Recently, I read about a sex scandal that detonated in a major evangelical church. We are just beginning to feel the shockwaves. Those closest to the blast were knocked flat. But many who operated under this church’s umbrella or looked to it for inspiration will also be shaken.
I have stopped counting sex scandals involving church leaders. Before I was a Christian, Jerry Falwell & Jim Bakker were the humiliated heralds of the religion I was happy to see disproved. Since my conversion, there has been Ted Haggard and the Catholic abuse scandals. And now, the latest chapter in this sad story is Willow Creek.
My thinking has changed a lot since my BC days. When Christians struggle with sex or whatever else, I don’t think it disproves Christianity. In his book, Orthodoxy, GK Chesterton observed that original sin is the most provable part of Christianity. When anyone fails (including Christians) it establishes one of Christianity’s central claims: people are fallen, and our nature tends toward sin.
Hearing about this latest scandal makes me look to myself and the Lord. Anytime we see someone else fail, it should be sobering. Regardless of how our neighbor fails, it is possible for us to do the same…or worse. (Just ask Asia Argento). Willow Creek makes me realize my participation in another sort of #MeToo movement: not because I’ve been victimized but because I am flawed in countless ways, just like everybody else.
Jesus said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). I need Jesus, deeply and daily. I pray that we will all benefit from Willow Creek’s time of discipline. Instead of reaching for stones, I pray we will all say, “Me too,” and seek the Lord (John 8:1-11).