Personal testimonies of finding true freedom through God's matchless grace.

Personal testimonies of finding true freedom through God's matchless grace.

GothardFiles

Articles about how Bill Gothard mishandles the Bible to support his legalistic viewpoint.

Articles about how Bill Gothard mishandles the Bible to support his legalistic viewpoint.

Living and thriving through the grace of God.

Living and thriving through the grace of God.

Stories and accounts of the destruction caused by the teachings of Bill Gothard.

Stories and accounts of the destruction caused by the teachings of Bill Gothard.

Tag Archives: rules

The Brilliance of Bill Gothard

29 April 2015, 06:00

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Bill Gothard created a cult, and he did a fine job of it. He didn’t create a commune that physically isolated his followers from the rest of the world. He didn’t lead weird sessions with chanting and candles. He didn’t even come up with strange names for his teachings. He conducted his cult in the […]

The Shame of Beauty

16 April 2015, 06:00

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Before I was born my parents started following the teaching of Bill Gothard and IBLP, and when I was 5, they joined ATI (Advanced Training Institute), the homeschool program that Gothard developed for the families of his Basic and Advanced Seminars. Gothard emphasized “principles” which simply meant there were many different rules that dictated specific activities in my […]

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

31 March 2015, 06:00

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Ever since our pastor announced that Bill Gothard stepped down, I feel like I have been in a state of shock. I have always been famous for saying, “Ignorance is not bliss.” Now I know just how right I was. I have to reconcile myself to the fact that I was living in ignorance, and […]

Sorry, Mom and Dad. We DO Have Regrets

22 January 2015, 06:00

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Growing up in ATI, our parents often told us, “Because of the way we’re raising you, you won’t have any regrets.”  Their regrets included broken relationships, sexual sins, temptations, “wasted” years and the like.  All of which we would to avoid because of our sheltered, carefully controlled upbringing. We don’t know if our parents honestly […]

The Difference Between Horizontal and Vertical: Fifty Years of Yielding Rights and Not Taking Up Offenses

18 November 2014, 09:00

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Rebecca Davis of Here’s the Joy has written about the IBLP Basic Seminar’s teachings on “taking up an offense” and “yielding rights,” the way these concepts have permeated both her own experience and broader American Evangelical culture, and the teachings’ practical effects in culture. Links to and excerpts from Davis’s posts follow below. Taking Up […]

Confident Statements Do Not a Solid Argument Make

6 November 2014, 09:00

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A former Advanced Training Institute (ATI) student and Life Focus veteran has tackled both the form and the substance of the IBLP booklet What the Bible Has to Say About “Contemporary Christian” Music: Ten Scriptural Reasons Why the “Rock Beat” is Evil in Any Form at his blog, Throwing Out The Bath Water. “Is there a […]

Living by Principles

26 September 2014, 06:00

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If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? All these regulations refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of […]

Me and My Red Notebook

23 September 2014, 12:01

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Years ago, right out of college and newly married, I took a position as an associate/youth pastor at a small, very fine church in Houston, Texas. At the time I had not heard of Bill Gothard, but at our senior pastor’s suggestion, that first week in May found my wife and me sitting for half a […]

Four Tools of Spiritual Manipulators

19 September 2014, 11:33

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I grew up in the homeschool subculture of Bill Gothard and his Advanced Training Institute (ATI). I participated in Children’s Institutes, worked at Training Centers stateside and in Russia, and attended Oak Brook College of Law, Young Men’s Conferences, and too many seminars to count. Though I learned much from these experiences and am grateful […]

1984 and ATI

29 May 2014, 06:00

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My parents tell me the only reason we weren’t a pilot family in the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) is the fact that I, their first-born, was only three months old when they applied that first year. Like many others who have shared their stories, my parents are wonderful people who sincerely love Jesus and wanted […]