He is known as “The Prince of Preachers.” Even though he was born almost 200 years ago on June 19,1834, he is still the most quoted theologian of our day! He began preaching as a teenager in a village chapel; and soon no church in London was large enough to hold the crowds that came to hear him. His sermons were printed every Monday in the London Times and even in the New York Times. He was the “Preaching Sensation of London!”
When he died in 1892 at the age of 57, London went into mourning. 60,000 people came to view him as he lay in state. 100,000 mourners lined the streets as a two- mile- long funeral procession passed by. Flags flew at half -mast and shops were closed. With all his greatness there were two spiritual battles that plagued him: evil thoughts and depression!
Spurgeon’s sermon on the Power of the Holy Spirit
On June 17, 1855 Charles Spurgeon described his battle with evil thoughts:
“I hope that my will is managed by divine grace, but I am afraid my imagination is not at times. Those who have a fair share of imagination know what a difficult thing it is to control. You cannot restrain it. It will break the reins. You will never be able to manage it…With regard to myself, my imagination has taken me down to the vilest kennels and sewers of earth. It has given me thoughts so dreadful, that, while I could not avoid them, yet I was thoroughly horrified at them. These thoughts will come, and when I feel in the holiest frame, the most devoted to God, and the most earnest in prayer, it often happens that that is the very time when the plague breaks out the worst.”
How Charles Spurgeon could have conquered his evil thoughts
Vile thoughts cannot just be restrained and managed, they can and must be conquered! We are commanded to do this: “Casting down imaginations.” How do we do this? By “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).
The most crucial time to conquer evil thoughts is when we turn out the lights and get into bed. Our mind goes into “neutral” and our imagination becomes like a loose cannon on a raging ocean. It goes from one thought to another in a split second. Evil thoughts will then usually come. They come from the darkness of our soul and from the prince of darkness.
The most powerful way to conquer ALL these thoughts is to quote a new verse of Scripture to God every night while going to sleep. The light of God’s word will conquer every dark thought and then go down to our gut brain and increase our serotonin level which will overcome depression. We cannot “push” dark thoughts out of our mind any more than we can push darkness out of a room. But light always conquers darkness. All evil thoughts really do vanish when you go sleep quoting Scripture! This one daily activity would have conquered Charles Spurgeon’s evil thoughts and his depression!
-Bill Gothard EmbassyUniversity.com
Great thoughts, I believe I can see the hand of the enemy at work behind the scenes. Not all of our thought are our thoughts. In Matthew 16:17 we read “And Jesus answering, said to him Blessed are you, Simon Barjona! For flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in the heavens.” These thoughts came from God. In the same chapter V. 21 “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savors not the things that be of God but those that be of men.” Where did Peter get these thoughts from?
We must be “Casting down imaginations.” How do we do this? By “bringing into captivity (at spear point) every thought to the obedience of Christ” II Corinthians 10:5. The Word of God is the sword that the Spirit uses. Eph. 6:17. Meditating on Scripture empowers us to defeat evil thoughts through the power of the living Word.
The enemy seeks to render us spiritually impotent, The Lord desires to give us the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God as an offensive weapon as we battle the evil one.
re: thinking right thoughts
Each Sunday, my local Christian radio station announces a Bible memory verse for the week. With a few clicks of the mouse and a few strokes on the keyboard, it appears on an index card for shirt pocket carry. With a little daily practice, it is available to my mind for evening recitation as described above. We are unlikely to be a great Spurgeon, but this modest habit can help us draw near to God and resist the Devil.
it is too easy to play armchair quarterback with figures from the past. While the title of the article says “could”, Bill wrote this article with certainty that if only Charles Spurgeon just memorized and meditated enough on Bible verses, he would not have had the struggle that he did with depression. No one can state this over 100 years later after he passed away. Since there is a new Charles Spurgeon Bible commentary out, it seems like he was very well versed in scripture. While not as familiar with him as i am with others, what I have read about him is that he kept a very heavy preaching and speaking schedule and did pass away at the age of 57 which isn’t exactly super old even in 19th century standards. Exhaustion can easily contribute to depression which could have been a factor with Spurgeon and no amount of bible memorization will eliminate this as contributing factor in his bouts with depression. I have more to say on this but will start the conversation with here.
That Charles Spurgeon was a titan among men in the kingdom of God cannot be disputed. That God will sometimes weaken a great man or woman of God in order to make them need some of the “least and lowest” is also clear. The Lord gave Bill some tremendous insights for these last days and many have testified of the effectiveness of his guidance in a number of practical areas. The mastery of depression and evil thoughts, anger and lust and guilt are key examples of that. Perhaps there are some things that the “Prince of Preachers” – Spurgeon – might have benefitted from.
From more than one source that I’ve read about Spurgeon, they all state that a fatal stampede that happen at one of his early speaking engagements deeply affected and traumatized him and that his bouts with depression started and stemmed from this tragedy. PTSD can and does lead to depressive episodes and more than one source point this out. Memorizing Bible verses as Bill is claiming here isn’t going to change that. This is a false claim by Bill.
The other thought on Spurgeon is that his battle with depression could have been like a “thorn in the flesh” as with St. Paul and his struggle in this area probably resulted in the grace being poured out in his life that seems to have made him the “prince of preachers” that people still today find attractive.
That latter explanation is one that I have pondered for Paul. Besides “thorn in the flesh” he also called it “a messenger of Satan”. When you consider that the word “messenger” in the Greek is the word “angel”, well that raises interesting possibilities.
We know that the Savior spoke of such emotions:
Matthew 26:37-38 “And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death'”
“Very heavy” and “exceeding sorrowful” would be a fairly accurate description of the emotions that we call to be “depressed”, without calling the Savior “depressed” outright. So we know that such feelings are not necessarily an expression of sin or failure. Bill himself taught that there are three types of “depression” corresponding to the three parts of our being:
Physical Depression: Chemical imbalance in our body, extreme exhaustion.
Psychological Depression: Hope deferred, disappointment, or even the recoil from the expenditure of large amounts of emotional “soul” energy from some very good event. The “let down” after a “big high”.
Spiritual Depression: Feeling the gap between where we are and where we should be. Scripture calls that being “poor in spirit”.
So I see your point. Spurgeon may, in the quote cited, be referring to the latter one, “spiritual depression”. Perhaps there, then, is the place where meditation is the absolute cure. Staying and wallowing in our deficiencies is not God’s will. Forcing ourselves to “hunger and thirst after righteousness” is the cure.
We can only guess at the probable many causes for Spurgeon”s battle with depression and thoughts. Exhaustion and trauma of the stampede should not be ruled out. Bill again likes to list things and depression can have more than one cause and Bill’s ideas of depression on 3 types ignores the interlinking of all of his so called 3 types of depression. St. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was his own struggles and he also wrote that this kept him humble and dependent on God and grace as a counter to his many revelations which suffering no matter what it is does for us. Many Psalms cover and are written out of a depressive state like Psalm 22, 42 and especially 88. In more than one commentary I’ve read on Psalms, 88 is always called the dark Psalm. I think the point of their inclusion in scripture is going to God with what and how we feel., to be honest with God at whatever state we are in. It seems like Spurgeon at least is honest in his writings about his internal battles with thoughts and emotions. His struggles and turning to God probably resulted in the fruit of his preaching and ministry to others and kept him humble and dependent on God. That should be the real lesson anyone should take away from looking at Charles Spurgeon, not throwing him under the bus for not memorizing the Bible enough in order not to be depressed.
Regardless, Bill has some point worth pondering. As stated, his insights have been a sources of blazing light with respect to many of our commonly accepted problems. Brings solutions where there was no expectation of finding them. God’s truths must be dug out . . . “Ask” then “Seek” and then “Knock”. Once dug out with the effort that buried treasure would command, they can be presented to others . . . Maybe even create a seminar to do that.
So I’m not sure what area to post this so I’ll do here. I recently joined a social media discussion group between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. The group is pretty big at 17.5K members, so no small potatoes and there are people on there that come from IFB world. Just to see what kind of responses I would get, I did a question on Bill Gothard and I asked if anyone had been to the seminars and what did they think ( I also stated that I was not a fan to be honest). I only got 2 responses out of 17.5 K members. One was negative and stated that he saw through Bill after a couple days. The other said “I haven’t heard that name in a long time”. So it seems that Bill Gothard is faded history and now DOA in the wider world out there. So despite a hand full of people that still support him here, he has faded into oblivion and out of sight. Not sure how many, if any have signed up for his “university” but I bet one could count that on their fingers.
So . . . I am going to suggest that a group that is founded on Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants together is going to attract a fraction of the folks that would have been attending his seminars. Try that on an IFB or Southern Baptist group – or Mennonite – and you will find a very different response.
re: whom to survey
Indeed, our thread subject was Spurgeon. If you survey a sample from today’s Roman, Orthodox, and Protestant churches, how much Spurgeon influence would come up? Yet Spurgeon served his generation well.
Obviously your catch must depend upon which pond you’re fishing. Even so, just this morning I heard a devout middle-aged Presbyterian mention Gothard’s positive influence upon him as a young convert.
“Duty is ours, results are God’s.” “Man proposes, God disposes.”
How will Bill Gothard be remembered by history? It all depends. Who writes the history?
Well, there are number of self identified IFB on there and currently having a big discussion on Bible translations and JKV so I would think there would have been more responses than two.
What I am finding is that “Cancel Culture” has forced a great deal of support underground. More so a few years ago than now, to be sure. Gothard’s name has been synonymous with Hitler in many circles. Support him at your own risk. And, again, the brand of IBC that would discuss doctrine with Catholics and Orthodox is not typical of the mainstream.
As we have often pointed out, the Apostle Paul was similarly cancelled in his day. From all appearances he died a forsaken, lonely man.
re: chicken culture or cancel culture?
If a Christian man fears frowns, is he really a Christian man?
Jesus warned us that some gospel seed would fall upon shallow soil, producing crops which would spring up on sunny days, but wither and perish under adversity. Unfortunately, both Bill Gothard and Christ himself have attracted their share of fair-weather friends.
David, please read what I wrote which was I didn’t know where to ask this, so I picked the most recent article with the least comments. If the moderator thought it was wrong, I think he would have said so. Give it rest you are not the moderator. Considered how large a discussion group this is with a wide diversity of people and the fact that Bill was a big deal back in the 70-80s, I thought I would have picked off a few more comments than “I haven’t heard that name in a long time”, which does imply DOA.
Bill’s situation today is not at all the same as St Paul. You are desperate here. St Paul is highly mentioned as beloved in some of the earliest writings like St Ignatius, St Clemens, St Polycarp, St Irenaeus, etc. His martyrdom was a big deal which was close to St Peter’s both in Rome. St. Paul did not loose his position due to sex scandals that Bill has had in his ministry going all the way back to his own brother Steven. You cannot take his final letter to St Timothy and twist it around to claim he was lonely and forsaken. They are not the same as Bill’s current situation which is due to his own behaviors.
I started a reply, must have lost it. Suffice it to say that at the time of Paul’s death he was anything but beloved. “All of Asia” had turned against him, which would be at least half of the professing church (a guess). In Philippians he speaks of those that preach “Christ out of contention”, deliberately to hurt him and flaunt the fact, apparently, that they were worthy to be free, while Paul was not. Your citations are from long after Paul’s death. Bill did nothing wrong by way of “sex scandals” – his brother, yes. If all it takes for a person to be “cancelled” is a fabricated, highlight coordinated smear campaign, that says little for the current state of the Christ on earth.
Regardless, fame was never Bill’s goal, not then, not now. So the chips fly where the Lord allows. He is waiting for that final word from the Lord Himself on that final day. In the mean while, with whatever time and resources the Lord gives him, he will keep pursuing His kingdom in every manner possible.
Undoubtedly St. Paul was beloved by many and hated by many. Just as his savior has been loved by many and hated by many, just as Bill Gothard has both friends and enemies. But where is the twisting of Paul? Did St. Paul boast that he always cruised on easy street? hardly. Wasn’t he frank about both his blessings and his sufferings?
re: sex scandals
Sex scandals go all the way to the top. The Lord himself was called a bastard. When his enemies boasted that they were not born of fornication, they were comparing themselves to Jesus of Nazareth, who presumably was. Was St. Mary innocent, or a fornicator? The question answers itself. Yet her innocence did not deter Christ’s enemies from smearing him with sex innuendo. So all sex scandals are not created equal. Rumors are not facts. Gossip is not authoritative.
All I can say is that what I just read here is pretty sick and crude. There is no comparison between Steve Gothard which really constitutes rape along with Bill’s malfeasance and the one attempt by the pharisees in questioning or implying who Jesus’ father was. If someone has to twist themselves this far to defend the indefensible demonstrates corruption itself. What I just read here can be considered blasphemy.
Just for the record, nothing Steve Gothard did was “rape”. It was all consensual, adults. Rendezvous were scheduled in hotels and at the IBLP facility. We interviewed two of the seven women involved, and they all stated the same during the investigation.
2 out of 7 is only 29%. You are not an investigator nor are you neutral. Steve Gothard as well as Bill were employers of these women. A boss having sex with employees is immoral and illegal. Woman working in an isolated remote area like Northern Michigan did not really have a choice. Woman working under the teaching of submission at all times likewise didn’t have a choice either and just added fuel to the exploitation. Steve is a sexual predator and Bill the accomplish. whether or not just 2 considered or told you it was consensual is really meaningless in the long run. I stand by rape.
The facts to not bear that narrative out. Neither my wife nor I would continue supporting a monster that would do such a thing. And “submission” of a woman to a boss is not a Scriptural thing beyond a man’s “submission” to his boss. Blind obedience, even in the home, is NOT a Bill Gothard teaching, nor was it ever. There are many things Bill would have done differently with the clarity of hindsight, but he fails as we all do.
And, if it were anything like what you suggest, there is not 1 out of 7 that would justify that, or attempt to cloak it after all of the time that has passed. Both of these women had plenty of personal energy to add to the discussion. Their lives and souls were forever marred.
re: blasphemy, Gothards, the Ninth Commandment, defenses, and twisting
Of course it was blasphemy when bad men smeared the son of God with innuendo.
Those who accused Steve Gothard of fornication were merely stating fact. But the Ninth Commandment forbids smearing Bill Gothard without cause. False witness is serious sin.
This raises a question about what we mean by defense. If you accuse me, I may simply insist that you prove your accusation. Have I defended myself? Not yet. Until you bring evidence to prove my guilt, I have nothing to defend.
The Lord’s accusers faced this dilemma. It took a lot of twisting to railroad an innocent man to Calvary. Innocence needs no defense. It has serene dignity. False accusers must twist themselves out of proportion.
re: Really constitutes rape? neutral investigator? lying figures?
On 1/20 above, we read that Steve Gothard’s fornication offense more than forty years ago “really constitutes rape.”
Then on 1/24 below, we crunch some numbers to show that only about 30% of the women with whom Steve Gothard fornicated have confessed their fornication. Therefore, it supposedly follows that Steve Gothard raped the other 70%. (Q.E.D.?)
We are further told that our moderator is neither neutral nor an investigator, both of which are probably true. This raises questions. Why speculate about credentials and about sexual victimization? why such rivalry over whom may designate victims? As the saying goes, “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”
Without conclusive evidence, why speculate about lying, figuring, and raping? Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth.
re: ears to hear and lives that matter
How big a deal has Bill Gothard been over the past fifty years? For many, he was no deal at all. Yet for those who had ears to hear, he was a big deal.
Isn’t it remarkable that Gothard has been so polarizing? He seemed to create three categories: Category #1 was people who knew and cared nothing of him. Categories #2 and #3 comprised people who were influenced by Gothard. They either admire or resent him. Why such love or hate among those whom Bill Gothard influenced? Apparently Gothard lives matter.
Not sure if you have heard of him before, but prominent figure in the pro-life movement, Frank Pavone who was recently removed from being a priest is now accused of sexual harassment at his organization, Priests for Life. The article is here.
The story described by the woman in the article is just so much like what Bill has been accused of by the various women on DG, the lawsuit, other blogs etc. Young gullible and inexperienced women are taken under his wing and the rest is history. All I could think of when reading this about Frank Pavone is that all you had to do is sub in Bill’s name for Frank’s because both are so similar, it is just too creepy.
No woman should ever feel uncomfortable with any behavior and when she speaks up, whatever the issue is should cease. I can’t speak to her allegations or to what his intentions were. What caused her to come forward with this now. Working relationships in the “family” are obviously going to be different than for those in the secular workplace. Scripture expects a man of God to treat young women as “sisters”, no more . . . And no less, as Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy 5. That would involve a lot closer physical contact than for strangers . . . With some huge barriers as well. In this day and age so much is being questioned and second-guessed, children told to not touch or hug adult relatives, for example. Even their own parents. Is that of God? I am not sure. Whatever the devil is, he is into extremes . . . Too loose and way, way too tight. In the end the Lord sorts through it.
But that term “grooming” is weird. Grooming for what? After a sex crime is committed we know it was grooming. The normal behavior of filial or parental affection can be very close and involve a lot of physical contact without ever being “grooming”. The key is whether those big lines are crossed, which nobody does accidentally. AND, again, when discomfort is signaled, making that not happen.
I don’t know what this priest is charged with. Bill’s interactions with young women whom he regarded as daughters were pure in intent and he was extremely, to a fault, responsive to reactions. A single young woman – missionary on a break – recently sought Bill out, actually flying in for the sole purpose of taking him to dinner. They had never met, but she was so grateful for all Bill had done over the years for her family. Bill was clearly nervous, hemmed and hawed and finally asked my wife and I to accompany them, just to avoid any awkward appearances. She didn’t have any concern, but he did. If he were evil no one else would ever have had to know. But that is who he is, who he has always been.
re: feeling uncomfortable
Is it expecting too much for each of us to assume responsibility for his own feelings? When the Holy Spirit indwells a man, he produces temperance. One of the first things we must temper are our emotions.
Jesus commanded me to love my neighbor, not to make my neighbor feel loved. Love is real, love is truth, but feelings are transient froth.
re: patterns of conduct and misconduct
Indeed we see similarities when we compare Frank Pavone with Bill Gothard. Both men were accused of creepiness on the basis of rumors. Both were fired by their respective bosses. In both cases the accusations came from anonymous sources, including women who had “trauma in my background.” In neither case was anything more serious than creepiness alleged, much less proven.
This is where the similarities end and differences begin. Apparently, Pavone was defrocked by due canonical process, and because of offenses which were ecclesiastical, not carnal. In contrast, Gothard was summarily canned after a critical mass of gossip about carnality.
You are so condescending to any woman. This is the fruit in your life of patriarchal teaching. Frank Pavone would not let the bishop in Amarillo Texas review and audit the finances of Priest for Life. That resulted in Priest for Life NOT being a Catholic organization (despite the name). what the Pillar article is pointing out is that Pavone used money from Priest for Life to pay off the interns he was harassing as well as pay for room and board for them. An audit by a bishop would have brought this out which is obviously why he refused the bishop and was part of him being laicized.
Okay, church discipline worked as it should. Hopefully, such drastic discipline is rarely necessary.
As for women, how can they resist my charm and good looks? As for patriarchs (or is it patry-arks?), hopefully they are seaworthy in case of flood.
grooming is not a weird term at all. Do you know how to boil a live frog? You put the frog in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat. The frog adjusts to the increasing temperature to where it doesn’t recognize the final danger of being boiled alive. What is called grooming is exactly that, slow incremental words, touches etc. to the point where the victim doesn’t quite realize what is happening until too late. Whether or not Bill saw all these girls as daughters or granddaughters, he was totally inappropriate even in a father/daughter relationship. So finally now, Bill recognizes that maybe he shouldn’t be alone with any female that he has you and your wife as chaperones. It’s a little late now. The poster Was There was trying to tell you this.
Frank Pavone was laicized due to long term disobedience to his bishop. He has had a long history of this to where he moved around to find a friendly bishops to him to where he could just do what he wanted. This resulted in the bishop going to Rome and Pope Francis signed off on him being removed from being a priest. That is a vert short version of the story. This other stuff is now coming out. It is a total tragedy. Priests as part of their vows are suppose to obey the directions of their bishops or their religious orders. They are not allow to do what they want and how they want and when they want. Just a very short explanation on what happen here since you are not familiar with him and the situation.
Again, can’t speak to the priest. We have been around and around on “grooming”. Grooming is a silly term if you cannot define what the individual is being groomed for. Otherwise it is a series of symptoms that can be taken this way or that way. There are things we all agree that cross the line – those episodes do not exist for Bill. *I* think that this is a concerted, organized attempt to cancel Bill. I don’t just think it, I know it. Documents in my possession generated by the accusers themselves prove it. They hated him, so they had to craft a smear that, once repeated enough, would stick to him and take him down. Everyone that has had a hand in that will stand before the Lord and given account in fear and trembling. The Lord is the final judge of all these things.
grooming is a thing and what all the different women described either on DG, on their own blogs, in interviews, etc all testify to that and NONE of them have denied they were lying no matter what you claim you have in your possession. That is what WAS There was trying to tell you. It is over for Bill. With Jinger’s book and most likely Jill and Derek writing their own book which they have alluded to, with the documentary series coming out on Amazon and other places, it is over. If he goes back to IBLP, it really will sink what is left. There will be no credibility left.
You know, Jinger of all people would know if Bill was immoral. And near as I can tell she has not brought any such knowledge forward. YES, plaintiffs lied. Of course they would deny it because that would put them in all kinds of legal trouble. If a woman claims something bad in the lawsuit and openly denies that ever happened in unguarded conversations with chums, that constitutes a lie. “Grooming”, when the sun sets, it an immoral motive cloaked in common innocent behavior. It hinges on motive. I know – and those, like Jinger, that know – Bill know he is incapable of that. The rest is a smear campaign.
Grooming? Bad men have always been dangerous to vulnerable girls. That’s why good fathers protect their daughters, and good brothers protect their sisters.
It looks like Bill Gothard is in the news again. Jinger Duggar has a new book coming out tomorrow.
“Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear”
” It explores her strict upbringing, as well as what compelled her to walk away from the “false teachings” of Bill Gothard.”
“I can’t say, ‘Oh, it was a cult.’ I will leave that to the experts. But I will say that a lot of things make it tough for kids to leave or families to leave because the community is so tight-knit. The teachings are based on rules – man-made rules.”
“Duggar Vuolo alleged that Gothard’s teachings “are based on fear and superstition,” which left her with a crippling anxiety that she still struggles with today.”
“I remember he would talk about rock music a lot,” she recalled. “He said anything with this specific beat in a drum is harmful. It’s dangerous. He told the story of a young man who was in a car accident and died because he was listening to music with drums. I remember one time we were on our way to one of the seminars and somebody turned on music with drums in the car. I was freaking out. I just thought, ‘Goodness, this is it. We’re going to have a car accident because somebody turned this on.’ I was so fearful. It just consumed my life.”
,” Jinger Duggar makes a bold comparison between Gothard and her older brother, Josh – who was convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography in 2021 – in her forthcoming memoir, Becoming Free Indeed. ”
Thanks for your post. We may put together a formal response at some point, but want to make sure we understand what she is saying.
I skimmed through the Fox article. There are some of the typical errors, including that 30 women accused Bill (no such number ever did). I read the two extreme examples she put forward and we will be reaching out to Bill for comment. Somehow I am guessing there is way more to each account (rock music = wreck, painting = death at sea). The second Yahoo! article was much worse, call IBLP a church (it isn’t), that the church put him out (it didn’t), and particularly that the women quit the suit because of statues of limitations (a lie they told – reality is that the judge had already ruled years earlier that they did not apply if what they claimed was true).
Jinger is free indeed to make her own decisions. I am sorry about her anxiety and fear, which I can relate to. I pluck out this statement:
“There’s a healthy fear of God that the Bible speaks of, but it’s more of an awe reverence, realizing the greatness of God,” she explained.
We are in awe of the greatness of the Grand Canyon, but we are not afraid because it cannot hurt us. The Lord can most definitely hurt us, and it is foolish for any of us to imagine that we know Him so well that we are in no danger of bringing Him to anger. Our nation was founded by those that were genuinely afraid of of the Lord, even while trusting Him to save them because of His promises. Somehow we imagine that we have suddenly found truths in the same Bible they read that renders all that foolish or even dangerous. I submit that their fear of the Lord was much closer to reality than the version the church is rapidly embracing, which is no fear at all.
“I believe in God’s good Grace and freedom to be ourselves!”
That is quite a statement. *I* know what the Bible says, and it does not say that. Where did we get that from? Here is what I read about God’s “good grace”:
Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
That is the exact opposite of “freedom to be ourselves”. There comes a crossroads for each of us, where we decide whether we are going to be afraid of God and His word, or whether we will inhale the “woke” spirit of this age that assures us that we are inherently good and we are smart and most of all that we have the right to decide for ourselves what we believe and live our lives by. God is not the God of panic and despair. However, whatever relief we find from the discomfort of fear in this life, it is not worth playing fast and loose with any part of what God has actually said. “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 28:14)
It is always dangerous to cherry-pick quotes and draw final conclusions. So we will be studying what she has to say more closely before crafting an official response.
Reading her book. She is doing a very good job taking on Bill’s so called 7 non-optional principals. She echos all the other stories on DG of how his teaching has been devasting to her emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is very simply written but very effective.
We plan to have a look. We are at complete ease to discuss those things. We did get Bill’s fuller explanation of the two accounts that she provided – at least in interviews – showing Bill as extreme. We will present that in a formal OP (or two, or three).
re: fear and the creed of Hell
Can the Grand canyon hurt us? not if we merely behold it. Yet the canyon lookouts have guard rails because of danger. A tumble from rim to bottom of the Canyon would teach us a bitter lesson about fear. What is damnation? Is it not eternity as sinful selves? Indeed, that is something to fear.
If Hell has a creed, isn’t that what we read in the Vuolo book? “I believe in God’s good grace and freedom to be ourselves!” If selves need only affirmation, who needs Calvary’s cross? Christ came to save, not merely to affirm.
Didn’t God in Christ offer himself in atoning sacrifice for selves who need salvation? Didn’t he conquer death by rising to life? Hadn’t we better believe God’s kingdom creed while we can? otherwise we default to Hell’s self-centered creed.
“There are some of the typical errors, including that 30 women accused Bill (no such number ever did)”
“Since the time that Lizzie’s story was published, we have identified by name at least 34 different women who have experienced the same harassment, and we have sufficient evidence to believe that there are dozens more. We have had men and women who served in IBLP leadership confirm that the allegations are true, although they felt (and often were) powerless to do anything at the time.”
Oh yes. You are forgetting that those same folks had the number at “more than 60” for a while.
March 7, 2014, “As many as 34 women who worked for Gothard claim that he harassed them; four claim that he molested them,”
June 24, 2015, “we’re aware of more than 60 women who have experienced sexual harassment and worse.”
It was around that time that we sent a pointed challenge to them that they had better have the backup for that or face legal action. This is the statement that they published soon after that:
January 7, 2016: “According to Kari Underwood, founder of the Recovering Grace website, more than 30 women identified by name have recounted troubling interactions with Gothard that add up to a pattern of sexual harassment and abuse.”
Notice the flipflop and the addition of lots of nuances (and drop of the “abuse” claims). Stopping way short of saying those women accused Bill of harassment. Because they didn’t. SAME folks, same office. Sole source for this.
Do you know what this was based on? They ran a series of forums and any comment that said, “me too”, counted. Good grief. Of the thousands of women that Bill counseled, many of whom were identified as “troubled youth” by law enforcement or their families, there are at least 30 who, sensing an opportunity for notoriety or money, would put their name in the hat. Remember that RG reached out to all such inviting them to join the lawsuit . . . With the promise of anonymity (completely unfair for a man not to be able to face his accusers) and a huge payday, $500K each. With all that only 15 joined (plus 2 men, amazingly). 15 women “accused” Bill. We know volumes of information about each thanks to the investigation that a lawsuit demands. With three different legal teams behind them, and the principals of RG advising them (at least two were lawyers), they all abandoned the suit. Dismissal was “without prejudice”, which allowed them to regroup and refile any way they chose … But the all declined. All their claims were investigated – there was nothing there. Nobody else has stepped forward in the wake of this. No, there are no 30 accusers, there never were.
There is so much twisting in your narrative, it is hard to know where to begin.
After reading the entire Recovering Grace website, I find no reason not to trust their account. They have shown nothing but good faith in attempting to help the women. 18 individuals were a part of the lawsuit, so it is not at all a stretch to believe that there were 34. Not all want the publicity of going public.
18 . . . Who can forget Doe 2, the woman that claimed she had been raped by Bill on the bed she had just made at the direction of Mrs. Gergeni (sp?), was repeatedly raped by Dr. Copley as well as her father, was a sex slave, pimped out by her father. That was in the second iteration of the lawsuit. Problem for her was that she had similar accusations during the time she was in Indiana . . . And her story was investigated at the time by police from two different countries. She was a liar. I recall the discussion from the social media chats that the plaintiffs had to turn over where the principals at RG were expressing their sorrow to her that she decided to leave the suit before the 3rd and last iteration. She never explained and they never knew. Or one of the other women that claims in her filing that Bill molested her breasts – yet in the FOIA produced police report that RG told her to give to the Hindsdale PD she told the officer Bill had never done that. They must have known that one of the women was quailing about being dropped if she didn’t come up with a story, then reported to the chat – and RG was all over those – that she had had a dream during the night of an event that the lawyer agreed must have happened, put in as her money maker … and then her quailing later on, wondering if “the lawyer” had deceived her and it really had never happened. God is my witness, James, you hopefully know by now that I don’t lie. They didn’t care.
Good faith?! That is really something. No, they “believed every woman”, not putting in anything resembling a responsible effort to vet these stories. I recall several painful sequences in these chats – all of the plaintiffs colluding together – where this woman or that one would say, “My head hurts trying to remember. Bill must have done something to me. Can anyone refresh my memory?” The principals – the women leading the effort – expressing how their own story really didn’t have any substance, but Bill had to go and they had to be there for the others, the ones like Doe 2 and Gretchen, that it turns out fabricated the entire thing.
Those at RG hated Bill so that anything and everything was now justified toward the finally goal of ejecting him from the ministry. The Lord judge between Bill and those that put Recovering Grace together.
re: at-least women and shy accusers
What are “at least thirty four women?” Does that mean exactly thirty-four women? or thirty-five? What is an at-least woman? May we at least see names and addresses for proof that Gothard’s accusers even exist? Cut-and-paste rumors from the internet don’t count.
At least a lawsuit is a public accusation which involves public disclosure. At least it is neither gossip nor anonymous smear. How can a man face his accuser if his accuser is imaginary? or if his accuser hides? Shall people make public accusations if they eschew publicity?
re: cashing in on Gothard gossip? defense of funky music?
Does Gothard gossip pay? We are about to find out. At least one publisher hopes to profit, beginning on 1/31/23.
The above quotes from the new Vuolo book raise questions. If Gothard’s teaching frightened Mrs. Vuolo, why did she suffer it? Was she a victim of Gothard tyranny, or Duggar tyranny?
Also, why the hyperbole about rock music? We who attended Gothard’s seminars remember the rock music material as but one topic among many others. Did Gothard “talk about rock music a lot?” As a proportion of his overall teaching, rock music was no greater than other topics. But that mote looms as great as a beam to Vuolo. Why? does she resent her famous parents because they forbade funky music in the house of Duggar? What manner of liberty does the book promote? liberty to resent our parents?
re: man-made rules
Does Mrs. Vuolo really object to man-made rules? Has she noticed that these are mostly the rules she obeys without objection, and indeed without noticing, during the routine of her life? Must nothing interfere with Vuolo-made rules? Is her book a case for liberty or for chaos? The Son makes us free indeed, but the world, the flesh, and the devil consign us to chaos.
Jinger Duggar’s book seems to be getting high marks and lots of coverage.
In her interview with ABC, broadcast yesterday, she says that Bill Gothard is definitely a false prophet and false teacher.
It was big news when the Josh Duggar scandal hit, but there was not much emphasis on Bill or IBLP. However, she seems to be placing them front and center. I expect that in watching interviews, such as the one linked, that many in the general public are hearing about Bill Gothard for the first time.
Bill has been called that from the very beginning. It did not stop his message from reaching millions. Perhaps you are right. But God also plunges His precious seed deep underground during the decimation of the world above. . . To spring up and take root and bear fruit in an entirely different world than before. I predict Jinger’s time in the spotlight will be short lived, like many before her. Maybe she would like it that way. But she is not the one that will lead our nation out of the abyss into the light and glory of the power of the present Kingdom of God. I wish her no ill. She has earned my respect even of I am absolutely convinced that she will regret writing this book and tearing Bill down.
re: probability of regrets
Regrets depend upon heart condition. Conscientious and tender-hearted people often have them. But the hard-hearted are immune. Like Captain Ahab, they would rather perish than repent.
“Regrets depend upon heart condition. Conscientious and tender-hearted people often have them. But the hard-hearted are immune. Like Captain Ahab, they would rather perish than repent.”
Your position that because she wrote a book on her recovery from legalism and now follows Christ and not a man, that she somehow will come to regret it and needs to repent is sick. Have you read her book? Have you listened to any of her interviews?
People rarely recover from spiritual legalism to freedom in Christ, only to return to its clutches, so I believe the chances of her regretting her book are slim to none. Hopefully, she will feel a deep sense of satisfaction that her book will help thousands of others escape the bonds of legalism.
“As the sixth child in a large and famous family, would she even exist (or be a celebrity) if her parents did not heed Gothard’s teaching?”
She should be grateful to BIll Gothard that she even exists? That is pretty demented. We owe our gratitude to God, not the man whom you have dangerously enabled and elevated.
Did Jinger Vuolo accuse Bill Gothard of being a false teacher? As the sixth child in a large and famous family, would she even exist (or be a celebrity) if her parents did not heed Gothard’s teaching?
Gothard’s advocacy for natural family size motivated many couples to repent of their anti-natural attitudes, and quit making their wombs barren. Is Vuolo biting the hand that feeds her? If Gothard’s pro-life teaching is false, is Vuolo’s existence also false?
Yes, she calls Bill Gothard a false teacher. You will have to read the book. It is well written, it is pretty simple and she does a very effective job on how Bill Gothard abuses and misquotes scripture by taking one line Bible verses out of context and calls it what it is proof-texting. She describes how all this teaching affected her which was fill her with fear and anxiety and how little prepared she was when marrying and moving away from her family. She does not in the book bash her parents for following his teachings. She takes on the 7 principals. She takes on umbrella of authority which she calls false. She takes on what is wrong the the courtship model as talked about by Bill, which I think she does allude to very slightly lead to more of marital struggles they had in the beginning. I find it an engaging read. I could relate to much of it which surprised me. Even though she does use a ghost writer, it is written in such a manner that this sounds like Jinger, as if she was sitting across from you at a table sharing a drink of coffee, talking about all of this. This is her theological journey like she says in interviews.
We will be reading it. She stands before the Lord for every word.
“Those at RG hated Bill so that anything and everything was now justified toward the finally goal of ejecting him from the ministry. The Lord judge between Bill and those that put Recovering Grace together.”
You know very well that it was his own board of directors, his friends whom he had hand picked for the board over the years, who ejected him from the ministry, following their investigation. It was not Recovering Grace. It is Bill who should fear the Lord’s judgement, not those who have dedicates so much to helping people recover from the bondage of spiritual legalism and to give those damaged a platform, including the women.
I know better than you what that “investigation” consisted of. There was nothing in there worthy of ejecting him, as witnessed by someone who knew. They concluded, not that Bill had done wrong, but that it was too much trouble to unravel and that everybody would be better off if Bill “retired”.
“Legalism”. There is that undefined and unbiblical word again. What is dangerous is abandoning the fear of the Lord in these last days. If a man trembles before God’s Word or trembles in fear as he works out his own salvation – and teach others to do so – he is only obeying the precise words and stance of Scripture. Not very popular today. The Bible remains a rock – it never changes.
RG is guilty of all that was laid out.
“I know better than you what that “investigation” consisted of. There was nothing in there worthy of ejecting him, as witnessed by someone who knew.”
And I KNOW that you have never read the report of the investigation. And, you are putting words in their mouth and trying to gaslight, as you lay out your narrative. This has not worked so far.
I have spoken – and continue to speak – with those who have seen it, and with others closely linked to the author. I stand by my statement.
“I have spoken – and continue to speak – with those who have seen it, and with others closely linked to the author. I stand by my statement.”
Just heresay. Those who trust your every word can choose to believe you, but that is not evidence whatsoever.
We have been down this road. It is not hearsay.
Hearsay is when you relate what someone else said and they are not on record of having said it. So and so told me so and so.
Evidence can come in many forms. One of which is personal testimony. For example when the woman gave their testimony against Bill Gothard. That was evidence.
You expect your readers to disregard actual evidence and then believe you when you say that somebody, who remains unnamed, told you something. That’s not going to work for very many people. That’s why the situation is where it is and almost no one gives any weight to your narrative.
We have been there, done that. Evidence was presented on a similar matter, chapter and verse, which you sort of acknowledged. What you should say is that I demonstrated that I do not state things except on excellent authority. Sadly this investigation is still protected by attorney-client confidentiality so I am not at liberty to provide you what you ask. At some point you start to understand that there are folks that are not going to lie to you or make statements that they could not, in a court of law, defend. Or not. There is no further point to continuing this particular thread.
” At some point you start to understand that there are folks that are not going to lie to you or make statements that they could not, in a court of law, defend. ”
I’ll say that I don’t accuse you of lying. I don’t believe that you would intentionally give false information. But, I do believe that you have bias, as we all have biases. And I believe your bias affects your interpretation of data. When we put our critical thinking caps on, ideally, we set bias aside and analyze what is before us. Some are better able to do this than others. But regardless of how well we believe we do it there will always be some level of bias.
That holds for you too. I think the possibility of Bill being innocent is not realistic to you. Eternity will tell all.
re: red-herring terms which sound meaningful even while evading meaning
Don’t -isms often work because of the illusions they conjure? If I oppose a statesman’s peaceful foreign policy, I may accuse him of isolationism, without ever specifying from whom he is isolating what!
If I oppose Bill Gothard, I may accuse him of legalism, without specifying which laws he advocates and why they are defective. My smoke screen of -isms dignify my smears by making them sound substantial. In logic we call this a red herring fallacy. We divert attention from substance when we have no substance.
“They concluded, not that Bill had done wrong, but that it was too much trouble to unravel and that everybody would be better off if Bill “retired”.”
That is a very serious accusation. Do you have anything more than your claim that some anonymous person told you this? Can you actually back this up. If they “retired” him under false pretence, that would mean that their action was evil.
A number of private discussions. In that many words. “False pretenses” are not words I used. It was pretty open. Ask them yourself.
“Did Jinger Vuolo accuse Bill Gothard of being a false teacher? As the sixth child in a large and famous family, would she even exist (or be a celebrity) if her parents did not heed Gothard’s teaching?”
Let’s say a woman is raped and gets pregnant. She does not believe in abortion, even after rape, so she has the child. Years later the rapist tells the child that it was a good thing that he raped her mom, because if not for the rape she would not exist. No, the teaching that couples should have as many children as physically possible is not justified, just because you can go back and say “if not for that you would not exist.” That is twisted logic. If you take that thinking to its logical extreme, there are all kinds of atrocities which can be retroactively be called good.
Wait a minute. Your logic declares that that woman should not exist, not a good thing that she exists. Do you really believe that? Do you believe in accidental babies? Psalm 139 says that is impossible.
There is no self evident conclusion to your rape story. Many parents curse their children with their words. Many a child is conceived in not the best circumstances. There is no more reason to imply that that woman should not exist, Is a curse, than those conceived in drugs or alcohol or even sperm banks. I suppose that man that is your hypothetical father might do that. It is just as likely that he might have gotten saved in between and with tears tells her, “I meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. You are proof that God knows what He is doing.” How big is your God?
YES. God is sovereign, every “kind of atrocity” is by His will – meaning He chose to not stop it – and every such person, living in the love of the Lord can say that it “worked together for good” . . . Because God knows what He is doing. Examples: Judah having sex with his son’s widow, Rahab being an ex-prostitute a from a cursed people, Ruth being married to Mahlon against God’s command, and David committing adultery with Bathsheba – all of these tragedies resulted in babies born into the direct lineage of the Lord Jesus. YOU tell me. May we retroactively call them good?
Strange direction that you decided to go in the direction to say this:
“YES. God is sovereign, every “kind of atrocity” is by His will”
That is off point. The point is that claiming that the teachings are good because without them she might not exist is twisted and does not mean that the teachings are from God.
But, a sovereign God has allowed an intelligent, articulate young woman to recover from man made spiritual legalism and write a book, which is alread a #1 Amazon best seller.
You may find the dedication of her book interesting:
“To those who have been hurt by the teachings of Bill Gothard or any religious leader who claim to speak for God but didn’t.”
Indeed. The Lord allows many unjust things as He seeks for fruit that lasts. The Lord raised up a Pharaoh, a Judas, a Babylon . . . And they had their heyday, and when what He was looking for was done, He destroyed them.
” . . . Does not mean the teaching are from God” Of course not, but that is the logic you have repeatedly employed – you see, just because the Lord has allowed this opposition does also not mean that He is displeased with Bill. In fact, that is exactly what the Savior presented as normal:
Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”
In the end the Lord is Who He is. We know how He is from His witnesses in Scripture. Those that please Him and faithfully declare His messages and His honor will shine as the stars of heaven in that coming day.
We welcome the opportunity to place Jinger’s concerns under the light of God’s Word.
Jim is corrected, this is very twisted logic and your response sounds like a Calvinist extreme view of God’s sovereignty where God becomes the author of evil and wills it.
One of the greatest reasons that suffering folks turn away from the Lord is the inability to reconcile His sovereignty with His love when it comes to tragedies and atrocities. Bill is one of the few that has dared to go there, boldly and joyfully. In the end no force or authority on earth, visible or invisible, has the ability to countermand Him. Even Satan is on His leash.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel so good and we cry. But Romans 8:28 makes it clear: IF we love Him, everything that happens to us is tightly woven into an intricate and glorious and essential flow “together for good”. He wins, and all that love Him win. It will all make sense soon.
Psalms 76:10 “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”
re: hypothetical bastard, actual bastard, and Bill Gothard
On 2/2 above, we read a problem about a hypothetical rape which produces a bastard. Although sometimes begotten by bad men, isn’t life good?
But let’s upgrade from hypothetical to actual. I myself was begotten of fornication and my parents never married. So Psalm 51 is not hypothetical. I really was “shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Even so, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Having repented of his teen folly, my father became a good man and a church officer. My parents’ fornication was evil. But life is good, and bastard lives matter.
Bill Gothard taught much more than natural family size, but Ginger and I both owe our existence to letting nature take its course. Among others, that was a controversial Gothard teaching. Hopefully, Mrs. Vuolo does not renounce that one.
re: John Paul II, Christopher West, and Bill Gothard
Christopher West and Bill Gothard don’t agree on all things, but they at least had the guts to advocate for natural family size. As the late pope and West say, this was the Christian consensus until 1930, when the Church of England opened the door to contraception. Soon after, most Protestant churches jumped on the new contraception bandwagon. So in this teaching, Gothard was returning to the Christian Consensus before 1930. Was that a false teaching, or has a near-century of sexual corruption followed a near-century of Christian backsliding?
“Christopher West and Bill Gothard don’t agree on all things, but they at least had the guts to advocate for natural family size. ”
Advocating for Open Womb takes guts? Really?
What takes guts is doing what Jinger has done. Having been brainwashed into the teaching that women exist primarily to be baby factories, she is making a stand that she disagrees that the Bible commands this. And, as one would expect, she faces many poison arrows from those still in the clutches of spiritual legalism.
re: guts, Bible commands, and love
If I publish a best-seller (God forbid), what courage does that require? If I bow to the applause of adoring fans, how brave am I? You may commend my competence, but not my courage. God’s heroes had guts. It took guts to defy Nebuchadnezzar’s decree. Was it risky to bow before his golden image? or to stand alone? Between Ginger and Gothard, which is accommodating the world? which is standing alone? Do martyrs have publishers or ghost writers?
As inanimate objects, Bibles cannot command. God commands, but he prefers to love. Do lovers waste any attention on headship and submission? Who ponders authority while gazing into a lover’s eyes? Jesus said that keeping his commands would be the natural fruit of our love. Where there’s love, who bothers with grudging submission?
Bill did not advocate natural family planning. He advocated to try and have as many children as possible. Natural family planning mean and includes understanding the woman’s fertility cycles and with that knowledge, either planning or not planning to have marital relationships. This does not include what is called artificial birth control and all it’s forms which is the only thing that JP II, Christopher West and Humane Vitae and finally Bill Gothard agree upon. You are misusing the term natural family planning. Bill did not teach natural family planning.
Bill teaches that children are an unparalleled blessing from God. Scripture makes this clear. There is no precedent, no precept, no Scripture to indicate otherwise.
I am not arguing whether or not children are a blessing or for the fact that God is the cause of all life. David is claiming that Bill Gothard taught “natural family planning” like JP II and Christopher West. Bill did not teach natural family planning which is what I just explained what that actually means.
You are correct if you say Bill did not teach “Natural Family Planning”. If anything his collected material would be for those seeking to conceive.
re: planning or savoring?
Bill Gothard taught neither family planning, nor family “trying.” Do Christian teachers advocate “trying” to have children? Neither Christopher West nor Bill Gothard do that. The “trying” term has surfaced only in recent times. It is a polite code for copulation without contraception, because contraception means “trying not.” A better term for Gothard’s teaching is natural family size.
The idea is liberty, spontaneity, and enjoying the children we bear, instead of management and planning. If spouses want both pleasure and barrenness, indeed they need planning and management to divert nature from her course. West and Gothard agree that our attitudes should be pro-liberty and pro-life instead of planning, management, and fear. West selected a beautiful title for one of his books. He called it, “Our Bodies Tell God’s story.” Bill Gothard agreed. Our bodies are built for life rather than than fertility management. We are designed for life, liberty and joy.
You missed my point David. You’re going to see what you want to see.
To answer your question:
“Bill Gothard taught much more than natural family size, but Ginger and I both owe our existence to letting nature take its course. Among others, that was a controversial Gothard teaching. Hopefully, Mrs. Vuolo does not renounce that one.”
In her interview she indicated that she does not believe that birth control is a sin. She and her husband have two lovely children, and they may or may not have another. There is no biblical commandment that parents produce as many children as is physically possible. She articulates this very well.
Rather than throw daggers in the dark, perhaps you should read her book and/or watch a few of her interviews. You might have a different opinion, other than the one which would cause you to shoot from the hip and accuse her of trying to profit off of Gothard gossip.
Here is what I read about having babies:
Psalms 139:14-16 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
That tells me that every single child is a deliberate act of God. Or from the negative, no child is random or an accident. That being the case, it is a lack of faith to believe that God would weave together too many children, or children that are bad of us. Whatever birth control is – and I for my part cannot see calling it a sin either – it has at its core a belief that I know better than the Lord does what is best for me let alone the world. Or worse: God cannot control Himself and keep from planning for and creating another child, so I have to help Him out.
And truth be told, that is how Bill and those working with him presented this. She will remember the analogy of the man that found a partially open shell with debris in it that rattled. He worked the debris out and as he threw it into the water he saw the pearl for a split second. He kept the shell and threw out the pearl. A life free of burdens and financial pressures let alone a great sex life is the shell – the baby is the pearl. Not a sin – just inverted values. If Jinger’s parents hadn’t believed that, they would never have had her. To take that life they sought and protected and use it to speak against what they did . . . Just seems wrong.
re: Gothard parable about fertility
That’s right. Instead of an airtight Bible syllogism in favor of natural family size, Bill Gothard told a parable to warn us against despising our own fertility. How tragic if we value cheap over precious, shallow over deep, and temporal more than eternal!
re: rape = lovemaking?
The parable on 20/2 above compares rape to spousal lovemaking. By God’s gritty grace in the face of man’s sin, both events can produce good fruit. We savor the fruit, even while abhorring the sin. But why conflate spousal lovemaking with atrocity? Must our sin-stained hands pollute everything we touch?
On the issue of whether Gothard was teaching “what the Bible says” when he teaches for open womb, you made the argument that Jinger would not exist if not for Gothard’s teaching on large families.
My example was to make the point that just because a teaching resulted in a birth and now we can say that this person would not exist without the teaching, is not a good argument to claim that a teaching is from God. Also, if God wants Jinger born into this world, it will happen, with or without a teaching from Gothard.
You have not made the case that his teaching is biblical, at least not that I have seen and perhaps I’ve missed it. At least the moderator attemps to make an argument as to the teaching being biblical, although I do not find it a convincing one.
re: Bible, natural law, and carnal disorders
Bill Gothard’s teaching about natural family size appealed to natural law, much like Romans 1. That text also appeals to natural law. It traces our downward spiral when we withhold glory and thanks from God. Sin makes us first non-natural, then unnatural, then anti-natural. We blind ourselves to the “invisible things” of God. We deny ourselves eyes to see. In our blindness, we turn away from “natural use” of our flesh. Sodomy is among our most heinous crimes against nature, but it is only one of many. We corrupt many appetites, from our food appetite to our sex appetite.
Consider the man with an eating disorder. Is bulimia unbiblical? Possibly not, if we require Bible verses which forbid purging our meals. But it is anti-natural. The self-purging eater denies himself natural nourishment. Similarly, willfully barren lovers reject the natural fruit of the womb.
Bill’s teaching has nothing to do with natural law or Romans 1.
You are grasping at straws here.
It has everything to do with Romans 1 and natural law. That passage presents homosexuality as a curse, God giving people over to it because they “worship the creature more than that creator” (vs. 25). That “creature” is His “creation”, which is the body, and sex. Worshipping sex. Notice this careful language:
“… for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another …” (Romans 1:26-27 NIV)
If this “natural use” is just focused on the mechanics of sex, then it would say “she left her natural function” and “he left his natural function”, but in both cases it is focused on the woman. That natural function of the woman common to the couple . . . Is childbearing. Take that out of the equation and sex becomes an end to itself, a worshipped thing that ignores the purpose of the Creator, lacking the governor that God designed. This is confirmed by Paul:
“But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15 NIV)
Our English “through” might allow that she is saved from harm during childbearing, but the Greek is clear. And we know that practically many godly women are harmed in childbirth. No, childbearing is what saves a woman from the trouble addressed in the prior verses. No wonder the devil is so hell-bent to reduce the number of babies conceived let alone born, kill as many as possible. They represent his greatest weakness:
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalms 8:2)
That is what Scripture SAYS, and that is why Bill taught it. What we do about it in our modern lives is another story. The mind of God is strange compared to our natural thinking. That is an indictment on us, not on Him or His messengers.
You are reading into and beyond what Romans 1 is talking about and it doesn’t mention childbearing. You have learned very well from Bill on how to take a verse and expand it to mean things that it is not talking about.
See, and that exposes the problem. Taking all of the shackles of desire and prejudice out of it, to us, and to others (this is not an original nor a Bill Gothard sourced perspective) this is crystal clear. With a second witness. Here is a third:
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” (1 Timothy 5:14)
Failing to marry and bear children is tied, in Paul’s perspective, to a danger of scandals that cause Satan to laugh with glee. That IS what it says, that is clearly what it means. The impartial jury is led to embrace that, despite the consequences to the demands of our modern life and the godless spirit of this age.
IF we find childbearing onerous we must weaken this. We can use any amount of logic to declare that God is not opposed to birth control. But we have to reach outside of Scripture for support.
Romans 1 is not talking about childbirth and birth control. It also has nothing to do with misquoting 1Timothy either. You jumped from Romans 1 to I Timothy here. I Timothy isn’t stating that women have to have children to be saved either because that doesn’t fit with the rest of scripture where St. Paul calls women joint heirs in Christ, where St. Paul state there is neither male nor female, etc. etc. Again, only proof texting, misquoting segments of fundamentalists would even try to apply this like you are doing here and to follow you line of thinking here, you are saying that only women that have children are saved. So, women that can’t have children, never marry etc. are not saved? That is where you reasoning is going. That is not even what really St. Paul is trying to say in I Timothy because it would contradict what else he has said in his other epistles, and he also did recommend in Corinthians for both men and women to remain single. Well, if a woman remains single to serve God, then she isn’t saved because she didn’t marry and have children? You are going down the wrong road here.
Childbearing is not “salvation” from hell but “salvation” from “going after Satan”, as 1 Tim. 5:15 tells us, or from being deceived by Satan, as 1 Tim. 2:11-14 indicates. Paul puts a myriad of guardrails up for widows that do not marry, as he does for folks who choose to remain single. Exceptions are exceptions and they comes with a whole set of requirements that folks today generally ignore.
Moderator, your proof texting one line Bible quotes don’t work on me. There is a big difference between God bringing good out of an evil or sinful situation and God causing it. Your Calvinist view here is the later and paints God as a big monster. Just so glad now not to be beholden to those ideas anymore. It is not God’s will using Jim’s point here, for someone to be raped. It is evil and sinful. Now, whether or not that results in a baby is God bringing or turning an evil around to bring a potential good out of it. You have sat so long under Bill’s ideas here which paint God as a monster that you probably won’t get it. Because an evil, sin, disaster happens doesn’t mean it is because God wills that to happen since we live in a world corrupted by sin. It is a sick view of God’s sovereignty and it is bad theology not a monster of a God that cause people to loose faith. That is what Jinger’s book is about, disentangling faith from bad theology, not deconstruction of faith.
Proof text or no, please humor me and confirm that God has the foreknowledge of each evil event and the ability to stop it. Am I correct? Therefore knowing and choosing to do nothing is a deliberate act on His part. We agree that He neither causes nor takes any pleasure in evil acts.
But it is impossible for a life to be formed without His deliberate action, weaving the child together in the womb. That is a step beyond – no child is an accident or a curse. Because God doesn’t create garbage. Agreed?
There is a balance between God’s foreknowledge and free will that we are given by God. You are expanding God’s foreknowledge to deny free will and that evil actions, sins etc. are “allowed” by God because He foreknew them.
https://www.catholic.com/qa/why-gods-foreknowledge-doesnt-negate-free-will. The link is what I believe is the proper balance between foreknowledge and free will. The road you are going down is a hard nose Calvinist view which ends up in it’s logical conclusion making God the author of evil. It is not an either/or but a both/and. The famous quote from Romans 8 about God working everything for our good does not that state that God causes everything but as we trust and seek him out, the bad, evil, sinful, sufferings etc. that happen in all our lives can be worked out by God for our good. This is a different approach that what you are use to. So to answer your question, I believe both. The other logical conclusion from the hard nose predestination is what is called double-predestination and that means God determines who will be saved and who will not be saved. That is the road you are going down on with this and THAT is definitely a heresy.
I am not sure why we are citing various theologians. God’s word is clear. God CAN stop any consequence of any sin. Him choosing to allow it IS how He works all thing together for good for those that love Him.
There is nothing wrong with quoting “theologians” although I think Trent Horn would be amused by your comments. He expressed much more eloquently than I could what I was trying to say to you.
Theologians are in a distant second when it comes to things to quote. Paul tells us to compare Scripture with Scripture.
Seriously, you have no problem quoting or admiring Elon Musk, an agnostic but have a problem with someone quoting a prominent apologist and I think you don’t like what he said because you can’t refute it from scripture because scripture supports both free will and providence.
I am more interested in Scripture than any amount of writings of important people. Way more than Elon Musk, who simply serves as a witness. As to “free will” and “providence”, if that means that man has free will and God does too, we agree.
re: beyond the text
On 2/7 above, we read an objection to using words beyond the Bible text. What is preaching? what are homilies? Shall we oppose all Bible exposition because it uses more words than the Bible itself? Isn’t that similar to opposing Christ himself? how many times did he declare, “ye have heard, but I say?” If murder is unlawful, isn’t unjustified anger also unlawful? That is beyond the text of ancient law, but it is also true.
““I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” (1 Timothy 5:14)
Failing to marry and bear children is tied, in Paul’s perspective, to a danger of scandals that cause Satan to laugh with glee. That IS what it says, that is clearly what it means. The impartial jury is led to embrace that, despite the consequences to the demands of our modern life and the godless spirit of this age.
IF we find childbearing onerous we must weaken this. We can use any amount of logic to declare that God is not opposed to birth control. But we have to reach outside of Scripture for support.”
1. In 1 Timothy 5:14, Paul is talking about widows remarrying and bearing children. See link below.
2. It is a recommendation and not a command.
3. This is a good example of proof texting. Take a translation that makes the verse appar to apply to all woman. Take a recommendation for a certain group and claim that it is a commandment for all women.
1) While the context has to do with whether young widows should remarry, the principle stands alone. The word is νεωτέρας – “young women” – not Χήρα – widows. And it is consistent with his directives elsewhere.
2) When the Apostle Paul wants something, that is pretty much a commandment. He gives a related command in 1 Cor. 7, that every man and every woman should find a spouse and marry.
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2)
That is normal. It is Paul’s direction to us. The exception has very specific rules, and comes with very specific dangers. In the matter of marriage generally, folks tending to not marry results in a dramatic increase in “fornication”. In the matter of young women specifically, not bearing children results in “going after Satan”, like Eve did, as the following verse warns. 1 Timothy 2 likewise indicates that women are saved from deception and usurping roles not designed for them by bearing children.
Be better than the masses and take the time to confirm what I have said before responding. Do not appeal to common sense or the opinions of others. Look at these passages and verify what I have said. Like a rock that we will only break ourselves over if we ignore, God’s Word stands and never moves.
3) Paul references universal principles – creation – when he gives his direction. “Birth control”, if it has any footing – which I have yet to find – floats in the exception. Everybody is an exception these days. All of the consequences described are coming true for this generation in general and for young women in particular because we – the church – have chosen to do what comes naturally instead of bowing to the Word of God.
This really should be peeled off as its own topic.
He used the word Young women, but the whole context of I Timothy 5 is that he is talking about widows and which widows the Church should support or not. If the widow has family, they should support her. If the widow is younger, they should marry, have more children because what too often happen in those days was that widows often turned to prostitution to support themselves and their children. You are ignoring the whole context of 1 Timothy 5 and most translations use widows or young widows. This again is not about all women and that all women are suppose to be married and have unlimited children.
And you are using the several unambiguous examples I gave from other writings of Paul. And he didn’t say “turned aside to fornication”. Such an interpretation is completely outside the scope of Scripture, let alone history. He said, “turned aside after Satan”. How unusually specific. Just like Eve.