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?


Anonymous Naomi said...

Wasn't the millstone intended for the servants and not those of us who have been "offended"?

Just scratching my head here...

4:34 PM  
Anonymous former ATI er said...

God also has some very strong comments for false teachers. False teachers are those who take the truth and distort it. I think that's why it was so difficult when I was younger stuggling with knowing that Gothard's teachings weren't on target but not knowing why or how to explain it. Now things are much clearer as I can stand firmly on the solid truth of God's Word and the heart in which He wrote it.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous ATI420 said...

Whoever said that sounds like another brainwashed navy and white zombie. Just because some of us don't agree with some ATI/Gothard teachings and the IBLP antics doesn't mean we don't fear God. My advice: EAD.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that poor girl... i'm assuming, of course, that the writer is female, mainly because her rsponse mirrors a kind of aversion to personal awareness and a judgement of others not likeminded to her beliefs that always seemed more prevalent with girls in ATI. Notice, if you will, how strongly she relies upon her understanding of the God-Hammer to flatten out evildoers who don't "believe". Once more I must ponder the similarities between those "schools" churning out Muslim extremists and programs like ATI. hmmmm.....

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not an ATI family and will probably never will be. However, I have been to two conferences and have learned quite a bit from them.

Agree with all they teach? No. The music thing is pretty off-base. Some of the others are off too. However, there is a lot of wisdom in other parts of the teaching. Are they "rules"? Don't know and don't see them that way. I see them as good advice...there is a thing called wisdom, after all. I know this is very foreign to many Americans. But being wise as a serpent is not a bad idea.

I've been in a legalistic church. So no need to try preaching to me that this is a bunch of legalism...unless it's being marketed as a necessary step toward salvation to heaven. I take the teachings as maturity in my Christian walk.

As for Gothard being a "false prophet", go back and reread false prophets. False prophets do it out of their own selfish ambitions...not out of mistakes from interpretation of scripture. If that was the case, we are all false prophets.

Not going to be too critical hear, but I find it interesting how many bash Gothard for being unGodly...but then laugh at the man...his teachings...and use some pretty off-color humor and remarks. Hmmmmm...I wonder who the false prophets really are.

Just some thought.

Regards to all.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous ATIer for 11 yrs. said...

Anonymous at 2:50 pm,

Be careful. you admitted that you have only been to 2 seminars, and I would tell you that not all that glitters is gold. Please be wise and carefully test what has been taught. Take the red book and your Bible and read the Bible for yourself. Put the scriptures in context.

As for false prophets and selfish ambition. I speak as one who was involved for many years with the "ministry". Test the motives for yourself, and look for the man behind the curtain. you will find a lot of selfish ambition. You will find many personal preferences in Gothard's form of holiness.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Well said. Wise counsel and will take your advice.


8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again the use of scripture is used totally out of context. The millstone reference is from Matt. 18 and is about children. I find it very interesting as the mother of two children who were hated and attacked by a Gothard family, to hear this quoted by someone defending ATI. One of those children (age 20 now) will have nothing to do with the church due to the hateful behavior this family showed her. This mother actually ask me to pray that God would help her to love my children. We are not, and have never been ATI. The damage done by some of these people reaches beyond just their circle.

6:13 AM  
Blogger bethany said...

Sadly, you are completely right. The damage done reaches far beyond the ones in the inner circle.

I think that this woman's argument may have been somewhat appropriate if we were actually talking about a teacher of God...but anyone who truly knows Gothard knows he's just about anything but. As someone who talked to him very recently, let me just say that the guy is absolutely a dangerous degree.

I've been denouncing BG for years and have yet to be struck by hell fire.

And I think that millstone is going to be nice and heavy around BG's least, here's hoping.

And is it not perhaps most glorifying to God to publically recognize a dangerous manipulator who helps criminals cover their tracks in the name of parental authority?

My goal is to educate people so that they are never desperate enough to fall for BG's lies. He is a very sick man. And I am a believer, though barely, in light of the damage he participated with in my life. There's nothing to smear here. HE's created his own reputation.

So, am I bitter. Yes. I am very bitter. Just as I am bitter at child molestors, abusive adults, and liars. I wouldn't doubt that God's a lil bitter too.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben Farmer

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

be careful mocking someone who's exhorting people. Don't take bitterness against IBLP or ATI and direct it at someone who only is trying to encourage others in a wholesome direction.
Yes, it's just satire. But don't get on her because she has a sensitive conscience.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

I am not very familiar with ATI, and I don't know the context behind her comment. But i do agree that we should not speak against the Lord. But was that what she was asserting? I study words, and I study how certain words are spoken, and what could possibly be going on in ones heart. Like "what would be going on in someone's heart to say or write that?" But non of us can know the heart of man fully. Only God. So i want to be weary of how i speak about this subject.
I have experienced a lot of hardship and pain with the legalists. The pharisee and the hypocrites. But even so, I have to be honest and say that i forgive them all. What truly goes on in my heart is compassion for them. When they were persecuting my godly character, saying it was ungodly... I could only think of Isaiah 6, and when Jesus says, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."
It is not our responsibility to save them, but to pray for them. To speak truth to them, but always remembering the Love and Compassion that Jesus himself had.
I really appreciated her comment... "what exactly is your goal?" because she does have a point there. But it is also important for her to ask that same question to herself. And I wonder if she took the liberty to do that, or if her heart was hard. I do wonder what would drive her to feel such a strong need to call you out.
It saddens my heart that she would say "are you a believer?" because in the order of which she said this... it shows her heart was not in the right place. What if you weren't? Is that question, a question of encouragement? or discouragement?
And what does she mean by "do what is right?"
I am convinced that her heart was not in the right place. Her frustration... is so vast. Why is she trying to change you? that is the Holy Spirits job!!
We are to speak truth. We are not to try to shape others to be the way we believe they should be. I would greatly encourage you to read the book "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by David Johnson, and Jeff Van Vonderen. It might give you a little more clarity of what this comment is evidencing in the heart.
We all need to be careful about what we say to others, we need to check our hearts, and see if it is really displaying the Love of Christ, that he so much wants us to understand. We need to check and see if we are truly speaking God's Truth, or if a little bit of post modernism has entered our hearts and minds. We must always keep an open heart, mind, and ear to Truth.
I just want to pray for this girl, and hope that she will herself ask those same questions she proposed. I do agree with her that bitter comments are very sad. and we should be careful about what we say to anyone, that it won't lead them astray. But the same standard that we hold, we must keep. In my experience, and understanding... God is the one we are following here. Christ taught us that we don't need to work to gain our salvation, we don't need to live according to the Law in order to be saved. He allows us to live a life by grace, through faith. Not by law, through works. We truly must understand that, before we teach a false gospel. We cannot misuse our authority as Christians, and say that we know 100% what is best. We are called to be humble in all areas, not proud. And if pride is in your heart when you speak, I pray right now for you.
I write this with reverence of God, and i pray that you are able to see that my words, are words meant to encourage you in the Lord, and not to tear you down.
In Christ,

10:31 PM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

in regards to bethany... Bitterness is not of God. Righteous Anger= yes. Bitterness= no. Bitterness is not an aspect of true Agape Godly Love. We cannot harbor bitterness in our hearts, and call it righteous. We must be careful what we attribute to God, and discern what is really of ourselves.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this site and Im once again glad that I walked away from Gothardism.

My life is so much happier, dare I say full filled?, now that Ive shaken off ATIA and Bill Gothards teachings.

Im not afraid of God anymore. Im not afraid of the what if I say the wrong thing...heck, Im just not afraid of the 'what ifs' anymore.

Im happy and being free of the millstone that is Gothardism is what makes me happy and at peace...finally.

Thanks, X-er, for the humor your site provides. It provides for great introspection.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous bigdogmedic said...

Did you ever read Psalms? Didn't David cry out to God to destroy his enemys? Just because a person calls themselves a christian, and then turns around and decides to judge, and make drastic decisions that affect innocent peoples lives. Does that give them impunity? I know a couple people from history like that. Let's see, the Pope, Hitler, Uh, Stalin. Get off your high horse and stop judging others yourself! Some of us are moving on from the crap we've gone through, It doesn't mean we should lay down and just take it. I think whoever said that needs to read the old testament, and a history book!

1:29 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I was in ATI for a while, and I have to say that going to a couple seminars is nothing like being in the program. Cheers to Anonymous, who said "not all that glitters is gold." I totally agree. Parts of the seminars were really good, which is probably why a bunch of our parents got into ATI in the first place. The ATI program itself, unfortunately, is a cult.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was raised from the day I was born in ATI. It is without a doubt a cult! Anyone who says otherwise is still blinded and deceived. I am proud of anyone who survives it and is able to move on with their life!

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you life was messed up by ATIA, contemplate for just a second what happened. Most likely you or your parents were following a man (Mr. Gothard), instead of having a relationship with God and became disillusioned. If you want to overcome the past and get on with life, stand up and take the blame, and get on with it.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Get on with it." Excellent advice. Suck it up y'all. Sorry some of you got hurt, but seriously . . . life's too short to wallow in your crap. MOVE ON!!!

6:15 PM  
Anonymous X-er said...

Get on with it? Oh, we did that a few years ago.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL . . . well if you guys wanna wallow in this crap--kudos to you.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

"Giddily poking fun at" is much different from "wallowing." I choose the former!

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The millstone thing cuts both ways. Those who offend children _could_ be those who lead them astray into evil (parents who are neglectful or permissive), but they could _also_ be those parents or teachers who offend with the opposite kind of actions -- too "strict," unmerciful, power-hungry, and/or doctrinally _imbalanced_. ---- there are many ways of offending a child. In the New Testament, it says "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath." I have seen first-hand the results of this kind of provocation, and it certainly does a lot of damage which is not pretty. It can actually drive a child _away_ from the Lord. That isn't right.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this blog because I know that the intent is NOT to "wallow". The laughs are just a way of coping with the past. On my part, at least, there is no bitterness.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who said "move along"...why are YOU on this site?

6:51 PM  
Blogger Bitter said...

For crying out loud...Am I the only worried about the fact that this woman probably homeschools her 18 children, and she spelled "site" wrong. Sheesh. Clearly a product of the Public School System.

12:22 PM  

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