Ten Women Sue Bill Gothard and IBLP

"God is my witness that I have never kissed a girl, nor touched any young lady in a sensual way. However, I do understand in a much deeper way how these young ladies feel and how my insensitivity caused them to feel the way they do. I have deeply repented before the Lord for offending some of the very ones whom I have dedicated my life to serve. I do want to continue pursuing reconciliation in a Biblical way."

A Further Statement by Bill Gothard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gothard#/media/File:Bill_Gothard_03.jpgBill Gothard

The New Year is off to a rocky start for Bill Gothard and the organization he founded – IBLP (Institute in Basic Life Principles).  On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that five more women have joined a lawsuit against the 81 year old Gothard and IBLP, which was founded in 1961.  The initial lawsuit was filed last October, and The Washington Post provided some of the details of that suit (see below):

Five women have sued the Institute in Basic Life Principles, once a leader in the Christian homeschooling movement, charging that the organization and its board of directors enabled and covered up sexual abuse and harassment of interns, employees, and other participants in its programs.

Each of the plaintiffs — Gretchen Wilkinson, Charis Barker, Rachel Frost, Rachel Lees and a Jane Doe — seeks $50,000 in damages, alleging that the organization and its board acted negligently, with willful and wanton disregard for them, and engaged in a civil conspiracy to conceal the wrongdoing.

Now a total of ten women have come forward, and one has to wonder how many more victims exist who have not yet broken their silence.  In preparation for the article, Post reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey phoned Bill Gothard, asking for a response to the recent allegation that he had raped one woman.  Perhaps not surprisingly, this is what Gothard had to say:

“Oh no. Never never. Oh!  That’s horrible,” he said.  “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually.  I’m shocked to even hear that.”

The Washington Post article went on to state that Gothard denied sexually harassing women and that he would refrain from commenting until he reads the lawsuit.

Christianity Today has just reported on this development, stating:

Five more women have added their complaints to a lawsuit accusing Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) founder Bill Gothard, now 81, of sexual abuse and harassment.

They join five women who filed suit in October against IBLP, saying the institute ignored and mismanaged their complaints of Gothard’s and other staff's behavior. IBLP asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of supporting facts. Attorneys for the women asked for permission to refile the suit.

They did, this time with twice as many plaintiffs, including one who brings the first accusation of rape against Gothard. His name was also added as a defendant, according to legal documents reviewed by CT.

The Washington Post article further stated that

IBLP’s founder and longtime president, Bill Gothard, resigned amid allegations by more than 30 women that he had sexually harassed them. Former followers have said that Gothard was revered as an almost saint-like figure, and that members of IBLP’s homeschooling arm, the Advanced Training Institute, feared questioning him

Is it any wonder that it has taken this long for women claiming to have been hurt by Bill Gothard to come forward?  We are deeply grateful for an online organization called Recovering Grace, which has provided a public forum for those negatively impacted by the teachings of Bill Gothard, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI).  According to its website,

Recovering Grace is an online organization devoted to helping people whose lives have been impacted by the teachings of Bill Gothard, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI). Recovering Grace provides a unique perspective in that it was founded and is operated by adults (and their spouses) who were raised as children in Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute. We all have attended Bill Gothard’s seminars, and most of us served within the IBLP organization in some form or fashion. Among the members of our team are pastors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, businessmen, and stay-at-home moms. We have all taken different journeys, but we all have one thing in common: We survived ATI….Together, we have decided it is time to speak out.

The first time we spoke out about Bill Gothard was back in April 2013, when we were just becoming familiar with the important work being done by those over at Recovering Grace.  That TWW post entitled ‘Recovering Grace’ Reaches Out to Those Harmed by Bill Gothard’s Teachings began as follows:

In our four years of blogging, we have yet to focus on Bill Gothard and his unusual teachings.  That is, until now…  I consider myself fortunate that I (Deb) had never heard of Bill Gothard until a few years ago.  How did my Christian parents miss being influenced by him during my formative years?  I believe it was divine providence. 

Gothard, who turns 80 next year, has had a tremendous influence in Christendom for over fifty years, and the fruit of his labor is becoming more and more apparent.  He attended Wheaton College, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1957 and a Masters in Christian Education in 1961.  That same year he began an organization which evolved into the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). In 1984 Gothard founded the Advanced Training Institute (ATI), a curriculum-based homeschooling program.

Bill Gothard's popularity peaked in the 1970s, with him often drawing crowds in excess of ten thousand for a one-week seminar. His conservative teachings ranged from encouraging Bible memorization to having large families (despite his never having been married), homeschooling, respect for authority, finances, education, healthcare, and music. 

One might be tempted to discount his teaching as fringe, but that would be a mistake.  Incredibly, Bill Gothard's teachings have influenced mainstream Christianity.

I wrote a follow-up post in 2014 entitled Recovering Grace Confronts Bill Gothard.  Here is the introduction to that post:

It is with a broken heart that we focus once again on Bill Gothard, whose ministry has had a far-reaching impact in Christendom for nearly a half-century.  For those who may not be familiar with Gothard, he came up with a teaching called the Basic Seminar, which has been attended by over 2.5 million according to his website.  Bill Gothard's bio further states:

In order to focus completely on the Lord and the life work God has given him, Bill has never married. Each day is an exciting race to see how much can be accomplished to advance God’s kingdom.

Over the years, many have taken Bill Gothard at his word — that he chose to remain single in order to advance God's kingdom through his teaching.  It has only been in recent years that a darker side of his ministry has emerged.

We are grateful that Homeschoolers Anonymous has been able to obtain a copy of the lawsuit and has made it available on the internet.  You can read it in its entirety here.

The Christianity Today article confirms that all of the women were IBLP participants, with eight of them being employees or volunteers of the organization.  It appears that the alleged abuse occurred when they were minors and even when some of them were receiving counseling for abuse.  The CT article goes on to state:

“The unsupervised counseling received by young women … by patriarchal figures (who were agents and employees of IBLP) was a standard part of IBLP programs and activities,” states the lawsuit.

It claims the institute “frequently received reports of the sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate/unauthorized touching occurring to certain interns, employees, and participants of its programs,” but failed to investigate or report any of it until February 2014.

That investigation led to Gothard's resignation; however, the IBLP board of directors later found that Gothard had acted inappropriately but not criminally, and it critiqued the women’s attorney for “us[ing] the media to propagate false and misleading statements” against current IBLP leaders. (According to World, the lead attorney for the women is the son of the attorney that led IBLP’s investigation of Gothard.)

During the investigation, the never-married Gothard offered an apology for his behavior.

“My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong,” wrote Gothard. “They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust. Because of the claims about me I do want to state that I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.”

He later posted “a further statement” on his website, stating, "God is my witness that I have never kissed a girl, nor touched any young lady in a sensual way." Gothard explains that he never acted out of “sensual love” but had failed to demonstrate “godly love.” He noted:

"Every offense that I have committed against various people can be traced to a lack of genuine love in my life. The more I have reflected on this painful truth, the more repentant and brokenhearted I have become. I cannot undo my offenses. I can only humbly and sincerely ask each one of you whom I have offended to forgive me for my failure to demonstrate the love of Christ to you. I can also dedicate the rest of my life to living out genuine love and encouraging as many others as possible to do the same. I have now made this my life goal."

Christianity Today further reported that "the institute, which has drawn more than 2.5 million people to its seminars, is struggling financially. Over the past 4 years, IBLP ran a deficit of $15.8 million. Last year, it lost $4.6 million."

IBLP has moved from Illinois to Texas in order to cut expenses.  Where have we heard this before?  Some have accused them of fleeing the jurisdiction where the lawsuit was filed, but the board flatly denies this.

We will continue to follow this story.  Please join with us in praying for these courageous women who are coming forward to share their testimonies about Bill Gothard, IBLP, and ATI.  May the truth be revealed!

Comments

Ten Women Sue Bill Gothard and IBLP — 128 Comments

  1. I remember attending a Basic Youth Conflicts week-long seminar when I was a teenager. I attended another week of teaching during my middle twenties. The teaching seemed pretty straight forward although incredibly narrow in concept as a means of encouraging believers to apply God’s grace when, as an aftermath, we should both receive and revel in God’s grace for the repentant. There were many good things about this ministry. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more leaders fail in their moral conduct. I’ve heard it said that “people primarily fail over two things – money and sex.”

  2. One of the things Paul talks about in Romans is how the Law has no empowerment for carrying it out. Law tells people what to do, but doesn’t give the “how-to” for doing it. When there is such a narrow system promoted by authoritarian teachers, as has been the case with IBLP and Mr. Gothard, eventually we see how behavior management doesn’t work — even for those who promote it. I don’t suppose they wanted to be negative examples, but it seems that is what they have become nonetheless as documented by their own statements.

  3. On Christian Headlines (see below for link) they claim: “Gothard said that he has attempted to contact each woman whom he hurt, asking for forgiveness. He says because he has done what he can to make the situation right, that he is ready to return to ministry.”
    If that’s true, that makes me want to barf. How is making a half assed “confession/apology” and asking for forgiveness “doing what he can to make it right”? I call shenanigans.

    Also, I wonder if anyone could read the link below and perhaps peruse exactly what stance this site is taking on the whole thing. The report is very short and feels like they’ve been selective with information. Maybe it’s neutral, maybe they’re being a bit too kind with their reporting. Bear in mind it is a right-wing site and Al Mohler is a main contributor.

    http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/five-more-women-accuse-iblp-founder-bill-gothard-of-sexual-abuse.html

  4. Anne wrote:

    On Christian Headlines (see below for link) they claim: “Gothard said that he has attempted to contact each woman whom he hurt, asking for forgiveness. He says because he has done what he can to make the situation right, that he is ready to return to ministry.”
    If that’s true, that makes me want to barf. How is making a half assed “confession/apology” and asking for forgiveness “doing what he can to make it right”? I call shenanigans.
    Also, I wonder if anyone could read the link below and perhaps peruse exactly what stance this site is taking on the whole thing. The report is very short and feels like they’ve been selective with information. Maybe it’s neutral, maybe they’re being a bit too kind with their reporting. Bear in mind it is a right-wing site and Al Mohler is a main contributor.
    http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/five-more-women-accuse-iblp-founder-bill-gothard-of-sexual-abuse.html

    If I was a husband, brother, boyfriend, dad, I’d be looking for Gothard if he was trying to contact my daughter, sister, wife, etc….and it might get ugly…very ugly…

  5. I’m not sure why anyone ever thought they should take advice on marriage and sexual ethics from an octogenarian bachelor who surrounds himself with teenage girls.

  6. @ Loren Haas:

    Yeah, I’m getting that impression too. Mind you this is a site that has written some pretty despicable stuff, including saying that the childfree-by-choice don’t qualify as adults.

  7. Why do so many articles about this keep describing Gothard as “never married Gothard,” or mention that tid bit? I’ve never married myself, but I don’t assault people.

    Would Gothard’s crimes been any less egregious had he been a married man preying on young women?
    (Some married men do in fact prey on young women.)

  8. Paul D. wrote:

    I’m not sure why anyone ever thought they should take advice on marriage and sexual ethics from an octogenarian bachelor who surrounds himself with teenage girls.

    By the same token)(as a 40- something never married woman), I wish people who are married would stop advising singles of my age how they think I ought to date and/or live the single life.

    But they do it all the time, especially Baptist and evangelical married Christian people.

  9. Daisy wrote:

    Paul D. wrote:
    I’m not sure why anyone ever thought they should take advice on marriage and sexual ethics from an octogenarian bachelor who surrounds himself with teenage girls.
    By the same token)(as a 40- something never married woman), I wish people who are married would stop advising singles of my age how they think I ought to date and/or live the single life.
    But they do it all the time, especially Baptist and evangelical married Christian people.

    You are so right…my son who is 27 is always hearing from people who got married at like 17-18 about who he should date or how he should live….and we hear from people who want to ” fix up” our son with someone…thing is, we doubt he ever marries. Just his personality.

  10. Anne wrote:

    He says because he has done what he can to make the situation right, that he is ready to return to ministry.”

    Ahhhh the old “I’m ready to come back because I said I am sorry routine.” It really is all about coming back for him, isn’t it. Back to where there are lots of cute women fawning over their beloved leader…

  11. Paul D. wrote:

    I’m not sure why anyone ever thought they should take advice on marriage and sexual ethics from an octogenarian bachelor who surrounds himself with teenage girls.

    ROFL!!!!!!

  12. Daisy wrote:

    Why do so many articles about this keep describing Gothard as “never married Gothard,” or mention that tid bit? I’ve never married myself, but I don’t assault people.

    Great reminder to all of us.

  13. Daisy wrote:

    Why do so many articles about this keep describing Gothard as “never married Gothard,” or mention that tid bit? I’ve never married myself, but I don’t assault people.

    Do you run an institute on how to organize families and raise children?
    In my opinion that is the reason it’s always mentioned.

  14. Deb wrote:

    members of IBLP’s homeschooling arm, the Advanced Training Institute, feared questioning him

    This matches KP Yohannan and his “Gospel or Asia”, another large ministry that is currently crashing and burning. Why does the evangelical world put so much faith in authoritarian and unaccountable men?

  15. dee wrote:

    Ahhhh the old “I’m ready to come back because I said I am sorry routine.” It really is all about coming back for him, isn’t it. Back to where there are lots of cute women fawning over their beloved leader…

    Not that I think Gothard should ever be back in power, but, even by giving a twisted, misleading sort of apology, he has done something Mark Driscroll has yet to do!

  16. @ Daisy:
    It is the same kind of contradiction sa: supposedly celibate person telling people how to “order” their marriages.

    Even more cynically, but… Gothard got to have his cake and eat it, too. Female company without commitment, without having to negotiate thd ins and outs of a “for life” partnership with another human being.

    Whoever mentioned Hugh Hefner above is right.

  17. @ numo:
    And more than likely preying on the daughters of some of married friends.

    It adds dimensions to the creepiness of it all, to my mind, anyway.

  18. numo wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    It is the same kind of contradiction sa: supposedly celibate person telling people how to “order” their marriages.
    Even more cynically, but… Gothard got to have his cake and eat it, too. Female company without commitment, without having to negotiate thd ins and outs of a “for life” partnership with another human being.
    Whoever mentioned Hugh Hefner above is right.

    A whole harem. …… lots and lots of cake.

  19. As someone who is genuinely celibate for spiritual reasons, I find this especially disgusting. I never thought ‘celibacy’ could be used as a cover-up for sexual abuse. Although I did suspect that many of the believers I met who claimed to be celibate just tried to escape the responsibility of a committed relationship and have flings.

    Ok, I am not here to judge (although it’s tempting to do so).

    Praying for the women. It takes so much courage to come forward and admit you’ve been abused by someone so much powerful in the Christian world (and therefore more believable for most) than you.
    I wish people here were as courageous!

  20. Anne wrote:

    On Christian Headlines (see below for link) they claim: “Gothard said that he has attempted to contact each woman whom he hurt, asking for forgiveness. He says because he has done what he can to make the situation right, that he is ready to return to ministry.”

    That is not true. I personally spoke with him and told him that there were survivors that had not heard from him. He acted surprised and then said that they should be calling him. I have the notes I took. As far as “returning to the ministry.” He never stopped. He’s written approximately 7 books since leaving IBLP, he has been speaking (I spoke to the pastor of a church where there was a packed out audience to hear their fanboy speak), he has coordinated a new program that I blogged about. What he means by “ministry” is going back to IBLP.

  21. (For the attorneys. This is a personal theory.)

    BG’s bio is absurd. ( http://billgothard.com/a-new-statement/ ) list a bio entitled “An Intreaty.” This bio could be passed off by a serious biographer or researcher as minor and short of details.

    I put great weight in it though. I have seen other editions with a similar telling on his previous webpages. He distills his motives and chooses these items to define himself.

    Here is my point:

    – He chooses seven headings to describe his foundation in life.
    – These are the reasons for his entire life work, as he sees them in 2016.(admittedly a different viewpoint then a younger man might have)

    1. The meaning of my name-

    “From that day forward I purposed to live up to the meaning of my name, especially in protecting young ladies.”

    And this is a normal ten year old talking? Another version could be that from the age of ten, he is struggling with mental issues and feelings of domination that are focused on the “young ladies.”

    The simplest way to look at ten year old girls, is “girl.” He is now eighty one and they are still “young ladies.”

    Why?

    The fantasy began at ten, but he turned 11..12…15…30..50..81. But the “young ladies never age, they are frozen in time. This is because the “young ladies” are a notion, a feeling, a creation in his own mind. The real females he encounters as interns are just characters in his fantasy. They drift in and out as the years pass. They are just filling a role and there will always be another character that enters the dream. The “young ladies age” are ageless. He ages but they never do.

    3. “The Influence of Two Older Sisters
    “Shortly after this meeting, I overheard my two older sisters lamenting over the deep hurts that a fellow from a church youth group had caused to one of their lady friends. He had taken her out on a date and given her a kiss. She assumed that he loved her and gave her heart to him. A few weeks later, he left her and began dating another girl. Upon hearing this I vowed that I would never kiss a girl before marriage. God has given the grace to keep this vow.”

    BG now developed a screwed up junior-high boy sexuality. A boy can’t come to terms with his sexuality by drawing from his sisters. BG is telegraphing he has sexual anxieties and dysfunctions. These are very juvenile level anxieties and his sexuality there comes out in IBLP doctrine is juvenile.

    He is now eighty one, and still stuck with a junior-high sexuality. Adherents that pattern their lives after BG’s teachings can show the same doctrinal DNA.

    Example: The Duggars and “Nike!!” Or “side hugs only.” No holding hands. Holding hands is a big deal if you are a juvenile.

    It’s late and I quit. My summary is this.
    1. BG began developing decipherable fixations, compulsions, fantasies and revolutions in preadolescence.
    2. At age thirty, he had a visitation from an angel from Heaven. He received another gospel and he is accursed according to Galatians.
    3. He spends the next fifty years under what the Scriptures call a strong delusion.
    4. Nearing the end of his life, he faces a horrific eternity.
    5. IBLP represented one man’s attempt to live out his life, and said fantasies, vicariously through a national ministry.

  22. Here’s a few observations:

    1. As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gothard crossed the line into full-blown sexual assault crimes. Many such offenses are unreported even today. With his evangelical stature, the fact that the victims were probably IBLP employees or volunteers, and their parents were probably believers in Gothsrd and his warped ideology, they had no support system.

    2. I’ve worked in the legal field for 15 years, but not as an attorney. However, while I hope the plantiffs win, they have an uphill fight. First, Gothard has to live long enough or be healthy long enough for the civil litigation to play out. He has financial resources for a strong defense, and IBLP is on the move and may take steps to make it harder for them to collect a judgment even if they obtain one.

    3. The real tragedy is that the IBLP Board should’ve taken the appropriate action back in 1981 and removed him from power permanently. They had grounds to do so. Instead they let him continue to operate for over 30 more years, committing offenses against young Chrisian women and promulgating an ideology that has done considerrable harm across the nation.

  23. I’m not sure if many of the readers here follow the Statement Analysis blog. Bill Gothard’s response jumped out at me-

    “Oh no. Never never. Oh! That’s horrible,” he said. “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I’m shocked to even hear that.”

    He did NOT deny the allegations.

    “Oh no” does not mean “I did not molest these women.”

    “Never never” does not refer to anything specific and does not mean “I did not molest these women.”

    “That’s horrible” yes it is, and I’m sure he thinks so, but it does not mean “I did not molest these women.

    “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually” does not mean “I did not molest these women.” I’m sure he has his own subjective definition of what “touching someone sexually” means.

    “I’m shocked to even hear this” yes, I bet he is! But it does NOT mean “I did not molest these women.”

    !!

    If he did not molest the women, this would have been the prime moment to say so. He did NOT say so.

  24. Nathan, you are giving BG the benefit of the doubt that he is telling the truth in his bio.

    Possibly he just found the role of “protecting the young ladies” as the one that gave him the most access to them, while disarming them and their parents at the same time.

    He is emotionally messed up for sure. But a person who can live a lie to the extent that he has, is a person who is capable of things you can’t imagine. What I mean is, when a person is dishonest to the very core, there is no way to gauge anything about them.

  25. Gothard and his cultic ways are of interest to me due to extended family who became immersed in his teachings and materials. They sent one of their daughters to work/live at BG headquarters at just 16 years old.

    One of the biggest ironies is how parents are taught that you must homeschool your children and this is non optional I guess becasue the “world” might taint them. Yet these same people are encouraged to give up their parental influence and protection and send their kids to IBLP to work or live, which is where these abuses occurred. BG had the perfect steam of young, naive, obedient, submissive girls in which to do his thing.

    BGs cult is so s-x obsessed and even obsessed over basic touching and kissing that I imagine these girls have had to deal with “damaged goods” feelings even though they were victims.

  26. K.D. wrote:

    If I was a husband, brother, boyfriend, dad, I’d be looking for Gothard if he was trying to contact my daughter, sister, wife, etc….and it might get ugly…very ugly…

    In the Quiverfull universe, though, they’d consider it an honor, plus they’d blame the women for any wrong conduct, seriously.

  27. “Oh no. Never never. Oh! That’s horrible,” he said. “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I’m shocked to even hear that.”

    Is it just me, or is there something off about his wording?

  28. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    BGs cult is so s-x obsessed

    They’re also absolutely obsessed with controlling women. Many marriages in the Quiverfull/Gothard movement have the woman’s father state that he’s transferring his authority over the woman to her husband. Now pray tell, why must a woman always be under some man’s authority? What do they think we’ll get up to if we’re independent?

  29. One thing about Gothard that always smacked of being "out there" or snake oil salesman was how his materials are distributed. You cannot buy BG's books on Amazon or through Christian booksellers. You have to pay money through his organization or buy his seminar to get his stuff. In that sense, his system has reminded me of Scientology. I realize Dianetics was widely distributed but in order to learn more about Scientology you have to invest money and time in classes and other cr#p (ed.). They aren't really open about their teaching unless you seek them out and spend some money upfront. BG system is similar to me, which makes sense because some of his teachings are so bizarre, you wouldn't want full access in the public sphere. Example–He gets into wacko stuff about people being cursed through sins of the father and based this as an admonition against adopting a child. Also, If you are a firstborn, Satan in out to get you more than other kids in the family. He incorporates obscure Old Testament stuff or Mosaic law into teachings. There's a lot of obsession over clean and unclean. Married people are expected to follow Old Testament rules about having s-x only when a woman is "clean". I could write so much more about his crazy teachings. I feel very sorry for people who got mixed up in his nonsense and have seen directly the damage through my relatives who based their whole lives around BG materials.

  30. Correction to my above statement–a few of BGs books are on Amazon. However, they seem to be his lighter material, such as how to deal with stress. I doubt they reflect the true nitty gritty of his theological weirdness that you get exposed to when you get deeper into his system.

  31. nathan priddis wrote:

    It’s late and I quit. My summary is this.
    1. BG began developing decipherable fixations, compulsions, fantasies and revolutions in preadolescence.
    2. At age thirty, he had a visitation from an angel from Heaven. He received another gospel and he is accursed according to Galatians.
    3. He spends the next fifty years under what the Scriptures call a strong delusion.
    4. Nearing the end of his life, he faces a horrific eternity.
    5. IBLP represented one man’s attempt to live out his life, and said fantasies, vicariously through a national ministry.

    Well said.

  32. @ Bunsen Honeydew:

    People who are raised in far healthier environments end up having to stare down that "damaged goods" cr#p (ed.) if/when it happens to them; same for grown people who are sexually assaulted. But for these kids, the social stigma plus all the indoctrination they've been subjected to has to make it very, very painful. And since I'm sure that their parents think bona fide therapy is "of the devil," … I just cannot imagine not feeling like one had *any* safe place/safe people. It is heartbreaking.

  33. Ok, i have a reply on the back burner due to a non- profane word that, i guess, upsets some folks. It will show by the time i check the page again, I’m sure, but the gist is that *anyone* who is sexually abused/assaulted is faced with that horrible fear (and self-perception) per “damaged goods.” Anyone at all, no matter their age, biological sex or sexual orientation. And sadly, public perception is awfully harsh, no matter the environment.

  34. numo wrote:

    That reduces women to the status of chattel. Which is illegal, but these people have found the loopholes.

    Freedom of religion = enslavement of females.

  35. I thank God that my very conservative Evangelical home church parted ways with Gothard in the 1980s. We used to fill buses and take people to his multi-day Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts. It was so popular, he could easily fill a stadium. It took years to get his shame-and guilt-inducing message out of my soul.

  36. numo wrote:

    That reduces women to the status of chattel. Which is illegal, but these people have found the loopholes.

    Yes. And not only loopholes, but Sanctioned By God. One writer descibed it:

    Lost is all concept of mutual submission and inter-relatedness of wife and husband which the Bible truly presents; instead there is the basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context.

    Women are stripped of dignity other than that which they have in their husband; children are to be broken; the husband is to be permitted tyranny over the grin-and-bear-it little woman. Gothard has lost the biblical balance of the relationship between women and men as equals in relationship. His view is basically anti-woman.

    http://midwestoutreach.org/issues-of-concern-bill-gothard-and-the-bible-a-report/

  37. Daisy wrote:

    Why do so many articles about this keep describing Gothard as “never married Gothard,” or mention that tid bit? I’ve never married myself, but I don’t assault people.

    Would Gothard’s crimes been any less egregious had he been a married man preying on young women?
    (Some married men do in fact prey on young women.)

    I would like to include had he been a married man preying on women his own age or older would not make his crimes less egregious.

  38. Thank God for groups like Recovering Grace which are assisting Christians whose lives have been impacted by perverted ministries. There are too many Christian celebrities who operate under a “covering” grace… which is in itself a perversion of true Grace. “It’s OK to do anything” is an antinomian view of grace that is from the pit of hell. There are also streams of New Calvinism which are approaching antinomianism, in which they feel released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law. That is cheap grace and not Grace at all!

  39. I think it’s more about everything Gothard supposedly stood for-a single guy dedicated to God and purity. He was trusted by so many, and then betrayed them.

    I think people are also surprised to find that an individual can be single, unattached, and happy in their singleness. When they don’t act the way they portray themselves, it seems to really “shock” people.

    I am single and a teacher. I will sometimes hear from my parents that I’ve dedicated myself to God and children, as if that gives me a special status. I don’t believe that one bit. I’m a sinner saved by grace, and I always need to guard my heart, just like anyone else-single or married. Unfortunately, we like people to fulfill our fantasies of what we think they should be like. That’s why I think so many don’t want to believe that Gothard is a serial sexual abuser of young women and children.

  40. Janey wrote:

    I thank God that my very conservative Evangelical home church parted ways with Gothard in the 1980s. We used to fill buses and take people to his multi-day Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts. It was so popular, he could easily fill a stadium. It took years to get his shame-and guilt-inducing message out of my soul.

    I also attended his Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts simply because I relied on the discernment of my church which sponsored the event. But if the churches which provided the warm bodies for Gothard were wrong, duped and lacked discernment, why should anyone accept what they may sponsor today?

  41. siteseer wrote:

    Nathan, you are giving BG the benefit of the doubt that he is telling the truth in his bio.

    True. It is a risk to read into a persons bio. However, I think it does provide an accurate insight into his mind.

    Every false teacher is a liar and deceiver, just like their father the Devil. But they first lied to themselves, just like their father the Devil.

    Is his bio accurate? Who knows, but perception is reality, and I am willing to bet this is the reality he tells himself. He is the protector, the teacher, the law giver, he is the anointed one. Inside, I don’t think a false teacher is going to say,”wow I sure am an ass-hole that has just never been caught.”
    zooey111 wrote:

    1. BG began developing decipherable fixations, compulsions, fantasies and revolutions in preadolescence.

    Meant to say revulsion/s..

    I am shocked to hear that we now have a potential rape allegation. I have believed for some time that BG had childhood compulsions and obsessions of a sexual nature. But suspected he had revulsions and an inability to carry-through on these desires. Therefore I thought there would never be a girl come forward and say BG was successfully able to advance from molestation to an actual act of sex / rape.

    This conclusion comes from my reading of Augustine’s writings describing similar feelings.

  42. Janey wrote:

    It took years to get his shame-and guilt-inducing message out of my soul.

    Glad you found freedom and emancipation from the lies concocted by the father of lies. Remember, Gothard and his ilk are only marionettes dancing on strings.

    “…For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…”

  43. Joe2 wrote:

    I relied on the discernment of my church which sponsored the event.

    There is a dearth of spiritual discernment in 21st century church. How else can we explain the proliferation of para-church cults, Christian celebrities, and aberrant theology. Without a gullible audience, these folks would have no stage.

    “If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The problem is that I don’t see too many churches praying much about anything these days! Individual believers need to pray for discernment for themselves, whether or not the churches they are in are praying corporately for God’s direction on certain things (of course, you need to pray with a believing, repentant heart). Or you could just use common sense to guide you as well … if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is not … when in doubt, don’t … etc. Charlatans are waiting in line for gullible Christians who don’t pray and/or exercise common sense.

  44. Loren Haas wrote:

    @ Paul D.:
    Wait are you talking about Bill Gothard or Hugh Hefner?

    Hugh Hefner married for the third time in 2012. He was legally married to, though separated from, his second wife during most of the time that he maintained a harem of “girlfriends.” Still, it’s difficult to see any serious difference between him and Bill Gothard in their general views toward women. The exception is that Hefner, unlike Gothard, never portrayed himself as a paragon of Christian virtue.

    Now that I’ve mentioned Hugh Hefner, I think I need to take a shower. I feel slimed.

  45. Daisy wrote:

    Why do so many articles about this keep describing Gothard as “never married Gothard,” or mention that tid bit? I’ve never married myself, but I don’t assault people.
    Would Gothard’s crimes been any less egregious had he been a married man preying on young women?
    (Some married men do in fact prey on young women.)

    Bill Gothard’s marital status should have nothing to do with the very serious allegations made against him. The fact that it’s constantly mentioned demonstrates the church’s, and the media’s, bias against older singles.

  46. I went to Basic youth Conflicts twice while in high school. It was in Seattle and a bunch of us stayed in a hotel. I loved it because I got out of the house.

    But when I dated a guy during early college, my father convinced me to break up with him because ‘umbrella of authority’ and he didn’t approve. When it happened a second time, I knew something was awry but couldn’t sort it out. I rebelled and ended up marrying a guy who didn’t suit (and who also turned out to be an abuser). Confusion and guilt pushed me away from the faith for a number of years afterwards.

    Libby Anne at Patheos read the 100-page doc throughly and presents a specific summary. It appears that if a girl came in with abuse in her background, Gothard saw her as available for further abuse by him. This is so disgusting, disgust on disgust.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/01/a-summary-of-allegations-against-bill-gothard-and-iblp.html

  47. The sacrifice of innocent girls to the dragon of male superiority and patriarchy is a frightening thing, and that it was done in Christ’s Name is a more seering evil.

    But you can’t have this much damage done to this many people without the collusion of parents, or ‘the staff’ who saw the evidence and looked away.

    Patriarchy has demanded victims. The will and the talent of its women . . . the gifts they had to deny and throw away in order to be subserviant . . . and for some, the very innocence of their girlhood. And for what?

    I think patriarchy is a form of idolatry where men envision themselves in the role of a god, so that explains their need for the sacrifice they demand from other souls they consider of lesser being. The sadness of this overwhelms me.

  48. patriciamc wrote:

    “Oh no. Never never. Oh! That’s horrible,” he said. “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I’m shocked to even hear that.”
    Is it just me, or is there something off about his wording?

    I went to a class where the instructor was an expert at reading people and deciphering when they lied. One of the things I remember her mentioning was that when someone use the word never in response to a question like this they were usually wh One of the things I remember her mentioning was that when someone use the word “never” in response to a question like this they were usually lying.

    It sure sounds like it sure sounds like go golfing Bill Gothard is lying.

  49. singleman wrote:

    Bill Gothard’s marital status should have nothing to do with the very serious allegations made against him. The fact that it’s constantly mentioned demonstrates the church’s, and the media’s, bias against older singles.

    My thought is how could someone who is never been married never had children give all this advice on marriage and children? That is why people keep bringing up this about Bill Gothard.

    To give advice on this one really should have been married and had children. That is probably one of Bill Gothards big problems they never had to do either of this firsthand .

    I can say this since I have never been married and have no children.

  50. Christiane wrote:

    The sacrifice of innocent girls to the dragon of male superiority and patriarchy is a frightening thing, and that it was done in Christ’s Name is a more seering evil.

    But you can’t have this much damage done to this many people without the collusion of parents, or ‘the staff’ who saw the evidence and looked away.

    Patriarchy has demanded victims. The will and the talent of its women . . . the gifts they had to deny and throw away in order to be subserviant . . . and for some, the very innocence of their girlhood. And for what?

    I think patriarchy is a form of idolatry where men envision themselves in the role of a god, so that explains their need for the sacrifice they demand from other souls they consider of lesser being. The sadness of this overwhelms me.

    This is gold. You’ve hit the nail on the head here.

  51. One reason, among many, I am so glad the Duggar show was cancelled was because they’ve never been willing to renounce or distance themselves from Bill Gothard, even as all this abuse stuff started unfolding a few years ago. I find it not coincidental that their son has a moleststion problem. The teachings of women as things to be controlled and owned plays a big part in this. When you add in the fact that their kids lack intimate parental attention, are isolated from the normal world, and won’t seek expert, secular help to complex problems, bad things will happen.

  52. I think that Gothard is getting too old to remember all the young women he harassed and molested.

  53. singleman wrote:

    Bill Gothard’s marital status should have nothing to do with the very serious allegations made against him. The fact that it’s constantly mentioned demonstrates the church’s, and the media’s, bias against older singles.

    Quiverfull/Patriarchy has made an idol out of having children, so I guess from that aspect, Gothard’s never having married is a bit odd, but then again, these are odd people…

  54. patriciamc wrote:

    Quiverfull/Patriarchy has made an idol out of having children, so I guess from that aspect, Gothard’s never having married is a bit odd, but then again, these are odd people…

    Good point. He isn’t practice the company line.

  55. I think marital issue is brought up because it stands as a sharp contrast from his own teachings–get married and have as many kids as physically possible.

    Look up the term militant fecundity. Whenever Michelle Duggar talks about having so many babies because they are blessings that’s only a very partial explanation. It actually has a basis in some wacked out ideology.

  56. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    I think marital issue is brought up because it stands as a sharp contrast from his own teachings–get married and have as many kids as physically possible.

    I agree. How hypocritical that Gothard spent years dictating to married couples how to conduct their lives.

  57. Patrice wrote:

    It appears that if a girl came in with abuse in her background, Gothard saw her as available for further abuse by him. This is so disgusting, disgust on disgust.

    Yes, how absolutely disgusting! Thanks for that link to the summary. I'll be sure to check it out.

  58. Deb wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    I agree with Anne. Excellent commentary! Want to write a guest post on this topic sometime?

    Hi DEB, it’s is very kind of you and of Anne to compliment my comment, but I have too much fire in my belly and too little facts in my head at this time to respond with a ‘yes’. If I thought I could do some good, I would try. But anger is not a substitute for insight and wisdom, and this topic deserves the best of both. You have some great writers here among your commentators. I think you are blessed with choices. Thanks again. Maybe if I keep reading this blog, I will learn what would make me a better guest writer. It could happen. You Deebs have a quality blog here that does much good. God Bless!

  59. Mara wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    I think patriarchy is a form of idolatry
    I’ve referred to it as Baal worship before.

    How is it like “Baal Worship” other than they are both forms of idolatry?

  60. @ Steve240:
    I think that’s what Mara meant, that they are both forms of idolatry. Also the idea that it’s Baal worship seems to be a fitting response to their repeated claims that egalitarians are full of a Jezebel spirit.

  61. Anne wrote:

    I think that’s what Mara meant, that they are both forms of idolatry. Also the idea that it’s Baal worship seems to be a fitting response to their repeated claims that egalitarians are full of a Jezebel spirit.

    And every man is the god of his household!

  62. Nancy2 wrote:

    repeated claims that egalitarians are full of a Jezebel spirit

    There is no doubt that a “Jezebel spirit” is at operation in the organized church. Spirits are genderless. Jezebel sets itself up in leadership and manifests through control, manipulation, and intimidation … characteristics displayed by the patriarchal system in New Calvinism and other aberrations of faith chronicled by TWW. Authoritarian men who exercise an unbalanced complementarian treatment of believers are some of the best examples of Jezebels in church today … not egalitarian women!

  63. Anne wrote:

    I think that’s what Mara meant, that they are both forms of idolatry.

    Sure, it can stop there and only mean that.

    However one can also look at Baal and Asherah as certain male and female deities back in the day that had control of fertility and their male and female moving parts. Baal means ‘lord’. And this is what patriarchy is doing to male female relations, make the man the lord… prophet, priest, king, of his household, as Nancy2 has pointed out.

    But if this looks like it is way too much out in left field to make this connection, then I don’t have a problem backing down and saying that it is simply a form of idolatry.

    I’ve also referred to patriarchy and Jupiter or Mars worship. Sometimes I can be ridiculous like that. But as another mentioned above, my accusations pale in comparison to the railing accusations that comps and patriarchs throw at egals and feminism. You know, Jezebel, witchcraft (as in rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.)

    But as has been stated, idolatry is idolatry. It is all wrong and it doesn’t matter which modern ones might take a few cues from ancient ones.

  64. Brian C. wrote:

    Instead they let him continue to operate for over 30 more years, committing offenses against young Chrisian women and promulgating an ideology that has done considerrable harm across the nation.

    Money. Follow the money.

  65. Nancy2 wrote:

    Anne wrote:

    I think that’s what Mara meant, that they are both forms of idolatry. Also the idea that it’s Baal worship seems to be a fitting response to their repeated claims that egalitarians are full of a Jezebel spirit.

    And every man is the god of his household!

    “And the God (Caesar Commodus) demands Human Sacrifice.”
    — Fifties sandal movie “Fall of the Roman Empire”

  66. Deb wrote:

    Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    I think marital issue is brought up because it stands as a sharp contrast from his own teachings–get married and have as many kids as physically possible.

    I agree. How hypocritical that Gothard spent years dictating to married couples how to conduct their lives.

    How does this differ from Church Ladies and Righteous Scolds everywhere?
    Clear back to Job’s Counselors?

    (And Daisy here has commented and ranted about the flip side of this — preachers who all married at 18 scolding and dictating to singles in their always-headed-by-marrieds Singles Ministries.)

  67. Steve240 wrote:

    patriciamc wrote:

    Quiverfull/Patriarchy has made an idol out of having children, so I guess from that aspect, Gothard’s never having married is a bit odd, but then again, these are odd people…

    Good point. He isn’t practice the company line.

    But RANK HATH ITS PRIVILEGES.
    (Including apparently Roman Paterfamilias Sexual Privileges over your animate property, like Interns properly dressed and coiffed…)
    Mara wrote:

    However one can also look at Baal and Asherah as certain male and female deities back in the day that had control of fertility and their male and female moving parts. Baal means ‘lord’. And this is what patriarchy is doing to male female relations, make the man the lord… prophet, priest, king, of his household, as Nancy2 has pointed out.

    And Quiverfull (i.e. “Twentysomething Kids and Counting”) fulfills the basic idea of a Fertility Cult as well as invoking Darwin to Outbreed The Other.

  68. Paul D. wrote:

    I’m not sure why anyone ever thought they should take advice on marriage and sexual ethics from an octogenarian bachelor who surrounds himself with teenage girls.

    You talking Got Hard or Elron Hubbard?

  69. Mara wrote:

    However one can also look at Baal and Asherah as certain male and female deities back in the day that had control of fertility and their male and female moving parts. Baal means ‘lord’. And this is what patriarchy is doing to male female relations, make the man the lord… prophet, priest, king, of his household, as Nancy2 has pointed out.

    I have sadly heard at least one person talk about Asherah as analogous to pornography. Especially back in earlier days when most porn was made of paper which comes from wood it made even more sense. The Asherah was made of wood to a female deity and worshiped.

    Sadly most of the porn usage is a form of worship (lust) of basically a “female deity.” Sorry for bringing up a graphic subject.

    Interesting how Baal & Asherah “had control of fertility and their male and female moving parts.” That certainly shows a association with what Gothard and others do with wanting large families etc.

    With your saying that “Baal means ‘lord’” then some of this hero worship and personality cults (like with Bill Gothard, C.J. Mahaney & others) could be considered a form of Baal worship. I also see how making husband “Lord” of his family is a form of Baal worship.

  70. Mara wrote:

    But if this looks like it is way too much out in left field to make this connection, then I don’t have a problem backing down and saying that it is simply a form of idolatry.

    And here I thought it was just working from the common alternate pronunciation of ‘Baal’, as seen in Stargate.

  71. Steve240 wrote:

    I also see how making husband “Lord” of his family is a form of Baal worship.

    One of my favorite places in the OT Prophets is in Hosea 2. A key verse is 16:

    “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
    “That you will call Me Ishi [my Husband or Companion]
    And will no longer call Me Baali [my Master or my Baal].

    link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+2&version=NASB

    To me, this shows that God is not as interested in even His own Lordship and Masterness as the men who presume to speak for him. So is He really interested in building a little kingdom out of every home and making a lord out of every husband?

  72. I agree with Mara’s original postings and I believe that she had the idea first about sacrificial offerings of innocents to the Patriarchal movement who envision themselves as ‘gods’ worthy of sacrifice.

    I look at ‘demands’ of these men who as men solely control their cult’s doctrine (first mistake)and my goodness, the sacrifices are to made by women (of course) and children (and female ones at that). That is enough to anger all fair-minded Christian people, when they see the extent of the damage to these victims.

    I’m Catholic. I know what can happen when people ‘look the other way’ and ignore signs and don’t listen to victims of abuse. It’s not something found only in a certain cult, but it does come from our deeply flawed human vulnerability to pride which for some of us has led us into grave sin that has brought harm on innocents. We are all of us sinners upon whom God has looked, but we owe it to one another in the Church not to allow the ‘powerful’ to harm others out of pride.

    There’s a myth about the legend of St. George, and how he defeated the ‘Dragon of Silene’. The townspeople had fed the dragon their sheep until it was no longer enough; then they fed the dragon their children . . .

    out of our deepest knowledge of evil, some of our legends have arisen . . . we know the ‘stories’ of our human weakness, but we also know the armor of grace given only to the humble which protects them from the evil of pridefulness and its controls and demands

  73. Max wrote:

    Authoritarian men who exercise an unbalanced complementarian treatment of believers are some of the best examples of Jezebels in church today … not egalitarian women!

    Amen!

  74. CHECK OUT HOMESCHOOLERS ANONYMOUS.
    THEY’VE BEEN ON TOP OF THIS STORY SINCE IT BROKE.

  75. K.D. wrote:

    You are so right…my son who is 27 is always hearing from people who got married at like 17-18 about who he should date or how he should live….and we hear from people who want to ” fix up” our son with someone…thing is, we doubt he ever marries. Just his personality.

    I’d say this is pretty common.

    You’ll find 50, 60, or older, year old married Christian people who got married when they were 18 to 25 years of age doling out dating advice to adult singles.

    And these guys normally haven’t a clue that being single at 30, or 40+ years of age is not the same as being single at age 17 or even early 20s, or that being single (and/or dating) in 2016 is not the same as being single back in 1955 or 1965 or even 1975.

    I’ve also heard and seen that a lot of churches won’t permit adult singles to teach singles class but insist on having a married person lead the singles class.

    I’ve yet to hear of a church that has an adult single leading a married couples class.

    There is a big double standard in these areas.

  76. NC Now wrote:

    Do you run an institute on how to organize families and raise children?
    In my opinion that is the reason it’s always mentioned.

    No, I do not.

    But why do so many married Christians insist on telling singles on how to be single?
    Most of the ones who do this are 50 years old or older, got married when they were 18 – 25, but being single at 40 in the year 2016 is not the same as being single at age 18 in 1955.

    I was engaged once -for several years. I’ve had married friends confide in me about the problems in their marriages.

    I was a kid once. I remember the parenting tricks my mother used on me when I was a kid and was acting up or upset.

    I’ve read tons of books and blogs about relationships, some delve into marital issues.

    What I’m getting at is that you don’t have to be married or have kids to know a thing or two about marriage or correct parenting techniques.

    Not that I believe anyone should listen to Gothard – but that is due to his weird, distorted views of God, women, and the Bible, not because the guy never married or had children.

  77. numo wrote:

    It is the same kind of contradiction sa: supposedly celibate person telling people how to “order” their marriages.

    What’s really funny (more like sad) are the number of Christian people who admit to being highly promiscuous previously, who now make a living writing books and blogs, and make the Christian TV show circuit, touting themselves as sexual purity experts.

    And churches love to have these people on stage to tell singles how to be sexually pure. Churches don’t seem to ever want someone my age(or anyone over 25) who is still a virgin to lead such classes or lectures.

    One church (I think Furtick’s) had a known pedo leading men’s classes on sexual purity, too.

    Churches and Christian culture actually prefer people who are big sexual sinners lecturing on sexual purity than folks like me who have actually walked the walk and not fooled around. It’s pretty discouraging to me and those like me (who I talk to on other sites).

  78. If you go to Julie Anne’s blog (Spiritual Sounding Board), to her latest post on Gothard, she linked to some stuff about him, some legal documents.

    In those, Gothard’s weird views about adopted kids are brought up. IIRC, he says things like adopted kids might be demonic, they should be forced to “earn their keep” in their adopted families, etc.

    He just had some very heartless, strange views about adopted children. I already went off about that on Julie Anne’s blog.

  79. singleman wrote:

    Bill Gothard’s marital status should have nothing to do with the very serious allegations made against him. The fact that it’s constantly mentioned demonstrates the church’s, and the media’s, bias against older singles.

    I agree.

    I come across a lot more news stories, on secular and Christian news sites, about married Christian men who are having affairs, molesting kids, or arrested for other things, than I do never- married folks over the age of 30 who are arrested for stuff.

    But Christian publicans don’t find the fact that these guys are married to be too interesting, relevant, or concerning in regards to their crimes. (It, or the person himself, is only thought odd if the dude caught happens to be single over 30.)

  80. Christiane wrote:

    The sacrifice of innocent girls to the dragon of male superiority and patriarchy is a frightening thing, and that it was done in Christ’s Name is a more seering evil.

    I agree but would only add it’s even more annoying in that a lot of these patriarchal / gender complementarian groups promote the view that they take abuse against girls/ women seriously, they respect women more so than secular culture, etc.
    No, they really don’t.

    Their teachings about gender/ marriage are actually grounded in a lot of sexism to start with, and either contribute to, attract, or perpetuate abuse against girls/ women.

  81. Steve240 wrote:

    My thought is how could someone who is never been married never had children give all this advice on marriage and children? That is why people keep bringing up this about Bill Gothard.
    To give advice on this one really should have been married and had children.

    I’ve already mentioned this a time or two in other posts on the page, but a person doesn’t have to be married or have kids to know stuff about marriage or parenting.

    There are child free women who work as kiddie school teachers, pediatricians, who baby sit kids, etc.

    And, as I’ve noted before, not dealing with being a never-married adult at age 30, 40, or older first hand has certainly not stopped numerous married Christians who are 60, who got married when they were 20, from giving advice to singles today…

    And even though they have no idea how different being single is now form being single in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, or even the 80s.

  82. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve already mentioned this a time or two in other posts on the page, but a person doesn’t have to be married or have kids to know stuff about marriage or parenting.

    Sorry but I’m going to disagree strongly here. No one I’ve talked to who has had kids, especially those who got married after their 20s or had kids after their 20s said they had any idea how things would be.

    I got married at 33 and had my first child at 35 and I know others with similar ages. Our single friends advice on both how to live in a marriage and raise kids ranged from interesting to awful.

    For BG to be held up as an expert on both with no practical experience in either was just stupid.

  83. NC Now wrote:

    For BG to be held up as an expert on both with no practical experience in either was just stupid.

    It’s called PR and Building/Maintaining Your Brand.

  84. NC Now wrote:

    I got married at 33 and had my first child at 35 and I know others with similar ages. Our single friends advice on both how to live in a marriage and raise kids ranged from interesting to awful.

    Remember Job’s Counselors?

    It’s those who have NEVER been there who are first with the glib advice (wagging fingers and all) for those who have.

  85. Daisy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    But Christian publicans don’t find
    PUBLICATIONS, not “publicans”

    Freudian Slip, Daisy.

  86. Daisy wrote:

    But Christian publicans don’t find the fact that these guys are married to be too interesting, relevant, or concerning in regards to their crimes. (It, or the person himself, is only thought odd if the dude caught happens to be single over 30.)

    Because it goes against The Party Line of Salvation by Marriage Alone.

  87. Daisy wrote:

    Churches and Christian culture actually prefer people who are big sexual sinners lecturing on sexual purity than folks like me who have actually walked the walk and not fooled around. It’s pretty discouraging to me and those like me (who I talk to on other sites).

    That’s because they have JUICY Testimonies.

    “Pornography for the Pious” — how else can the Church Ladies get their Vicarious Porn Fix of all that JUICY JUICY JUICY Sin Sin Sin and still be RESPECTABLE?

  88. Daisy wrote:

    What’s really funny (more like sad) are the number of Christian people who admit to being highly promiscuous previously, who now make a living writing books and blogs, and make the Christian TV show circuit, touting themselves as sexual purity experts.

    Very true. Christians do this in other areas too. There are Christians who were into drugs, drinking, crime, etc. who now go on the Christian talk circuit and get paid for telling their story and being an “expert” on such behaviors. In fact, their message really is something like I did all these bad things when I was young, everything turned out O.K. and I wouldn’t be here today taking your money had I lived a “straight edge” lifestyle.

  89. Joe2 wrote:

    In fact, their message really is something like I did all these bad things when I was young, everything turned out O.K. and I wouldn’t be here today taking your money had I lived a “straight edge” lifestyle.

    As the prologue to one book on my shelves (Seven Deadly Virtues) put it about such Testimonies:

    “He made it sound as though God had stopped a real Exciting Life. ‘I was immersed in a world of Booze and Dope and SEX and Boy Was it Fun! But I tell you this only so you can avoid the same Fun-Filled Mistakes.'”

  90. Mara wrote:

    One of my favorite places in the OT Prophets is in Hosea 2. A key verse is 16:

    “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
    “That you will call Me Ishi [my Husband or Companion]
    And will no longer call Me Baali [my Master or my Baal].

    link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+2&version=NASB

    To me, this shows that God is not as interested in even His own Lordship and Masterness as the men who presume to speak for him.

    So maybe my leeriness of those who always use “The LORD” (spoken in all-caps) to refer to God and/or Christ wasn’t that far off after all…

  91. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mara wrote:
    One of my favorite places in the OT Prophets is in Hosea 2. A key verse is 16:
    “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
    “That you will call Me Ishi [my Husband or Companion]
    And will no longer call Me Baali [my Master or my Baal].
    link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+2&version=NASB
    To me, this shows that God is not as interested in even His own Lordship and Masterness as the men who presume to speak for him.
    So maybe my leeriness of those who always use “The LORD” (spoken in all-caps) to refer to God and/or Christ wasn’t that far off after all…

    Like maybe when children grow up? And in a healthy relationship, parents and adult children are friends and advisors to one another instead of parents still exerting authority?

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    like maybe when children grow up? And in a healthy relationship, parents and adult children are friends and advisors to one another instead of parents still exerting authority?

    Yes!

  93. Joe2 wrote:

    I did all these bad things when I was young, everything turned out O.K. and I wouldn’t be here today taking your money had I lived a “straight edge” lifestyle.

    Too funny Joe2, and sadly, all too true. Many of those ‘testimonies’ get as old and tawdry as the stuff in The National Enquirer.

  94. Mara wrote:

    To me, this shows that God is not as interested in even His own Lordship and Masterness as the men who presume to speak for him.

    It depends entirely on which selective literalism the men use. Calvary Chapel has perhaps the most intricately woven (in my opinion) ‘biblical’ belief system there is.

  95. Daisy wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    My thought is how could someone who is never been married never had children give all this advice on marriage and children? That is why people keep bringing up this about Bill Gothard.
    To give advice on this one really should have been married and had children.
    I’ve already mentioned this a time or two in other posts on the page, but a person doesn’t have to be married or have kids to know stuff about marriage or parenting.
    There are child free women who work as kiddie school teachers, pediatricians, who baby sit kids, etc.
    And, as I’ve noted before, not dealing with being a never-married adult at age 30, 40, or older first hand has certainly not stopped numerous married Christians who are 60, who got married when they were 20, from giving advice to singles today…
    And even though they have no idea how different being single is now form being single in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, or even the 80s.

    Glad to see other people commenting on what Daisy said.

    I would say that someone who has more hands on experience with children can give advice and many times be good advice even if they never had children. I am sure most of these same people don’t dictate vs. advice. IMO, Bill Gothard dictates for the most part.

    One thing I have seen with “kissing dating goodbye” is that most pastors that push this married at a young age and thus don’t have much of a clue about how older mature singles are. Thus apparently due to this inexperience they insist that policies like “kissing dating goodbye” that is more geared to teenagers should apply to all singles including more mature singles in their 30’s and 40’s.

    I do wonder if Bill Gothard would be such a proponent of having multiple kids etc. if he himself had his own “quiverful” and had to deal with that for 25 years or so including the financial responsibility of raising so many children?

    Another example of things changing once they experience is with with Sovereign Grace Churches. C.J. Mahaney use to discipline pastors for misbehaving children until he had problems with his own son (pot smoking and recent DUI). Similarly Dave Harvey did the same thing until he had problems with his children. Especially with Mahaney there has been not public admittance of just how wrong they were.

    When you don’t have to do something it is easy to be critical and not understand and not realize how involved it is etc.

  96. Seconding Nancy2 on the idea that God’s relationship with us is more akin to parents with adult children. I personally believe that for a being with supreme power, God is remarkably…humble. Not in a “I’m a sinner” way but in the way that he doesn’t use his heavenly authority to bully us into doing things. Unlike these Men O Gawd, who don’t even have heavenly authority TO bully people with. We are simply not granted spiritual permission to lord it over others, as Jesus put it.

    Frankly my favourite thing about the Lord is how gracious and permitting he is. If you seek his wisdom you’ll get it, but if you want to do things your way He lets you do that too. Never without love, either.

  97. @Daisy:

    Well said about the Christian circuit.

    I was shocked when I found out Bristol Palin recevied $269,000 in just one year (I think it was 2009) for speaking about and promoting abstinence. Yet despite the wealth and support system available to her, she never bothered to obtain an education and develope a career.

    Nor does she believe in abstinence…..

  98. Steve240 wrote:

    When you don’t have to do something it is easy to be critical and not understand and not realize how involved it is etc.

    So true. Before we had children of our own (we now have nine) we so judged other people for the failings of their children and their parenting techniques. Now we just say “Good gosh, I think we’re the worst parents in the world. Thank God they’re all still alive and none has yet gone to jail!”

  99. Muff Potter wrote:

    It depends entirely on which selective literalism the men use. Calvary Chapel has perhaps the most intricately woven (in my opinion) ‘biblical’ belief system there is.

    So did the Pharisees, their forefathers in spirit, right down to the thin skin of righteousness, manipulation and abuse of the little people.

  100. Daisy wrote:

    To give advice on this one really should have been married and had children.
    I’ve already mentioned this a time or two in other posts on the page, but a person doesn’t have to be married or have kids to know stuff about marriage or parenting.
    There are child free women who work as kiddie school teachers, pediatricians, who baby sit kids, etc.

    I generally am in agreement with you here, but all the pediatricians, teachers and kid sitters in the world have little idea what it’s like if they don’t have children, especially a huge batch of them, the complexity of all the different personalities mixing, becoming exponentially more complex with each new child, the little wars that go on and the secret alliances, the babies who simply pulverize the family heirlooms and shove toys down the toilet necessitating $300 plumbing calls, the nine year old boy who sees the brand new car in the drive and rides his bike round it again and again and in the morning, when you’re heading out for work, you see the 10 times they scraped the side of it, doing $1000 in damage to the paint, the teenage girls chock full of hormones who scream: “I hate this family!”, the teenage boys, similarly full of hormones, who sullenly answer every parent inquiries over the course of two solid years with nothing more than one or two mumbled grunts, the times you you go for a straight week with a colicky baby who screams like the apocalypse has come and you get about as much sleep as a Navy Seal in Hell Week, the time you stay up all night long cleaning up vomit and unmentionable things all night long and get no sleep at all and have to go to work the next morning feeling like you wish you could just die, the crazy pregnant first trimester wife, the crazy middle aged crisis husband, that same husband (me) watching other guys his age zip around in sports cars while he (I) drive a 16 year old car with an oil leak, the giving up of all hobbies of your own, the worrying about the teens when they head out and respond to no calls or texts and you can just see them in your mind dead in a ditch. I’m telling you, unless you’ve been there and done it, you have no clue. Just sayin.

  101. Law Prof wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    When you don’t have to do something it is easy to be critical and not understand and not realize how involved it is etc.
    So true. Before we had children of our own (we now have nine) we so judged other people for the failings of their children and their parenting techniques. Now we just say “Good gosh, I think we’re the worst parents in the world. Thank God they’re all still alive and none has yet gone to jail!”

    I was horrible about it. I would groan when I saw children on the flight or in a restaurant. i am not like that anymore. :o)

  102. Law Prof wrote:

    the time you stay up all night long cleaning up vomit and unmentionable things all night long

    🙂

    When I was in my early 30s but not yet married (or with any kids) a co-worker was talking about cleaning up a sewage backup in his basement. I expressed my revulsion (and I grew up much rougher than most in the US) and his replay was after you have a baby your reaction to poop tends to get more blasé about the issue.

    But your comment about people having no idea, spot on. I didn’t. And all my friends with kids say the same. Double it for those who waited till their 30s or later.

  103. Law Prof wrote:

    … but all the pediatricians, teachers and kid sitters in the world have little idea what it’s like if they don’t have children, especially a huge batch of them …

    Look at it this way. The US Navy has incredibly extensive training and documentation on how to operate and command a nuclear sub. But I personally think I’d rather trust to have a nuclear sub skippered by someone with extensive reading and learning but no experience than get advice from the never been married or a parent. And the first would be basically insane.

    And let us thrown into the mix that all children respond as desired to the same methods and all spouses ditto.

  104. Brian C. wrote:

    I was shocked when I found out Bristol Palin recevied $269,000 in just one year (I think it was 2009) for speaking about and promoting abstinence. Yet despite the wealth and support system available to her, she never bothered to obtain an education and develope a career.

    When you’re making $269,000 a year without an education or career (just famous parent), why would you?

    Another Khristian Kardashian.