Tuesday, January 31, 2012
God Bless You
Seven years ago I launched this blog after someone asked me if I'd raise our young child in ATI. My visceral reaction ("Heck no!") surprised me and forced me to ask why. I'd never even considered it before that conversation. Thus began a long journey of articulating my objections to Bill Gothard's teachings. For me, this site was a personal catharsis -- the perversions of Gothard's dogma were best illustrated through satire. You have to admit -- some of the stuff he and his zealots come up with is so ludicrous you can only laugh.
After I started the blog I quickly realized that I was not alone. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your own stories. For me (and I know for many of you) my disagreement with Gothard was fueled by my desire to draw closer to Christ.
Those conversations that a few of us had quietly are now shared by hundreds. I especially commend to you RecoveringGrace.org and the Facebook page ATI Student Survivors. These sites are run by thoughtful people (not me) who are speaking out in order to bring healing and unity.
I haven't blogged consistently in years, obviously, and it's time to officially call it quits. I plan to leave the site up for the benefit of new "escapees," but X-er is going dark. (So if some bozo starts claiming credit for my brilliance you'll know he's lying.)
Peace to you.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ 2 Corinthians 5.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Bill Gothard to launch marriage advice column
After the wild success of his courtship tutorial Seven Courtship Secrets for a Successful Marriage, Bill Gothard recently announced that he has agreed to write a weekly marriage column for a national newspaper chain.
"Thousands of young ATI couples are experiencing the blessing of God by loving the Lord Jesus Christ and honoring both sets of parents while pursuing their life partners," said Gothard. "We now want to give them the tools to build successful marriages. After all, these are two individuals who have never been kissed -- they need to be taught."
Gothard's syndicated column will feature advice about finances, sex, children, housekeeping, and other highly-contentious issues that newlyweds often face. "After 50 years of advising couples in how to resolve their conflicts, I have discovered in God's Word many steps to achieve a powerful marriage," he said.
ATI choir to perform Super Bowl halftime show
After the debacle of Janet Jackson's performance, National Football League officials have sought "family-friendly" entertainers to perform during the NFL's highly-rated halftime show. Recent artists have included U2, Tom Petty, and the Rolling Stones.
ATI families around the country were thrilled to learn that the IBLP Headquarters Staff Choir has been selected to perform for Super Bowl XLV. (For a sample of their work, click here.) "The NFL strongly believes in character qualities and humanitarian service," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We searched far and wide and selected the IBLP Choir as the best representatives of our league. We're confident this group will have no wardrobe malfunctions."
"The IBLP Choir is thrilled to have this opportunity to shine their light for the Lord," said Bill Gothard, ATI's well-loved president and founder. "Football itself can be a distraction from the higher calling that God has for us, but we trust that our acapella harmonies and handbells will persuade the Super Bowl audience to lay aside worldly pursuits and begin developing a mighty spirit."
Friday, July 03, 2009
Gothard applauds Sarah Palin resignation
Responding to the news that presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has decided to resign, IBLP founder and president Bill Gothard issued the following statement:
I applaud Mrs. Palin's decision to step down as governor of Alaska. I believe the media criticism Mrs. Palin has received is a God-given irritation to lead her to His will. It's time for her to fulfill her God-given role as a dedicated mother and a Proverbs 31 wife. By submitting to her husband Todd, Sarah is providing a godly examples for thousands of other wives who struggle with the temptation to pursue their own selfish careers.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
X-ATI Guy is alive and well
Sorry kids, the blogging has been pathetic lately. I struggle with guilt - "maybe I shouldn't write about Gothard"- and then I rise above it - only to plummet when I get an angry email from an ATI mother.
Still fight the tendencies. Yesterday I made a commitment to make no more commitments.
But hey -- I just joined Twitter, so maybe that'll help! Social media is kinda like a Gothard program . . . there's always a new one around the corner to get us excited.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Gothard: "Who is this Michael Scott?"
Bill Gothard called an emergency staff meeting at Headquarters tonight to pray for Michael Scott. "I don't know much about him," said Gothard, "but I'm glad to see the mainstream media embracing the character values we've been espousing for years."
One alert staffer suggested bringing Michael Scott to Headquarters for a time of service. "His servant leadership would be an example for all of us," she said.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Is moose hunting a character quality?
Salon.com reports that under Mayor Sarah Palin, the Alaska town of Wasilla was a City of Character. All I can say is that when God closes a door, he opens a window. My heart broke when Mike Huckabee bowed out of the Republican race. And now it turns out that the vice presidential candidate brought "fringe biblical teachings to her work" as mayor.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Heroes of the Faith
Resurrecting the popular Heroes of the Faith series, which featured champions like Dwight Moody, Oswald Chambers, and the Elephant Man, IBLP has announced that it will begin writing a contemporary HoF series. This time, the subjects of the booklets will be Heroes of the ATI Faith.
Dr. Bill Gothard will personally write these booklets, and he has proposed focusing on godly young leaders within ATIA who gave up college to come home with their parents and younger siblings to develop character. The Heroes will possibly include Rob Robbins, Loren Elms, Kathy Voyer, the Sammons kids, the McKims, Troy Robinson, and Christiana Reed.
This announcement set off some grumbling among past construction and kitchen crews, who claim to have done all the "real" work building ATI and IBLP. "We were too busy working to just stand around on stage and look good," one disgruntled worker said. "I might not have a four-point testimony, but at least I know how to lay red carpet. You tell me which is more important."
Additional Hero suggestions can be sent here.
UPDATE: An alert reader suggested (how could I forget??) Prem Jacob and the Denton Brothers.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Gothard to Logan: "Try to be scarier, Jim"
Back in the heyday, the stories about demons in your bedroom and footsteps in the hall scared many young ATIers sinless -- convincing them to give up rock music and worldly dress. Recognizing some quality drift among its homeschoolers these days, IBLP has decided to take action. We've obtained a confidential memo from 707 W. Ogden Ave to Dr. James Logan.
Jim, we've got to step it up a notch. This kids just don't believe that CCM is a spritual cancer. Is there any way you can uncover some more shocking stories of worldliness turning into full oppression? It could help. ~BG
Saturday, May 03, 2008
She might have a point...
This from an observant reader:
Subject: "Very Sad!"
This whole sight and bitter comments are very sad. Be very careful how you talk about God's servants! Have you no real fear of God? You need to humble yourself and remember that Jesus said it would be better for a millstone to be tied around your neck and that you should be cast into the deepest sea... rather than lead someone astray. That is pretty serious business. Everything we do and say should glorify God and bring others to Him or closer to Him. Every idle word will be written. What exactly is your goal? Are you a believer? Do you want to do what is right or just smear and discourage?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Daily Success (the Bill Gothard way)
As I've said before, I subscribed to Bill Gothard's Daily Success emails so you don't have to. Every once in a while a gem comes along that I feel is worth sharing. Like Command 26: Honor Your Parents. Included in the ten suggestions for honoring one's parents is this:
Thank them with gifts of appreciation. In this passage, the Greek word translated as honor, timao, means “to attach a value to something.” We honor the government by paying taxes. We honor the Lord by giving tithes and offerings. It is therefore appropriate to honor parents by giving them meaningful and valued gifts.
Consider it a public service announcement with April 15 coming up. Don't forget to honor the government!
Foxworthy and Gothard working together?
Sources tell us that Jeff Foxworthy has approached Bill Gothard about developing a new hit TV gameshow: "Do You Have More Character than a Homeschooler?" Contestants will answer questions about ethical dilemmas and compare these answers with a "class" of ATI students.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
For years, families have enjoyed the captivating "read-aloud" nature stories in Character Sketches, Vol. I -III, and have eagerly awaited the often-promised Volume 4.
Just today a group of current and former ATI families filed a class action lawsuit against IBLP for failing to write the remaining volumes of the series.
"How will we illustrate the rest of the character qualities to our children if the Institute never gets around to writing about them?" asked an ATI parent. "We just want Mr. Gothard to deliver what he's promised."
A spokesman for IBLP said he had not reviewed the lawsuit, but called the action "baseless and irreverent."
"We are engaged in serving the Lord every day," he said. "To suggest that we've defrauded families in ATI is very disrespectful. Besides, it's Larry Guthrie's fault the other Character Sketches never got written."
Saturday, February 02, 2008
New IBLP Courtship Service
Recognizing the popularity of eHarmony.com, the Advanced Training Institute has launched an online courtship service for IBLP members. The program, eCourtship.com, will provide a Character Test and several dozens of questions such as "What is your spiritual gift?" and "What is your favorite IBLP ministry location?" and "How many siblings do you have?" A computer will analyze the results and provide an eCourtship compatibility match.
Bill Gothard says eCourtship is superior to all other online matching services because it focuses on Godly character rather than personality traits that can change. Additionally, eCourtship will contact the parents of the participants, rather than directly introducing the young man and young woman to each other. "This will ensure that parents can provide wise insight before ungodly soul ties are created," says Gothard.