10 May 2012, 06:00



All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. For our official statement of beliefs, click here.


  1. Maddy May 10, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for this Proverb this morning. If only someone had rescued us..........spoken longer and louder. Perhaps we would have heard, perhaps not. But what I do know is this, yesterday in the parent group a prior ATI dad made a statement and it resonates with me. He said "I will not stop exposing this dangerous cult," and I too, will not stop. Thank you RG for all you are doing to rescue those of us who were damaged and for helping us to heal.

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 NASB)

  2. Stephen M May 10, 2012 Reply

    I once heard of a pastor who gave a whole sermon on just the word "but". Here is a twist: Galatians "but" verses for those of us who are seeking to graduate from works and legalism into grace:

    For if the inheritance [be] of the law, [it is] no more of promise: BUT God gave [it] to Abraham by promise. (Gal. 3:18)

    Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. BUT after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Gal. 3:24,25)

    BUT when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law (Gal. 4:4)

    Wherefore thou art no more a servant, BUT a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal. 4:7)

    Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. BUT he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; BUT he of the freewoman [was] by promise.
    (Gal. 4:21-23)

    BUT Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
    (Gal. 4:26)

    BUT as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, BUT of the free. (Gal. 4:29-31)

    All those who are recovering grace rejoice in your new freedom:
    "For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband." (Gal. 4:27 - this verse might be extra special for ex-quivering people :)

    For legalists like Bill Gothard and company: next time when you meditate on Romans 6:1 in ritualistic fashin, please ask yourself, how can someone be dead to sin unless they are first dead to the law(Romans 7:6-9). Then please read an memorize Galatians and try to figure it out. Also, please meditate on Matthew 12:7 next time you condemn people who are suffering.

    • Stephen M May 11, 2012 Reply

      I'm sorry, I should have said "delivered" from the law, not "dead to the law" in mentioning Romans 7:6-9

    • Denise May 14, 2012 Reply

      These are powerful scriptures!! They're overlooked by many or explained away nowadays. God's Word plain and simple!!!

  3. Samuel Lundmark May 11, 2012 Reply

    I challange anyone who is reading this to personally examine Galatians chapter 3 closely and then attempt to reassert that Gothard's teachings concerning the role of the OT law are correct.

    If these teachings were not in discord with the fundamental nature of the provision made by God for our salvation and sanctification, it is possible that it could be considered an issue to be ignored. Unfortunately, this is not the case. These issues are of fundamental importance to every child of God.

    When challanged concerning legalism, Gothard claims that salvation is provided freely by grace, but that after salvation you receive increasing portions of the Holy Spirit's power by passing tests. These "tests" are based in the law from which the IBLP principles are derived. The "correct" response to each "test" supposedly yields the power. Gothard leads people to begin in the Spirit and finish with the "power of true success" via the law (the works of the flesh). I find this to be the exact opposite of the message of the stated purpose of the law according to the Scripture.

    I spent 20 years in ATI with another 9 years exposed to IBLP teachings. I have spent a lifetime of discussion with those attempting to resolve this system with the Scriptures. I believe I understand the issues at stake, and I reject Gothard's message as the message of the Judaizers.

    God is not mocked. Those who deny the free gift of grace and the honor and authority due the voice of the Holy Spirit trifle with eternal damnation by exposing themselves to the wrath of a holy God. I fear for their souls.

    As a friend once described the situation, "Wonderful people, flawed system, dangerous theology."

    • Stephen M May 11, 2012 Reply

      Interesting that you would point out beginning in the Spirit and finishing in the flesh. I have copied the following from the "Grace and Faith" article on Gothard's personal website:

      "There are also those who view grace as freedom to do what they want rather than power to do what they ought. This view turns God’s grace into a license to sin and is condemned in Scripture.
      A further abuse of grace is dividing it into two parts. One for salvation, and the other for Christian living. There is no such division in Scripture" (http://billgothard.com/teaching/grace/).

      Interestingly, in this article and another one called a "definition of grace" Gothard likes to point out the abuse of grace in tolerating sin yet never mentions the "frustrating" of God's grace in Galatians 2:21 or the possibility of "falling" from grace in Galatians 5:4.

      I would like to challenge anyone who is pro-IBLP to consider a passage like Galatians 2:16-21 and examine themselves if they really understand what is being said. Does it make sense? How could a godly or righteous person be "dead to the law"?

      There are people who might confess that Gothard is not right about everything; that perhaps he takes things to extremes, but they still think he is a decent Christian doing a lot of good. How can these people not see how significant, fundamental, and consequential the error in IBLP really is?

      • MatthewS May 12, 2012 Reply

        Excellent observations and comment

      • Heather July 23, 2012 Reply

        Excellent. Your last comment, "There are people who might confess that Gothard is not right about everything; that perhaps he takes things to extremes, but they still think he is a decent Christian doing a lot of good. How can these people not see how significant, fundamental, and consequential the error in IBLP really is?"

        Made me think. We are not picking on Gothard for any good he may have done, we are exposing Gothard for the awful, horrible things that have been done to families directly because of him and his false teachings. Not comparing BG to Jesus at all, but it reminds me of the story when the Jews were going to stone Jesus, and He asked them which good deed they were stoning Him for, they said, 'We do not stone a man for good deeds, we stone you because you have set yourself as God.' All the good deeds in the world will not balance out wickedness. God didn't set it up that way.

        No, I don't claim to know BG's heart (wouldn't go near that for a million bucks), but it is written, 'by their fruit you shall know them.' WE are BG's fruit.

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