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