Theologian and Jesus Creed blogger Scot McKnight was part of Willow Creek Church for nearly a decade. He has been asked repeatedly what he thinks about the situation with Bill Hybels. He responded today (June 27th) with, “About Willow Creek: What Do I Think?” This is an extensive article — almost 3,000 words — with Mr. McKnight’s insightful and incisive laying out of details and doctrines. He helps us to discern the facts, to see where integrity has decayed and trust been lost because of a false narrative and flawed actions by Willow Creek pastors and Elders, and to understand why he would come to this conclusion:
My aim is not to act like I know all that happened. I do not. I believe the women on the basis of what I have learned. I am, as I said at the outset, often asked about the Willow situation and I have done my best to discern the facts. What I do know is this: Bill Hybels and Willow Creek’s leadership have undone forty years of trust for many. A church that has stood valiantly for women in ministry, that has always stood for Christian grace and truth and forgiveness for repenters, that has supported #metoo in various places, that then responds to women as they did to these women unravels the thread Willow has woven for four decades. Many of us are asking why Bill Hybels and Willow Creek’s pastors and Elders slandered the women, calling them liars and colluders, and still refuse to offer them apologies. Willow is being undone as we watch, and the pastors and Elders are at the center of the unraveling.
Mr. McKnight explains why these women and other advocates who came forward were taking prophetic action to challenge Willow Creek leadership to rethink their actions and repent. His article does that as well. Willow Creek’s pastors and Elders are being confronted by an increasing number of witnesses. Hopefully they will halt their trajectory, turn, and listen …