For my many sins I did penance by watching Amazon Prime’s Shiny Happy People. I don’t give a rip about the hyper-fertile Duggars, but I had a brush with the series villain Bill Gothard in 1966-67 and wanted to catch up.
He was a weird little man then and appears to have gotten a bit weirder over the decades, right down to the absence of any grey hair and his ephebophilia.
His message was not a healthy Christian message. It’s not even biblical except in the formulaic sense of “proof-texts for nearly everything,” as if scripture-twisting weren’t a real thing.
I know a few people in the Protestant world who are devoted to IBLP, the organization that survives his scandal and forced retirement, and I’m kind of worried about them now. Judging from a visit to the IBLP website’s “Statement of Faith,” Shiny Happy People is correct to classify it as fundamentalist, though the line between fundamentalism and the evangelicalism of my youth is a fine one. That I thought it necessary to check it out reflects how unpersuasive Shiny Happy People was at nailing down hard facts, preferring innuendo and the charges of critics, some of whom had no first-hand knowledge.
You could probably find better ways to spend three or four hours.