The Continuing Saga—Recent Developments with IBLP and Bill Gothard

18 November 2015, 11:13



It has been more than 18 months since Bill Gothard resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). Since then, there has been relatively little public communication or activity from either Bill Gothard or IBLP, leading some to wonder whether the 50-year saga of this organization was coming to an end. Although for various reasons we have been doing far less writing about the ongoing saga with IBLP and Gothard, our team does continue to monitor the situation closely. And as we have done so, we have become aware of some recent developments that may interest our readers.

First mention is, of course, the highly publicized news that five women filed a lawsuit against IBLP and its current board members: John Stancil, Anthony Burrus, Gil Bates, Timothy Levendusky, Stephen Paine, and David York. The lawsuit alleges that the women experienced “sexual abuse, sexual harassment and inappropriate/unauthorized touching” while “participants, interns, or employees of IBLP.”

IBLP commentsOn Friday, November 13, 2015, the IBLP Board released a statement commenting on the lawsuit. While the statement was a fairly straightforward denial of the primary tenets of the suit, one aspect of the statement stood out to us. In the first paragraph, the Board states that “the attorney representing them is David Gibbs, III.*” The asterisk pointed to a footnote which read, “Not to be confused with his father David Gibbs, Jr., a friend of IBLP.” One of the allegations in the lawsuit—an issue we also brought to your attention last year here on RG—is that the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations that the IBLP Board solicited—and later referenced on their website—was not conducted by a non-biased third party. David Gibbs, Jr., has had a long relationship with both Bill Gothard and IBLP, speaking at IBLP conferences as recently as last year. Now the IBLP Board has acknowledged publicly that the person they hired to conduct the “independent investigation” is a “friend of IBLP.” Note: the website has now been edited to remove the “friend of IBLP” reference.

We have also uncovered further insight into what exactly may have taken place during the time that Gibbs, Jr., was conducting his investigation. This information comes from a new pro-Gothard website called Discovering Grace (yes, the name is designed to mimic ours). This new website, while not claiming to speak directly for Bill Gothard, is run by individuals who claim to have current and ongoing direct contact with him. The website also claims to use Gothard as a source for answering some of the questions posed on the site.

Concerning his resignation, Discovering Grace writes:

“Bill was never asked to resign by the Board. He was not encouraged to resign. In fact, the Board pleaded with him not to resign. The Board wished instead to assume responsibility for the resolution of this matter and asked him to step aside until they could complete that task. Bill felt he was best prepared to resolve the problems by personally contacting each offended individual. There was a strong disagreement and, rather than limit his response, Bill resigned, as he understood it, temporarily.”

In our 1980s scandal series, we noted that Bill’s board of directors firmly instructed him to stop contacting the women who had been involved with him and his brother. He initially agreed but continually communicated with the women anyway. This behavior—which directly contradicts his own teachings on authority—created such a rift between Bill and his board that certain members of the board resigned in protest. In this case, it appears that Bill tried a new tactic—”temporary” resignation—to allow himself to address the accusations as he chose without any accountability.

Discovering Grace continues its assertions with apparent knowledge of Gothard’s thought processes over the past year and a half:

“Since they [the board] cleared him of these objective concerns, there should have been no further barriers to his resuming his responsibilities in the ministry he founded, responsibilities he felt pressured to relinquish because the Board would not work with him to allow him to fix, responsibilities he insists he was only temporarily stepping away from until the 'dust cleared'.”

Except that there were further barriers, according to IBLP’s board of directors. 

The site creators appear to consider themselves well-versed on the board’s side of things, as well:

“They [the board] wanted to see if Bill was guilty of criminal or immoral crimes which would encumber IBLP. That investigation was completed to their satisfaction – it is our opinion thorough interviews with the 8 published accusers could not have changed that perspective. If they had wanted to completely clear Bill’s name, a more thorough investigation would be called for, including active participation in the reconciliation process.”

Following the investigation that ostensibly “cleared” Gothard of criminal liability, the board was resolved that Gothard not be allowed to return.

Our takeaway from this decidedly anti-RG Gothard “fan site” is that, in Bill Gothard’s mind, he was only resigning temporarily until the “dust cleared.” Even more significant is the indication that the internal investigation conducted by Bill’s “friend” Gibbs, Jr., was only to see if there was criminal activity for which IBLP could be liable. Does this mean that Bill did not resign in repentance, but rather in order to preserve his ministry while he rehabilitated his image? It should be noted that, while the board wrapped up their “investigation” with a public statement that they did not find criminal activity, they did determine that Bill Gothard would not be allowed “to serve in any counseling, leadership, or Board role within the IBLP ministry.”

HeadquartersProductionCenterWe are left with a key question: what did they find that would cause them to permanently cut off Bill Gothard from the ministry he founded? We know that David Gibbs, Jr., did not interview any of the women who alleged sexual harassment on our website. (RG was approached with the request to facilitate such a meeting, but, in order to begin even a preliminary conversation with Gibbs, Jr., to this end, the team was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. With the integrity of our independent media website at stake, we found ourselves very uncomfortable with that restriction and refused to sign. Gibbs, Jr., apparently decided he could not pursue it any further.) We do know they talked to other individuals, because we’ve been informed by those individuals and others behind the scenes. Even without our published witnesses, the IBLP Board easily gathered enough information to sever its ties with Gothard for good. Even so, 17 months after the conclusion of the investigation, the Board still has not publicly addressed any of these issues. Nor have they addressed any of the many other concerns we at Recovering Grace have raised on our website—concerns that are unrelated to the sexual harassment scandal—including rampant theological problems, mistreatment of student volunteers and employees, and other abuses that took place at various training centers.

One last development we would like to point out is that 80-year-old Bill Gothard is not waiting around for the IBLP Board to take him back. He recently launched a new website called “Life Purpose Power Teams.” Gothard has actually filed paperwork to establish a new non-profit corporation in the state of Illinois, apparently wholly unconnected to his previous multi-million-dollar ministry. According to our research, the corporation was originally filed under the name “Life Purpose Prayer Teams” on August 14, 2015, but the name was changed to “Life Purpose Power Teams” on September 25, 2015.

The website offers the opportunity to join a “Life Purpose Power Team” for $49, which also includes four new books by Gothard. Of particular interest is one entitled The Inner Brain that Controls Our Life, which purports that we all have a “gut brain” that controls our heart and soul, and that is capable of containing “strongholds that must be torn down.”

We at Recovering Grace continue to monitor these developments with interest and continue to pray that God’s truth and justice will prevail.

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


  1. Anonymous November 18, 2015 Reply

    Can anyone verify IBLP's claim that all the current board members (John Stancil, Anthony Burrus, Gil Bates, Timothy Levendusky, Stephen Paine, and David York) joined the Board "less than 4 years ago"?

    • Daniel November 19, 2015 Reply

      Tim Levendusky has been a training center director since the dawn of time.
      They are correct, though.
      Board Members per IBLP website, October 2011 (from the Wayback Machine).

      Sam Johnson (Chair)
      Dr. Roy Blackwood
      Dr. Billy Boring
      Bill Gothard
      Ralph T. Hudgens
      James A Sammons (Advisory Board)
      Dr. Dean Young (Advisory Board)
      Jerry Wells (Advisory Board)
      Wes Cantrell (Advisory Board)
      Dr. James Leininger (Advisory Board)
      John Beckett (Advisory Board)
      Tom Hill (Board of Reference)

      • Daniel November 19, 2015 Reply

        This does, however, beg the question, "Why is nobody still on the board that was there 4 years ago?" I think Dr. Blackwood died, but everyone else is gone for some reason.

        • Helga November 19, 2015

          They investigated enough to realize it was time to get the heck out of Dodge.

        • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015

          I'm friends with Tom Hill. Tried to contact him on FB about all this over a year ago. No reply. Don't know if he left much earlier, but I do know the Character Training Tom ran was subsumed into a secular training business.

      • Daniel November 20, 2015 Reply

        I think their whine about not being around "back then" misses the entire point of the suit. They are not being sued molesting girls. They are not being sued for Bill Gothard's actions. They are not being sued for the misdeeds or non action of prehistoric IBLP Board members.

        They are being sued for THEIR OWN actions of covering up wrongdoing when it was brought to their attention. Duh. This "new" board had the opportunity and responsibility to bring justice to these young women. They didn't. They instead chose to protect themselves, the organization, and Gothard. THAT is the reason they are being sued. They chose the king of cover up, David Gibbs JR. They decided that Gothard "acted inappropriately", but nothing "illegal." What they don't admit that the "inappropriate" actions of Gothard were indeed illegal and they had the duty to address them. They decided to save face instead. Sorry guys, your fingerprints got all over the murder weapon when you threw it in the lake.

        • Don Rubottom November 22, 2015

          Daniel, I do not think your view has any foundation in law. NOT confessing wrongdoing that you did not do is never ground for personal liability. These board members are named because they are responsible to answer for the organization. They are not personally liable for doing or not doing anything, unless they have slandered one of the accusers in teh process of responding to the allegation. I haven't heard anyone say such slander is part of the lawsuit.
          They are figureheads. The lawsuit seeks damages from the organization. As officers, they must respond. If there are any claims against them personally, it is likely simply to scare them and get them to direct blame at the organization. Lawsuits are ugly and raise many peripheral issues simply as tactics to get to the object: payment of assets from the organization to the victims.
          It is also possible that Gibbs III is not a very good lawyer and is fantasizing about striking down IBLP on very weak legal grounds. Very old allegations are very hard to successfully prosecute.

        • Daniel November 23, 2015

          Don, I'm not talking so much about their personal liability as much as I am about their claim "we weren't here." Point taken that the parties named in the suit are there primarily because of their status as board members. It would be appropriate if they just started yesterday, for instance. I agree with you there.

          My point is that they can't wash their hands of responsibility in the court of public opinion when they also tried to sweep it under the rug. Instead of helping, they hindered justice. I was hopeful that Levendusky would "do the right thing." I feel no sorrow that he is saddled with this suit, because he had the opportunity to avoid it.

  2. David Pigg November 18, 2015 Reply

    This treatise is designed as a fabricated wedge to refute any validity in the eyes of the casual observer of the "truth" of the accusations.Go ahead David Gibbs the Third,Prosecute:THe sexual assaults,molesting,which may have some validating before the new Board of Directors,obviously to them has no validity whatsoever since the new board took their positions!Lesson the perceived accusations!No repentance from the Board;control the perceived damage,cloak the denigration of women behind technical formalities,and keep teaching the lies.A real slap in the face,and punch in the stomach.

  3. David November 18, 2015 Reply

    "Does this mean that Bill did not resign in repentance, but rather in order to preserve his ministry while he rehabilitated his image?"

    Of course it means that. But despite the terrible revelation of Bill's conduct regarding young girls, there has been only a passing attention given to his false, heretical teachings. Sure, there have been a number of times when those teachings have been brought under scrutiny, but the teachings have not been the main focus. Go to the DG page or to any of the sites that promote Gothard and see what they defend. They don't see much need to defend his teaching -- they consider the certainly of it unmoved. The scandal has been the focus and it is that which Gothardites defend. I'm not minimizing the scandal and the sins. This needs to be brought into the light. But proponents of Gothard's teaching -- even if the accusations prove true, indeed, even when Bill eventually passes away -- will continue exalt the teachings of Gothard. And those teachings will continue to deceive and harm many. Gothard has never once -- that I know of -- even hinted at recanting his heresy regarding authority, etc. Not once. Yet is is those teachings that created his kingdom and made possible all that happened within his walls.

    • David Pigg November 19, 2015 Reply

      David you couldn't have said it better.To have the opportunity to be free in Christ,and to throw it away,for the opportunity to become a passive automaton,in obeisance to the ideology of a narcissist making you pay dearly in his fantasy world of exploitation having preyed on teenage girls,cheap labor from the boys;our own passivity to not become angry as good adherrants!Sure Bill!We'll continue to pay for our handcuffs and ball and chains!What better epitaph to have on our gravestones than you lived a life of "submission".

    • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

      DG has asserted that Bill's 7 Principles shined the light in the darkness. That is a very idolotrous assertion.

  4. LynnCD November 18, 2015 Reply

    "[BG]recently launched a new website called “Life Purpose Power Teams.” Gothard has actually filed paperwork to establish a new non-profit corporation in the state of Illinois, apparently wholly unconnected to his previous multi-million-dollar ministry. According to our research, the corporation was originally filed under the name “Life Purpose Prayer Teams” on August 14, 2015, but the name was changed to “Life Purpose Power Teams” on September 25, 2015."

    If I were to leave one comment on the DG site, it would be for them to give it up and follow Gothard to this new ministry of his.

    It was obvious the IBLP board did not want him back - thanks for stating that clearly. The people on DG are very disillusioned.

    • rob war November 19, 2015 Reply

      I think you mean not to follow Bill into his new ministry. You have mentioned a couple of time about not posting comments or questions there but I think you would like to. I would encourage you not to be afraid to do so if desired. The worst thing that could happen is that it isn't posted, but considering a number that are "allowed" on there that are pretty challenging, negative to Bill and not at all supportive. Sometimes, there is a notion that if there is a web site or idea or blog that we disagree with or upset with, that we should ignore it, it will eventually close shop. DG will close shop because it hasn't attracted "i love Bill" support but the opposite and the moderator (Alfred) can't keep up, keep it straight and keep a lid on it. One shouldn't be afraid of contrarian ideas and conflicts. You loss nothing by trying to post a comment but you have everything to gain by doing so which will give you confidence in what you think and fell. You go girl!

      • rob war November 19, 2015 Reply

        phooey, I meant, "You lose nothing by trying to post a comment but you have everything to gain by doing so which will give you confidence in what you think and feel" and yes, You go Girl!

      • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

        Go read the comments. As a whole, it is very sad. Alfred seems to be trying to honestly respond to everything that anyone raises, but his inability to do so is sad. Then he goes to his nitpicking of secondary issues. But read the comments and don't be afraid to comment. Some of them may wake up yet.

      • LynnCD November 19, 2015 Reply

        I can see your point of view about commenting, but still plan not to. My take is it just provides the opportunity for them to spin and further entrench themselves in the deception. They can and are reading this site, and I am fb friends with one of them, so there are other channels. Another reason is I think the support for Bill over there may be a hindrance to true repentance.

  5. JPU November 18, 2015 Reply

    Wasn't there a Moderator comment made that the board is "divided" on what was being discussed? Of course naturally it makes me wonder who believes what, but we won't know unless one comes right out with it.
    Also, there was an article here where BG addresses his teachings and the troubles people had with it, and he seemed to have acted like he never said such things.(such as unmarried adults live with mom and dad until marriage or until their death like he did and be "under their authority) I should find it and re-post it if someone else doesn't re-find it first.
    Thanks RG for all your hard work.

    • anonymous November 19, 2015 Reply

      Yes, the documents I think we're from the group Tony G had. It also contained the minutes of the 80's board meetings.

  6. LInn November 18, 2015 Reply

    Gothard, at his current age, doesn't have that many years of ministry left. However, his teachings, which have been around for 50 years and are greatly admired by many, will probably continue to be repackaged and re-presented in a variety of different forms by a variety of different people.

    I wish I felt more optimistic, but heresy never seems to go away. It always returns, repackaged and more dangerous. It's why Christians really need to know what the Scriptures say.

    • David November 19, 2015 Reply

      I've been saying since all of this began, that yes, the sexual sins must be exposed. That is essential. But in the end, the greater damage done by Bill Gothard and his fans are the false teachings. And yet, except for a few discussions here and there, those false teachings have taken a back seat to the scandal. Unless those teachings become the issue, Bill will eventually die, and he will be a martyr to his fans, and in the years to come, they will continue to play the videos of his seminars and sell his books. I'm not minimizing the harm Gothard did to those girls. But that was only possible because of his teachings to begin with.

      • Karen November 24, 2015 Reply

        Excellent point, David. I agree.

    • Willy (female) November 28, 2015 Reply

      To Linn,

      And yes, sadly, as a new convert and young mother (as many were), we depended on Mr. Bill Gothard to guide and direct us as to just what the scriptures taught. We were so desperate 'to do it right'. The end result was the expectation of Godly children. (He had a way of making us feel so inadequate, however, with his endless 'checklist to real Christianity'.) With little knowledge of scriptural truth at the onset, we were so blinded by this man. (Much later we discovered he suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder.) I am now a very 'seasoned' senior citizen. Our family continues to 'unlearn' the errors we were taught and seek the truth of God's Word.

      Thank God for 'Recovering Grace'. The knowledge that 'we are not alone' helps though I am deeply disturbed and heartbroken by the truly intense suffering of countless others.

      In His Grip,

  7. Bert Perry November 18, 2015 Reply

    Hmmm....pretty sure that in ordinary investigations, the prosecutor/investigator does not insist on NDAs unless we're talking about classified information or something like that. Not that complainants are advised to speak publicly when their complaint is in litigation, it's just that attorneys generally don't do this because it's close to witness tampering.

    And yeah, if I were Gibbs III, I just might have fun with this one. Do we get to predict fisticuffs in the courtroom?

    • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

      I am sure they were operating under a pretense of "confidential investigation" trying to keep everything raised under a cloak of confidentiality to protect the Board. Of course, it is absurd to request such of accusers, but it was also an attempt to draw them into a Gothard form of mediation where they were trapped into ultimately agreeing with (or forgiving) him. And would anyone expect B.G. not to use any information against his accusers? Look how he treated Tony G.
      NDA, can't talk to your own lawyer or tell the public the truth. Any Christian who attempts to suppress the truth ought to have their Christian card cut into little pieces.

  8. Larne Gabriel November 18, 2015 Reply

    Non-Disclosure Agreements are are right out of the Board's playbook. When McLario took over the Board on July 8, 1980 he required a NDA in order to get severance pay. Some signed some did not. I was gone a month by then and did not have to sign one. One more proof of covering sin.


    • anonymous November 19, 2015 Reply

      I thought this too Larne. It's a strategic move on their part. Covering sin is right.

    • Bert Perry November 19, 2015 Reply

      Larne, I get it with severance pay--my stepbrother called it "hush money" once, and I once refused it (the difference was only two days' pay) because of that. You should have seen the look I got from the HR woman when I noted that speaking my mind was worth $500 to me. You would have thought I'd just hopped out of a space ship with green skin and bald head or something.

      The NDA when you know you're going to face a lawsuit and discovery, on the other hand, is just intimidation tactics of dubious legality. I've always been under the impression that the NDAs I sign are only valid until I get a subpoena--never had that tested yet, though.

      So the tactic smacks of desperation on their part--there are simply too many reports of things where you say "nobody spoke up about this?".

    • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

      NDA is a rational trade off for money. Absurd to request as a condition of an interview of an accuser, unless they were going to offer payoffs or "negotiate a resolution". Ordinarily, investigations do not settle disputes but merely set the stage for resolving them. But shutting up accusers had to be a primary goal of Bill and his friend, Gibbs, Jr.

      • KariU November 19, 2015 Reply

        Even more absurd to request NDA of a third party as a condition to SETTING UP an interview with an accuser. Layers upon layers of secrecy.

  9. Lisa November 18, 2015 Reply

    I know for a fact that David York employed by IBLP at the Indianapolis Training Canter in Indianapolis, Indiana back in 1996. Which is when I first raised concerns that David York acting inappropriately. Not sure he is the right man to evaluate anything.

    • Shannon Wehr December 31, 2015 Reply

      I worked under the David York you speak of at the Indianapolis Training Center. He is not the same person as the board member, Pastor David York. David York was single, never married and not a pastor. The picture provided on the IBLP board is definitely not the same David York from Indy days. You have the men confused. As for any of his alleged inappropriate actions, I know and have heard nothing one way or the other except from your post here, Lisa.

  10. nicole gardner November 18, 2015 Reply

    Having to sign an NDA to get severance pay?!? Isn't that illegal?

    • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

      NDA's are part of many settlements. No severance pay was due under their employment agreements; so, yes, IBLP could ask for such an agreement in exchange for additional compensation.

    • Bert Perry November 20, 2015 Reply

      Not illegal at all, but rather very common. I've personally accepted three NDAs and rejected one. Comes with the territory when you work in engineering as I do. My stepbrother, who works in drug development, rightly called one of his "hush money."

      More or less, it draws from the reality that layoffs generally involve information that people would like kept from the press. I have had one with a company whose behavior was particularly egregious, I felt, so I deal with that by noting that I'm free to say anything nice about that company.

      And then I am silent. Everybody gets the hint.

  11. Tiarali November 19, 2015 Reply

    Gut brain? Seriously? Why has this guy not been committed yet?

    • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

      I think his present situation invites a wire fraud/mail fraud investigation. He guarantees success.

      • rob war November 19, 2015 Reply

        How could that be wire fraud?

      • Don Rubottom November 22, 2015 Reply

        Promising success if you buy what he is selling is the kind of fraud that locked up Jim Bakker back when. It is treated as commercial or consumer fraud using the mail or wire system, which makes it interstate commerce and subject to federal prosecution.

        • Larne Gabriel November 22, 2015

          Pass that on to the Obama DOJ they love anything anti-Christian. "Tongue in cheek"

        • rob war November 23, 2015

          I understand. In Jim Bakker's case, my understanding that the wire and mail fraud came in in that he solicited fund advertising one thing and then funneled the moneys to paying off Jessica Hahn etc. I am surprised that this as not been brought up with Bill before because I think he has solicited funds for one project but used them for other things.

  12. Betty November 19, 2015 Reply

    Sorry to say, on to the ALERT campus they come. Unuseful ALERT staff eliminated; Narcissistic ALERT staff (and their dull-brained minion followers) remain. Sick. Stupid people that keep following. The 'minions' are afraid to break away.
    Brave BG Girls, fight on! My prayers are with you.

    • grateful November 20, 2015 Reply

      All the ALERT folks that i have met have been some of the most respectful, nice and joyful people i have ever met.

      • Julia Fetters November 20, 2015 Reply

        @ grateful, really? I am sincerely happy about that.

        We have known 2 excellent ALERT leaders - one was w.h.i.s.k.e.d. off the campus - did I mention he was whisked? with a family? - when he realized BG's less than honest ways (we were there when this revelation about BG's conduct and character came out) and the other leader was so level headed he said to us "Alot of these young men need to get off this campus. They need to get real jobs and go on with their lives and stop making this their career." He was such a breath of fresh air and this was back in the early 2000's when that was NOT a cool thing to be thinking, much less saying. Whoa. We were surprised to hear him say those things!

        As to the whisked family - Talk about no grace. Sheesh. It is akin to a cult, wouldn't you say? One or two wrong words and you are out of here! And what were the wrong words? Crossed BG. Just couldn't go along with BG.

        • Betty November 25, 2015

          "Cross bg." "One or two words and you were out of here." VERY TRUE. In fact the minion leadership were trained well by bg: you don't cross them either.
          In fact, if you don't show the minion mentality th bg/leadership would find a way to get rid of you.
          Spiritual abuse.

  13. rob war November 19, 2015 Reply

    I really wonder if Alfred and friends realize that the assertions they are making about Bill, the board and all the rest really puts all of this in a worst light than before and inject people (like Alfred) that are not really directly involved into the middle of this big mess. It's like the kid on the play ground that goes around to different groups of kids, gets the inside scoop or secrets, then runs around and blabs them to others in order to make themselves seem big and powerful. But people that do this end up getting very burned in the end. Alfred and friends don't really that their efforts to "support" Bill really end up placing themselves to be used by Bill to get information out from Bill. Their blind love and devotion for Bill ends up enabling Bill and helps him use others again for his own means and purposes. The bright light in all of this is that 98% of the comments that have been allowed through on DG are negative and unsupportive and the answers given to various questions and comments contradict themselves in a number of ways. I am sure that is not what the founders of DG were expecting. Instead, they muddy the waters further and place themselves as well as Bill in a more precarious position than before, and have injected themselves into a big mess which in the end will only result in them begin badly burned and hurt and used.

    • Daniel November 19, 2015 Reply

      rob war, you are right. Alfred doesn't realize that there is a reason his "insider information" hasn't been shared. In his blind desire to brag about his inside track with Gothard, he fills in some of the missing dots that might actually cost his people lots of money.

      • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

        He also does not even comprehend that what satisfies a sycophant like him does not satisfy an objective observer. That seems to mystify him, too.

    • Don Rubottom November 19, 2015 Reply

      Consider Bill's version of the resignation directly contradicts the Board's public statements. Thus, DG is calling the Board liars and frauds. Bill is simply using anyone tending to take his side to gain sympathy and marshal advocates with no regard for truth or respect for those on the Board who carefully tried to thread the needle and give him the benefit of the doubt. Very sad indeed. There is only one side of the story that is real: Bill's.

    • LynnCD November 19, 2015 Reply

      Exactly right. Exactly.

      • LynnCD November 19, 2015 Reply

        That was said to rob war. I also second Don's comment, above mine.

  14. nicole gardner November 20, 2015 Reply

    Excerpt from IBLP Board's Friday November 13th statement:

    "Mr. Gibbs elected not to sue Mr. Gothard, but instead chose to sue IBLP and it's current board members, all of whom joined the board less than 4 years ago."

    Maybe if most (all) of these guys hadn't already been such good friends of IBLP (just like Gibbs Jr.), even back into the early 1970's, they would have instead joined the Nixon administration after Watergate had blown wide open and filled many positions thus open. They were apparently too wrapped up back then to make the most of that fantastic opportunity to gather round the resigning Nixon & try to sweep up after him. So, I guess they saw this as their 2nd chance, because they sure jumped aboard a sinking ship.

    I don't know why they're claiming this conscious act to somehow airlift them from logistically situating themselves to go down with the ship they're on. If I commit suicide, does the fact that my act is initiated by me only AFTER the plan's set-up is implemented, and this all within my full awareness? And does this earn me protection from death, since I lay down on railroad tracks no sooner than when I see the train coming? I think not. Also, who [else] protests getting ran over FOR THE VERY FACT THAT THEY LAID DOWN ON THE TRACKS.

    People who can't differentiate between a perilous situation & divine judgement that they automatically imagine they need vindication from. People who think they've earned the right to vindication by martyring for a lost cause. People who are so steeped in IBLP theology that practical realities held in the most fear (like getting sued) are nonetheless served by being the go-to for penance-earners/self-beaters. "Something terrible might happen to IBLP & therefore to me, since it's the shining light & I'm so vested in it. I'd better earn my own vindication by getting into front position & then inviting this terrible thing head-on." OK, well....... the need for vindication implies that the feared circumstance hinges on appeasement; as it were, Divine judgement.

    Something terribly unpleasant on this earth that also = divine judgement is called sin. And Somebody already martyred for it. The IBLP board's statement indicates they know of sin & have a relationship to it. I only hope they change their minds 4 years after deciding to martyr themselves.

  15. Bert Perry November 20, 2015 Reply

    Not having been on the inside of such a problem as a lot of the young ladies abused by Gothard, I have a really, really ignorant question to ask; is it painful, or therapeutic, to see the guilty parties get their comeuppance in court? Or a bit of both depending on the person?

    If it's therapeutic, I volunteer to pop the popcorn as DG3 puts DG2's witnesses through cross examination. Light or heavy butter?

    • Don Rubottom November 22, 2015 Reply

      there is only one witness for the defense. (Alfred doesn't qualify, no personal knowledge of the facts.)

    • rob war November 23, 2015 Reply

      The better is to have a movie made about Bill and all of this, similar to the new move "Spotlight" about the Boston Globe investigation about priest abuse. Then I will have some popcorn, no butter needed. We will have to figure out who will play Bill and even better who is going to play Alfred.

      • Elizabeth D November 23, 2015 Reply

        Similar also to the classic, "Gaslight."

        Light butter for me, please.

        • GuyS November 26, 2015

          Me too, Elizabeth D :-)

  16. nicole gardner November 20, 2015 Reply

    "Movie Theater Butter" for me (although I'm not unfortunate enough to have ever even met the guy), and, oh, could you also play some classic rock in the background? I'm thinking that, as this has played out like a movie, it should also have a soundtrack.

    • David November 20, 2015 Reply

      A box of Junior Mints for please

    • Bert Perry November 23, 2015 Reply

      When I read Gothard's thoughts about music in common time, it occurred to me that Angus Young of AC/DC fits the mold well. He performs in coat and tie with dress shoes, shows respect to the school he grew up in by wearing their uniform, and most of AC/DC's songs are in common time with the first beat of each measure accented. As an extra bonus (so to speak), some of their songs are fairly perverse, matching the allegations against Mr. Gothard.

      Seriously, we ought to be very careful about this, as I would suppose some people are carrying around a world of hurt. Plus, I am a bit of a food snob and would never subject anyone, even IBLP executives, to theater "butter glop." :^)

  17. rob war November 21, 2015 Reply

    Direct question to RG moderators. One the DG website, I asked a direct question of the moderator about the current relationship between Bill and his brother Steve. It was my understanding from everything I have read that they were estranged. The moderator who obviously is in direct contact with Bill, stated that they had a close relationship and talk all the time according to Bill. Considering everything that has past and that Steve did sue Bill, I find that hard to believe. Do any of the moderators here have any way to confirm this? This does not ring true. I also think this demonstrates that Bill is using the DG folks to release information publicly and they are willing stooges to this end. Thanks for all you do.
    John 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you fee"

    • B Badger November 21, 2015 Reply

      I cannot comment on their current situation, but I read that while Steve sued his brother in 1986 (alleging that Bill had tricked him into deeding his home and 360 acres of property in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Institute), he dropped the suit in 1988 (settled out of court?) and told the Chicago Tribune in 1992 that he had nothing but praise for his brother. ("Bill Gothard's Heresies EXPOSED" Footnote 7) It would be interesting to read a current account from an independent source.

    • Moderator November 21, 2015 Reply

      Sorry, we do not know; we are not privy to the nature of their relationship.

  18. rob war November 29, 2015 Reply

    There is an old tale about how to trap a monkey where a banana (or peanuts etc) is put in a bottle or jar and the monkey sticks its hand in to grab it but can't pull out the food and becomes stuck where it is either captured or starves to death. I'm not sure if this is real or an urban legend but this picture is perfect for Alfred and friends over at DG. They are monkeys and Bill is the banana and they can't let go of Bill and are now stuck with him. They can't keep their spin and excuses straight, the reasoning is becoming more and more bazarre. At first all these girls and RG are liars, then it's Bill didn't realize at all that he was causing problems because he saw himself as a father type. Then, Bill ministered to girls because the rest of the Christian community ignore young girls and their problems and good old Bill see a big need and just had to step in. Then Bill sees his staff as family so he didn't think that regular protocall applied. Then Bill is just like some fictional character in a play in Branson and he was just trying to give "encouragement" to all these poor girls that need so much encouragement and the rest of the Christian community ignored. Then Bill is just so misunderstood and people took him too literally. Then Bill is just like other "successful" people that abused their staff because that's what successful people do so suck it up. Then Bill is on par with Walt Disney and Martin Luther and they too abused their staff. Then Bill again is taken too literal and even he didn't follow his teaching but meant his teaching to set high standards that people would strive for. The problem is that now the banana is rotten to the core and mushy but the stupid monkey still can't let go and now his thinking and reasoning is mushy too. I think that is the long term effects of following a heretical teacher and making that person your personal savior, your brain becomes a mushy banana

    • Julia Fetters November 30, 2015 Reply

      Wow. Good analogy. I hope I don't keep any 'bananas' in my hand that I refuse to let go. I believe what you are saying is correct and it gives me pause to think about my life as well and what I hold dear - or the 'hill' I would die on. Thanks robwar.

      • esbee November 30, 2015 Reply

        I have read all sorts of crap about Disney---one being that he was a devil worshipper, etc. Probably his only fault was that he paid his female workers less than male workers which at the time was par for the course of any American work place. But he always treated them with the highest respect. And I remember seeing old travel logs about how monkeys were captured in India using the food in the pottery method. Greed (or hunger) was what aught and kept them, even though they could have let go at any time.

        • rob war November 30, 2015

          Disney was a devout Congregationalist which is an off shoot of the Prebystarian Church. Even though he didn't do stories on overtly Christian themes or the Bible, he did have very conservative views and beliefs. I am not sure where someone would have come up with the idea that but for a while in the 70-80s there were ideas that Christians should not read or participate in stories that used magic and imagination and have characters from mythology. Disney used all those things as well as CS Lewis. So in keeping with these ideas, someone probably went over board and accused Disney of devil worship which is a big lie and gossip without proof. I don't think someone that worships the devil is going to turn around and make the witches in his stories such evil characters as Disney did. I think this falls in the same category as the rumor on Procter and Gamble which claimed that the company was run by devil worshippers. When Christians spread such lies and rumors, all they do is play into the devils hands.

        • Don Rubottom December 3, 2015

          Fundamentalists alienated themselves from the arts early in the 20th Century, causing them to miss Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, et al., and setting them up for conflict with the likes of Disney. Disney nurtures the yearning for Heaven. To examine that yearning honestly allows us to appreciate it's nurture and appreciate that God has put that yearning in every man's heart. To dispise its nurture (because it doesn't come from organized religion) is to present religion as hostile to the yearning. No wonder people would rather go to Disney World than church. I like to do both. I enjoy the nurture. "Every dream that you dream will come true" is not far from "God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that you, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work."
          Seek and you shall find. Hide you head in the sand and you will get grit in your teeth.

    • David Pigg December 1, 2015 Reply

      All right Rob!

    • Elizabeth D December 1, 2015 Reply

      Good overview of the high points, Rob, and I'm sure we can stay tuned for more! Makes your head spin. I might not believe it if I hadn't been reading it myself. There truly is an excuse for everything! We all probably have some kind of "well that looks bad, but it's really not what it appears" at some point in our lives, but it doesn't seem to phase Alfred that BG's whole life and "ministry" looks bad and has to be explained away BY Alfred, no less. Even if he has to explain one thing one way then change his standards to explain something else from another conflicting angle.

      If it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck ... Seems like Alfred would rather believe that people with ill motives get their jollies by going around gathering duck poop and laying it near the duck so they can blame the duck because they "hate" the duck so badly than to believe it came from the duck himself.

    • Don Rubottom December 3, 2015 Reply

      Great Rob!

  19. nicole gardner November 30, 2015 Reply

    Somebody tell Alfred for me: Walt Disney had 2 daughters, Martin Luther had 10 kids & there's never been anyone, let alone 30-40, who spoke up about being sexually harassed or abused by either of them. I refuse to look at the DG website because I've already been lied to for 16 hours straight, all 4 times I took the IBLP seminar. I've reached my quota of lies from that sector.

    Oh, and somebody please be sure & pass on to him how utterly thoughtful it is of him to loudly assume that his is the only opinion that counts even though it's the opposite conclusion of everyone who was way more privately exposed to Mr. Gothard by the same's highly selective self-exposing. Alfred better never grow long, soft, wavy curls, because, if Mr. Gothard loses his eyesight along with more of his brains, Alfred's likely to get a sock put somewhere besides his mouth (which place might actually be an appropriate location on his body). He's already Mr. Gothard's energy-giver of the month. Maybe even of the whole year. We'll see. Maybe Alfred will, too.

    My apologies to all the girls who got rubbed on by Mr. Gothard (with his stockinged feet and other anatomy) in saying this. I say it because a devil's advocate merits being called out in the same tactlessness he's using. Except that I'm not calling real victims "liars".

    • David Pigg December 1, 2015 Reply


  20. rob war December 2, 2015 Reply

    Another question and observation. Alfred in following the steps of Bill as a true disciple of his, repeatedly refers back to Greek words and their meaning in order to try and prove some of his points. This is in lock step with what Bill did in his teaching, refer back to the Greek word and its meaning. However, Alfred is no Greek NT scholar and it is just too easy to go to a Greek dictionary, look up the word and then state it's meaning, without considering the context of the word or even the use and understanding of that word in the 1st century. I did attend a Church where the teaching Pastor did have extensive Greek scholarship and used this repeatedly in his sermons. Both legitimate Protestant and Catholic Biblical scholars and experts do refer back to the original languages of the Bible. However, Alfred and really Bill are not Greek and Hebrew scholars and it has been pointed out on RG in a number of articles, Bill's misuse of Greek words and their meanings. I think it is a form of manipulation and and effort to give oneself the sound of authority and legitimacy. I am wondering if those on RG that have been to a real seminaries and have had real scholarship in this area can comment on this. Because this technique usually focusses on one word, which then is taken out of context and meaning of the whole passage. I my mind I do ask "what about the other Greek words around this one". I do begin to get cold feet when I see repeated used since I have had experience with it in a Church. Sadly, going back to the original languages is legitimate scholarship but in the hands of amateurs trying to prove something, it is a form of abuse. Do others see this and care to comment?

    • Nancy2 December 2, 2015 Reply

      I am not a scholar but a dear friend of mine is a Professor of Greek Studies, and wrote educational materials for learning Koine Greek. When I started studying my Bible in Greek and Hebrew she advised getting the complete Bible in the original languages with the english translation below each line (which often reads like broken language) and the Strong's cross reference numbers above each word. This helped me to not confuse one word for another. Especially when dealing with similar adjectives and adverbs or nouns and verbs. For example one can bless, be blessed, and have a blessing. Then there are different nuances depending on the context of Scripture.

      Botton line is you are right. It takes a whole lot more to understand the original language than just looking up a word. Even Vine's makes sure to list each scripture that corresponds with a particular Greek or Hebrew word to make sure one finds the right definition.

      It is also important to use an older version of an English dictionary (Webster's 1865 for example) because many times words from our own language have lost their original depth and therefore their impact in a passage.

      • Bert Perry December 3, 2015 Reply

        Agreed; one takes his exegetical habits with him, no matter what language he's reading. So if a guy doesn't handle the English well, watch out when he gets a copy of the TR or eclectic text.

        What I've heard--and keep in mind I'm part of the fundamental side of the equation where Gothard was long harbored--is that when push came to shove, real evangelical and fundamental scholars were appalled by Gothard. Unfortunately they weren't enough of a force to prevent problems.

        One side note on my "fundagelicalism"; I heard of Gothard first around 1994 when a friend from church was going through IBLP. Otherwise, I never had much interaction with his ideas directly, but as I've seen some abuses here and there, Gothard's ideas pop up, especially in music. I don't know if Gothard/IBLP is the original source, or whether IBLP simply recycled older ideas with glossy presentations and such. I suspect the latter.

      • rob war December 3, 2015 Reply

        A huge "THANK-YOU" for your response, insight and experience. I think I could sit for hours and ask you questions about what you have learned in going back and using original language Bibles with direct type translations. It is very fascinating. The particular teaching elder/pastor used New American Standard Bible at this Church because according to him, it was the most direct and faithful to the original languages of Greek and Hebrew. NASB also is not a poetic as KJV or even NIV, but that is another type of discussion and is off topic. I do think and this is an observation that when different teachers, pastors and ministers start to go back to the original language and say " the Greek word is ... and it means ... so this verse really means ..." is more or less trying to prove a particular point and justify it and going back to the original language sounds authoritative and is really manipulative. It's a shame because there is a place for re-looking back at the original languages. I also think that Bill's angst against scholarship, higher education etc is due to the fact that his earlier critics were seminar professors. In other words, attendees of his seminars were not really suppose to question or dig further to what he was presenting. I think that is why Bill's favorite verse is Ps. 119:99 according to Alfred because Bill thinks that his meditations trump true and sound Biblical scholarship. This is how he gets around it. On a last note, I am wondering if you can have your professor friend look at DG and how Alfred is using the Greek words there and give feedback to you. Having someone the really knows Greek ought to be reviewing Alfred and Bill.

        • MatthewS December 3, 2015

          "Having someone the really knows Greek ought to be reviewing Alfred and Bill."

          It is hard to get scholars to invest their time with hacks like those guys.

          The "Call for Discernment" document hosted here on RG is a good document that brings serious and respectful discussion. Unfortunately, Bill acts as though he is incapable of mature dialog with such.

          Another resource is Ronald Allen's "Issues of Concern" paper here:

          Bill pretends to have a unique and unified view of Scripture. In reality, it is a half-baked amalgam of ideas and not a structure or system that advances our understanding of Scripture forward. So for the most part, a person is better forgetting what Bill says and going back to the Bible and good resources and building up their understanding anew.

          Seriously, if God is able to reveal himself, and if someone is an honest searcher, and if what Bill said were the truth, wouldn't it be the case that at least some people would start with Scripture and discover the essentials of Gothardism themselves? And yet, who has had that experience? Gothardism is not a consistent coherent system that stands on its own without defenders to constantly prop it up.

          Gothard paints himself as a faithful interpreter of the Bible but in reality he acts as though he is Moses on the Mount, declaring God's truth as a go-between, between God and the people.

        • Don Rubottom December 4, 2015

          But Matthew, he MEDITATES!

    • MatthewS December 3, 2015 Reply

      A lot could be said on this. An essential resource for this is DA Carson's book, "Exegetical Fallacies," in specific, the chapter about word study fallacies. If you google DA Carson and word study fallacies, you can see overviews summaries. Your time would be better spent doing that than reading the rest of my comment! Grant Osborne's "Hermeneutical Spiral" is another essential resource.

      I do happen to have a seminary degree (M.Div), which includes 3 years of both Greek and Hebrew. Realize that when speaking with scholars, saying "three years of Hebrew and Greek" is like saying "I graduated from Kindergarten." Three years is an introduction, the most basic requirement, just a beginning. It enables you to track with critical commentaries and to read many scholarly opinions.

      Translation-by-Strong's-concordance is like trying to be a surgeon and using a rusty ax instead of a scalpel.

      One reason why is the broad range of what words can mean. One word can have many different meanings, only some of which are intended in a given sentence. The formal term for this is "semantic range." Louw and Nida's lexicon is a standard resource here.

      But that is just one issue. Another is the the difference between definitions and syntax. Not only can each word in a given sentence have various possible meanings (with only certain meanings intended in the particular sentence) but the words interact with each other to affect the meaning of the sentence. Things like voice, tense, number, and mood come into play here. (By the way, as example of a figure of speech, note that the phrase "come in to play" could have drastically different meanings depending on where it is used). One very simple example, in Koine Greek, students learn that the preposition ἐν (en) means "in." But that is only partly true; it is better to say that ἐν plus a word with the dative case means "in." So in a Greek syntax class you will hear people muttering under their breath "en plus dative means in." You can see much discussion if you google "koine greek prepositions plus case". (one such page here:

      Those issues would keep scholars busy even if the meanings were all literal and meant to be taken on face value. But alas! Put this in your pipe and smoke it for a while: A great many expressions involve figures of speech where the literal meanings of the words do not express the intended meaning. It is enough to cause a student of languages to throw in the towel ;-) Related issues are plays on words (more than you'd think in Scripture), and idioms.

      I think a fun case of this is the use of of metonymy. That is, where one thing stands in for another. The expression "The White House" often refers to an administration, not an actual building. In Genesis 42:38, Jacob says that if anything were to happen to Joseph, "you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow." He is not really talking about the specific hairs on his head, gray or otherwise. He is giving a verbal picture of himself as an old and feeble man, and this blow would be too much for him to bear. Check out this document: MetonymyandSynecdocheintheNewTestament.pdf

      Buckets full of concerns besides these could be named.

      Alfred betrays no understanding of syntax, semantic range, and a host of other critical issues. He commits word study fallacies without knowing what they are or that he is doing so. His handling of the original languages is embarrassingly bad.

      Two more examples to illustrate:
      First, take the lyrics of a song or poem and use an online translator like Translate into several languages, one after the other, and finally back into English, and see how well the results hold up.

      Second, consider how well this sentence would hold up to the translation-by-Strong's method: The captain can run the ship with a run in her stocking while her crew members run a race on the run on deck 10. Good luck with that one!

      • Leslie December 3, 2015 Reply

        I didn't get into the Greek nearly as much as you. I do remember one of my Bible study teachers warning us to be careful. An example that was used was our current day expression of "rolling out the red carpet". Someone centuries or even decades later could interpret that to mean it is a Biblical imperative to roll out a red carpet. So we need to be careful interpreting Scripture on many levels.

      • rob war December 4, 2015 Reply

        Again a HUGE thank-you. I knew you did have a M Div. and was hoping (and even praying) you would respond. I am going to look into the resources you mention. Yes, Bill and Alfred as his chief apologist try to present that Bill's teaching is a consistent unified system. But it is not. I think that is why Bill is hard to pin down in terms of the ideas and theology he used because he took bit and pieces of this and that to come of with his system which as you point out is a conflicted and inconsistent base. Alfred in Bill's defense is just nauseating and highlights even further the problem's of Bill's teaching. There is enough people now on DG challenging Alfred that is causing him to further spin into insane answers that conflict with each other. Again, when teachers start to heavily rely on a return to Greek and Hebrew words to prop up what they teach, I do get cold feet and step back and ask myself "are they really qualified to do this or is this again a cut and paste job using Strong's?" Having had a previous Pastor that did this in his teaching, even deemed an expert has made me sensitive to the issue. This same Pastor promoted the seminars in his Church.
        Again all of this begs the question as to why more people with M. Div degrees didn't try to challenge Bill more in the hey days of the 1970s. A million thanks again.

      • Lindsey77 December 14, 2015 Reply

        Thank you for these references. I will look into them and welcome any other recommendations. I would like more resources for understanding the original meaning of the Bible.

    • Lindsey77 December 16, 2015 Reply

      rob war,
      Speaking of how Alfred interprets the Bible, I had an epiphany this week. In my recent wranglings with him, Alfred ended up spelling out his personal beliefs. Maybe he has done that before and I missed it, but in this case, he explained them succinctly but completely. I realized that everything we find infuriating and illogical about him flows directly from his view of God and interpretation of the Bible. This realization made me feel I can let go of him.

      For example, I always wondered why he is devoid of empathy. It turns out he does not believe in victims. That's why he doesn't make sense when we talk about abuse victims. He doesn't believe in them.

      If I say modern psychology shows us there are abuse victims, he says the Bible trumps secular experts.

      His God is wrathful and arguably sadistic. I don't want to detail everything he said because some of it is really disturbing. (I want the people on this website to heal in peace.) However, I wanted to share that I feel suddenly calm and peaceful.

      • rob war December 17, 2015 Reply

        Yes, Alfred is one very sick puppy. I also think he is much worst when responding to the females on his site that question him that he is to the males. He has not published the last 5 comments I tried to post. He has been so steeped in Gothard that I would believe that Alfred feels that he doesn't have to respond to any female questioning him and Bill because we are female and just suppose to submit without a peep. He responds to other's comments with Bible verses that don't even make any sense. I don't think he likes it when women come on his site and question him and Bill. Alfred is a prime example of what following Bill will do to you, melt your brain. He worships Bill really, not Christ. I feel sorry for his wife and daughters because he must be a trip to live with. I posted on there not to convince Alfred, because I think he is too far gone and would only change by a St. Paul type lighting bolt conversion but for it being on the internet for others to read and have others that might read him realize that there are answers to the misinformation Alfred is spouting out. I shake my head sometimes at the stuff Alfred posts and the God Alfred paints as being this big cosmic bully just may come knocking on his door and that isn't going to be a pretty picture for Alfred because he will reap what he sows and what he measures out to others and about others is going to haunt him in the end.

        • Lindsey77 December 17, 2015

          It reminds me of an article I have been pondering a lot lately about one of the granddaughters of Fred Phelps, Megan. She defected from Westboro Baptist Church.

          I am not saying Alfred is the same as Fred Phelps, but his faith seems to be centered on hell and fear, and I have been wondering about people like that.

          in the article, Megan talks about how she thought she was doing a good, loving thing when she picketed with her family.

          Megan thought she was doing gay people a favor by warning them about hell. In a similar way, Alfred thinks he's doing abuse victims a favor by warning them about hell. He seems to think he is correcting people in love. In actuality, he is merely cruel.

          "One of the most common questions she was asked on the picket line was why she hated gay people so much. She didn’t hate gay people, she would reply, God hated gay people. And the rest of the world hated them, too, by cheering them on as they doomed themselves to Hell. “We love these fags more than anyone,” she would say."

          The main factor influencing her decision to leave was the contrast between the empathy she saw outside the church and the complete lack of empathy she saw inside the church.

        • David December 18, 2015

          Just as Bill Gothard has deliberately and repeatedly ignored, refuted, and condemned those who would question his teachings, so does Alfred follow suit. But really, that is the same attitude of most Gothardites. THEY know better, THEY have a corner on Truth that no one else has -- THEY obey when no one else does. But all of that aside, this is a SERIOUS matter. Gothard and his clone, Alfred, have been confronted with the TRUTH by many of the Body of Christ. They have refused it.

      • David December 17, 2015 Reply

        Now I'm curious about else he's said, what his beliefs about God and the Bible. Is there a link or some off-site way you could further communicate it?

        • Lindsey77 December 17, 2015

          If you go to his discoveringgrace website, look in the comments section of his latest article, the one with over 200 comments (Shepherd of the Hills). In his responses to some of the commenters, but me in particular, he explains many of his beliefs.

        • David December 17, 2015

          Spent 20 minutes trying to keep up with all the dialogue going on over there. Man oh man is that particular forum hopping still, since November 22nd and the back and forth is still pouring in. It's pretty much Alfred versus literally everyone else. I only caught some of the snippets of what you mentioned Lindsey and you're correct about his view of who God is. His "Standards high enough to kill you" line really stirred up a hornets nest.

        • David December 17, 2015

          One wonders how the bloke has the energy to keep arguing multiple times a day on multiple forums.

        • rob war December 17, 2015

          There is an excellent article by Fr. Dwight Longenecker on Patheos Catholic Channel Dec 15,2015 called "The Discontented Catholics". At the end of it he lists 10 traits of fundamentalists found in any religion and they are as follows.
          1. literal and legalists approach to their holy books
          2. A dread suspicion of anything modern
          3. A ned to lbame and demonize others
          4. A martyr complex
          5. Self-righteousness so huge they can't see it
          6. A selcontained, self-designed closed system and world view
          7. An ever decreasing number of devotees
          8. An ever increasing obsession with arcane dtail to prove their point
          9. An angry and argumentative nature
          10. Zero joy.
          Again Fr. Longenecker attended Bob Jones university.

        • Lindsey77 December 18, 2015

          David, I probably should have pointed out that my comments are near the bottom. There are many comments!

          Probably the worst thing to me was the following logic:
          1) You should be afraid of God.
          2) God said your body is His temple.
          3) You should be afraid of angering God by letting His temple be defiled.
          4) If someone comes to violate His temple, you should be way more scared of God getting angry at you for letting it be defiled than of your attacker. After all, God has the power to destroy not just your body but your soul as well. (And only a God who can destroy both body and soul is worth worshipping.)
          5) If you fail to protect God's temple, you are as guilty as the attacker. If you did not cry out, not only are you culpable, you don't have the right to complain in the future.
          6) There are no victims, only sinners.
          7) Let's say the attacker succeeds. If someone becomes estranged from God because of their suffering at the hands of another person, they go straight to hell. That's because there are no exceptions to the rules. You are supposed to forgive seventy times seven and get right with God to avoid eternal damnation.

          Apparently, God's love does not cause Him to be sad when we're abused. He's angry with us.

        • LynnCD December 18, 2015

          Wow! I just went over to DG. Although I believe all Christians are saints, I'm very tempted to call Larne Gabriel "Saint Larne."

        • Lindsey77 December 18, 2015

          LynnCD, I agree. Larne is amazing. Rob, thanks for mentioning the article. I will look it up.

        • Larne Gabriel December 18, 2015

          God tells us to proclaim the truth, His truth and to Him goes all glory and honor and power. We are all sinners saved by the Grace of a matchless Savior through Faith that we all are undeserving of but for His Grace. Many have suffered much, given much or even all they had, to them we should be grateful to God we give all praise. I would not be one of those, other then to give God the Glory. Thank you anyway, no saint even with a small s, just a Sinner with a big S!

        • LynnCD December 18, 2015

          Larne, I agree with what you said. I'm still surprised at the level of denial over there after you have typed in reams of information, corrections, clarifications.

        • Becoming Free December 18, 2015

          @ Lindsey77 - thank you for your summary of the DG logic. What a sad commentary on their view of god - not even God or the True Lord Jesus.

          @ Larne - Thank you for your comments over there. I agree with LynnCD and Lindsey77 re: your patience and willingness to engage in detailed discussion.

          @ LynnCD - yes, GOBBBBBS of denial - an absolute, stubborn REFUSAL to consider any position other than their own. Someone characterized some of Alfred's posting here last year as him plugging his ears and saying, "La la la I can't hear you!!" It's happening in spades over there. Continuous comebacks, no openness to other views - it's like a soap opera with multiple threads that was difficult to follow and I got tired of reading it.

        • Karen December 19, 2015

          Reading through the thread in question over on DG, I was reminded of the counsel in my own Christian tradition to not argue with someone unwilling to see reason and not to try to directly confront and argue with demonic suggestion (whether in our own thoughts or through the mouth of another), because this will inevitably tie us up in sin. Rather, it calls us to focus on Christ, entrusting ourselves to Him in simplicity and purity of heart, through prayer rooting our own hearts and all our hope in God and His grace, humbly working out our own salvation, and asking Him to have mercy on our (human) enemies.

          My caution would be to not get sucked into endless argument over at DG. It is easy to see how far from reality Alfred lives if he really believes BG is a great man of God, doing an important work for God in the world! Twenty years from now, BG and his work will be all but forgotten or remembered as a footnote of fringe and cult-like movements to come out of Protestant Fundamentalism that rode the tide of popular Evangelical American religion, but not being based soundly in the spiritual reality of Christ, basically fizzled into the nothingness it really is, bankrupting itself through its own inherent corruption. "Clouds without water" is how Jude describes such false teachers. They promise the world and deliver nothing.

          There is a reason historically the Church has not announced the capital S Sainthood of her greatest heroes until *after* their deaths, and why her greatest servants have fled the temptation of power and pride into the solitude of the desert hermitage to work out their own salvation humbly before God in repentance, prayer and fasting, not presuming to become teachers of others. Meanwhile, these desert Abbas and Mothers through the integrity of their lives gained such a reputation for true Spirit-filled holiness (much like Jesus) that the crowds streamed out into the wilderness to seek their wisdom and help for all kinds of human struggles and found healing and help. These men and women truly learned what it means to abide in Christ (John 15). Having been reading about many of these lives now for the last eight years, the claims that BG makes and others make for him and his ministry are utterly laughable. It's sad so many have no clue what true greatness and Christlikeness looks like in a human being. We are so gullible, so easily sold a Christianized version of the American Dream (the "guarantee" of "success"), which is just another guise of the love of mammon and enslavement to the fears and desires of the ego, rather than God. BG is a painfully obvious counterfeit--right down to the color he puts in his hair.

        • rob war December 19, 2015

          I agree with everything you said here. I have thought about continuing over at DG in even the slightest way. Yes, you point out exactly the reasons someone in the Catholic and Orthodox tradition is called a Saint after their death, so that their lives, work and writings can be throughly examined. I have thought about Alfred over there as like the JW or Mormon missionary knocking at your door. For the most part, most Christians politely say no, not interested and close the door. I've read from some Christians (Catholic and Protestant) that they engage them with the purpose not to really try and convince that missionary but to work on their own apologetic skills and reasonings in answering those kinds of groups. Personally, I would not be able to engage either a JW or Mormon because I am not that familiar with their particulars in order to engage them. With Alfred, I don't think anything anyone can say is going to change him. I also think he get a personal enjoyment out of arguing with others. I see DG as a chance to publicly challenge Bill's teaching from my angle of Christianity and see what kind of response Alfred is going to come up with and to answer his misinformation and logic with truth and be better prepared the next time I encounter a die in the wool fundamentalist.

        • Lindsey77 December 19, 2015

          My main motivation for arguing with Alfred was to act as a pointer to the truth for any abuse victims on his side reading the comments.

          I want them to see I am not afraid to tell the truth. I want them to know abuse is never their fault. I want them to know there is an entire universe outside their subculture.

          Considering how many children Alfred has, it is statistically likely at least one of them is struggling with abuse.

        • Lindsey77 December 19, 2015

          Something I find interesting is that Alfred talks repeatedly about how a God different from his God is not worth worshipping or believing in, whereas I see his God as evil.

        • Karen December 19, 2015

          Lindsey and Rob,

          Thanks. I wouldn't want my comment to be understood as saying there are never any good reasons to engage at some level at the DG web site. It's mainly just a caution not to say more than needs to be said and not to get caught up in someone else's word games and rules that ultimately have nothing to do with reality. You've both mentioned some good reasons for engaging Alfred. I'm speaking mostly as a reminder to myself and from my own experience that it is easy to have the kind of dynamic Alfred exhibits provoke me to engage in what ultimately becomes an exercise in futility (a waste of time) or, worse, becomes something the enemy twists and uses for his purposes instead of something that can edify. I've gotten sucked into that kind of dynamic many times in the past and ended by regretting it because it served no good purpose other than to show me the futility of fighting the enemy of truth with merely human weapons. But this isn't to say Alfred should go unchallenged in the many false claims he makes over there, since there are, as you've pointed out, those who might read his site and not this one (abuse victims, Gothard's devotees) who might be helped by seeing not everyone buys that the "Emperor" is wearing the finest of clothes!

          Rob, what you say of the reason for declaring Saints post-mortem is true in the Catholic tradition. The Orthodox is a little different--my point in bringing up the historic tradition in the Church of recognizing Saints only post-mortem, is because this practice avoids the temptation to any godly believer (even an extraordinarily saintly one) that often results from being recognized and praised by others, especially those we respect or admire ourselves or whole large groups of people. This presents a huge temptation to even the godliest of souls to become people-pleasers, or puffed up with pride, instead of living only unto God, which alone leads to true saintliness. Even many well on the way to great sanctity of life would be tripped up along the way by excessive praise and recognition from others. Many a believer's progress in sanctification is derailed by falling into the snare of an excessive concern for the opinions of others (which I've noticed is really cultivated by the Gothard curricula). Confusing pleasing God with pleasing (certain) others seems to me to be virtually guaranteed by buying into Gothard's teaching. People-pleasing concerns can be fed both by criticism and by praise from others. I love this little humorous story (with a very sober point) from the desert fathers, which addresses this subject (bearing in mind, in this context--being "saved" is in the sense of sanctification):

          A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, 'Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved.' So the old man said, 'Go to the cemetery and abuse the dead.' The brother went there, abused them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, 'Didn't they say anything to you?' He replied, 'No.' The old man said, 'Go back tomorrow and praise them.' So the brother went away and praised them, calling them, 'Apostles, saints and righteous men.' He returned to the old man and said to him, ‘ I have complimented them’. And the old man said to him, 'Did they not answer you?' The brother said no. The old man said to him, 'You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak; so you too if you wish to be saved must do the same and become a dead man. Like the dead, take no account of either the scorn of men or their praises, and you can be saved.'

        • Lindsey77 December 19, 2015

          I appreciate your input. Actually, I thought about your comment a lot today. It is very difficult in this world to strike a balance between never connecting to people on the Internet and going insane from contact with toxic people on the Internet. It is something I definitely struggle with.

          On a related note, I went through my friends list this evening on Facebook. The same dilemma applies to social media.

          It is a conundrum. If I hadn't gone online, I would never have found Recovering Grace. I also would not have encountered Alfred. I must search for what is helpful, but I also need to protect myself from insanity. It is a tough one!

  21. Tangent December 2, 2015 Reply

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  22. nicole gardner December 2, 2015 Reply

    I wonder if Mr. Gothard has ever credited any certified scholar with having reviewed his materials. I don't know of any thank-you having gone out from him to anyone for having examined any IBLP doctrine put before them for theological edification .

    • Don Rubottom December 3, 2015 Reply

      He was accountable to no one. He was his own umbrella, and he is soaked.

      • Laurie Potts December 13, 2015 Reply

        Your comment should be the blurb for this website ! It is perfect !

  23. lynn casper December 3, 2015 Reply

    "We know that David Gibbs, Jr., did not interview any of the women who alleged sexual harassment on our website."

    I thought David Gibbs III was doing the investigation.
    “the attorney representing them is David Gibbs, III.*

    • Helga December 3, 2015 Reply

      David Gibbs, Jr. is a lawyer who has a long-standing association with IBLP. He did the investigation for the IBLP Board of Directors. David Gibbs, III is the son of David Gibbs, Jr. and is also a lawyer. David Gibbs, III is representing the five women in the lawsuit. David Gibbs, III seems to be trying to expose injustice while his father, David Gibbs, Jr., has made a career of covering up injustice and crime in the greater church community.

  24. Lisa December 5, 2015 Reply

    This is such an important case, it is going to be looked at by so many as a precedent. There are many, many abuse victims that are waiting in the wings, watching to see what happens. Failure here will be a failure for many. I hope that Gibbs III knows what he's doing and is rightly motivated, but I'd feel a lot better if they had the lawyers that handled the Sandusky case. I think they are going to need that kind of expertise.

  25. nicole gardner December 6, 2015 Reply

    I'm sorry to break with an intelligent thread with a change of subject from the above comments, but I have a question for the Moderator. I want to know if a thread or threads for comments can be developed on here specifically to allow people like myself to respond to various articles on the covering disgrace website.

    I did finally venture over to DG and was appalled at an article there, raised a relevant point to a statement reiterated in this article, and it was censored. (Not permitted to even appear). I had read the "Rules" and abided by them; there was no rant against Mr. Gothard other than I eluded to a specific behavior of his THAT ANOTHER MAIN, ON-DG's-TABS ARTICLE ALREADY OPENLY STATED HE HAD DONE. My main point, that I'd camped on, was in direct response to a fact presented in that particular article I was commenting on.

    I saw other people's comments that got talked-down to over there; it makes me think that others with valid points were/are also likely censored. Honestly, it's so much more basic to self-respect to actually be able to express one's perspective even than to see justice in court against someone who's robbed so many people of both of these human needs. Thank-you, RG team, for providing this to people out here that you don't even know. Like me.

    • David December 6, 2015 Reply

      "...on the covering disgrace website"

      you just won the internet for tonight

    • Larne Gabriel December 7, 2015 Reply

      That's a great idea! Also a great new name for "that" website.


    • Bert Perry December 7, 2015 Reply

      First of all, love your name for the apologists' website.

      Regarding your thoughts, I'd welcome the same thing, but with one caveat; given that legal proceedings are ongoing with IBLP, our gracious hosts here probably want to be careful exactly what is said. I am guessing some of our hosts will receive subpoenas, and we don't want to torpedo justice with what we say here.

      My view regarding "covering disgrace" is that "alfred" or whoever is inadvertently giving away the store. He's doubling down on BG's perverse works-based definition of grace, and has apparently been denying things that IBLP personnel have confessed in public articles. That, in turn, could be fun to watch in court.

      • rob war December 7, 2015 Reply

        I wouldn't be surprised if subpoenas are served on those that worked with Bill such as the son of the moderator of "covering disgrace" who has worked with Bill closely for about 10 years and has most likely been giving dad info on the inner workings there.

  26. nicole gardner December 7, 2015 Reply

    It's not mine, although I wish it was- a fellow who contributes here came up with that. It's so apt.

  27. rob war December 8, 2015 Reply

    Another question. In Alfred's continued canonization of Bill, he proposes that Bill has caused healings to occur and one of the names listed was Joni Eareckson Tada. When I pointed out to Alfred that she is still in a wheelchair, he responded that it was Bill's seminars that helped Joni overcome and see purpose. Now, I did read her biography (early 1980s) and saw her movie at that time. i do no remember her ever mentioning the role Bill would have played. Her web site Joni and Friends does not mention Bill as all except in one quote buried in one of her blog posts (2010). Her favorites (quotes, books, etc) lists does not mention Bill. In fact, the only connection I see is a picture on RG under the Joy Wood's story of Joni visiting Northwood. Is anyone aware her of her role in speaking or attending IBYC seminars etc during the 1970s? She isn't even listed on the current IBLP web site seminars speakers.

    • Larne Gabriel December 8, 2015 Reply

      In the late summer of 1979 the staff retreat was held in the newly opened Northwoods lodge, Joni Eareckson, single then, and John MacArthur were the guest speakers. That is the photo's in Joy's Story. I'm don't know when she first attended the seminar.


      • Beth December 8, 2015 Reply

        I do know that Joni attended a Basic Seminar in Baltimore in the late summer of 1973. My mom and dad were newlyweds, and my mom had her appendix out six weeks after they were married. She was still in a wheelchair after surgery when the seminar came to town, and she tells the story of getting to sit beside Joni each night during the seminar. Sadly it was the presence of someone like Joni there who legitimized Gothard and his teachings for my mom. Mom had been a believer for less than two years then and unfortunately swallowed most of the teachings hook, line, and sinker. She had and still has a fervent heart for the Lord, but such poisonous teaching at that point in her life has really crippled her spiritually and emotionally for many years. It led to us being ATI years later. My parent still embrace much of Gothard'w worldview but thankfully the Lord has opened my and my siblings eyes. Sadly keeping a relationship with our parents has been very difficult as they just can't bring themselves to not confront all the "unbiblical" things we do :(.

        • B Badger December 9, 2015

          That is interesting. Does your mother recall any conversation between Joni and Bill? (Has that anecdote been fabricated or altered?)

        • B Badger December 9, 2015

          Fabricated or altered by Bill, that is.

    • B Badger December 8, 2015 Reply

      I also read her autobiography (and took notes). A quick search for the latter came up empty. I do not, however, remember her mentioning any conversation with Bill. I do remember that she attended a Basic Seminar and worked on applying the material on self-acceptance and irritations.

    • Bert Perry December 8, 2015 Reply

      Had to smile when I saw the comment "Bill has caused healings to occur". On the light side here, it would seem that not only does Gothard adopt a works-based definition of grace (that exceeds even the Catholic Council of Trent's wording!), but apparently he's also hoping to be declared a Catholic saint based on healings.

      There is amusement, but also a bitter irony, that an icon of "fundagelicalism" can be said to be going even beyond Rome in some matters.

      Seriously, this is interesting, but really a sidelight; whether or not Mrs. Tada says she benefited from IBLP has nothing to do with this case. Rather, the question is whether IBLP knew of and tolerated the behavior by which multiple female staffers were violated. No?

      And really, if Mrs. Tada geniunely benefited is no skin off the backs of those criticizing Mr. Gothard's teaching--with the sheer volume of ideas coming from his pen, there is bound to be a jewel there among the gravel, no? You know, a broken clock is right twice a day and all that?

      In other words, this can be fun to discuss, but let's keep it in perspective.

    • LynnCD December 8, 2015 Reply

      I do remember her talking about being at the Basic Seminar in her first book. I think the subject she emphasized was on responding correctly to irritations, but don't have the book near me. At a later seminar, Bill mentioned her name. He said he talked to her at the time and said God had a purpose for her wheelchair confinement, and the day God had no purpose for it, she would be healed. My memory is fuzzy as to the exact details of what was said, but that is what I recall, told in my own words.

  28. David December 8, 2015 Reply

    Is this Alfred character waging a one-man war over there? I've only read one or two separate article comments sections and just about everyone participating is there to challenge or debate him on a wide array of related or separate points. I've seen few if any folks chiming in to fight alongside him.

    • Larne Gabriel December 8, 2015 Reply

      And one full of inaccuracies, false claims and assumptions and exaggerations. Whether intentional or just uninformed that's up to God to decide. What is really sad is how details shared privately with him get so twisted. Protecting Bill is everything to him and based on the amount of time he must spends on each post his family must wonder where his priorities lie.


      • Becoming Free December 8, 2015 Reply

        Amen. I've wondered about that too - even when he was still posting here. I could understand an unmarried retiree having the time to do what he does, but a working spouse and parent?? - especially of 11 children?? - although I think at least a few of his kids are on their own. Maybe he has "dragon" or other voice recognition software. I type fast but could NOT write out the volume of comments he does and still "have a life".

        • B Badger December 9, 2015

          Abilities vary: some can process information with unusual speed and accuracy, eg their need for a constant supply of such stimulation can keep them on the go day and night, with considerable change and variety. My late mother was like that, eg she typed out long letters at a great rate. Tony Guhr sounds like that as well: his need to be on the go when employed by IBYC, his propensity for completing tasks quickly, his swift and lengthy replies to RG. I'm slower in that respect, better for tasks requiring patience, persistence, and attention to fine detail vs fast-paced, hectic, with inflexible deadlines.

        • rob war December 9, 2015

          Alfred's degree and training is in computers. He is an IT guy and I think he works for the government. I also wonder if some of this is done while at work on breaks etc. This may account for the ability to do what he does. His oldest son works for IBLP and his two oldest daughters work in the east as missionaries for IBLP affiliates. I would gather that the bulk of the home life falls on his stay at home wife and home schooled children. He likewise mentioned that he admires Bill for his long work hours and little need for sleep which I would guess Alfred emulates in his own life in doing DR.

        • Mark R December 11, 2015

          Or, he's developed programs to provide automatic responses.

          For example, he'll have the program review a response: if it says "Gothard" and "footsie" it will automatically reply "none of those women have gone public so it didn't really happen".

  29. nicole gardner December 9, 2015 Reply

    It's interesting that, in his zealous sticking up for Bill, he nonetheless Jekyl-and-Hydes this with slander of witnesses; he shows by this that he knows that experiences other than his with Bill are canceling out his attempted compensations. However fervent they are.

  30. nicole gardner December 10, 2015 Reply

    Rob War:
    You're no doubt right that Alfred emulates Mr. Gothard's little need for sleep in doing DG. Probly he just stays up since it would take too long to adorn himself for "righteous purpose" in sleeping. He's set the bar that high (and why should he exclude himself?) in moderating over there.

  31. rob war December 10, 2015 Reply

    Thanks to all that replied to my question about Joni and her relationship with Bill. They were all appreciated and even insightful. Before I share my concerns, I wanted to give a little background. Growing up, the next door neighbors had a son, Howard that flipped off his bike going down a steep hill and broke a couple vertebra in his neck which rendered him a quad like Joni, but much more severe, he did not have use of any limps. The whole thing was traumatic and my parents helped out whenever they could. He was in a circular bed just like Joni in the hospital. I use to go over a play chess with him, moving the pieces for him. He like Joni painted by mouth as well. Accidents like this affect more than the person, it involves the whole family and anyone else that supports them. Howard eventually did pass away many years ago. So, I have first hand experience seeing this sort of trauma. Likewise, my husband had a couple of brains traumas as a teen which had rendered him legally blind. So I do live everyday with someone with a handicap due to accidents. I think is it always natural to ask "why God or why did this happen?" There isn't always an easy answer but I do know that when St. Paul wrote "My Grace is sufficient" is so true, they are not nice words but reality. Likewise, our world is govern by laws of physics and gravity and these laws are no respecter of persons and when they are violated, there are consequences. So diving into a shallow pool, flipping off a bike, falling off a building, being hit by a moving car are going to cause the person pain and trauma. It's the way God set up our world. What has always concerned me about Joni's story is that it is presented as God's will. No, it's not God's will or purpose that Joni was meant for be confined to a wheel chair, it was an accident. Yes, God has given her graces and her disability has been used to promote awareness and ministry. Yes God can use and turn our misfortune into good things. But to have Bill say Joni isn't healed because He is still using her in that wheelchair borders on the cruel. Significant disability is not just an "irritation" that God sends our way to teach us some lesson. Someone there is this thinking out there that if we are Christian, that we will not have accidents and are exempt from basic laws of nature. That isn't true. Joni and Howard suffered from the laws of gravity. The hope really is that God will meet us in our accidents and if we turn to Him, He will give graces to deal with it and overcome. That is different than stating God had this plan for someone to be severely disabled in order to learn a lesson or for some sick idea of purpose. God's design doesn't mean God goes around to bless people with significant disabilities due to accidents. Who wants to follow a God like that?

    My final thought on Joni and Bill is that they both represent the cult of personality or celebrity that has invaded American Christianity. A new Christian sitting next to a big star sitting at IBCY is overwhelming and easily can be blinding. Christian star hobnobbing with each other, only to back away when the one (Bill) becomes unpopular is too typical. The fact that people like John McCarther, Charles Stanely etc supported without question Bill in the heyday only to disappear when his real fruit came to light says just as much about them as Bill. This celebrity status stops the real searching out that needed to be done in the heyday. Thanks for listening.

    • Mark R December 11, 2015 Reply

      I thought it odd that MacArthur would support BG given that they have diametrically opposite views on grace (BG holding to a Catholic-light view that it's earned; MacArthur holding to the Calvinist view that man can't earn grace or even receive it from God unless predestined to do so).

      • David December 11, 2015 Reply

        Since John MacArthur is indeed a Calvinist, he cannot be expected to have very much discernment of the Truth. And I don't care how famous he is. Add to that the fact that you can listen and read him for years and never realize what he really believes. If Calvinism is my gospel, I ought to at least have the guts to tell people what I really believe. I ought to tell them that most of them are already damned from the foundation of the world by God's unconditional election, and that nothing can change that.

      • Karen December 12, 2015 Reply

        MacArthur was probably the leading proponent of the "Lordship salvation" position in the "free grace vs. Lordship salvation" debates within Evangelicalism in the late 1980s. Apparently, there are more views than simply "grace vs. works." I'm no expert here, but I believe even Catholics today would not agree that Roman Catholicism has ever taught "grace" can be "earned" and would agree the abuses that sparked the Reformation in the Medieval church were just that--abuses. Meanwhile, I've read former Calvinists who would wager Calvinist views of double predestination have driven more believers in Christ to despair of their eventual salvation than Catholicism ever did (or at least does today).

        • rob war December 12, 2015

          Yes, the Catholic Church teaches "sola gratia" which is by Grace alone and that Grace is unmertied favor. This would be in agreement with the standard Protestant view of sola gratia. Wikipedia has a great article on grace and all the different Christian perspecitives. The divergence between standard Protestant views and Catholic is in faith and sanctification. Arminian theology is closer to the Catholic view than Calvinism. I don't want to start a battle over any of this, I'm just trying to explain the similarities and differences without a fight. The Catholic Church does not teach even though it is accused that one is "saved by works". Salvation is a free gift. Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong put it this way,(I'm paraphrasing here) that Catholic would say they are saved by Grace alone while a Protestant would say they are saved by faith alone. The Catholic view of faith is that it will be expressed in what one does which is mertitus towards continued santification. Again, I'm not trying to cause a fight or contention. Bill Gothard is a conglomeration of conflicting ideas and theologies. He leans heavily on Calvinism with his teaching on design which I suspect is what Joni latched onto when she attended. Bill borrows from Keswick theology for his triapate views on body, sould and spirit and how the spiritual is better than the body. Bill uses a perversion of Arminianism for his twisted ideas of grace, works and santification. Bill is hard to pin down in any one form of theology since he takes bit and pieces of a bunch of them to make his own.

          I wanted to add that Bill is not "Catholic lite" because his views and ideas are not Catholic. Bill is "Catholic like" in some things such as artificial birth control and divorce and remarriage. Bill's overall theology is all mixed up and all over the place. He could easily be confused with Calvin lite or Arminian lite or Keswick lite but again, it's bit and pieces here and there. Nothing is consistant.

    • Karen December 12, 2015 Reply


      Regarding a genuinely Christian perspective of the nature of God's will and providence in the midst of suffering and evil, you might enjoy the little book, The Doors of the Sea, by David Bentley Hart. It was written in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and was an expansion on an opinion editorial Hart was asked to write for the Wall Street Journal at the time (in answer to atheist reactions against faith in the wake of the tragedy). It addresses the issue of theodicy from an Orthodox Christian perspective. Those who most strongly reacted against the perspective in Hart's editorial piece were, Hart explains in the book, Calvinists of a particularly "rigorist" persuasion. Hart gives a searing critique of the various sub-Christian theodicies (including Calvinist versions) that were offered by would-be apologists for Christian faith in the wake of the tragedy and a makes an eloquent and moving apology for what he deems a genuine New Testament perspective, drawing from the early classical Christian tradition, especially the early Greek Fathers of the Church, as well as the Orthodox spiritual tradition as elucidated in Dostoyevsky's novel, The Brothers Karamazov. It is by far one of the most profoundly encouraging and gratifying reads I have had in the last 30 years (and the first book I spontaneously highlighted and made notes in since college!). :-)

      • rob war December 12, 2015 Reply

        I will definately look into that book!

      • Willy (female) December 15, 2015 Reply

        Thank you Karen, I promptly purchased a used copy from ebay. There are numerous other copies available via ebay. :+)

      • rob war December 22, 2015 Reply

        I have downloaded the book on my Kindle and have been reading it for Advent. I have greatly enjoyed reading it and it's contemplative style which I assume is typical of Orthodoxy. I like how the author quotes St. Thomas Aquinas which probably make me more of a Thomist Catholic in views on suffering, God's will etc than in Augustinian camp which emphasizes a stronger predestination view point. John Calvin took much of his theology and ideas from St. Augustine, I think Calvin considered him the only accurate of the early Church teachers. All good stuff and confirmed what I was trying to say in the Joni situation about suffering.

        • Karen December 22, 2015

          Glad you're enjoying it, Rob.

          Merry Christmas!

  32. nicole gardner December 12, 2015 Reply

    I personally only have issues with Calvinism if it's also in combination with the "once-saved-always-saved" that seems to make salvation incumbent upon God by the one whom He supposedly did this all-in-one for to the exclusion of others.

    In other words, I have no problem with Calvinism as long as it is understood that only God knows who is saved in the end (including whether or not I will be). Only God can know if I have saving faith because it is only as much as I believe that He changes me so that Christ can be seen in me that I believe that he saves me so that I can be seen in Christ (His propitiation covering me along with all other saved persons). And this symbiotic belief is my life by which I live until I die & I'm not dead yet.

    I believe the process of grace through the cross is it:
    "Saves from the penalty of sin- justification,
    Saving from the power of sin- sanctification
    To be saved from the presence of sin- glorification"

    This involves so many unknowns to me that can only be known to God. Calvinism can only pick-and-choose correctly as the Person Who is the only One who can see everyone who ever lived from their birth until their death. And I am not that person, so I cannot be a Calvinist regarding myself or anyone else even though I believe God is that One Calvinist.

    In the meantime, I have a lot of Arminianism that- if God-the-Only-Calvinist has me counted into- is mine to attend to with the abundant grace thus supplied.

  33. Dave December 13, 2015 Reply

    Have been gone from the conversation from the while, life has been busy.

    Larne, as always, I wish you peace! For the many others who have contributed, I've been helped very much and appreciate you lending your perspective to the conversation!

    One favorite saying of Bill's was "A man's morality dictates his theology." This was most often in the context of explaining why we should not listen to men with "moral failure", and then in true Bill fashion he went on to define "moral failure", effectively blocking his followers from listening to anyone but him.

    I bring up this, his favorite saying for two reasons:
    1. By his own words, he has disqualified himself from leading a Christian teaching organization. The implications of a 60+ man who (believing his story) felt that the behaviors he engaged in qualified as fatherly love, is A. Extremely horrifying in the sexual implications of it , or B. indicative of an incredibly immature view of both sex and fatherhood. In any event, either scenario (according to his above mentioned oft-told statement) force us to conclude his "theology" is an attempt to do away with the cognitive dissonance with true Christianity that both A. or B. would produce.

    2. Another reason. Given the examination of his teachings and its buffet-style cherry picking from various doctrines and dogmas, cultural mores, historical teachings, psychological theory, and sources of all types (Frank Betzer cough cough), is indicative of either:
    A. An intellectually lesser mind, grabbing ideas from whatever source to polish up and presnt as his own, err sell, with little regard for examining the logical consistency between them.
    B. A confused mind who can not, as did the original proponents of the various doctrines and herisies, even look to the logical extremes of the teaching and at least follow it to its logical conclusion.
    C. An egomaniac, simply doing and saying whatever it took to get the desired result he wanted from people.

    I suspect its a combination of them all to variying degrees. Given the following: 1. intellectual superficity of his allegedly "deep" teachings, 2. his reliance on others to generate them, 3. the logical inconsistency between the teachings, 4. the degree to which they shifted over the years in response to current events, and 5. the almost hypnotic effect of his presentation

    the entire volume of his work is reflective of a christian used car salesman who repaints and bondo's wrecked cars and puts heavy weight oil in the engine to mask the pending engine failure. Yes, every now and again someone might get a good car, but its in spite of his best efforts, not because of them.

    • rob war December 15, 2015 Reply

      You are a man after my own heart. Yes, Yes and Yes to everything you summed up here. A stunted confused intellectually lesser mind that said and did to feed his ego that has deep seated immature and repressed sexuality. His favorite saying that you quoted not only damns himself but had the effect on his listeners in reducing other theology and ideas to motivations over sex. The listener then doesn't really explore the right or wrongs of a teaching, merits or non-merits but just jumps to the conclusion that the problem is a hidden moral issue of the teacher. Yet he is the one with the hidden moral problem and yes his theology is being dictated by his morality.

  34. nicole gardner December 14, 2015 Reply

    ^^^^ Good one, Dave; I read it twice 'cause it was intense and comprehensive of the whole IBLP phenomenon.

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