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Gothard's teachings are a mixture of psychology and the Bible. His key word "insights" is from psychology. He returns us to the bondage of following Old Testament laws that were rejected at the first Jerusalem counsel of Acts 15. His teachings reminds me of Ellen G. White's teachings on diet and health from Leviticus.
People like to hear that if they follow these 7 steps their problems will be solved. As proof he gives examples of how it worked for certain people. The problem is that it does not work for many others. Life has too many variables for seven steps to work for all people in every situation.
One key teaching is that you must go back to everyone you have ever wronged and confess your sin. I could spend the rest of my life doing this. It can open more wounds than heal. Most are not going to react the way Gothard predicts. Some psychologists say that more people end up in counseling when he comes to town (Plowman, 1973). One pastor publicly confessed his sin of lustful eyes. Many people have left the church. A good rule to follow is private sins confess privately, public sins confess publicly.
I remember attending one of Bill Gothard's Pastors Conferences. He warned us that if your daughter has a Cabbage Patch doll she could become mentally ill because their middle names are demonic. So I went to Toys-R-Us to see what some of their middle names were. They were just common names, not demonic. If Cabbage Patch dolls cause mental illness than most children should be mentally ill. This is just one of his extreme views.
Bill Gothard has never been married and claims to have the gift of celibacy, yet he has all this advise for married couples. They should only have sex when she is ovulating so she will become pregnant. The goal is to have as many kids as possible. My advise is that he should get married first before he starts giving out marital advise, and have a few kids before telling us how to raise them.
Bill Gothard also pushes the evils of hospital births. One should give birth at home with a midwife. Gothard wants to train future doctors by watching other doctors, not by going to medical school which is wrong.
Gothard does not practice what he preaches. His brother was fooling around with women at Gothard's Retreat, and did not follow his own steps for discipline.
- Gothard discussion group at http://billgotharddiscussion.com
- Good website on Gothard: http://midwestoutreach.org
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This is an eye opening book that is must reading for those who have been to his seminars.
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