PBPGINFWMY . . . letters that were worn on the lapels and dresses of hundreds of thousands of people in the 1970s. The message they signify has become poignant again after 40 years, not just to those who came to attend Bill Gothard’s seminars, but to Bill himself. We will circle back to the meaning of this acronym at the end of this article.
In recent months the main question on the minds of Bill’s friends and supporters is expressed in the title of this section – “Did He Do it?”. Bill has been accused of sexual crimes by some accounts against over 60 women. Those of us assembled to provide this website in support of Bill are absolutely convinced that he did not. The website sprang from the grief of having another side of the story to tell, and nowhere to tell it. To a person we all love Jesus and fear the Lord and could not support Bill Gothard if we had a reasonable doubt of this fact. Most of us, in fact, set out to come to ground on the allegations with the heavy burden of being prepared to do whatever required if it was as alleged. What we found is a man who has not been wise in every matter of the way he handled those under his care, but still fully retains his integrity.
Bill has had dedicated opposition for many years which has gone far beyond reason in reacting to the real or perceived deficiencies in his doctrine and treatment of others. This is in part because he has from the beginning of his ministry sought to focus on the often forgotten and watered down claims which an Almighty and holy God brings to bear on mankind. While his supporters see him doing this in a very creative and positive way it remains that no one comes away from a Bill Gothard seminar without a renewed reverence for God and a dedication to holiness in moral issues, obedience and responsibility, and genuine sacrificial love. The “offense of the Gospel” is back. The established complacency and religiosity of our day has been as brutal to Bill as it was to Paul in his day.
In addition, he has been known for a very literal and direct interpretation of Scripture, relying less on scholarly analysis and more on a living book that God has designed to speak directly to the individual. As such he emphasizes the practice of memorizing and meditating on large sections of God’s Word and receiving insights directly from the Holy Spirit. A favorite verse of Bill’s is Psalms 119:99: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.” This has been offensive to Bible “experts” who believe that ordinary believers are incapable of understanding God’s truth without guidance from teachers. Most of the earliest opposition was of this type.
Bill is not perfect. He has hurt many people with some of his failures. We stand committed to helping him make as many of these wrongs right with the time the Lord yet grants him. It remains that he has been the channel of great blessing in countless lives and families, seeing many saved, caring for the broken and abused, the fatherless in many countries. It also remains that much of the vocal and angry attacks on his moral character are driven by a number of unrelated motivations to “kill Bill”, whatever it takes. This allows some otherwise intelligent individuals to abandon normal skepticism and quickly accept and promote accounts that would serve to that end. Whatever wrongs they are attempting to resolve, they are matched by these offenses of false reports against him.
So, we shall tell the story we know…
Continue to Did He Do It? – History and Scandal