“If one does not fully understand Bill Gothard’s core foundational teaching one won’t understand why it has had such a negative impact on his followers [the Duggar family are followers]. His foundational teaching, which informs everything else, is his “umbrella of authority” doctrine. The “umbrella” icon featured prominently in the series, but its origins or how it wields its power over his followers is not addressed.”
(Don & Jan Veinot – Midwest Christian Outreach) There is a cost, very often a high cost, exacted by false teachers in the lives of their followers. Lives can be crushed. Often people are badly damaged spiritually and almost always emotionally devastated by authoritarian leaders in whom they have put their faith….
Pastors and elders are charged with guarding and protecting the flock from predators that creep in from outside the church, or perhaps worse, arise from within (Acts 20:28-30), but too often, the wolf sneaks past the guard without being seen for the danger they are. The late Dr. Walter Martin used to say, “cults are the unpaid bills of the church.”
We were painfully reminded of the harm and damage that can be done to spiritually ravaged sheep by authoritarian predators as we watched the four-part series, “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets”1 on its release date, Friday, June 2.2 There wasn’t a story told that we had not heard from people who had experienced the same treatment over the past quarter century, as we have ministered to people victimized by Gothardism. One of the directors/Producers, Olivia Crist, called and emailed us numerous times while they were producing the series. She and others on her team read our book, A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life.3 and had also been in contact with our friends at Recovering Grace. We were not interviewed for this series, but one of the things we were able to point out to the producers is that although Bill Gothard has unfortunately had great access to Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches, he is neither an Evangelical nor a Fundamentalist. In the opening episode titled “Meet the Duggars,” Brooke, one of the women that was interviewed, said something very similar:
CRN’s homepage contains a list of professing Christians to keep an eye on. Scroll down to WARNING. The list contains many people you’ll want to mark and avoid as per Rom 16:17-18
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