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Author Topic: Evergreen Should Read This and Take Note  (Read 3426 times)
Linda
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« on: June 27, 2018, 09:10:09 pm »

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/06/27/about-willow-creek-what-do-i-think/
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OneOfMany
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 05:07:38 am »

Wow! That was well written. The correlation to Evergreen/Rock is uncanny.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 05:27:47 am »

So far it seems that the closest Evergreen has come to saying that the women are lying is when Brent said that it has been unfair, unjust.

Mark Darling supporters have thrown that around a lot, that the women must be lying or don't exist, here on the forum.

We have heard that Mark Bowen and others imply that Suzanne is lying when they say she is hurting.

Evergreen would do themselves a favor if they would look at where Willow Creek has gone wrong.
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OneOfMany
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 06:06:54 am »

Maybe it does not matter to them. The loss of reputation is irrelevant.

They have set up a kingdom in which they are in control. It is all about power. If people leave because of the allegations or because of how they handle things they will still be a kingdom with those remain. Stepping down is not an option. Preservation and continuing on is the goal. Because it is all about power.
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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 06:53:44 am »

Wow, that article was spot on!  Many of those same points have been raised here on this forum, but to have them all written out together in a coherent article is so helpful. 

ECC, I encourage against these responses to the article:

Thinking "well, what Bill Hybels did was worse"
Dismiss the author (who is not a conservative fundamentalist)
Blame the situation on allowing women in ministry
Look for any small detail in the article that you think is different than your own actions and use it to dismiss the main important points (well, we used a different type of firm), etc.


ECC, this article is about you.  It is still not too late to do a few of the right things.  Some of you have already done many wrong things (deny wrongdoing, protect the abuser, try to silence victims, allow the abuse to go on for years, control the investigative process, insinuate the supporters are so dangerous that you have to hide your BOT members and cancel a town hall meeting, deter attention to the method the victims used with social media as if that makes abuse okay, used your pulpit to imply women are lying, fail to stop people in your own employ who were engaged in victim intimidation, and I'm sure there are more). 

It is now time to give up control.  Any Christian should realize that we do not get to control the results of SIN.  That is fundamental to the gospel--why do you try to circumvent that now?  Release the report and say good-bye to all of those "godly" men involved in perpetuating and allowing abuse.  Remember you are part of the Church, not just your own little (I'm sure you feel big but in the grand scheme of all of time and history, you are but a piece of sand as we all are) church.  You need to do what is right regardless of how it will affect the mini-kingdom of ECC.  This does not mean that you do not care for the sheep in your midst--you absolutely do that.  But no more protecting the kings.

ECC, please have a conscience.  Please be humble enough to learn from the mistakes of others.  Please let go of the pride involved in thinking that any man is more important than truth, justice, and righteousness.  You can be a just church, or you can be a fraud.  Please do the right thing.
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Badger
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 07:04:39 am »

Maybe it does not matter to them. The loss of reputation is irrelevant.

Quote
"I figured out, I’m grieving the loss of my reputation.  What happened in the month of January, in some circles, probably my reputation would never be regained.  Well, whatever it was before it won’t be the same.  I was grieving that loss…" (Mark Bowen's May 18th message)

I agree with you OOM.  Unfortunately many churches choose to ignore the blatant moral failings of the leaders and church structure.  Leadership's tarnished reputation doesn't seem to matter to the congregation that wishes to hold onto abusive leadership and "moving forward."

I once again quote "Pastor" Mark Bowen because his comment shows he is more concerned about his own reputation than the moral failings that led to his reputation being tarnished.  His tears are misplaced.  He should be crying, he is just crying for the wrong reasons.  He cries for himself not for the many women who have been hurt by Mark Darling.  He cries for himself while not mentioning any sorrow for his failure to protect young women in his church.  This is the response of self-centered leadership not self-sacrificial leadership.
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OneOfMany
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 07:53:40 am »

Maybe it does not matter to them. The loss of reputation is irrelevant.

Quote
"I figured out, I’m grieving the loss of my reputation.  What happened in the month of January, in some circles, probably my reputation would never be regained.  Well, whatever it was before it won’t be the same.  I was grieving that loss…" (Mark Bowen's May 18th message)

I agree with you OOM.  Unfortunately many churches choose to ignore the blatant moral failings of the leaders and church structure.  Leadership's tarnished reputation doesn't seem to matter to the congregation that wishes to hold onto abusive leadership and "moving forward."

I once again quote "Pastor" Mark Bowen because his comment shows he is more concerned about his own reputation than the moral failings that led to his reputation being tarnished.  His tears are misplaced.  He should be crying, he is just crying for the wrong reasons.  He cries for himself not for the many women who have been hurt by Mark Darling.  He cries for himself while not mentioning any sorrow for his failure to protect young women in his church.  This is the response of self-centered leadership not self-sacrificial leadership.

I don't believe he does grieve his loss of reputation. Saying he does is part of the victim game, a method to manipulate those he controls.  Poor me my reputation is tarnished. Not"I have sinned". Therefore his place on the throne remains secure. Those that remain will be all that less likely to stand up to him. This method also helps create cognitive disconnect so his followers are less likely to step back and see what is really going on.
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Watching
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 07:59:54 am »



It is now time to give up control.  Any Christian should realize that we do not get to control the results of SIN.  That is fundamental to the gospel--why do you try to circumvent that now?  Release the report and say good-bye to all of those "godly" men involved in perpetuating and allowing abuse.  Remember you are part of the Church, not just your own little (I'm sure you feel big but in the grand scheme of all of time and history, you are but a piece of sand as we all are) church.  You need to do what is right regardless of how it will affect the mini-kingdom of ECC.  This does not mean that you do not care for the sheep in your midst--you absolutely do that.  But no more protecting the kings.

ECC, please have a conscience.  Please be humble enough to learn from the mistakes of others.  Please let go of the pride involved in thinking that any man is more important than truth, justice, and righteousness.  You can be a just church, or you can be a fraud.  Please do the right thing.


yes, spot on Rebel.  ECC - as a current tithing member I implore you to seriously consider this.  Continuing in your current pattern could result in serious ramifications and the loss of many committed members. 
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Peacemaker03
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 09:59:41 am »

For the record, one key difference between ECC and Willow is that ECC proper has not commented much about the alleged victims.  There has been some unfortunate nods to personal frustration that has been discussed here (I'm looking at you BKnox), but for the most part they've been silent on the subject, which puts them a bit ahead of Willow.

HOWEVER, the problem with that is in their silence, they're has been no shortage of voices from within the church that have lined up to echo the Willow pattern:  Call the women liars, question their credibility, make it appear to be a conspiracy to destroy these fine men.  And in the silence and absence of other voice from ECC proper, this then becomes the default "voice of ECC", and that has been troubling.  I'm of the opinion, and have encouraged my leadership at ECC, that there should have been more formal pushback from ECC proper against these internal voices.  Something in one of the official updates such as "while we have seen some voices on social media questioning the credibility of the alleged victims, these voices do not speak for ECC.  The leadership at ECC is troubled by these voices and finds them contrary to the loving standard in the New Testiment.  Furthermore, we find it counterproductive during the ongoing investigation".  This type of statement would have served two purposes: 1) It would have clearly separated the voices of those aligning with Jeromy and his Reckoning from the desired neutrality that ECC is trying to present, and 2) I believe it would have taken a fair amount of wind out of the sails of those voices, and they might have toned down their veracity and vitriol, which would have been good for all parties.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 10:16:44 am »

Well stated Peacemaker03!

The silence can speak volumes, and it may not be what they mean to say by silence, but it leaves the door open for interpretation. It looks like they are sitting back, thinking they can stay looking neutral and patient and noble, while saying to their "defenders", "Go get 'em. 'At a Boy!" Then if it got a little too hot and nasty they would tell people to back off by a sermon about learning from criticism. But by their silence they did not stand up for what is right which is to learn the truth, care about the truth, care about the women coming forward, and deal with the truth in an appropriate and godly way. Showing deep concern if per chance someone had been mistreated. Not allowing anyone that represented them to come out swinging at the women, who may be telling the truth. And for Pete's sake, not worrying about their reputation.

They should hire you to help them work on communication and thinking about what is truly just in this situation.
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ShineTheLight
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 11:53:43 am »

For the record, one key difference between ECC and Willow is that ECC proper has not commented much about the alleged victims.  There has been some unfortunate nods to personal frustration that has been discussed here (I'm looking at you BKnox), but for the most part they've been silent on the subject, which puts them a bit ahead of Willow.

HOWEVER, the problem with that is in their silence, they're has been no shortage of voices from within the church that have lined up to echo the Willow pattern:  Call the women liars, question their credibility, make it appear to be a conspiracy to destroy these fine men.  And in the silence and absence of other voice from ECC proper, this then becomes the default "voice of ECC", and that has been troubling.  I'm of the opinion, and have encouraged my leadership at ECC, that there should have been more formal pushback from ECC proper against these internal voices.  Something in one of the official updates such as "while we have seen some voices on social media questioning the credibility of the alleged victims, these voices do not speak for ECC.  The leadership at ECC is troubled by these voices and finds them contrary to the loving standard in the New Testiment.  Furthermore, we find it counterproductive during the ongoing investigation".  This type of statement would have served two purposes: 1) It would have clearly separated the voices of those aligning with Jeromy and his Reckoning from the desired neutrality that ECC is trying to present, and 2) I believe it would have taken a fair amount of wind out of the sails of those voices, and they might have toned down their veracity and vitriol, which would have been good for all parties.
Agree, well said. One area ECC has definitely been worse in though is transparency - The Elder Board of Willow Creek, who has been on the front-lines of Willow's response, poor as it has been, is a least known by the entire congregation vs. the sham of a "sequestered board". Their board was also selected by the congregation in a transparent vetting process vs. being appointed by Bill Hybels and Heather Larson - and they still have not handled this well.  Which does not give me much hope for our pastor-hand-picked-anonymous BOT.
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Linda
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2018, 03:26:24 pm »

For the record, one key difference between ECC and Willow is that ECC proper has not commented much about the alleged victims.  There has been some unfortunate nods to personal frustration that has been discussed here (I'm looking at you BKnox), but for the most part they've been silent on the subject, which puts them a bit ahead of Willow.

HOWEVER, the problem with that is in their silence, they're has been no shortage of voices from within the church that have lined up to echo the Willow pattern:  Call the women liars, question their credibility, make it appear to be a conspiracy to destroy these fine men.  And in the silence and absence of other voice from ECC proper, this then becomes the default "voice of ECC", and that has been troubling.  I'm of the opinion, and have encouraged my leadership at ECC, that there should have been more formal pushback from ECC proper against these internal voices.  Something in one of the official updates such as "while we have seen some voices on social media questioning the credibility of the alleged victims, these voices do not speak for ECC.  The leadership at ECC is troubled by these voices and finds them contrary to the loving standard in the New Testiment.  Furthermore, we find it counterproductive during the ongoing investigation".  This type of statement would have served two purposes: 1) It would have clearly separated the voices of those aligning with Jeromy and his Reckoning from the desired neutrality that ECC is trying to present, and 2) I believe it would have taken a fair amount of wind out of the sails of those voices, and they might have toned down their veracity and vitriol, which would have been good for all parties.

Thank you for saying this. I think that it is not unfair to draw the conclusion that ECC has given tacit approval to the online criticism by not issuing a public statement similar to the one you suggested. Also, suggesting that the situation is somehow unfair or unjust is a sideways way of passing blame to the women. Those "sermons" were very clearly intended to be public criticism of women who are claiming abuse.

One thing I might add to the mix is that ECC has been quick to imply that MD cannot speak as much as a denial, so apparently, ECC controls the social media commenting of it's employees. It is a curiosity to me, then, that they allow a current staff member, Jeromy Darling, to make rude, offensive, and discrediting personal attack comments about the women and about those of us who say we believe them. Again, the fact that "the powers that be" control the public commenting of some on staff, one could easily infer that they have no objection to the staff member posting and the fact that they have issued no disclaimer (such as the one you suggested) indicates to me that they have no problem with the comments.

To that extent, I do think ECC has followed the Willow Creek pattern of attempting to throw the women under the bus and portraying those supporting them as colluders.

Keep in mind that Jeromy, an ECC staff member and worship leader, said these things about the victims and those who support them:

To Huldah: "You've relentlessly hounded my father and my churches and this movement. You DID force me here when you embraced and spread a lie. Show me the decency of READING the entire letter, not skimming it (otherwise proving you're terrified of the truth)."

To Me: "You want what most of the other regular users on this forum have wanted for years: the humiliation of our churches."

To GodIsFaithful: "I'm sure Jesus and Paul and any number of other godly men may have appeared that way at times - you apparently haven't spent enough time in the Word as I'm only trying to model their behavior."

To Boggs: "This entire website stands as a billboard for the the loveless Christian life"

To g_prince: "I am however beginning to wonder how many pastors have been spiritually abused by their former congregants..."

On why he can violate the rules of the forum and out members: "First of all I outed a two people. Chris and Jason. Secondly, I do not recognize the owners of this website or this website itself as having any Authority in my life, Ergo I dont recognize the rules they set out. "

To me: "And for the record, when you disagree with a public figure - NO ONE EVEN NEEDS TO KNOW. The fact that you think your opinion about a pastor or politician, posted on a website, is valuable to the world is the height of hubris. You've never run a church and don't have the first idea how to. Leaving me to conclude that the only reason you continue posting on this website is for your own personal validation and self gratitude. In fact, since everyone on this site seems so interested in the latest spiritual topics and terms, let me introduce a new one here: spiritual masturbation."

About Suzanne making up the story: "I KNOW no names have been submitted because the evidence points exclusively to Suzanne making all of the victims up. "

About investigation the character of an alleged victim AND HER HUSBAND: "And for the record, this investigator is not only digging deep into my father's life, she's digging deep into John and Suzanne's."

To the group: "Since there is no Biblical basis for running a site like this I can safely assume that most users on here are either grossly ignorant or are not real Christians at all. You guys could all be out volunteering, preaching the Gospel, saving souls, doing anything other than posting here over and over again, spiritually masturbating each other in an effort to validate your self worth and your knowledge, while perpetuating (or silently approving of) disgusting lies about my father."

To me: "Linda, disagreeing isn't hate. Even I know that. You've spent more time on this website than you ever spent in a GCC church or listening to my father speak. You have reserved much of your ire for a man you barely even had any conversations with, and you've dished out all your advice and warnings having never founded or a led a church on any conceivable level. This shows empirically that you're both filled with pride AND hate while simultaneously caught up in a savior's complex the likes of which I've never seen before."

Calling Suzanne a liar: "Suzanne said that my dad asked about her and her current boyfriend's sexual positions, but she didn't have a boyfriend when she met my dad and she and John did not have sex until they were married. Know how I know that? Because Suzanne used to tease John about their wedding night. See John was a virgin. And up until they first had sex he thought women got pregnant through their belly button. I actually always found that very endearing about John and his commitment to sexual Integrity before marriage. Anyone care to unravel this lie?"

Suggesting Suzanne is mentally ill" "See either Suzanne thinks we're to stupid to catch these things, or she's struggling mentally much more than any of you realize - which one is worse?"

To me when I quoted something his dad said to Terry and I at our last private meeting. Jeromy was not present.: "Another fat stinking lie Linda. My goodness. There's enough (Ad nauseam) lies from you, just in this website, about my father, to fill a volume of defamation lawsuits. This is so fantastical and so disgusting  I don't know whether to laugh or weep but it's now your MO."

Claiming the victims are lying: "Speaking of truth, I know Suzanne, Natalie and Loey are lying not just because I know my dad so well, but because I actually know the other half of THEIR stories."

Claiming Suzanne is lying: "Of course I'm saying she's lying. I've been saying that this whole time."

Claiming Natalie wasn't abused and also mentioning her "failings": "Watching - I know Natalie wasn't abused just from reading her blog. She's redefined "abuse" to include years of "subtle" spiritual abuse and never talks about her own failings."

Evergreen, are you okay with a staff member saying these things? Because, honestly, this reflects poorly upon the leadership, the church, and the integrity of the investigation.

Jeromy, are you familiar with 1 Timothy 5:1?

"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."

How closely have you followed this advice from your hero Paul? Do you often rebuke your mother with harsh vulgar terms such as you have done on this forum? Or call her a liar when she quotes a conversation in which you did not participate. Do you often call your wife a liar or point out her failings publicly? Is it okay to be harsh when you are mad?

Peacemaker03, my tendency is to think that, sadly, ECC has followed the Willow Creek pattern and it will not go well for Willow Creek or Evergreen.

ECC pastors, I know many of you quite well and care about you. We have been friends for many years. Please. Do the right thing.




 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 04:34:22 pm by Linda » Logged

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Peacemaker03
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2018, 08:56:07 pm »

Well Linda, it looks like you're right.  I was beginning to hope this week that my church was going to try to do this right.  But I have a source on the inside, and it looks like my hope has failed me.  Evergreen will learn from Willow Creek, and go with the "Nothing to see here" routine, and attempt to move on.
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Linda
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2018, 12:57:28 pm »

I thought this was the saddest part of the article.


"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."

#DoTheRightThing
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