Sex Abuse at Willow Creek

Willow Creek was the first megachurch in the U.S. Its founder, Bill Hybels, was discovered to have abused several women, and was dismissed. RNS published an article with Steve Carter, the former lead teaching pastor of Willow Creek who resigned after learning of the accusations against Hybels. It is a useful summary.

This case received a great deal of press coverage - justifiably. It involved a gross abuse of power by a leading Christian “holy man.” Many compare this to the sex abuse scandals of the Catholic Church, claiming everyone does it, not just Catholics. But you need to keep your perspective. Willow Creek and similar cases involve the abuse of power over consenting adults. More often than not, abuse in the Catholic Church involves the rape of minors, followed by the cover-up of that crime by Church hierarchy.

By any reasonable definition, the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church overshadow the crimes at Willow Creek and other megachurches. Yet few are willing to discuss the magnitude of those atrocities and their implications.


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