Saturday, April 30, 2005
50 Cent Booted from The Character Inn
FLINT, Michigan - Rapper 50 Cent
was booted from the Character Inn
recently after a very brief stay. After a grueling concert schedule, 50 Cent and his posse were ready for rest and relaxation but instead they got the ole heave ho. Realizing that the Character Inn has high standards and is a alcohol and cigarette smoke free Inn, 50 Cent didn't realize that this also included weed free. This was an aroma never smelled before in the Character Inn and since it wasn't tobacco smoke, it wasn't detected until some staff started complaining of feeling a little too good, kind of like a contact high, or the high received by Mr. Gothard's the little back box
When Fifty and his crew first arrived, the iPod-clad hip hopsters' music selections was "deceitfully shielded due to their headphones," said hotel manager, Ken Pierpont. But evil was at work, and it wasn't long before a dark spirit descended upon the Character Inn, all due to the evil rhythms emanating from the personal head phones. The senior staff of the Character Inn emphasizes that only melodious music is allowed to be played at the Inn, and certainly no music that is loud, distracting or unsettling. "Music is designed to lift one's spirits and be encouraging," Ken relayed to Fifty. "However, we are very concerned with exactly what spirit is being uplifted here."
The last straw occurred when Fifty and his guests were shown to their rooms, and were told of the Inn's strict rules regarding members of the opposite sex staying in their rooms. Even though the rules of the Inn were carefully explained to Fifty, when he started to use the Inn's phones to arrange a booty call he got the boot instead. Fifty and his posse were not charged for their brief stay and Fifty also received a free copy of Hymns Triumphant as a parting gift.
As Ken explained, "You either listen to the music we approve of, and be a standard bearer of the morals and character of The Character Inn, or you will be asked to leave. Just last week we unfortunately had to ask Sandi Patti to leave due to her divorce and her ungodly association with the Contemporary Christian Music scene."
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Fathers: keep those girls at home
OAK BROOK, Illinois - The Advanced Training Institute International issued a statement strongly condemning the annual Take Your Daughter to Work Day, celebrated today by many working professionals.
"By taking their daughters to work, fathers are exposing their daughters to the dangerous temptations of independence and a paycheck," said Bill Gothard, founder of ATII. "Rather than serving at home under the father's authority, young ladies in places of employment today do not enjoy the protection God intended for them."
"In such a time as this when women have abandoned their rightful place at home, the world needs a higher standard," Gothard urged.
Vision Forum president Doug Philips joined Gothard in critcism of the Daughter Work Day, and laid the blame at the feet of President George W. Bush. "By allowing his daughters to join him on the campaign trail, the president set a poor example of Biblical patriarchy for the fathers of this country," he said.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
The Cult of Personality
"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
Most families enter the Advanced Training Institute because the parents want to pass on a spiritual heritage to their children. Therefore, they assume that an indication of their success as parents is to see children who were raised in the program continuing in the program.
Strangely, this is not the case. Enrollment in the Advanced Training Institute is declining. Attendance at Basic Seminars (the lifeblood of IBLP) is a small fraction of what it once was. Children raised in the IBLP system have largely moved on.
The incredible popularity of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (then the Basic Youth Conflicts) in the 1970's and 80's was, in my opinion, somewhat of a cultural phenomena. Many of the couples who were attracted to the system of non-optional principles came out of the 1960's when structure, authority and truth were abandoned. In counter-distinction, IBLP offered steps of action, principles, and a pattern of how to live a good life. Set adrift by the hippy movement, early followers of IBLP found it a refreshingly practical handbook for Christian living.
The draw of a powerful personality also contributed to IBLP's growth. Bill Gothard was the man--he had answers and insights and a unique perspective on personal problems. When he designed a home education program in 1984 that promised to help children avoid the same mistakes their parents had made in their youth, who could resist? One program after another came into existence, based on some new insight Gothard espoused, or the promise of children who would have character.
There is nothing wrong with these motivations. I personally believe that Bill Gothard is of impeccable character and sincere motivation. But perhaps his major flaw is that he offers a product, rather than directing people to Christ. "Follow my principles--enroll in my programs, and your children will become mighty in spirit."
If you're buying a product, your trust in the salesman is essential, which is why the person of Bill Gothard is so important to so many Christians.
Many ATI parents are distressed to see their children move away from IBLP and ATI with no intention of keeping their own families in the program. Oddly enough, most of these children, now grown, are living godly, productive lives. They were raised in good, structured homes where the Bible was taught and Christ is supreme. And they typically do not require the strictures of a regimented "Way of Life" as their parents did. They are simply living without Bill Gothard.
"Why have you rejected everything we taught you?" ask the parents. To which the children reply, "We haven't rejected anything. You simply placed us closer to Christ than your generation, and Gothard is not necessary."
Jesus Christ is the only person who maintains relevancy throughout time. Every generation has its hero, its prophet. But they all come and go. The greatest of these men and women know that their popularity is limited, but Christ's is eternal. And the wisest of these attempt to decrease their personal influence and appeal, so that Christ's may increase.
Any man who believes that his teachings, his programs, or his influence must be preserved has become self-absorbed and has lost his call to be a messenger of Christ.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Exciting New Insight Brings Genuine Freedom
The latest insight from the Advanced Training Institute...
Many times over the years, concerned fathers and mothers have approached us with one question: How do we equip our sons and daughters to go into the world and save souls, without risking harm to their own souls? These wise parents recognize that these are perilous times, and Satan delights to steal the radiance from committed young people.
The answer came about only after fasting, prayer, and studying the rich insights of the life of Christ. God granted us a rhema which gave us an unprecedented level of freedom. We are excited to share it with you here:
The Great Commission does not apply to Believers who are committed to living high standards.
Scripture admonishes us to avoid the appearance of evil and to live apart from the world. We cannot live in obedience to these commands if we regularly visit such places of sinfulness such as bars, theaters, sports games, and churches which play "Christian" rock music. These places are given over to Satan, and a Christian who frequents them opens himself to attacks from the enemy.
"But how are we to bring the lost to Christ?" someone may ask. Scripture clearly indicates that if we are living lives of virtue, our radiance will attract others to us. Our holy living will call them out of their own sin, while preserving us blameless and unblemished.
Those blinded by worldly wisdom, whose carnal spirits react to high standards, scoff and say, "But Jesus ate among publicans and sinners, and allowed a harlot to wash His feet." But Jesus is God, and as such was invulnerable to the influences of sin and Satan. Who are we to question His works? It is for us rather to obey the clear commands of Scripture, to be not conformed to the world.
Others, with lower standards, may go into the world, and may work a measure of success. But we who live according to God's highest purposes know that a pure heart is most pleasing to Him. Fathers, protect your sons and daughters, encourage them in virtue and genuine love, and you will see the world come to them.
-Submitted by Mairzy
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Silence the rebels!
Dear Mr. Ken Pierpont,
I am writing to commend your brave decision to follow your son's example and delete the comments of those who disagree with you on your blog. As director of the Character Inn, you are much too busy to engage in endless debate with ungodly critics; better to silence them all together.
If our time in ATI has taught us nothing else, it has taught us the danger of allowing worldly philosophies to enter our homes through television, radio and sensual music. Sadly, many reprobate Christians these days fail to draw the line at blog comments. Obviously, you understand that the only way to maintain spiritual purity is remove all errant doctrines from your blog, while leaving the comments that appropriately stroke your ego.
It may be time to police the discussion forums on the Crossings; no doubt those critics of IBLP are publishing their folly there as well. You may also want to ban the use of IM in your facility. I fear that the residents of the Character Inn may be reporting this saga to their family members and secret lovers.
May I suggest another effective method of throttling debate: I believe Xanga has developed technology that allows you to turn off your comment feature. True, people will no longer be able to leave their eProps affirming your wisdom and insight, but as we know it is never right to tolerate a little evil in order to enjoy good.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Gothard overcomes temptation
OAKBROOK, Illinois - Bill Gothard shocked his entire staff when he announced during a recent meeting that he needed to ask for their forgiveness. Indicating that he'd received "inappropriate material" in the mail, Mr. Gothard explained how he'd carried it into his house. Shocked, the young men and women on his staff looked at each other as Mr. Gothard shared this with downcast eyes.
"I should have destroyed it immediately," he said. "I told myself it wouldn't hurt to just let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few minutes." But soon, he admitted, the temptation to look at the "material" overcame him. "For years I've preached against debt and credit cards," he said. "I never expected to be entrapped by a free credit card offer."
Mr. Gothard told his staff that he nearly called the 800 number to take advantage of the offer. "Satan knows how to make the appearance of evil as alluring as possible," Mr. Gothard explained. "Rather than considering the consequences of my actions, all I could think about were the frequent flyer miles I'd accrue if I signed up for the card."
Thankfully, Mr. Gothard shared, "something" stopped him. "I just knew if I began dialing that number I would be crossing the point of no return."
"Debt makes you a slave," he said, "and yet it looked so inviting. I literally had to run outside and jog around the house to deaden the temptation. After all, Scripture warns us to flee evil." As he ran, Mr. Gothard visualized putting on the armor of God and identified Prayer Targets.
Mourning a country where "wickedness can enter your very living room," Mr. Gothard made a commitment right there before his staff to always call his accountability partner when opening his mail. "You never know what you're capable of in a moment of weakness. But character is what you do when no one is watching."
Letter from an IBLP staffer
Dear Mr. X-ATI Guy,
I am writing from IBLP Headquarters. I discovered your site a few days ago, and I have to admit that it is funny at times. But mostly I read your posts with a very heavy heart. To see your potential for communication, but to know that you have rejected the truth...it must grieve the Holy Spirit.
All your venting does is fan the flames of bitterness among those who are angry at their parents and Mr. Gothard. I can tell you confidently that Mr. Gothard is only human, and that he does not believe himself to be infallible. But when God has so evidently placed His blessing upon a person, shouldn't we accept this and learn what we can from him?
Most of you ex-ATI people complain about "spiritual abuse." Sure, there may be some things within the Institute that are not perfect, and I have even heard rumors of ATI students who have been wronged unjustly (though I've never seen this happen myself). But when you consider all the good IBLP accomplishes around the world, how can you reject the entire ministry?
I am also concerned about your ability to discern things of the world when the music you endorse is straight from the Pit. It's bad enough to listen to sensual CCM music, but to actually approve of the things of this world is to play with fire. Can a man play with fire and not be burned? Your search for the truth (if you are searching at all) will be hindered by your seared conscience.
By reacting to Mr. Gothard's teaching, you open yourself up to the flaming darts of Lucifer. One day you will look back on your life and realize you have wasted many opportunities. You could be ministering in Russia, or teaching orphans in Romania, or even working in the print shop here at Headquarters. All of these things would bring rich blessing into your life. By rejecting the opportunities God gives you to serve others, you lose the opportunity to build character.
You probably hate that word--"character." But how else are we suppose to show God that we love him, unless we build his character in our lives?
I personally believe that you are in danger of being turned over to the evil one for the destruction of your soul--your mind, will and emotions--for the sin of leading others astray. You help perpetuate the myth of free grace for those who have walked away from ATI in bitterness. The Lord Jesus Christ bought us with a very high price and shouldn't we be expected to show our gratitude? Our character is the only lasting proof of our love for God.
I could give you Scripture verses for all of these thoughts, but obviously you prefer to rely on your own logic. Beware: worldly philosophies can lead you even farther astray.
An IBLP staffer
Friday, April 15, 2005
An Open Letter to IBLP Staff
Dear Dedicated Young Men and Women,
Foolish men will tell you that working 80 hour weeks for less than minimum wage is a waste of your time and talents. They fail to realize that at IBLP you are also compensated by marvelous food and rich fellowship. Singing The Smile Song in 16-part harmony while working in the dish pit will store up more rewards in heaven than a hefty checking account or phat bling.
Other men may make their fortunes selling worldly goods or hormone therapy; you--you are in the business of the soul. Selling character is a higher calling, and it calls for extreme dedication. You are to be commended for giving up worldly treasure, the comforts of home, and the freedom to develop a relationship with the opposite sex. IBLP continues to grow and expand because of your faithful commitment to avoid dangerous soul ties.
The compensation, of course, is the high level of trust your IBLP leaders invest in you, and their abiding faith that you always attempt to do what is right. Only in the "real" world (or the U.S.S.R.) would your employer attempt to inspire you to perform free work by using catchy slogans such as "Doing Mighty Deeds" or "Such a Time as This."
In IBLP, you do not suffer the indignity experienced in the normal workforce of working for individuals far less qualified than yourself to be in positions of leadership. No, though they be mere children, or though nepotism seems to run rampant, you can rest assured that God wills it.
Should you ever enter the World's workforce, you will do so as an ambassador of character. Your resume will contain pages of volunteer experience and you will understand the danger of ungodly cliques. But let me warn you: re-entry can be harsh. Without the Walkie of Power, many former IBLP staffers feel weak and impotent. Sinful men will not notice your bright smile, and ungodly employers may actually try to take advantage of your skills.
Fie upon those critics who insist on casting asperations upon your employer. How many other young men or women can say they work for a man who has sent out 2.5 million birthday cards?
As you perform the day-to-day tasks God gives you, you can trust him to bless you in ways you never imagined. While you're thinking about it, let's buy another training center.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
IBLP | Daily Success
If you can convince someone to pay you $49 to send out e-mails with Bible verses, more power to you.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Ask Miss Modesty
DEAR MISS MODESTY: I would like your advice on a distressing incident.
Last Sunday after evening service, I was playing the piano while waiting for my family to get ready to leave church. (My father meets with the pastor after every service to offer encouragement and suggestions to make him a more successful pastor.) A young man who has been attending for some time came over and asked me about the music I was playing, which was something I composed myself. We started talking, and before I knew it, he asked me out! Of course I told him to go to my father -- I'm only twenty-five.
As soon as my father came out of the pastor's study, this young man asked him! My father, you can imagine, was very taken aback, as this sort of question should be posed only over the phone or at breakfast together. He refused permission, and I am grateful to him for his protection; I have struggled since with disappointment and thoughts of this young man.
My parents sat down with me to discern what in my countenance and conversation would have attracted such a worldly young man's notice. Miss Modesty, I can't think of what I did wrong! All my life I've tried to be virtuous and modest. It is quite distressing to be sensual and not know in what way! Do you have any insights to share with me?
Little Better Than a Harlot
DEAR HARLOT: Your parents are very wise to attempt to discern the root causes of this situation. However, I believe they have overlooked several key areas in which you certainly did do something wrong!
First of all, what first attracted this fellow's attention to you? You were violating the Lord's Day by playing music of your own composition instead of music dedicated to Him. Possibly your music even has worldly "Christian rock" influences which would attract the heart of a rebellious young man. Purpose from now on to play only God-honoring music on the Lord's Day -- such ancient hymns of the faith as "Sunshine in My Soul" and "Wonderful Grace of Jesus."
Secondly, how did you respond to this fellow when he spoke to you? Many young ladies fail present proper countenances to young men. As he spoke, were your eyes at half-mast, or open wide? Remember that eyes wide-open indicate an open heart, while eyes at half-mast tell your listener that your heart is not easily given away. It may be that you encouraged his worldy attentions by your lack of alertness.
And lastly, holding conversation with this young man without (apparently) any of your family present moved you out from under your father's umbrella and opened you up to attacks of Satan. That is why you feel disappointment and even attraction to a young man your father has not approved. I suggest that you go through the diagram to reclaim this ground, and do not remain outside your father's authority any longer.
I commend you for directing this fellow to your father. As your authority, your father knows what you're looking for in a husband. What a blessing for you to serve him as a daughter! May you be well-content in this God-given role for many years to come!
-- Submitted by Mairzy