Bill Gothard defends himself on new website

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dmyers's picture

Are we now going to have an article titled "Ten Lessons from the Bill Gothard Confession"?  Or perhaps "Ten Lessons from the David Gibbs 'Investigation'"?  I assume there will be very few "I told you so's" because, unlike Tchividjian, when Gothard was propagating his "theology," few if any in IFB circles were criticizing it.

Steve Newman's picture

dmyers wrote:

Are we now going to have an article titled "Ten Lessons from the Bill Gothard Confession"?  Or perhaps "Ten Lessons from the David Gibbs 'Investigation'"?  I assume there will be very few "I told you so's" because, unlike Tchividjian, when Gothard was propagating his "theology," few if any in IFB circles were criticizing it.

There is no "confession" by Gothard. Tchividjian offered part of a confession, but didn't really need to mention his wife's issues in it as justification.

It wasn't an IFB that wrote the article on Tchividjian...and Gothard certainly isn't/wasn't an IFB phenomenon. Check your associations.

IFB's can be bashed for lots of things, but no one if for molesting children and denying it! Not sure who Gothard thinks is going to follow him.

Rob Fall's picture

the late Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm, then president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College, would at least once an academic year bring a Chapel message on the dangers of Bill Gothard.  Suffice to say, Dr. C was pretty rough on Mr. G.

I was a student at MBBC from 1977-1981, right in the middle of Mr. G's "ministry."
 

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

TylerR's picture

Editor

dmyers wrote:

I assume there will be very few "I told you so's" because, unlike Tchividjian, when Gothard was propagating his "theology," few if any in IFB circles were criticizing it.

There are a few things that need to be pointed out:

  1. People in my generation don't care about Bill Gothard - we don't know who he is. I had to Google him. I didn't grow up as  a Christian, so I really don't know who he is. This should put his ministry into perspective. However influential the man used to be, there are many, many, many, many Christian leaders (and Pastors like me) who have never heard of him and whom he has never influenced. I doubt he is worth the ink being spilled on him - he appears to be a pathetic, pitiful, dirty old man who is desperately trying to salvage something of his "ministry" in the twilight of his life. Pride never goes away, it seems. My only reaction to Gothard is, honestly, to shake my head and mutter, "What a loser . . ." 
  2. I don't appreciate caustic comments about what people in "IFB circles" did, or didn't do. Anybody who is a slave to a denominational (or quasi-demoninational) entity is a shallow person. I don't care what other fundamentalists think or do. I am not responsible for them - I am responsible for myself.
  3. Individual responsibility (otherwise known as soul liberty - a term I hate) is a precious truth, and it cuts both ways when it comes to contentious issues like this. It means a man is personally responsible to God for what he believes. That means he'll be held accountable for whether he actually thinks for himself, instead of slavishly following what the "big names" tell him. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry Nelson's picture

 

I Googled his name, and this is about the first link that appeared:

http://micahjmurray.com/bill-gothard-homeschool-cult/

"Students who grew up in the navy-and-white prisons have spoken up with their stories; more than two dozen women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or abuse.

People ask me what I think about it. What can you say? I grew up in a cult led by an alleged sexual predator.

Do I believe the allegations? Absolutely.

During my two years working at the Cult center after highschool, I saw a system of absolute authoritarianism – designed to protect “leaders” and silence “rebellion”. I saw an organization built on the “special insights” and the idiosyncratic whims of an old man with way too much money and power.

They say that he groomed young women, selected the vulnerable and the hurting, told them it was God’s will for them to come work for him. They say that he made them feel special. That say he took advantage of their naivety – naivety instilled through the teachings and culture he created.

I believe these stories, because I saw the edges.

When we were at the Training Center, we joked about Gothard’s “harem”. We all knew there was a certain physical “type” of woman that he liked to be close to him, working for him.

I saw him pick out young women who were obviously vulnerable and hurting – but also very attractive. I heard him promise them they’d be right at the center of the next big thing he was planning. Those plans never came to pass, but I saw the girls come and go.

I saw the double standards. We weren’t allowed to go out with other staff in mixed-company groups. We weren’t allowed to have a conversation in the lobby with female staff members. And yet he – a single old man – had long “counseling sessions” with the same young women we were forbidden from meeting. At the time, we shrugged it off. He was the leader, he was allowed to make the rules."

----------------------------------------

If this is even remotely factual: Yikes!

Bert Perry's picture

I, like Tyler, am one for whom Bill Gothard seemed to be something of an enigma, a non-entity in the circles I traveled.  However, reading around a bit, what I'm finding is very interesting.  There was a document from back in the 1970s about some difficulties in that organization, and one of the names struck me; Gary Smalley, who is still a fixture in Christian relationship ministries.  I remember attending one of his conferences.  (and was amazed his wife didn't divorce him for some of the stunts he pulled....he came across as a grade A jerk)

Another few names of note; the Duggars and Doug Phillips of Vision Forum.  So at least among viewers of "19 and counting", many relationship ministries (which use ideas from each other rather promiscuously), and homeschoolers, Gothard's views are alive and well, even if those holding them are not aware of where they come from.  Hence it matters whether his ideas really proceed from the Gospel and the Bible, or whether they do not.  You're going to find those ideas in the most unexpected places.

And really, this is the crux of the matter; have we examined his ideas enough to figure out whether they are actually Gospel, or merely rebranded Pharisaism?  Is it a requirement to homeschool?  I don't find it in the Scriptures.  Are we required to wait a week after the period ends to make love to our wives?  40 or 80 days after a child is born?  I don't find any hint of that in the NT.  What about dating vs. courtship?

Really, the sexual abuse allegations are just the tip of the iceberg as far as we should be concerned.  For my part, I find it believeable in part because of what those not fondled have noted about his organization, as well as the earlier scandals involving his brother that had to become very public before he acted on it.  But that said, the big thing in my mind is that IBLP is more or less rebranded Pharisaism, legalism.  

Now I'm aware that some fundagelicals did indeed speak out regarding Gothard.  Good for them.  For those who knew of his work but did not speak up, maybe a gut check is in order, no?  Have we too succumbed to rebranded Pharisaism?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Rob Fall's picture

know and that was one of Dr. Cedarholm's criticisms.

Jim wrote:

Anyone know if Bill Gothard is a member of a local church? And which one?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Bert Perry's picture

Gothard doesn't specifically reject the allegations.  He rejects the idea that he is a harasser, but that leaves a ton of room for interpretation, specifically about what does "harasser" mean?  Remember another Bill that was unclear on the definition of the linking verb in the third person?  You could drive a truck through this ambiguity.

Seems to me that he needs to submit to the same kind of cross examination I'm sure David Gibbs gave to some of his accusers, including some very specific questions about what he did, or did not, do.  I'm reading his statement as "I did what they accused me of but I do not consider it harassment" until he submits to a good cross examination.

Why I think he's doing this; the testimony of the accusers falls mostly in the category of "that was creepy" but doesn't instantly trigger our "hide the women and children" reflex.  Playing footsie and inappropriate proximity seem to be his trademarks, rather than groping private areas or worse.

(link is to Recovering Grace--I encourage people to take a look at the testimonies to get a picture of some things to watch for)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JD Miller's picture

It is important for pastors in fundamentalism to be aware of Gothard.  Bert wrote:

Gothard's views are alive and well, even if those holding them are not aware of where they come from.  

The people who have been influenced by Gothard often gravitate to fundamental churches and the people who have brought into his teaching tend to be very dogmatic about it.  The danger is that they end up spreading his false doctrine and causing division in the church.  There is also the danger of subtle or even direct judgmentalism toward those who do not adapt Gothard's teachings. 

Often even after former Gothard followers have rejected Gothard, they still hold on to many of his teachings and end up causing division in the church or in their own families.  I know of a young Christian couple that wants to get married and the parents are causing all kinds of problems and are trying to stop the marriage and much of it links back to Gothard ideas.  I expect they will soon elope.  I also know of a godly young man who had an engagement broken off and was not allowed to talk to his finance because her mother found out that he had borrowed money to buy a house.  Another young lady I know was not allowed to court a godly young man because he had debt- she is now in her 30's and still single.  I also know a young lady who was personally told by Gothard that it was her fault when she was sexually abused as a child by her older brother.  I know of parents who have rejected Gothard, but still hold to many of his teachings and have strained relationships with their adult children because those children do not agree that the Bible teaches what their parents learned from Gothard (the parents will often say they did not learn it from Gothard, but the point is that much of the tension lines up with ideas that come through his teachings- see Bert's quote above).

My wife comes from a large family (oldest of 11) so they tend to know other large families and often those families are large because of the influences of Gothard's teaching.  That may be why we have been exposed to it more than others have.  Gothard followers are very similar to the KJO advocates who think that all others have compromised and only they have the truth.  It is cult like in that respect and it can also lead to a lot of division in the church if you have a Gothard influenced family that thinks the rest of the church is compromising because they are not set apart according to the Gothard standard.

Christians are to be set apart from the world, but the Gothardites tend to be some of the most worldly people I have met when you look at the Biblical standard for worldliness rather than Gothard's standard.

Bert Perry's picture

JD Miller wrote:

Christians are to be set apart from the world, but the Gothardites tend to be some of the most worldly people I have met when you look at the Biblical standard for worldliness rather than Gothard's standard.

JD, would love to hear what you mean by this.  Are you talking about "worldly" in light of judgmentalism and externally imposed rules, or are you talking about something else here?  I would almost suggest, in light of the sins we're discussing here, suggest that the "lawfulness" of Gothardism may in part have led to his sin, but really I'd like to hear you out on this.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JD Miller's picture

Bert, what I meant was that for the Gothardite, the idea of holiness is often rooted in how closely they follow an external standard, yet when you look at the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5, joy and peace are often missing.  Then you look at the works of the flesh: enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, and envying are all too common.

Legalism and lawlessness are more alike than we realize.  Both replace God's standard with man's.  Legalism is an extrabiblical standard made by man.  Lawlessness is man setting himself up to decide what his standard will be without regard for what God has said.  Both set God aside in favor of man. 

I fear the danger that often happens in the Gothard like settings is that people start to become proud of the fact that they are so set apart from everyone else that it is easy to think that this makes them special.  There is then the danger of thinking that their Christian lives are okay because they have conformed to the standard, but if they do not continue to grow and mature, that pride can end up hardening their hearts to the areas of their life that really need to change.  I think we all struggle with this, but the Gothard teachings only compound the problem.

 

 

DLCreed's picture

"Legalism and lawlessness are more alike than we realize.  Both replace God's standard with man's.  Legalism is an extrabiblical standard made by man.  Lawlessness is man setting himself up to decide what his standard will be without regard for what God has said.  Both set God aside in favor of man. " - JD Miller

 

JohnBrian's picture

My wife is the baby of 8 children whose father was an evangelist. When my wife was a teenager her parents went to a Gothard seminar and bought the Gothard line completely. The result of that was that when I asked her dad for his permission to marry her he refused me. He did as much as he could possibly do to stop our wedding, even to the point where we had to change the location we had planned for our wedding (the chapel at NBBC/NIU). When we chose another place, he wrote to that church's pastor protesting our wedding but was unsuccessful.

He also kept, by intimidation, 2 of my wife's childhood friends from being part of  the wedding party.

As a result of Gothard's influence, none of my wife's siblings or their families attended our wedding. A few months after we were married all of the siblings were together for their parents anniversary. My father-in-law dis-invited my wife and I from the family dinner on that Sunday.

As you can probably guess, I don't think very highly of Gothard!

CanJAmerican - my blog
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JD Miller's picture

JohnBrian, your post reminds me why I am skeptical when I hear of a child that has gone bad.  I have heard of too many instances where the child has never renounced their Christianity, remained a virgin until marriage, faithfully attends church, but has "gone bad" because they do not believe just like their parents believe.  We as fellow Christians need to have the courage to rebuke such parents.  From what I have seen in the Gothard movement, I doubt your account is an isolated incident.  

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I've seen many practices over the years that seem to have roots in Gothardism in churches that have never heard of Gothard. (I also see Hyles-ish stuff in churches that have never heard of Hyles). The ripple effect of their influence is highly pervasive, and IMO the fruit is all the same: hero worship, intimidation, abuse, blackmail, sexual immorality, bizarre standards and rules based on "Because I said so".

I've heard it said that every bad thing is a good thing twisted, and that is the best description of Gothardism I can think of; taking God-designed gender roles and family structure and making a straight-jacket out of them. Or a Louisville slugger.

If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then it isn't a big jump to the conclusion that women and children will be victimized in authoritarian groups where they are considered the property of men instead of individual souls created in the image of God.

Mark_Smith's picture

of these bizarre practices. I know nothing about Gothard and I don't really want to go around reading websites to figure him out, because most things like that are so full of hyperbole I don't know what is true.

I am truly baffled by this whole Gothard thing.

JD Miller's picture

One of the bizarre practices that comes to mind is my wife's family friend who went to ATI (Gothard's teen retreat/work camp).  The boys were told that when they rode in the bus they were not to look out the window because they might see a woman and lust after her.  

Another bizarre practice comes from Gothard home school curriculum where the parents are told to take their children to a parking lot and let them watch the people coming out of a store and try to figure out what they are thinking based on their facial expression.  I'm not sure what the boys were supposed to do if a female walked out of the store, but this whole exercise may explain why so many of the Gothardites tend to be very judgmental.

Jim's picture

My wife and I went to a weeklong IBYC (Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts)  training event in Philadelphia back in 1980. 

  • My recollection is that that material was pretty good stuff
  • It's the bonus ideas of the advanced materials that was weird 

But it's been a long time ago.

Bert Perry's picture

Mark

Not all of these will be directly or indirectly attributable to Gothard--I am of the view that he "borrowed" some of his ideas from others--but here are some of the things you'll see in Gothard-inspired people; a requirement to homeschool, a very strong rejection of debt in all its forms, a strong rejection of music with a beat, fairly contrived standards for modesty, a requirement to keep having children whether economics and health allow, strict rules on how long a man must wait to have sex with his wife after her period or childbirth, daughters must be under father's or husband's authority (and not a nonrelated manager's), and the like.  In a nutshell, it tends to be a Victorian interpretation of the Mosaic law and involves portions of both Torah and Victorian culture.  Gothard even teaches, apparently, that Christians shouldn't eat pork.  (no, Bill; "take, Peter, kill and eat!")

We fundamentalists are vulnerable to this kind of thinking precisely because our movement has too often tolerated....well, about the same kind of thing from "I don't drink and I don't chew and I don't go with girls that do" "evangelists".  

Gothard also has an "interesting" interpretation of the concept of grace, where he makes it dependent on what we do--"the power and desire to do God's will joyfully", instead of characterizing it as God's free gift.  So that much is key, really.  A lot of the legalism hinges around there.

Now I would agree fully that we can get dragged down in the details; Gothard's detractors include both thoughtful "fundagelical" theologians as well as people who are on a mission but somewhat heterodox in our view, so you can get bogged down and quickly looking the things up.  I have the hope--not having succumbed to IBLP despite a fair amount of contact with his acolytes--that those with a good knowledge of the depth and breadth of the Scriptures would be less susceptible.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

For many years I was in a ministry whose leader was vehemently opposed to Gothardism, especially the Chain of Command idea. (i.e. wives and adult children should obey husbands and fathers as their primary authority) The funny thing (though not funny at the time) was that he demanded to be recognized as the primary authority in every aspect in his ministry and that he was speaking for God. The direct quote was "obeying me is the same as obeying God". You can be Gothard-like and oppose Gothard at the same time.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

JD Miller's picture

 Ron wrote:

You can be Gothard-like and oppose Gothard at the same time.

I have actually seen this over and over.  My wife even had someone get upset with her for talking about the Gothard influences in this person's family and the person said that they rejected Gothard so they did not have Gothard influences.   The lady was upset that it was even suggested that there had ever been Gothard influences in the family even though the father had read to the children from the Gothard books before rejecting him and they still held on to many of his ideas.  The problem is that even when folks say they are distancing themselves from the man Gothard, they do not necessarily turn away from what he taught.  Further, many of his teachings are passed on by others who do not use his name, so many people end up following them without realizing where they came from.  To make it even more complicated, false doctrine is not new and many of his false ideas were around before Gothard was even born, so it does not matter where they originally came from.  This particular lady is upset that all her adult children except one have rejected her ways.  These are adult children who are very dedicated Christians.  One of the sad things I see among Gothard influenced parents is the idea that if their children do not believe just like they do, they feel as if they have failed as parents or that the children are rebellious.  I think this stems from the performance driven extra-biblical standards of the Gothard movement.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:
...here are some of the things you'll see in Gothard-inspired people; a requirement to homeschool, a very strong rejection of debt in all its forms, a strong rejection of music with a beat, fairly contrived standards for modesty, a requirement to keep having children whether economics and health allow, strict rules on how long a man must wait to have sex with his wife after her period or childbirth, daughters must be under father's or husband's authority (and not a nonrelated manager's), and the like.  In a nutshell, it tends to be a Victorian interpretation of the Mosaic law and involves portions of both Torah and Victorian culture. Gothard even teaches, apparently, that Christians shouldn't eat pork.

What Bert said.

While Gothard is not the source of man-as-ultimate-authority doctrine, it seems he packaged and popularized in such a way that many folks accepted it without blinking. And human nature being what it is, few who accept such beliefs are hesitant to add their own splash-of-this with a pinch-of-that. In a church I visited years ago that closely followed Gothard-type teachings, they believed that wives could not act as a navigator while their husband drove, remind him of an appointment or task, or correct him in any way (like straightening his tie) because that would be a woman acting as an authority or attempting to humiliate her husband.

I suppose it's less humiliating to let him take the wrong turn, miss an important meeting, or have toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe. :/

I also remember talk about women wearing red, since red is the color of sin, women weren't to wear it in any way/shape/form. A woman wearing red (or makeup or curled hair or jewelry etc ) would be called a Jezebel. Or a heifer. Or a sow. Now that I think about it, I remember this whole thing about Adam and Eve and how the temptation happened, so their conclusion was that man was inherently righteous and women inherently evil. A woman's actions were always rooted in the desire to tempt man to do wrong, so the man's job was to keep her in line. Sounds reasonable. If you put your head in a blender and hit frappe.

A sort of flip side of that in a different church was women as precious and delicate, driven by emotion, less intelligent, and needing protection. So... the wives don't have their own Facebook accounts or email addresses, for instance, so their husbands could screen everything to make sure they were never subjected to spam or anything/anyone else they found objectionable. Wives run every single decision past the husband, regardless of her own intelligence, experience, or talents - although in this case his motivation is supposed to be love and his goal is to protect her from being spotted by the world. 

All that to say - the main characteristic of Gothardism that I've seen is that the man's authority in the home has no bounds. Women and children are treated as property. Any dissent is rebellion, any cry for help is a betrayal, any attempt at reasoning is usurping authority. It also followed that the pastor's authority did not have limits - people in the church asked his permission to get involved in a ministry, make financial decisions and major purchases, change jobs, get married, pursue their education. . . and if they disagreed, they were in rebellion against God.

It's no wonder that there is rampant abuse wherever similar teachings are accepted and allowed to flourish. 

Bert Perry's picture

.....how did Gothard's prohibition of the color red ever become de rigeur among churches where significant portions of the congregation cheer for the Huskers, Hoosiers, Badgers, and the like?   Or was college sports right out, too?  (good luck with that....)  I'd better stop before I start really mocking by asking about ketchup and Campbell's soup and the like....

On a more serious note, Susan's note and others indicate that abuse of authority is a huge problem in Gothard circles and all too often our own.  I've experienced it for sure.  Maybe we can start to heal by noting that "appeal to authority" is a logical fallacy, and by noting that if they contradict or ignore the authority of Scripture, pastors and such void their own authority?

I know; some will reject what I just wrote because it could theoretically lead to schism.  But in a world where we joke that a church split is a "Baptist church plant", and how many godly men have received the "right boot of fellowship" by being kicked out over political squabbles, I don't know that we could do worse without really trying.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

.....how did Gothard's prohibition of the color red ever become de rigeur among churches where significant portions of the congregation cheer for the Huskers, Hoosiers, Badgers, and the like?   Or was college sports right out, too?  (good luck with that....)  I'd better stop before I start really mocking by asking about ketchup and Campbell's soup and the like....

Or a Gothard church that flies the Rebel flag. Could cause a rift in the space/time continuum. 

TylerR's picture

Editor

I am starting to see why some "outsiders" view fundamentalist circles with such suspicion. How stupid. If I didn't know better, I'd be tempted to think the descriptions in this thread were some sort of sick, twisted joke. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

I work with a guy who played for Tom Osborne, and he really got a kick out of the prohibition of red--we agreed that there might be a related reason why he never heard of Bill Gothard growing up in Omaha.  

Tyler nails it, too.  If you want to be really depressed, visit a site called "Stuff Fundies Like".  Not all of it will apply, but most of it will sadden and depress you.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Crystal's picture

Susan R wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

.....how did Gothard's prohibition of the color red ever become de rigeur among churches where significant portions of the congregation cheer for the Huskers, Hoosiers, Badgers, and the like?   Or was college sports right out, too?  (good luck with that....)  I'd better stop before I start really mocking by asking about ketchup and Campbell's soup and the like....

 

Or a Gothard church that flies the Rebel flag. Could cause a rift in the space/time continuum. 

Be still my heart... do I sense a fellow Whovian?  

AHEM.  Back to the topic at hand.  I know I have mentioned this story before but in our first church there was a family that was pretty deeply entrenched in Gothardism.  The wife was also pretty impressed with all things Michael and Debbi Pearl.   My husband didn't know it at the time but I was being criticized regularly by her and her daughters over ridiculous things.  Jerry would correct an error that I found in the handout...some date wrong or time of an event was incorrect... something like that.  She would catch me after the service and tell me that I shouldn't be correcting my husband.  (He made the bulletin each week) She would critique my parenting regularly and went so far as to tell me that "Scripture tells us that unless we are causing bruising when disciplining our children we aren't spanking right-make sure you cause bruises" I do *NOT* agree with that for the record.   It all came to a head when my husband used as a sermon illustration an event where I had (rightly) confronted him in a meek manner over a sin he had committed against another individual.  He spoke of it in the illustration as a good thing that I had done- and how I had rightly confronted him and in a proper manner.  As soon as he started telling the story I knew what was going to happen.  As people were leaving the service this woman in her rush out the door stopped me, grabbed my arm and told me "Quit playing the Holy Spirit for your husband.  That is GOD'S job . NOT yours."  A few days later I received a letter in the mail from her further enumerating upon my "error" in correcting my husband.  Jerry ended up confronting her over her treatment of me in this matter and told her that I was fulfilling my God given role in our marriage and that she needed to stop.  She accused him of anger and the rest of our ministry there would not be taught anything by him.  The odd thing... She had zero problem confronting my husband over things and telling him when he had made errors.  So apparently it was her job as a church member but not mine as his wife?  Her children would also confront him over things from time to time.  I was very confused by her inconsistency.   The bitterness demonstrated toward us by the children in their home was very sad.  
  Earlier on in our ministry there she had been asking me questions about my diet.  (I have celiac disease and have to be totally Gluten Free)  She stopped herself on one of the last times she ever asked me about it and said "I don't know why I am asking you this.  Scripture says the older women are to be teaching the younger women...not the younger teaching the older.  I am supposed to be teaching *YOU* not learning from you."-among other things. 
  We ran into so many issues over and over again.  We could point out scripture that contradicted the beliefs that they were holding over and over again but it would make no difference.  They were so convinced that Gothard and the Pearls were RIGHT and that anyone that didn't believe those same positions was a "compromiser".

I can say that a large number families that I have known that were very involved in Gothardism are some of the saddest cases of destroyed families that I have seen.  Broken families, children who made one mistake and were cast out as "rebellious" (or maybe they didn't make a mistake....maybe all they did was disagree-with Biblical backing-with what their parents were raising them under--but now their parents say that they "rebelled" and have "gone bad" in an attempt to discredit their child to others), girls who were made to feel responsible for their abusers sin, daughters who were little more than live in slaves... I know multiple families where the relationship between the parents is either very strained or else destroyed because of their beliefs regarding Gothardism.    

dlhanson's picture

When my wife and I were members of Marquette Manor Baptist Church in Downers Grove, IL during the early 90's,  Mr Gothard attended our Sunday evening services fairly often but I don't think that he was a member.  Also, a van load of young people attended our Sunday evening services most every Sunday.  I recall that there were only a few families in MMBC involved with Gothardism at the time.  In 1995, we moved to Texas and became members of Tri-County Baptist Church in Katy.  We were one of the only families not involved with Gothardism in that Church.  We were there until I was transferred back to Illinois in 1999.  In my opinion, Gothardism is laden with extra bible teaching and I believe that it did ill to our Church in Katy.  It seems to me that it was quite spiritually poisonous to the young people in the Church.  Too many have turned away from the God and the Church in later years.

 

 

Rob Fall's picture

I went to a few Basic Seminars.  Not much stuck, as most of what he presented was Mid-Western in its focus and not much use in the San Francisco Bay Area. some thoughts below:

  • Owning a house without a mortgage in California?  Not without a water into wine miracle.
  • As for his chain of patriarchal command, my family attended the local United Presbyterian church.  After I was saved and started going to a Baptist church, my dad was happy I went to any church.  But even if he hadn't been happy, I still would not have gone to that bastion of modernism.  I would have joined the Armed Forces a year early.
  • He lost me on the chain of command because he seemingly cut Luke 14:26 out of his Bible:

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Mr. Gothard ignored the situation in many countries and culture where if one becomes a Christian one is thrown out of the family.  His dictum comes conflict where a non-Christian father expects his born again daughter to marry a properly qualified suitor who may or may not be a Christian.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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