The Board at Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) has released a statement following an “investigation” of allegations against Bill Gothard.
We can learn a lot by observing how leaders of Christian groups respond to sexual abuse allegations. Let’s go through the statement together with a discerning eye and discuss any issues that you see in the choice of words and perhaps the words not said.
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
Original statement can be found here: A Time of Transition
- News: Bill Gothard Cleared of Criminal Behavior
- Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
- From Recovering Grace site (which deals specifically with IBLP/Gothard): IBLP Board Issues Their Public Statement
- Ex-head of religious group acted inappropriately, not criminally: investigation
- Kevin Swanson Defends Bill Gothard’s Sexual Harassment Charges While Publicly Trash Talks Blogs
- Recovering Grace site releases response the IBLP statement