I’m writing to tell the story of my victimization by Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian, who was Bill Hybels’ professor and mentor, and was very influential in the development of Willow Creek Community Church. This is a story I take no pleasure in telling.
"This performance is so sincere and heartfelt, shows a high level of skill, and may be the very one you love best of all. I think it is just awful, the perfect expression of a particular culture that I used to think was just distasteful and now believe to be rotten to the core."
Forgiving may come with time, but should we really forget?
How does a Christian wife respond to her husband's evil behavior? This orderly list provides more harm than help.
At the very least, we should have seen Feltner take responsibility for his clergy sexual misconduct. That never happened...
God has instituted qualifications for elders regardless if someone feels a certain calling. Wes Feltner's supposed calling does not override God's guideline for elders.
In black/white churches, you have two choices: follow along with the pastor, or you are immediately castigated as someone who has made the wrong choice. If people know of your "bad" choice, you may be called a sinner or rebellious.
Part 5 focuses on the other side of Mr Tchividjian's misuse of his platform as a Christian celebrity minister, speaker, and writer – his accountability system victims: superiors, peers, and subordinates.
What courage must it have taken to publicly post a call for Tullian Tchividjian to repent? To apologize for having amplified his impact? To resign from the board of his newly resurrected non-profit? To remove from their ministry website various resources he'd produced? To cancel contracts that would extend his influence?
What did it cost those who were close to him in terms of ministry – especially those who held authority to oversee his recovery plans, and those who'd been his platform peers?
These are the kinds of questions we should consider as we read this final piece in the case study of Tullian Tchividjian and the details of his abuse of systems, ministry, and accountability ...
It’s not the job of any supervisor, peer, or subordinate to prevent Tullian Tchividjian from sinning, whether he does so mildly or spectacularly. It wasn’t the role of his non-profit board, church sessions, publishing house legal departments, counselors, friends, etc. It’s not even possible. He himself is responsible for his own choices and their impact.
... there were over 150 individuals in at least 10 institutions who had direct connections with Tullian Tchividjian as his superiors, peers, or subordinates. And yet, it seems nobody could keep him from his two extramarital sexual involvements he has already admitted to (after they were discovered or disclosed), or from his reported predatory/seductive behavior patterns, or from his reported multiple failures to tell the full truth.
What does real-world remediation / repentance look like? How can we see what it takes in both attitudes and actions to accomplish damage repair? This post gives three examples of remediation (repair work) — one dealing with a product, one with a denominational organization, one with a social system. Each is notable for seeking to engage in a constructive way parties who were directly involved, and in some cases those who were indirectly affected.
Systemic abuse always includes a degree of relational manipulation to get/keep people hooked in, as well as deception in order to hide the truth.
But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?
If we do not publicly call out abusive or neglectful church leaders or ministries then abuse thrives. Silence and privacy is not an option.
Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has a problem with libraries. Libraries?! The institution that has been around for centuries recording history and offering a place to expand your knowledge?
"Ramesh explained briefly the situation to Ravi. I remember Ravi was very angry. More at Ramesh than me it seemed. He was not speaking in kind terms. Only pointing out that this news would ‘kill our parents’ and ‘end your future as a doctor.'"
"No ONE should tell EVERYONE anything. That's the role of your leaders. We are entrusted, and we're going to give an account."
What's interesting is if you address these people and question the way they are attack you and your beliefs, they quip they are telling you this in love and they are being Biblical. It never feels like love. It's rude. It seems like a clanging cymbal to me. Love is patient and kind, right?
My heart remains heavy for those wounded by leaders whose arrogance use the Bible as a weapon to harm instead of to heal. I've been on the receiving end of that arrogance and it is not pleasant.
"They taught me that sometimes the exit door of an abusive church is held open by the gracious hands of friends who have nothing to do with church, or even with Christianity, but who simply would never turn their back on a friend."