabbage Patch Dolls” affecting fertility as a driving principle to eject Bill. The amount of emphasis that ever got back in the day was relatively minor. It makes a delicious punching bag of reviling. For my part I am straining to try to remember if any in our ATI associations were aware of that and believed it. It was fringe, even in IBLP terms. Sort of like kicking the Bible out public schools because of the passage where Jesus says to pluck out your eye if it stumbles you, being “dangerous to children”. Which is, BTW, the actual foundational reason given in the Supreme Court case that ultimately ruled against Scripture when you peel all of the rhetoric away. That works well to provide a cover for other motives. Nobody in IBLP believes that, nor has, if they ever did, for decades.
re: Cabbage Patch Kids, selective idolatry
Bill Gothard warned against Cabbage Patch Kids at the peak of that market bubble in the early 1980s. It was an extension of his Basic Seminar warnings against idolatry in the form of voodoo masks, Buddha statues, etc. When the bubble burst, neither Christians and pagans nor bought any more CP dolls. Problem solved. BG dropped the topic. Yet it served as convenient ammunition to attack Gothard.
We roll our eyes when our neighbors impute meaning to certain objects; yet we are equally fervent in the meaning we impute to other objects. Examples abound: the US flag, the Confederate Battle Flag, a rainbow flag, wedding bands, a crucifix, a cross. So why pretend that objects don’t matter? Obviously they do. Whether Cabbage Patch Kids were ever dangerous is another question.
Thank you for shedding a little light on the nature of the lawsuit. That seems like it might be a pretty complex case, involving foreign jurisdictions. If Bill picked up Embassy University, why would he need to sue for the rights to it?
“And it is interesting that you mention the “Cabbage Patch Dolls” affecting fertility as a driving principle to eject Bill.”
That is really not very close to what I said. I did not suggest those as reasons to “eject Bill”. I was only suggesting that he should be given those materials back, that he ostensibly authored. And, I was not connecting the Cabbage Patch Dolls to fertility, but bringing them up as separate concepts, as I was remembering them. I remember a series of steps being taught that couples should take to counter infertility, none of them medical. Separately, I also remember information about various dolls being evil, Cabbage Patch and Troll dolls, that I found very odd. But, now that you bring them up as being related to one another, that does actually remind me that they were perhaps connected in at least one anecdotal story. Wasn’t a story told about a couple that was having trouble having their baby, and they were told to search the house for any of these demonic dolls? They found some in the attic or something, burned them, and like magic, they had a baby?
You also recall some very straight folks with a proven track record in the ministry testifying first hand to some really weird things that happened in their presence with some dolls of that sort. Including throwing one in the trash and it beating them back upstairs by the time they got back (was neither of the ones you mentioned, but a main line, popular toy). If you heard one you heard the other. And you can relate your perception. Regardless, these things came, and they went. I have never heard Bill refer to them after that period. In fact, those materials were not republished. You can draw your own conclusions as to why.
Embassy University is one entity among several others which should be benefitting from the shared resources governed by the Board but is not. That is the point.
“Embassy University is one entity among several others which should be benefitting from the shared resources governed by the Board but is not. ”
Ok, I think I get at least part of what this is about. You mentioned “mailing lists” as something that would be desired in a previous post. Shared resources? It would sure seem to me that a mailing list would be proprietary to IBLP. Unless there is some vital information that is missing to this, I think it unlikely that a judge would force one non-profit to hand over their proprietary database to another non-profit.
Did Bill even have permission to start using the name Embassy University? You use some odd language to describe what happened. That it was: ” abandoned after he left, and was picked up as part of Bill’s new efforts.”
When you say that Bill picked it up, was he granted permission to operate it? If an entity owns a non-profit and it becomes inactive, you can’t just come along and decide to “pick it up”, like something that has been abandoned on the side of the road. If he “picked it up” and was not granted permission to use it, I think he has a bigger problem than just trying to get mailing lists and other resources that are currently controlled by IBLP.
Bill holds all of the legal rights to “Embassy University” because the charter – state of Florida – was not renewed by IBLP proper. IBLP exists solely for the purpose of assisting with the dissemination of Bill’s ministry worldwide. There is no other purpose nor mailing list. Bill would like to further his ministry by having access to those lists that were collected for that purpose.
” IBLP exists solely for the purpose of assisting with the dissemination of Bill’s ministry worldwide. ”
That seems like a pretty flimsy legal argument. Is that really the legal argument that they are presenting in court? What exactly is “Bill’s ministry”, legally? Do you mean IBLP? Legally, IBLP is not Bill’s, and before the judge that is all that should matter.
I’m sure they must be coming up with more of a case than you are presenting here. If not, this will probably be thrown out on its head. We will soon know if the judge allows this to proceed. Unless there is more to this, I doubt it.
Why, then, do you think IBLP and its BOD was set up? What legal foundation is there . . . For its existence? As discussed in the past, just because they exist, would it be right for them to start building strip joints and bars to raise money? If not, why now?
“Why, then, do you think IBLP and its BOD was set up? What legal foundation is there . . . For its existence? ”
You still haven’t presented any clear legal arguments that would seem the least bit convincing. Non-profits typically have mission statements. You show me an IBLP mission statement that says something like: “IBLP exists to further Bill’s ministry worldwide” and you may have a case. Somehow I doubt that is their mission statement. And, as I said previously, I don’t think “Bill’s Ministry” is a legal entity, at least you have not shown evidence of this.
They must have a better legal argument than you are bringing forth. If not, I can’t imagine this will be going anywhere in court.
Are you kidding? 🙂 I mean . . . With the “Salvation Army”, the mission has many facets, but it is not zeroed in on Mr. Booth. Focus on the Family was deliberately broad in its objectives, although it sprung from James Dobson. But things like “Insight for Living”? That is focused on promoting the ministry of one (1) man, Chuck Swindoll. There is nothing else that they purpose to do or offer. And that is what is expected. IBLP has ALWAYS been, both by his declaration and the witness of those that worked with and for him, an extension of Bill Gothard’s message to the world. Nothing else comes close. Even the Duggars or Bates, public expressions of much of what Bill teaches are not the focus of IBLP. When Bill has been asked about his plans for succession, he has, consistently, over the years, indicated that he deliberately had none, seeing IBLP as as expression of his personal testimony and work, expecting it to vanish when he went home to be with Jesus. So . . . You are either not very connected to that ministry, or you are ignoring what you know to be true. What will the courts say? That is hard to say. If justice is done, these acts by the Board will be reversed and neutralized. That is in the Lord’s hands, and we cry out to Him.
Why do you present here and say “as we understand…”? With the many details dished out here, there appears to be more knowledge than “as we understand” which implies an outsider view of all of this and with all the other info given out on this blog, looks not to be accurate.
I easily remember from the Basic Seminar, Bill bringing up more than once the “problems” he though he saw with having Cabbage Patch dolls. I knew a lot of people that brought into his ideas. Bill himself made a “big deal” about it and attributed more than one problem to them. Cabbage patch dolls are brought up as an example of Bill’s unproven connections to things and problems people may have or be facing. He cannot point to any “proof” at all to his ideas that Cabbage Patch dolls causing infertility, or any of the other problems with them. I clearly remember Bill calling the “adoption” papers that came with the original Cabbage Patch dolls as idolatry. I do remember Bill clearly stating that at the Basic Seminars. Maybe you blew off his nonsense and excesses but I knew people that threw these dolls out based on Bill. Yes, Bill’s opinion (because that is what all it was) on Cabbage Patch dolls is a minor issue with his teaching but it should have been a sign to any normal thinking person that these ideas are from nuts-ville and should have been a red flag for all the rest.
“Proof”? What would you accept as “proof” that certain dolls are dedicated to Satan and are followed around by demons? How do you prove it? He had testimonies of some that appeared to have miraculous changes in fortune based on such things. As with many other things we “took it under advisement” and waited to see what other confirmation might come along. Unless you happen to be one that does not believe in invisible evil forces – and it would be hard to believe the Bible and come to that conclusion – I would think that would be your posture as well.
Again, is there actual “proof” that the makers and designers of the Cabbage Patch dolls worshiped Satan and dedicated those dolls to Satan in order to have demons follow these dolls? You have no proof of that at all. The so called “testimonies” from whoever does not “prove” the above. For demons to follow these dolls around and cause spiritual problems in people, the makers and designers of those dolls would have had to be directly involved with Satanism. But Bill does not have any proof of that nor do you and whatever “testimonies” that Bill may or may not have sounds more like people’s hysteria and emotionality that they have attached to these things. I also remember Bill accusing Procter and Gamble of being involved in Satan worship because of their symbol which was a moon. They have repeatedly come out and stated that this to be a false rumor. Bill spread around fear mongering about products and companies. There are two extremes involving satan, either people don’t believe in him and ignore evil or there becomes and excessive obsession. And when someone starts seeing satan and demon in everything, they actually are dealing with a few demons of their own.
You in turn have no proof that Bill has no proof. The accusation came from a book called “Turmoil in the Toybox”, as I recall, a resource I have personally never seen. So . . . I am happy to leave it there. Somebody clearly had some reason to believe it and Bill, and several others that I respect, apparently researched it out to the point of committing to it. Without the evidence we have not worried about it, but we keep our ears and eyes open.
Bill on Proctor and Gamble? Was not aware of that one. Must have been a most passing thing.
You said “Of COURSE you want Bill to drop the suit. Just go away and go fishing and live out his days with his children and grandchildren. Works for everyone else, I suppose. We take what we have received from Bill and the ministry, thank the Lord . . . And we MOVE ON!”
Dear Moderator, I can understand your frustration… and it is understandable when you are trying to defend a man and people have a different opinion about the man you are defending. However, It is not an “OF COURSE”. It is a well thought through, researched and prayed about opinion of a Biblical perspective that I wish Bill should drop the suit. I have no ill will toward Bill at all, and if you have taken that from what I have written then I have miscommunicated my heart. I pray That God gives Bill the desires of His heart, as long as he is first… delighting in God. Bill does not have children, or grandchildren. And I most certainly do not want him to live out his days fishing. The man doesn’t enjoy fishing. I love Bill, I want the best for him. I pray blessings on him and your team, and that you discover whatever it is that you need to bring God the most glory. I personally do not believe God is getting glory from Bill suing, from this blog, or from the way you are going about this. Btw, if the BOD was suing Bill, I would feel the same way about them. I am not biased toward Bill or the BOD, only toward scripture. I believe God is to be trusted, and as I stated previously… it matters not in Gods economy wether the BOD or Bill is right or wrong. If Bill’s success is hinged on this court case then it is evident where his faith ls rooted. This entire website is dedicated to defending Bill, should it be? It proves where the focus is in this… I say this gently and with respect, but time spent magnifying God and His word would be better.
Yes, we take what we learned from Bill that was Biblical, thank God and move on. Absolutely. We should never be so dedicated to a man, ministry or church, that we hold them above God. I follow God, not a man. If Bill teaches something that is Biblical then I would once again thank the Lord, thank Bill, and move on again. It takes on the feel of religion or even a cult, when we offer our loyalty to a man, method or mission without regard to that man’s relationship with God and others. I am sure you are familiar with the seeds of disintegration? That is where it starts.
So, no I do not wish Bill to live out his days fishing. I do hope Bill enjoys some sailing, which he loves very much, and God continues to bless his ministry and it grows, as God sees fit according to what God knows about Bill. God knows everything, right? We can agree on that. God saw every move Bill has made, every touch of the hair, every bump of the foot, every lingering hug, holding of the hand, and knows exactly Bill’s heart motivations. I trust God to bring to light every detail, wether it is for Bill’s vindication or condemnation. God knows that if all my misdeeds were brought to light, I’d never be fit for any type of ministry. AT ALL. I pray Bill is innocent, but if not, that he is at least repentant… and that is what most people are reacting to. He does not appear repentant (since he withdrew his apology, by your testimony) so he must have never sinned, as you have also stated. And everybody has a really hard time believing that. His BOD back in the 90’s were some stellar, loyal, God fearing, and Bill loving men. If Bill is truly innocent, they are the ones who would know. Yet, not one of them is still on his BOD (yes I know they re elderly and some have passed away) but even more concerning, not ONE of them has EVER given a statement, except through legal counsel w/ the current BOD, and that is when they asked Bill to resign. You won’t believe the girls who give actual testimonies, so I’m not sure if that would change your mind at all if you were given access to that investigation… but I do guarantee your perspective would change.
As much as we disagree, Mr. Moderator, I do believe we are brothers/sisters in Christ. I do believe that at the heart of all of this, we both want God to get glory. Our perspectives on Bill are shaped by the people we know and the conversations we have had. The conversations we have had and the people we know are clearly different. I pray someday they will merge and we both can see something different from the others perspective. But one thing I can guarantee you… no matter what you would do or say to me, I would never sue you . 🙂 May God bless you, Bill, and your teams efforts. May the truth emerge, and may God be the highest goal in all our thoughts, resulting in actions that bring love, peace, and harmony to our brothers and sisters. Merry Christmas 🙂
Thank you for your kind words and blessing.
IF Bill were your own father or son, or even yourself, perhaps you would feel differently. A situation where you simply can’t “walk away”. So I would ask you to trust us, as those who have been walking with him through the most of this, that we understand what you are saying. But, as you said, Bill has no children or grandchildren and has little to no time for traditional retirement activities. He furiously wants to see the Kingdom of God come, His will be done on earth as in heaven. Let’s say you have actually saT across from him time after time, even you and your wife, as I have with mine, and grilled him on every detail of what has been alleged. Say you have gone to the accusers and, in case after case, found it to be completely different from what was alleged. Say you had the opportunity to review some 60K pages of witness, interviews, at least 30K pages of private chats involving accusers where they freely discussed their perspectives with the assumption that all was private. And you come away with the firm conviction – that Satan has won a mighty victory and, feeling as you do about Scripture and finding yourself tied to him in some type of bond where you simply cannot walk away and go on with your life . . . Well, then you might start to feel differently.
Yes, the Lord knows all. From your comments you seem to still believe “he did it”. Your job, as close as you appear to have walked with him, to verify, validate . . . And be sure. If guilty, your job is, in this venue and any other open to you, to let the church know . . . Rebuke before all, so all may fear. But if not, your job is to post what you have learned from your witnesses that prove otherwise – and glorify God by countering Satanic lies. To remain in the shadows and “go on with your life” with a blessing and an offering of good will would almost be criminal.
Our venue is open. I would give you a way to communicate with me privately, if you wished. I assure you we would take everything you tell us extremely seriously.
So, like David and his mighty men, there are those not content to just sit by and “let the will of the Lord be done”, as it were, perhaps by angels. I think that what David did to violently reclaim what God had given him was absolutely correct. Because although he was NOT innocent in his life, not in the way Bill is, yet the violence done against him was a sin against God and His people, let alone David himself. Had he “retired” he would have allowed Satan to claim many more victories, things perhaps to be laid at his feet by future generations.
We cannot say what all the right steps are which Bill should take. Nobody is happy with lawsuits for many reasons. But as we have documented in other posts, there is a time to be silent, and a time to speak . . . A time to build up, and a time to tear down . . . A time to wound, and a time to heal. In David’s time there were those that knew what time it was, and “what Israel ought to do”. (1 Chron. 12:32). The majority put their heads down and . . . Well . . . Prayed. And hoped it would all go away. Who are you?
re: IBLP mission statement
On 12/15, brother James connected a mission statement to an organization’s purpose.
That’s fair enough, but consider also that mission statements are a recent organizational gimmick, going back only a few decades at most. Though military organizations have used them from time immemorial, only recently have they appeared among civil corporations.
The business bestseller Good to Great noted that great corporations sometimes added mission statements as an afterthought only after they attained greatness. So how much weight should we attach to an IBLP mission statement drafted recently?
The point is that, according to the moderator, Bill is taking IBLP to court claiming that they are not fulfilling their sole purpose of fulfilling Bill’s ministry. He is going to have to make his case before a judge. He needs evidence. It really does not matter how much weight you and I think that we ought to give a mission statement. The point is, what evidence does he have that the purpose of IBLP is to spread “Bill’s Ministry”, and how, legally, will he be able to define what exactly is “Bill’s Ministry” in court?
We have been given only bits and pieces of the legal arguments that Bill intends to make and trusting that the moderator is giving it to us accurately. Based on what we have been told, I see no legal argument that is likely to prevail, based on what has been presented here.
He was supposed to have his day in court in December. We are getting late in December and have heard nothing. Hopefully the moderator can update us.
Whatever happened to the lawsuit? You had said that it was to be heard in court in December.
We know few details. I understand that first hearing was not the conclusion they wanted, more to follow.
Over on Recovering Grace they are reporting that it was dismissed with prejudice. That’s about as harsh of a judicial rebuke as they come. That is as I expected. That would not only mean that the first hearing did not conclude the way that they wanted. But, it also means that the judge said that this is the first and last hearing on the matter. He threw the case out of his court.
As stated, it didn’t go his way. The foundation of the suit and the technicality it was denied on is far more complex than you have been suggesting. If “with prejudice” then the suit cannot be refiled . . . But the decision can and is being appealed, as, again, we were told.
When a case is dismissed due to technicalities, it is generally dismissed “without prejudice”, giving the legal team time to fix the technicality and refile the suit. When it is dismissed “with prejudice” that means that even if said technicalities were corrected it has not merit and can not be refiled even if they are corrected.
It may have be more complex than I have suggested. I can only give my opinion based on the limited information you have given us, which I found without merit. There certainly may be other legal arguments made in court which you have not shared with us here. If so, apparently the judge found those without merit as well.
Understood. Again, we do not have the facts of the matter. May get more information this week.
Well an appeal is not a refile. Any decision may be appealed, even a conviction.
We will see what happens.
Why don’t you have the “facts”, you have put yourself out here on having the “facts” on everything else. All this does is make you look like dishonest and unbelievable and your facts on everything else suspect and the strange “I have no info” on Bill’s failed law suit against the board non-credible.
I am sorry you feel that way. We were actively involved in the suits against Bill, myself serving as a paid member of the legal team (incidental but legal honorarium). We have no such role in any of the ongoing issues at this time. When we hear things from Bill we have no independent ability to validate so it is better to not comment.
Having said that, Bill told us today that the suit against the Board is indeed being elevated to the Appellate level. That is all we know.
I pulled this from an Illinois attorney’s website. I posted the link at the bottom.
“In the formal legal world, a court case that is dismissed with prejudice means that it is dismissed permanently. A case dismissed with prejudice is over and done with, once and for all, and can’t be brought back to court. Maybe the loser has already had chances to fix their case, and the judge concludes there’s no way the case can go forward. But it could be lots of things. The result is that the case is closed. If your case was dismissed with prejudice, it could be appealed to a higher judge, but you can’t start over from scratch and try again.”
General information. A case dismissed “with prejudice” can most definitely be appealed. What you can’t do it refile it.
Any chance you could find a copy of the suit? I think it would be interesting. While many of us disagree on the issues, we are appreciative of the information you provide.
There are at least 3 legal issues proceeding through the courts at this time. We do not have the legal documents on any of them. Today the “Rule 137” motion denied by Judge Popejoy was heard in the 2nd District Appellate Court of Illinois. The entire audio of the proceedings will be made available, we understand, at http://illinoiscourts.gov/Media/Appellate/2nd_District.asp. The judges took the matter under advisement. That means a ruling some time in the next 2-3 months. At this level the cases are handled in a much more formal way than the Circuit Court, given for legal minds to study. Two of our team attended.
The suit against the Board, having been decided against the plaintiffs (Bill and others) is being appealed to the same Appellate Court. There is also a separate defamation matter that is somewhere in the works. We know next to nothing about these, and it is likely as well.
Thanks for this information.
It was interesting listening to the case last night. I am pretty sure the moderator here had said that the girls did NOT drop the case because of the “statute of limitations”. According to the plaintiffs attorney, this is exactly why they dropped it… curious if you’d like to comment on that?
No idea where you got that idea from :-). I was there . . . If you were, you should have introduced yourself. What was drilled home was that the statute of limitations was clearly violated on every count, hence the focus shifts to the basis on which Judge Popejoy allowed the case(s) to continue. That reason was the allegation by the plaintiffs that EVERY ONE of them had a clinical, medical condition of “repressed memories” that kept them from either understanding the abuse, or remembering it for, lo, these many years until the light of Recovering Grace and the efforts of David Gibbs III to fortify his case sweetened with the hope of sizable awards elucidated them. 17 plaintiffs, all with the same condition. The challenge was that that was not even reasonable, and that it would seem very likely to the impartial observer that the legal team engineered this condition. Perhaps fraudulently.
The point Sotomayor drilled home was that in promoting this case and this foundation the defense had a legal responsibility to be able to certify this to be the case. Or have a reason for believing it to be reasonable. When challenged the legal team was never able to produce a shread of evidence to support this key legal matter. Medical records were required during discovery, but not one pointed to this diagnosis (in opposition to the attestations of the plaintiff lawyer, BTW).
We have highlighted in the record, taken from discovery, the statements of several plaintiffs where they vehemently denied that ANYONE ever even asked them about “repressed memories”. As simple as, “Hey, Jane, do you believe yourself to have repressed memories?”. Those testimonies in fact had at least two plaintiffs openly declaring the opposite. One cited membership in an organization for people with exceptional memories as proof. Do you see the problem?
The plaintiff lawyers had a legal responsibility to have applied reasonable effort to validate this key assertion. They did anything but, instead wasting 100s of thousands of dollars over the next 3 years, hoping IBLP would just settle. THAT is the reason for the Rule 137 sanction request.
Apologies . . . I see that the audio is in fact up. I was under the impression it would take a week. Click here to listen: Audio of January 23, 2020 2nd District Court of Illinois Hearing on Wilkinson vs. IBLP
Ok, thanks for clearing that up. Somewhere in previous threads you had said that the “statute of limitations” was not the main reason… but I don’t remember the context. I think maybe you were saying there were other reasons why it should have been dropped other than just the statute of limitations. This makes sense now that you clarified. Thanks! (and no I wasn’t attending any of these court cases… i live far far away and wouldn’t attend anyway)
I guess if Bill wins this case it will cause the current board to make a public statement on why they won’t let Bill back in… It is my understanding that it has nothing to do with the girls case, and they never joined in because they didn’t agree with some of the plaintiffs stories. But there are stories out there the they must believe, otherwise they wouldn’t be so adamant that he not return. Would love to know those stories… I guess if Bill keeps pushing they will eventually come out.
Without the override of the Statutes of Limitations the case(s) would have been dismissed years ago. Saving a lot of people a lot of money. If the override was based on fraud, then that money should be reimbursed.
Why do Statutes of Limitations exist? Because it is a firm fact that the further you get from the events being litigated the more difficult it is to come to justice. Memories do amazing things based on aspects of psychology that are, again, well known. If there is one consolation it is that because of the fraud many documents, interviews, depositions and 80K pages of social media chats were entered into evidence. And we now can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that . . . He never did it. The Lord knows what He is doing. But, also, somebody has to stand accountable for the lies that became the basis of 3 years of extra innings. “Oh, nevermind” is not OK after the enormous damage done to the work of the Lord let alone Bill Gothard personally.
The Board did not join the suits against Bill? They were the TARGETS of the suits. In that entire exercise the Board and Bill were allies. They declined to join the sanction request ask for the Lord’s money back.
Members of the Board have relayed to us some of the stories that they believe. They mirror those in the suits and suffer from precisely the same problems. When you finally fully investigate, which we have sought to do and the Board seems to be unwilling to do, you suddenly discover, again, that . . . It just didn’t happen. Bill has been asking for a venue where every issue be brought to light for years. At least not the evil or “inappropriate” parts. He is not afraid. Previously he told us that, although he had no recollection of the violations being alleged, he allowed that things he could not recall may have happened, being incidental to him, but coming across far differently to others. Hence the attempt at humility in the statement posted early on, which is often cited as a “confession”. He no longer says that – we have been to the bottom of the pit, we threw open the door to the closet of rattling bones – and found nothing.
re: spending money vs. receiving money
Some consume money on lawsuits, others receive it. In the words of Watergate’s Deep Throat, “follow the money.” That probably explains why the suit lingered.
re: believing or disbelieving stories
Would the IBLP BoD bar Bill Gothard from IBLP because they believe or disbelieve accusations leveled against him? Possibly but not necessarily. Might there be an infinite number of reasons? Regardless, they offer no public explanation since their 2014 statement when he resigned. Both money and reputation are at stake for all parties. Might mammon and reputation outweigh plaintiff stories in the secret counsels of the BoD?
This debate is thought-provoking. For reference, the idea of “Stepping Down” has a Biblical Basis. Adam and Eve stepped down from tending the Garden. Reuben stepped down from all the rights and privileges of Firstborn, because he defiled his father’s bed. Gehazi stepped down as assistant to Elisha, because he tried to make money off a miracle. David instituted many reforms for Tabernacle worship, and then appointed himself builder of the Temple. He was prophetically told to step down from that job, upon which HE MADE SUPPORTIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR SOLOMON TO CONTINUE THE WORK (This is the case most pertinent to the present topic). We cannot use David’s continuing reign as evidence of ministers remaining in office. If we are to use the Kings of Israel as a reference point, we would be forced to accept Christian leadership plagued by idolatry, adultery and general mayhem. Bro. Bill has an excellent opportunity to show humility here. Unlike so many others who have gone before, Bill has a groundswell of loving supporters.
Thanks again. Trust me when I tell you: Bill’s supporters, all of us, have been all over the map in seeking to understand what the Lord would have him to do. In the end one defers to a man of God with a long and hugely fruitful 50 year public track record walking with Jesus. Solomon also wisely pointed out that there is a time for this . . . And for that . . . All of the extremes, stances have their day. We just need to figure out what time it is. Time to quit – or time to press on.
To your examples: David did not quit when forced out. He took up arms and defeated the evildoers. He quit when he died. Same with Elijah – OK, “translated”, not died. But life over. Other examples have to do with sin – if you know of sin that Bill has committed to force him out of the ministry, present it. If he didn’t do anything wrong, then that doesn’t apply. Much like the howling animus against the 45th President, Bill’s very existence and teachings has been a reason for others to demand him to “step down” his entire life. When evil people gather themselves together and finally see their will accomplished – it never mattered how – I for one am not of the conviction that that is the mind of the Savior. The Lord is sovereign over all. But if you know Bill at all, you know: He will not depart the fight and work God gave him as a young man until he is literally unable to do so. Like David. Or Elisha.
re: David, Elijah, Gothard, and Trump
What an apt comparison. All four accumulated obsessive enemies.
As for their energy and endurance: better to wear out than to rust out.
“Bro. Bill has an excellent opportunity to show humility here”
No sign of this at this point. Instead Bill has taken the IBLP Board to court, former friends of his and brothers in Christ, to demand what he believes is rightfully his. In December his case was dismissed with prejudice, representing a very clear rebuke of his legal arguments by the legal system.
Humility looks good on all of us. Of course, when fighting evil, the presentation is boldness and courage and perseverance. Really all depends on what is going on, right?
A Prayer of Reconciliation for our dear Brothers on the Board and for Dr. Gothard:
“My Lord Jesus Christ, Your Light, Your glory has risen upon me. Hope only is in Thee. Your Light has shown in my heart. To see Thy face is glory. I bless Thy Word and hold it near, for it is a Light in a dark place.
(Isaiah 60:1; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Peter 1:19)”
A Prayer for our dear Brothers on the Board, Dr. Gothard and Friends of IBLP/ATI:
“Blessed Holy Spirit of the Trinity, enliven Thy Word to my spirit this day. May it be strong like a morning star arising in my heart. Bring Your glory to well within me. May Your Light illuminate any and all darkness in my life.
(2 Peter 1:19; Isaiah 60:1; 2 Corinthians 4:6)”
Is there an update on The lawsuits Bill has filed against IBLP or the appeals that he has made against the lawsuit from the ladies? I heard through he grapevine that his 3rd appeal he flied against the suit from the ladies got thrown out of the court as well?
The appeal . . . In the Appeals Court was not upheld. The transcript from that is posted somewhere. . . .here. In the end it spun around a narrow issue of who was being tapped in the original Rule 137 motion. The original lawyer representing Bill should have focused on the law firm, not the women. Bill told me that he had told the lawyer to leave the women out, but it was his opinion that that was the point of law in question. They did drop about a third of the plaintiffs. But – It was not the right target. There is no other resolution to the 2-4 other matters in various stages of legal action.
Prayers that you all are staying healthy during these times.
Thank you, James. All of the folks on our teams are well, praise the Lord. Bill those associated with him are also well, again thank the Lord — continuing to write books at a furious pace. May the Lord have mercy on us all and bring us out of this swiftly.
I just finished watching the Lance Armstrong documentary on ESPN, 30 for 30. It was very well done. I could not help but notice the parallels with Bill Gothard.
Lance shocked the world, recovering from severe cancer in 1996 to go on to win a record setting 7 Tour de France bicycling championships. He was revered worldwide as a hero, made tens of millions and founded a very successful charity called The Lance Armstrong Foundation, which raised tens of millions to help in the fight against cancer.
However, scandal would follow leading to his downfall. In 2012, the testimony of several of his former teammates, that he had used performance enhancing drugs (PED), was considered strong enough evidence to strip him of his bicycling championships. It also caused his board to pressure him to resign as chairman of the board of the organization of which he was founder and board chairman, despite the fact that Armstrong denied the allegations. Sound familiar? They later would change the name from The Lance Armstrong Foundation to Livestrong to distance the foundation from him further.
Rather than admit his guilt, Armstrong lashed out at his accusers, calling them liars and dragging several of them to court to sue them. Sound familiar? He sued former teammates, friends, colleagues and even journalists.
But this is where the parallels end.
Finally, in 2013 he confessed to taking PED and apologized to his foundation and his supporters around the world for his cheating and deception. He was stripped of much of the wealth he had created, as his former sponsors sued him for his deception, losing an estimated 75 million. However, as time has passed he has gradually been accepted back by many in the cycling community. He hosts a successful podcast of the Tour currently and also worked for NBC in 2019 as a tour commentator. It was a hard fall from grace. His return to acceptance, at least by some, would have been impossible without his confession and apology.
The obvious difference extends to the fact that . . . LANCE DID IT. Bill didn’t. Hence any “confession” would amount to a lie. Other than the same kinds of sins that beset us all . . . Insensitivity, blind spots, etc.
re: did vs. didn’t
Apparently Armstrong did, based upon both chemical evidence and his own admission. So for Armstrong, we can safely conclude that he did.
But for Gothard, the rules of logic forbid us to prove a negative, which is why the burden of positive proof belongs on the accuser. After the inconclusive lawsuits against Gothard, we are still waiting for an accuser to meet his burden of proof.
David, I wish all cases were easily proven as they were for Lance.
But you’re right. Proving the negative is the problem here. Ultimately, we cannot prove nothing happened. We don’t have that ability. We would have to be with someone literally at all times to prove he did nothing.
What we can do is examine claims to see if they hold up. We can come to conclusions based on that. But we are limited considerably. All we can say thereby is whether the claims are true or not.
Disproving a claim is not the same as proving nothing happened. It just didn’t happen in that particular incident.
re: conclusive proof vs. preponderance of evidence
This non-lawyer is way out of his depth, but brother JM deserves a good-faith answer to a good-faith point. Although Gothard’s enemies have a duty to put up or shut up, what should we expect them to put up? Conclusive proof that Gothard molested them?
Apparently that is out of the question. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs were afforded a much lower hurdle, namely “preponderance of evidence.” Any accuser who deserves to be taken seriously must at least come up with that. Shame on the IBLP BoD if they do not agree.
And we do through this dance again.
Ultimately, you cannot say that Bill didn’t do it. You can’t. And only because you can not prove it. I know you’re gonna argue the burden of proof is on the accuser. And you are correct.
But lack of evidence on the part of the accuser is not proof that an event did not happen. It is simply lack of evidence. In order for you to know Bill did not do it, you would have had to be with him at all times to have the authority to speak to this.
It would be far more accurate to say you have seen no evidence suggesting that he had, and had even seen evidence to the contrary. You may say you do not believe he did it. That is fine. But to claim he did not do it is impossible. You cannot establish that.
You have done a decent job question the evidence seen on RG and have done good work attempting to research and investigate every claim, every line. But you cannot go that far.
I would recommend you read Dr. Curtis Hutson’s pamphlet Unnecessary Divisions Among Fundamentalists. He makes such a claim concerning Jack Hyles, who was embroiled in a similar controversy in his day. Hutson’s words are very pertinent here.
We have furiously interviewed friend and foe alike over 5 years, spent countless hours on the court case and all of the evidence gathered as part of that. I have personally seen the private unguarded comments of the accusers in over 60,000 pages of social media chats. There is no question whatsoever that Bill did not do it. I know nothing of Jack Hyles. Every matter stands on its own merits. It is a sin against the Lord to continue to accuse Bill of guilt when you yourself cannot prove it. Your words are written in heaven, as are mine.
No. That’s not the same as PROVING he didn’t do it. It’s simply a good argument that he did not.
Do yourself a favor. Look into the Jack Hyles case. Read Curtis Hutson’s pamphlet that I mentioned.
You simply cannot prove that anyone ever did not do anything. That burden is too high. You would have to have spent every second of every day with the person to know for sure something did not occur.
What you can do, and what you have done, is examine the claims that are made. You do have some homework here, and it is commendable. I still say you haven’t shared nearly enough of it with us for us to come to the same conclusions. But in this you are doing what you should be.
But debunking the claims is not the same as proof of nothing happening. You simply could prove anything never happened. The scope is too large.
JM, that is a logically silly argument. You simply cannot prove . . . Anything. You can’t prove God exists, you can’t even prove I exist. And you can’t prove Bill did anything evil just like, as you suggest, I cannot prove he didn’t. That kind of reasoning does nothing, other than allow you to continue to express your prejudices.
re: Hutson pamphlet
Might brother JM post a link to a pdf of the Hutson pamphlet about Hyles? I’m too cheap and indifferent to buy a copy, but I might click on a link.
If you find a PDF of that online, it is there illegally. The Sword owns that pamphlet and apparently no longer prints it. No one can post it online without their permission.
Sorry. You want to see it, you have to buy it. Or get someone at Sword to mail you a complimentary copy. I wish I had picked up a dozen or more when I worked there.
Amazon has a copy here.
“The obvious difference extends to the fact that . . . LANCE DID IT. Bill didn’t”
We are very much aware that this is your story and you’re sticking with it.
Remember, Lance emphatically denied it for years before confessing. Those close to him, even his family members and fiancee, believed his deception until he confessed.
And I suppose you subscribe to the theory that every person accused and vehemently denying it is guilty? You said . . . Absolutely nothing.
I don’t think that is what he is saying at all. I believe the point is this.
Today we have to be cautious both ways. Any accusation needs to be taken seriously and investigated properly.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, this has come out yet again. It appears the officer involved had many complaints made against him. For some reason or another, they were not followed through. The result was a man’s death.
The other end of that coin is that there are several times when a complaint is frivolous. The police get them all the time. Obviously, someone who is guilty and does not want to go to jail can file a complaint hoping to cast doubt on the officer. Many times these are baseless. So an investigation into these can be unfruitful; the suspect gets off slightly as a result.
So we have two extremes here. Either we take these accusations seriously or we consider them frivolous.
James might accuse you of leaning toward the latter. I don’t know that I would go that far. You did do some research into the claims. I would simply disagree with some of your conclusions.
From where I sit, I don’t believe the issue in this particular discussion is the guilt at all, but how we should deal with complaints and accusations.
You have disagreed with my conclusions before you ever engaged here. So allow me to state again that, as documented by a number of posts made on RG in the early years, I entered this fray believing that Bill had done at least unwise things, and that I believed all of the testimonies except for “Charlotte” (Gretchen), as I concluded her to be lying. When I came to help him and others that were working on his behalf I had the sole goal to give him every benefit of every doubt in consideration of all that he had done for me and my family, but in the end that the truth, that seemed at that point incredibly murky, would come out, black and white, allowing it to be addressed formally, completely.
I have never wavered from that purpose. As stated often I and my wife have sat across from Bill on multiple occasions asking pointed and hard questions . . . If nothing else I did not want to be embarrassed downstream. We interviewed anyone that would talk to us. Eventually I was invited to participate as a member of Bill’s defense team, primarily for the purpose of research. That role, however, gave me full access to all of the legal documents involved there, from both sides.
So I can tell you with a clear conscience: I have examined this matter as deeply as possible, given the opportunities available to do so. And with that same conscience I tell you emphatically: HE DIDN’T DO IT. There is nothing to condemn him of any moral sin, of any deliberate deceit or lies. He was the victim of a “pandemic” of “mid-life crisis” among a relative small number of former ATI students and other young people associated with his programs. It was going to happen, one way or another, just because the devil hates him and all he stands for, and because the heart of man is deceitful and wicked. It happened to Paul and David as well, as we have noted with interest. Yes, David “did it” – it was still unrighteous, what was done to him – and Paul emphatically did not.
Someone asked for a link to your document. Post it, if available.
The argument is not silly. It’s logical. You can’t prove a negative. Therefore you can’t prove anything never happened. It really is that simple.
I am making a point of this because you are making the claim that he did not do it. But you can’t really say that. The best you can do is debunk a claim or two or three.
You would have to be with him at all moments of all time to know that. It’s too big a burden. Those who are claiming he did are not claiming he always did. Just in the instances where events occurred. You did good researching these events and debunking them where you could. That is how these things work.
But that is not the same as proving it never happened.
Basically, you cannot prove he never did anything, only that he didn’t do what is claimed at that particular time.
I appreciate your zeal for truth. But as I have said, I worry your loyalty to Bill blinds you. I don’t have an axe to grind against Bill. But I have no loyalty to him either. I question whether you can unbiasedly review the facts here
I can’t post the Hudson pamphlet. Sword of the Lord owns it, and they no longer print it. Amazon has a copy here:
How about this? I know and have staked my eternity on the fact that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God, and every word He has said and says is absolutely true. Neither of us has the ability to prove that . . . Do we. I believe that Jesus never sinned and that, in fact, He cannot sin. I would risk my life on that fact.
SO . . . Do not tell me I can’t know things because of some possible doubt based on my inability to see everything and test everything. That is, in fact, foolishness.
Courts routinely declare people innocent . . . Or guilty. Based on the facts presented. I am not in doubt about Bill Gothard, based on the evidence. He . . . Didn’t do it! :-).
Writing articles about “Bill and the Beautiful ones” or comparing Bill to “Shepherd of the Hills”, justifying Bill as seeing his staff as “family”, claiming Bill felt he had some call to “minister” to young women/teenage girls does not support at all your repeated claims that Bill is innocent and didn’t do anything. Likewise, Bill failed lawsuits against the previous 7 women left from the original lawsuit didn’t prove Bill’s innocence in his behaviors towards them. He did not prove in a court of law that all of these stories about him and them were a pack of lies cooked up by their lawyers and RG. Likewise, Bill’s failed lawsuit against his former board, who would have been his ardent supporters and friends does not support your claims here that “Bill didn’t do it”. Claiming that you as a die hard supporter of Bill that you have ‘interviewed” whoever is meaningless. You are not an investigative reporter, you are not unbiased, there are not transcribes of any of these conversations etc. i highly doubt you talked to everyone or that people were eve willing to talk to you. You also have had previous employees of Bill like Larne and Jay confirm Bill’s long term behaviors with female staff. And finally trying to appeal to your conscious is laughable because it’s meaningless. Lots of people do lots of bad stuff or believe in bad stuff or stupid stuff or untrue stuff and have “clear or clean” conscious. It doesn’t mean anything. It does not prove anything for you and you need to stop trying to use this excuse to justify your support of Bill
Rob: We would encourage you to find anyone we have not been willing, indeed eagerly sought out, to interview. If you are unhappy or unconvinced with our efforts you are free to make suggestions for us. The conclusions you have come to are not based on first or even second hand data. So methinks we have a much firmer foundation to declare what we declare.
Bill has yet to sue any woman, BTW – Bill failed to get the court to declare the lawsuits frivolous so that some of the enormous amounts of money could be recouped. A narrow legal opening but, had Bill’s prior lawyer submitted as he requested – against the law firm vs. the plaintiffs – it is likely, based on the verdict of the Appellate Court, it would have prevailed.
There are multiple matters still being pursued and reviewed as far as the Board is concerned. God is judge and will do as pleases Him. We have spent considerable time with Larne and a great many others. And continue to pursue every lead we come across. AND keep this channel open – to search and be searched. Proverbs 18:17. “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.”
The burden of proof is on you, not me here. You cannot list or bring up whoever you claim to have “talked to” or “interviewed” that according to you, prove Bill’s innocence in all these matters. The Appellate Court smacked Bill’s appeal down. He also got another smack down with the board law suite, big time. It looks to me like God’s judgement has fallen and it’s not in favor of Bill.
No . . . You are wrong. Bill won the bottom line when 17 plaintiffs backed by not one but three legal firms (OK, only two at a time) suing for $8 million dollars could not even get a single (1) count of “negligence”, a legal very low standard, over the finish line. If God were into judgement, that would be the first stop, right? The other legal matters are far from over. Stay tuned.
And even if it were so, the abject downside on every issue, that does seem to be the lot of really godly ones, starting with the Only Begotten Son of God. The key is always . . . What DOES God think? The burden of proof lands at His feet and He does not miss a thing.
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 <— almost seems like a badge of honor “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.“ 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”
I really don’t think you and Bill “know” what God thinks here but it is obvious that Bill has not been successful in any of his law suits. Withdrawing a law suit against Bill and the Board was not a victory of Bill as you are trying to spin it here. His law suit of 7 of them was not successful nor was the appeal. Bill is no longer the big name, big influencer in the Evangelical/fundamentalist world. He is now an obscure nothing. His law suit against the board was big time slapped down by the court. It’s kinda obvious what God thinks of Bill. I don’t expect you to see it at all. You never will. The Bible verses you are quoting mean nothing to this situation. You can try and claim that “God will have the final say”. It’s obvious that He has. Just listening to his voice on his new scheme at giving a degree for falling asleep while memorizing the Bible verses Bill tells you to memorize was very telling. He sounded every bit as old as he is, he stumbled over his words more than once and it’s obvious that the mojo is gone.
It is a technical note, but an important one. Bill has NEVER sued any girl. The prior lawyer picked 7 of the girls to include in the request to declare the suit frivolous and require reimbursement of legal expenses. Bill remained the “defendant” in that action, with the girls the “plaintiffs”. Hindsight suggests that had the lawyer targeted the law firm, and specifically the lawyer signing the suit, as Bill apparently suggested, Bill would have prevailed. The largest issue in the denial was that technical point, who signed the lawsuit that was submitted.
Corporate law is not well set up for a situation like this, where a man commits his life’s work to a structure because it is clearly how the state prefers it, and then then Board, in violation of its purpose, takes that life’s work away, including hundreds of millions of dollars of assets, and repurposes it for their own vision. You keep referring to “a” lawsuit against the Board. The first attempt to get the state’s attention on this did not prevail, but the matters have been separated and clarified. Again, stay tuned.
I hear people talk about older folks that they have not interacted with in a long time, how they are “failing”. You would imagine that at 84 things are not going to be as brisk as they were. God had several “final says” in the latter years of David’s life. That is because the Lord is timeless.
You keep comparing Bill to King David. This really doesn’t work for you, nor is there any similarities between the two. King David repented (read Psalm 51) and accepted the fruit of his actions for the rest of his life. He had one son rape a sister then the other brother murdered him and then that one cause a rebellion and civil war against his father, only to be murdered himself, but before than this son raped 6 of King David’s concubines in public. King David then ends up in his final years sick, bed-ridden and shivering. I’m really not seeing how God “restored” everything to King David because the rest of his life was a fiasco.
Then let’s go with the comparison with Paul. Paul did not repent because he had nothing to repent of. David is significant because even with the clear failure the Lord still blessed him after he repented . . . And made all of his enemies to bow before him. In both cases it looked like the Lord had abandoned them, but He hadn’t. Just like people thought He had abandoned the Lord Jesus – nothing could be further from the truth. Your insistence that events demand that we conclude the Lord has rejected Bill based on negative circumstances is simply not valid.
This was written by David, but really is of the Savior, so you can go either way: Psalms 22:7-8 “All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.’”
This was written of the Lord Jesus: Isaiah 53:4 “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.“.
The Lord is the ultimate judge and will sort it all out. But to proclaim that any number of negative events demands we conclude that Bill was “smitten of God” simply is not wise.
There is no comparison between Bill and King David and when that is pointed out to you, you switch to St. Paul which you have used before. There likewise is no similarity there either. St. Paul was jailed and eventually beheaded by Nero for his behaviors, he along with a bunch of others in that time frame including St. Peter were actual martyrs for the faith under Nero’s persecution of Christians. That has nothing to do with or similar to Bill’s current lot in life. This is grasping at straws.
OK, at some point just let it go :-). I like the analogies, I think they are spot on.
And . . . You don’t have to sound so excited about what you perceive is a degradation of Bill’s strength. I think we have probably beat that about as much to death as is reasonable.
Psalms 71:18. “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”
I’m pointing out to you that Bill does not sound like someone with the strength, ability, stanima and even health to be at the helm of IBLP, something he is trying to sue to get back to. It isn’t there just by listening to him. His age has been brought up by others here.
I realize you think your “analogies” fit. But reality again is that Bill Gothard isn’t King David or St. Paul. St. Paul called himself “the chief of all sinners” Bill denies any sin. St. Paul writes about rejoicing in his sufferings. Bill’s response to suffering is to sue others, blame others and take no responsibility for anything. I fail to see how Bill is similar to St. Paul.
Your concern for Bill and his ultimate wellbeing is appreciated. I just spoke with him yesterday and he sounded as focused and energetic as ever. No idea how the video that concerns you was assembled. Maybe with better equipment and post processing it will get better.
We have spun around and around on the analogies. Not really adding to that discussion. We obviously have a very different perception. Eternity will tell all – we will all be there before we know it.
The audio from Bill’s new University web site is very clear. I am sure the Bill always sounds energetic to you, so your assessment here isn’t bias free. Bill does not sound crisp and energetic and full of vitality at his new University web site and it seems to point to why his supporters want Bill back at the helm of IBLP when his age and voice and sharpness are not there. You have always painted a picture otherwise here. Just doesn’t sound real or true.
OK, your point is heard :-). We disagree. Let’s move to a new topic.
re: laughable vs. comprehensive vs. biased
In her 6/28 post above, Rob dismissed defenses of BG as laughable because they were not based upon sufficiently comprehensive interviews by a sufficiently neutral man. For comparison, might Rob show us comprehensive interviews by neutral parties?
Apparently the magic weapon which finally slays the Gothard dragon doesn’t exist. Rob is merely one of a teeth-gnashing host who for many years has sought that magic Gothard-slayer.
But this thread is about the IBLP BoD. They simply locked the door behind Gothard many years ago when he quietly walked away from IBLP. No magic weapon, just the click of a lock.
Was that due process? Or biased?
I have no idea what you are trying to say. For someone who has always been a die hard Bill Gothard supporter to claim that they themselves “researched” or interviewed others then turn around and claim based on their “research” that Bill is totally innocent and everyone else is a liar is suspect. You can believe what you want David.
re: die hard Gothard supporter vs. die hard Gothard hater
Prejudice dies hard, whether in favor or against. That’s why we call it prejudice, which means judging too soon.
In one important way, St. Paul expects us to be prejudiced. In his famous description of charity, he said it was favorably prejudiced. The KJV words were “thinketh no evil.”
By default a die hard supporter thinketh no evil against Bill Gothard. But a die hard hater? His emotions are calibrated to assume the worst about Gothard. Will research by third parties change the hater and his prejudice?
Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so a heart of stone produces fruit of stony anti-Gothard prejudice. God give us hearts of flesh which yield fruit of fierce charity.
Your proof texting of 1 Corinthians 13 does not support “prejudice”. I would suggest you reread the complete context and chapter. You are also trying to create a false black/white, either/or, love/hate dynamics here that not only does not exist but is phony and false. Pointing out that Bill’s teaching, Bill’s organization and Bill himself has hurt and harmed people and screwed up their lives is not hate as you are trying to paint here and there is nothing in 1 Corinthians 13 about love that implies that covering wrongs, false teachings and bad behaviors is love.
re: kinda obvious or kinda dense?
In her 7/4 post, Rob opined that God’s opinion of Bill Gothard is kinda obvious from circumstances. But St. Peter warned Christians to “think it not strange” if something goes poorly for them.
Is every cause of suffering more obvious to Rob than to St. Peter, or even Job? It is far from obvious to me. Or does that qualify me as kinda dense?
Seriously? Bill has repeatedly been described by the moderator here as someone able and ready to lead and run IBLP which he is desperately trying (and failing) to get back to. That recorded intro to his “university” does not prove that. Bill sounded very much like the 84 year old he is and on top of that stumbled over himself even while reading whatever script he was using for this. This has nothing to do with “suffering” with either Job or St. Peter. Bill has also been painted as being able to run IBLP at his age. That recording does not prove that. You are grasping at straws here. His mojo is gone. I know 80 year olds that sound better that this.
re: hate, 1 Corinthians 13, and Psalm 25
In her 7/7 post, Rob objected to my use of hate as a term for the spirit of Gothard’s enemies. Hopefully she has a point. Could something other than hate motivates Gothard’s enemies? Might accusations without evidence come from something less dark than hate?
As for the volume of accusations and number of enemies, the psalmist laments about them in Psalm 25, “consider mine enemies for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.”
We must allow for the possibility that Gothard’s enemies are more fervent lovers than haters. Let’s hope so, but it doesn’t appear that way.
Again you are trying to paint an either/or, black/white modality for support of Bill. So if someone points out problems with Bill’s teachings, organization or himself, they are discounted using your dynamic here that they just “hate Bill”. That is a completely false characterization but typical for Bill and those that support him unquestioning. That’s a dynamic that Bill uses for himself and you are just following it. Either you are 100% + for Bill, unwavering and if not, you must hate Bill, the Bible and God are are rebellious, angry and bitter. It is a ridiculous false characterization.
re: pointing out vs. slander
What is the difference between pointing out and slander?
If in good faith I point out something negative about my neighbor, don’t I incur some duty to show that the negative thing is true? Is that not included in the Matthew 8 due process model of Christian reconciliation? Wouldn’t evidence be an important distinction between benign pointing out and malicious gossip; a.k.a. slander?
Bill is actually 85 years old and soon will be 86, which underscores your point even more about his age. I agree that, in the video you speak of, it does seem that age has finally caught up with him, having lost the oratory prowess he once possessed, as one would expect at one enters their mid/late 80s.
It is near impossible to imagine that IBLP will determine that their best course going forward is to bring him back to lead, given his age, setting aside the other huge issue at hand with the testimonies of the women.
And . . . Yet . . . This morning he called me, very focused on a task he had asked for help on. His “natural force” is unabated. He recalled a fury of facts quickly, names I had forgotten. He was quite animated – in all the best ways – because he has been waiting for this for several weeks. I have been involved in a career defining night and day project at work, so I have a good excuse – but you can be sure his ability to motivate folks is as stellar as always. 🙂 He didn’t stammer or stutter or whatever one does when one is old and failing.
I may need to have a word with him on the video. Maybe I should watch it. Please understand, whatever his extensive experience in front of a camera, the new world of blogs and personal recording devices (not sure how he did it) is still being learned and explored. The comments leave me a bit mystified, if not amused. I assure you – the reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated, to play on a Mark Twain quote.
re: Bill Gothard vs. William Jennings Bryan
When I first attended the Basic seminar in summer of 1981, I kept wondering when the famous speaker would appear. I entered the auditorium with high expectations of the man and his expensive ($45!) seminar. Instead, a small man approached the overhead projector and began speaking with a flat midwestern delivery. Certainly this must be the opening act for Bill Gothard? We were well into the first session when it finally dawned on me that it must be Gothard himself, which of course it was.
So I would submit that Gothard never had a commanding presence for public speaking. But his style is what you would expect of a man who evangelized urban teens with chalk talks.
For good reason they are not called chalk lectures. Great orators never feared competition from Bill Gothard.
Bill had an unassuming, somewhat soft spoken and even shy speaking style. I think that is what made him appealing and believable. A strong speaking style of a William Jennings Bryan isn’t always needed. St. Paul himself made a number of references in his epistles that he himself didn’t have “eloquence” of speech. Moses himself didn’t want to go back to Egypt do to his ability to speak well. But, looking in the past. St. John Chrysostom was given that moniker which means “golden mouth” in Greek. Likewise St. Peter Chrysologus means golden worded in Greek. But one only has to read both men to realize the greatness of their teachings to see how they got those titles. St. Peter was known for having very short homilies, so length doesn’t necessarily mean better or more important. One can only imagine what their style might have been. Rhetoric was a big discipline in the ancient Greek world and didn’t just focus on loudness but on a complete package of thought and reason and logic. What we lack in obviously not having recordings, we have in their writings.
re: shy speaking
Rob, I once heard a retired priest recall that he would spend eight hours per week preparing a ten-minute Sunday homily. If he did less preparation, his parishioners were doomed to a rambling lecture. But ten minutes of rich, well-prepared Bible exposition was his target. It took him eight hours of preparation to produce ten minutes worth hearing.
Your examples of modest public speaking style make our point very well.
thank-you for the correction. I heard recently an interview with Pat Robertson of CBN with Sean Hannity. Pat Robertson just turned 90. I am not a fan of him either. Pat Robertson retired a few years back when he started to medical incidences on the flag ship show 700 club. Pat Robertson still does come in to do the show but the day to day hands on running of CBN is does by others. Again, I am NOT a fan of him and feel even more strongly about Pat than even Bill (negatively). Sean Hannity asked him about the secret to his long life and Pat then attributed it to “working out” every day and keeping active. Since I have not heard or watched him for many years now, he likewise sounded his age of 90 but more lucid than Bill did in the audio for Bill’s University. There is a big difference between showing up to do a 1- 2 hour TV show and trying to run a multi-million dollar ministry like CBN. Bill and his supporters trying to get Bill back at his age is just lunacy. IBLP problems are not going to be fixed by a 85 year old.
Again, I think we have beat this to death. I disagree. I communicate with him often. If I believed it to be as say, I would say so. But . . . The proof of the pudding is in the eating, to borrow the delicious maxim (if you like pudding), so unless there is more substance to add, let’s leave it there.
You have repeatedly made assertions of Bill’s robustness and have painted a picture of him as someone still going going going going from dawn to late in the night. Bill advanced age does not work in your favor of “bringing him back” and does not fit the picture you have repeatedly described of him. You want to avoid conversation of this because Bill’s age does not at all work in your favor. IBLP was loosing money before Bill left. Kevin on RG has documented that. Bringing Bill make isn’t going to change that at all. It is just fantasy to even think so. Looking at other men of advanced years like Pat Robertson or even Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger “work” but at reduced hours and responsibilities. You are not even proposing that for Bill. You don’t want to talk about it obviously.
I have talked and talked and getting tired of it. Not sure what else to say. I am, personally, very focused on him and concerned for him. Our family has dealt with a number of folks in that age range of late who deteriorated and passed away, I know what to look for. When the pandemic rolled around it was a matter of particular focus. It took me a few weeks of worrying and poking to figure out that he was doing just fine, and frankly was not all that concerned about it. His stamina and quality of efforts have not deteriorated. He painted his sidewalk to the house recently. He mows and rakes his own lawn. Whenever I am at his house it is well kept up. Fairly cognizant of the cadre of folks assisting him. His sister was often over in the past few years, but she has been sidelined and under care for the time being. He procures his own groceries and supplies. Frequent trips to the post office. He writes, edits (has someone come in for the details), and publishes books at a furious pace. Besides he has various external initiatives going on, constantly being pushed forward. I know he has been to a number of cities working with officials relatively recently.
As to his schedule, calls from him come at many hours of the day and night. I am pretty sure he takes a nap in the middle of the day, otherwise . . . Full steam ahead. Late worker, that I can confirm . . . Early riser, by everyone else’s testimony.
I am completely unconcerned about his ability to take the helm at IBLP if it comes to him. You are not, and are secretly hoping that his health and mental acuity will degenerate to make that impossible. We REALLY need to leave it there. Seriously – what more would it take to convince you otherwise – that I can provide at least?
And as to finances, Bill has always found a way to get things done. That is the difference between him and possibly others. As he has publicly stated, he believes the “abase and abound” of Philippians to be like breathing, cycles in and out. During times of plenty you store up, during lean times you shut things down. And with his focus being less and less property based, I know he would right the ship. That has always been his superpower, if you will. Your commenter noted the mass of resources accumulated during his tenure. Somehow . . . He finds a way to move ahead.
Well, in the public 990 filings. IBLP lost 1.2 million in 2011, lost 3.5 million in 2012 and 3.5 million in 2013. those were the 3 final years Bill was at the helm. Doesn’t look like to me that “he always gets the job done”.
Well, in every enterprise there be dips and peaks, right? Somehow he also managed to put millions of $ on the black side of the ledger. Many if not most Christian organizations have been struggling. Like he said . . . It is like breathing . . . In and out. The “famines” are often the motivation for a major shift into new pastures. Bill has ridden the unpredictable surf successfully for over 50 years. He deserves at least a chance to try, right?
re: greatly exaggerated
As of Mark Twain, have reports of Bill Gothard’s death been greatly exaggerated?
The great John Wesley preached for many decades. His wiki page recounts his passing after eighty-seven energetic years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley
I just read that Charles Stanley in going to “retire” at age 87. He will still occasionally preach but the senior pastor status will move on to someone else and he will have “emeritus” status. I’ve seen that many time with other pastors, ministers and priests. They step back, occasionally step in but are not running the show. I’ve read the testimonies of those that have worked for Bill from Larne, Jay and Wood and it looks like that Bill “got it done” to balance the books by cheating and over working his own staff. Over time was not paid. People were always pressured to work more or give more. So if Bill “always got it done”, it was at the expense of his own people working for him. Likewise the ATI internships offered look more to be a steady supply of cheap or free labor for Bill. So maybe Bill “got it done” in balancing the books, but it was done by abusive working long hours with little pay.
And we have a completely different understanding of a lot of things. Internship is not “cheating”. Bill never cheated anyone. I had a son who signed up for a video production course. To take this course he had to pay several thousand dollars. He worked nights at Target to make it happen. When he got there some of his training was OJT, some was classroom. The OJT was working on significant outward facing productions, also managing and processing the video and audio on conferences all around the world. The training was real, and frankly his resume is more significant than what he would have every gotten from a school. But wait, there is more. He got free room and board. AND they gave him a weekly stipend for incidentals. When I added up those weekly stipends for the two years he was there, it added up to exactly what he paid.
Was he cheated? Not remotely. He did and continues to do what he loves with real world experience that rivals anything he would be doing in large corporations all around. And Bill and IBLP got excellent results from a loyal, faithful individual. After the “apprenticeship” time was up, he was paid a wage . . . Still with free room and board. Win, win, win win.
As to “retiring”, well, Bill is not Stanley. He plans to live to 120. I think he may make it. He called today and is working with an assistant on his 50th book since getting cut loose. Working with cities and majors efforts all over the country. All excited . . . Same Bill I have always known. How things go are the Lord’s business. Right now, I am not seeing a remote reason to retire.
The Wiki article points out that John Wesley stopped preaching and traveling at age 86 due to failing strength, health and eye site and looks to have spent the last year of his life not doing too much. Maybe his very active travels by horseback kept him in the game combined with his vegetarian and spartan diet. Or maybe the higher intense activities up to the end caused him to just poop out.
I hope that you are healthy and doing good. It is not like you to go dormant for so long and my prayers are with you that you and your family are in good health. So many people are falling ill to the virus right now and I just pray that you and all the other participants here are doing well.
That was sweet! Thank you. I kept checking for a long time, coronavirus and all, and there was nothing going on. Now we have some activity :-). I am also glad you are well. May you stay that way, be blessed with joy and health from that Lord.
I personally believe I had it back in February. The symptoms were simply too dramatic, too different to be a flu. An antibody test came back negative. They are quite unreliable I hear – the closer one gets to “herd immunity” the more accurate those tests become.
Glad to hear that you and the family are well 🙂
Anyone with questions about the “lucidity” of BG has most likely not read any of his 30 plus books written within the last five years. I have not heard him speak recently, but his writing is phenomenal.!!
re: Wesley, Stanley, Gothard, and winding down
Indeed Wesley did apparently run low on energy in the middle of his ninth decade and Stanley later in his ninth decade. We now see Gothard in the middle of his ninth. Would that we might all be so fruitful in our callings as these energetic men! We in late middle age find plenty to emulate in them. Or we should.
re: working for Bill Gothard
As Rob warned, working for Bill Gothard was a lousy trade when I did it more than two decades ago. For employers we trade our time and energy for wages, benefits and sometimes intangibles such as prestige. If we don’t gain more than we give, we seek better employment terms.
But working for Gothard was different. If you believed in the cause all you needed was subsistence, not gain. That is what “non-profit” means. It is no mere term in the tax code.
working for a non-profit or charitable institution should not equate to sub-standard pay and long hours without proper compensation for it. “Believing in the cause” should not entitle people like Bill to take advantage of others which confirms in my mind one of the ways Bill balanced the books and “always got it done”.
I suppose we will just have to differ on that. When it comes to the work of the Lord, many would work for nothing, as long as they have “food and clothing”, and some shelter. Many young people in fact pay for that opportunity. “Short Term Missions” and all.
Well yes, we will definitely diverge on this, especially over “short term missions” which had have a number of articles and even books with concerns over them, ranging from lack of real effectiveness, bad attitudes of those that go or send their kids on them, poor treatment of those they are suppose to “help” etc. and many of these articles and books are by those that have been involved in these sorts of STM type of trips. I’m sure that having send your own children on these sorts of trips will disagree but I see a number of red flags with STM trips. I don’t really see the long term effectiveness of them with the poor or the local population they claim they help and appear more like photo ops for white middle class/wealthy Christians to pat themselves on the back that they sent their kids on these things in the name of “doing the Lord’s work” (using your words). The Duggars are a great case in point since they have send their older kids on these things all the time. I look at the failed mission work of Jill and Derek Dillard and can see how that their STM mission work that they did and met on didn’t prepare them for trying the real thing which obviously was not successful for them. The fact that one has to pay to send their kids on these things sound like more of a money making deal for the organization setting it up but I realize that you will not see that.
The 2 year “mission” trips required of all Mormon males are one of the reasons for the loyalty that is exhibited. From personal experience – in my case 6 weeks supporting a Gospel tent effort in a remote Canadian province – there is nothing like being on the front lines of the spiritual battle of the ages to change your entire perspective . . . And direction of life. There, again, I paid all, nobody paid me. I did it gratefully and am forever grateful for those that took the initiative to set the “campaign” up. Made lifelong friends. Preaching the Gospel to strangers on a street corner with no more than 20 minutes to prepare radically changes you, at least it did me. Manning a booth at a local fair with people asking real questions about how to be saved. Big fan.
The story of Derek and Jill Dillard has not yet been written. Every life and family goes through twists and turns, notably those raised under strong, motivated Christian leadership. Everybody has to find themselves, who they are before the Lord. Franklin Graham the rebel. Let’s see where the Lord takes them from here.
Well I think Rob is trying to say is that we have to be careful not to assume anything right out of the gate.
It is certainly true that there are non-profits that do not pay well. I know some that are purely volunteer (no one gets paid). But there are plenty that do pay well.
Planned Parenthood is one of those. It is a non-profit, but it’s employees get paid well with a full slate of benefits (well the ones that are still opened, that is).
I work in Christian ministry. Have most of my adult life. You are right. I don’t do it for the pay. But you might be surprised in what I make and what benefits I have. Simply saying “It’s non-profit,” or “it’s Christian ministry” is not a guarantee that there will be no pay or no good pay.
So there I agree with Rob. Let’s just not assume it. In the world, there’s a wide variety of these things, and many of them would surprise you.
Honestly, I get nervous everytime someone keeps touting the “Christian ministry” line. I challenge them to step back and look at it objectively (come away from the situation if you can). If you have to make excuses.to convince yourself that it’s not tyranny or a step towards it, you’re probably in a bad system.
A job is a job and ministry is ministry, “service”. They are not the same, although ministries can and do pay the bills. Not muzzling oxen treading out the corn and all. But the difference comes when the money decreases or dries up. If it is all about me and my gain then that is unacceptable. If it all about Jesus and His work, then I may take it differently.
Moderator, you are not wrong per se.
But I am insisting we temper our dogmatism. If there are any ministries in the world that pay well, we can’t say “ministries don’t.” We can’t even say “ministries typically don’t” unless we have seen enough of ALL the ministries in the entire world. You and I have not done that, I’d wager.
I am suggesting we step away from the rhetoric. Truth is we likely don’t know how ministries typically work since we there are so many and they do vary wildly. It would be irresponsible to claim that just because you’re in a ministry, you should not expect any payment. It all depends on the ministry.
In my experience, many ministries claim one thing but really operate another. It’s a big problem, especially when you have people who do get paid. If I had a nickel for every church that paid their pastor incorrectly I’d be very rich now. (And yes, it is a big issue – even a legal matter). Too many people think ministry means we just get to do what we what. That attitude will get you in trouble too quickly. I know a church that refused to have their building inspected by the fire marshal. It bit them in the butt when the building burned down. Insurance didn’t cover it.
This kind of thinking ought to shift. The apostle Paul had a church supporting him. He was also a tentmaker. He had a way to supplement his income to support the travels for his ministry. There’s good food for thought here. We ought to think more business-like when we are in the ministry.
You bring up the Apostle Paul and his tentmaking. Hear this:
1 Thessalonians 2:9 “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.”
He was not very businesslike here, right? Refusing to ask for, expect what he should have surely required of them as a full time worker, preacher, pastor. A little newer translation of a passage from the next book:
2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.“
He expected us to imitate . . . Serve for free, not necessarily take ordinary support . . . To not be a burden.
re: proper compensation
When we speak of Christ and his gospel, we abandon our puny notions of proper compensation. Who knew this better than the famous C.S. Lewis character, Screwtape? He complained about the unfair terms on which he must oppose Christ and his gospel: “He’s a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a façade. . .he makes no secret of it; at his right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Proper compensation? How about, “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Proper compensation? No thanks! Why settle for merely proper compensation? Who wouldn’t rather have the gloriously improper compensation summarized above by St. Peter in his 1st epistle?
The compensation isn’t puny if it is keeping the lights on and food on the table. Remember God supplies in this manner too.
We’re all seeking that eternal reward. But does that mean a ministry can just do what it wants with its people? Consider where that can lead.
Is it okay for a ministry to make money while the people who work to make its money starve? This is indeed the case in some ministries I have seen.
A good rule of thumb is if you don’t have money to afford employees, you don’t deserve to have employees. Volunteer service is very questionable, according to the FLSA. You just can’t do it. It’s not that simple.
Ministry is wonderful. But if we’re not careful, ministry can become tyranny, and we can be too blind to see it, because we believe the ministry meets a need. But the end does not justify the means. Methods matter. It’s not too much to ask that things be done right.
You are not listening or reading what I am saying. If someone contracts for an 8 hour day, but is pressured or ordered or manipulated to work 12-16 hours days which Bill did and has done and then suggests to the person that they just “donate” to the ministry because it’s for the Lord then that person is not being “paid” properly and that is abuse and misuse of employees and is dishonest. THAT is what I am talking about based on the numerous testimonies of those that worked for Bill and his “ministry”. That was the basis for one of the lawsuits from the first sex scandal of the 80s. From what i have read from the testimonies of ATI students working for Bill, he did change his practice and this sort of cheating because that is what this is, is one of the ways Bill “got it done” in balancing books for IBLP. It is dishonest and abuse. But was all glossed over in the name of “working for the Lord”. You can spout off all you want about not really wanting “proper compensation”, but the reality of your own actions was that you only worked for IBLP a couple years and left and I’m sure it looks like “proper compensation” played a role in it along with other issues. This can be covered up with all the spiritual sounding mumbo jumbo you want but the reality is that this didn’t work out either in your own life and not paying people for the hours they work is dishonest and abusive and that isn’t “doing the Lord’s work” not matter how you spin it.
let me clarify again. First of all, I absolutely realize that churches, ministries, non-profits, parochial/religious schools overall pay less for the most part than more secular businesses and counterpart. I also know and realize most all Churches and Ministries/non-profits function with the help of volunteers doing all sorts of things. Something I’m very familiar with, hospitals use and have volunteers in areas like gift shops, coffee bars, transportation, patient support etc. Hospital volunteers save hospitals millions of dollars the the services rendered. But and what I was trying to point out is that there can be and is a fine line that can be crossed and I believe Bill Gothard has (and that is how he enabled his ministry to make budget) in taking advantage of lower pay or volunteers and that it borders on and becomes abusive to those working for him. People like the moderator and David justify this in the name of ministry. So the good will, the desire to serve etc. is taken advantage of or becomes abusive. From all the testimonies I’ve read of those that worked for Bill leads me to these conclusions. And that is how “he always got it done”. I do not equate or believe that serving, volunteering or “ministry” etc. should equal to being taken advantage of or abused and used.
After 50 years of ministry working with tens of thousands of young people, there are bound to be a few that leave mad. Generally speaking those are the accounts you will hear. Bill did not defraud anyone. All left these opportunities the better for it. And if they did not, it was not Bill’s fault.
re: virtuous hospital volunteers vs. vicious Gothard exploitation
Is hospital volunteerism virtuous, but Gothard volunteerism vicious? How? What is the difference? Is there any difference except your approval of hospitals and disapproval of Gothard? If the line is fine, where is it? Does it exist outside of your imagination?
I volunteered “for” Gothard fourteen months full time, then walked away. I put quotes around “for” because better prepositions would be “with” or “under.” Every man has his own story, but whining sounds lame to this former volunteer. Grow up! Lead, follow, or get out of the way. I followed for a season, then got out of the way.
Really? this is the difference between hospital volunteerism and “volunteering” for Bill Gothard. Volunteerism at a place like a hospital is really only a small part of those who work there and are found in places like coffee/gift shops, patient transportation (as a supplement to those hired for transportation) and some patient type of support. They usually are either retired people looking for something to do or are students looking at careers in health care places (my doctor brother started out as a volunteer in high school years delivering flowers). A few are alturistic people with again time on their hands. All of these types volunteer positions are honorable and unlike you, I don’t make a distinction between volunteering at a hospital or at a church in that one is more “spiritual” than another. Serving others no matter where or what it is is serving God. But then your brand of Christianity doesn’t consider the ‘little way” either. Bill Gothard built a multi million dollar ministry on the backs of either low paying long hours or slave like labor of ATI students in the name of further education which looks at from a distance to be bogus. I would suggest you read Caleb B’s book and article on RG “I heard you were in a Cult” which documents how IBLP worked which was a bat and switch from law school to Lawn service, unpaid and his dismissal for throwing a foot ball around on Sunday. You can act indignant all you want but there is a big difference between volunteering at a hospital and being used by Bill Gothard. Hospital volunteers are not supporting the bigger whole and they often get free benefits like free meal tickets. IBLP made budget by abuse of the good will and desire to serve God in ministry along with promises of ATI continued education. THAT is the difference and it is big.
re: football on Sunday, bait and switch
Though Sunday football is common today, there seems to have once been a strong Christian consensus against worldly sports and entertainment on Sunday. I would have to suspend judgment before hearing all the facts on that one.
As for Gothard’s law school, it earned one of my sons in law a passing score on the bar exam, though he ended up doing IT for a living instead of law. Not bad for a bait and switch. As for lawn service, that can be an honorable and lucrative trade. Here in Florida my sons earn a good living at it.
re: RG article, “Of Music and Football,” building on backs
Brother Caleb was obviously out of place at IBLP HQ. His RG article shows more about him than Bill Gothard. Caleb was obviously a free spirit golden retriever type who did not fit where 19th-Century sabbath-keeping was practiced like that of Eric Liddel in Chariots of Fire. Nor did his opinions on race, culture and religious music fit well.
But if Bill Gothard built on backs, what builder doesn’t? Did Steve Jobs produce vast wealth on the backs of those who manufacture and buy Apple products? If so, many backs are better off because of his energy and vision. Similarly, many backs are better off because of Bill Gothard’s energy and vision. Both mine and Caleb’s are among them. He says so in his RG article.
It always amazes me the justification of how Bill ran IBLP. “Fitting in” does not excuse what happen to Caleb and a huge host of other that have talked about their experiences with Bill, ATI and IBLP. If Bill’s so called “law school” was so good, your son would be a lawyer, not just some IT guy even if he “just passed the bar”. Obviously it wasn’t. Caleb said Bill was used in his life and then he compared Bill to Pharaoh which is not a compliment. God used Pharaoh but as Caleb used in his comparison, that does not mean Pharaoh was a man of God because he wasn’t.
Someone wanted to go outside and “throw a football” around isn’t violating any “no work on Sunday” man made rules. It amazes me that people get off on that issue, usually over kid’s sports which is recreational but have no problem turning around a watching professional sports on TV, go shopping on Sunday or even go out to eat, all of which requires other to “work” on Sunday in order to you to do all or any of the above. Eric Liddel came from that sort of mind set but he was in the Olympics and a higher level of sports, Caleb was just going outside to toss a football around which isn’t work by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, “practicing” music is ok in the fundy world of IBLP? So practicing is actually work, but informal recreational sports going outside and enjoying life is not? The hypocrisy here amazes me.
One more final note, I don’t get the repeated comparisons to Steve Job. I don’t see how someone running a multi million dollar ministry keep getting compared to a secular inventor like Steve Jobs. You offer no evidence that Bill screwed over his employees, abused and used them, tossed them aside like Steve Jobs who was a Buddhist. I am not following this comparison at all.
re: the rewards of voluntourism and causes
Undoubtedly some short term missions are voluntourism, as described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_volunteering, so all the rewards are non-material.
Myself, I volunteered for Bill Gothard after I had a middle-class income from military sources. Gothard mooched off me while I mooched off caesar. What a deal! In contrast, brother JM earns a living the old-fashioned way, being productive for a religious employer.
Even the ancient tithes in OT law were not strictly altruistic. From the OT descriptions, one gets the impression of tithing to a community barbecue potluck. It reads like a foreshadowing of the “pleasures forevermore” in my C.S. Lewis quote above on 10/25. How about the rowdy love feasts which drew apostolic scolding in 1 Corinthians 7? These Christian feasts went so far in the carnal direction they had to be made more altruistic. When following Christ brings carnal rewards we incur a duty to keep them modest.
Choice of words are important. Using the term “mooch” really is rather a red flag. “Mooching” off of tax payers (the one’s paying for military retirement pay) in order for you to have Bill “mooch” off of your service is really rather nausiating and points to something totally wrong with this whole system.
re: in defense of mooching
Life is planted thick with mooching cycles. Since Adam and Eve, kids have mooched off their parents until they out-produce their consumption. Eventually the cycle reverses when parents are old and infirm while their children are in peak middle-aged productivity. Even beasts of burden consume from man before they produce for man.
Then there is the cycle we see in 2 Corinthians 8 where the productive subsidize the needy until the cycle turns and the roles reverse.
So I use the term in a tongue-in-cheek way to advocate making the most of whichever cycle we are in.
If there is a system, it could not be more natural and we ought to make the most of each season. So don’t be grumpy, Rob. Someday you may mooch off me if necessary.
Mooch is equated with lazy and unproductive. Maybe not in your mind but certainly is in mine.
Let me say one more thing about the example of St. Paul not receiving financial support from the churches he started. He had a profitable and viable means to support himself in tent making which also was a spring board for his church started and planting in a pagan culture. That should never be used a a club or excuse not to pay those working in any sort of Christian type of ministry. The people working for IBLP, most of whom were ATI students certainly did not have a “viable” means or way to support themselves, the ATI education didn’t give them that. Likewise the long hours demanded of them did not allow some sort of supportive side job like St. Paul. It is a loosing argument to excuse while a multi-million dollar ministry like IBLP did pay or pay properly the people working for it.
My son had a very busy side business. He was not alone. Several started their own ministries which continue to this day. The experience gained was extremely valuable to those who participated.
re: ministry and tyranny
When we read the dictionary meanings of “tyrant,” we find two common usages. Mainly, a tyrant is a cruel ruler whose subjects cannot escape his oppression. But we might also be referring to a bad man who mistreats people, even though they freely associate with him.
On 10/5 above, brother JM warned against tyrannical ministries. Though I don’t serve a religious employer as he does, I am puzzled how a ministry could be tyrannical and endure beyond a very brief season. Without power to coerce, how could their officers restrain a stampede for the exits within days? Doesn’t the very existence of voluntary association beyond a few days disprove any tyranny worthy of the name?
It would be helpful for those of us who have followed the case to see all the court documents that you are permitted to release assembled in one post. If you can, please list them with some descriptive title and the date they were filed with the court.
Please understand that right now I can see your reply but no context. Which “case”, first of all? The original lawsuit(s) involving 17 plaintiffs that ended with all plaintiffs withdrawing? Then there was the attempt to get the judge to declare the suits frivolous (much more complex than that, but involving fraud, more or less), then the appeal to the Appeals Court. Most of the pertinent documents have been linked in here, somewhere. There are tens of thousands of pages of documents related to discovery – never added them up but it has to reach 100K – that we are not at liberty to release, dearly wishing we could. We are able to release context-less comments that cannot be tied to any known individual, which we have done to some extent. We err on the side of caution for obvious reasons.
At the present time there are a series of suits underway involving a variety of issues with which I am not directly tied and for which I have limited access with regard to documents.
Sure. A little more context. I can change case to cases. I am not asking for anything that you are not permitted to release. This comment of yours is key: “Most of the pertinent documents have been linked in here, somewhere.”
Most? Somewhere? I am just asking for some organization.
Although not completely on your side, I am not in the exact middle either and describe myself as being mostly convinced to your side. The reason is rather simple. I have found in all aspects of life that those who present all the issues and do not try to suppress facts and issues that are not necessarily helpful to their case have a much greater credibilty than those who try to suppress facts detrimental to their case. Your side wins on this issue – and clearly so.
Perhaps you could also point me to the court docket for each of the cases; I must be not searching correctly but I cannot find them.
Whatever my strengths, organization is not one of them. If you want, maybe I can reach out to you privately and then you can help me zero in. Or do it here. For example, I have multiple iterations of the original lawsuit(s). I have motions to compel and to dismiss and subpoenas and transcripts . . . Depositions . . . Discovery . . . Decisions and conclusions . . . All of the same for the Rule 137 exercise . . . And the appeal. Currently in possession of 5 heavy boxes of associated paperwork, which I doubt will ever be opened again.
I presume you have some things, right? Start with key things that you know you want and we can work our way forward. Key questions you want answered. You are the lawyer, and I am the legal library, if you will. The notion of trying to organize and post all of this frightens a soul.
For this latest reply, I presume that these lawsuits are not publicly available; that would explain why I cannot find them. You presumed that I have some things; I have no items of my own, but you have posted the most of the type of materials that interest me. My goal is to properly record a history of the legal proceedings that took place – the myriad emails, verbal conversations, and social media postings are not my concern for this project unless they were included in the court filings.
A blog such as this one also includes many posters who have a difficult time separating legal issues from what they perceive to be issues of Christian morality. I, too, have opinions on issues relating to Christian morality but I think I can partition the issues better than some and the project I have in mind concentrates only on organizing the history of the legal proceedings.
I think you were very politely asking for permssion to contact me privately; you may certainly email me.
They are all available, somewhere. Available may mean it costs to get copies, but they are available. I did reply to you privately.
I forwarded a number of links to you. Here is a link to the recent Appellate Court ruling vacating the dismissal of the suit that the satellite ministries brought against IBLP. http://www.discoveringgrace.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Decision-11.2.20.docx
Board news, Gary Fraley, longtime partner with Bill particularly in creating the ATI curriculum, working with him about as closely as anyone, passed away over the weekend. It appears COVID was the reason. This is a tragedy. He was chairman of the Board of directors at this time. May the Lord have mercy on His people.
that is sad. I am surprised IBLP’s own web site has not mentioned it. It seems like they should be announcing it.
re: Gary Fraley
May brother Gary rest in peace.
I am disappointed to see nothing of brother Fraley’s death on the IBLP website. Back in the Gothard era, Fraley would have been well memorialized, as were many like Al Smith, Rudy Atwood, and others.
I am sure they will. Gary was much loved and appreciated at IBLP.
Was Gary a previous board member or a current board member involved with the current issues with Bill? Please clarify
Dr. Fraley was in the administration of IBLP, working side by side with Bill for many years. He retired, then, after Bill was forced out, he came back to help stabilize the ministry. When the Chairman of the Board resigned a year or two ago, Gary was selected by the remaining members to serve in that capacity on the Board. There were high hopes that his long connection to Bill would allow for some objectivity in the current stalemate. It is not clear if that could have happened as the Lord took him home.
re: Gary Fraley and others
I get the impression that Bill Gothard attracted some good Christians who were unknown outside their family and community, and helped them become more fruitful for the Lord than they might otherwise have been. Gary Fraley, Jim Logan, Jim Sammons, Larry Guthrie and others seem to fit that description.
Might that be an important part of Bill Gothard’s legacy?
Ok, then he has been back according to you about 1-2 years ago and from what you are stating here, there was an expectation or hope that he would be the catalyst to bring Bill back because of his previous close working relationship with Bill. Do I have this correct? But even in 1-2 years, that didn’t happen but what did happen is that Bill sued or is trying to sue to get back.
The legal actions were already underway. One would hope that intelligent men of God, saved by grace, fellow laborers in some of the most significant works of God in our generation, could come together and talk the issues out, work them out. Of course we had hope this would happen. Maybe it still can happen. I long for the day.
Well, that seems to be either fantasy or wishful thinking. Was he there or involved with the “Bill went to Texas” incident?
He was not.
The problem with this getting together to work it out, is that there seems to be only one result which will be acceptable to Bill and this is a nonstarter.
They have moved on.
“They have moved on”. The children of Israel “moved on” from Moses a number of times. In the things of God nobody moves any further “on” than the Lord wills and allows.
” “They have moved on”. The children of Israel “moved on” from Moses a number of times. In the things of God nobody moves any further “on” than the Lord wills and allows.”
Except that the children of Israel were defying God. IBLP is defying Bill Gothard, not God. Please stop equating defying Bill Gothard with defying God. He is not God and these comparisons to God, Jesus and heroes from the Bible have done him no good, and in fact, are part of the problem.
HOW do you know the Children of Israel were defying God? “History is written by the winners”. I bet local accounts saw that a lot different. We just happen to have God’s account, after He fixed things. History is “His Story”. Defying Gothard is not the same as defying God . . . Unless God is standing with him.
re: moved on or dug in?
From a distance, IBLP appears to have barely moved, much less moved on.
The high-energy Gothard IBLP was constantly moving on. It was a gushing fountain of initiatives. After creating ATI homeschooling, Gothardites created ALERT for boys, EXCEL for girls, and countless other initiatives. One could criticize the direction, but he couldn’t dispute the movement. Where is the movement now?
Apparently IBLP officers purged IBLP of Gothard but sustained some religious activity. The appearance seems more digging in than moving on. The post-Gothard IBLP seems barricaded behind anti-Gothard walls and moat. You can call it un-Gothard, but can you call it movement?
How is “history written by the winners”? that is a very curious statement. My mouth dropped open when I read it.
“HOW do you know the Children of Israel were defying God? “History is written by the winners”. I bet local accounts saw that a lot different. We just happen to have God’s account, after He fixed things. History is “His Story”. Defying Gothard is not the same as defying God . . . Unless God is standing with him.”
Bill will turn 87 this year. Most Americans retire in their 60s. I know I know, Bill is going to live to be as old as Methuselah and has at least 100 productive years left. Let’s get real. It gets to a point where age makes it unrealistic. But, age is not even close to the bigger issue and you know it. It is just not going to happen.
Bill LOVES to prove everyone wrong! :-). So we shall see. Defying Bill is no different from defying any other “man of God” if God is the One who has set him up and enabled and empowered him.
” God is the One who has set him up and enabled and empowered him.”
Be careful with your logic. God is indeed in control. Bill Gothard has been dethroned and now lives in exile from the organization he created. From all appearances, his current endeavors are producing no fruit. God giveth and God taketh away.
2 Timothy 1:15. “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes … 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.”
Apparently the grand Apostle Paul ended his days completely abandoned. Bill is in good company. He gets to give account in the coming day, as do we all.
I have just recently discovered everything that has happened with Mr. Gothard. Hope everything has ended well. What is he up to now with the pandemic and everything?
Thanks for asking – and your your patience. Bill is doing well through the pandemic. He never slowed down at all, continuing to publish book after book. A new one is coming out right about now. Read all about it on EmbassyUniversity.com.