What followed next was the Chicago Tribune article which exposed a whole slew of questionable actions and behavior involving Hybels. During this period, it became clear that Willow Creek’s elders fumbled numerous disclosures from Hybels’ victims as well as failing to keep Hybels accountable for his actions. While the entire elder board resigned, along with Heather Larson and Carter (who had both been designated to replace Hybels), Lindberg feels the church has yet to issue a complete apology to the victims and repent of their failures. She writes:
I wanted there to be a clear directive to the leadership to apologize publicly by name, Bill’s victims, Dr. B’s victims, and to credit Steve Carter with having the courage to speak up and apologize privately to victims immediately after finding out in 2018. I would still like for Steve to have a chance to tell his story to the congregation.
Willow Creek Leadership Responds to Lindberg’s Claims
Julie Roys, a freelance journalist that has been following the Willow Creek case, obtained a copy of an email Steve Gillen, the acting senior pastor, sent to the staff members of Willow Creek. Gillen writes, “We believe that Dr. B engaged in inappropriate behavior, and the harm he caused was inexcusable.” Additionally, Gillen says “there are circumstances of the case that should have been handled differently,” however, he believes “our staff has taken these allegations of misconduct seriously.”
On Facebook, Lindberg thanked Gillen for his “quick turnaround,” but once again asked for Willow to allow victims “be allowed to speak at a weekend service” and that Carter would be “allowed to speak freely.”
Another high-profile leader has responded to Lindberg’s claim. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church actually replied to Lindberg’s post from Friday. Warren thanked Lindberg for her courage to speak up and told her she was “victimized by reprehensible, evil behavior.”
Who Is Gilbert Bilezikian?
Bilezikian (Dr. B) is the son of Armenian refugees. He was born in Paris in 1927 and lived there for a large portion of his life. A pastoring position brought him to the United States. He became known as a leader in the egalitarian movement. Belizikian is one of the founding members of Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) and he was a tenured professor at Wheaton College for 20 years. Bilezikian is also the author of several books.