Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bill Gothard thanks his critics
[Editor's Note: We promised to bring you Dr. Bill Gothard as a guest blogger on X-ATI Guy. Here is the first installment. Enjoy. ~X ]

Dear former ATIA students,

When I was 15, I dedicated my life to helping young people make wise decisions. I realizedthat God was asking for the utmost devotion, so I purposed to postpone marriage until I could accomplish the vision He had given me.

I began by working with inner-city gangs. The conflicts these young men had with their God-given authorites, and the Scriptural principles we applied to resolve these conflicts, eventually led to the Basic Seminar--attended by 2.6 million people.

Since those days I've poured my heart out to serve you and your family. We've shared many rich times. It grieves me to see so many formerly-vibrant ATI students walk away from the standard their parents have raised.

I want to discover why you rejected God and His Principles. I hope this can be the start of a long and productive conversation. So please send your comments and questions to Mr. X-er and we will seek God's wisdom together.

In Christ,

Dr. Bill Gothard


Blogger hederka said...

I didn't plan on responding to any of these guest postings, but I couldn't help it when I read this letter.

Where does Mr. Gothard come off telling us that we've "rejected God and his principles?" Sure, some X-ATI people have completely rejected Christianity. But I think that many, perhaps even most of us, are still totally committed to orthodox (small o) Christian belief. If anything, perhaps getting out of ATI was what saved us from totally rejecting God.

It angers me that the first thing he does when trying to connect to former ATI students is accuse us of leaving the faith; but then again, it shouldn't surprise me. One of the most frustrating, and most dangerous aspects of ATI is the fact that the organization and the people involved refuse to acknowledge that there may be valid (much less Christian) viewpoints that differ from their own.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are soo judgemental! Why must you take everything Bill Gothard says, and turn it against him? He is doing a great work, why do people have to bash him? Sure he has his faults, but why do you have to point them out? Maybe we should start pointing out yours! "Don't point out the speck in your brother's eye when you have one in your own" or something to that extent.
Knock it off and use your heads God gave you! And stop bashing good people!

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody is a good person. No matter who he is or who those of us who are opposing him are, we all need to be told if we are doing or teaching something wrong. I think that sufficient scripture has been shown to prove Mr. Gothard sadly mistaken in his whole theology. Good Work? I should think not.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find ATI folks to be the most "judgmental" people I know, quite frankly.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's clear from your experiences at ATI is that Gothard has systematically legalized scriptures. Christ did not run around commanding people to wear blue suits and offer lockstep, politically-correct testimonies about "joy and just..the light in my eyes, and we're just so joyful about our joy and it's just so joyful". In fact if you look at Christ's examples and teachings, most of them are comprised of ad hoc responses. For example, when the pharisees threw the prostitute at Jesus' feet, he did not say, "ok ok everybody from now on, new rule: don't judge anybody lest you be judged." In fact, he was directing his comments toward only the Pharisees when he told *them* not to judge unless those Pharisees were willing to accept judgment on themselves according to the same standards they were applying to the woman. Jesus was not telling everybody just never to judge anyone. If this were the case we would have no court system.

I think that Jesus would find Gothard's bible-legalizing regimentation very distasteful. Alas, no one is perfect, and Gothard has his faults despite what all the brainwashees will attest to. Christianity pertains to a condition of the heart. Gothard should check his own heart and realize that he is imposing his own legalized interpretation of scripture onto everybody else. This is a big world and there are heaps of evidences for all kinds of interpretations. What matters ultimately is your personal relationship with God -- not whether or not your blue ati suits are finely pressed.

I leave you with a quote from Madelein L'Engle: "Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself."

12:40 PM  
Blogger Deanna said...

In response to an annonymous poster: There is a difference between bashing and critique. In response to Mr. Gothard's letter: Perhaps Mr. Gothard should realize that there is a difference between rejecting Christ and rejecting his (Mr. Gothard's) system of Christianity. They really are two different religions.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Deanna said...

And I just realized how serious you were about this being satire.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so lemme get this straight - if someone no longer attends ATI, theyve automatically rejected God and His principles??

CULT: "a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies."

enough said.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for someone like Mr. Gothard who can pour himself into peoples lives and sell himself out for God so that He can work in others hearts.The reason why so many people "bash" Mr Gothard is because he is giving the truth plain and frills or sugar coating. He just gives it straight. Don't you think the world needs more people like him? Why does everyone "bash" people who are just trying to care for others and do what is right, they step out of the ordinary and get pushed down! Why does that happen?

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

religions?? if you reject scripture you reject God. Because scripture is God's holy word!!!!

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wisdom is justified of all her children." "You shall know a tree by its fruit."

Basic Bill has a way of making everything he says sound perfectly rational and scriptural. Yet when you look at the products of his ministry, you see plastic fruit in every sense of that word. It's all fake from that dyed comb-over to the young, impeccably groomed, attention-craving, testimony spouting, navy blue wearing, descant singing, violin playing, blonde-haired "yes-girls" who are the shining-faced front to his ministry, to the pretentious claim to having acquired the only road leading to Rome.

Anybody who has worked at HQ and seen how those who have "fallen from grace" are quickly and unceremoniously discarded can attest that as soon as you show a human failing, you no longer resemble the otherwise perfect bowl of plastic fruit.

Not all of us "left" the program--some of us got kicked out! (I have so much to be grateful for in this regard)

Where has Basic Bill hidden his flawed younger brother???

There are a couple of great feature stories on You-Tube about these undesirable younger sibblings:


1:08 PM  

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