Bill Hybels, Clergy Sexual Misconduct, Willow Creek Church
Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed wrote a very important article about the Bill Hybels/Willow Creek sexual misconduct scandal. This is a very important article that summarizes the system that was in place which allowed Bill Hybels to not only go unchecked, but to be protected and defended. You can apply this kind of corrupt system to many others where perpetrators are defended and protected. Simply replace the names/locations with another renegade high-controlling pastor who abuses (sexually or spiritually), and victims are silenced and their characters maligned.
The important take-home here is to note the universal pattern that keeps corrupt systems corrupt, and what it takes to stop this system so that truth can be revealed, and hopefully bring restoration to both victims and the church.
The women who spoke out are the heroes at Willow Creek. They were trashed, called all sorts of evil things, but truly, they were the heroes, trying to protect the church. We would do well to listen to survivors!
“We would not know any of the truth of this problem at Willow (Association and Elders) had they not gone public. Four years of silence, four years of nothing being known, four years when others may have spoken up. We know what we know only because the women had the courage to go public.”
Please read the article and try to apply the Willow Creek “system” to other abuse stories you are familiar with. I think you will see the pattern. This is the pattern we must learn, or we will repeat the same mistakes.
Scot McKnight’s article: Willow: Why the Women Went Public?