A few weeks ago it came out in the news that Bill Gothard of The Insitute of Basic Life Principles was resigning from the company he founded some 50 odd years ago. This news comes in the wake of the turmoil that Doug Phillips of VIsion Forum caused when he stepped down from his ministry. Some in the homeschooling community would like to pretend none of this happened. We shouldn’t air our dirty laundry for the world to see. You can’t exactly ignore national news, though. Others can’t stop talking about the destruction they perceive these men have caused. I just thought I’d weigh in here with my thoughts. While it’s true that neither of these men spearheaded the homeschooling movement, their huge sphere of influence cannot be denied. But we need to remember that these men are just that, men. Sinful human beings, just as we are. The fact that their sins were made so public doesn’t make them any worse than your or my secret sins that have never been aired publicly. And we must remember that each situration is different. Doug Phillips’ sin was between two consenting adults. It appears that is not the case with Bill Gothard. Both of these men spoke of and advocated a lifestyle in dire opposition to the way the rest of the world lives. They spoke of controversial issues like birth control, modesty, finances, dating. There are those who feel that Gothard’s teachings have been destructive to families, women in particular. But as in everything, we must weigh what is being taught and presented against the Holy Scriptures. No man is infallible and no man or group should be blindly followed. But so many have taken what these men have taught and applied it to their own life wrongly and then blamed others for the following fallout. The Biblical principle of modesty cannot be disputed. How it applies in every family looks different, but it should be an intentional decision. Doug Phillips specifically says that not every family should make the decisions that he, himself, has made regarding dress, but that the matter should be discussed and not practice the world’s ways by default. The Institute of Basic Life Principles has put on conferences encouraging, not demanding, that families live their lives free of debt. Again, is that not a Bibilical Principle? The borrower is slave to the lender? Presume not upon tomorrow? People get so defensive if their status quo is questioned. It is hard to stand back and take a clear look at decisions that have been made and see that they don’t line up with Scripture. I don’t believe it is a sin to go into debt, but I think the Bible speaks clearly that the principle is to live debt-free. The same with children. Both ministries speak strongly about the blessing that children are. Is that not also taught in the Bible? Of course this principle will look different in every family. But should it not be pointed out that children are indeed a blessing from the Lord, not a burden, because some might perceive it is being taught that being quiverfull is the only way to go and be offended? And the issue of family headship is also a hard one to swallow. Many families have taken this principle and run with it. The patriarchy movmement within the homeschooling community has been devastating to some families. But the Biblical principle of fathers as the head of the household is still relevant. I know that leaders in the Church are held to a higher standard, but are these men to be blamed if people twist their words or wrongly apply Biblical principles to their family’s detriment? Are we not each responsible to weigh the words of men against God’s word? Men who dare to speak the truth are under direct attack from Satan and his forces. It was a startlingly blow to homeschoolers and others when Doug Phillips stepped down, and my heart hurts for his family. Others will point their fingers and take delight at Satan’s handiwork. And Satan likes nothing better. No man is perfect, and no teachings are flawless, save for Christ. I shudder to think how empty my home, my heart and my hands would be without the eye-opening teachings of these men and their ministries. I was introduced to principles I never thought of. A way of life that was new to me. My life is richer for it. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.