Christianity Today published a recent article in review of Jinger’s book. There is the usual broad brush acceptance of moral sin for Bill and direct link with Josh Duggar, her brother. She openly calls him a “false prophet” which is bold and consequential. The risks of calling a work of God to be in fact from Satan are substantial, linked with the “unpardonable sin”, whatever that is (Matthew 12). She stands before God to answer for all of this.
They also acknowledge that her husband is a “Reformed Theologian”. This is worth another look as it figures heavily into what turned Jinger into the person she is today in opposition to Bill. “Sovereignty” as taught by the Calvinists believes that we have no ability to will or to do God’s pleasure. If we do, it is because He sovereignty willed it. She learned this from her brother-in-law and then her future husband Jeremy. She speaks of the relief from discovering that she is not responsible for her life in the final analysis. Our fate, heaven, hell, and all of the twists and turns of life are in the final analysis a divinely controlled tapestry. [The image above of the coin toss in reference to her citing Proverbs 16:31 in support, that God controls every coin toss, every “lot”.]
“Responsibility”, on the other hand, is one of the seven Universal Principles as Bill teaches them. He believes that much of what is called “mental illness” is varying degrees of personal irresponsibility. God lays much more at our feet than we realize, and shouldering that God-given responsibility with the grace He gives – while bowing to His sovereignty – is key to long term success. The effectiveness of his counseling, testimonies we see weekly if not daily even 50 years later, stands in support.
Here was a response we wrote:
“Josh Duggar was convicted of child pornography. Bill Gothard was sued for $8.5 million by 17 plaintiffs, one of which was Emily Anderson, quoted in the article, spearheaded by 4 legal firms, including a prominent personal injury firm based in Chicago. In the end the plaintiffs initial attorney was kicked off the case for malfeasance, the most prominent plaintiffs dropped out rather than submit interrogatories under oath, and the rest walked away before depositions. Ask Emily why. It was not because of the ‘statute of limitations’ as they claimed, because Judge Popejoy overtly declared that their claims could be tried on the merits if the allegations were as claimed. Why she walked away from the $500K she was claiming, why she never refiled as was her right.
It is a crime against the Lord to continue to try to accuse Bill of sexual improprieties. Bill had to go, and any means was fair game. He did NOT do it.
As for Jinger, her awakening came, from her own testimony, the moment she embraced the “Sovereignty of God”, hallmark of Reformed Theology, also commonly called Calvinism. These are her words from the book:
“But until I started to focus on God when I read my Bible I didn’t have category for God’s sovereignty. I hadn’t truly understood what these verses were saying; I am not in charge of my life.”
Yes, everything about Bill Gothard is focused on personal responsibility. Yes, a sovereign God has made us responsible in our lives. There are many problems that are the direct consequence of unwise choices we have made. Becoming a fatalist does give relief from that burden, but it is also a lie, criminal in taking Christians out of the direct fight we were designed for. Let alone the crime of believing that the lost were so predestinated by a loving God.
Getting rid of Bill Gothard and the fear of God that he creatively taught the understanding of was a key goal of the Enemy before ushering the final onslaught we are all now enduring. God will hold us all personally responsible for our part in making that happen.”
re: disentangling, Darth Duggar, and Dulcinea
Shall Mrs. Vuolo disentangle Christian orthodoxy? Christians believe that Jesus is Lord, which means that he is sovereign. We also believe that God holds man responsible, especially that he must repent and believe. Are we predestined yet responsible? How do we solve this paradox, which surfaced during the Protestant Reformation?
Now that Mrs. Vuolo has settled a five-century theological paradox, she rescues us from Bill Gothard, the dark force who seduced her father. Supposedly, Gothard’s dark side made Mr. Duggar more machine than man. Darth Duggar oppressed his house, but it wasn’t his fault. Darth Gothard deserved the blame.
Finally comes sweet disentangling and deliverance. Jinger Quixote Vuolo wielded her literary light saber against the Gothard windmill to rescue Dulcinea Duggar from the malevolent Gothard Force.
Is this tragedy or comedy? Does Sancho Panza Jeremy get a share of the book royalty spoils?
It is foolish to comment on a book one hasn’t read. Why don’t you read the book first before you go ahead and start calling others names.
Our essay above linked a Christianity Today article which summarized the Vuolo book. Did CT neglect to read the book? or read it poorly?
As for folly and names, do the Star Wars and Don Quixote analogies apply? if not, why not?
CT gave a very fair summary of the book which they obviously have read as well as I did. When someone resorts to name calling which you did on a book you haven’t read is a sign of many things, none of which are positive about the person calling the names.
But I did read the book, not every word, but a fair amount. I quote from the book 🙂 What name calling offends you?
What in the world does it mean that one has read the book but “not every word”? What that means to me is that you didn’t really read the book because either you couldn’t because it upset you too much or you it just was too effective in taking down Bill’s false teachings.
It means I took the time to read it like I read just about every other book in my library. So we can focus on what you read and what I read. What would you like to talk about?
re: Swift signs and scary lessons
When Jonathan Swift satirized the follies of his day, he invented Lilliput, Brobdignag, etc. He employed metaphors and exaggerations. That was a sign of what? If caricature offends, does that show that the exaggeration was deserved?
CT says Jinger was scared by Bill Gothard’s teaching. Is anyone scared by Bill Gothard? He had better not listen to Jesus of Nazareth! Seven basic principles are pretty mild compared to outer darkness and the lake of fire. Jesus also warned that the wide gate and broad way lead to destruction. Christ knew that fear is the only way to divert some kinds of people from destruction. Is Jinger one of those people?
“It means I took the time to read it like I read just about every other book in my library. So we can focus on what you read and what I read. What would you like to talk about?”
Alfred, bragging about half-reading books is not the flex you think it is. But neither is propping up a failed elderly cult leader in the hopes of scoring brownie points.
I’m a very busy person, and I read every word of Jinger’s book in a weekend. It was bad in that she refused to call Bill an outright cult leader and made light of the abuse he perpetrated on his victims. Moreover, she seems to be using it as a recruiting tool for John Macarthur’s religious empire. Exchanging one cult for another, if you will. That said, the poor quality of her book does not validate Bill’s work in any way nor YOURS for that matter. The fact is, you all deserve each other.
While you’re over there arguing with the void (pretending it’s Jinger) about whose perspective on an ancient collection of books is correct, I’ll be over here enjoying the freedom I found in leaving all that nonsense behind by leaving the religion entirely. I am here to tell you that compared to a disaffected child reality star, a doddering old has-been cult leader/snake oil salesman, a physically crumbling cult remnant, and a weirdly obsessed internet fanboy of said cult leader, I’m doing just fine thanks. You should try it sometime. Maybe take up a hobby that’s doesn’t involve tending Bill’s hinder in some creative way.
I am glad you have time to read the book cover to cover. Things that interest me get a lot of focused attention as well. I am guessing from your comments if I gave you a book by John MacArthur that proves that Jesus is the only way to a literal heaven, your free time might become more limited.
I wish you well. Your life and mine and that of Bill Gothard will be a blip on the canvas of eternity. I presume you are hopeful that you evaporate when you die, as die you must. As some point we all grab ahold of whatever we like or convinces us and we hang on as we enter the void from which no one returns. I have staked my hope on Jesus Christ, as have Bill and Jinger and many others.
re: rules, rhemas, and vain imagination
According to CT, Jinger opposed Gothard’s rules, and also his teaching about rhemas. According to the CT article,
“In her 20s, [Jinger] finally found a gracious God who made himself clear in his Word, without the need for Gothard’s rules and rhemas.”
Did Jinger find a gracious God without rules? He would not be difficult to find. Men have often selected idols from a menu of three antinomian deities, namely the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Can a God without rhemas exist outside of Jinger’s imagination? Because a rhema is a specific word which God speaks, Jinger’s God must be a Word without words. Did Jinger really find a gracious God who made himself clear in his Word, yet without words? Is this the vain imagination of a foolish heart? A rhema from Romans 2 might suggest that.
I believe Jinger may have been led (or walked) into Hyper Calvinism. A simple definition is this: hyper-Calvinism is the belief that God saves the elect through His sovereign will with little or no use of the methods of bringing about salvation (such as evangelism, preaching, and prayer for the lost). To an unbiblical fault, the hyper-Calvinist over-emphasizes God’s sovereignty and under-emphasizes man’s responsibility in the work of salvation. The doctrine of double predestination is damnable teaching. My daughter who is a University Professor did an extensive study of Hyper Calvinism and found that at times in history, there were a good number of suicides committed due to the hopelessness wrought by this heresy. The Word of God is a balanced book and truth out of balance
leads to heresy.
First of all Fish Bowl, did you actually read the book? My one concern before I actually did read the book and whole thing, was whether or not there would be a lot of Calvinism in it considering she does go to John Macarthur’s Church. If you think I don’t like Bill Gothard, I am absolutely not a fan of John Macarthur and hard-core Calvinism. There is no hyper-Calvinism in this book, and she only mentions John MacArthur in the last chapter. There is no reference to TULIP and Reformed views on a lot of other things and she documents in this book very well the toll Bill’s teaching had on her life and once she moved away from home due to marriage and was exposed to other views and use of scripture and the new freedom from fear and anxiety she now has as she untangled her faith from what she grew up with under Bill Gothard and IBLP.
re: disentangled, re-entangled, and hard-core
Did Jinger hop out the Gothard frying pan, but into the MacArthur fire? Is she disentangling, or only binding with other bonds? “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.” New gurus are still gurus. Binding differently is still binding.
Is MacArthur hard-core? somewhat, but there is plenty of space to his right. Some Christians object that he is not sufficiently five-point for them! MacArthur’s church would be no refuge from fear, but rather a place to confront danger bravely.
re: despair and doctrine
Above, brother Fish Bowl relates a story of despair. Have many people committed suicide because of exaggerated theology? That would be among the worst of tragedies. Hopefully the poor theology was not the cause, but rather a catalyst to their despair. Jesus said that we find what we seek. When we seek hopelessness, we find it.
Did suffering souls seek a religious excuse for despair because they wanted to blame God for their tragic lives? May that motivate us to cultivate the Christian virtue of hope!
whatever one thinks of Calvinism, there is no proof to Fish Bowel’s statement that Calvinism causes suicide. There is none. No proof was offered for this statement. No study, nothing. It is a false statement.
re: unproven vs. false
Let’s not indulge in non sequitur. If a thing is unproven, it is not necessarily false. Although links to academic sources are helpful, would it be shocking if men who believe bad religion destroy themselves? Whether it seems far fetched, is it impossible?
it is a false generalization. Calvinism in its many forms and branches has been around since the 1500s. This is a blanket false statement. There is no proof for it anywhere. This is a great example of non sequitur.
I believe a lot of this reaction amounts to pendulum swing. When someone is so steeped in a movement, wherever it may be, and then decides to come away from the movement, for whatever reason, the result is often so far removed from the original position that it is often complete opposition.
I’ve seen this hundreds of times with many of my friends. It’s more than troubling for me as a Centrist, which I hope I’ve tried to convey. I search for fact, truth. I want to stay outside the pull of popular opinions, of either direction.
That means I might side with Bill one day and against him the next. I know that makes me frustrating in many of these conversations. But I hope we all agree that in these issues, there is room for “good people disagree.”
For Jinger, this is likely a case where the pendulum in her mind has swung. I hope and I pray for her that it doesn’t go too far to the extreme. Many lose their faith entirely here. It doesn’t have to happen.
re: pendulum swing, reality, and illusion
as JM says above, we are prone to pendulum swing. That’s why patience is a virtue, including patience with our own opinions. If we temper our emotional undulations, we avoid extremes. But if our faith is shallow enough to perish in a pendulum swing, was it real? or fake?
I would honestly recommend that you read her book. Her first chapter focuses on people like Josh Harris, who has left Christianity all together and now offers courses on how to deconstruct from faith. She also mentions others un-named that she knows that have also left the faith. Her book is about her not going that route and trying to reach out to others that have been hurt by harmful teachers and bad theology. This is not about a pendulum swing. Pendulum swings would be a conservative type of Christian becoming a progressive Christian and rejecting everything in the past. Someone like this would be Francis Schaeffer’s son Frank Schaeffer who has swung from his father’s ideas and politics to a very progressive faith and politics, pro-abortion etc. Jinger goes to John MacArthur’s church which is pretty conservative. Wearing pants and jeans now is not a pendulum swing. Clothes, food, drinks are just superficial issues and dressing. There are a number of deconstruct people besides Josh Harris. John Piper’s son Arthur also is now an atheist and puts out videos and blogs about it. One of the big wigs from Hillsong also left the faith. The common denominator in all of them seems to be people coming from a very hard edge ridged theology that is either hard cord fundamentalism or Calvinism or loosey goosey shallow prosperity thinking like in Hillsong. Jinger is not a pendulum swing.
Josh Harris would be a focus for Jinger, not only because he was so prominent among the homeschooling young of her day, but also . . . Because he was the most prominent voice for them of the “YRR” (Young, Restless, Reformed) movement . . . Bringing “Calvinism” into evangelical mainstream. She found Bill’s perspective of personal responsibility wanting and moved into the Reformed world of sovereignty, “fatalism” . . . As he has now exited it, and all things Christian. One would think that there is a lesson there. I am not the only one noting a pendulum swing, and the dangers inherent.
re: restless and reformed?
If Calvinism is baptized determinism, how can it coexist with restlessness? If God has already written all scripts, wouldn’t we either rest in Christ or resist him?
Therein lies the basic philosophical conundrum of fatalism. In the end the Lord even directs the debate about fatalism. All of life becomes absurd.
It is my understanding that the entire reason for the Lord giving the true and genuine and “without repentance” gift of free will is so that there are real people that love Him because they want to, learned to trust Him as He paid for, then wooed and won them. Who are then sealed so forever, taking away the ability to sin, just like God Himself (Jesus) never having had such ability as a characteristic of being God. With that blessing of free will in this life comes that incredible risk of a person choosing the opposite, entering eternity as a sealed, permanent little independent god in the universe. Which is then corralled by removing their ability to act on their free will (“bound hand and foot”) and letting them decay forever in an infinite but bounded prison . . . Bounded because the Lord of Eternities – and His servants – span them all. An infinite progression of decay that takes an eternity of existence to complete. But God has already spanned eternity past, with many more such eternities to come.
Sorry for waxing philosophical. Dangerous ground 🙂 Back in the pool.
Well first, I have to disagree in concept.
This is a pendulum swing. She was doing one thing and now is doing the opposite (example being wearing pants in church).
I think you’re drawing a distinction in the FORM of swing. The pendulum has clearly moved ina direction. It’s a matter of how far.
Second, I don’t necessarily mean to suggest that she has engaged in the kind of radical pendulum swing that you and I have seen. I was merely describing the concept – when an individual starts to question a belief or practice after having practiced for many years without question, the result CAN be very extreme. Sometimes, it is surprisingly so.
I remember a good friend of mine who swore up and down that my church, the one that he had faithfully attended for many years at this point, was going very contemporary with it’s music. It wasn’t good anymore. He had to find something else. So he left.
He wound up in a large SBC church in town. This church straight up has contemporary music in their worship. Don’t even make bones about it.
How does this happen is the question I get asked a lot? Obviously, there are many forces at work in this case, but this is a pendulum swing. He’s gone over to saying our music isn’t contemporary enough now. Diametric change. It didn’t happen until after he left and started looking into it on his own. It’s ironic to me. The problem he had with us is now what he admits to enjoying. But he still won’t come back.
MacArthur is as much a friend and for to many of us. He is theologically conservative, but many of us have separated from him in the past. He doesn’t represent all of us well. As such, I would probably consider her attendance in his church a pendulum swing. It’s very different from where she came.
But there are for sure degrees on the arc. She may have landed conservative, and may have avoided the extreme, but that position has moved. The pendulum has indeed swung. It’s just a matter of how far and to what extent.
re: pendulum, moderation, corruption
Bill Gothard warned against pendulum swing which disguises worldliness. He warned Christians not to compare themselves to the world as it descends ever farther into worldliness. Eventually, we congratulate ourselves for “moderation” which equals extreme worldliness of the recent past. We had better beware. Is that moderation, or blindness and corruption?
Pants in Church is just a surface issue which is what she does talk about in her book. That is not a theological pendulum swing here. Just recently, the husband of Rachel Denhollander accused John MacArthur of teaching Bill Gothardism. John MacArthur use to support Bill Gothard along with another famous attendee of his church, Joni Erickson Tada. Pant and music are minor surface issues. Maybe in your frame and world, they are big, but the reality is that they are not. The latest interview I saw of Jinger and her husband is that they very much support conservative Christian values of marriage and sex. I guess if you are seeing and defining things based on the narrow world of IFB, IBLP and fundamentalism, maybe this is some big pendulum swing, but the reality is that it isn’t.
The pendulum is between a couple of theological poles. Calvinism/Reformed Theology/YRR tends to be fairly conservative and there is much to respect there. Bill Gothard’s definition for “heresy” is “Truth out of balance”. My concern is that, like every other heresy, one truth is emphasized to the exclusion of others that are equally critical.
When it comes to finding solutions to overwhelming problems of life, Reformed Theology has very little to offer. That is because the show is 100% God’s, and if He wants us to sin and suffer, we have to bow and shut our mouths. At worst such overwhelming issues are taken as proof that the individual was never saved and likely can never be saved. That is just so wrong. The reason for Bill’s unparalleled successes in the 1970s and 1980s was, as one famous individual expressed, that Bill was able to “creatively explain the sovereignty of God”. God remains Almighty, but He overtly vouchsafes power, authority to us and expects us to exercise it as independent agents that love and fear Him. He does not swoop in and magically solve our problems if we fail to obey or even take Him as seriously as the Almighty God of All demands. That is the truth of the principle of “Responsibility” and it just filled in all the gaps to make it all understandable.
Jinger has been to this point not wise to short circuit her process to wisdom and understanding by leaping from one pole to the other. In part out of pursuit of the man of her dreams. Publicly shaming her parents and the teachers of her youth, using the platform they gave her to do so, caries its own set of consequences. She failed a crucial test. I hope in these last days, with the panicked slide into the last days I pray she may find the conviction to correct this.
John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit AND in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”
re: surface issues
No one said it better than C.S. Lewis:
One of the things Christians are disagreed about is the importance of their disagreements. When two Christians of different denominations start arguing, it is usually not long before one asks whether such-and-such a point “really matters” and the other replies: “Matter? Why, it’s absolutely essential.”
Respectfully, you don’t get to define reality, certainly not for everyone.
I insist that we look at each case by itself and try to avoid judging everyone by some standard that hasn’t been measured.
In this case, we’d have to understand how Jinger would have felt before and now feels with respect to whatever we’re looking at.
I would argue that is very objective, not narrow. I invite the moderator or anyone else to correct me if they wish.
As such, any change in direction resulting from change in outlook or feeling on that direction would constitute a swing of the pendulum.
Please understand me. I insist that indeed every change is a swing. It’s just a matter of how far or how extreme. Not every swing need be so extreme.
Yes, going from not wearing pants to now doing so is a swing. That’s not a deep theological issue, sure. But it is a change. It is a swing.
Given how Jinger claimed to feel about sovereignty before and now, yes. This new life of hers is pendulum swing.
You can claim it isn’t very extreme, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a change. That is a pendulum in motion. It has to be.
Not every change is going to be extreme. I have observed those, though.
Respectfully, yes, respectfully, we are not viewing it the same.
Before there were mega-pastors, there were mega-monks. So what does one get when one combines Good Friday reflections of mega-monk St. Bernard of Clairvaux with JS Bach’s music, you get the best hymn for Good Friday.
Have a bless and holy Good Friday and Easter.
Rob, thanks for the kind words, but you really did not address the issue we were discussing. The fact remains this IS a pendulum swing. That is not in question.
The question is ultimately in how much of an extreme this swing is. I agree she’s gone from conservative to conservative, but that is never the end of the story.
You’d always have to look at stance more than anything else. The fact is Jinger’s position before would have been opposed to the McArthur influence she is currently involved.
Even though he is still theologically conservative, he is removed from where she previously stood. Thus, to take fellowship within his sphere is indeed a move, or swing, of the pendulum. Maybe it’s not extreme, but the fact remains that it is a move. That was the point.
Again, as much as I dislike the head pastor of Jinger’s current Church, I did not see or find fatalism in her book. This is just a red herring to write her off as some clueless bimbo that went from fundamentalism to Calvinism due to her husband. The clueless bimbos were her siblings that go to Italy and TWICE eat at McDonald’s. That is real cluelessness. If one is in a country with some of the best food in the world, you don’t go to McDonalds, lift up the bun on your burger and claim you are eating Italian beef. You also don’t go to London and then ask “what state is this?”. Sorry, that is clueless, Jinger’s book is not clueless.
I provided her direct quote: “But until I started to focus on God when I read my Bible I didn’t have category for God’s sovereignty. I hadn’t truly understood what these verses were saying; I am not in charge of my life.”
“Sovereignty” is that Calvinist term – I don’t mean to be disrespectful but a “dog whistle” – that means “God controls EVERYTHING”, and that is fatalism. She discovered that she is NOT responsible for her life – there are no cause and effect relationships that she, personally, controls. I did not misspeak.
I will address two things from above in one comment.
Thank you for the quote. I do remember reading it, I didn’t put too much thought into it and considered it more of a reflection by Jinger and don’t base my opinion of the book based on one line in the book.
I don’t accept or agree with Bill’s definition of heresy at all, so quoting it to me is meaningless. The real definition of heresy is a departure from Orthodox teaching.
One really needs to look at the bigger Duggar picture here. If you read her book, she mentions conversation with Ben as the first step in re evaluating Bill and IBLP and he like Jeremy is a reformed Baptist whose hero along with Jeremy is Charles Spurgeon of whom you have an article on here. While Ben and Jessa have not gone public with their own leaving of IBLP, it is obviously they have. Jill and Derek have also left and Derek does not come from a reformed background. I think. Have read where they are also going to write a book. Joy Anna whose husband is the most conservative here seems to also have left IBLP with them just visiting Jinger and Joy Anna coming out for wearing pants. You cannot try to boil all of this down to Jinger becoming Reformed. That is not answering what Jinger wrote in the book and has stated in her numerous interviews. All three girls have come out supporting birth control. All three along with Jana wear pants. Jinger and Jill have come out with marital interference and control by Jim Bob. I am sure that is true with the others, just not done in public. Considering that all the married boys live on Jim Bob’s properties ought to point to excessive control by Jim Bob which was supported and endorsed by Bill’s teaching and this has come out if you have watched any of the interviews with Jeremy along with public statements by Derek.
At this point I am particularly interested in Jinger. As you say, there is much we don’t know about others, but we know a lot about her because she has gone out of her way to tell us. Fact is that every young person to one extent or another puts some daylight between themselves and their parents when they get married. I suppose that is the inevitable result of “leaving and cleaving”, as the Scriptures say. Jim-Bob and Michelle definitely walked a different path from their upbringing, as many of us have. We looked as “radical” to others as Jinger and her siblings look now. Back to the pendulum.
Birth control is an easy release valve from the pressures of family. I get it. That does not make it right or wrong, but releasing pressure is a whole lot easier than increasing it. I do hope that all those that support it acknowledge the irony that they would not be there if their parents had adopted that position. That is between them and the Lord.
As to “heresy”, your definition stands or falls on some objective definition of “Orthodox”. I know of no such definition. To be objective it must be based on Scripture. I have found wisdom in Bill’s definition because I find truth in almost every cult and schism and “heretical teacher” out there. Usually there is an appeal to legitimacy because of a clear Scriptural truth being emphasized, that others ignore. Like “Foot Washing” or poverty or signs and wonders or the second coming of Christ or baptism or KJV Only … And it is interesting that the use of the word in the KJV suggests that heresies must come, God ordained. So that the wise can discern a God approved truth they may have missed? The trouble is not in the truth, but in the lack of balance.
1 Corinthians 11:19 “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
St. Paul is talking about divisions or fractions not heresy. https://www.bibleref.com/1-Corinthians/11/1-Corinthians-11-19.html
I think the above link is a better reference that includes multiple translations. If one just googles “what is heresy?”, you get the basic definition of departure from orthodox teaching which can apply to more than one religion. That is not the definition of Bill which he changed to cover his own teaching. If you really don’t know what is basic orthodox Christian teaching, I would suggest to re-read the Apostles or Nicene creed, of which again Bill trashes in an article posted here. Again, you cannot “proof text” one verse out of context and then turn around and claim that God approves of heresy. It doesn’t fit and doesn’t work.
As you well know, neither Bill nor I acknowledge any creeds of men. The “Creed” is Scripture and cannot be defined outside of it. And the word “heresy” that interests me is the English one used in our traditional KJV Bible and forming the basis of what Evangelicals mean when they use the term. “Truth out of balance” seems to me to give a good definition for the matters that Paul was addressing. It does apply to “Reformed Theology” vs. where Bill would find himself. I would never call Calvinism a “cult”, unlike a great many other things headed by false prophets. It remains a truth “imbalance” – a crucial one, a very damaging one, but truth nonetheless.
We are so far apart on this. Defining heresy as truth out of balance is something Bill made up. It is not found anywhere else. This isn’t a definition used even by Evangelicals either. Redefining things is how people that want to hide their own false, off, heretical ideas and teachings try to get away with it. It sound quaint but it is a false definition. All the major Evangelical outlets that have interviewed Jinger do not use it at all when talking with her and even Jeremy and that includes CBN, TBN, Christianity Today, Kirk Cameron and the numerous other radio and news outlets coming from the Evangelical world. You cannot claim this, you cannot point to anything even in the Bible, even in KJV antiquated English, anything that uses this definition of what heresy is.
I am an evangelical and me and my friends use it 🙂 We best leave it there. There is a pendulum concept that that encapsulates which I believe has a bearing, regardless of the words wrapped around it.
re: orthodoxy and truth in balance
Aren’t they the same thing? Rob quibbles over terms, but the Gothard definition aligns just fine with the old creeds. The ancient church grappled with a variety of unbalanced truth. So they formulated some explicit areas of agreement. The Gothard definition is handy for teaching about youth conflicts, without being as academic as creeds.
re: scripture, creed, and balance
The relationship between scripture and creed is modeled in 1 Peter, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”
Peter wrote to men who believed, sight unseen. How did those believers believe? “Faith cometh by hearing.” They heard the apostles’ doctrine, which is set forth in the scriptures. What did they believe? They believed the message of the scriptures, which is summarized in the creeds. So there’s no gap between believing the scriptures and believing the creeds. They are two ways of saying the same thing.
Creeds also do a good job of solving paradoxes. How can Christ be both God and man? Aren’t those mutually exclusive? The ancient council of Calcedon explained that scriptural belief. It solved a paradox with truth in balance.
You and your so called friends are either fundamentalists, which really is not evangelical or followers of Bill. That is not a representative of evangelicals, and claiming that me and my friends use that definition which is found only via Bill Gothard and no where else is just totally ridiculous.
We have our differing opinions. One man’s ridiculous is another man’s honor.
re: not about heresy?
On April 6 above, we read a novel claim. Supposedly St. Paul used a word, but meant nothing about that word. Of course if St. Paul used a word which means heresy, then he intended (at least partly) to make a point about heresy! Let’s not deny the obvious. When Paul used an important term, he meant it. Especially when being sarcastic, apostles chose terms carefully. Unfortunately, we readers sometimes don’t.
Orthodoxy is our term for what C.S. Lewis called mere Christianity, or the place where Christian consensus finds equilibrium. Often we find it summarized in one of the ancient creeds, which sometimes involved debate over details. Can’t we imagine the sigh which St. Paul breathed as he wrote the line in the epistle quoted above?
If only the Apostle were alive today. . .
You’re right. It doesn’t boils down to Jinger going reformed. It boils down to pendulum swing.
re: swinging pendulums and turning heads.
Jinger’s pendulum swing recalls the line from Thomas More to Will Roper in A Man for All Seasons: “Now, listen, Will. Two years ago you were a passionate churchman. Now you’re a passionate Lutheran. We must just pray that when your head’s finished turning, your face is to the front again.”
The better St. Thomas Moore quote is the one he wrote to his daughter before his execution in a letter.
“Don’t worry about me not matter what happen in this world. Nothing can happen to me that God doesn’t want. And all that He wants, no matter how bad it may appear to us, is really for the best.”
re: more More quotes
Here is one of the most powerful scenes in the movie:
Sir Thomas More: [in his prison cell] If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us saintly. But since we see that avarice, anger, pride, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice, and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little — even at the risk of being heroes.
Margaret More: [crying] But in reason! Haven’t you done as much as God can reasonably want?
Sir Thomas More: Well, finally, it isn’t a matter of reason. Finally, it’s a matter of love.
This connects to our topic about choice. Thomas More counted the cost and chose love. He forfeited the life of his mortal flesh, and greater love hath no man than that.
Not sure if you saw the movie “Footloose”, first came out in 1984 and was remade in 2011. I rarely do go to movies and in the 80’s probably saw about 5 movies, well this was one of them. I’m not endorsing the movie, especially the remake which was much worse dancing (didn’t see the remake, just parts of it). The movie is actually loosely based on a true story of a small town in Oklahoma where they had an old law on the books from the late 1800’s that banned dancing. The seniors of the high school banded together and appealed to the town counsel to lift the law so they could dance at their high school prom. In the movie, a newcomer named Ren, rallied fellow students which included the daughter of the main preacher of the town to appeal the no dancing ban which was put in place due to a tragic death of a group of teenagers which included the older brother of the preacher’s daughter who was out dancing and drinking. So, the answer to this tragedy was no rock music and no dancing which was violated at any chance available by the youth of the town. The climax of the movie was the appeal by Ren to the city council to lift the ban and allow dancing at the senior prom. Ren appealed to the council by quoting a number of OT verses that talked about dancing. He basically was showing their hypocrisy of their reactionary rules which were being ignored by most of the youth of the town. This also is what happen in the real story the movie is based on; the seniors quoted the Bible that talks about dancing to the town council.
Why I am bringing this up is that much of the so-called rules that came from Bill Gothard and IBLP are reactionary, not really based in scripture and in the long run get cast aside as some of the older Duggars are now doing like Jinger and Jill in particular. The chorus of the big hit from the movie has a line, “kick off your Sunday shoes”. The older Duggars are “kicking off their Sunday Shoes”. External superficial rules are just that, they don’t change the heart or the desires of the heart which comes from internal transformation not external obedience to outer rules. While not a perfect movie, I saw the connection between Bill’s rules and ideas which are reactionary like the small-town rules that are reactionary and in the long run reactionary surface rules do not last by those that try to enforce them with rigid zeal. I saw all this way back in 1984. While the movie does kinda puts conservative values in a bad light, there is a lesson here for conservative Christians that is missed.
Pendulum. Dancing is not necessarily a wholesome activity. Causing those that have experienced it as a gateway to immorality to purpose to avoid it. And Bill has pointed out that dancing in Scripture always seemed to be linked with a curse, a tragedy. See if that is true.
Here is good advice:
Wisest man that ever lived says:
Proverbs 22:28 “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”
Proverbs 24:21 “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change”
There is no link any where in scripture where dancing is a curse or tragedy. King David dancing before the ark did not bring about any curse or tragedy on himself. The only curse brought about was on Micah, his first wife who mocked him dancing. She was in the wrong. Psalm 149 mentions dancing, so does Eccles. in chapter 3. There is no ban anywhere in the Bible on dancing. That is the point in this clip.
I brought this movie up because it demonstrates unnecessary reactive rules. No dancing, no pants for women, no college, no music with a beat, no movies, no tv, no dating, no this or that or the other thing was the bread butter Jinger and her siblings were raised in. When they got the chance as they married and moved on, they ditched all this rules and then some. None of these rules are found anywhere in scripture. Following all these things did not prevent Josh Duggar from sitting in jail due to pornography. Following all these rules did not help Josh Duggar be a faithful husband, because he wasn’t. All of these rules are based on misguided reactive notions based on one single guy. Dance is a broad topic. No one watches ballet in places like the Nutcracker Suite to get their jollies. To make a blanket no dancing along with all the other no’s is just reactive which is what Jinger’s book was about.
You made the point, actually. The act of “dancing before the Lord with all his might” brought with it a lifelong consequence in his family. Why? Can’t the Lord intervene? We know He does in other matters. The virgins went out to dance and were captured by the desperate remnant of Benjamin males in Judges 21. Again, why does happy dancing turn into grief? The daughter of Herodias comes and dances and John the Baptist dies.
There are, as you say, positive references to dancing. At the very least not one of these has to do with an activity focused on the opposite sex. Dancing of that sort has been prohibited by godly men and women long before Bill Gothard showed up. The college/university I attended banned dancing in its founding charter. Why? The answer is obvious.
We know that God likes to use direct consequences of things we choose to do to rebuke us. We want a king to give us security, we want to worship the Lord in beautiful high places instead of ugly low places, we want to brighten our lives with relationships with the ungodly around us, we want to protect our household by disobeying our authorities, we are tired of our miracle bread and demand meat. God lets us, often says nothing . . . But let’s trouble come. And often still says nothing. Eventually we – or our children – start to make the connection. God is not mocked.
Psalms 106:15 “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”
This is very twisted take on King David. The curse landed on Micah, not King David because she mocked him and his humility. She ended up alone and childless. The later problems in King David’s family had to do with polygamy than dancing in the beginning. Banning dancing just meant that the kids in this movie just went out and farther in order to dance. It didn’t stop them nor did the ban work. That is probably true on the dancing ban where you went to college. I chaperoned a number of my son’s dances when they were at high school. They were very were controlled: girls that dressed too provocatively were turned away, if someone left the dance, they were not allowed back, the principal walked through taking breathalyzer tests for alcohol, outside kids from other schools had to get permission before hand etc. Most kids just danced in one big group to begin with, not as couples. That is a better situation than sneaking off and going to bars where there is no control. Just saying, we have totally different experiences here. The pastor in the clip sounded like Bill to me. Raising issues but not backing them up but the Bible quoting came from the kid wanting to change the law. Are there suggestive sexualized dancing? Yes, there very much is but that is not all dancing at all and lumping all dancing into one pot of “don’t do” and all these bad things will happen to youis not right and cannot be supported anywhere in scripture and is more fear mongering than anything else.
WHY did the church so frown on dancing in the olden days? Kids “sneak out” to drink and have sex, so you noting such behavior with dancing helps your case not a bit. I know you can see that we as a culture get more and more numb to evil things as we rush on towards the end days. If anything you are proving that Bill has continued like a rock to set and hold to standards that were once self evident and do, in fact, please the Lord who never changes.
Sin is a monster of such awful mien,
that to be hated needs but to be seen:
but seen too oft. Familiar with face,
we first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Depends on which Church you are talking about. No dancing mostly came out of the Wesleyan piety movement. Dancing is a part of every culture, even the European ones that were Christian for a long time. I did German folk dances as part of the German club in HS. All the different countries of Europe had folk dancing. The no dancing type of banns only began in certain groups from the Reformation. The quote from Pope Alexander does not mention dancing. Have you watched any of the Chosen series? The segment that covered the wedding at Cana shows Jesus dancing with his disciples which is what would have happened at any wedding from that time, the makers of that series put forth the effort to be true to that time period. Is there sinful dancing? Yes. Is all dancing sinful? No, absolutely not. There is a difference here.
re: Bible bans? twisted?
Is there a Bible ban on dancing? Or does our Bible narrate a twisted account of David’s dancing?
Is there a Bible ban on stupid? yes and no. We have Bible affirmation for wisdom in general. We also have the Lord’s command to be wise as serpents (in Matthew 10). So how do we warn the carnal man who lives according to his flesh?
According to St. Paul (in Romans 8), and Christ himself (in Matthew 7), the poor fool is probably cruising on a broad way toward a wide gate. His end will be destruction. Will he heed any warning?
As for barrenness in David’s house, what twisted and why? Natural marriage fruitfulness twisted to unnatural barrenness. Why? was that only because of David’s funky dancing? or only because of Michal’s scorn? We are not told. But elsewhere in the Bible we are told about the twisted fruits of carnality.
Re-read Exodus 15, at the end of the chapter it records Miriam and the women taking cymbals and dancing. There is NO ban in the Bible on dancing no matter how hard you try it. The rest of the chapters you are referring to have nothing to do with dancing. If you had a spouse that has put videos of herself and your children on social media dancing, then the self-righteous indignation here is hypocritical. Why don’t you watch the Chosen’s wedding at Cana clip.
You could argue that BG’s “teachings” are a pendulum swing and reactionary to the hippy movement in the 60’s.
You could. And you might be right. Each swing has some truth associated with it. A wise person will find the Lord wherever He is and align himself with that. A foolish person commits to the last swing 100%. To put it another way, anyone who cannot find anything substantively good in Bill Gothard is condemning themselves.
Indeed. The sin pendulum had swung far left in the 1960s, so the teaching pendulum swung to the right.
Some of the most important things are reactionary. With curse and covenant, God reacted to man’s sin. With a kiss, my beloved spouse reacted to my wedding vows.
Did Bill Gothard invent rules? for whom? how could he enforce rules for a couple million seminar attendees?
Can rules restrain men from loving the world, flesh and devil? hardly. Damned men despise God’s natural lordship and prefer their own. That’s reactionary.
re: piety movement
On 4/22 above we are told that a former piety movement discouraged dancing. That would not be surprising. But what movements trend around us today? piety movements or perversity movements? Is drag queen story hour a symptom of excess piety or excess perversity?
To borrow from C.S. Lewis, shall we cut down jungles of piety or irrigate deserts of dead Christian devotion? Is it God’s choice or ours? We had better choose well!
You are going to have to ask those parents that see nothing wrong with bringing children to such things because there seems to be a lot of them that out there. Maybe when one laughs at movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Some Like it Hot, Klinger on Mash, Victor/Victoria etc, has laid the groundwork for drag queen story hour at your local library. You are asking the wrong people here. You need to ask this of those that are taking their kids to story hour with drag queens and see nothing wrong with it. This has nothing to do with the piety movement of the 19th century.
On 4/30 above we see yet more evidence that the world is worldly and trending worldlier. This is true, but hardly worth saying. What else is true? The words of Christ are true.
Jesus once said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” So however worldly the world becomes, we may have peace and good cheer!
Worldliness is Billspeak. This isn’t worldliness but insanity on parade. St. Anthony the Great of the desert fathers said this in the 3rd century,
“A time is coming when men will go mad , and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying ‘you are mad; you are not like us'”. This is now true and we are living in this time. I have a friend who is a Eucharistic minister and teaches 8th grade confirmation classes and sees nothing wrong with going to be entertained in drag queen shows. The disconnect is unbelievable and everywhere.
Speaking of insanity, what is sane about worldliness? If worldliness is Billspeak, was he original? Haven’t we read St. John’s original warnings against worldliness? or similar warnings by by innumerable other saints of all Christian communions?
When Christians see nothing wrong with worldliness, what greater evidence could there be of their worldliness? When a drunkard sees nothing wrong with one more drink, is he sober? or sloshed? When a fornicator sees nothing wrong with one more woman, is he chaste? or lecherous?
Lord, deliver us from insanity, both our own and our neighbors’.
St. John described worldliness in I John 2:16 as:
1. lust of the flesh
2. lust of the eyes
3. pride of life
which corresponds to the fall of Adam and Eve in that the fruit was:
1. good for food lust of the flesh
2. delight of the eyes lust of the eyes
3. to make one wise. pride
transgenderism and people mutating their bodies to be something they are not is insanity and dualism run amuck. You like to throw around worldliness a lot with the hopes it will stick. That is Billspeak and external.
Then again on 5/2 above, we are proffered the example of Miriam’s victory dance. But have we noticed Miriam’s mixed record in the OT? We get both negative and positive. Miriam was punished for rebellion, but also honored as a prophetess. Like the rest of us, she wrestled with matters of flesh and spirit. Shall David, Jinger, and Miriam make a date for Sabbath night fever? or shall they forbear? What about us?
On 2/16 above, we see a good summary of worldliness. Probably, today’s main component is #3. In our worldly pride, we elevate our perversions above nature.
That’s an example of the insanity cited above, where men forsake their masculinity in favor of femininity. If St. Anthony called that insanity, he was right.
A man ought to like his masculinity and dislike being effeminate. That’s humility. Pride is trying to do the opposite. As St. Anthony would have said, it is also insanity.