Bill Hybels Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Former Willow Creek Leaders

“I want to speak to all the people around the country that have been misled … for the past four years and tell them in my voice, in as strong a voice as you’ll allow me to tell it, that the charges against me are false. There still to this day is not evidence of misconduct on my part.” CToday

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Bert Perry's picture

Something that strikes me as odd here is that the elders did find 1100 emails, could not read them, and left it at that.  Nobody knew a competent IT guy?  Seriously?  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

Each of the participants is named, and is participating, or was, in vocational ministry.  Yes, the outcome of this one does mean someone, not necessarily Hybels, needs to leave vocational ministry, either for sexual misconduct or for knowingly slandering Hybels.  

That noted, when Hybels attacks the motivations of his accusers, and makes a point that "these are old allegations",  that's not a good sign for him.  It's a classic "look, squirrel" response, the same one that got BJU in trouble, really.  What needs to happen is for those emails to be read, if possible, and the accusations need to be compared with the travel schedules of Hybels and his staff.  

Along those lines, it's a bad sign that the internal investigation simply proclaimed Hybels innocent instead of producing the reasons.  It's a lot like Patrick Fitzgerald proclaiming Michigan State innocent in the Larry Nassar debacle without writing a report.  As a former manager of mine noted, if you didn't document your work, in his opinion you didn't do it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

I was thinking about this earlier today, and I don't know how I'd respond if someone accused me of this sort of thing.  That being said, it strikes me that the most immediate step should be a paid leave of absence so that the investigation can proceed without interference.  It seems to me that leaving whatever person in place while the investigation is ongoing is not really a wise idea for several reasons.  

More to the topic, I agree with Jim that there's an awful lot of smoke to this fire.  Time will tell, I guess.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

The link Jonathan posts makes me even more troubled.  Doesn't convict anybody of anything, but the question that screams from that is "so this woman got so drunk she decided to skinny dip at a public marina, and nobody looked seriously into how that party was conducted?"

I am personally wondering as well why this comes out again now.  I am half wondering if the complainants know that their complaints got shut down by the elders, and they're doing a gambit to see if other people might be willing to speak up now.  People are playing for keeps here, since whoever loses the argument pretty much needs to leave vocational ministry. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

LGCarpenter's picture

The article does not say that the person in the water was drunk.  Perhaps one should pause before making unfounded accusations.

Mr. LaVern G. Carpenter

Proverbs 3:1-12

Bert Perry's picture

Given that she was at the party, and that she did something that most people won't do while sober, and given that this was the first thought of those who heard the splash, I'm thinking this is a reasonable inference from the context.  

But even if she were stone cold sober and decided to do this, you still have the question of why she would do so where she had a strong suspicion that the first responder would be Hybels.  No?

Really, this illustrates one big reason that churches (other institutions) generally fail when they try to investigate themselves.  Things that make an independent investigator go "hmmm.....I wonder why that happened?" just blip right on by.  Some people don't have an eye for the unusual, and others who otherwise would have gotten used to looking at things so long that it doesn't appear unusual.   Along these lines, notice in the article that Boz Tchividjian was counseling those accusing Hybels--but it does not appear he was allowed to interact with those investigating.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.