Institute in Basic Life Principles

Giving the World a "New" Approach to Life!

A Time of Transition

Dear Friends and Supporters,
 
We are grateful for your prayers and patience as we have all walked through these difficult months. As Board members, each of us has been positively impacted by the relationships, teachings, and opportunities available through the Institute in Basic Life Principles. It is because of our appreciation for this ministry that we agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. We also recognize our duty as Board members, and we bring this statement with great heaviness of heart.
 
In response to allegations against Bill Gothard, the Board sought the facts through a confidential and thorough review process conducted by outside legal counsel. Many people were interviewed, including former Board members, current and past staff members, current and past administrators, parents, and family members.

At this point, based upon those willing to be interviewed, no criminal activity has been discovered. If it had been, it would have been reported to the proper authorities immediately, as it will be in the future if any such activity is revealed.

However, the review showed that Mr. Gothard has acted in an inappropriate manner, and the Board realizes the seriousness of his lack of discretion and failure to follow Christ’s example of being blameless and above reproach. As a Christian leader, he is to avoid the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22), and he must have a good reputation, even with those outside the Church (I Timothy 3:7).
         
We believe God still desires to use Bill Gothard for His work in the Kingdom of God, but we also believe it is important that he be held to the high standards clearly taught in the Scriptures and upheld by this ministry. At this time the Board unanimously agrees that Mr. Gothard is not permitted to serve in any counseling, leadership, or Board role within the IBLP ministry.
 
We also know that the Word of God teaches that believers should have a good conscience toward God and men (Acts 24:16). We want to encourage reconciliation within families and are very supportive of efforts toward reconciliation with Mr. Gothard or with IBLP. The Board is asking that Mr. Gothard submit to and cooperate with a team of Christian leaders who will direct his reconciliation process.

The Board does not believe that Mr. Gothard’s shortcomings discredit the truths of God’s Word that were taught through him. All of us are reminded of our need to look to Jesus and to His Word “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). We are committed to evaluating each part of the ministry on the basis of God’s Word, and we encourage everyone to search the Scriptures to determine what is true, as did the Bereans (see Acts 17).

We look forward to doing all we can to advance the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local Church. We dedicate ourselves to help build up families and individuals in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are seeking and praying for a new permanent president for the IBLP ministries. Please pray with us to this end.
 
Sincerely in Christ,

Board of Directors                     
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Comments

CARLOS F CALDERON

Praise the Lord. Ours prayers have been answered, both in the love shown to a man we deeply respect and appreciate and in the firmness and seriousness that our Christian principles and service to the Lord demand. We affirm this board decision and and particularly in the careful distinction between our humanness and the value of the Godly teachings we all have benefited from. It is with fear and trembling that we commend you all for such a balanced and godly path taken. our prayers continue with you and with Bill.

Chris Nicolls

Matthew chapter 7, verses 15 thru 27: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

F. Edwards

I cannot believe that it took the Board 3 months to come up with this statement; this is unacceptable.

"Many people were interviewed, including former Board members, current and past staff members, current and past administrators, parents, and family members." Were there no students interviewed? Who was this outside counsel? If it was David Gibbs, he clearly is not "outside" as I saw him in a picture slide show of this year's Big Sandy and he has a long history with IBLP. That is no way, shape or form "outside counsel." Who is this team of Christian leaders that Mr. Gothard is submitting to? I feel like this statement is simply a smoke screen, and not forthcoming at all.

I hope to hear something more transparent and honest soon from the Board.

Leslie

It seems to me that Bill is the root/cause of many people's bitterness. Read Righteous Indignation.the root needs to be cut off.

Again, since responses are being kept private, you have obviously retreated behind the veil of silence.

Men and Women of God are bold and courageous. You guys are wimps and not to be trusted.

Monica

Thank you for this and the Godly way you all have handled the entire situation over the past several difficult months. IBLP, the conferences, seminars, Mr. Gothard's teaching, memories of working at HQ and other ATI facilities was a blessing in my life and continues to be. I often refer back to notes I took during sessions with Mr. Gothard at Counseling Seminars or other events. They have guided and shaped my life in very positive ways and I'm grateful for all God taught me through him. Thank you, to Mr. Gothard for his heart for God and others and thank you to the IBLP staff for continuing on with the ministry that is furthering God's Kingdom in so many ways. I respect you all and am praying for God's blessing & protection over the ministry. ~Monica DeMass

Rachel Wilson

To whoever reads this: obviously they will not allow themselves to be lowered in such a way as to consider publishing anything such as this.

David Gibbs Jr. is NOT "outside legal counsel". It is well known that he has been a close friend of the organization for years- he is a speaker at the ATI conferences for pete's sake. This might as well have been called a completely internal investigation. Therefore, the "results" of this "investigation" will NOT be accepted.

We knew your statement would read this way. Slippery, smooth, defensive words which are only meant to make IBLP save face and still appear good. Even still, I found it hard to believe that at a grievous and somber time such as this, you would choose to open up your letter with praise for yourselves. I almost feel the awkwardness in that for you.

The most shocking, though not surprising thing, is the glaringly obvious lack of any kind of grief for the victims or even any hint of an apology! How hard is it to say "I'm sorry"? When we read the Gospels we see Jesus give us a completely different way of treating people than what has been demonstrated here. It's there in the Scriptures, the New Testament, you are free to read for yourselves.

There is also a complete failure to call sin what it is: "sin". Wow. Also, what exactly does this "reconciliation" look like? Surely you understand that this disqualifies him from ministry forever? Surely you do not intend to continue this organization which is solely based on his teachings? And you realize that between the spiritual abuse, sexual harassment, etc., the many thousands he needs reconciliation with will not accept it before an acknowledgement of his sin and repentance?

I do not speak as one "bitter" about an "experience". I am an adult who spent years in ATI, but it took me even more years away before I even thought to look back and see what was there. What I found shocked me. The twisting and misuse of Scripture at the foundation of the teachings is shocking. For the first time in my life I have been able to begin processing the spiritual abuse and confusion caused by this man and by those who have lifted up his teachings for 50 years.

I hurt and pray for the countless who have turned away from Jesus due to these false teachings, described in Galatians. I am praying for you as well, as you are some of the still blinded, and I pray for so many young people in ATI who have no voice, especially those who, like myself once, do not realize that they do not have a voice.

Greg Smith

As someone who has been blessed by the Basic Seminar, I don't feel like the ax has been taken to the root and I fear that the remaining root will continue to slowly eat away at any remaining voice IBLP had (Matt. 3:10). Sin has been committed - confession must be made to foster a better opportunity for forgiveness and forward progress. I am not accusing the board of this, but I can't help but feel they are more concerned with protecting the ministry rather than the TRUTH. Admit fault, release finances and property (if necessary) - rebuild on a strong foundation of pure, accountable TRUTH for the sake of the King and His soon coming Kingdom.

Gloria Brewster

Thank you for your response. We are praying for all involved.

Linda-Lee Bowman

Thank you for your sincere effort to enter into a conciliatory effort between IBLP/ATI ministry and families who have been sinned against, as well as the public at large, attendees of the ministry, who have been indirectly sinned against by way of cover-up. My husband and I attended probably a dozen or more seminars in the earliest years of the ministry and fielded much criticism for it among our more knowledgeable brothers and sisters in Christ. We were young Christians, fairly new to the local church, and were unable to adequately discern the weaknesses and misleading content of the material offered at IBYC. We did grow in the Lord especially through the concepts of maintaining a clear conscience, seeking forgiveness continually, which strengthened our marriage, and being instructed in the 8 callings of God with regard to suffering. Eventually through solid Bible teaching in an excellent church, we outgrew our infatuation with the seminars. Nevertheless we were horribly grieved at the sin being shouted from the rooftops in the past months through Recovering Grace, which God Himself sovereignly orchestrated. Truly, those who teach the Word shall incur a stricter judgment. "No creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account." (ESV)

Three of your statements, I believe, obfuscate serious issues.

1) "At this time the Board unanimously agrees that Mr. Gothard is not permitted to serve in any counseling, leadership, or Board role within the IBLP ministry." That indicates to me that he could even now be present in the ministry in some non-leadership and/or non-counseling role. If not that, it certainly sounds as if when the nebulous "this time" passes, the possibility of his participation or leadership will become a probability and then a reality. At the very least, the door is open.

2) "We are committed to evaluating each part of the ministry on the basis of God’s Word..." Regardless of the absence of legal violation of sexual misconduct, due to the statute of limitations and a less refined definition of sexual harrassment at the time of the "inappropriate conduct," there has been a more serious violation of God's Word: the absence of a standard for evaluating sin in the ministry according to Jesus' words. "Beware of the SIN of the Pharisees, which is HYPOCRISY." (Lk. 12:1) What Mr. Gothard did for decades was beyond inappropriate behavior. It was sin. Surely the functioning Board at that time was aware of the continual hypocrisy, as were so many others, including Gary Smalley. It was sin to teach and require a standard of staff, volunteers and others, calling it Biblical truth, which Mr. Gothard refused to impose on himself, and which others in leadership refused to impose on themselves. He violated the warning by the apostle Peter that those who shepherd the flock of God must not do so by domineering (lording it over -- KJV) those under their charge, nor for any shameful gain. (I Peter 5:2-3) Certainly Mr. Gothard's gain, in terms of his reknown reputation as a Bible teacher and the burgeoning ministry that resulted, was shameful.

3) "We dedicate ourselves to help build up families and individuals in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." Since the ministry is based entirely on legalistic teachings and requirements in opposition to an understanding of Biblical grace, it is nearly impossible for me to understand how this goal of the Board will be accomplished through a continued ministry of IBLP, using the same foundational prinicples. I suggest that the best way to minister to families and individuals through the IBLP/ATI is to shut it down. That would be extending grace to all who have been affected.

You wrote, "All of us are reminded of our need to look to Jesus and to His Word “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16)." I trust you will receive in good will my admonitions by pointing you to the reproof and correction of the scriptures. May they indeed instruct you in righteousness as you seek to be conciliatory agents and ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A joint heir of the grace of God with you, and a true servant of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Linda-Lee Bowman

Katie

I was wondering what, "outside legal counsel" was used?

Melissa

Either allow comments to be posted or remove the option entirely. 100% censorship is very suspicious and juvenile.

Marla

The official response from IBLP is nauseating to me. (And speaking of inappropriate—that too!) This is not the time to highlight the good IBLP thinks they have accomplished and the glorious "plan of God" to use Bill Gothard in future days or to over spiritualize the matter with many quotes of Scripture!! This is a time to acknowledge the sick and twisted damage that has occurred under the watchful eye of Bill (all in the name of God!) and the mutated long-term results of implementing his teachings. Replacing Bill with a new president does not fix the broken system and upside down theology that still leaves the door wide open for many forms of abuse. In the days of Internet it is impossible for one (who wants to know) to be entirely ignorant of the spiritual, emotional and mentally devastating long-term effects of ATI/IBLP. If the board members can give such a positive spin to their long coming statements after their “diligent search,” then their research of these matters are either biased or entirely incomplete. Every story that has been told represents hundreds more still silenced in their mental and spiritual prisons.

Dear IBLP Board Members,
Please quit blinding yourselves! Must you wait to face the truth until this generation AND the next breaks out of their silence? Don’t brush us off as simply “bitter.” Know that we were the central hub of Bill’s great experiment. We lived, breathed, gave up our best years and built our futures on these “biblical” teachings during the most formative time of our lives! If that isn’t enough for our stories to be taken seriously then you simply don’t want to know the truth. If you are well meaning, as I believe you are, then take time to REALLY look and understand. Open your eyes and please stop this insanity. You could be a part of preserving the future of those to follow.

Sincerely, Marla

Ron Stauffer

Dear IBLP,
I've followed this matter for a while now. I'm disappointed that you have presented Mr Gibbs as "outside" anything. He is your legal counsel, he is NOT an outside "investigator" which is I think what you are implying.
You would do well to hire a truly independent outside investigative team like GRACE as was done at BJU. Your reputation and the cause of Christ is damaged by such a closely guarded process as you have applied.
I have been a prison chaplain and have used the IBLP materials for a residential program in prison. But my inmates can smell deception and "smoke and mirrors" a mile away, because they have used this in their criminal lives. Your so-called "investigation" does not pass the smell test.
I cannot in good conscience continue to use your materials for teaching my children any longer either until after a truly independent investigation is completed.
Until then I will advise anyone within my circle of influence accordingly.

Sorrowfully,
Ronald D Stauffer
father of nine, pastor, past chaplain

Dr ThomasbL Mather

We will be praying with you and for you. I appreciate the Biblical stand you are taking. May Gods Grace direct you in all you do

Linda

Is it possible that Mr. Gothard will still be allowed to write and publish more "principles" that will continue to lead even more away from a sincere devotion to Christ?
This is a disappointing response from 5 men entrusted with being a catalyst for healing for so many. Please do not stoop to the tactics of Mr. Gothard by refusing to deal honestly with this sin.

Eduardo Lopez

The greatest spiritual influence in my family and in my life has come through the teachings and writings of Bill Gothard. I am forever grateful to God for this humble man, though flawed like you and me. Because of his personal sacrifices in diligently seeking God’s wisdom, now I have a fruitful ministry. I could have never discovered the answers to life’s most difficult challenges apart from IBLP. I am confident the Lord is writing the last and most exciting chapter in Bill’s life.

Dr Gary Kuhn

Our prayers are with Mr. Gothard and IBLP.

Jennifer Utz

Thank you for how you are handling this delicate situation. The ministry has been a blessing to myself and my family. I have been in prayer for the ministry and Mr.Gothard and I will continue to uplift each in prayer. May God bless you!

Raquel Werk

Beautiful response!! So proud of your wisdom and integrity!!! Thank you!!

DAVID SAWULSKI

Hello I believe that after proper repentance and reconciliation occurs the board should seriously consider reinstating Bill Gothard. Proper accountability of each IBLP staff member would require the board to develop internal safeguards and procedures to prevent any improper conduct between staff. Lets face the facts, the LORD does not have any perfect people to work through. They are all sinners.

Richard Short

This is regarding Mr. Bill Gothard. I don't all the facts about what he has said and done, but I used to work under Doug Phillips with The Vision Forum, Inc., and I know what he did. I would hope that for whatever Mr. Gothard did, he has repented before God and man (particularly with those involved for whatever he did) and that he is seeking to do whatever it takes to make things right. I hope and pray that the board of IBLP will search the Scriptures and make sure that all should be done is done, as to the Lord as directed in His Word. Please let Mr. Gothard know that he is in our prayers. May all involved be loving, honest, truthful, forgiving, gracious, and always looking to Christ and the Word of God for all that is said and done.

We live in a world that scorns God when we who profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior fall into sin. May we seek the Lord and His grace.

AC

Hello! I went to my first IBLP seminar when I was 15 years old and I am now well over 50. I have been back several times over the years and have been very blessed by the IBLP teachings and Bill Gothard's service.
When I read some of the comments here, all I can say is "Wow".
A few of these comments are a disgrace and some of the writers really ought to go back to the Basic Seminar. This time they should pay close attention to the sections on judging and bitter envy.
I also read some of the accusations made against Mr. Gothard by the young women on another web site. Apparently they felt they had missed out on something in the youth of their lives because of the IBLP teachings. I believe what they missed out on was worldliness, sin, dispair, and darkness. Some of the testimony by the young women is also a bit contrary to what Mr. Gothard replied with. Throughout life I think we have learned how easy it is to both misunderstand others and be misunderstood ourselves. If I have to choose who to believe about the details of an incident between an emotional teenager (or bitter parent) and Mr. Gothard, that choice is very easy.
Again, I thank God for Mr. Gothard and his ministry and hope and pray for God's perfect will in his future.

Gary

He that is without sin cast the first stone...
Bill Gothard, an awesome man of God...

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