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A Warning For Willow Chicago, Part 9: Another Nudge

December 6, 2013

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

You can download this entire “Public Letter” here.

The truth is we went into this process very uninformed. We just followed the Holy Spirit and trusted that God would make everything clear. Like so many, we blindly loved Willow Creek, and even now that we’re more informed, we still do. There are just some serious issues that need to be resolved in order for Christ’s church to fully flourish spiritually, not just in terms of money raised, members, or attendance.

One thing God did make clear throughout this process is that along with many member of the congregation, several Willow Chicago advisory board members left the church when Jon was hired. Apparently Willow Chicago had been looking for a new pastor for over a year, and had several amazing candidates in mind. The vetting process was tedious and thorough, until the idea of Jon being the pastor was introduced. From what I understand, many in the congregation were confused and upset. They had serious concerns regarding Jon being the pastor and agreed with the Bible that a unilateral decision on this matter was inappropriate.

I don’t know all the factors that have lead to the hands off approach Willow takes to homosexuality, but I can tell you that the situation Jon finds himself in today is the result of such a hands off policy. If Jon posted one of the eight counter Biblical items contained in the “Elders Letter” to his Facebook page while pastoring at the church’s of Dr. Erwin Lutzer (Moody Church), John MacArthur, Dr. David Jeramiah, or Alistair Begg, there would have been an immediate uproar. The contrast between Willow’s politically correct approach and these men’s bold, loving and public stance has always perplexed me. They all have large, spiritually healthy churches, but these men of God have found the Biblical way to lovingly tell the truth to the LGBT community.

Jon has been hung out to dry by his church’s selective approach to Biblical truth. And in turn Jon has left his congregation out to dry the same way Bill has left Willow as a whole to fend for itself as the wolves (radical homosexual activists) come in preaching tolerance for a lifestyle and behavior that is counter Biblical and destroying lives. While these same wolves (radical homosexual activists) call all Bible believing Christians bigots for standing up for Christ. While the wolves (radical homosexual activists) destroy our families. While the wolves (radical homosexual activists) exploit the involuntary sexual confusion all LGBT individuals experience, in order to turn them into pawns for the cause that normalizes the very thing that’s destroying their lives. While those same LGBT individuals are thirsty for truth, but the church, the only place they can get such truth, is too concerned about numbers and political correctness, to worry about their salvation.

People cavalierly ask Tara and I all the time, “why don’t you just leave Willow if we’re in such disagreement?” The reason we don’t leave Willow is because Willow isn’t Bill’s church, it’s not Jon’s church, it’s Christ’s church and we’re all told by God to protect His word and His church. We don’t leave Willow because we love Willow. We don’t leave Willow because of the amazing relationships we’ve formed there. We don’t leave Willow because we’re dependant on it for the ministry God has blessed us with. God lead Tara, myself and our ministry to Willow, and until He tells us to leave or someone makes the decision to force us to leave, we’re going to do everything we can to make Willow a better place.

All the issues in this letter can be boiled down to one thing. When you don’t take a repetitive, public and bold stance as a church, for all of God’s Word, there will be divine consequences. We serve a gentle God, and a God that has no doubt given Bill gentle nudge after gentle nudge in regards to all these issues.

When as a church you never mention the words gay, abortion, heresy, false teachers, hell, repentance, rapture and rarely mention words like sin, sanctification, rebuke, wrath and judgment there will be confusion and muddy waters. You’ll be forced to admit that the plan isn’t working, and people aren’t becoming fully devoted followers of Christ, as Willow did several years ago. That you’re going to try something different, when there is nothing different. The plan has been in the Bible for almost 2000 years. It’s time to give Willow’s congregation solid food. Grace is only half the story. Jesus talked about hell more than anyone else in the Bible. It’s time for Willow to stop worrying about numbers, donations, attendance, polls, metrics, marketing, how to make it easier to follow Christ and what might happen if they stop being politically correct, and start using its God given influence to preach the full gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sincerely,

Justin and Tara Obriecht.

P.S. Please pray for Jon, Bill, Scott, Chris, Willow, Tara, and myself. Pray that God would do an incredible work in our hearts that would leave all of us stronger and closer to Him. That the full Word of God would begin to be preached at Willow Creek and God would be glorified.

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

Updates can be found here.

From → Willow Creek

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