Bill Gothard placed on administrative leave

Religion
by Warren Cole Smith
Posted 2/27/14, 09:20 pm

The board of directors of the Institute for Basic Life Principles has placed its longtime leader Bill Gothard, 79, on “administrative leave” while the board investigates claims that he years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct.

Responding to a WORLD inquiry, board chairman Billy Boring stated, “After completion of the review the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.” Until then, the statement said, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”

In the 1970s and ’80s, Gothard filled 20,000-seat auditoriums with evangelical Christians who came to hear his weeklong seminars on biblical principles and practical applications, which included warnings against rock music and exhortations to stay out of debt. His seminars, attended by more than 2.5 million people, were particularly popular with the rapidly growing homeschool community.

Today, he faces accusations of sexual misconduct by the group Recovering Grace, which has statements from 34 women regarding incidents dating back to their youth in the 1970s and thereafter. The statements concern sexual harassment and—in one case—sexual abuse that included fondling but not rape.

Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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Comments

  • Fani's picture
    Fani
    Posted: Sat, 12/10/2016 12:33 pm

    I'm posting a comment here, since the more recent article is not open for comments.

    I love the comment that God draws straight lines with crooked sticks. Amen. If that weren't true, none of us would be of any value in the kingdom.

    What amazes me is that a man who stood for integrity and faith, who is so close to having his interview with the Audience of One, stands unrepentant. Oblivious to the damage he has done. 

    "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Cor 10:12, ESV). 

    I am beginning to think that we, as the Body of Christ, need to own some responsibility for the way we celebritize fellow believers. We are so quick to put people on a pedestal, forgetting that they have feet of clay just as we do. When these men and women get famous and get followers, predictable things follow. They become arrogant and unteachable--and then we're so surprised to find out what hypocrites they are.

    I was an earnest follower of Gwen Shamblin--until she claimed that God had personally revealed to her that He is hurt by the doctrine of the Trinity. What?!?!?

    I'd enjoyed following Jen Hatmaker--until she decided that homosexuality can be a valid lifestyle choice for a Christian. What?!?!

    Now I've even unsubscribed from Ann Voskamp's emails -- and she hasn't said anything (that I know of) unorthodox, and I've been blessed by her -- but I am done following people! 

    I am starting to think that we are all part of this problem.

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Mon, 12/12/2016 09:18 am

    Fani, on commenting: An unintentional glitch happened when we redesigned the magazine section of our webpage that caused users to lose the ability to comment on magazine articles. You should be able to comment on all of our online-only articles. Our tech team is working to address this problem. We are sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime. Thank you for your patience.

  • PaulC
    Posted: Mon, 12/12/2016 02:42 am

    Question to World Editors:  Why does the new format often leave no way to write comments?

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Mon, 12/12/2016 09:18 am

    An unintentional glitch happened when we redesigned the magazine section of our webpage that caused users to lose the ability to comment on magazine articles. You should be able to comment on all of our online-only articles. Our tech team is working to address this problem. We are sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime. Thank you for your patience.

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