Several different websites and organizations have gone after the very hypocritical IBLP founder Bill Gothard as soon as he emerged back in the public eye. Mr. Gothard is just doing what all the pastors caught with their hands and assorted body parts where they shouldn’t be do after the scandal has died down. I think it is also safe to say we’re going to also see Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar try to do exactly the same thing within six months, but only after they jettison Josh Duggar due to the pending lawsuit one of his victims filed.
We’ve seen this before. Great leader exposed as some sort of letch or predator. Leader steps down from leadership position announcing he’s going to ‘seek forgiveness’ and ‘reconciliation with God’ in private. Some months later disgraced leader returns and announces God has forgiven him, takes up same ministry or creates new one and continues on. Oh Lord, how the money rolls in!
Think I am joking or exaggerating? A short list of those that have done exactly this that I can think of right off the top of my head.
- Jimmy Swaggart
- Jim Bakker
- Ted Haggard
- Jack Hyles
- Jack Schaap (Schaap is in prison right now but his defenders are seeking to have him return to a position of authority as soon as he’s out of prison)
- Geronimo Aguilar – (He’s done this more than once and always returned to lead a new congregation. But not this time. He’s going to jail for what will likely be a very long time)
- Bishop Eddie Long
- and tons of smaller fish such as IFB pastor Charles Shifflett of Virginia who molested children at his church school for years before going to jail and returned to the pulpit immediately following his incarceration. Stop Baptist Predators has a long list of these guys that commit sexual crimes and then return right to the pulpit in a leadership position.
The other thing they all do is to minimize exactly what it was that they are accused of doing. Deflection, minimization and explaining away. Bill Gothard did that too.
It hasn’t been very long since the Bill Gothard scandal came out and he was forced to step down as the head of IBLP. It’s been a year, which is actually a pretty long time in the world of Evangelical scandals. The only one I can think of that has been out of the public eye and not attempted to reclaim his position is Vision Forum’s Doug Phillips, but Phillips is still embroiled in a messy lawsuit by his victim Lordes Torres. The second the suit is settled I’m sure he’ll come up with a new ministry and website like his buddy Bill.
Reading through Bill Gothard’s new website reveals a number of things. Mostly that Bill is still unrepentant over his sexual molestation of the scads of young women who once worked at his headquarters. So far over 60 women have come forward to accuse him of inappropriate behavior with them. He’s still claiming they are liars.
Here’s a particularly cringe-worthy bit:
My most important priority was to ask forgiveness of the Lord for my neglect of consistent meditation. I know now that He has called me to demonstrate the importance of day and night meditation; and that He had to use something very shocking to get me away from the responsibilities of ministry so I could delight in Him and His Word.
Not one word of sorrow for what he did, or even admission he did anything wrong beyond not pay attention to his professed God. In his fuller statement he only admits he was wrong to make some young ladies feel jealous or rejected. Disingenuous religious speak.
The main purpose of the website seems to be to push his products and books, which fits with the whole trying to get the money to roll in post-scandal.
The saddest part of all of this is not even that he cannot admit to what he did wrong and apologize, it’s that I know that there are tons of people out there who will support his return no matter how many of his victims they have to walk over, accuse of lying or merely dismiss by ignoring the evidence. How do you get so deluded that you immediately ignore the bad behavior of your leader? These guys that molest and return to power could do horrible things right in front of their followers and always be supported. They are complicit in covering for sexual predators, making the world just that much more dangerous.
Links below to more coverage of Bill Gothard’s return and his effect on religion and society.
Now really, ask yourself what sort of reconciliation could be had with a man such as Mr. Gothard who seems incapable of the most fundamental self-knowledge when it comes to his manhood? If you were a middle-aged mother who, in your teenage years, had been sweet and beautiful and Christian, and sent by your father to Gothard’s headquarters to serve your father and mother’s great spiritual prophet, personally, and discovered he wasn’t a great spiritual prophet, but a commonplace sixty-year-old bachelor who forced the young women he employed to give him sexual favors, how would you respond to his accusation that you weren’t willing to reconcile with him? Your job description hadn’t mentioned handsie and hairsie and footsie and gropesie and sitting-on-lapsie. So now, how would you respond to his announcement that what he did to your body was not “immoral” and had “no sexual intent?” Could you bear to meet with the man? Talk with the man? Look at the man?Finally, the table has turned enough that someone with a seat at the Evangelical Banquet Table has summoned the courage to question the Great Bill Gothard publicly. But of course, it’s too little too late. Mr. Gothard is eighty, now, and it’s been years since he was useful helping other Evangelical organizations to turn a profit. Finally it’s time to look at the accusations of all those women Mr. Gothard was fondling…
Spiritual Sounding Board has loads of information on what happened to cause Bill Gothard to step down from IBLP. Here’s one of their articles on the dangers of Gotharism.
Spiritual Sounding Board – Victim of Bill Gothard’s Teachings Speaks Out About Josh Duggar Scandal, Mike Huckabee: Bill Gothard’s Dangerous Agenda and Influence in Political Arena and Society at Large
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking while swilling diet coke and dispensing sarcasm.