I am currently stalking the news articles coming out of Chicago and the Bill Hybels disaster. Hybels, Senior Pastor for decades at Willow Creek Church - a wildly popular mega-church that was begun by Hybels in the suburbs of Chicago - ultimately ended his career under the cloud of sexual misconduct.
But first, everyone went to great pains to dodge accountability for these accusations. The women were ignored, intimidated and eventually publicly maligned in an attempt to hold onto the image of this man who many had revered.
Eventually, the house of cards came tumbling down and now the entire board and the two newly appointed Senior Pastors have resigned as a first step in trying to make amends for their own blindness. Much is left to be done before anyone can say what will come of this tragic fall of one man and the system that was so invested in his reputation that they failed to require him to be reputable.
Taking responsibility is just plain hard. But it is part of respectability.
This is not the first powerful Christian leader ultimately wrecked by his own hand nor will be be the last. But it is a cautionary tale and we should listen. Power, whether it is power in business, church, or at home, is a very potent and potentially toxic poison.
It is not good for any of us to feel like we are above the standards of decent human behavior.
Don’t know what human decent behavior looks like? That’s ok, many of us have to learn these practices as adults. But learn we must lest we continue to perpetuate relationships where power rules and the peace that passes all understanding is nowhere to be found