Don Veinot and Ron Henzel talk to Mary Danielsen about the fallout from the Bill Gothard teachings of the 80s and 90s. Having clearly imploded from aberrant teaching and immoral behaviour, it came to the fore in the recent documentary, “Shiny Happy People” which brought shame to the cause of Christ in a much larger public context. The children who were raised in it seem to be drifting toward deconstruct mode regarding their faith; some who wish to hang on to their faith have a long road of disentanglement ahead. So is there anything to be gained by exposing it today? What exactly was the ignition spark that brought this legalistic belief system into evangelical families in the first place? Cults – and legalists – are not just limited to extra-curricular doorbell ringers but they can and are in the midst of the church doing untold damage.
Their work, A Matter of Basic Principles, recently updated and re-released, is a difficult read but Gothard’s influence on evangelicalism must be seen for what it is, an absolute tragedy that serves as a cautionary tale to the church.
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