Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Blessed are the Shaven of Face
Families joining the Advanced Training Institute International must go through a rigorous application process in order to be saved approved for admission. Naturally, families must affirm their homes are television-free, rock music-free, and sensual material-free.

One of the more mystifying requirements is that men are not allowed to grow facial hair. Clean-shaven is the ideal. Unless facial hair is a matter of spiritual belief and personal commitment; in that case the man is granted an exception.

This is disturbing. Ignore the "it's wrong unless you have a personal commitment" non-logic. The restriction on beards has no basis in Scripture or general Christian practice. The explanation usually given is that beards were popularized during the radical rebellion of the 1960's and those who grow beards are subconsciously evoking rebellious fads. Bill Gothard also says that beards are an indication that a person struggles with lust.

X-ATI Guy has finally broken the mystery of the no-beard rule, and concedes that Bill may have a point.

In his book, Y: The Descent of Men, Steve Jones writes that facial hair actually grows faster for men who are anticipating sex. (Which could possibly explain why Mr. Gothard is clean-shaven....)

Combine this genetic fact with IBLP logic, and obviously: if a man grows a beard, he must be consumed with immoral thoughts. Out of a man's heart the beard grows. Clearly, a man's beard is the window to his libido.

Let us all go clean-shaven to prove our purity of heart!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

*wanders off to find any member of ZZ Top*

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to say that this whole blog is awesome. I'm an X-ATI girl and I was way messed up for quite a while. My family was in the ATI for 14 years and landed my parents and I in family counseling. Thankfully, God brought us closer together through the experience and he has graciously brought me back to himself through my rebelion. I love this blog though (I can relate to much of what you say!) and I'll probably be checking back from time to time. :)

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...scientific and social background aside, perhaps it's just to provide a cover-up for one of Mr. Gothard's flaws. It may be that he, frustrated in his attempts to grow a beard during his unenlightened youth, determined - upon reflection - that if he (as one of the primary and pure men of God) couldn't grow a beard, beards MUST be a sign of a sinful heart...

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Gothard including nose hair? I kinda like it long.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it requires self-discipline to shave daily for that clean-shaven look, then it follows that those without facial hair must have the most godly character, right?

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, ya, right...like Theodore Bundy?

2:02 PM  
Blogger Ilona said...

Hi. You sound a little...well, more than a little... angry to me. Not that I don't think you have many points well taken. ( I read a number of your posts)

My family was in ATIA for some years, it had its good and bad points as you have said, but I really think that the greatest criticism I would have is the heaviness, pressure, the program produces. I say that as the mom, not as a student.

I have never felt the compunction to criticize Gothards program since it is not unique in Christendom for having faultiness. And I just have so much fodder to choose from! But a word of advice from one well-honed in parrying on religious matters: the less acid anger and the more compassionate concern for well-being the better -when it comes to dissecting problems.

Francis Schaeffer is probably my all-time favorite Christian thinker/mentor, and his example of merciless dissection of the difficulty along with real care for the person is exemplary.

If you just needed an outlet, and not the goal of giving insight.... you can forget my whole ramble here......

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't speak for anyone else who reads the posts here. But for me at least. It's therapeutic for me knowing that someone else has either had the same bad experience and that I'm not delusional. I've had many bad experiences working at IBLP HQ. I'm now a burnt out x-ati person who's come to the realization that there's not much difference between LDS and IBLP. To see/hear someone else who realizes it and restates what "could" happen in any given bit about IBLP in a satirical matter is very refreshing. Especially after being around people who had nothing better to do then to be pitiful brainwashed brown-nosers. If I get feeling like I just "have" to spew venom about IBLP I can at least come here and release some of the venom laughing at the way that X-er expresses things. So as a note to X-er.. Keep it up man. To those still in "bondage" in IBLP. My recommendation would be to toss out everything you learned in IBLP.. and Relearn who God "REALLY" is. I was surprised at how little IBLP's version of God resembled even a litteral reading of the Bible. Try it. You might like it. :-P

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ilona said above in her blog: "I have never felt the compunction to criticize Gothard's program since it is not unique in Christendom for having faultiness." A reading of Ron Veinot's book on Gothard will demonstrate that Gothard is outside the realm of evangelicals in his denial of grace as "unmerited favor." Veinot has shown that Gothard's definition of grace lines up with the Council of Trent, thus making Gothard a crypto-Catholic.

Gothard's doctrinal views do not simply contain some faultiness, but outright error. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Owens, and other godly men of the past would not hesitate to criticize Gothard's teachings, but would actually condemn him as heretical in his understanding of grace. Spiritual discernment in just this one doctrinal error would require true believers to abandon his organization, teachings, books, videos, etc. Gothard is a false teacher. How can anyone trust him to teach them how they ought to live a godly life, when he doesn't even understand how to be biblically saved, in the first place?

Gothard is deserving of critique, censure, and satire.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'll still let my hair grow--whatever false idea's one may have.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One post up: You should let it grow. If its facial hair you should let it grow out long enough to braid and bead. Fetching. :0)
There is a saying-The bigger the hair, the closer to God. Maybe that goes for longer hair as well.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. I'm going bald. Does that mean I'm closer to God or further away?

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight – Bill says if a man has facial hair then he has a problem with lust? Hey Bill, hows this one: if a man doesn’t marry, he must be gay.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Christi said...

Interesting that a man's facial hair grows in anticipation of sex...what about my hubby who's in the US Navy and has to shave every day while gone on 7 month deployments...no sex in sight and yet the hair continues to grow! Very interesting...he'll be home in about 3 weeks...I wonder if he's shaving twice a day now ;)

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


so, the guys are required to shave, but the girls are forbidden to shave?

I had no idea females could grow more hair than me until I had to go to Big Sandy....

10:18 AM  

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