Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy
Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22) - Bill Gothard
Sincerity? - My dad was very careful about our public image. Most ATI patriarchs are. Though we didn't go out in public very often, and certainly we never went out alone, when we did go out, we were dressed and pressed. My sisters and I were required to have long hair. This hair was not allowed to be braided, however, because that was un-Biblical. Usually, our hair was curled on rag rollers or sponge rollers and left to fall down in curls. The boys had high and tight, ALERT regulation cuts.
The girls in my family wore dresses only, until we reached the age of ten, at which point we could wear skirts and tops. The boys wore pants and polo tops. No t-shirts were allowed for either sex (if we were in the public eye). If you were in a t-shirt, you were most likely male and in bed or wore it under something else. Us girls had to wear full underwear; bloomers, underpants, undershirts, and bras.
Hypocrisy: One of Gothard's teachings was that one shouldn't be overly concerned with appearance. The first time I heard Mr. Gothard say that on a retreat, I was dumbfounded. What? We're not supposed to spend much time worrying about our appearance...but we have to make sure we don't violate all these rules for dressing and appearance?
Sincerity? - We were taught that the sins of the father carried over to the child. That's partly why my dad was so concerned about our public image and remains concerned about our actions now. He sincerely believes that our actions reflect his sins. The more we stray outside the lines, the worse his sins must've been. This is why adoption isn't utilized in ATI families. I knew one family that experienced a horrible tragedy. Mom and dad were killed in a car accident and they had two children. The Aunt and Uncle of the children were ATI and ended up being named guardians of the children. They asked Bill Gothard if they should formally adopt the children and the answer was "no". Gothard allegedly told them that adopting the children formally would upset the "birth order" and be a lie. The lie being that the children weren't really the fruit of the marriage and these children bore the sins of their father, not the adoptive father and mother. We heard, from the couple, that Bill advised them to find another placement for the children and if they couldn't, to maintain the guardianship, but not formally adopt.
Hypocrisy - Gothard's ministries include ministering to orphanages. You go and spend a week or more encouraging these orphan children into "building bonds with the Lord" rather than building bonds with other humans and potentially finding parents. Why go to orphanage at all if you believe the children are flawed with the sins of their parents? Why encourage people to go if you won't counsel them to adopt?
Sincerity? - Homeschooling is a requirement for ATI. That's the point of the community - a group of people who believe in Gothard's method for education (The Advanced Training Institute) and spiritual path. Public schools are supposedly so evil that you're not even allowed to play on a public school playground unless there's absolutely nowhere else to play. Until you're deemed to be of an age or maturity level that you can distinguish "right living from wrong living", you're not allowed to associate with publicly educated children outside your own extended family (and even that is supervised).
Hypocrisy - Bill Gothard makes millions off of public schools through "Character First!". Character First is a biblically based character instruction program used in thousands of schools. I've read that it's eve mandatory in some states! Bill Gothard is a business man. He must have realized that selling curriculum to fundamental homeschooling families would never be the cash cow that is the public school system. Instead of following his own, skewed interpretation of being "equally yoked", he takes money from public schools and public school children. Is this ethical?
I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said elsewhere. I'm just starting to realize that there were so many hypocrisies in my life and it makes me mad. Next stop- puberty!