Over the years Bill Gothard has sought to avoid publicity. The seminar leader is noted for turning down interviews with secular and religious publications wanting to describe to a curious public his popular Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (IBYC).
Because the institute probably would have received much positive publicity over the years, it is ironic and unfortunate that recent reporting has reflected badly upon it. Gothard’s supporters and all evangelicals were shocked to learn of the institute shakeup, which caused Gothard to step down as president. CHRISTIANITY TODAY sought to explain with accuracy and sensitivity the apparent causes: sexual involvements between staff members (not involving Bill Gothard), internal discontent with Gothard’s exercise of authority over his staff, and allegations of lavish spending of institute money. (See News, Aug. 8 issue.)
For some, the revelations may have confirmed suspicions that the institute has had something to hide—that otherwise, it wouldn’t have been so secretive. We disagree; we believe Gothard’s motives were sincere: he wanted the focus on the teachings, not the man, and he believed reporters would present his complex teachings out of context. At the same time, we also disagree with his institute’s well-known avoidance of publicity and its posture of nondisclosure. Every Christian organization, particularly when it is tax exempt, has the responsibility to be accountable to its supporters, to the church, and to the public.
Some might criticize the reporting of an organization’s internal problems as irrelevant and detrimental to the cause of Christ. However, large Christian organizations touch thousands of lives and depend upon the church and individual Christians for financial ...1
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