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A Warning For Willow Chicago, Part 1: Jon Klinepeter

November 26, 2013

You can read this “Public Letter” in it’s entirety here.

You can download this entire “Public Letter” here.

Hello all,

I write you today with an incredible amount of anxiety, fear and concern in my heart. These are feelings being tangibly soothed by the Holy Spirit as I embark on writing you this letter. I write this letter at the request of my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. A request that He’s made of me in order to protect and warn Christ’s church and His sheep. A request that I’ve prayed for months now would be lifted from me. A request that has caused my wife and I more heart ache and soul searching then any new Christians should ever have to endure. But a request that I’m willing to fulfill because my wife and I owe everything we have to Jesus Christ, and we’re both submissive servants to the Holy Spirit.

I write you this letter in the face of inevitable opposition from people who hold their church and pastor as their idols. People who’ll defend those same entities more aggressively then they’ve ever defended Christ or His Word. People who’ll choose not to see the deceptive, subtle and deliberate ways in which Jon Klinepeter has mislead his congregation in order to push his own agenda and interpretation of scripture. People who’ll misunderstand our motives and heart in writing this letter regardless of the genuine love, concern and pain we express for the LGBT community. People who’ll choose to ignore the clarity in which the Bible speaks on the issue of homosexuality, and the dire threat it poses to the very core of society, the family, Christianity and the church.

However, there will also be people who’ll see this for what it is. Which is a husband and wife disappointingly going it alone to follow these Biblical commands, Matthew 18:15, Timothy 5:19, I John 4:1, Romans 16:17, Titus 1:13, II Thessalonians 3:6 and Titus 3:10. A husband and wife who have a heart for their church, and the congregation they worship with every weekend. A husband and wife who feel compelled to bring this to light in order to affirm everyone who’s butted heads with Willow Creek and came out feeling defeated and without a church, especially ex board members. A husband and wife who live several blocks from Boys Town, and have been loving, accepting and compassionate towards gay people their entire lives. A husband and wife who write this letter on one hand to obey God, but also to speak the truth lovingly to the gay community in the hopes that they’ll experience the love Christ has for all of them.

This public letter is the culmination of a six-month ordeal that started in March of 2013 when I became friends with Jon Klinepeter on Facebook. This is a letter that I intended to keep short, but soon realized that God didn’t care how many people read all of my words. But rather He would warn the people He chose to warn, by leading those individuals to this letter.

In March of 2013, my wife and I had a great relationship with Jon. I was pleased to see that my pastor had a public Facebook page and that he accepted my friend request. However my excitement soon turned to disappointment and disbelief as I scrolled through his page and found post after post condoning, normalizing and affirming homosexuality and same-sex marriage. You can see digital proof (screen shots) of his posts and personal comments in this letter (Elder’s Letter), which I sent to Bill Hybels via his assistant three months ago.

These articles were posted in the face of what is still a powerful and public effort to normalize homosexuality in the church. My spirit was in chaos; I hoped there was an explanation. So I started reading the sentiments Jon wrote in reference to the articles and videos, and they were more alarming then the posts themselves. Worse yet, the subtle and subversive way in which the comments were worded exposed Jon’s motive and heart on the issue. This was no accident, Jon had his talking points down perfectly, and he knew how to word things just right to avoid blatant conflict with the Willow Creek Elders Statement and the Bible.

Now I could feel the Holy Spirit telling me this isn’t right. I wanted to let it go, but God wouldn’t let me forget what I saw. I felt a strong prompting to take screen shots of the material in the hope that irrefutable, digital proof would be enough to get Jon, Bill Hybels, or the elders of Willow Creek to take action. After I finished collecting the proof, the Holy Spirit’s promptings to take screen shots were affirmed independently by one of my closest Christian friends.

After much prayer and counsel from many members of Willow Chicago, my wife and I decided we needed to follow the Matthew 18:15 process, which started by meeting with Jon. This began the long painful journey that has culminated in the writing of this letter. A journey which I hope to describe to all of you in order to follow Timothy 5:19 which states, “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.”

If you’d like to discuss this further you can email me at justinobriecht@gmail.com

From → Willow Creek

2 Comments
  1. Love for everyone permalink

    Yeah buddy, Jon Klinepeter is a fucking amazing person. You’re just a homophobic POS. As a Christian, I support Klinepeter’s efforts to show love to all of our brothers and sisters. Jesus didn’t sit at the table with 12 perfect people, he sat with a usurer, someone who would deny him, a prostitute, and someone who would betray him. If you can’t find enough love in your heart to allow LGBT individuals to come to the church and accept Christ as their savior, I would say that you don’t understand Christ’s love for all of his children, bitch.

    • While I appreciate you taking the time to share your opinion with me, I wish you would have chosen a different tone and language.

      Your comments leave me wondering if you read the entire letter. Maybe you can point out the comments which make you think I’m a homophobe.

      I support anyones efforts to show love for everyone, especially LGBT individuals. What I don’t support is when people affirm, celebrate or condone sinful behavior such as homosexuality,or laws which normalize such a lifestyle.

      I also encourage LGBT individuals to come to church. What I don’t support is churches and pastors who leave LGBT individuals hanging out to dry because they lack the fortitude, courage and leadership skills to speak politically incorrect truth in love.

      Finally I’m concerned that you identify yourself with our Lord and Savior and speak with such anger, bitterness and indecent language. I encourage you to bring your tone and language in front of the Lord and ask Him to help you in these areas as He has me and many others that I know. Some verses that have helped me in this area are 1 Col 3:8, Eph 4:29 and Eph 5:4.

      I’d be more than happy to sit down and discuss this with you in the hopes that we can gain a better understanding of each others position. In the mean time I’ll be praying that the Lord blesses and guides both of our lives.

      Thanks again for your thoughts and perspective.

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