Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood

(This is a continuation of the “THAT question” posts.)

If an anonymous blog commenter could be believed, Bill Gothard gave an answer to someone on roundabout the question that patriarchal women do not want to answer me on:

Why is it that I so badly long for Mr Gothard go ask me for forgiveness for telling me that I needed to obey my father at all costs – I had told Mr Gothard I was being sexually abused by [my father] and his friends. Why does he cover issues like this up? …

Jessica, February 1 2012 – commenting on “A response to Bill Gothard, Recovering Grace

His alleged answer: “Yes, authority structures are more important than justice or hurting humans. Obey the abuser.”

And if anonymous blog commenters could be believed*, we have evidence here that this situation is not rare, but a common reality in patriarchal families:

Out of 15 people (all different families) that I have talked to that grew up in [ATI], 6 were [incest] victims. A few years later, I found out that my own father had been having sex with 2 of my five sisters…

“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”… due to the enclosed system that is encouraged by the majority of the family’s there is nothing that holds the fathers accountable.

…After almost a decade as a Military Police officer, I have found that of the 30 ATI families that I have dealt with on-post… almost half have had cases of abuse of some sort (sexual, mental, physical, ect.) going on in the home, and the wife/mother and the children see nothing wrong because they are brain-washed.

Jack, commenter on “About NLQ”, bold mine

____________________________________

Note:

* The commenters on that thread include several who make unwarranted accusations against Christianity in general, which I do not endorse in the least. Judge the merit of that comment, and others around it (if you read them) for yourself. Of course, each commenter is a different individual and Jack cannot be judged by the words of other commenters.

Comments on: "Is authority more important to patriarchy supporters than child safety? Bill Gothard allegedly weighs in on THAT question." (13)

  1. It is reasonable that non Christians who see believers promoting attitudes that harm others, come away with a contempt for Christianity. This is why it is so important that we love God in real ways and love our neighbors, our families, our church members in real ways and not just in fake words. We are witnesses of Christ. If we don’t display Christ likeness in our words, actions and lives, then we are in some ways mocking the Lord.

    My heart aches for non Christians who see Christians do bad things and thus resist Christ in their lives.

    • Amen, Tiro3 (TL?)

    • Which is exactly why “Christian” abusive systems must be shut down. Patriarchy, authoritarianism, dominionism, homophobia etc. They’ve all gotta go. Unfortunately, too few Christians are standing up to these atrocities. Too many are buying them! What has the state of Christ’s body come to when all a pastor needs to say is “This is God’s will” and the people just fall into line with whatever he says? They’re sheep following a false shepherd!

      How I long for every Christian to ‘know Jesus’ voice’. To discern as Paul instructed. To be close enough with God to keep their hearts focused on Him and not be distracted by false teachers. If we’re filled with the goodness of the Lord, as He intends us to be, we will be good to others, as He intends us to be.

  2. Bill Gothard said:

    Dear Website Administrator,

    I was just handed a copy of this article and was shocked at the “alleged answer” that is attributed to me. I would never make such a statement. In every seminar we have clearly stated that we are not to obey those who tell us to do wrong and that when abuse is happening, it must be reported and dealt with legally and Biblically.

    I would certainly appreciate your correction of this misstatement.

    Sincerely,

    Bill Gothard

  3. Thank you for commenting. It is hard when your words are twisted!

    The statement was, and I add bold to it this time: “If an anonymous blog commenter could be believed, Bill Gothard gave an answer to someone on roundabout the question that patriarchal women do not want to answer me on.” The word “allegedly” is also used.

    Readers are still welcome, as always, to judge what they could believe. If I said anything untrue, I would delete it. But this was merely a report that something was claimed, not a judgment on whether it is true or not.

    I always urge my readers to judge what is true, to think for themselves on what they could believe. But thank you for this quote: “we are not to obey those who tell us to do wrong and that when abuse is happening, it must be reported and dealt with legally …” I agree whole-heartedly. (If I have my reservations on the word “biblically” in that statement, it is because so many people twist the Bible and take it out of context, not because of a dislike for the Bible. But that is another topic.)

  4. kgelyastanova said:

    Am I to understand bg denies having ever told “Jessica” this? B/c I’ve heard it from several girls now, I’m starting to believe it as several girls have come forward, independent of each other, with the same story.

    • I totally believe it. I think Bill Gothard is a despicable goat who will be cast into outer darkness at the last day. I base my opinion on personal experience with his IBYC seminars and observations of families that follow his teaching, plus my own visual examination of his deplorable “curriculum” Character Sketches.

      There are so many people whose lives and families have been destroyed by following the man’s teachings.

  5. About the comment left by Bill Gothard, or someone claiming to be him:
    The e-mail address is from IBLP (I got that confirmed), which make it likely that the author may be Gothard.
    On the other hand, it is seemingly not his style to respond in blog comments to critics, as he have not, as far as I know, done it anywhere else yet. This is certainly not the first negative thing ever said of him on the Internet.
    ————————

    Someone familiar with IBLP wrote to me and send this photo.
    http://biblicalpersonhood.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/allegedly-from-basic-seminar.jpg

    It is, claims my source, from a Basic seminar supplement. My source also say his counseling seminar material hints that sexual abuse is often the abused girl’s fault for one reason or another.
    ———-

    Whatever you as reader want to believe about this blog entry, me, or the identity of the person claiming to be Bill Gothard, my conclusion remains: Religion should never be an excuse not to stand up against injustice and abuse.

    1) If you want to believe it was Bill Gothard, and he is being truthful, do not allow abuse. Always stand up for the oppressed. After all, even these words alleged to be his say: “when abuse is happening, it must be reported and dealt with legally” .
    2) If you believe it is from him, and he is denying an unconvenient truth, then couple it with your knowledge that lying is immoral, and do not follow a man you cannot trust, especially not teachings that contradict what Christ came for – to “set at liberty them that are bruised(Luke 4:18)”.
    3) If you believe this is not from Gothard, then the allegation in the post is standing un-contradicted. Except by someone not even honest enough to give his real name.

  6. I see that someone linked to this post on facebook, and it had many readers today and yesterday. In the little photo linked from here, I see one example of what Gothard could mean when he (or someone claiming to be him) writes: “abuse… must be dealt with … Biblically.”
    The one problem, of course, is that it takes the Bible out of context. (Jesus often avoided becoming a victim, for example at birth when his family fled from the baby-killing leader, and later by avoiding an area where people wanted to kill Him. And he prayed very hard, asking God if this is really His will, before accepting the cross. What we could learn from Jesus is that there may be exceptional situations, in which you prayed hard to make sure of His will, when accepting mistreatment would be right, but it will usually not be. He gave His life to save the world from sin, not any earlier. Giving your life so an abusive husband could continue sinning against you is not the same thing.)

    Could any of you give other examples of what he mean when saying to deal with abuse biblically?

  7. krwordgazer said:

    I have talked to too many broken, damaged people who say it was because of ATI, to want to interact with Bill Gothard, unless he is willing to publicly take responsibility for his harmful teachings, renounce them, and offer restitution to the victims.

  8. I have a letter signed by Bill Gothard in the mid-1990s that he sent to me when I wrote him asking for help in how to deal with our family’s deep dysfunction (not incest) and the helplessness I felt in knowing how to deal with it. His answer was (as best I remember) essentially 1) an admission that our situation was not uncommon in homeschooling families, 2) to read the Psalms and see how David dealt with difficulty, and 3) pray and study so that I in turn could write a guide for people in similar situations. (I’ve written that guide; it’s two words–”Get out!”)

    Based on Gothard’s anemic response to my plea for help, I have no problem believing the kinds of stories that are coming out. I guess Gothard didn’t factor in the possibility that some children might retain some smidgen of free will and tell their stories some day. I wonder if he’s started crafting “Generation Automaton: Plan B” yet?

    • Naomi, my heart breaks for the many like you…

      If you are there now, you’ve read Naomi’s guide. I recommend it!

  9. I appreciate your article I will share on facebook

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