Friday, November 9, 2007

A Shocking “Confession”

A Shocking “Confession” from Willow Creek Community Church
Bob Burney, October 30th, 2007

A good Pastor friend of ours sent us this article the other day.

He also wrote.....
"See we weren't CRAZY after all!"
I knew none of us were...but you do start to wonder "is it just ME or WHAT??"

Finally confession and repentance from the "Mother" of ALL "Seeker Churches" that so many have "modeled" after.

It's made me sick because we've seen it happening all along and couldn't do much of anything about it. Pray and inform.

The good news is now they see the problems. That is God's grace and mercy and I think that it's a great thing they are acknowledging their "mistakes."

My whole concern NOW is this........

"How can they fix it?" Not only has this thing spread like a California do you turn it back?
It will cost these churches something and it will be money and people I suppose.

They will have to go backwards a bit I suppose....then regroup and fix the problem.....I don't know the "plan of action" but I DO know that people may not understand the "problem" and get ticked and leave these environments that are currently comfortable in because the organization are now going to try to get "healthier."

It will be interesting to see in the days ahead how the "Mother" deals with it and how the other "seeker churches" can follow their leading???

My husband and I sat in a meeting once....the leader was speaking about the people we were going to all work with the incoming souls, "new people" coming into the church.

He said......"we want to get them into the church building.....from there along their journey, hopefully they will encounter Jesus."
WHAT???? We both nearly freaked out because of what this man had just said. We were kicking each other under the chairs like "OMG!!!"

Yet that is the mentality of a seeker situation. We knew that was what we were hearing yet frankly we were shocked to hear it because we knew this person stating that line and their upbringing and church background.....and we just couldn't believe what we were hearing. Do you know what I mean? Let's just say that it was just a bit "contrary" to how they had been raised. Not a big deal....just a shocking one.

Sad thing is....we have known and met so many people that went to these kinds of places for months and years even and never did "meet Jesus intimately."

Some stay, some are in and out.

I'm not judging, I have seen their "lifestyle fruit"'s not wrong to base opinions upon that. Especially if you take things into consideration per individual....I mean you don't lump everyone together.

Some people have had tragic situations and some have had a horrible upbringing are damaged, and some have been sick and are fearful and you just don't know why people act the way they do sometimes unless you really DO know. Many are trying but don't know how to act or do anything other than what they've done all along in their lives.

They have to be taught and instructed and especially above all....

People need to be "Mentored" and or "Discipled"....that is something that isn't happening now days and it is a MUST.
Thank goodness for the people that have loved me and mentored me through the years. This is SCRIPTURAL people.

So we must ALL be careful not to be too hasty in our judgements.....yet are check some things out. Lifestyle again reveals so much about a person.

I'm not talking being full of LEGALISM either because as a former "Legalist" I hate it as much as anyone else that has been under it.
But I am talking "balance"....especially in our lives. We can all error truth even. We have to be careful and find the true balance in many things.

Actions, words,etc.
Fruit. Good smelling, good looking, good tasting. Good for you.

Having a bad day.....those happen. But day after day and year after year? Ripping off stuff where you work....not just taking a pen home by accident...using foul language and gossiping at the break table....treating store clerks like trash, being mean to the Wendy's drive through person, being overly rude at the Mall....screaming at the person driving in front of you and offering gestures along the way.

Check your fruit my friend.
Something stinks and there is a REASON for it.

What I have seen and experienced is that many people never really met him....just knew of him and they went on to even become leaders because if you serve and give and take the right classes and climb the right certain places and or organizations....."up you go."
And the nice juicy Fruit of the "Spirit" didn't exact come through possibly because......HE wasn't there?

Sometime people just went to the place because it was a great social gathering and there are great causes going on and we many want to help society, etc. and that's all good and fine I suppose if your organizations goal isn't to usher people into the Kingdom but to amass an army of "good" people and some not so good.

I'm all about giving chances......and a second chance.....and a third chance and so on and so forth. So don't assume I haven't any Grace. Because I do have Grace. Because I WANT Grace for myself and I've been given it by many.

I've always loved and felt "Called" to the Body of Christ and will continue to do so. I haven't however, always liked the organizations associated with such things.
For many reasons.

Mainly from seeing a huge, lack of INTEGRITY. That is important to not only me but to many. People are ruined because of not seeing it.

I've seen personally way too much foolishness, "Spiritual abuse" and massive pride on leaders parts. And I don't respect that.

But God will judge the Shepherds. We don't have to do that job.
He says "HE will do it."
What a relief.

We can just check the "Fruit" and get in or out and then move on and get planted somewhere.

I struggle with this myself okay so I'm being honest here.

I can't stand when leaders goof up or goof around (and I'm not talking about not having "Fun"....please...let's DO have some FUN ....time and place though okay??"
and I don't even mean sin.

I can forgive sin. I mean of course it's disappointing when a leader fails but they are human and I understand that.

I have been forgiven of sin, haven't we all? And I forgive others for sin issues, shouldn't we all? Of course we should.

But "spiritual abuse" and "careless use of church monies and power sickens me" and very much so.

Yet, reading things like this article, where men of God say.....
"ouch, we made a mistake" and they come out and step up to the plate and to their own possible hurt they say for all to hear that

"we are repenting over this mistake please forgive us" well......that HELPS restore trust and faith and confidence in leaders to a little person like myself.

Check out part of the article here and read the rest at the link. I just can't print the entire thing.

It is interesting. I'm SO glad that this has come forth but I am not rejoicing at the fact that they made a mistake........

I'm rejoicing that now maybe things can change a bit now and we can see a deeper, cleaner, more spotless Bride.

I'm working on my Wedding gown too so don't think that I believe that I am above anyone because I'm not.

I've got a few spots and tears I'm mending up too you know.
Let's all check out our dresses ahead of time.

A Shocking “Confession” from Willow Creek Community Church
Bob Burney
"Bob Burney Live," WRFD Columbus, Ohio
October 30, 2007

If you are older than 40 the name Benjamin Spock is more than familiar. It was Spock that told an entire generation of parents to take it easy, don’t discipline your children and allow them to express themselves. Discipline, he told us, would warp a child’s fragile ego. Millions followed this guru of child development and he remained unchallenged among child rearing professionals. However, before his death Dr. Spock made an amazing discovery: he was wrong. In fact, he said:

"We have reared a generation of brats. Parents aren't firm enough with their children for fear of losing their love or incurring their resentment. This is a cruel deprivation that we professionals have imposed on mothers and fathers. Of course, we did it with the best of intentions. We didn't realize until it was too late how our know-it-all attitude was undermining the self assurance of parents."


Something just as momentous, in my opinion, just happened in the evangelical community. For most of a generation evangelicals have been romanced by the “seeker sensitive” movement spawned by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. The guru of this movement is Bill Hybels. He and others have been telling us for decades to throw out everything we have previously thought and been taught about church growth and replace it with a new paradigm, a new way to do ministry.

Perhaps inadvertently, with this “new wave” of ministry came a de-emphasis on taking personal responsibility for Bible study combined with an emphasis on felt-needs based “programs” and slick marketing.

The size of the crowd rather than the depth of the heart determined success. If the crowd was large then surely God was blessing the ministry.

Churches were built by demographic studies, professional strategists, marketing research, meeting “felt needs” and sermons consistent with these techniques. We were told that preaching was out, relevance was in. Doctrine didn’t matter nearly as much as innovation. If it wasn’t “cutting edge” and consumer friendly it was doomed. The mention of sin, salvation and sanctification were taboo and replaced by Starbucks, strategy and sensitivity.

Thousands of pastors hung on every word that emanated from the lips of the church growth experts. Satellite seminars were packed with hungry church leaders learning the latest way to “do church.” The promise was clear: thousands of people and millions of dollars couldn’t be wrong. Forget what people need, give them what they want. How can you argue with the numbers?

If you dared to challenge the “experts” you were immediately labeled as a “traditionalist,” a throwback to the 50s, a stubborn dinosaur unwilling to change with the times.

All that changed recently.

Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study’s findings are in a new book titled Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking” and “mind blowing.”
And no wonder: it seems that the “experts” were wrong.

The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples.
It gets worse.

Hybels laments:
Read rest of article on the link.


FeatherIron said...

I absolutley love that these guys were willing to say "we were wrong". I think of the amazin humlity it must have taken to accept this reseach when you are leading a church of thousands, knowing that if you change, a lot of the people may leave. I know so little about Willow Creek but now I respect them so much more because they were willing to do what many men in ministry are not-publicly repent.

joyce said...

I agree totally. It's big people that can say....."we made a mistake" especailly in this day and age when so many BIG NAMES are not admitting recently that they "made some mistakes" and are just going on with their lives and ministries like "no big deal." Scary.