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Open Letter to IBLP 

This letter to IBLP's leadership, board members, and others was sent three months before I published it. But like every other letter or email it has gone unanswered over the past 4 decades by IBLP.

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.9 Open your

mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9 (ESV)

Dr. Tim Levendusky

1 Academy Blvd.
Big Sandy, TX 75755

 

Dear Tim,                                                                                                                            January 26, 2024

First, as we celebrated the birth of our Savior and all that was accomplished for us in His incarnation, I trust you had a very Merry Christmas. But as the New Year is upon us it is time to reflect on failures of the past, including those revelations ten years ago, to implement changes for the future in the area of repentance.

Recently a couple of IBLP items showed up unrequested in my mailboxes. One was a large promo flier that came USPS advertising Character Sketches, volume IV. Thanks for the offer but I think I will pass. I know the authorship of the first couple of volumes, which included Steve Gothard that was heavily tarnished by his immoral and abusive actions, and included Bill Gothard, with his detailed knowledge of Steve’s longstanding immorality with IBYC staff women, and Bill’s practice of trafficking women to him with that knowledge. On what basis in Scripture are you comfortable marketing and selling these books knowing they were authored by men who were busy sinning and continuing in their sin of immorality and rebellion against God, against the Scriptures and in deception of the Board of Directors?

The second mail came via email, a copy of Bill’s latest 2023 lawsuit “Gothard vs IBLP” (145 pages). I had to lament reading it and seeing where all of this had ended up. I have personally known Bill for just over 50 years. I have lived through his lies and seen the effects of his and Steve's abuse firsthand. I have also watched and observed where IBLP’s board has followed the same path as IBYC’s 1980 board of not making careful inquiry (“inquire diligently”) regarding charges against someone who does evil as commanded three times in Deuteronomy (ESV) and specifically in Deut. 13:13-14 below, and in 17:3-5, 19:15-21; and 1 Timothy 5:19-25; Ephesians 5:1-13 (“but instead expose them”). 

that certain worthless fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods (money, power, prestige are today’s gods),’ which you have not known, 14 then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently.

Just like the 1980 board failure to follow the principles found in 1 Timothy 5:19-21, particularly verses 20 &21, you and your board followed in their footsteps.

As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

Then there is the whole issue of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 of Bill not being qualified as an elder, pastor, or teacher. This is something that he finally admitted to in our June 2014 Denver meeting when grilled by Gary Smalley. We all left the meeting with that understanding, including Bill, that he was unqualified to serve in ministry. That admission by Bill completely changed following the meeting. To be honest the current and former boards are also disqualified for failing to repent for the covering of sin (Proverbs 28:13) and not inquiring diligently. Where have you followed the words found in Micah 6:3-8. As God speaks through Micah He asks a question, “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me!” God goes on to tell how He, the Almighty God of the Universe has mightily blessed His people in verses 4 & 5. Then He ask a question by reminding them of the sacrificial laws of repentance and asking in verse 8 what is required and what character qualities should that produce in His followers. “to do justice, and to love kindness (steadfast love), and to walk humbly with your God?” We also see this in the New Testament in Matt. 22:34-40,

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

From my observation I have not seen this with any of your actions. Like corporate America you seem only concerned with the short-term bottom line. People are to be used up and thrown away when they no longer serve your purposes. Bill did this and taught you well. One of the basic tenants in Biblical Counseling is after repentance, (which requires you to acknowledging and confessing your sin) is being able to observe the proof of repentance is a changing of direction in your thinking first and in behavior (actions) second. (download at www.living-foundation-ministries.org/training-tools/   look for “Biblical Pattern for Reconciliation” Dr. Chuck Lynch, Living Foundations Ministry) This has never been accomplished by Bill, IBYC or IBLP boards of directors. Instead, they have covered up the sins and rejected their responsibilities to define and warn about contrary doctrine and bring healing to those so very damaged by the actions of the organization and its leadership. The sad stories of your former staff and ATIers are proof of that. Just like Biblical Israel each person had their own sin before God, but God also dealt very decisively and publicly with the sin of Israel’s leaders too (Psalm 51 & 2 Sam. 11 & 12 and many other examples).

I was approached by both Shiny, Happy People and Until the Truth documentary groups to participate, but I have declined at this point. My faith is too important to me and was for my late wife Ruth too for our stories not to reflect that and to be told in a secular format. Yet there is a story to be told of the years of repeated abuse and of Bill and the IBYC/IBLP boards and leadership covering up these sins for the sake of pride, reputation, influence, and money. How many times have you received emails or correspondence from me and others and how many times have you replied? You know the answer. Not once have you inquired diligently. It is not just me who has been waiting but many others too. Considering the state of the world today, we are closer than ever to the day when we all will stand in front of our Maker and give an account of our choices, words, and actions. For me, all I want to hear is “Well Done” thou good and faithful servant.

Nowhere in Scripture is the covering of sin endorsed. To the contrary sin is to be exposed and repentance is demanded. I have not seen repentance from either Bill or IBYC/IBLP boards of directors. God gives grace and mercy for repentance but judgment for sin and disobedience (Matt. 3:7-10, 2 Tim. 2:14-26 emphasis vs. 25-26, Heb. 6:1-12 emphasis vs. 6, Psalm 51 & 2 Sam. 11 & 12).

Lastly, I mentioned lamenting where all this has ended up. Ruth spent almost ten years of her life invested in IBYC from its early years starting in 1970. As Bill’s executive secretary and during an emotional crisis she pleaded with Bill to release her emotionally. Instead, he sent her to the remote Northwoods to work for Steve, knowing of his long history of immorality against staff women. Other women who Bill knew had been earlier involved with Steve were also sent to the Northwoods, some to be abused a second time. Then following the scandal, they were thrown out like yesterday’s garbage, much the same as the ATI era women were treated. I invested seven years as a volunteer on the Seattle IBYC committee as the usher co-chair and eighteen months on staff. After the 1980 scandal we spent years appealing to Bill to repent, even traveling to the Northwoods in 1988 to a Medical Conference. For decades we have heard the words of Psalm 13 ring true in our ears. In the late spring of 2013, I got dragged back into this mess one more time. God heard our cries and prayers. Then in the late fall of 2013 after a series of Bill’s obfuscation, God prompted me to write Ruth’s Story. In one last attempt to get Bill to follow up on a plan of reconciliation he had reneged on in the fall of 2013 and spread vicious lies about our effort during a time he claimed he was fasting and praying at the Northwood for 40 days. With those lies I released Ruth’s Story for publication on Recovering Grace. Ruth’s Story showed a pattern of Bill’s behavior that extended over decades.

In that historical context I see God’s Hand at work in dealing with the sins of Bill and the Institute still not repented for, in the same way, He dealt with the stubborn sinful people of Israel and Judah being led off to captivity and then living under client-states. The words of Jeremiah 23:23-40, and specifically verses 31-32 and 39 and 40 are applicable to the situation you have placed yourself in. God was long-suffering with His people 2600 years ago as He has been since Bill was informed by Gary Smalley of Steve Gothard’s immorality in 1976.

The complicity of the Board’s action in 1980 only widens that sin, as does your collusion to refrain from inquiring diligently and you and the current board’s failure to repent that failure in the ATI era. That is on your shoulders not Bill’s. He had his own sin to deal with.  I personally see God turning up the heat with the various legal actions over the years, Jinger’s book, Shiny, Happy People, Jill’s book, Until the Truth, and other things in the works. Again, the word of the Lord in Jeremiah 23:33 identifies the issue, 33 “When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the Lord. 

God has given you every opportunity, yet it has fallen on deaf ears.  Had you dealt with this correctly in 2014, repented, and turned from your iniquity of covering sin I would imagine you would not be facing these issues today. You can hide in your corner of Texas in a throw away remnant of a false prophet’s college and Bill hiding in the kitchen he started his ministry 60 years ago, but no one can hide from God. This reflects the words of Psalm 147:6 “The Lord lifts up the humble (afflicted); he casts the wicked to the ground.” IBLP reminds me of Bill’s 1968 Olds 98 he had during my time there. A rusted-out piece of junk from Chicago’s winter road salt, held together with Bondo and patches, but with a shiny new paint job. Pretty on the outside but a rust bucket to its core. It is not worldly reputations I would worry about but God’s final judgment. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

A servant of the Risen Savior,

 

 

Larne Gabriel

8821 NE Juanita Drive

Kirkland, WA 98034

IBYC staff pilot, Lear 35A, MU-2J, 1979-80

425-830-7958

rebukinganelder.com

Ruth’s Story (  www.recoveringgrace.org/2014/02/ruths-story/ )

Failure to Repent: Tell it to the Church ( www.recoveringgrace.org/2015/06/failure-to-repent-tell-it-to-the-church/ )

Cc: Gil Bates, David York, John Bechtle, Don Veinot, Ron Herzel, Bill Wood, Tony Guhr, Dr. Chuck Lynch, Dr. Graydon Crest and others

Jeremiah 23:23-40 (ESV)

Psalm 13

Isaiah 6:9-10 (ESV), “And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,

‘Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
10 Harden the hearts of these people. Plug their ears and shut their eyes.
That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears,
nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing.

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