Bill Gothard: the Saga Continues

Yesterday, Recovering Grace posted a letter from Dr. Samuel Schultz, a member of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) Board who had worked with the Institute since the 60’s. Schultz read the letter at a board meeting in 1980, and, after the discussion that followed it, resigned from the board.

Later, the Lord showed me a couple passages about Bill Gothard that I shared in a comment:

There are a couple passages that the Lord showed me yesterday that I think apply all too well to Bill.

2 Corinthians 10:17-18 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Recently, I went through my mom’s archive of newsletters going back to the early 90’s. One consistent theme I noticed throughout was the steady drumbeat of “great things are happening!” Even as it moved into the 2000’s and we started noticing that ATI families were not turning out the way we thought they should, Bill kept up the steady stream of positive reports about how God was doing “great things!” It wasn’t until about 2005 or 2006 (as I recall) that he started hinting that things weren’t quite as great as he had reported.

The “Letter from Bill Gothard” ( shows that same pattern continuing–Bill talking about how “great things” happen and can happen through IBLP.

But God says that it is the ones HE approves of who are approved.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

I hesitate to share this, because it is so strong. Yet God warns us that Satan’s workers will sometimes appear to be ministers of righteousness. That is exactly what Bill appeared to be. Yet, his works show that he does not fear the Lord. Samuel Schultz warned about that in 1980, and Bill’s own words in 2011 indicate the same thing: “…if we are not leading others to Christ and discipling them, there is little or no motivation to be different than the world.” (see link above, bottom of page 1) In other words, according to Bill, there is no real reason to obey Jesus, other than to be an example of “higher standards” to others. Either that, or merely obeying Jesus will not make us different than the world (not true).

When we see a pattern of bad fruit and works, we must beware. He who DOES righteousness is righteous. He who lives in sin is of the Devil.

John 8:44-45 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. — Jesus

Elsewhere on the Web, former ATI student Jeff Gill posted a cartoon about the situation. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.


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