Sunday, April 29, 2012

Websites that Expose ATI, IBLP, and Gothard

Bill Gothard, well I've written about him before...Remember he is the man whose teachings the Duggar family follows as they attend his ATI conferences. These conferences are held nationwide and at many centers. Pray for the Duggars to come out of this cult. I hope and pray all their children are truly born again and others come out away from the influence of Gothard.  Weird title in the below...[for cities of light?]

ATI stands for Advanced Training Institute. This is a terrible name, why the focus on TRAINING? If you google the name, you will find the website that shows the different centers in Texas, Indiana and elsewhere.

IBLP stands for Institute in Basic Life Principles, both of these are Gothard's organizations.

Take some time and read these stories, I will warn with some of them they do contain descriptions of abuse.


The short story is that I made a false profession of salvation at the age of 5, grew up in ATI and IBLP, was influenced heavily by a legalistic perspective of God, began my “detox” process toward the end of college, and ultimately was saved at the age of 28 after marrying a fellow ATIer and having two children.

The longer story is broken up into several sections (seven sections, to be precise…Mr. Gothard would be so pleased!). It is admittedly extended, but I want to provide a real look inside the life and mindset of a young person in IBLP. I have tried to be transparent and it is a story that needs to be told – not because I am anyone special, but because God has dispensed an abundance of grace toward me that I do not deserve. This story is ultimately not about a boy who found God at the end of the journey; rather, it is the story of God seeking glory in the unmerited life of one He chose to claim as His own.

Gothardism, to me just seems like an extreme revamped Catholicism, work your way to heaven or in one way, have a good enough "character" to *make* it to heaven. I am glad the above young man came out and was born again.

Here someone else who grew up in the ATI world, sums it up....
Within ATI, Gothard was viewed as a sort of demigod. I remember attending the annual conferences where he was lauded with 10 minute standing ovations. We awaited every word that he said with baited breath, and took it all as gospel truth. We didn’t ask questions, we just accepted it. And that was the norm in ATI. Gothard was all about controlling people’s minds through anecdotes that would strike fear, and using scriptures out of context to say things that he wanted them to say.

That definitely is a concern. I have to admit, when man is praised too much and elevated that is a problem. Jesus Christ is Who the focus should be on. Gothard is another "celebrity" preacher obviously who holds people in his sway. I have to admit when visiting a few local churches, I saw this on the local level, and just felt horrified by it, one SBC had this ultra charismatic pastor, who everyone positively adored. Such hero-worship carried to extremes should give one the willies.

Recovering Grace is another website, where ex-Gothardites and those who grew up in the ATI system talk about their experiences there.

Some interesting articles here exposing the false teachings include

"We Were Elite, Super Special Christians"

One can see the cult training was promoted here, the focus on appearances, and extremes, think about the absurdity of sending children OUT to LOOK FOR IMMODESTY...

How could we know how our outward appearance should look? We were given school assignments to go to a local shopping area and observe people. We were told what to look for–“eye traps” such as women wearing pants, tight fitting clothing, low necklines, etc., etc., etc. Then we were to discern and “diagnose” their spiritual shortcomings based on their clothing choices.

Another part of this outward appearance was that our eyes needed to be “bright and shining.” This involved keeping a clear conscience. We were supposed to look deeply into our innermost being and confess every wrong thought, attitude, or action. For me, this translated into never trusting myself at all–I mean, the heart is deceitfully wicked, so I needed to shut down my emotions so they didn’t lead me into sin and take away my bright eyes.

We were given a list of sins that might cause the “light of the eye” to dim or go out. Lust (and all other sexual sins), worldly movies, rock music–again the list seemed nearly endless. What was conspicuously missing from this list was illness, grief, discouragement, burn out, and lack of sleep, to name a few. If you used any of those reasons as an explanation for why you weren’t wearing bright eyes and a ministry smile at all times, you were labeled an “energy taker,” and you were to be avoided like the plague because energy takers could rob the light from an energy giver!

Sounds like some subtle New-Age teachings ["robbing the light"] there to go with all the cult stuff.

I know I have written this before, never trust any church, religion or group that tells you to suppress God-given emotions and to always keep a false smile on your face. One sees that false teaching with the Duggars. This is why the Duggar family acts so Stepford-like on camera.

Here an ATI SAHD [Stay At Home Daughter] talks about being woefully unprepared for the world

Unprepared for Life

This article exposes Gothards misuse of scripture

"A New Approach To Easter"

What is Gothard's fascination with numbers?

Goathard actually wrote a letter responding to all those who have left and exposing his false teachings, remember that many of these people who left, are now Christians, even if they have rejected Gothards teachings. You will see the focus is on their would-be immorality and love of "unclean music".

"A Response to Bill Gothard"

See the letter here

Notice in the second page, the emphasis on WORLD CHANGERS?

A HUGE LIST OF links here:

Bill Gothard, ATI & IBLP, ALERT etc

Connections between Huckabee and Gothard


Lina said...

Wow, I remember back when Bill Gothard would come to downtown Detroit and so many of my friends (very strong Christians I might add )would attend, ironically my parents were strict and did not let me go to the big city. When I was older I usually was at work or in school, my friends were so into it they way they talked like one never really had a hope in living a successful Christian life in you did not attend the training institutes at least once in your life.
I sometimes felt guilty for not being able to go, however another part of me knew that something about these institutes was not right having seen the books. It just seemed too formulaic and that was not experience of scripture or God.

Very sad really so many pitfalls out there.
Thanks for getting the information out, I hope my old friends are reading it. :-)


Bible Believer said...

I am glad you were spared being sent to one of Gothard's meetings. That probably was God protecting you. I hope your old friends have departed from Gothard too, will pray for them. Yes these types use a formula telling people they can be "perfect Christians" when it is all about deception.

Anonymous said...

There is oodles of great info in these posts which I am sure took many hours of dedicated research. I truly do appreciate it and agree with 99.9% of it.

There is however one thing that troubles me. You have reached your own conclusion about pre-trib and that is perfectly fine. But there are many sincere believers who hold to pre-trib, they are not "escapists" and believe that the Bible teaches pre-trib.

There is room for difference of opinion on this and it is not a litmus test for biblical Christianity. We see through a glass darkly on some things and clarity is to come. This should not be a dividing issue.

Some false teachers teach pre-trib, but there are others who are solid doctrinally who also teach pre-trib. There are some teachers that blast pre-trib but they are fundamentally off track.

One can certainly advocate for a position and defend it biblically, but to totally discount those who honestly believe pre-trib is biblical should not be written off as following false doctrine.

Thank you.

Bible Believer said...

Anon, I was pretrib until just some time ago. It took me time of prayer and study with that one too. I questioned the rapture, but that is one I had to study, from the get-go.

I think many SINCERE believers are, why wouldn't they be when this is something taught everywhere? I do not think it is a salvation issue but given where I am coming from I hope it is one people are open to testing and praying to God for truth about..

So I do not think these eschatalogical beliefs determine salvation nor are automatic dividers, I may point to pre-trib as being popular among false teachers but as for individuals that is a different matter.

Anonymous said...

You said:
I think many SINCERE believers are, why wouldn't they be when this is something taught everywhere?

I respectfully differ. Pre-trib is being questioned by many and there is much confusion as we see world events occur and bring the topic of eschatolology to the forefront.

The people I refer to as sincere are not those who are swayed by this or that popular teacher, but rather folks who have studied the Word, just like yourself and have come to a different conclusion.

At the heart of the issue is whether one believes in dispensational theology or not. Genuine Bible scholars end up with different views. This is a puzzle because one has to consider who is rightly dividing the Word and who is not. This is for now a mystery except in the essentials of the faith that should be apparent to all.

Too many people are compromising the essentials, the bedrock of the faith and that is a major concern. There is much in the Word about the end times so it must be important, but unless one has the basic doctrines right the rest doesn't matter and is only a bridge to nowhere.

I may have missed it, but have you shared the biblical exegesis you used to arrive at your conclusion? If you are going to speak about a contrary position, it would be helpful to elaborate on exactly what led to your change of mind on the rapture.

I am at a place where I trust no living teacher, but I have delved into the past to "consult" some Bible expositors who have gone to their reward. My spirit bears witness with what they teach in regard to the rapture but other doctrinal truths as well. If the basic doctrinal truths are not supported, their other teachings are worthless.

Those who have passed on are "immune" from the apostasy and have made their mark whether good or bad.

I appreciate your response and the work that you do and do not for a moment challenge your sincerity in the conclusion you have reached. I think we have to extend grace in this area and while holding to our own view, leave some wiggle room for those who disagree.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how many times I went through Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts? What kind of name is that anyway??!! haha

I think I went through this seminar at least 2-3 times with my church group and parents. Ugh

When I tell you that I have been through just about all the Jesus Movement had to offer, I'm being quite serious. Sad is what it is.

Bible Believer said...

"But have you shared the biblical exegesis you used to arrive at your conclusion? If you are going to speak about a contrary position, it would be helpful to elaborate on exactly what led to your change of mind on the rapture."

quoting from my article on Leaving Pre-Trib behind..

"Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

How could the antichrist "make war against the saints" if they are all "not here"?"

Bible Believer said...

All of Gothards seminars and organizations seem to be oddly named, lots of Training and focus on 'conflicts". I am glad you were able to realize these groups were false. I have many articles dealing with the Jesus Movement on this blog pertaining to Calvary Chapel, they are indexed under that "Calvary Chapel" and Pentecostalism"

news4themasses said...

SCARY! I was in 'church' a few weeks ago when this man in front was having a brief conversation with my husband.He said he was returning home from AZ (he's a snowbird) to XYZ and on his way he was going to pick up his daughter in Nashville who works for Bill Gothard. Immediately my antenna went up, I know nothing about the man, but had just skimmed through this post not too long ago. Then, get this, he turns to my husband and says, "You ought to take your daughters to one on his (Bill Gothard's) seminars. The girls have classes, separate and you will learn all about different personalities each kid has in the home based on their order, like if they're first born, middle, etc." And I was sitting right next to him and it was as if I was not there! It so irritated me. sheesh, these people just don't get it, they willingly send their kids to these "colleges, universities, camps, etc" and give their kids over to be brainwashed, then they try to enlist others!!!

Anonymous said...

[Amen, Galatians 4. Here's what I ran into on Google. Sharon]

Christ's return is NOT imminent !

by Bruce Rockwell

(Pretrib rapturists claim that Christ's return is imminent, that is, capable of occurring at any moment. Theologian and pastor Norman MacPherson, in his excellent book "Triumph Through Tribulation," offers proof that the Bible has never taught an any-moment return of Christ. Here are the points discussed at length by MacPherson:)

1. Great Commission fulfillment implies a long period of time.
2. Seed growth in Matt. 13 is a time-consuming process.
3. Paul expected death, not rapture, in II Tim. 4:6-8.
4. Jesus predicted Peter's martyrdom in John 21:18-19.
5. Matt. 24 teaches that signs must come first.
6. Many passages speak of a large interval between Christ's ascension and return: Jewish dispersion into "all nations" (Luke 21); "man traveling into a far country," "after a long time the lord of those servants cometh" (Matt. 25).
7. Apostasy of last days takes time to develop.
8. Bridegroom tarried in parable of virgins.
9. Pastoral epistles teach Church's continuing ministry, which involves time.
10. Paul says Christ's coming is not imminent (II Thess. 2:1-3), for apostasy and Antichrist must come first.
11. View of seven phases of church history (seven churches of Revelation) involves big lapse of time and imminence difficulties for pretribs; could Christ have come before the last phase?
12. Exhortations to watch and be ready are tied to what pretrib teachers regard as the second stage (which is necessarily non-imminent) in Matt. 24 and 25, I Cor. 1:7, Col. 3:4, I Thess. 3:13, II Thess. 1:7-10, I Pet. 1:13 and 4:13, and I John 2:28.

And Acts 2:34-35 and Acts 3:21 clinch non-imminence! Would anyone dare assert that the Father's throne (at which Jesus now is) will descend with Jesus into our atmosphere to destroy His "foes" and restore "all things" BEFORE THE TRIBULATION?
How can an "imminent" return of Christ have a greater practical effect on us than the indwelling of the Holy Spirit already has, or should have, on us? For more on pretrib beliefs and history, Google "Pretrib Rapture Secrets," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving in Unnerving," "Deceiving and Being Deceived" (by D.M.), "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Walvoord Melts Ice," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," "Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham," "Islam Will Purify Jews and Christians," "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal," and - with the 2012 election in mind - "Pretrib Rapture Politics."

Anonymous said...

Sorry if i have another opinion whatsoever. you know what.. you're just wasting your time putting a blog or even putting a website just to pull others down. As a Christian, WITH A BASIC SEMINAR background... i grew up in a way that being a good example to every believer. I really want to stand for what is right and do what is right. that means i want people to see Christ in me in everything i do. of course as an individual, i often time fail.. but still God's grace is present in everything i do and that's what keep me going. in everything i do and responding to people who knows me as a christian and often time ridicules me, i always ask myself what would Jesus do? i read many thing about people talking about gothardism, and some of the testimonies... i don't know but they don't really put key informations that supports their messages. Mr gothard doesnt know me personally but really appreciate what he teaches.. it's not about working our way to heaven but after recieving the grace of God through FAITH we must be a good example and have a moral standard. isn't that what the bible teaches... i re watch every messages he spoke and review it and check every bible verse for two years.. but i don't see any false.. not that i am pro that's not the main reason, but i am just searches whatever is really true.. Jesus's ministry on this earth is to teach the gospel, heal the sick, and free people from bandages. i tried it with my non christian friend.. i let him read Mr Gothards website and your website... you know what was his response.. he was very displeased with your website.. i shared christ to him after.. first this is not a good testimony to non believers.. and second of all i don't see my life putting a website.. and doing every strength God had given me to pull down the people with the same faith.. why don't you start a great ministry with yourself doing something great and leading people to CHrist and not caging yourself in bitterness that results into nothing.. if he's deceiving people.. then God will avenge for them.. it is not for us to judge because God knows for sure what he's doing and what he's doing is multiplying.. and yours don't nothing much of a great impact.. doesn't change individual's lives and i think it is not a very godly move.. very bad testimony. yes it helps people.. but do they come and cry out to God and pray.. no.. instead they cage their minds into believing whatever you are saying and not resulting into glorfying God. Pls pray and ask for God's guidance before doing such a thing. sorry for my response.. because it doesn't help people.. it cost more division.. and lastly.. imagine yourself facing God.. and you told him about Mr Gothard.. does he care.. i don't think so.. because Mr Gothard might be doing the right thing and recieves more reward than you.. when you die.. it's what you DID FOR GOD that matters.. because it is of what you will be rewarded.. Just a self reflection.

Bible Believer said...

I am not trying to "pull anyone down" but Gothard is a false teacher influencing many lives for his Dominionist, patriarchy views, and people ARE suffering. Only the most hard-hearted will be cold to what even children and young adults suffer being brought up in these cultic systems. I've seen the ATI videos, the weird headshaving and militarism for the boys, the dress alike cult mannerisms for the women. Gothard preaches on family and marriage and never left home! Which is weirdness beyond weirdness. I agree it is a good thing to stand for what is right, but Gothard and those of his ilk, are legalistic, is that why we see people who basically being turned into "Christian" clones or cariacatures. Where is the requirement to wear nothing but Khaki pants and polo shirts well when its not suit day for the young men come from? I know its not from the Bible. Or how about that weird stuff about how young ADULT women can never leave home unless they marry, so conceivably a 45 year old could be sitting there, never growing up, and the oddness is what happens when the parents die? All my friends over 40, have lost their father and the majority both. That is a perfect set up for a lady to end up in the street and not from the Bible at all!
Also there is self pride, in parading around even thinking, "I want people to see Christ in everything I do". I believe we are to follow Jesus's example but this idea, that people are all going to fall before us, as beacons of perfection, is the trap of self righteousness. The unsaved don't care. Sorry to be that blunt, but legions of "stepford" "Christians" are not going to get them on their knees to God.

We are only humans and should be convicted of our own sin before God. This is why the Gothard system focuses so much on the OUTWARD TRAPPINGS. I want people to look at Jesus Christ, NOT ME. I am only a human being. I am not perfect. Those who are in a religious system who tell them they can be "perfect" already have lost the plot.

Titus 3:5 - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Isaiah 64:6

King James Version (KJV)

6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away

Romans 10:3

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

So when you tell me it's about what YOU DID FOR GOD that matters, that has me wonder if you even know what the gospel even is. It worries me.

We are to be saved via God's grace, and in this we realize how wretched we are compared to God. Any religious system that preaches your own righteousness gets you into heaven is a FALSE ONE. I was told that WHAT I DID FOR GOD, is what would get me into heaven by the Catholic church.

Do you see what I am telling you here.

I do not depend on my own works for ANYTHING. They are FILTHY RAGS.

Does that shock you me being that direct about it?

Bible Believer said...

I am glad you do seek after God's grace but Gothards system repels that grace. Even if you DO BELIEVE that salvation is via GRACE, how does that work in your santification via the Holy Spirit. Remember God will change the saved person to a "new man" but this is out of a Christian's desire to please God not gothard's endless lists of character rules, wisdom books,visions of perfect families, and more. Many of these "rules" aren't even biblically based but made up such as the SAHD thing.

Moral standards come about from being aggrieved in the Spirit, not from outside rules. In other words when a person is saved, they do not need a "daddy" figure like Gothard to tell them what is RIGHT OR WRONG.

What did your friend find so offensive about my website? What religion is he? [even an athiest]

I hope your friend does not get sucked into the Gothard trap either.

God may have you called to other things not a website, not everyone is meant to do this. I suppose if you do agree with Gothard you are not going to agree with my beliefs nor this website. I am adverse to so many of his stances.

The only thing is here, is what I told you above, warning about Gothard's false teachings, the self righteousness and those who while they are told sure salvation comes via grace, then are told to depend on their WORKS and OUTWARD TRAPPINGS.

We are told to expose false teachers in the Bible, so that is a direct instruction.

I am sure this blog brings a lot of prayer. I have to pray A LOT even finding out some of the things I do or write on. I have prayed in tears even seeing what the Dominionist and their ilk have done to multitudes of people.

I tell everyone that comes to this blog, test everything I write, examine it yourself. I am only a human being so test everything against God's Word.

God tells Christians to warn about false teachers. This may not be a job for everyone in the church, certainly not, but it's one I am led to obey.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

With Gothard, I pray about all of them I expose. I have no problem facing God one day about what I have written here. Nope none at all.

Anonymous said...

i am not a strong follower of Jesus but reading some of this website is so much like my woking enviroment and everyday life with the non-christians i encounter on a daily basis,your words about someone are no different than the non-believes i am around on a day to day makes wonder if you all are believers.sorry