Thursday, July 21, 2005

Miss Modesty: an assortment
Dear Miss Modesty,

At church, I've had some people tell me that there are some things wrong with ATI. One girl even showed me some Scripture passages. (I had trouble paying attention through the whole thing because it was really long. I appreciate the way Mr. Gothard just uses one or two verses to back up his points.) How do I deal with these attacks?

Standing Alone

Dear Standing,

When several different people repeat the same doubts about ATI ,and when they bring out Scripture to support their arguments, you can be sure that it is time for your family to find a new church. If there is no acceptable church in your area, then I recommend you find new friends who will edify you in the faith, not tear it down.

-- Miss Modesty

Dear Miss Modesty,

I find that many of the contemporary praise songs really minister to me. Our church has only a piano, so there is no backbeat. Is it okay to like these songs?

Careful Worshiper

Dear Careful,

There are many songs which may be played without a backbeat, and have a form of godliness about their lyrics. But remember that these "borderline" songs breach the wall which protects churches from the spiraling pit of "Christian" rock. So even if they are not evil in and of themselves, it is best to avoid them because of where they could lead.

-- Miss Modesty

Dear Miss Modesty,

I understand that being under authority is the most important way a Christian can live. But I'm puzzled as to who Mr. Gothard's authorities are. He personally encouraged my dad to stay in our church and be under the authority of our pastor, even though our pastor's preaching isn't very solid. Does Mr. Gothard have a local church and pastor in authority over him?


Dear Curious,

Your letter reveals a lack of self-control, that you cannot restrain your curiosity about others' private affairs. It also reveals a lack of discretion, that you would ask impertinent questions about your authorities. I am skeptical that your parents are aware that you wrote this letter.

-- Miss Modesty


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A long, long time ago Bill claimed IBLP [not he personally, but the ministry] was under the authority of his church, but church members at LaGrange said he never attended.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Bill has said he answers to the board. The problem is this: he sits on the board and he also decides who sits on the board. The board is beholden to Bill.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the answer to this question of authority is very obvious. Bill is one of the very few people who have a direct link to God himself. God actually speaks to him, mostly in the form of rhemas while he is up in the middle of the night praying and fasting. It was during one such time when God revealed to him that the 49 Commands of Christ relate precisely to each of the 49 Character Qualities. Imagine that! Most people are unable to have such communion with God because they don't pray in the middle of the night due to the fact that they have to get up early the next morning and go to work to support their family. How carnal. These people obviously need to be under the auhtority of a church and listen to the guidance of a spiritual man like Bill.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how the main accusation Bill has for people, especially "young people" is that they aren't under authority. For the record, Bill's parents wanted him to get married. How can his ministry be successful when he is in open rebellion to his parent's direction for his life?

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to comment #2 above: Yes, Mr. G decides who sits on the board (well, he's had trouble of late talking people into serving of September 2003 they hadn't had a quorum for a year and a half), but even that doesn't mean he listens to them. He makes decisions that the board hears about after the fact, and even goes around their decisions after votes.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon # 4 is right; Bill has admitted his parents wanted him to marry. I predict if Bill does marry, the girl will be under the age of thirty.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember at one conference how Bill started out one evening by talking about how much he would love to have the company of a "young lady" but it's something he's given up for the Lord and to serve all of the ATI families. I remember being shocked when he said "young lady" since he has to be over 60. Talk about robbing the cradle.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mean to ask a filppant question, but is it possible Bill is gay and doesn't know it?

11:50 AM  
Blogger Semirrahge said...

Ah... Once again, a completely wonderful collection of satire. I especially love the third one, as we all know that Mr. Gothard conveniently overlooks his Church-going and his own personal chain of command. It seems common for those near the top to forget that there are still people over him.
I tend to wonder along with Anon #3, that perhaps Mr. Gothard thinks he's directly in line with God in the chain. I distinctly remember a negative attitude towards those staff members who had the unmitigated gall to skip staff meeting for church functions, or something as important as sleep.
Those of us who worked in the Print Shop didn't have the luxury of straggling in to work and drowsing through staff meeting and slowly getting started on the day - our workday started at 7:45 and we were expected to be hard at work by 8:00 if not sooner.

And to agree with Anon. #7 I remember when Bill said that... Unfortunately at the time I was inspired by his sacrifice and example to a young man like myself. It's taken me years to undo the concept that talking to girls is 3vil.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon #8: I trust you aren't trying to be malicious, but this question is a low shot at any unmarried Christian. Speaking as one who was unmarried and un-dating for many years, that assumption is demoralizing. If he is gay, that's his issue with God alone, seeing as he's celibate and does not teach in favor of it.

It's a lot more productive to focus on the problems we know are there (like his lack of an over-authority) rather than speculate on "maybes."

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How right you are, Anon #10--we should not question Bill and his morals. Who are we to speculate when he picks handsome young men to be his "personal assistants." And besides, even if he's not gay, staying celibate is sooooo super spiritual. I mean, doesn't the Bible clearly state that whosoever findeth a wife findeth a bad thing?

7:36 PM  
Blogger TraineeEMT said...


Saying stupid things like "Is Bill gay?" is not going to get anyone out of IBLP, simply because it is so patently untrue.

See if you can add anything constructive, instead of maliciously attacking Gothard. There are plenty of things wrong with him, so there is no need to spend your time with silly questions.

And as for being celibate, doesn't the Bible also state:

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 1 Corinthians 7:7

Celibacy is obviously a gift that few people have. I would suggest reading the entire chapter to gain a fuller view of Paul's teachings on this.

Of course, they can be carried too far, as ATI does. But celibacy is still a gift, even when men twist it as the Catholic Church does.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your anger is evidence that you have not given up your rights. Your bitterness will also cause you health problems in the future.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Walt said...

Hey, that sounds like a fortune cookie...

5:31 AM  
Blogger Lisalia said...

I mean no disrespect to any person or institution with my comments, I think it was a fair question. Homosexuality is an ancient issue, low sex drive, or even no sexuality at all could come into play. By remaining celibate, it is possible that he has confused his lack of desire to be with a woman with a higher motivation to serve God. It certainly sets an incredibly high standard for men who appreciate women and women who appreciate men if their leader has no appetite for the flesh.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that a man like Bill thinks he can run a ministry to families when a) he's never been married or been in any kind of long-term relationship with a woman and b) he's never had children and been a father. It is very easy to tell other people what they should be doing when you don't have to do it yourself. And as for Paul being able to minister without a wife and kids, well just remember--it wasn't him writing, it was God! Bill has no such divine inspiration.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Lisalia that it is a fair question. There are many reasons that a person may allegedly remain "celibate" (but remember, that is just what he claims, and proof abounds that he has blatantly lied many, many times). Those close to him like to believe that he just "stretches the truth a bit as a visionary exhorter" but no, my friends, he lies.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am SO not interested in Billy G's sex life (either lack thereof or desires thereof). I agree with the others above -- there's so much evident already to take issue with, why do we have to get snarkey and think in the gutter? Jesus wasn't half as fascinated with sex-sins as you guys seem to be. Maybe He was gay and didn't know it?

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>I predict if Bill does marry, the girl will be under the age of thirty.

...and I further predict that she would live out an utterly *miserable* existance.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm NOT interested in Bill's sex life(or lack thereof) either. What I have a problem with is the fact that at EVERY homeschooling conference and even other things like counseling seminars he always found a way to work in the fact that he was unmarried and celibate (translation: I do not have sex). Why does he need to shove that in people's faces as some kind of spiritual badge of pride? He's the one fixated on it.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so... His parents wanted him to get married? OK well what about when his dad made him promise that he wouldn't get married for one or two more years... when his dad was on his deathbed? ..... -- I like that thing about the "fortune cookie"!

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that he did occasionally attend the LaGrange Church, (I think it's a Bible church......?) ... but that he would sit there and take notes and read the Bible for himself, and felt that the sermons were shallow... He felt that he got more out of his own Bible-reading and note-taking than the actual sermon itself. ...and I also heard that he commented in that vein to the pastor afterwards (on more than one occasion)... and the pastor said "Oh! You got all of THAT out of one sermon?! Wow!" or "You got all of THAT out of my sermon just now? Wow, I never would have thought!" :) I think he went to that church because his parents went there.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Mr. Gothard repeatedly reminds others of his marital status, then either he is proud of it or subconsciously he wants to be married and have those things he sees in ATI families, such as happiness and children.

It may be that Mr. Gothard is not as happy and content as he lets on. Perhaps he has sacrificed in his life the things he wanted for the things he thinks the Lord wants.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"His dad made him promise that he wouldn't get married...when his dad was on his deathbed." Doesn't that sound just a little too convenient? Of all the things to say on your're gonna call your son in and say, "Don't get married!"

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to apologize for asking the question about Mr. G possibly being gay; I did not imagine this was such a touchy subject; I thought I was the only one who has thought about this. I won't do it again.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before Mr. Gothards dad died he asked Bill if he would not marry for at least 2 more years after he died. He never said for his entire life. He shared this with us at Knoxville. At a pastors conference one woman asked him if he was engaged, he said he would like to be engaged, but with what the Lord is wanting me to accomplish now in my life I would would be in marriage counseling if I were to marry now.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is good to have an eye witness account of Bill's testimony for his father's command not to marry for two more years. I checked Mr. G's website and it says William Gothard, Sr. died on March 17, 1994.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when do fathers get to command their adult sons? What a control freak.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bill doesn't hurry up and get married, the only girl who will want him is Anna Nicole Smith.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol... i grew up in ati and am gay, but until reading these comments it never once occurred to me to question whether bill was straight. :) personally, i doubt he's gay - and don't care to exert any mental effort wondering if it's true. that's my two cents, but homosexuals tend to be pretty much just as bad at guessing someone's orientation as heterosexuals...!

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, that must have been incredibly hard growing up gay in ATI--how did you survive?

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh actually it wasn't too bad - with the huge dating/opposite-sex taboo, it's almost like they want you to end up gay, right? :) i imagine the hardest part was dealing with all the outward standards expected of you. it was traumatizing enough dealing with my own insecurities (the fact that my family/friends might think i was a freak) - then add to that the extra guilt because i forgot to "reflect praise," listened to christian rock (and enjoyed it), and never finished my faith journal!

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of ATI wanting you to turn gay, I think you have a point. I have a friend who has been so traumatized by the "do not look at guys" and "do not talk to guys" thing that she has lately talked of being attracted to her own sex since she feels more comfortable and able to talk to women. I'm not here to judge by any means, I'm just asking: is it really healthy to put so much pressure on young people to squelch their God-given interest in romance/attraction?

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easier to be gay in ATI than it is at church; or anywhere else for that matter.

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey two-anonymouses-above-me: interesting observation about your friend. i hope her bad experiences didn't mess her up too much! in my case, my being gay has nothing to do with the fear of the opposite sex that they tried to instill in us, thank god. (i wonder if i could sue them if it did??) as one-anonymous-above-me mentioned, ati, in a way, is the perfect setting for a homo - as long as you keep your mouth shut and don't mind hearing an occasional nasty comment made about gays.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have nothing against gays whatsoever, but I think it's sad when someone is traumatized into being gay. I worked in a ministry program with ATI that was very segregated and we females almost never were allowed contact with guys. After awhile some of the women took on very masculine traits and identities and ended up playing the "guy" role. I think that God designed for us to live in a mix of men and women and when half of the population is excluded, it really messes things up.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B to the G-O!
(Snapping fingers in a 'Z' shape)

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know it, sister!

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, you'd have to be majorly traumatized in order to discover that your orientation had actually been changed. (my trauma, however, came AFTER realizing my orientation. :)

i knew i was gay even before we got into ati, but they did contribute to what i consider an unhealthy fear, or perhaps distrust, of the opposite sex. re-discovering in the past few years that i can have and enjoy having female friends has been marvellous. i get ticked off thinking of the friendships i missed out on because someone who didn't know me thought it would look bad if i talked to a girl. little did they know...

if ati reflects at all the typical evangelical american church, it's filled with closeted gays. hmm, makes me wonder who they all are...

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were do you all come from?? You guys are sick! Do you even read your Bibles ??? or are you just making up your own god in your own way to please your own sinfull selves?? Read what the Bible says about being gay.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone remember a very young gal, originally from Romania that worked with Mrs. Heineger in Billy's office at HQ? and her dad was involved in either OTC or DTC ? Wasn't that a very close relationship between our fearless leader and that girl ? He took her everywhere in his special Leader blue van, complete with driver,hair spray, munchies and all. About 1995. BG really was all about it, and she was about 14/15.

12:07 AM  

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