The view was a little different from the church platform this time for pastor Bill Hybels. Instead of staring into a crowd of thousands of church leaders, reporters, and photographers waiting to hear what he would ask President Bill Clinton next, Hybels now sat with his head hung low. Many in the congregation looked at him with hurt feelings in their eyes. On this occasion, they would ask the questions. It was ten days after Hybels, pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, had conducted the controversial interview with the president as part of the Willow Creek Association's annual leadership conference. Hybels, Clinton's spiritual adviser during the last eight years, had asked the president about his moral failures with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and what he had learned from his mistakes as a leader in Washington. Willow Creek members wanted to know why their pastor would invite such a controversial, divisive figure into their midst. At an open forum on Sunday, August 20, 600 people from the megachurch questioned Hybels and the church's six elders about their decision to allow Clinton to take the center stage. Many were upset that Hybels had invited a prochoice president who claims to be a born-again Christian. "I need further explanation on this," one man said. "How do I understand that Bill Clinton has still not repented on abortion?""I am angered on behalf of the victims," said another, referring to both pregnant women and the unborn. "How do we handle the rage?""How many kids are not here because of the policies of a liberal administration?" another member said before pointing his finger at Hybels and saying, "Don't put him on our stage here!"Hybels told the emotional crowd that ...

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Clinton Visit Provokes Church Members
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