The voices of those accusing are not people with a grudge against Hybels but folks who have been part of the core and center of the Willow Creek ministry and association of churches for a very long time. There have been investigations and so far no charges seem to have stuck but the number of allegations and the individuals who are raising them is not going to go away soon.According to a report in Christianity Today Online: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or harmed, your pain matters—to us and to God,” the suburban Chicago megachurch posted on its Facebook page, along with details about how to get help. A handful of Willow Creek’s female leaders, including cofounder Lynne Hybels, also joined the Silence Is Not Spiritual campaign, calling on evangelical churches to stand up for women who had experienced sexual harassment and sexual violence.Now the megachurch may have a #ChurchToo problem, one that pits cofounder Bill Hybels against some of his longtime friends. A group of former pastors and staff members has accused Hybels of a pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct, the Chicago Tribune reported tonight.
Why does this matter? First of all, the church, founded in the Willow Creek Theater in Barrington, Illinois, is an evangelical powerhouse with a worship attendance of more than 25,000 and an association that has cultivated all kinds of leadership programs and publishing encouraging other congregations to follow its lead. Clearly the ripples extend well beyond the congregation itself. So many have held up Willow Creek as a model organization that this will a difficult stain upon its reputation and influence to disregard. On top of that, the retirement of the founding pastor and its central personality is always a test for megachurches and will certainly be one for Willow Creek.
That said, there is a central weakness in non-denominational mega churches that cannot be denied. While it is certainly related to succession and the continued success of the enterprise as a whole, it is also related to the fact that most of their boards and governing structures are self-sustaining and tend to be populated by people who support the status quo. There is little in the way of independent authority with the stature to challenge major leaders like Hybels when charges or allegations threaten. We have already seen this happen in other similar churches time and time again. While some are quick to condemn denominations and jurisdictional structures, they offer at least the real potential of holding church leaders accountable -- even charismatic and larger than life figures. It is no guarantee that things will not go wrong (as they certainly did for the Roman Catholic Church and the priest abuse scandal) but it is more likely that the wrongs will be acknowledged and remedied when there are independent authorities in the church to hold people accountable.
If you read all the material available on the allegations against
Bill Hybels, then you are led to the conclusion that he placed himself
in situations where he flirted in a clumsy way with women. He gave
unwanted hugs, forced kisses and tempting invitations to his hotel room.
While nobody has accused him of having unwanted sexual relations, his
behavior is not what you would expect from a minister of the gospel
He resigned in April instead of retiring in October of this year.
While we are on the topic of sexual abuse:
ALL of the bishops of an entire country (Chile) have resigned.
It would be ideal if the LCMS partner churches can intensify witnessing to South Americans........
Oh that's a great idea. Being an opportunist and seizing upon the opportunity to further the errors of protestantism (read Lutheran) and increasing membership to your schism box. Really? These bishops and priests who have been charged with the care of the flock's souls will have much to answer for but that doesn't mean that Christ's TRUE church is in error and that Christ is not with Her until the end.
Helping people find the truth is always a "great idea."
All of the priests in your "TRUE" church have either been guilty of either engaging in pedophilia, or they have known about it and have protected the guilty. Pope Francis must have known about the Chilean priests while serving in Argentina. This is a worldwide phenomenon.
If not the Roman Catholic church, then where should people flee? It would be better to join the confessional Lutherans than to hook up with the non-denominational church, wouldn't you agree?
Again a misguided and totally predictable statement lumping all apples in the same basket. It's ONLY the Catholic Church that this happens to? The Church is a target simply because it IS the Church that Christ founded and of course it is accountable. People like you can take comfort in that since any misdeeds in your denomination fall under the radar because the Catholic Church is very visible and therefore you can sweep your sins under the carpet. If you think that the Church is ONLY for saints then again, you're mistaken. We all will have to answer for our actions one way or another, hopefully in this life while we have time to get our affairs in order. I will pray that you break free of your "invincible" ignorance.
The Roman Catholic Church has particular problems with this issue for two immediate reasons. It tolerates the presence of large numbers of sodomites within its clergy, not least because the RCC does not permit their clergy to marry. The other factor is that most of its bishops reacted to the scandal like CEOs rather than in a pastoral fashion. There are honorable exceptions but they are just that; exceptions.
Another canned response. Because it is an unmarried all male clergy is not the reason why this happens. Yes, following Vatican 2 and the misinterpretations of its documents, we have had lax clergy, lax theology, lax ecclesiology, etc. And thank God there are movements within the Church that are traditional, that espouse the correct interpretation of Vatican 2, that love the Liturgy and its correct celebration, that love correct moral theology, etc. And if you think that the Lutheran Church both LCMS and the Evangelical branch is immune to, ahem, sodomites that is at best a delusion and at it worst, self deception.
No church is immune to sodomy but the RCC is well penetrated by the Lavender Mafia in a way the LCMS is not.
That's wishful thinking. I'll consider the source.
Oh dear, an anonymous creature is going to consider the source. It is an interesting argument that massive evidence of RCC penetration vs minimal evidence of LCMS penetration amounts to we both have the same problem to the same degree. Who is engaged in wishful thinking? Most of the pedophile priests were sodomites. And the network that moved them about and protected them was massive. Look to the left, it is a graveyard you are passing as you whistle a merry tune...
Oh my. Well this anonymous creature has no qualms calling out arrogant protestants and their continuous hateful rhetoric against the Church. I don't deny that there is a complete crisis in the Catholic Church and that the faith passed on to the saints is in peril. But I am not deluded that the problem is ONLY within the Catholic Church. Your well preserved tired arguments such as:
1. The so-called problem of unmarried clergy,
2. The the priests in question were sodomites (this is well known and not contested), and
3. That they were protected (again well known and not contested)
are tired, period. No one can tell the sexual proclivites of candidates to the priesthood no matter how many psychological tests are administed. And you cannot truly say that all the male married clergy in the Lutheran church are truly heterosexual. That would be ridiculous. And given the fact that your church is not as visible as the Catholic Church, the indiscretions that are handled in your community are most probably handled quietly and without fanfare. And that is how you would have it so not as to bring scandal to your institution but that doesn't mean that your church is immune. That is like muslims who day that there are no homosexuals within the false faith of islam. Your gripe is that you do not like the Catholic Church and considering that you are a Lutheran, I consider the source. I pray for Lutherans and know many good ones who are level headed and can converse with me on these issues. Do you pray for Catholics? Do you pray for other protestants? Do you pray that one day there will be one Church united against the prevailing pagan culture? I do. Enought said.
The truth is a tired argument when it is repeated.
I agree, your argument is tiring and boring and has been repeated over the centuries since the reformation in one way or another.
I'll pray for you.
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