Dan Webster’s Gothard-Speak

We’ve spent a lot of time here analyzing the “Taliban Dan” ad as well as the analysis of the “Taliban Dan” ad. And while I’ve written about Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles before, and have spent time perusing his website, in looking today for more presentations by Dan Webster, I came across something new — to me, at least.

At the IBLP website, Webster is listed as one of the “dynamic speakers” at the organization’s 2010 regional conferences. His topic: “how ‘one-accord power teams’ of dads could be the best answer for the crisis that America faces today.”

What is a “one-accord power team?” According to the “Commands of Christ Power Manual #1,” written by Gothard (PDF here), “One accord takes place when two or more believers who love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength meet to edify each other.” And “one-accord power” is when believers are in covenant with God, united in spirit and soul, with the power to reproduce (here Gothard appears to be referring to discipling, not sex). The believers must have no “competing affections” with their love for God, because “if we have any competing affections, God describes us as adulterers and adulteresses.”

That power is broken by, well, the devil, who else? “One-accord power is extremely difficult to achieve and even more challenging to maintain. Therefore, any one-accord group will become a special target of Satan.”

The manual also discusses the need for not just “one accord” but “one mind” as well. “One accord,” Gothard writes, is a prerequisite for being of “one mind.” And to be of “one mind,” everyone in the “one accord” group needs “must submit our mind to the authority of His Word and obey the commands that He has given to us through Christ. Pride is reserving to myself the right to make final decisions.”

The idea of submitting to God’s will and obeying his commands is consistent with what Julie dissected of Webster’s remarks to a different IBLP conference.

But we’ve gotten diverted, haven’t we, by how Webster, with assists from Factcheck.org and PolitiFact, have succeeded in focusing attention on what is characterized as Grayson’s ad’s falsehoods, instead of of where we should be focusing: how Webster’s religious fundamentalism would guide his service if he were elected to the House of Representatives. Is there a One-Accord Power Team Caucus in the making?

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email