DAILYKENN.com -- At age 66 Bill Hybels likely had retirement on his mind anyway. So the pastor of the nation's premier megachurch (5th largest) parted ways with his Willow Creek church after me-too rumors circulated among the congregation.
Hybels allegedly spoke inappropriately to at least one female. He called the ensuing controversy a distraction and bailed.
Hybels claims innocence. I'm inclined to believe Hybels. (Just a hint: Avoid church ladies at all costs. If they are in the room, get up and leave; particularly those in the post-menopausal mode who alleviate the stress of destiny by imagining men are lusting after their fat-ass bodies and don't mind circulating rumors to that end. A wise man sees danger coming, the Bible advises, and hides himself.)
• Why are some churches huge, while others struggle and close? I credit church growth with the personality of the pastor. Megachurches tend to led by men with megapersonalities; individuals who could succeed in business, insurance sales, or Amway. They tend to be men who command respect by the power of their presence.
Had Donald Trump chosen to be a pastor, he likely would have preached from the pulpit of a megachurch, had lucrative book deals with major publishers, and an expansive television ministry. And he would have had a tryst with bimbo called Stormy.
The point is this: Megachurches are not the products of God's providential endowment of favor on selected super-righteous ministers. Many of these superman ministers are as carnal — if not more so — than anyone else.
• Among those ministers who strapped on the parachute and took a leap (some were pushed) include:
Eddie Long was known for his body-building physique, powerful sermons, and business acumen before succumbing to allegations of homosexual trysts with young male followers.
Jack Schaap, who led thousands at First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana (near Chicago), is serving 12 years after an affair with a teen girl.
Ted Haggard was accused doing drugs and hiring a homosexual for sex. He was pastor of New Life Church in Colorado.
Andy Savage resigned his megachurch in Memphis after confessing to a me-too encounter years earlier. Jesus forgives. Church people don't.
Bob Gray was 81 when he died days before his criminal trial. He was to face 21 women and one man who accused him of sexually abusing them when they were children. The offenses allegedly occurred in his office at the Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. [more via video]
Jim Bakker was a superstar during the golden age of televangelism. He was accused of having sex off the grid with a church secretary and overbooking hotel rooms.
Jimmy Swaggart's massive empire crumbled after trysts with prostitutes. Reports say the pentecostalist weathered the storms due to his wise investments in real estate. His ministry still thrives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Bill Gothard's unique squeaky clean ministry took its toll after the never-married-minister-of-sorts was accused of playing footsie with pretty young girls selected to serve on his staff.
Billy James Hargis was a boisterous anti-communist crusader in the 1960s. Hargis founded a college where he attracted young Christians, many with whom he allegedly engaged in sex; both male and female. Authorities found no evidence of unlawful behavior.
|Click here to hear Linda Hyles reveal herfather's shenanigans.|
Jack Hyles was the propagator of the John Dillenger hairstyle that, for some odd reason, he equated with spirituality. (I preferred the longer Thomas Jefferson quaff which got me branded as an unAmerican hippie rebel. For such reasons the LOL acronym was invented.) Hyles can be seen preaching from the pulpit of his Hammond, Indiana church with his wife sitting behind to his right and his love interest to his left. No, they were not the same women. Or was it his wife to the left and love interest to the right. I get confused.
The above are a few of the better known Christian ministers whose fall can be attributed to sex trysts. Add lessor knowns, those who've not yet been caught, some who have not come to mind, Catholic priests, and those guilty of non-sexual scandals, and the list seems to be endless.
The problem is not limited to ministers nor to males.
Google the search term "teacher arrested" and take a gander and the female teachers who have been arrested for messing around with young vulnerable male students whose minds will be impressed for life due to the betrayal of trust.
• During my 12-year tenure as Baptist minister I managed to escape the sexual scandals. This was due to (a) I was super spiritual or (b) I was fat and ugly. You choose.
In hindsight I realize the sex scandals are the lessor of evils that plague evangelical and fundamentalist ministers.
Ranking at number one, in my opinion, is pride. The most arrogant, high-minded a**holes I've ever encountered are troubadours of the faith.
• At age 29 I recall attending a Moral Majority meeting in Washington, DC. After the conference a well-known Baptist preacher expressed his displeasure at riding in the back seat en route to the airport.
Days later I was sitting in the office of Dr. Greg Dixon at Indianapolis Baptist Temple when he received a phone call from Jerry Falwell's top lieutenant of Moral Majority. Apparently unaware I was in the room, this jackass proceeded to eviscerate my bad behavior at the conference. He was flat out lying.
That was the pivotal point in my life; the first crack in my faith that eventually fragmented and fell into a thousand useless pieces. Emerging from the shattered shell of religiosity was the sunrise of reality; the simply acknowledgement that we live in natural world. The process of emerging from the darkness of religiosity into the light of reality took over three decades.
What an oddity it is that natural selection has delivered a human mind that naturally believes in the supernatural. Go figure.
Today I can say with certainty: There is nothing supernatural, there never has been anything supernatural; there never will be anything supernatural.
|Think ministers are bad?|
The above is the result of searching the term "teacher arrested" on Google 2018-04-11
From time.com ▼
A prominent pastor of the Willow Creek megachurch in the Chicago area, Bill Hybels, has stepped down amid accusations of misconduct from multiple women.
Hybels, founder of the Willow Creek megachurch, announced to his congregation on Tuesday that he would step down following a Chicago Tribune report that detailed the misconduct allegations and revealed that church leaders had inquired into the claims. Hybels’s resignation comes six months ahead of his originally planned departure from the Willow Creek church.
According to a March Chicago Tribune report, the allegations against Hybels include suggestive comments, extended hugs, an unwanted kiss and an invite to a staff member to hotel rooms. The claims of inappropriate behavior also included an allegation that Hybels carried on a prolonged consensual affair with a married woman, who later said her claim was untrue, the Tribune reports.
Hybels has denied the allegations and said Tuesday that inquiries by the church into his behavior had found no evidence of misconduct. He said the accusations made him feel attacked at first and that he wished he had reacted differently.
“I sincerely wish my initial response had been one of listening and humble reflection. If I could go back, I would have chosen to listen first, and then to seek to learn and understand,” he said in the statement Tuesday. “I apologize for a response that was defensive, instead of one that invited conversation and learning.”
Hybels said the decision to retire early came after watching the “controversy continue to be a distraction that is hindering our Elders and church staff.”
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