Willow Creek Community Church, a Chicago-area megachurch, is scrambling under the light of the recent allegations of sexual misconduct against its lead pastor, Bill Hybels. Last night, Hybels announced that he was resigning from Willow Creek due to the controversy, although he continues to claim that the allegations against him are false.
The Hybels are a well-connected and influential evangelical family and their supporters have rallied around them. Both the church itself and Hybels’s daughter Shauna Niequest have posted publicly in social media spaces, receiving thousands of comments in support of the Hybels family. This is understandably a difficult time for Bill Hybels’s wife and children and anyone else who has been influenced by him, and their feelings matter. But what matters more is a fair investigation into the disturbing patterns of behavior and cover-ups Hybels is being accused of.
The responses from churchgoers and fans of Hybels’s books and ministry are beyond problematic. They are everything that is wrong with evangelical culture and the reason these things are allowed to happen in secrecy for so long. They demonstrate blind support of their leaders and disregard for logic or facts, with a generous side of victim blaming. Here are some of my favorites:
“Willow Creek changed my life therefore these accusations must be lies.”
You can be grateful for the way a church or pastor has shaped you and still be open to the possibility he may be a… [Read more…] about 9 Responses to the Willow Creek Accusations That Reveal Everything Wrong with Evangelicalism