Christian author Randy Alcorn has warned in the wake of the Bill Hybels and many other evangelical sex abuse scandals that too often the same mistakes are repeated.
Alcorn, who is also founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, mentioned in a blog post on Monday several recent cases of sexual misconduct and abuse that have rocked the evangelical world, from university professors to pastors taking advantage of students and congregants.
While he did not mention Willow Creek Community Church and its former senior pastor Bill Hybels by name, he summarized the scandal at the megachurch:
“One of the most prominent pastors in the country, from one of the most prominent churches has had numerous women come forward accusing him of sexual advances going back many years. The entire board and most of the pastoral staff have resigned, some of them due to realizing they had defended the pastor and discredited the victims and hence disqualified themselves,” Alcorn described.
“Last I heard the pastor was still denying he’d done anything wrong, despite the testimonies of all the women, including highly credible people in the church ministry. If these things had been taken seriously and investigated from the beginning, the outcome could have been very different, and a great deal of the harm to victims could have been prevented.”
The author said that as tragic as it is, such scandals are “nothing new.”
“The evangelical landscape is littered with the carcasses of lives and ministries decimated by sexual sin. For every well-known Christian television personality or evangelical leader who commits sexual immorality, there are any number of lesser-known local pastors, Bible teachers, and parachurch workers who quietly resign or are fired for the same,” he added.
“Most of us can name several, some dozens, and some many more. Three Christian leaders I know of sat down together and between them came up with a list of 250 names.”
Alcorn pointed out that ministry is a sacred trust, and that violating it for sexual conquest “is a particularly deplorable behavior.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov