LA Committee Questions to IBYC

20 March 2014, 06:00

Moderator

218

Editor’s Note: The following letter and accompanying list of questions were composed by the Los Angeles IBYC Area Seminar Committee in the wake of the revelations of the 1980 scandal. The members of the LA Committee declined to invite the Basic Seminar back to the city without the issues described being investigated and resolved. The Committee was simply replaced.

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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.

218 Comments

  1. TiaraLi March 20, 2014 Reply

    So in the 1980s, there were those who tried so hard to honestly deal with the scandal in a Godly manner. They were ignored and removed. Gothard resigned, but was reinstated. There was no independent, external investigation. The situation then continued to get worse over the next couple of decades.

    So now we see the IBLP board gets to do this again. They can remove anybody who questions them and do a purely internal investigation if they want to, or they can do right and allow an independent investigation. They can ask the hard questions - and find accurate answers. They can genuinely seek to heal past hurts and restore relationships. They CAN do this.

    Will they?

    Are you reading this, Mr Levendusky? Please contact GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) and ask them for advice. Please do the right thing. Your name will be remembered for the choices you make now.

    • Jim March 21, 2014 Reply

      This article says it all.

      http://qz.com/189507/success-can-build-a-culture-of-arrogance-that-will-destroy-a-company/#189507/success-can-build-a-culture-of-arrogance-that-will-destroy-a-company/

      • Steve240 March 21, 2014 Reply

        Jim Collins wrote a book titled "How The Mighty Fall ..." that talks about how (mighty) companies fall. He gives what he sees as the steps that lead to that failure. One of the early steps is "hubris" of success. My understanding is that "hubris" as Collins uses it is excessive pride or feeling that one knows how to do business correctly vs. just feeling they might have gotten "lucky" or fortunate to be predominant.

        This "hubris" is step towards falling.

        There are similarities in supposed Christian ministries and leaders that might have started out right that when successful developed this "hubris" and lost their dependency on God and following God.

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      Great comments and questions.

  2. Beverly March 20, 2014 Reply

    Ok, so don't shoot me, but this totally looks like it could be a fun scavenger hunt.... You know, where we look on RG and find the documents that answer all of these questions. I remember reading the documents that answered most of these questions!

    And can I just say how ticked I am that an Institute preaching high standards would snub these questions and just fire the committee asking the questions? Nothing about these questions are impertinent! They're very valid questions to ask of ANY Christian organization.

    But this just goes to show the Institute's long-standing policy to fire and replace anyone who dares to ask a question they don't approve of. This long-held, revered practice of immediate firing has been in place for over 40 years. Just ask any of us who worked at Training Centers or HQ for more than a week. Everyone knows you can't ask a question that Leadership (especially Bill) won't approve of. :-P

    • Helen March 20, 2014 Reply

      Yes, Bev, What an idea! Who's up for a scavenger hunt? . . . . I think we could find most of this already.

      • Helen March 20, 2014 Reply

        On second thought, #14 is a shocker. I don't think an article has been done on that. .. or maybe I missed it.

        Beverly?

        • Beverly March 20, 2014

          Ooh, ooh... I remember seeing that. Hold on.

          "When it became clear that Bill was willing to use deception and blame-shifting in order to save his own reputation and that of his ministry, the staff was distinctly unsettled and eventually feared for their own livelihoods and physical safety. Whether or not their fears for their safety seem warranted now is immaterial; their fear was real and, in those days of uncertainty, was based on what they were seeing. When Bill threw out the rules for himself, nobody was quite sure what he or his family would do." From: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2014/02/the-scandal-1980/

          There was also something else I remember reading (but I can't find which article it's in), where in the midst of all the scandal, Steve Gothard brought his hunting rifles back on the LearJet from Northwoods to Chicago, and I think people were just concerned that he might do something drastic.

        • Beth March 21, 2014

          Yeah it was in the scandal chronology article that was just one long document from the time period all that happened. This is what it says...

          May 11th
          "BYC pilots tell Tony that Steve has brought a rifle from up North on the Lear jet down to Chicago. Tony appeals to Bill Gothard and Jim H. to remove all the guns from the Gothard home. The appeals were rejected and a new fear begins to the affect the staff who learned of the unwillingness of Bill and Mr. Gothard to deal with this situation."

  3. Betty March 20, 2014 Reply

    Yes. Please, Mr. Levendusky. Please be the Man of Integrity that we need now. You are the one who can change the path of history to Righteousness, if you will only courageously stand for TRUTH and INTEGRITY. Walk in the Light, as He is in the Light.

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      Amen.

  4. David Pigg March 20, 2014 Reply

    These are the sinful deeds done against valid requests for a Godly response.Truth in many aspects and outworkings denied by a heretical fallen "religious" man.Where is one to go when an entire organization successfully stonewalls,"puts a target" on individual's lives,[this stated by Joy Wood.]Some,the former trusting staff girls,suicidal,some in fear of their lives,the milder repurcussions being simply fired,people suffering economic hardship at a moments notice.Nothing less than depraved man's inhumanity to man,the inside core exposed by brave souls,covered up, and now exposed again.Lies,never acknowledged for decades,callously snuffing out protests and cries of helpless youth.The only hope of healing is in the Manifest Presence of Jesus."And for this purpose was the Son of God to be made manifest'that the works of the evil one may be destroyed."Either truth in the inward parts or a façade shielding a non repentant ongoing darkness.IBLP can't have it both ways.

    • Lori March 20, 2014 Reply

      "Either truth in the inward parts or a façade shielding a non repentant ongoing darkness.IBLP can't have it both ways." That's right. Great summary, David.

      P.S. Would it be very impertinent of me to annoy you about taking care to type spaces before and after punctuation marks? .,[]" It would make your very excellent comments much easier to read. :)

  5. Vivian March 20, 2014 Reply

    Some of these questions are addressed on this site already, or may not be relevant after so many years, but some of these raise the question, "What did they know that prompted them to ask that?"

    #22 Have Institute funds been used for investment purposes such as valuable collectors' items, gold (Krugerrands), etc.? (That's pretty specific! I just looked it up, and as I suspected, a Krugerrand is a South African gold coin.)

    I'd be interested in the answer to questions 24 and 26, also.

    Is there a stash of gold somewhere, purchased with Institute funds but under Bill Gothard's personal control?

    • Shane March 20, 2014 Reply

      "Is there a stash of gold somewhere, purchased with Institute funds but under Bill Gothard's personal control?" Yes Vivian, it's in heaven.

      Sorry. I couldn't resist:)

      • Beverly March 20, 2014 Reply

        You're assuming Bill will have access to it...

        • Nancy2 March 20, 2014

          If so there will be a day when gold will miraculously turn to hay and stubble.

        • Alan Bonjour March 21, 2014

          Or as we understand it in Michigan, the gold is going to someday fill the potholes in the streets.

    • Daniel March 20, 2014 Reply

      I remember Bill talking about having the opportunity of purchasing gold and turning a huge profit on the investment. He was sort of sheepish about it. It was at the young men's counseling seminar in 1998. He made is sound like they didn't do it, but he was wistful about what could have been done with the funds if they had.

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      I would like to see some of that the huge amount of money to be spent on damages for staff who have suffered and then a fair amount given to past and present workers for wages! I am sure no one had any idea of how much of the millions of profit they were making on the backs of our children.

  6. Ryan Sapp March 20, 2014 Reply

    So I gather the questions were never replied to and instead the committee was just fired? Who runs anything that way but a Tyrant, that should be with a small "t" since we are talking about Napoleon syndrome here.

    If I was Bill Gothard I would be camped out in RG's office dealing with RG and every person that had a grievance with me. He, nor the institute will NEVER recover from this. If Tim L was savvy (I don't know him and that's not a put down to his intelligence) I would send Bill and personally be there myself. The only one that can stop the bleeding is Bill.

    Isn't it ironic that we found Sadam in a hole and Osama held up in a compound. Seems like Bill is in hiding.

    He's not nearly the man we all thought but then again looks like many people have known that for a long time.

    • Ryan Sapp March 20, 2014 Reply

      *EVER

      • Nancy2 March 20, 2014 Reply

        Freudian slip?

    • Shane March 20, 2014 Reply

      To answer these questions is to acknowledge deep and systemic corruption; sin. I find it encouraging that wise folks were sniffing this stuff out 35 years ago and all the more damning that the questions were swept away and the sins multiplied.

  7. Laura (attendee and former parent) March 20, 2014 Reply

    This article is most relevant.

    The Christian mission field “is a magnet” for sex abusers, Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse said Thursday to a room of journalists.

    Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian from Liberty University School of Law speaks during a panel Thursday. RNS photo by Sally Morrow
    While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think we are worse,” he said at the Religion News writers Association conference. But it’s harder to track.
    “Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” said Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations.
    Mission agencies, “where abuse is most prevalent,” often don’t report abuse because they fear being tossed from countries, he said. Abusers will get sent home and might join another agency. Of known data from abuse cases, 25 percent are repeat cases.
    Still, he says, he sees some positive movements among some Protestants. Bob Jones University has hired GRACE to investigate abuse allegations, a move that encourages Tchividjian, a former Florida prosecutor. ”That’s like the mother ship of fundamentalism,” he said. His grandfather Billy Graham split with Bob Jones in a fundamentalist and evangelical division.
    “The Protestant culture is defined by independence,” Tchividjian said. Evangelicals often frown upon transparency and accountability, he said, as many Protestants rely on Scripture more than religious leaders, compared to Catholics.
    Abusers discourage whistle blowing by condemning gossip to try to keep people from reporting abuse, he said. Victims are also told to protect the reputation of Jesus.
    Too many Protestant institutions have sacrificed souls in order to protect their institutions, he said. ”We’ve got the gospels backwards,” he said.
    Tchividjian said he is speaking with Pepperdine University, a Church of Christ school in California, about creating a national GRACE center.
    Earlier this summer, GRACE spearheaded an online petition decrying the “silence” and “inattention” of evangelical leaders to sexual abuse in their churches.
    Sarah Pulliam Bailey joined RNS as a national correspondent in 2013. She has previously served as managing editor of Odyssey Networks and online editor for Christianity Today. Via RNS.

    http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/09/27/billy-graham%E2%80%99s-grandson-evangelicals-%E2%80%98worse%E2%80%99-catholic-church-sex-abuse

    • Lori March 20, 2014 Reply

      "Abusers discourage whistle-blowing by condemning gossip to try to keep people from reporting abuse, he said. Victims are also told to protect the reputation of Jesus." How many times have we heard that manipulative tactic? It needs to be exposed everywhere possible, including places where it hasn't yet been tried.

      [I don't know about the wisdom of G.R.A.C.E. partnering with Pepperdine. I grew up in the Church of Christ and it was very legalistic, preaching a works-based "gospel." Perhaps Pepperdine has since disavowed those teachings.]

      • Steve240 March 21, 2014 Reply

        Sadly that "condemn gossip" tactic has been used by a number of leaders to suppress any type of questioning and exposure of sin including leaders' sins. I sometimes call it an intimidation tactic.

  8. Greg March 20, 2014 Reply

    Question,,, what was/is bill's dislike of pets? (Sorry for the slightly off topic question)

    • Shane March 20, 2014 Reply

      He said it would lead to wanton and lascivious petting.

      • grateful March 20, 2014 Reply

        ... petting ... really, imagine that

    • Beth March 20, 2014 Reply

      BG preached against pets on the grounds that they filled an emotional need that should only be filled by children, and that the energy and resources that go into caring for pets should be channeled toward having a greater number of children.

      • Rebecca March 20, 2014 Reply

        really? Oh my goodness...That is all I can think of to say.

      • grateful March 20, 2014 Reply

        But yet stood against adoption? bleaahhh

        • kevin March 21, 2014

          Yes, he is very much against adoption. It is the only Christian ministry I have ever heard of that discourages adoption. But, beyond discouraging adoption, he encourages families to send adopted children back to orphanages, telling stories of families who did so and were blessed by God's blessing of financial windfall for following His will. It's about as sick as it gets. I hesitate to use the word ministry, because ministries are supposed to help people, and they have done far more harm than helping others.

        • Steve240 March 21, 2014

          If there is documentation that RG could post that shows Gothard being against adoption RG should do that in a blog post.

          Remember Jesus parable about the sheep and goats and the goats being the ones that didn't clothe, feed, take in a stranger those less fortunate. What does that type of teaching say about Gothard if he speaks against this?

          Could this alone show that Gothard is a "goat?"

          I know not everyone has the resources to do it all but for a supposed Christian leader to preach against doing this is really terrible. What a contradiction of what Jesus taught.

        • Sad March 21, 2014

          For Steve 240- search "adoption" in the tool bar up top right side of this site. A few articles already here.

          http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/adoption-the-ultimate-act-of-grace/

        • Julia Fetters March 21, 2014

          From what I understand, his adoption policy was based around the Copley family.
          He has NO Biblical basis for his beliefs whatsoever. The adoption thing is as made up as the Umbrella of Protection.
          Needing Copley family info? Just google Ruth Copley. The poor girl. How she suffered under everyone's noses at ITC where her abusive (in the extreme) parents were on staff. Terrible story. Not easy to read.
          Anyway, once again BG pulls some magic out of his hat and we fall for it. Stupid me. His adoption beliefs have no merit whatsoever and may we all be cleansed of them.

        • Ryan Sapp March 21, 2014

          Figures, I was Copleys assistant in the early 90's for about 6 months at ITC. Sad the destruction this program is responsible for. Sad, sad, sad.

        • Shane March 22, 2014

          I'd love to see someone try and defend his view of adoption rather than excuse it for some supposed "greater good" of Gothardism...embarrassing!!

          I think I get so angry because I once bought in to his smarmy false teachings. I can't imagine how angry and sad I'd feel were my family to have been a Gothard family. I'm regularly impressed by the grace and kindness shown by you folks here who by all accounts should be bitter for what you have and continue to endure. I get hopping mad for you. I (but for the grace of God) might punch someone that tried to argue his view of adoption.

          Joe, the evidence is in; he has a false sense of his own worth, he teaches a false gospel, he twists the scriptures to his own devising, and he abused lots and lots of people along the way to building his now crumbling kingdom. I don't mind waiting for all the legal and structural fallout, but I (and no Christian) am under any obligation for some future verdict. We know what he teaches. We know his behavior. We know the Scriptures. The only thing to see is whether he will accept grace and repent.

        • kevin March 22, 2014

          The article on Gothards views on adoption by Revkev is spot on and really hits the nail on the head:
          http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/adoption-the-ultimate-act-of-grace/

          Also, please see A Call for Discernment, linked below.

          http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/a-call-for-discernment/

          They do a thorough job of analyzing Gothard's scriptural twisting of Exodus 20:5 that he uses as one of the basis for his discrimination against adopted children- that they carry hidden sins from their forefathers.
          If you are a family that failed to heed the warning and already adopted, there are, of course, 7 steps that you must take to cleanse your adopted child of these past sins. So twisted.

          Care Booklet 5 is his booklet that he gives to families to help them make "wise" decisions on adoption. Really, it is full of horror stories that would scare anyone out of adopting, and stories of blessings about those who almost adopted, but instead decided to "trust" the Lord, or those who were blessed after they "reversed" their adoptions, having realized that they had gone against God's will. You'll be pressed to find a more twisted document among any Christian organization, even among any cult literature.

          As Revkev mentions in his article, there are the so overused anecdotal stories that Gothard uses to give his message: Basically, if you are hitting turbulence with your adopted child, reverse the adoption. The message in the final chapter of this book makes your jaw drop, when you take in what he is really saying.
          Imagine a family that adopted a baby boy at 1 year old. But, there were signs that this was not God's will. I quote: "When our son arrived in September of 1984, we were debt-free, owned our home and cars, and had money and time to share with others as the Lord led us"
          "Within two weeks of his arrival, we began a downward spiral financially that was unbelievable"

          But, after following the "counsel" that they were given and sending their son to an out of state orphanage at the age of 6, reversing the adoption, things turned around and the blessings began to flow in:
          "Within two weeks after our son left, it was discovered that one of the companies my husband does business with had been holding back money they owned. The check they sent almost totally covered the amount my husband's business had gone into debt!"
          But, wait, it gets even better:
          "P.S In the midst of the incredible pain of the last years, God blessed us with a beautiful little girl- a direct result of our obeying His direction for a reversal." (adoption reversal)

          In other areas of the booklet he discusses how many couples adopt because they have been told by their doctors that they can't have children and Gothard issues a stern warning about doing this. In the section titled "Are you prepared for tensions which may come from conception after adoption?", he suggests that surely tensions will arise between your biological child and your adopted child, should you happen to conceive after you have already adopted, using the tension between Ishmael and Isaac as the biblical example for such caution.
          In his anecdote that follows the term is used, no doubt taught by the institute: "We grew in our conviction that if God wanted us to have a child, then we should wait upon 'Isaac' and not rush to 'Ishmael'"

          As if infertile parents who adopt are showing a lack of faith in God by "rushing" to Ishmael".

          Gothard even told me personally that adoption does not work out in families in which there are biological children. Being a family with a mix of adopted and biological children, in which
          unconditional loving bonds have grown between them all, I feel comfortable saying that his counsel in this regard is complete rubbish.

          He also tells people that he has never seen adoption work out in all his years of ministry and that there are better ways to help orphans than to adopt them. When I tried to pin him down on this statement, asking him what would be more important to an orphan than being adopted by a loving family, he gave me no answer.

          Anyone who still thinks that Gothard's teachings are biblical, and that he just fell victim to sin, please, read Care Booklet 5 and ask what Christian leader would teach such things. A man who discourages adoption and encourages families who have adopted orphans to reverse those adoptions is not teaching anything resembling Godly principles.

        • Shane March 22, 2014

          Thanks Kevin. Sitting on the couch with my adopted daughter:) I revel in her adoption and how it points me to my adoption in Jesus. But who really cares about what the Bible actually teaches about the grace of adoption.

          I know Gothard's defenders are confused by the accusation of legalism: THIS is legalism! It is false teaching. It is anti-gospel. It needs to go away.

        • grateful March 22, 2014

          This makes my blood boil. How can anyone, Christian especially, be against adoption. ludicrous. My ATI-raised wife and I could not have children naturally and WE ARE BLESSED that the Lord led us down the adoption path. What an honor - and an amazing life lesson on our own adoption in Christ - so many parallels, especially when the judge seals the record, never to be opened again - WOW. If any one can scan the booklet 5, I would love to read it so I can refute it from the rooftops.

        • Jeff Gill March 22, 2014

          We (me, my wife, our semi-adopted daughter, our biological son, and our biological daughter) adopted a little girl last year. She is wonderful. Bill Gothard's ideas on adoption are idiotic.

          It is true that many adopted children have serious problems, but not because of family sins or demons. Problems can stem from the trauma of losing one's birth family, from abuse, from the mother's drug and alcohol misuse during pregnancy, and most of all from dysfunctional or nonexistent attachment between parents and children. Secure attachment between the primary carer and infant is important for development of the part of the brain that enables good attachment and relationship to others throughout life. The attachment disorders that can develop as a result of poor or nonexistent early attachment can be maddening, can defy understanding, can confound all the techniques that work on most children, can destroy families in extreme cases. Fortunately, the understanding of attachment disorders is growing along with the understanding of how to treat them.

          Yay science!

          (This is the kind of stuff you have to learn about if you adopt in the UK. I'm sorry for not citing any sources for all this, but I'm too lazy to dig out any of the adoption training material right now. Building the Bonds of Attachment by Daniel Hughes is a really good book for any foster or adoptive parent who is struggling with a child who has attachment issues.)

        • Shane March 22, 2014

          Thanks, Jeff. I'd like to add the tag line, "developmental psychology is real and helpful", to your post.

          You essentially said it, but soooo many Christians are afraid of brain chemistry/psychology because they don't understand it and are fearful and therefore prideful. We tend to think the Bible gives us some one-size fits all parenting model and won't do the hard work of learning how to love our children as individuals. This shows up tragically among Christians in adoption.

        • Lara March 22, 2014

          re Kevin's long post and the story told in that book-- My daughter's six years old. When I imagine what she would feel and experience in being sent away from our home to live with strangers in a orphanage, I want to throw up. I just cannot believe that such unmitigated cruelty to a innocent child, by the people who promised to love and care for that child, could be endorsed by anyone, let alone anyone calling themselves a Christian. Jesus, who loved children, who said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to become a stumbling block to one of them, would ever endorse such behavior. And God the Father who adopted ALL but one of His children wouldn't either.

        • Alfred Corduan March 22, 2014

          It remains interesting that in the "rulebook for successful earthly living" which was God's list of commands to the Jews in the law, adoption is . . . never mentioned. Not once. You have relatives assuming responsibility for orphans . . . and the care of widows and orphans is greatly encouraged. But the modern notion of adoption - taking a child from one lineage and plugging it into another - is unknown. The closest we have is the notion of surrogacy, i.e. Rahab and Ishmael.

          And while there are many adoption success stories, there are also a fair share of stories that end a different way. So make sure you can look those parents in the eye and be able to assure them that they are in the center of God's will.

          The "sonship" that the NT tells us we are part of is the adoption of adult slaves, the "Ben Hur" "adoption". Has nothing to do with babies or children. We are BORN into God's family, not adopted . . . adoption brings with it the old lineage, genealogy, genetics. Surely . . . that is NOT what God does for us.

          Personally, I am aware of a number of success stories. IBLP has not had a negative thing to say about adoption in a decades. Clearly God can use it and does. But . . . I wonder . . . I believe that modern adoption often fills more of a need in the adopting parents than being a ministry to orphans. And there are the cries of the unfit parents as the at times abused little ones are taken from them . . . forever. Just like Christians will marry a divorced person with indifference if not hatred for the horrible abuser of a former spouse (whom they do not know) . . . Christians will adopt these children with little or no concern - if not hatred - for the ones that bore them. I just wonder . . . where is the Lord in all of this? If He is anything, He is Oh, so very fair . . .

          I said such things years ago on another list and had the violent reactions that are sure to follow here. One couple in particular took great exception to what I said. The wife had been removed from a birth family as a baby and given to a loving family, raised well. She assured me that it was the very best, that she had no longing for that old family. Some time later - perhaps a year - they jointly wrote me a letter of apology. Seems like she had actually come in contact with her birth family . . . and was now grappling full on with the emotion of that. They told me in so many words . . . I was right. Adoption is no panacea, and should be avoided as much as possible. What she avoided as a child she was not having to work through in - to her - awful ways.

        • Ryan Sapp March 22, 2014

          Figures.
          I haven't really thought about how I formed my views on adoption. I have three healthy children of my own. I have always had the thought in the back of my head that adopted children bring "problems". Never giving a thought to how I formed my opinion. It totally came from Gothard. I have dealt with and come to peace with so many issues over the last 20 years, never thought about this one. I am probably much more socially liberal than most here. I am ashamed I didn't pinpoint this view point sooner.

          All kids have issues, all adults have issues, everyone has issues. His legalism was so sneaky. He really took unconditional love and acceptance out of the equation. Loving people because they are human is so much more fulfilling than loving them because they act "correctly."

        • Shane March 22, 2014

          Alfred, so this is what you want to weigh in on after your hiatus?

          I wonder what other interesting things aren't in your so-called "rulebook for successful earthly living"? You keep living by that rulebook but please be honest about it. I for one, am so so thankful that I do not share your or Gothard's legalism or hermeneutic.

        • Alfred Corduan March 23, 2014

          Well, Shane, it is interesting that you have not engaged on any issues I brought up . . . just happy that you don't share my thinking . . . I guess. This is real stuff. I ask questions that folks don't have answers to . . . about the best we do is attack my motivations.

          Yeah . . . this sort of thing brings it all roaring back into focus. Bill addresses these issues . . . will you? I try to match modern thinking and living with Bible and I just don't find much of a match at times. Jesus said that people would have a form of godliness - Yay for God! - but deny the power of it. No practical effect.

          The BIBLE honors large families . . . lots of home grown kids. NEVER addresses adoption as a means of expanding one's family. My godless friends all say we were idiots for having 11 kids . . . WHY oh WHY did we not adopt 11 kids?! The perspectives expressed above would leave me to believe them right. Or get a cat or a dog . . . to satisfy your need for something to cuddle and take care of. THAT . . . is just not in the Bible. I think the characters in Scripture would be amazed and then revolted by modern "evangelical" thinking. Call it un-Biblical. Having a form of godliness - Praise Jesus! - but no effect on ordinary, mundane life.

          IF Bill actually got it right - Scripture is king, should govern even the remotest parts of our lives - that is real power. If I were the devil . . . I would do everything to discredit him . . . I would tempt him as furiously as I could to misstep . . . try to introduce as many human imbalances as possible to alienate folks . . . I would gather as much negative information as I could to "take him down" and shut him up. IF . . . this message is really dangerous to to Satan and his kingdom.

        • kevin March 23, 2014

          " He really took unconditional love and acceptance out of the equation"

          Ryan, you are so correct. When we adopted, we made a commitment to our daughter that would would be her "forever family" and love her unconditionally. This is exactly what orphans need- there is no substitute for a family that loves a child unconditionally. Despite what Gothard teaches, there is no better way to help an orphan than to adopt them and love them with all your heart.
          The idea that a family should take a child in as a baby and then give up on him at the tender age of 6 because they hit some turbulence, which they arbitrarily blame on the adoption, is sickening. The only family he has ever known, the one that has been his since he was a baby,abandons him, because they love the teachings of a mad man, more than they love him.

        • kevin March 23, 2014

          Alfred,
          It's hard to know where to begin. It sounds like you've taken all the teachings in and that they have had the intended result.
          I wanted to correct you on something. You said:
          "IBLP has not had a negative thing to say about adoption in a decades"
          Unless they have changed their policy very recently, they are still handing out anti-adoption literature. Bill Gothard gave me Care Booklet 5, which is very anti-adoption, in the last two years.

        • Alfred Corduan March 23, 2014

          Kevin: *I* have not seen that booklet . . . in a great many years. I only have it because I signed up for the "MTIA" program, paid extra money for it. Decades ago. A function of IBLP that has not been advertised, if it even has an office anymore. So . . . I guess we will leave it at that. It certainly is not taught . . . not like things like rock music . . .

          I commend you for seeking to bless your daughter by adopting her. And I agree that any notion of sending an adopted child away would represent an extreme response to extreme circumstances. In that case, there is a precedent in Scripture. For rebellious natural born children there was also a precedent for parents stoning them to death. So the acts are comparable, I would think.

        • greg r March 23, 2014

          @Alfred: welcome back, I'm sure this is not an easy time for you.
          One small comment for you. God's successful rulebook is now JESUS, a person, and not a book of rules, even good ones. If you are ever to know Jesus, please set down the rules, however you interpret them, and get to know the person Jesus. Jesus, btw, loved all manner of strange kids, none of them HIS by physical family.

        • greg r March 23, 2014

          This adoption thing illustrates a point about BG for me: not only did he get the 'finer' points horribly wrong, he got the big picture horribly wrong. His stance on adoption shows how little he understands about the heart of our Father..
          We did not deserve a place at the table, we were from the wrong family: HE made a place, and treated us like HIS own family (we are the new Israel)
          We had nothing to bargain with, no claim to covenant love and commitment: HE committed to us anyway , and provided the sacrificial Lamb Himself, HE gave us wedding garments to make us acceptable to HIM
          Even those who had the 'rules' could not really ask for acceptance based on obedience to those rules, but they can find rest and peace in the ONE who obeyed perfectly in their stead.

        • Shane March 23, 2014

          So Alfred, do you advocate the stoning of rebellious children as taught in your "rulebook for successful earthly living"? If not please explain why, if you will, and then it would be helpful to understand how you apply that hermeneutic to your argument from silence regarding your "rulebook for successful earthly living".

        • VT March 23, 2014

          Alfred,

          I hope that my response will in some way give you a better perspective on adoption. I have worked with children and teenagers for years, and spent a few years working with IBLP's orphan program. I will be bold and say that I could be considered an expert, to a certain extent, on orphan issues. I have seen what happens to orphans when they are adopted, and I have seen what happens when they are not adopted. I have lived with orphans during the adoption process. I have wiped away tears and listened to their anguished stories. I have stood beside kids when there was no one else to stand with them. I have stayed up all night and walked through very dark hours with these kids. I have been called mom, and I consider that an honor.

          I am totally pro-adoption. You define adoption as taking a child from one lineage and plugging him into another. Please, modern adoption is not about lineage. None of the adoptive families I know seem to think about adoption that way. Adoption is about rescue, love, and acceptance. It is about giving a child a family who would otherwise not have one. Yes, there are wrong ways to do adoption, but there are wrong ways to do anything. Just because some adoptions fail doesn't make adoption a bad thing. Adoption is used as a picture of salvation in the New Testament in several places. Here are some references:

          Romans 8:15, 8:23, 9:4
          Galations 4:5
          Ephesians 1:5

          Your explanation of these passages makes no sense. Through salvation we are "adopted" as sons, that is, literally made a part of a family -God's family- that we have no natural affinity too.

          I am a witness of the benefits of adoption. I have had the opportunity to directly compare adopted orphans with unadopted ones, and the difference is so profound it would blow you away. Although adopted orphans may continue to have problems related to early deprivation, they are usually light-years beyond their unadopted peers in terms of mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical development. Adoption can truly save a child from death and destruction. It is simply the best way to meet the needs of an abandoned child. No institution or system of foster care can replace the love of a family.

          I was heavily involved in IBLP's orphan ministry, where a few adoptions were allowed but not encouraged. I can tell you that the discouragement of adoption did a tremendous disservice to those children. Of course, many of them were not eligible for adoption, but of those who were most never had a chance. Some wanted to be adopted. What has happened to most of those kids since then has not been good. I have followed up on some of them. It is heart-breaking. By the time I left the orphan ministry, I was a firm believer that adoption is the best way to help orphans.

        • P.L. March 23, 2014

          Adoption of children was well-known at the time of the New Testament writings. It was particularly practiced among elite Roman families, and as I'm sure you know @Alfred, the apostle Paul was extraordinarily well-educated and erudite and makes frequent references to Roman culture.

          There is absolutely no scholarly basis for assuming that these references refer to the adoption of adult slaves. Unless you consider Bill Gothard's material scholarly.

          And since you seem to think anecdotal evidence proves your point, I will put up the experience of my three extraordinary adopted siblings, who did in fact meet their birth families and remain exceedingly grateful that they were adopted, against your single anecdote any day.

        • Jeff Gill March 23, 2014

          Alfred,

          1. 'Rulebook for successful earthly living' – lovely thought, except it's not or we would still be avoiding polycotton blends and making suspicious women drink dusty water to see if they swelled up and offering daily sacrifices and having the pastor come round to inspect the mould problem on the walls in the damp corner of the house.

          2. 'God's list of commands to the Jews' – except there weren't any Jews at the time the Mosaic law was given. The term hadn't been invented yet. The people in question were called Hebrews or israelites.

          3. 'while there are many adoption success stories, there are also a fair share of stories that end a different way' – Erm, you mean exactly like the raising of all children?

          4. 'We are BORN into God's family' – Yes. We are also adopted into God's family. We are wild olives grafted into a domesticated olive tree. We are parts of a body. We are a collective bride (who is betrothed to the head of the aforementioned body). We are fruit that is the result of seeds being sown. We are part of a building. We are members of a (Roman) household. We are new creations. And these are just Paul's metaphors. What happens through Christ is too wonderful and rich to be contain in a single metaphor. That is why the biblical writers didn't try to. We would be wise to follow their lead.

          5. 'IBLP has not had a negative thing to say about adoption in a decades.' – I heard BG trash talking adoption in the early 90s. Technically that is decades, but no one is talking about some big reversal that occurred in his opinions.

          6. 'Christians will adopt these children with little or no concern - if not hatred - for the ones that bore them' – Church and society as a whole have badly let down a lot of parents. Hearing the stories of young hopeless mothers during my adoption training broke my heart. But I have to do the thing I can do. Right now that is give a kid a home and a family. I really hope that one day I can do more. But in the meantime I'm not going to sit around caring for no one by the people that share my DNA.

          7. 'Adoption is no panacea, and should be avoided as much as possible' – This is true. But sometimes it is the best available option. If somebody's god has a problem with that, I'm sure I will be duly punished. Until I am, I will carry on loving my kids with everything I've got no matter where and how they were born.

          8. 'The BIBLE honors large families' – Yes. And small families and no families and weird messed up families. It's both/and not either/or.

          9. 'Or get a cat or a dog . . . to satisfy your need for something to cuddle and take care of' – If you choose to bring up you view that people attack your motivations, it's probably best to not make really ugly statements like this. Of course some people adopt to meet their own emotional needs. If that's part of a balance of motivations, it's fine. If not, there will be big problems. The people I know who have adopted weren't looking for something to cuddle.

          The reason our family adopted is because of the values of the bible, the kind of love that we see God giving the world and giving us. We didn't need a 'Thou Shalt Adopt' to love a couple kids who needed a family. We just needed to understand how much we are loved and how much love we have to share. (We added a bit of evidence-based professional training to that love, and things are working very well.)

        • Ryan Sapp March 23, 2014

          The last thing I am qualified to do is debate the Bible and quite honestly I have zero desire to do so. My only point in regards to Alfred is wasn't Moses adopted and because of that adoption he was given the platform to lead his people out of slavery?

          Having the big hearts that you and your wife have Alfred I think your views on adoption would be totally different if you weren't able to have children. Much like I'm sure your views on divorce will change. You have 11 kids, stats say you will have more than one divorce involving your children. Life has a way of rounding the edges and loving people for where they are.

          Look at a picture of your family with all 11 kids, now imagine you and you wife are your current ages with no kids in the picture. Now imagine the countless children in situations where they aren't wanted or planned for. Soak it in, maybe shed a few tears as the kids and adults have who have longed for relationship. Once you feel their pain and longing come back and let me know how you feel about adoption.

        • kevin March 23, 2014

          "Fortunately, the understanding of attachment disorders is growing along with the understanding of how to treat them."

          JeffG, yes, that is correct. Radical Attachment Disorder (RAD) is something that is common in adopted children and something which prospective adoptive parents mush now learn about, prior to adopting. One can imagine the difficulties that Gothard encountered in trying to remedy problems using his faulty premise that all behavior issues can be traced back to violation of Gothard's principles. ( I refuse to call them biblical, because they are, in fact, Gothard's own made up principles) If one is ignorant of RAD and, instead, looking for that principle violation, they will be missing the cause completely. And as such, his remdedy will not be the ansser: 5 steps for this and 7 steps for that. This is a glaring example of how one size fits all, formulaic approaches fall short. So, since the steps don't work to resolve the "conflict", best to reverse the adoption.
          It really is amazing. When you get down to it, he knows virtually nothing about any of the areas upon which he teaches. Adoption is just one example, but it is one that I find the most disturbing, and also, the one that is the most demonstrably anti-biblical.

        • Alfred Corduan March 23, 2014

          I thank everyone for their heartfelt responses. Obviously there is no way for me to respond to everyone, each of which deserves its own thread . . . and this goofy skinny thread is driving me nuts. One thing to say . . . no . . . better not. :-) Y'all beat up on me far nicer than I was expecting . . . so . . . for that I thank you.

          And . . . God richly bless all those who have put themselves out to foster or adopt.

        • kevin March 23, 2014

          Alfred,
          Have you ever visited an orphanage in a third world nation? If not, I would highly recommend that you do so someday. It just might soften your heart about whether adoption should be "avoided as much as possible", as you say. I would suggest that you pick one in a nation in which there are high numbers of AIDS and malaria victims, which leaves millions of children orphaned.
          When we traveled to pick up our daughter, we spent a week visiting and getting to know her prior to bringing her home, as is the policy of our agency. In the orphanage, these children are so desperate for families that will love them, it is beyond words. As we spent time with our daughter, other children would come and hug you and not let go. When it would be time to leave, they would usually break into tears. I wish I could have taken all of them. It broke my heart, but at least I knew that these children in this particular orphanage all were awaiting for adopting families to come pick them up. So many others, particularly the ones that are 3 + years old, are never placed in families. The fact is that there are far more orphans than there are families willing to adopt. If Bill Gothard has discouraged even one family from adopting, then he has prevented one of those children from having a family. And the reality is, he has probably discouraged thousands from adopting.
          I was told by the orphanage director that if my daughter had not been adopted, she probably would have died. I visited her village and I would say that he was probably correct- extreme poverty and malnourishment. She also had some health issues that were not discovered until she had visited a doctor, making his prediction even more probable.
          Fortunately, all of the people that I know that follow Gothard do not agree with him on adoption. We have a lot of adoptive families in our circle of friends and the mutual blessings are undeniable. Speaking for myself, our family has been incredibly blessed to have our daughter.

        • Shane March 23, 2014

          Alfred, you're right I did not address your specific points for a couple of reason: 1) we view the Bible so differently that to do so would have taken more time than I had. 2) Saturdays/Sundays are busy days for me and I was working on a sermon to help shepherd people that God has actually given me to, and it did not seem wise to engage a lengthy response on Saturday night. Satan might like to distract me, but I'm more concerned about my own heart and it's willingness to chase my own idols; trying to be right or prove someone else wrong on a blog site: idol. 3) I was confident that others would ably engage your points (c.f. P.L., Jeff Gill, and Ryan Sapp) and was willing to let it go with my limited response. 4) My questions were an attempt to engage your hermeneutical approach so that we could attempt an intelligent conversation. This seemed especially necessary because you offered your points from the silence of your so called "rulebook for successful earthly living". 5) I think your argument from silence is without merit; and hard to argue with because it's a non argument. What you find telling for the Bible's silence is what you already hold as true or what the Bible teaches explicitly in other places. In this instance it is not a positive argument. So, I was trying to understand the presuppositions you hold that cause you to see something in the silence that is not there, and is contradictory to one of the major tenants of the gospel. Namely, that we are justified by Christ's righteousness, and by our union with Christ the Son we are adopted as children of the living God. To deny adoption as one of the beautiful cuts of the gospel diamond is in my reading of the Scriptures patently absurd. God takes those who "are not my people" and by grace makes them "my people" (this is the OT btw). Adoption is a thoroughly historic Protestant understanding of an aspect of Jesus' work on behalf of those "who are of your father the Devil" and who were "enemies". Jesus takes those who are not born into the family and brings them in with all the rights and privileges of the firstborn son. That you would deny this part of the Scriptures is baffling, but again we are miles apart... 6) As to your "rulebook for successful earthly living"; you are not consistent- you do all kinds of things for which your "rulebook for successful earthly living" are silent. I'll give one example that is likely true, but I don't know you so it may not be. I assume you vote. I could wax on about how interesting it is that the "rulebook for successful earthly living" says nothing about voting and therefore Christians should have nothing to do with the political process. The argument is fallacious. 7)The insensitivity of your stepping into this of all the conversations that have happened since your silence strikes me as insensitive at best and cruel at worst. Your followup responses have evidenced the latter rather than the former. To wit: "Or get a cat or a dog . . . to satisfy your need for something to cuddle and take care of." Maybe you're just a provocateur and enjoy tweaking people online, if so it's exposed as cruelty in this thread. You may be defensive because of people's responses to your 11 children, but nothing said above in this post ("The perspectives expressed above would leave me to believe them right.") had anything to do with your decision to have 11 kids. It was about the beauties and difficulties of adoptive parenting, and the shear wackiness of Gothard's teaching against it. I can't apologize that you've been misunderstood by whomever it is you're referring to, but it has nothing to do with what I've said about adoption. 8) The very fact that you call the Bible or any part of it the "rulebook for successful earthly living" means that we are miles apart on the Bible. I believe that Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law and that it is no longer operable because it was merely a shadow pointing to Jesus the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. For you to compare sending an adoptive child back as comparable, and by implication acceptable, as stoning a rebellious child is so rife with law and gospel problems that I still can't begin to untangle it here other than to say; Jesus, Paul, Peter, Hebrews James any one? James does actually say if you're guilty of a part you're guilty of the whole thing. Speaking to Christians ("brothers"). Your "rulebook for successful earthly living" is the definition of moralism/legalism. Hence, my admonition to be honest. Because in honesty you may see the crushing weight of your "rulebook for successful earthly living" and run to Jesus for grace; not just justifying grace but sanctifying grace (c.f. Gal.3.1-5 for example) 9) The Bible is not a rulebook its a story of the offended God setting out to rescue the offenders. It's a telling of how he will redeem faithless servants through the Faithful Servant. It's about God's mission to redeem. Yes there are some rules. Those rules are in service to Grace. They are not primarily about "successful living", and not at all depending on how you define success. 10) Your admonition-"So make sure you can look those parents in the eye and be able to assure them that they are in the center of God's will" - is again more of the Gothardism I left behind. I don't know where one would go in the Bible to find the "center of God's will" notion here. I don't know where the Scriptures teach that simply because someone had mixed motives in their original decision that somehow the rest is doomed. I don't know where you'd go to find ANY person other than Jesus who ever lived in the center of God's will. So we're all screwed unless grace is real for real sinners like you and me. That way of thinking is soul killing. I am thankful to have left it behind. 10) Paul uses Ishmael as the metaphor for the Jewish Christians who were requiring the Gentile Christians to live by their "rulebook for successful earthly living" in order to purse the "better way" as Christians (Gal 4). Gothard's legalism (creating new laws and trying to maintain abrogated laws) is enslaving. His view of adoption is but one example of how it makes sons and daughters into slaves. It is such a shallow view of the gospel. We who were not children are now adopted. 11) I did not attack your motives. I asked you some questions. 12) I'll restate them: a)what other interesting things are not in your "rulebook for successful earthly living"? b)do you advocate the stoning of rebellious children as taught in your "rulebook for successful earthly living"?c) If not, why not? d) how do you get from there to your argument regarding adoption based on the silence of your "rulebook for successful earthly living"?

        • Holly March 23, 2014

          Alfred, I want to say that I appreciate your thoughtful posts and spirit of gentleness and humility. Although I don't often agree with your beliefs (but really, I could say the same regarding many other of my brethren here, too), I appreciate the way you say them, and the fact that you are gutsy enough to participate in discussions in which you know you are strongly 'outnumbered'. I like hearing from people on both sides of an issue, and I am glad you are here to provide that balance. Even though I know we disagree on some things, it is obvious you are a man who thinks deeply about things and has a heart after God, and I appreciate you.

        • Ryan Sapp March 24, 2014

          Shane, great post. Very intelligent.
          I am not familiar with the "rule book for successful earthly living". Does it allow for me to have my iPhone 5s? I don't think I would be very successful without it.

        • Beth March 24, 2014

          The "center of God's will" isn't even the same person to person! There would be no need for the Spirit if all we needed was a formula for exactly what we should do in life, the Bible isn't clear on so many things because they're not going to be the same person to person. There is no way in the world I could ever look someone in the eye and tell them either they were or were not "in the center of God's will"! I don't know everything going on in their lives and I'm not their God, I have no right in the world to play God in their lives.

        • greg r March 24, 2014

          @Beth, great post. Your stance on this is the bible,s and the reason why looking at the N.T. as a collection of principles is the way into a ditch, or worse. Jesus fulfills the law NOT by giving us the law on steroids, but by sending us the Comforter and giving us LIGHT...NOT a map for every stone and pebble. Bill,s entire approach to God and the bible are old covenant driven, and of course, doomed.

        • Annoymous March 24, 2014

          Alfred

          Your views on adoption are so WRONG. You have bought into an idea that has DESTROYED families and children. An idea that one man thought to be godly counsel and the best way but never considered the consequences of his "godly counsel". He destroyed lives and took childhoods away from children. Children who needed unconditional love and to be shown God's mercy.

          I am not able to post my name as unfortunately I am a part of a family who has been deeply damaged by Mr. Gothards advice on adoption. Our relationships hold on by a thread and as much as I would love to share the story it would only end what little family relationships are left.

          So let me place you in our story and see if maybe you can get a glimpse into the damage that is done by Mr. Gothards counsel.

          Imagine that you are a little boy who is so young you don't even know how to tie your shoes yet. After bouncing around from foster home to foster home someone has finally stepped up and said they would be your parents. Your FOREVER parents. After a few years of struggling to love you and have you accept their love they are frustrated and worn down. You have been placed in a family full of incredible high standards for behavior for their children and you can't meet those expectations because you are deeply wounded on the inside by your past.

          They don't ask friends or family or even their local pastor about what to do. They look to the advice of a man they haven't even met in person.


          They place a call to Mr. Gothard asking him for advice. After a few minutes on the phone he tells your forever parents that they should send you away. A "godly" man who lives thousands of miles away, who has never met you or your parents, counsels to send you away. He doesn't counsel them to get local family counseling from the church. Or therapy for you as a deeply hurting child. Or to place you in school so everyone can get a few hours away from each other. He doesn't even counsel them to find a family member who could take you overnight here and there so they can get rest. No he gives no practical advice, he just tells them that you are destroying their family and to send you away. And they do!

          As a result of that this you spend the rest of your childhood growing up in group homes with parents who want nothing to do with you and won't ever allow you to come home.

          Can you imagine what this child's view of God is if the only thing they have ever experienced is a judgmental IBLP God? That Christianity is just full of rules and standards they will never live up to because at the core of their being they are broken? Can you imagine not only being rejected by your birth parents but also by your adoptive parents. Can you possibly imagine the DEEP, DEEP trauma that leaves in your heart all because of the "godly" counsel a man who never met you gave?!

          Bill Gothards view on adoption is just dead wrong and it has literally destroyed families and children. It is sickening to thing of all the hurting children this was done to.

        • Mamaraye March 24, 2014

          It was BG's false cruel teachings on adoption that opened my husband's and my own eyes to the other patently false teachings in the IBYC/IBLP materials. At first we tried to pick and choose in going through the materials...we had invested a lot of time and cash into it, after all. But, with help from wise and godly people, and from God through his spirit and his word, we came to the conclusion that this material, no matter how good it seemed on the surface, or how beautifully it was packaged, (or how much money we had spent on it :) was rotten with legalism and the accompanying unkind and judgmental and fear-filled world view that goes with it.

          We got rid of everything Gothard.

          Looking back more than 30 years, I know that time period is when God began to truly, wholly show us the life of his amazing grace and the absolute sufficiency of Jesus Christ.

          Very few things make me truly angry, but legalism and the web of lies taught in Jesus' name and the damage done to precious lives because of it brings out my "mama bear" every time. But along with that, I have come to realize that much legalism comes out of a spirit of fear, a lack of trust that God is in control and He is all-sufficient. Many people, especially parents, might be initially drawn to legalistic systems because they give us this false feeling of control and sufficiency.

          When really we just need to fall into the everlasting arms of Jesus.

        • Cyndi March 25, 2014

          Our family first adopted while in ATI and actually tried to keep it a secret from headquarters. Our hearts opened more fully, and we left ATI and adopted more kids. We eventually took most of our biological children on adoption trips with us, and each of those children have HUGE hearts for children in need. Adoption brought about an understanding of God's heart to our home more than any Wisdom Booklet (and we did every one of those booklets). Now I have worked for an international adoption agency (from home while homeschooling the kids in non-ATI material) for the past 15 years and have helped hundreds (and hundreds) of Christian families adopt. One year my husband came across Isaiah 58 and was startled to realize that it teaches what REAL fasting is. Not going without food!!! It is sharing what you have with those who don't have. It is "bringing the homeless poor into your home"!!!! It is sharing your portion with the hungry. Then finish the chapter and see the rewards for those who do God's "chosen fast". Our family can honestly say, "Amen! God has given our family all those blessings!" As a result of our adoptions, God has blessed our family and every one of our children, spouses and grandchildren with the promises in Isaiah 58. Have all our adopted kids grown seamlessly into our lives? No, and that is where we have grown the most. That is where our life messages have come from. Would I lay down my life for each of our children, adopted and biological! You bet! We would NEVER go back and change the course of the miracles God has brought into our lives.

        • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014

          I wasn't going to comment any further . . . but there were a couple of deeply felt posts .. .

          Anonymous: I am sorry for what you went through . . . I am guessing that Mr. Gothard didn't get it all right there. Obviously I don't know the details . . . I, for one, see "sending the child away" as Scriptural . . . but also extreme, along the lines of stoning a rebellious biological child, also Scriptural. Obviously God did not ask the multiple sons born to concubines of Jacob to go . . . Anyway, people do all kinds of super zealous things to seek to do right. We are all a bunch of failures. May the Lord restore you all you missed . . . and more. When I hear stories of broken things, I think about the middle part of a poorly begun race . . . and think about happy endings that God often engineers just because He wants to encourage the intent, if not the actions.

          Cyndi: May the Lord bless your ministry for Him. My only comment is a technicality . . . I doubt that the apostles, fasting prior to making certain decisions, gave their food to the poor instead of not eating. When David fasted, he . . . didn't eat, to the point of exhaustion. When Esther fasted, she focused on the not eating OR drinking part . . . long after Isaiah 58 was written.

          For my part I haven't fasted in decades . . . I just reached a point where I was physically having problems that I never had before. At the point it wasn't helping, I suspended regular fasts.

        • Beth March 27, 2014

          Christ came to fulfill the law, that means that he paid the price, as far as Christianity goes stoning is no longer required because Christ paid for all our sins by taking the punishment that justice required. You're still stuck on the law.

          I personally think that adopting is the ultimate show of love and sacrifice a lot of times. It's not easy, it's scary, it's a huge sacrifice. I for one want to have kids and it's easy for me to say it's just safer and easier to have my own but if I'm honest, to adopt is much more a sacrifice, giving up the safer easier option for the riskier, harder, possibly heart breaking option. The whole picture of adoption, even if it is like you say - unbiblical - is a huge show of love and that, in my mind, is enough to make it biblical. So for everyone out there who has adopted, you have my respect.

        • Dean April 2, 2014

          Interesting thread on adoption. Can I add one thought. I think one of the most important figures in the NT was adopted... regardless of the effects it might have on himself or his biological children Joseph chose to adopt Jesus. Just a thought.

        • Father With Daughters April 30, 2014

          >>>>>
          On March 23 Ryan Sapp posted:
          My only point in regards to Alfred is wasn't Moses adopted and because of that adoption he was given the platform to lead his people out of slavery?
          <<<<<<

          I'm sorry if I'm reviving a dead topic, I'm new here. Ryan, a great example of an adopted individual used by God. I am very suprised that Gothard has not used Moses as a case example for the bad that comes from adoption. See below:

          Moses the Adopted

          1. Moses' mother hides him in a basket on the Nile
          -the family sin begins with Moses' mother who
          rebels against Pharaoh's (authority figure) rule of killing the
          male babies.
          -this rebellion is passed along to her offspring unknowingly.

          2. Pharaoh's daughter finds Moses and takes him as her own child.
          -Pharaoh's daughter does not know of the sinful and rebellious
          lineage of her adopted son.
          -Moses is loved and is given the best of everything by his adopted
          family.

          3. As an adult the sinful nature of Moses' biological family surfaces.
          -Moses kills an Egyptian
          -Moses does not submit to authority to answer for his action but flees
          to Midian
          -Moses marries a woman without the permission and blessing of his
          mother and grandfather(Pharaoh).

          4. Adoption brought Shame, Death and Loss to Pharaoh's Family
          -Loss of respect for not being able to control their subjects
          -Death of every first born
          -Loss of possessions, crops, livestock and devastation and plagues to
          their country, Egypt.

          This was meant to only show how asinine Bill Gothard's logic can be. I think it is great when a couple decides to adopt and give a child a loving home and not an orphanage.

    • Ryan Sapp March 22, 2014 Reply

      Oh and he also taught that rebellious girls liked horses. I'm serious. I can't make this stuff up.

      • Brumby March 23, 2014 Reply

        Well, I've been successfully framed then. Lol.

  9. Lee March 20, 2014 Reply

    I spoke with a friend yesterday who remembers attending a Basic Youth Conference in the 1970s. She says she remembers holding a booklet on her lap while listening to BG teach about the way to be a Christian. Even then, she said, "I remember feeling under condemnation, like I wasn't good enough." I think BG is under a demonic spirit of control. Maybe the Lord is awakening all of us to be on guard for false spirits. Everything BG taught and everything he created must be burned. It all stems from the wrong spirit, not the Spirit of the Living God because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    What an amazing learning opportunity for all of us. The people who advocate the strongest for continuing with IBLP and ATI are under this spirit, like Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses. They may seem genuine, soft-spoken, and sweet-spirited, but challenge them on BG and then watch out. Their heads spin and their eyes glaze over and they get very angry. Kinda creepy!

    • Ryan Sapp March 24, 2014 Reply

      I would like to start another adoption thread right here continuing from what's right above. It seems to have illicited a lot of responses and as is there is no way to comment on someone's post. The posts are so heartfelt and personal they deserve responses.

      • Shane March 25, 2014 Reply

        @Alfred, you said: “Well, Shane, it is interesting that you have not engaged on any issues I brought up . . . just happy that you don't share my thinking . . . I guess. This is real stuff. I ask questions that folks don't have answers to . . . about the best we do is attack my motivations.”

        It seems only fair that you show the same courtesy you challenged me to. I and several others have responded to your questions with very specific Biblical passages and their meaning as well as theologically connected the dots and given historical evidence. You have made some rather incendiary statements about adoption and used all caps a bit, but you have yet to address mine or other specific engagements. Your rhetorical flourishes and ellipses notwithstanding you’ve yet to defend your position on adoption.

        You can keep saying we're NOT ADOPTED, but it does not prove your point. Again, adoption took one who was not a son and legally made them a son with all it's privileges; gave them sonship. How is this any different than modern adoption? God says to Not My People" "you are my people” (Hos 2). God adopted Israel to be his son- God called Abram from the gods of Ur and made him and his descendants (Israel) his son. Cf. Exodus for the sonship of Israel. How was Abram BORN of God? He wasn’t. He was taken in by God based on nothing he himself had. In Gal 4, Paul says that we received the Spirit because we were adopted; we were once slaves (under the law) now taken in as sons. Slaves (not children) to sons (heirs).

        Of course new birth, but even that is understood as something "unnatural". How does one enter a second time into his mother's womb, Nicodemus? Answer: he doesn't. The Spirit of adoption does something like the first creation- calling into being something which did no exist before; bringing life where there was deadness, making enemies sons and daughters. We are not born of God in every way one is naturally born to parents. It's analogical. Adoption is analogical as well. Why all the analogies? Because no one analogy is sufficient for the beauties of the gospel/grace. Regeneration (new birth), justification, adoption, and redemption all describe something about how we become children of God from our former state.

        Historic orthodox Christianity has always maintained the Creator creature distinction. Your emphasis on being BORN of God over against adoption confuses this distinction. We are not born of God the way one of your children was born to you. We are born of God unnaturally so to speak. We are adopted. Hence the Scripture employ both analogies.

        My adopted daughter, whom we did not adopt “to satisfy your need for something to cuddle and take care of”, is OUR daughter. We have a birth certificate to make the relational reality a legal reality. This is absolutely a modern example of the grace of adoption. God takes “enemies” (Rom 5), “children of the Devil” (John 8) a pagan from Ur (Gen.11) and gives them sonship; all the legal rights to the relational privileges of natural born children; not my daughter has become my daughter. Gothard’s advice as recounted by @Anonymous are antithetical to the gospel as is your excusing it with your stoning defense.

        I do not say Christians SHOULD adopt or foster, because that would be creating a law that does not exist in the Scriptures. And that, alas, is one of Gothard’s problems. He tells Christians that they should not do something that he has NO RIGHT to. He creates laws. He creates laws by distorting the Scriptures and, in the case of adoption, that are antithetical to the Scriptures. This is legalism. This is the Galatian heresy. This is why I encourage people to run for their lives from Gothardism. This is why I pray it comes crashing down; all the while knowing there are others already filling in the void with the same false gospel.

        Lastly, even if the Scriptures had nothing to say about adoption, what about it would lead any Christian to forbid or discourage it’s practice. The very heart of God is to take in the outcast, the helpless, and the vulnerable. Christians should be applying the gospel in their lives in ways that are not explicitly spelled out in the Scriptures. Gothard’s teaching on adoption and your defense is vapid.

      • Cyndi March 25, 2014 Reply

        Thanks, Ryan, I have reposted this again:

        Our family first adopted while in ATI and actually tried to keep it a secret from headquarters. Our hearts opened more fully, and we left ATI and adopted more kids. We eventually took most of our biological children on adoption trips with us, and each of those children have HUGE hearts for children in need. Adoption brought about an understanding of God's heart to our home more than any Wisdom Booklet (and we did every one of those booklets). Now I have worked for an international adoption agency (from home while homeschooling the kids in non-ATI material) for the past 15 years and have helped hundreds (and hundreds) of Christian families adopt. One year my husband came across Isaiah 58 and was startled to realize that it teaches what REAL fasting is. Not going without food!!! It is sharing what you have with those who don't have. It is "bringing the homeless poor into your home"!!!! It is sharing your portion with the hungry. Then finish the chapter and see the rewards for those who do God's "chosen fast". Our family can honestly say, "Amen! God has given our family all those blessings!" As a result of our adoptions, God has blessed our family and every one of our children, spouses and grandchildren with the promises in Isaiah 58. Have all our adopted kids grown seamlessly into our lives? No, and that is where we have grown the most. That is where our life messages have come from. Would I lay down my life for each of our children, adopted and biological! You bet! We would NEVER go back and change the course of the miracles God has brought into our lives.

        • kevin March 26, 2014

          Cyndi,
          That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. Good for you for adopting anyway, despite the teachings of Gothard. So strange that it had to be kept a secret from headquarters. How could so many have been so blinded into thinking that it was not biblical to adopt orphans and give them loving families. The unconditional love that you express for your adopted children is beautiful. God bless you all!

        • Cyndi March 26, 2014

          I am replying to Alfred's post to me up on the skinny posts about adoption. Alfred, you are a perfect IBLP person, exactly the replica of what I have seen for over 30 years. Rebuff pridefully what God has shown others because it isn't what Bill taught. This is what we hear from you...."Since Bill isn't on this forum, I speak the words of truth for him." I remember all those talks about fasting, it was a HUGE part of BG's teachings. EVERY single seminar. You yourself said a couple weeks ago that Bill just returned from a 40 day fast. Yet never once did he teach about "God's Chosen Fast" which was not food. Or do you rip Isaiah 58 out of your Bible?

  10. Jemma March 20, 2014 Reply

    Why did Gothard discourage pets?

    • esbee March 20, 2014 Reply

      I think it had to do with that the pet would become an idol. I remember him saying something if you had to have a pet, that it be a small dog. In reading this, I said to myself, people will love and spoil those little dogs much more than large dogs.

      I have since come to the conclusion that some Christians are not animals lovers and some Christians are.

    • Brumby March 23, 2014 Reply

      @Jemma: I have no idea why he discouraged pets, actually, I don't recall that he did, but I cannot confirm nor deny his ideas or opinions about pets. It does not surprise me that he would attempt to control that part of his followers' lives as well though. My pet was the only living individual that was available to me for the duration of my time in ATI. He was soft, had warm breath, yet an oddly icy nose, wanted to be with me, play, be held, and could sense my despair. In my darkest moments, he came out of the woodwork, and found me. He was my access to the beautiful side of nature and life, and he didn't care what I was wearing or what I believed. He judged my heart, and he was ok with it. :) He was a key to my sanity, and my hope for a better life someday. He was something that I truly loved, and he stayed for me, and never ran away, although he could have. My pet held a lot of power, by simply being a creature of pure heart. I'm guarded against giving BG too much credit, yet, I have to wonder if he felt threatened even by the family pet, enough to project ideas against such on his followers.

  11. Shane March 20, 2014 Reply

    So very strange! and cultish!

  12. Pingback : The GOTHARD Files: Failure to Reconcile 1981-ATI | Recovering Grace

  13. Pingback : The GOTHARD Files: Failure to Reconcile 1981–ATI, part two | Recovering Grace

  14. Nicole March 20, 2014 Reply

    This article is so significant. These are many of the questions we are begging to be answered now, and this speaks to the longtime silencing of those who proclaimed truly that they loved and desired restoration with Mr. Gothard. This should be sent to parents who are grappling with loyalty and accountability.

  15. Paul VA March 20, 2014 Reply

    I just came across this blog post where the author speculates on the connection between abusive fathers and Gothardism. He says "We could go around in chicken-and-egg circles debating whether this was a pathology that abusive men learned from Gothard’s teachings or if those teachings just attracted many men who were already pathologically abusive. Both, probably, but it doesn’t really matter which. Either way, the living nightmare was the same for their wives and daughters."

    Even if this author comes across as left of center in his attitude his observations have merits on this point. I would be very interested to see a study done in the future analyzing the connection of anger/abuse and Gothardism in families.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2014/03/20/bill-gothards-sexual-coercion-is-a-feature-of-gothardism/

    • Sunflower March 21, 2014 Reply

      Yes, oh yes!!!!!!! I've been wondering why more hasn't been said about this. All the families I knew connected with this 'ministry' just glommed onto the 'wives and family have to submit without question' part and ignored all the rest. Mothers bought it, hoping it would make everything better. "If I only submit enough, do enough, work harder, have more babies, maybe THEN he will love me." Fathers bought it because now 'all power was given unto them'. This was the main reason I finally woke up to it all, because our families all crashed and we wives and children were all so crushed. I was so sick but kept having babies (love them all, wouldn't want to send any of them back, but at the time it was so hard). And in the end, when he divorced me, it was, "Because of all those babies she wanted. I only ever wanted 2 or 3." But no birth control allowed.

  16. former ATI mom 1000 March 20, 2014 Reply

    Dear Father in Heaven, Jesus, and Holy Spirit,
    Please help me to read the Bible and to hear Your voice speaking to me -- You my Shepherd!
    "So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken."
    How could I have listened to the voice of a wolf instead of the voice of the Shepherd? Praying that I will hear the voice of the real Jesus as I read the Bible, as I walk in the way, as I rise up, and lie down. All the time! I may have to be born again (not in the sense of saved) even though I am old -- seek the real Jesus again and again-- find my first Love.

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      Dear former ATI mom, I am with you as a mom as well, and your prayer has been my prayer.

      The lesson I think I am grasping is that my error showed me what I put my hope in. I don't want a perfect Jesus loving family. Now, I only want to KNOW Jesus and through my devotion to him, lead others to a simple, humble walk with my Savior. He is Sovereign and can do the rest. (I know this is simple but after the very complicated way of life and the piles of pretty VOLUMES of knowledge (that is sure to NOT puff one up!!!!). I want to leave my job as the planner of the perfect life in the hands of one who is perfect.

      He created us for relationship, not a self degrading loathsome of self and all we are.

  17. Steve240 March 21, 2014 Reply

    Interesting post on how Bill Gothard “resolves” (weasels out of /deflects) conflict:

    http://www.midwestoutreach.org/2014/03/20/bill-gothards-21-steps-to-conflict-resolution/


    Just in case people haven't seen it.

  18. Joe March 21, 2014 Reply

    Interesting how everyone is talking like the verdict has already been read, and he is guilty of all the accusations, let us make sure that we are not the wolves, although there is a possibility that he is guilty of these accusations, let us beware that we do not "gossip" but pray for the issue at hand, we along with Bill are human and living in the flesh, God alone is able to keep us from falling, he has the power if only we embrace it- seek peace and pursue it, Gods Blessings

    • Lori March 21, 2014 Reply

      Wake up, Joe. The evidence is OVERWHELMING.

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      Joe,

      I think we may be coming from the position that we saw evidence in our contacts with him, the centers and the teaching. The guilty sense you may be seeing is the fact that we see from a position that is different now. I am a mom who went to the counseling seminar and whose children served in centers. Just the little pieces of "red flags" we saw we ignored, gave grace. Now we feel foolish for ignoring. God gave us brains and a spirit of discernment but we turned it off for Bill. Stupid, I know but the point so many are trying to make is that Jesus loving, honoring people can and will be fooled when they seek to innocently follow a man. ANY MAN. Our blame and shame.

      Bill who had so much authority, and the "salesman" people claimed he was/is presented himself as humble not living for money, or prestige. Now we see no accountability (though he gave a much different impression as to being under a board), we are guilty of being made fools and the cost to our lives and families are disastrous. Only God can bring something good out of so much spiritual harm.

      So the signs were there we just didn't pay attention and gave him the benefit. Well, now the benefit is not longer granted and you are seeing more scrutinizing eyes being opened. The pendulum swings and so here we are in the place we are grappling with the harm.

      Please excuse us while we grieve the correction/loss of the most precious things to us, our relationship with Christ and our families. God will bring balance and wisdom but it is definitely a process. We are at various stages of that process.

    • Jennifer March 25, 2014 Reply

      Joe,
      While I cannot say that Bill is guilty of the harassment charges because they did not personally involve me, I am an abuse survivor and therefore have a unique perspective. The evidence that has been presented is overwhelmingly against his innocence. My survivor sixth sense, if you will, would NEVER allow me to trust him.

      But Bill IS guilty of other things: adding to the Scriptures, significant hypocrisy, teaching a man made religion. I can tell you that while he was lecturing the kitchen staff about healthy dishes his personal apartment was stocked to the gills with Coke and ice cream. While he taught about our ten unchangeables I was getting lectured about my God- given curly hair. While I was reeling from the affects of sexual abuse, Bill was busy teaching that it was my fault. I could go on and on, but this website alone has enough articles on his heretical teachings. So whether or not he is guilty of the particular allegations that have been made concerning the 1980s scandal, HE IS GUILTY of more than enough!!! His teachings have damaged me despite my parents' best intentions. He has yet to take responsibility for this or anything else.

  19. Ryan Sapp March 21, 2014 Reply

    I actually received a response email back from IBLP yesterday. Thought I would share. Tim L was copied by Mr. Stephens.

    Dear Ryan,

    Thank you for your email of March 12 and your concerns regarding the Board’s lack of honesty regarding Mr. Gothard’s position with IBLP and Verity College.

    Following are the recent postings to the IBLP web site and billgothard.com.:

    2014—Resigned from his position as President of the Institute in Basic Life Principles> About Bill Gothard

    Bill Gothard was the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to serving youth and families through God-ordained leaders. He served as president until March 5, 2014. Millions of people found lasting help from his 32-hour Basic Seminar, which explains how Biblical principles of life will result in harmonious relationships in all areas of life.

    Mr. Gothard has resigned, as noted, and is not on campus, and does not have any authority or position of leadership or counsel with the ministry. Neither is he Verity College’s chancellor.

    Thank you for bringing these “blatant lies and misrepresentations” to our attention.

    Sincerely,

    John Stephens
    International Administrative Director
    Institute In Basic Life Principles

    My response:

    Mr. Stephens,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I work in the Hedge Fund/ Private Equity world. The Attorneys meticulously scour my materials for "puffery" or phrases that would be considered "sales language" rather than factual data. To say that "millions of people found lasting help from the 32 hour basic seminar" seems disingenuous. You could say "millions attended" that would be truthful. How long is lasting? Is that required to be until now? You would need the current testimony from millions. I am required to disclose every underperforming deal as well as those that were successful. That is complete transparency and honesty when you are dealing with the public. I think it could also be said there are thousands if not millions who have had lasting wounds. Might be wise to rephrase that sentence.

    Not sure if you are trying to placate me by restating my phrase either way I appreciate your response and communication. I know these must be trying times for the staff.

    Best,
    --
    Ryan Sapp

    I have publicly harped on them for being quiet so I figured I would publicly acknowledge they did contact me. I honestly appreciate the effort.

    • Michelle March 21, 2014 Reply

      We were told that Johns Stephens had retired/left about ten years ago. I'm so surprised to see his name on that response.

      • Nancy2 March 21, 2014 Reply

        From his LinkedIn

        Administrative Director, International Department
        Insitute in Basic Life Principles
        1981 – Present (33 years)


        Someone must have been mistaken in what they told you Michelle.

        • Stéphanie March 31, 2014

          No, John Stephens DID leave some years back. I seem to recall it was one of those silent leavings. Not really sure why, just gone almost overnight.

          It struck us as odd, because he seemed like the logical person to replace Bill Gothard someday. John Stephens was already giving many of the seminars in person, and he had the guts to tell Bill what many people didn't dare: that the older seminar recordings were much better than Bill doing live seminars, because Bill got so sidetracked telling everyone about the latest invitations he was receiving from this or that country that he didn't really get around to the content of the seminars.

          Bill actually listened to John Stephens, and allowed him to run the oldest seminary recordings instead of his newer ones.

          So it was a real mystery when John Stephens just disappeared from the ministry after seeming like a natural second-in-command.

          Personally, I had good respect for the man, and I would read his email as trying to listen well, acknowledge the seriousness of the things you're asking about, and quite frankly, simply trying to do the courteous thing and at least respond.

          I'm also glad to hear John Stephens is back. He had the guts to stand up to Mr. Gothard on some things. That can't be said for many at HQ, and that's why he stands out to me.

          Of course, with all that's going on, I can't help wondering if Mr. Stephens is truly glad to be back!

    • horse March 22, 2014 Reply

      I am reading the reply from Mr. Stephens as very sarcastic, particularly with the sentence,

      "Thank you for bringing these 'blatant lies and misrepresentations' to our attention."

      When he just used quotes from the IBLP website stating that BG resigned and then another lauding the work of IBLP, the quoted sentence above reads to me as sarcastic. Am I misinterpreting?

      • Kevin March 22, 2014 Reply

        It definately came across as sarcastic. It was as if he really wanted to emphasize the harsh way that the original email has been phrased. It was harsh to ask the question and call it a blatant lie, when perhaps it was only procrastination which led to the untrue information remaining on the site about Gothard's role. But it was still a valid question, given that the IBLP website was misleading at best for some time. But he could have just answered the question professionally. The quotes did seem to have an ulterior purpose of some type.

        • horse March 22, 2014

          Yes I agree then. The reply seemed very professional until it was all tied together with the snarky quoting of the sentence. Then it seemed childish. You would think that if they're trying to convey trustworthy conduct, they'd only put out the most professional emails, regardless of the tone of the emails they're replying to.

        • Ryan Sapp March 22, 2014

          Agreed it was sarcastic. I called them out pretty hardcore so I can see them being defensive, understandable. They are accustomed to calling the shots.

        • horse March 23, 2014

          Defending themselves, yes, understandable. Being defensive in a childish way, though? I guess I'm surprised at how someone writing emails for the organization is so unaware of how an email like this shows to the public what they're really like behind closed doors. It's as if they don't understand that they can't get away with this behavior anymore because of the internet. Too bad the reason isn't because their organization doesn't operate this way, because based on all the material here at RG, clearly this is exactly how it operates. Very telling email.

        • Ryan Sapp March 23, 2014

          I was trying to show some grace:)
          For an organization who touts the standards for biblical living it is a rather damning response. It was an email and they responded like that??? I'm sorry but the magnitude of pain they have caused and the measure of grace I have seen extended to them shows me who the "real" Christians are.

      • KariU March 26, 2014 Reply

        Regarding specifically the quote back to you: It is possibly that he quoted those words so as not to restate in his own words. He also couldn't repeat your own words exactly without quotes, unless he was accepting or affirming your opinion. This appears to be essentially an "active listening" response. He is acknowledging your complaint, but may not be in a position to officially offer a personalized response to it.

        • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014

          @Keri
          I understand your point, it is well taken. In response to the whole email I think it was a bit of a dig (something I would do and maybe that's why). I do appreciate your perspective.

        • Stéphanie March 31, 2014

          KariU, I totally agree with you.

          Knowing John Stephens, it just doesn't sound like him to be sarcastic about something this serious. I think you hit the nail on the head.

          See my response higher up for a bit more about him. Unless he's changed drastically since I worked there, he doesn't deserve a bad rap. Hoping and praying God gives him wisdom in responding to this issue. May be why God brought him back into this ministry...

  20. Nancy March 22, 2014 Reply

    This incisive list of questions is as relevant today as it was when present by the LA Committee.

    I'm wondering about Question 13. Someone wrote that there was a posting or article by a mom about the suicide of a child. I've now read most of the website but didn't locate much else on this matter.

    I was so touched by the emotional paralysis that must have resulted when a young person had to "choose" between evil in the Gothard community and being told by parents that they couldn't return home. I would not be surprised if it resulted in at least one suicide, if not more. I cannot imagine the sheer terror the young people faced when given this "choice."

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      My daughter was at Eagle Springs and I had thought she was exaggerating when she said they tried to cast demons out of her for hours and that the locked her in an attic for "quiet time with Jesus"(there was no way to run away from the place, they were in the middle of nowhere).

      I wonder if there are more experiences along these lines. Legally this would be criminal behavior against a child.

      Can you just imagine how many kids thought the only way out was death? I shudder to think we gave our money to this place when this was happening.

      Sickened.

      • kevin March 22, 2014 Reply

        "Legally this would be criminal behavior against a child. "

        Abuse, yes illegal, and most definitely a cult. I sure hope that there is a legal investigation going on right now. I understand that we might not be hearing about it if there is one ongoing. I really hope that some that were abused, as you have described have gone to the authorities. Has your daughter done so? If not, please encourage her to do so.
        It's not just Gothard. There are enablers and others who carried out atrocities in the name of holiness. Who were these leaders that did this to your daughter? They, too, must be brought to account.

      • Donna March 22, 2014 Reply

        Sally,
        These must be very painful memories for your daughter and for you, and I pray that God's grace and healing are poured out on both of you abundantly.

        I don't know how long ago your daughter was at Eagle Springs, but I do know that the things you described as happening to her there are illegal. I concur with Kevin and strongly urge your daughter to talk with legal authorities regarding her experiences at Eagle Springs if she has not already done so.

  21. Lee March 22, 2014 Reply

    We need to hear more from Ryan Sapp. He understands the false claims of ATI and IBLP. My husband has read many of BGs materials and has said that he makes up stories in his booklets that cannot even be substantiated. Its okay to admit that many of us were deceived by BG. My husband never bought into it, but I liked going to ATI for the sweet fellowship of other Christians. I have to admit that I ignored many "checks in my spirit" for the greater joy of being with so many wonderful people. My husband never got on my case or pounded me with his thoughts. But he kept a close eye on his family and if for a minute he thought we were in danger, he would have pounced and protected us. He watched for the good that I was getting out of the fellowship of the Christians, always aware that if the condemnation/bondage became too intense, he would whisk us away. I have used this entire experience to teach my children about the nature of deception. And I thank God for my husband. Keep the faith! Thank you, Jesus, for Recovering Grace.

  22. Lee March 22, 2014 Reply

    I just reread Nancy's post. Is it true that some parents wouldn't let their children come home from Gothardville if they sensed evil and couldn't comply to the abuse? Tell me this isn't so.

    Does this mean that some parents in entrenched in Gothardism actually received phone calls from their children when they worked at Headquarters and asked to come home and the parents said, "No!"?

    If this is true, parents repent now and go after your children and ask for forgiveness. Tell them that you will believe everything that they tell you about their time at Headquarters. God wants to heal families. Don't waste time flogging yourself. Don't build walls of pride. Cry out to Jesus and go after your children. Watch what He can do. The worse thing that can happen to an abused child is NOT having his/or her parent believe the child. God will heal. Go now.

    • Sally March 22, 2014 Reply

      Amen,

      DO. NOT. LET. PRIDE. ROB. YOUR. CHILDREN. OF. RELATIONSHIP. WITH. YOU. OR. GOD.

  23. Nancy March 22, 2014 Reply

    In addition to the questions asked by the LA Committee, I would have added: "Have any pregnancies occurred as the result of the sexual relationships between Steve Gothard and females on staff? If so, what was the outcome of those pregnancies?" It seems a valid and important question to me.

    • greg March 22, 2014 Reply

      Very good question.....

  24. Lee March 23, 2014 Reply

    Dearest Sally...I'm reading that your daughter was at Eagle Springs and was forced to endure an exorcism? What is Eagle Springs? Is this another Gothard camp? I am so sorry for your daughter. Can we help you and your daughter? Is she okay today? I'm praying for you. Thank you for sharing. Sending you hugs from another concerned mom.

  25. Jemma March 23, 2014 Reply

    Just disgusting.

  26. grateful March 23, 2014 Reply

    There is so much I want to say, I don't know where to start. So I will just say this: I owe a big apology to everyone that I have seemed callous to your hurts due to Gothard's teachings and how they adversely affected you and your families. I suppose it is my turn now to truly agonize with you, for this particular teaching brings the damage home. I have seen miracle after miracle take place through our adoptions - we adopted all our kids as newborns. I have no doubt this is God's plan for our family. I find it disgusting that families with umpteen kids have the audacity to lecture and look down upon adoption, I guess its kind of like a single man lecturing on marriage. Alfred, I suppose you have never held your wife as she was violently sobbing because she wanted to have children, and there was nothing you could do - and everyone she grew up with had 10 kids. I guess I didn't pray hard enough and copped out and went the Ishmael way when we adopted. That is such a load satanic garbage. My kids will grow up in a home that abounds in unconditional love and they will have ample opportunity to follow the Lord. Grrrrrrr. Go read Romans 8 among others - Abba Father, thank you for my kids! Praise God.

    • Sad March 23, 2014 Reply

      Just like with the teachings on how many children one should have, BG should have left alone the topic of adoption. He ignores the fact that some people are medically unable to have children (as in, it is impossible, no amount of prayer fixing it), yet still may have the desire to be parents. And the fact that there are children in orphanages around the world just waiting for some family to take them in and love them. What greater love can be demonstrated than by doing just that. Again, IBLP / ATI followers need to stop worrying about what others do with their lives and concentrate on their own testimonies.

      No kids, few kids, many kids, adopted kids, every family has a different composition and it is entirely a matter between the Maker and the parents. Nobody else has any business dictating to them about having children. (or lack thereof)

      Thank you Grateful for being brave to disregard "Booklet 5" and chart your own course.

    • Alfred Corduan March 23, 2014 Reply

      I have not, grateful, you are right. Things look very different when you are living the suffering you propose others endure. I did not mean to be insensitive. The Lord bless you and your family. I know He does bless adoptions. He is, after all, kind . . . and loving . . . and especially loves the fatherless.

      • Melody March 23, 2014 Reply

        Thank you, Alfred, for your comment. There have been very many of us who would have loved to have been able to birth a dozen or more children, and home-schooled them all. Unfortunately, not all of us have been able to physically do that, no matter how much we wanted it. We, llike so many others, have adopted children, and that is how we fulfilled our "quiver." For some the quiver was one or two. For others, the quiver was four, six, or more. God determined how many we would have.

      • grateful March 23, 2014 Reply

        Thank you Alfred, but my wife and I are truly honored that the Lord has allowed us to walk this path - we are so blessed. Its not really as much about being sensitive or insensitive as it is about a lie based on fear being propagated and at the potential cost of the eternal destiny of souls. How many ATI/IBLP couples through the years were unnecessarily frightened out of adoption because of the phantom specter of generational curses and other hocus pocus nonsense? How many of those God-fearing couples/families could have brought those kids up in the fear and admonition of the Lord (and hence provided them with the Gospel truth). Eternity is a stake in these matters, and unwarranted fear kept those little souls out of otherwise Godly homes. That really makes me sad .... So its not about sensitivity, its about truth and the heart of our Loving Father; meditate on Psalm 103.

      • greg r March 24, 2014 Reply

        Alfred, it occurred to me as I read your short comment above that YOU are , in a way, 'fatherless'. Let the truth about adoption sink in and know that you have a place with the rest of us 'fatherless ones' in the accepting embrace of abba our Father, and Jesus HIS Son. this could be a great chapter in you life. please open up and accept it.

      • Alfred Corduan March 24, 2014 Reply

        Having lost my earthly father when I was 8, I have walked some of that. Beyond that . . . I don't get your point. I am NOT fatherless . . . God is my father. I was born into His family. A new heart . . . a new life. The old man cannot be reborn, nor rehabilitated . . . good riddance.

        Let's have a quick look at Biblical "adoption":




        "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15) The word is "sonship" . . . legal rights granted an ADULT slave. It is next used here 8 verses hence: "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." One day we will govern . . . with all the authority of a "Son of God". Not now.

        The "adoption" is in spirit now . . . but in reality when our bodies are "redeemed".

        I do NOT have to wait for the new birth!! I am a child of God . . . Now.

        • Jeff Gill March 24, 2014

          Alfred, trying to engage with you is like trying to hold a very slippery fish or trying to score on a field with extremely active mobile goalposts. (The richness of the experience compels me to use more than one metaphor.)

          e.g.

          You have stated very clearly on this website that Bill Gothard is a father to you. It seems pretty obvious that greg r is referring to this in his comment. That's an easy connection to make. I'm confident you are intelligent enough to make it. Perhaps you have other things on your mind today? Perhaps you are being deliberately obtuse? Perhaps you forget things?

          Above, you wrote to Shane: 'it is interesting that you have not engaged on any issues I brought up'. A number of people engaged very specifically to the issues you brought up. Your response was not to engage but to write that 'there is no way for me to respond to everyone' and then not respond substantively to anyone.

          You wrote that you 'ask questions that folks don't have answers to'. It turns out that a number of folks did have answers, well thought out politely written answers. All they got in reply was a gracious brush-off.

          Except for what you just wrote. So I shall engage here.

          I agree with you on the right-now/not-yet aspect of adoption; its typical of my Kingdom of God things. I also acknowledge the importance of the concept of adoption into full inheritance rights for all in God's family, regardless of gender.

          While you are looking at the detail of this passage, please consider that it is the spirit of adoption that causes us to cry out Abba – a child's term for father, not an adult's. It might also be helpful for you to back away from the tree bark and have a look at the forest. The whole ethic of the bible and God's dealings with people is on the side of adoption. Furthermore, the evidence of what is best for children is on the side of adoption (when biological family can't do the job). That's the forest. Paul's metaphorical use of Roman family customs is and integrated part of that forest.

        • Shane March 24, 2014

          So what you've argued is that a slave who is not a member I the family and has not inheritance rights is legally adopted so that he now ha sonship; all rights and privileges as a son an heir. Adoption= not my son becoming my son. And what Jeff Gill said.

        • Alfred Corduan March 24, 2014

          Sorry for appearing slippery. But . . . forgive me . . . first we have a cross-posting problem . . . apparently my approval from moderation sometimes takes a tad longer than others (maybe not on purpose), so by the time my comment hits . . . well . . . responses have posted.

          I really didn't know where he was going with the "fatherless" thing. And . . . even at that angle, Bill is as close as a short car ride. I am in active contact with those in active contact with him. He is far from dead.

          I hasten to say, though . . . we are NOT ADOPTED into God's family! Not like you propose. Very bad analogy for the 'new birth'. It certainly speaks to unworthy ones, beggars, being elevated to the status of "princes" . . . a great analogy. But is not how we enter into a new relationship with God. Not remotely.

          And we end, again, in a skinny thread all the way to the right. Oh well . . .

        • greg r March 24, 2014

          @Alfred: if you,be moved on from calling Bill 'father', then I'm celebrating that with you. I did not know, or guess, that you had moved past that. Rather than just doing a concordance search on something, Alfred, ask yourself if human adoption resembles the kind of thing that zJesus would do. Ask yourself if Jesus would roll like that, and why..

        • Alfred Corduan March 24, 2014

          Greg R: I am going to ask . . . is springing everybody out of prison for no good reason but mercy a Jesus kind of thing to do? What do you say? i have dear "Universalist" friends insisting to me that . . . there is no real hell . . . people get into heaven - and this includes the devil - because it is just the kind of thing He does.

          What say you?

          I count Bill as a father . . . spiritually. Not sure what you were responding to.

        • greg r March 24, 2014

          @Alfred: let's look at this adoption thing from a broader point of view, and try to make sense of it.

          I'm playing a bit of the fool, here, because I have never formally adopted anyone, and there are several on this site who have, so forgive this 'amateur hour'.
          1) adopted kids don't choose their parents, it's the other way round, the parents size up the need, their ability to meet that need, and take action.
          2)adopted kids are powerless to make their situation better, they are relying on 'salvation' from someone outside of themselves.
          3)Apart from that salvation, they are very much stuck where they are, or worse, they will deteriorate.
          4)Adoption is not a surface change: it is a change of identity. You are now in a different family with all the rights and privileges of that family.

          No one analogy captures ALL of what it means to be a child of GOD, but isn't there a lot in common between physical adoption and what we've gone through spiritually ?? What say you , Alfred ??

        • grateful March 24, 2014

          I think my wife taught the song "I'm Adopted (Hallelujah!)" at a CI or two ...

          What about heirs and joint heirs? Just like my kids are now heirs - and grafted, etc ...

        • Alfred Corduan March 24, 2014

          Yeah . . . and we thoroughly enjoyed "Twice Adopted", a family with 10 adopted kids with their own variety show in Branson, MO. . . . it was a real encouragement. And they sang that "Patch the Pirate" song. http://twiceadoptedministries.com/home

          A ministry of those who can't have children to orphans is wonderful. Christians growing cold to the enormous blessing of bearing children for His Kingdom is not good.

          I would like to hear what some would say to those who have gotten furious with my wife and I for having 11 children, "adding to the surplus population" where we could have just adopted needy children. Is that attitude, even if not furiously expressed, an expression of the Mind of God, do you think?

        • Jeff Gill March 25, 2014

          1. 'Sorry for appearing slippery. But . . . forgive me . . . first we have a cross-posting problem' -- It's not cross-posting; in this comments section it's the stuff I mentioned in my comment above.

          2. 'I really didn't know where he was going with the "fatherless" thing.' -- Thanks for clarifiying. I don't know you, so the only thing I have to go on is what you write here on RG.

          3. I agree that adoption is a 'Very bad analogy for the 'new birth''. I would argue that it is a bad analogy for the new birth in the same way that a wild olive branch being grafted into a domesticated olive tree is a very bad anaolgy for the church as the bride of Christ. One is not describing the other. They are both metaphors trying to communicate one of the manifold aspects of the same thing. Adoption is not a description of the new birth. Rather, both are pictures which the biblical writers use to help people get a richer, deeper understanding of what it means to be in Christ.

        • greg r March 25, 2014

          @Alfred: my point , as Jeff pointed out, is that you ARE ,in some respects 'fatherless', regarding Bill. you didn't leave him, he left you, or at least I hope you don't want to follow the path he is now on...he is 'gone', and I don't mean just on leave or worse. You of all people should know what it means to be displaced, uprooted, disoriented. you have a good vantage point to see things from an adopted person's point of view.
          the good news is: Jesus loves adoption and adopted people (like us). If we've been cast off, HE is glad to claim us; as you may have mentioned yourself, we always have a place at HIS table.
          I hope this makes sense: I'm not trying to force a wedge between you and Bill if that does not exist, only pointing out that there was/is an abandonment there, for thousands, really, not just you.

        • greg r March 25, 2014

          As Jeff wisely said, no one analogy captures joining Gods' family perfectly. That's why God uses many word pictures. I will say that in some ways, adoption is a clearer picture than physical birth, and shows us HIS will and father heart in a unique and powerful way.

        • greg r March 25, 2014

          Sorry to make these multi-posts, my coffee hasn't kicked in yet.
          I'm ignoring the universalist thing, Alfred, that looks for all the world like a rabbit trail to me, and I like bunnies and all, but fail to see how that adds to this conversation. thanks

        • Alfred Corduan March 25, 2014

          Many analogies . . . but we need to focus on the one or ones that teach us the Lord's plan for caring of orphans. When it comes to how a child joins a family, the analogy is "birth". When it comes to bestowing royal rights and responsibilities on a previously unknown, unworthy one, then the NT uses the term "sonship". That has to to with . . . adults moving from one sphere to another. Same elevation that a previously unknown woman receives . . . when she, like Esther, marries the king. ADULT people, ADULT women . . . Ben Hur.

          Proverbs 17:2 "A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren."

          When it comes to joining God's family, taking His Name, there is only one way - get born again. If adoption is how this happens all kinds of bad theology ensues.

          And bad practices ensue as well. The focus in Scripture of caring for orphans begins with 1) Meeting practical needs, 2)Finding ways for them to assume their role in the family God placed them in . . . relatives taking over, bearing "the name" of the birth family, responsibility to birth parents in their old age.

          The missing link of modern Christian adoptions . . . is that 'Honor thy father and mother' is never transitioned in Scripture from birth parents to anyone else . . . ever. The caring of orphans can be done in many ways . . . any way that denies the importance of the lineage that God - through great effort (Ps. 139) - placed them in is unscriptural. And . . . there will be problems.

        • grateful March 25, 2014

          We can debate analogies and metaphors all day long, the reality is that this is DECEPTION. Satan is no doubt as pleased as can be that Christians are abstaining from adoption while at the same time thinking they are being more Godly by doing so. Now THAT is bad theology, my friend.

        • greg r March 25, 2014

          @Alred ..While I slowly digest your comment, Alfred, I'll just start with a question: you maintain that what is best for the orphan is to remain in their birth family (whether the parents or relatives) and NOT be adopted, and you maintain that this position is mandated by God through the bible ?? Am I understanding you on this ?? God's will for them is to stay at the orphanage and wait for a relative to deliver them ??

        • Shane March 25, 2014

          OK. So I think I get it: If it's not in the "rulebook for successful earthly living", as you conceive it, then Christians have no foundation upon which to engage it. Because the Scriptures never explicitly address how an orphan transitions to honor thy father and mother then adoption is out? Again, I ask you what else is not in the rulebook that you yourself are ok with? Why won't you address your own words and the implications of them?

          As I said, we are far apart on the Bible. I think Christians can actually theologically engage what the Scriptures teach and apply the Gospel of new birth, adoption, justification, redemption, recreation, etc. to life- to how we care for the outsider, the "foreign born", the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, the weak, the vulnerable, etc. I actually believe the "widow and orphan" to be synecdochic for the most helpless and vulnerable among us; not simply a rule.

          Therefore, when I read that God takes people who are not his people and by grace makes them his people. I find that a beautiful thing, and it motivates me to love others similarly. We can see this worked out from the earliest days of the Chruch. It was Christians that went into the streets and took in the discarded children (mostly girls) in the Roman Empire. There was no Biblical rule for how they did that. They just lived out what Jesus had done for them. We disagree on this. I guess, to your mind, I violated the "rulebook" because the Bible doesn't mention how an orphan becomes a child. Except for all the ways I've described in my previous posts which you still ignore. To your mind it was more biblical to get a pet. How you get there I'll never understand other than cruel insensitivity, which again you continue to ignore all the while asking us to address what others (not on this post) have said about your 11 children. Why don't you address what you said?

        • Amy March 25, 2014

          Alfred,

          I have to chime in on this adoption thing because it breaks my heart to think you are missing the very best news the Bible has to offer. So many of us miss it, or lose our grip on it, especially with we are ensnarled in the net of legalism. The most important thing: you belong to God because he chose you! Yes, when we are born again as Christians, our hearts choose Christ, but only because He first CHOSE US. That is the ultimate "adoption." It's so simple. Our Father gives this to us again and again throughout the gospels and Paul's metaphors, yet our human nature, our basic desire is to somehow be worthy, feel worthy, claim some sort of credit or merit. And then we strive and fail and feel unworthy (the exhausting cycle of legalism). But we are not worthy, yet CHOSEN. We had no birthrights, no entitlements! We were separated from God, orphans in our sin and depravity, and Christ's death on the cross bridged the gap and "sealed the adoption papers" so to speak. So to miss this relationship is to miss the very most important message in the Word of God.

        • Holly March 25, 2014

          Silently watching this for awhile now, Alfred. I'd just like to weigh in that there is a place where both "Honor thy father and mother" and "...the lineage that God - through great effort (Ps. 139) - placed them in" is applied to a non-biological father. That would be through Joseph, the husband of Mary. I find it so interesting that God clearly wanted us to understand that Jesus was born of a woman, but not conceived of a man (Joseph), and yet we are to accept that Jesus was the "son of David" through the lineage of his "adoptive father." We find the genealogy of Jesus in the book of Matthew. Interesting that God chose to establish the new covenant through, essentially, adoption. Whether this seems particularly significant to any given person or not doesn't probably affect their theology very heavily, but I think it is a pretty good example of a child "honoring a father" who is not biologically his.

        • greg r March 25, 2014

          @Holly: excellent points, God has greater respect for trust, faith, and love than mere lineage: HE could raise up sons/daughters from the very rocks of the earth if physical progeny was the biggest deal. Adoption emphasizes the point of BEING chosen, of BEING redeemed by another, of offering nothing, but gaining everything...

        • Shane March 25, 2014

          @Holly- this is very good handling of the Scriptures! Thanks.

        • Ryan Sapp March 25, 2014

          I see no way to convince or persuade Alfred since he is coming from a totally different mindset. I am going to throw something out that has brought such freedom and connection in my role of being a father. Alfred I think we are on opposite polars, but I am fine with that quite honestly,

          Kahlil Gibran

          Your children are not your children.
          They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
          They come through you but not from you,
          And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

          You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
          For they have their own thoughts.
          You may house their bodies but not their souls,
          For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
          which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
          You may strive to be like them,
          but seek not to make them like you.
          For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

          You are the bows from which your children
          as living arrows are sent forth.
          The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
          and He bends you with His might
          that His arrows may go swift and far.
          Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
          For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
          so He loves also the bow that is stable.



          My children are their OWN people/person. It is egotistical and narcissistic to try and make them like me. They have their own lives. My job is to give them a solid platform from which to launch, be the bow that shoots them to infinite flight, once in flight let them make their own decisions. Equip them to think and make decisions which IBLP NEVER allowed for. I actually have the most amazing, connected relationships with my children because of this nugget.

          You can argue adoption, sonship, Ben Hur whatever all day Alfred. The fact that there are HUMAN lives out there who's course could be changed if they only had a platform or a bow, or just a fighting chance is sobering.

          You, my friend, can keep your Bible.

          Ryan

        • LynnCD March 25, 2014

          Alfred, hi,
          Regarding a comment you made a few days ago about the adoption the NT speaks of as being a "Ben Hur" type adoption, I respectfully disagree.

          We can't dissect one teaching of the NT about our new relationship in Christ from another. We are "born from above," and "as newborn babes" we are to desire the sincere milk of the Word. Paul was expecting the Corinthians to be mature, but had to address them as "babes in Christ."

          Our adoption as sons was a reality when we were newborn babes, in need of good teaching from the Word, and good discipleship from mature believers. Cheers. Lynn

        • LynnCD March 25, 2014

          Regards the citation of Romans 8:15, my point is made. We received the spirit of adoptions as sons. And what do we cry? Do we cry "Daddy" as an adult, or as a child? Abba means "Daddy." It is two syllables that are very easy to pronounce, which is what very young toddlers do. We cry "Abba" from our spiritual birth to addressing Him as "Father" unto our spiritual maturity, and since the child is always with us (I believe), as we grow in Christ we call the Father both Daddy and Father.

        • LynnCD March 25, 2014

          Therefore, Alfred, I don't believe you can make the case that adoption as sons in the NT has nothing to do with adoption of babies or very young children. Age has nothing to do with the legal rights of those adopted, although young children need a guardian until they reach adulthood, granted. A baby, by being adopted into the family, has the rights and privileges that go with being in that family, and needs to be brought to maturity to fully partake of those rights and responsibilities. But my point is the Bible says the adoption takes place when we are babes who cry "Daddy." I don't therefore see how you can make the distinction that you do, between NT teaching and the adoption of infants.

        • Alfred Corduan March 25, 2014

          Greg R: [“you maintain that what is best for the orphan is to remain in their birth family (whether the parents or relatives) and NOT be adopted”]

          Let’s just stick with what I said. The long term responsibility, after basic emergency needs are met, is to seek to restore the order that God created, as much as possible. An unwed mother? She is to return to her father’s house if her “man” is unworthy to marry her. Financial or safety issues – or death? Relatives of the child are supposed to step up. The “orphanage” or family taking the child in should care for them as long as necessary to allow them to rejoin their birth lineage . . . even if that is adulthood. I understand that to be the Scriptural perspective.

          God opens wombs and closes wombs. He is in charge. There are no random babies.

          “13 For thou hast possessed my reins:
          thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
          14 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.” (Psalm 139)

          If this is true . . . IF God goes to SO much trouble to create a baby and give it to one family . . . at what point do we get to step up and say, “No, that child was meant for me . . . “ If that were the case, why would not Almighty God have done that in the first place?

          In Bible times there is not a single instance I am aware of where a childless couple took children from another family and raised them as their own. And you KNOW things were a lot tougher in that culture than ours. Moses being an exception . . . but you see it was only for a time, prelude to him rejoining his birth family.

          I know of families that have taken in the unwanted children . . . and have raised them to be the people God intended, with full respect for their lineage and responsibilities there. That is an awesome thing.

        • Alfred Corduan March 25, 2014

          Amy: [“our hearts choose Christ, but only because He first CHOSE US. That is the ultimate "adoption."“]

          I am not a Calvinist, so I reject your premise. Do you know why? Because every person chosen by the God you envision for Himself is matched by thousands He chooses for hell. That is way, way worse than what I am talking about. If you are a Universalist, I also reject your premise. Not everybody is going to choose Christ and be in heaven. Sadly.

        • Alfred Corduan March 25, 2014

          Holly: [“placed them in" is applied to a non-biological father. That would be through Joseph, the husband of Mary.”]

          I wonder that you do not see the irony in your argument. He clearly was speaking continuously of “My father”, being not Joseph . . . “My father’s business”. So . . . the entire orderly procedure was to be under a “governor or tutor” until the time appointed by His Father. And . . . orphans cared for by others do so – as Joseph did – with the full understanding that they are caring for someone else’s child, to whom the child is to be delivered at the appropriate time.

        • Alfred Corduan March 25, 2014

          LynnCD: [“Our adoption as sons was a reality when we were newborn babes, in need of good teaching from the Word, and good discipleship from mature believers.”]

          If what you propose is true, then we take our old nature on into the new relationship. Can’t be. How do you understand this passage?

          “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9)

        • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014

          O...M...G Alfred, you serious??
          We are going to agree to disagree. Let's leave it at that for now.

          You could do all of us a big favor though. Check with Bill and report back to us as to his progress on contacting those who have ought against him. That will be much more constructive.

          Thank you in advance,

          Ryan

        • LynnCD March 26, 2014

          Hi, Alfred,
          Please look at my comment at the bottom of this thread. It's getting hard to track in the middle and reply, so I'm responding to you with another thread.

  27. Aila Hillberg March 23, 2014 Reply

    I stumbled upon this website a few weeks ago. I have been grieving over all that I have read. Forty one years ago, I was a nineteen year old college student. It was during the winter term in 1973 that my roommate attended an IBYC weeklong evening conference in the Bay Area. She'd come home and share what she was learning, it all seemed very odd to me. I asked her how many children Bill Gothard had, and how they turned out.....she told me he had no children, and wasn't married. I suggested she be careful about someone teaching something they had not lived themselves. Some other friends also attended, and they developed strange ideas about relationships and dating. Later I met a pastor who would speak about Bill Gothard with reverence, as if he were some great teacher. The pastor was a very controlling person, and never wanted anyone to question his authority. Now I see the influence of Gothard in the way he related to his congregation. I am absolutely blown away that this man had so much power for so long. Heartfelt thanks to those who have persevered with the truth, and have exposed the false teaching. My prayers are with you.

    • greg r March 24, 2014 Reply

      . I am absolutely blown away that this man had so much power for so long. Heartfelt thanks to those who have persevered with the truth, and have exposed the false teaching. My prayers are with you.

      I feel exactly the same way about being "blown away". It's amazing that this circus was in town for so long. There are reasons for this that go far beyond Bill himself. The 'moderns' of my generation (I'm 58) are into having a set answer for things, a high certainty quotient. Bill fed into that, it was a match made somewhere other than heaven.

      • Paul VA March 24, 2014 Reply

        *The 'moderns' of my generation (I'm 58) are into having a set answer for things, a high certainty quotient. Bill fed into that, it was a match made somewhere other than heaven.

        Very well said, Greg. A "high certainty quotient" is exactly right. It bothered my parents, I think, that the Bible didn't give them clear answers on issues like birth control so Bill was really filling a vacuum.

        • greg r March 24, 2014

          Yes, and the 'vaccuum' is shaped exactly like the Holy Spirit: which is one of the many tragedies of gothardism... the followrs are rigidly stuffed into principle sized boxes, if edges are hanging over..well..cut them off !! The product is fear induced immaturity, cloaked (shabbily) as wisdom.

          When someone starts to see all this, they look again at the NT and Jesus, and realize how "Jesus-less" and how "gopel-less" this message really is. There really is no baby in that bathwater...only bathwater.

        • kevin March 24, 2014

          "The product is fear induced immaturity, cloaked (shabbily) as wisdom. "

          Well said.

          " There really is no baby in that bathwater...only bathwater."

          And the bathwater is toxic.

  28. Beth March 24, 2014 Reply

    So I noticed earlier Jeff Gill said this ".... making suspicious women drink dusty water to see if they swelled up...." and I do remember that but it's just kinda a faint memory and I always thought it was from weird witch hunt history story or something like that but thinking about it now it does seem like it was actually Bill Gothard talking about it. What was the deal with that???? I can't remember much about it. Was he saying to actually do that or what?

    • Vivian March 24, 2014 Reply

      It's in Numbers 5. God gave this "trial" for women suspected of adultery. Unlike the other "trials by ordeal" common at the time, this one was constructed in such a way that the "natural" result was for nothing to happen. The woman would only swell up by supernatural intervention to show her guilt. The consensus is that God designed the whole thing to protect women from false accusations and arbitrary divorce, which was all too common in the patriarchal societies of the time.

      • Jeff Gill March 24, 2014 Reply

        Thanks, Vivian. One thing I love about the Mosaic law is how progressive it is when looked at historically in the context of the Ancient Near East.

      • Beth March 24, 2014 Reply

        So what was Gothard saying about it? Was he just mentioning it or actually saying it had been/should be used in modern times? I'm just curious about the context of him talking about it.

        • Vivian March 24, 2014

          I have no idea what Gothard said about it, but honestly I have no idea how you WOULD use it in modern times. The ceremony described in Numbers 5 is very specific to the tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem, and involved sacrifices which under the Mosaic law could only be made there. I don't even know how you'd go about trying to make a modern equivalent.

        • Jeff Gill March 24, 2014

          Sorry for any confusion, Beth. I just grabbed a few random things from the Mosaic Law as examples to refute Alfred's rule book for successful living thing. I'm not aware of BG saying anything specifically about the infidelity test.

        • Beth March 24, 2014

          Na, sorry I got side tracked on it. You mentioning it just triggered a memory of BG talking about it when I was young sitting in a seminar and I was wondering what in the world he said about it or if he actually used it for anything. I guess it wasn't something really mentioned often if folks don't remember him talking about it. Thanks for answering my question!

  29. Alessandra March 24, 2014 Reply

    This is in response to the discussion about the trial of drinking water with dust from the tabernacle floor in it given to women suspected of adultery in the Old Testament. I do remember Bill Gothard talking about this briefly during at least one basic seminar I attended in the late 1970s. As I remember, he said something about this procedure and said that if we knew exactly what was in that water we would be able to use that today as a test for adultery. What I find interesting now is that his comments revealed that he saw this passage on its literal level only. Today how I see it is that God gave this rule in order to help shape the Jewish culture in such a way that severe abuses such as those that developed in other Middle Eastern cultures did not happen. It is interesting to note that a tradition of "honor killings" for suspected female infidelities did not develop in Jewish culture. If a husband suspected his wife of infidelity he was not to take the matter into his own hands. He was to bring her to the tablernacle where the priest would mix dust from the floor into some water and give it to her to drink. How many people became deathly ill from drinking water with some dust in it? Probably next to none. The point of the thing was to get the men to stop accusing their wives when they didn't have any proof. To the discerning God shows himself shrewd. This is one example of God dealing with his people in a shrewd manner.

    • greg r March 25, 2014 Reply

      Those who spoke harshly to you and your wife, Alfred, made the same mistake Bill did: different side to the same coin...getting specific in an area where God Himself gives flexibility a n d freedom: we can marry, we can remain single, we can have many or few or no kids. The judgmental spirit you endured is bill,s stock in trade also, and a sure sign that this attitude is not of God

    • Melissa Olson Moore March 27, 2014 Reply

      I remember the teaching on this. I'm pretty sure Gothard taught that guilt weakens the immune system, so that an innocent woman, who was exposed to the germs in the temple dust, would not get sick but a guilty woman would. Whenever Gothard references any Biblical law, it's in order to make an illegitimate connection to something else he wants to prove, usually something to control the behavior of others. Not usually to say anything meaningful about the text itself.

  30. horse March 25, 2014 Reply

    Alfred wrote: "I would like to hear what some would say to those who have gotten furious with my wife and I for having 11 children, "adding to the surplus population" where we could have just adopted needy children. Is that attitude, even if not furiously expressed, an expression of the Mind of God, do you think?"

    That has absolutely nothing to do with BG teaching and anyone believing his policy on adoption. That is a red herring.

    (That said, I am sorry people spoke to you that way.)

  31. Jeff Gill March 25, 2014 Reply

    I hope this discussion proves helpful for people thinking about what they think about adoption. Shane, Kevin, V T, Greg R and others have made superb biblical, sociological, psychological and personal arguments.

    Alfred, you have shown to great effect just how empty the argument against adoption is. (I won't respond to the substance of your last comment to me above because Shane and Greg have done so with aplomb.) My (probably) final thought for you is something I wrote earlier: both/and. The validity of your large family is not under threat from adoptive families, small families, no-families. There is room for is all to flourish.

    • greg r March 25, 2014 Reply

      @Alfred: you do see this don't you ?? that to strongly support addoption in no way argues AGAINST physical births, or AGAINST large families ?? Is your theology, and frankly your GOD, so small that we cannot have all this ( or singlehood and celibacy for that matter..) and more ??

      Jeff wrote:
      BOTH/AND. The validity of your large family is not under threat from adoptive families, small families, no-families. There is room for is all to flourish.

    • dreamer March 25, 2014 Reply

      -The validity of your large family is not under threat from adoptive families, small families, no-families. There is room for is all to flourish. -

      THIS. A thousand times.

      I am so tired and disheartened by seeing those who have no children, or only one or two children, feel like they need to explain themselves. Not so much here on RG, but in fundamentalist circles. It makes me sad to see people say that they only have one child, then quickly add that it was because of medical issues. It is just as sad to me as those who have a dozen children and are then ostracized or called crazy for it.
      YOU DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN YOUR FAMILY SIZE TO ANYONE. It is between you, your spouse, and God. Having more children doesn't make you more holy or more godly, and having fewer children doesn't make you more worldly or selfish. God does not "honor big families." Isaac had one half-brother. Samuel was an only child. John the Baptist was an only child, as far as we know. God uses people from families of all sizes.

      • Shane March 25, 2014 Reply

        @Dreamer: "God does not "honor big families."" This is true, and I'm glad someone addressed that sentiment. It is another form of moralism; of calculating who is more righteous/blessed. It goes right along with construing our relationship with God in a broken world, with broken bodies, and enough sin in every one of us to destroy the world much less the lives of our children, along the lines of a rulebook where God doles out blessing/curses like Karma. A world where wisdom=rules rather than relating to God and his world as his redeemed image bearers. In other words, it's a world devoid of grace for the broken.

        "YOU DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN YOUR FAMILY SIZE TO ANYONE". Exactly. Nor your schooling choice, your preferred music styles, your decisions about circumcision, why you love horses, why you hate denim jumpers, etc. I'd just add the caveat that one's reasons for having more kids is just as potentially sinful as one's reasons for having less. Reducing the Bible to a rulebook missies that it is out of our heart's motivations that we sin not more kids v. less kids. Legalism/Gothardism doesn't understand this. It reduces relationships to a set of principles that have the appearance of wisdom but no power against the flesh (Col 2). Hence the self-righteousness and hypocrisy that is rampant among Gothardites (and all Christians for that matter). They'll create an adoption gnat and ignore the lecherous camel.

        • greg r March 25, 2014

          Exactly: GOD honors faith working itself out in love. What that looks like EXACTLY varies from person to person, family to family. Back to Beth's comments about "one size does not fit all", when it comes to being in the 'center of GOD's will". This does not make our GOD inconsistent, it makes HIM creative and adaptible.
          But for those uncomfortable with dealing with RELATING to GOD , moment by moment, there are always rules that can be made to look like wisdom (back to Co..2)

      • greg r March 25, 2014 Reply

        Jesus was never married...no kids...never a baby-daddy....guess HE never got the quiver full memo..

    • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014 Reply

      My point, ladies and gentlemen, is that God . . . has opinions. Really strong ones. He is rarely ambivalent about anything. If so, can you imagine He is "cool" with whatever we, with our tiny brains and hearts, decide we like in the way of "family planning"? I don't get that. I do understand that He burdens this one and that one . . . but He also deals with big principles that are light to guide our steps.

      IF birth control is cool and adoption is completely equivalent to natural birth, I frankly do not understand why principles of love and selflessness would not compel all believers to forgo having children and simply adopt the unwanted. Can anyone give me a reason NOT to adopt?

      • MatthewS March 26, 2014 Reply

        Alfred, you are chasing some familiar rabbit trails here, including Calvinism, adoption, and family planning.

        This post is about the LA Committee questions. Please do try to stay on topic, brother.

        • horse March 26, 2014

          To be fair, a whole group of people have chased this rabbit trail. I think Alfred just asked a very valid question given the conversation on adoption that has been taking place over several days. If the only reply he gets to that question is, "Hey, you're off topic," then to me that means he's asked an unanswerable question. I think his question is worthy of a direct reply.

          Unfortunately I don't have an answer, Alfred, other than that the option of foregoing having our own children has only been a realistic option for a few decades. Throughout history the powerful desire for s*x and the lack of reliable birth control methods would have made that almost impossible. It's a question one could only consider now.

          That said, I think it's still a valid question even for now and deserves an answer (probably beyond my reply).

          Yes, we're off topic, but I think we're on a very real topic of the website- biblical understanding as compared to Gathard's principles.

        • MatthewS March 26, 2014

          I hear you, and thank you for pushing back. My point was not to scold people off of offering an opinion or personal experience.

          If you look over old comment threads, you will see that if not reigned in, they can quickly end up being dominated by Alfred (one example from a year ago this month: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/03/stolen-treasures/#comment-16020 where someone counted 92 comments, of which 28 were about the original post, the remainder being exchanges with Alfred). He has often raised a lot of questions, nothing wrong with that!, but answers to those questions do not bring resolution, rather they bring endlessly more and more questions, and the topic moves further and further afield. It's a well-established pattern over a course of years, so this is not a knee-jerk reaction to one conversation.

        • horse March 26, 2014

          I see your point. I have noticed that just in the time I've been here. It's tough to know when to come in with "hey, we're off on one person's topic." Probably at the point of a really tough question isn't the best time, but it's hard to say when a better time would be. Any comment or question not answered could seem like a concession. Your follow-up comment here did help explain that you're not trying to redirect at the point where Alfred's question was too tough but that in general, one person's thoughts are taking over the comment section. I guess that could be directed at all of us who have commented on the adoption sub-thread. Not that everyone's comments weren't warranted, but just that we all should get back on topic. Anyway, I don't mean to correct your overall point. -That's well taken.

          Someone else did give him a reply, anyway.

        • grateful March 26, 2014

          In a way, I think 2, 3, and 27 could be related to the adoption topic - its all about deception (and I think my comment early on started the whole thing, sorry). The topic is very personal to me, and again, this is the false teaching that hits my family right be tween the eyes. I think someone needs to scan the mysterious Booklet 5 in and start a new topic so we can pick it apart in (the true) light of Scripture.

        • Ellen March 26, 2014

          Correct me if I'm wrong here, but there are probably copyright issues that come into play in scanning an entire publication (vs the scanning of portions of publications, such as we have seen on RG in the past).

        • greg r March 26, 2014

          @matthew/grateful: If this topic could be picked up afresh in the future, I think some good could come of it. Sorry to be one of the main "rabbit-trailers". I'm that way both by practice and personality.
          One thing this thread shows in HD with Bose sound:

          Bill and those who follow him LUVS them sum ORDER, more than they love real people , in the mess that is sometimes real life. Sad that after all those notebooks, gothardites are left wisdom-less to deal with the real world.

      • greg r March 26, 2014 Reply

        this might be my last response on the adoption topic (I don't want to enable the rabbit trail thing, so I'll get back to the LA committee topic after this)
        You don't listen, Alfred. Love, FOR YOU, might be have 11 kids and love them to pieces. That's tremendous. But love for another family might look quite different. To you , that's 'ambiguity'. Bill sold you a bill of goods, there is more freedom , flexibility out there in the world than you've imagined. the other bill of goods Bill sold you is believing that the scriptures are rigidly specific on everything. As if , unless GOD doesn't lead us that way, HE doesn't care, has no opinion. Baloney. My GOD cares a lot, but the bible is actually silent on quite a few things.
        Back to regularly scheduled topics. thanks, moderators.

      • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014 Reply

        I attract a lot of attention and responses because I am simply about the only one who posts here openly supporting Bill Gothard. That gets the attention of just about everyone . . . and many feel they must say something about it. One post from me = dozens of responses. And then I am accused of being slippery because I don't respond to every pointed and heartfelt argument. AND of trying to take over threads. I really can't win.

        Again . . . this is quite "on topic" . . . when it comes to the question that keeps coming back: "How, Alfred, can you continue to support this ______ after the mountain of evidence?!" And the repeated assertion, in most every thread about financial problems or problems with girls: "All of this is relatively meaningless compared to the real problem - his teaching". When someone else raised the adoption issue as proof - again - of why Bill is fundamentally a horrible person, it all so came roaring back into focus. He is right . . . at least there is a core issue that nobody else, simply, is addressing.

        And . . . It goes back to the LA Committee because . . . IBLP basically decided that the ministry God had gave them was more important than the feelings of a committee and their need to have satisfaction on their concerns. There is a "as much as lies within you" principle that goes with "Be at peace with all men". There is a point where you . . . move on. Whether Bill and IBLP were correct in not pursuing the committee further is a separate topic. I agree that some issues deemed unworthy of further pain in fact should have been addressed and endured. Not sure where this fit in the process. Maybe they thought they had . . . after chopping off head after head of the hydra, at some point you get tired of more heads. [Did anybody else notice that, for example, #16 assumed the answer to #20? This seems not real well thought out, edited . . . almost a lash out, as opposed to a formal communication . . . talking points?]

        Which goes back to my point here: If the assumptions and assertions presented on adoption are correct, there is no fundamental reason for any believer to choose to bear their own children over adopting the orphans. Unless it is a matter of scarcity. And then there comes the question of why we are wasting our time having and raising kids when we should be winning the lost, time being so very short. From where I sit, there are nothing but selfish reasons to create your own family . . . IF the premises presented are correct.

        Frankly, I am deeply convicted that they are not. And I have yet to find ANYONE besides Bill Gothard to say so.

        If anyone else wants to take a stab, I would be grateful. Even to open maybe one or two other eyes. If not, no problem. WHAT reason can any God-fearing, Jesus-adoring person give for having their own family instead of adopting?

        • P.L. March 26, 2014

          [Did anybody else notice that, for example, #16 assumed the answer to #20? This seems not real well thought out, edited . . . almost a lash out, as opposed to a formal communication . . . talking points?]

          Asking the same question in a different way is a standard methodology for seeking to arrive at the truth, particularly when dealing with someone like Bill Gothard who tries to avoid directly answering questions. The deeply offensive nature of the issue (facilitating the purchase of pornographic material with Institute personnel and/or funds) certainly warrants more than one question.

          Why aren't you more concerned with the *answer* to #16 and #20 than the way in which they were asked, @Alfred?

        • greg r March 26, 2014

          @Alfred: the LA Committee "lashing out...." ??? friend, did you even read that cover letter ? I've never read a more gentle reproof in all my days, you never cease to amaze and surprise, Sir Alfred...

        • Holly March 26, 2014

          Perhaps we should have much earlier migrated the discussion over to this post: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/adoption-the-ultimate-act-of-grace/
          Although I'm sure many of the same points, arguments, rebuttals, etc have already been exchanged in that thread.
          I would not be averse to pursuing it further in that forum.

        • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014

          WHO was that loving cover letter addressed to? It is asking some 3rd party to go to IBLP staff and, if necessary, to Bill himself to get answers.

        • greg r March 26, 2014

          @Alfred: and this is where you and I go our separate ways on this topic also (didn't take long, did it :) )
          Likely you will defer back to chain of command, so if Bill and friends don't want to deal with any hydra monsters, today, well then, that about raps that up , doesn't it ??
          On my part, I'm seeing a 3rd party as not just a good idea, but the only way forward when dealing with who Bill is (we agree to disagree on who Bill is, I get that...) I don't buy into "there's only a problem if daddy says there is..." because there is always the real possibility that daddy is sick and/or delusional and is the last to know (if then).
          As long as you cling to Bill's idea of chain of command, not only this topic, but many like it are heading down the same hole.

      • Shane March 26, 2014 Reply

        non sequitur: "you guys are making it sound like God is in favor of adoption therefore everyone must stop having babies and adopt." It again is a non-argument. Why won't you deal with what has been said rather than what no one has said?

        Thanks @MatthewS, Looks like my question about Alfred jumping into this one to be a provocateur is born out here as well. I half thought he was up for an honest discussion when he challenged me directly to respond. I also thought the callous nature of his responses should not go unaddressed since there are people who come through here that are still struggling free of the Gothard cult and unbiblical way of thinking, which is on display in his argument against adoption and for the Bible as a "rulebook", and since he jumped squarely into the middle of a discussion between people who obviously have adoptive children with what I consider some of the most unkind things I've seen at RG.

        So, the last thing I'll say on this thread:

        @Alfred: I still don't know how you can stand by this statement regarding those who adopt, "Or get a cat or a dog . . . to satisfy your need for something to cuddle and take care of." or by challenging me personally and then refusing to respond to my engagement with your questions. Blessings to you and your family (not sarcastic).

        • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014

          Really, Shane. I am already in trouble for posting too much. I pick 2-3 representative responses and do my best. Since you asked:

          1) This entire thread started because somebody said, "Can you believe that Bill doesn't think you should get a cat or dog because it will satisfy a need that children are designed to fill?!" Something like that. I see his point, assuming he made it (I never heard it). I was referring back to that.

          2) Please zero me back in on any point you made that I have not addressed. I am overwhelmed.

          Thanks . . . and thank you for saying kind words. A person such as myself becomes a caricature . . . a dummy to be beaten to death in effigy. I am not a caricature . . . I feel, I love, I love my family, I love Jesus . . . I actually respect a great many on this forum, including some who rarely give me a kind thought.

        • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014

          You dropped a lot "up there", Shane. Mind numbing. Please . . . focus on one point, a paragraph . . . then we can have a dialog.

        • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014

          Actually Shane started the thread with this:

          Shane March 22, 2014
          I'd love to see someone try and defend his view of adoption rather than excuse it for some supposed "greater good" of Gothardism...embarrassing!!

          I feel the thread has been very helpful for myself as I realized views about adoption I had never voiced before or given much thought to.

          ...and Shane you got exactly what you were expecting.

        • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014

          @Shane
          I actually woke up this morning thinking that if Bill would've just had a dog or cat as Alfred suggested it would've saved a lot of girls, parents and families from so much pain, confusion and heart ache.

        • Shane March 26, 2014

          Ha! Thanks for the laugh, Ryan. I wish I could say I knew it all along, but some of what you see in my posts is incredulity that Gothard's water is getting carried on this. He is the only Christian I had ever heard the anti adoption view from. On the dog or cat thing, you may be right; had he refused to step in to "Father" his special cases or whatever he called them... glad for the men and women then and now who are exposing the truth.

      • dreamer March 26, 2014 Reply

        I am going to answer this and if the mods feel it is too off-topic or rabbit trail-ey, they can delete.

        God does have strong opinions, Alfred, and He is not ambivalent about our lives and choices. But that is not because He has set a rigid line that we all must toe. It is because He LOVES us and wants the best for us. And that best is not the same for every person or every family. God has created us all with tremendous individuality. The point of Christianity is not "follow a set of standards." It is not "dress this way, act this way, have this many kids." The point is "seek GOD with all your heart." HE will direct your steps. And not everyone is going to walk the exact same path in life. Even in the lives of our Biblical heroes, we see a lot of variance.

        If all we focus on is the externals (dress, family size, music, etc) then we create a man-made religion that is based on externals. And it is no different than every other religion on earth.

        One more thing:

        - If so, can you imagine He is "cool" with whatever we, with our tiny brains and hearts, decide we like in the way of "family planning"? I don't get that. -

        And yet you, with your "tiny brain and heart," have decided what you like in the way of family planning and you expect God to be cool with it. Or maybe Gothard chose for you. The point is still the same.

        • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014

          Thanks dreamer. I do know that the Lord burdens different ones differently . . . but that, again, is not necessarily a "do whatever makes you happy" scenario.

          We are "Soldiers", according to Paul. Let's see . . . how much of a soldier's life is up to his whim? Very little, you say. Does that preclude individuality? Nope . . . it is just that that individuality fits inside the commander's objectives. You can cut your hair short one of 3 ways. And the hotter the war, the less options we are given. You paint a picture of peaceful villages of happy individuals doing arts and crafts - Scripture paints the picture of a grim battle, with eternal souls at stake, a committed Enemy dedicated to taking advantage of every weakness - and ruthlessly slaughtering his victims.

          My convictions on "family nonplanning" were formed from deep convictions . . . gained from Scripture. I, for my part, never heard Bill Gothard address this sensitive issue in the early days of the seminars when I attended. My wife, on the other hand, did go in later years, and was encouraged by what he had to say, and so, then, was I. The fact that marching orders came from Him means that we didn't write bitter letters back to Bill when things got nasty at times. We took it back to the One that had directed us in the first place.

          And the convictions I gained eliminate some of the perspectives presented here. We may have individual burdens, but we have only One God . . . and One Bible. One groups says God cares deeply about family sizes and makeup . . . another says He doesn't. Seems like it would make sense for the "doesn't" group to hear what the "does" group is understanding.

        • dreamer April 1, 2014

          I will bow out after this, but I feel the need to respond.
          "A peaceful village doing arts and crafts?" LOL...I'm pretty sure I never said or even implied anything of the kind. That may be why you have trouble in these discussions, Alfred. You attribute words and thoughts to others who have never said or thought those things.

          There is no doubt that this earthly life is a battle. But the Bible says "The Lord is my Shepherd," not "The Lord is my drill sergeant."
          You use the modern military as an example. Though it did not exist in Biblical times, let's go with that anyway. Even within our military, there is still tremendous individuality. Yes, they have to dress a certain way and act a certain way...at times. But the military members are not told what clothes to wear in their free time, at least. They are not told what to watch on TV or what kind of music they can listen to or how many children to have. If even our military can leave room for individuality, then surely our great and imaginative Creator can as well?

        • greg r April 1, 2014

          Alfred wrote: And the hotter the war, the less options we are given. You paint a picture of peaceful villages of happy individuals doing arts and crafts - Scripture paints the picture of a grim battle...
          As you have famously said, repeatedly Alfred, "GOD burdens people differently.." If you want to severely curtail YOUR choices as a response to what's needed in this war, go for it, Alfred: git 'er done.
          but when you, or your short teacher brillcreamed buddy want to make that package what it means to be a 'serious christian', then you've crossed the line. Do you see this line, Alfred, does this make sense to you ??
          At YOUR peril, do you become the voice of conscience for someone else.

  32. Beth March 25, 2014 Reply

    Funny, HOW in the world could someone preach to thousands that they had to have tons of kids and then get away with having none??? Just an amusing pointless side note but that just doesn't seem fair to me.

    • greg r March 26, 2014 Reply

      you wouldn't happen to be an 'overland park' Beth, would you ?? (Jan's husband here....just wondering..)

      • Beth March 26, 2014 Reply

        Lol nope, there are a lot of Beth's on here though. I should have put a number after my name to differentiate me from others but I realized that too late and didn't want to be posting with different names so I just stuck with Beth but I know there are Beth's commenting here other than me.

    • "Kay" March 27, 2014 Reply

      Perhaps because they would have been too much 'bother'?

      Dunno.... but being surrounded with 'perfect' and 'beautiful' people, always smiling, not being 'energy takers', etc.... it seems a perfectly crafted world.

      But an artificial and sterile one. (No pun intended.)

      Very sad.

  33. Thaddeus March 25, 2014 Reply

    How anyone can have the audacity to tell others what marriage, raising kids, solving family problems, dealing with teens, when he has never been married, never had children, (and I doubt ever changed a diaper)is beyond me. How anyone could fall for bill's teachings is beyond my comprehension. And ah, the counter argument that St. Paul did not have children is not a valid one. What the apostle wrote was inspired by God. And bill went beyond Scripture. Bill's stance on divorce and remarriage is inexcusable. If he was never married even once, how can he comment on a second marriage? Anyone's family size is nobody elses business. Why has not bill had the same passion for feeding the hungry or other acts of charity as written in Matthew 25? certainly one does not have to be a Beau Brummel when it comes to fashion, but when he encourages women to dress like "Little House on the Prairie,", I'd rather let society go the other "extreme." Strictarianism, authoritarianism, (phariseeism) is just as bad as left wing societal attitudes on mores and folkways. It is not so much that women should be "careful how they dress", but rather how men respond to them. I have had gothardites tell me that I need to have an "unlimited" amount of kids (quiver full), but ironically the ones with many many children have had to be on government relief---ironically the institution that they do not trust!

  34. Judyh March 26, 2014 Reply

    Wow. I've been reading here for several months now. Recovering Grace, you are doing a wonderful job of making people aware of Gothard's effect on people. But after reading through this thread Alfred takes the prize on just how severe the damage really is. God help us all.

    • Cyndi March 27, 2014 Reply

      I was trying to figure out where to post this, but in response to how many of our posts are directed to Alfred, I think we all wish we could say all this to Gothard, himself, but we can't. We hurt, we have allowed our loved ones to hurt, we have seen how much damage has come about in so many homes and lives; now we have realized that face-to-face, and we want BG to know. So we have no one but Alfred, who is a dead ringer for BG; jabs and stabs mingled with laughing (even his picture), friendliness, shows of kindness and soothing words; weird twisted Scriptural thoughts, clothed in niceties, and sometimes truth (why else did we get taken in?) Bill Gothard, we are talking to you, but since you are not here, Alfred is the one who is hearing it!!

  35. LynnCD March 26, 2014 Reply

    Alfred, you wrote, "If what you propose is true, then we take our old nature on into the new relationship. Can’t be. How do you understand this passage?

    'Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.' (1 John 3:9)"

    Until we die, we indeed wrestle with the sin nature, even as believers. Paul very clearly says the Spirit wars against the flesh and the flesh against the Spirit, and we may not do the things we please. He said that to believers, not unbelievers.

    In the book of I John, which you quoted, John says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive, etc.. Again, written to believers.

    The verse you quoted is badly handled by the English language, for the original Greek means a continuous action. No one who is born of God habitually practices sin. He cannot continually practice sin. If he does, then he isn't born again. That is what it teaches.

    A newborn babe has a new relationship, and one of the first things you notice about people who are newly converted is their excitement and joy, and eagerness for the Word. Yes, this babe will stumble and sin from time to time, but he will not continue to wallow in sin as before.

    More to the purpose of this website, what you said reminded me of Bill and his obsession over taking things as far as he felt he legitimately could with scores of young ladies, for the apparent purpose of exciting himself for sexual pleasure. I would call that habitual sin, continual sin that as far as I know, has not been repented of. And that is a very fearful thing in light of that verse you quoted, isn't it? This man expresses it better than I www.letusreason.org/Biblexp55.htm -

    "'Cannot sin' means one who is born again does not CONTINUALLY sin, as he once did or is not HABITUALLY a sinner as he was before he came to know Jesus. There is a difference, as light has come to rule over the darkness. The born again believer has no compulsion to do sin over and over as He once had been driven by his fallen nature. If a man continually and habitually sins, it may prove that he has NEVER been renewed. He who is born again will not continue in, or like their sin for 'His seed remaineth in him.'"

    "No compulsion to do sin over and over."

    Now I'm wondering if Bill Gothard is truly saved or not. I can't tell by his actions, given the truth of I John, and I can't tell because I haven't heard anything that amounts to confession and repentance, also given the truth of I John about confessing and repenting. Not that he needs to do it publicly, but so far, we have not heard anything from those who were so mistreated by him.

    • Alfred Corduan March 26, 2014 Reply

      LynnCD: ["The verse you quoted is badly handled by the English language, for the original Greek means a continuous action. No one who is born of God habitually practices sin. He cannot continually practice sin. If he does, then he isn't born again. That is what it teaches."]

      That is one of those lovely dodges which, in a court of law, or a court of impartial secular linguists, would fall with a thud. I know this is often taught . . . but . . . it is given of desperation because, well, we know we all sin. But that is still not what it SAYS. The continuous, linear present infinite . . . "not sinning" . . . His seed is abiding, and he ain't sinning. THAT is what it says.

      The best explanation is that the "new birth" is . . . sinless. It cannot sin, never will sin. Which is why we can't lose our salvation. The "old man" which we still possess basically can't help sin. Which is why Paul says to "reckon" him dead. But . . . he lurches back out of the grave, sometimes all to frequently. We are basically schizophrenic . . . two minds wrestling for control. But . . . the "mind of Christ" which we have . . . has never sinned, and can't sin. As long as that new nature has control - is abiding - we are not sinning . . . because that new nature is incapable of it.

      New birth . . . "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor 5:17) A literal new creation. You don't even need my verses (there are others in 1 John) to prove that what God does is dramatic, new, divine . . . a heart transplant.

      • LynnCD March 27, 2014 Reply

        Alfred, in the first place, that verse from I John has nothing to do with disproving human adoption as practiced nowadays, for starters.

        Let's grant your view of this particular verse. I have a question for you.

        What do you make of all these witnesses, starting with Gary Smalley years ago, and more recently all these women and a couple men, about Bill's behavior? You said you believed all but one of the testimonies.

        Why has Bill kept on habitually sinning? Why have we not heard of any repentance on his part? Is he not saved? Or is there some other answer? Based on I John 3:9

  36. Cyndi March 26, 2014 Reply

    The reason this page has gotten so long is that we have needed FOR A LONG TIME to talk about the BG stand against adoption. This was my family's pivotal reason for leaving IBLP and ATI. I feel BG will answer to God on Judgment Day for all the orphans who never got adopted and never heard the gospel because of some weird twisted interpretation of Scripture that thousands upon thousands of Christian families heard at the seminars. The enemy won out on that for many years. Now ministries like Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, and Saddleback Church are picking up the mantle that got left on the ground for so long.

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