|Hybels, Clinton and Evangelicals.
By Dr. Don Boys
© 2001 Cornerstone Communications
On Aug. 11, Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church hosted a conclave of 4,500 Christian workers and permitted Bill Clinton to speak to the crowd about his "mistakes." Not sins or abominations, but "mistakes."
It is incredible that they gave Clinton a forum to spew his disingenuous, deceptive and dishonest explanations of his nefarious past but that crowd gave him a standing ovation when he finished!
God help us! Weren't there any preachers with character, courage, and convictions who walked out? Could not at least a few of those preachers have had a press conference following the debacle and declared Clinton a reprobate and then disassociated themselves from Hybels and his gang of compromisers?
It is not only Clinton's wicked personal life that is abhorrent, but his policies. Surely no Christian (even unprincipled, soft, trendy, weak-wait, let me grab my thesaurus-dim, insipid, illogical, lax, cowardly evangelicals) can excuse or endorse partial birth abortion that has Clinton's name plastered on it! His veto makes infanticide possible. Babies are having their heads crushed every day because of him yet he received a standing ovation rather than being rebuked! And by a bunch of preachers!
Also, Clinton has ushered homosexuals into the White House and into his administration. He has approved what God abhors. He has received what God has rejected. He has called acceptable what God has called an "abomination."
Hybels is one of Clinton's counselors and has been a White House guest. Heady stuff! At Clinton's second inaugural pre-ceremony service in the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hybels said to Clinton: "I celebrate the development of your heart, your increasing desire to know God and to live for him." Such a statement would gag a buzzard!
No, Hybels and the 4,500 preachers were not wearing the mantel of Elijah! They were more like Ahab's governor, Obadiah who worked for Ahab and kept his mouth shut thus being assured of a generous salary and the perks of the palace.
Hybels was one of a "gang of 12" who attended a White House religious summit to shore up Clinton's 1996 campaign. It is interesting that not one fundamentalist was in that crowd. Included were Pastor Jack Hayford, Bob Seiple of World Vision, Tony Campolo, Philip Yancy of Christianity Today and others.
Hayford opined that "he's a great man, a gifted man ... I know that I was talking to a brother in Christ..." Campolo said Clinton is a "loving friend of all Christians [but not unborn babies, editor] and those who criticize and oppose his policies are filled with hate." Tony, that was not only a dumb statement, but a super dumb statement. How immature (or dishonest) to suggest that opposition to his policies is prima facie evidence of hate! Tony put his mouth in gear before his mind was working.
The "gang of 12" agreed not to ask Clinton about his promotion of abortion, homosexuality, etc. They hoped their "kindness" and "graciousness" would guarantee a return engagement to the White House!
Billy Graham was not a member of the "gang of 12" but he was singing from the same page. He told Larry King that he had never in the past nor would he in the future discuss homosexuality and abortion with Clinton. (That's like talking to Jeffrey Dalhmer and not talking about his perversion, his killings and his strange eating habits!)
Dr. Graham told Larry King: "If I did that, I would not be invited back to the White House." My, my, what a tragedy!
Even baseball idle Joe DiMaggio refused to shake Clinton's hand and on his death bed refused to take his phone call! I believe Joe made another home run as he died.
Hybels, Graham, Campolo, etc., are not evil men. They are decent people who want to do good but are not willing to pay the price to be principled. Principled people would not applaud and stand for a wicked leader. They would reprove him then walk out to show their commitment to Bible principles.
It must be understood that because 4,500 evangelicals basked in the glow of a celebrity president, does not mean all evangelicals would have done the same. Some, no doubt, are embarrassed by Hybels. Some, I trust, will break with him and his ilk.
This brings me to an even broader issue: What should be the position of Fundamentalists toward our erring brothers who identify with "evangelicals"? Of course, I have broken with some Fundamentalists because of open sin and compromise. Every Fundamentalist does not receive automatic approval nor does every evangelical get automatic disapproval. We must each answer for his own life, ministry, associations, etc.
There is a trend that some Baptists, wanting to have a more effective ministry, have taken "Baptist" off their church for "less offensive" names. We are told that Baptist or Fundamentalist can be offensive and misunderstood, but that would be true of every term. If I were identified with Hybels and his crowd, I would be horrified and embarrassed at their pandering to a pathetic president.
Pastors say that they will not be identified as Fundamentalist and Baptist because it would limit their outreach. Pastors have told me that they "are really Baptists" or "Fundamentalists" but think it unwise to say so. So they identify as something else to reach the unsuspecting, but is this honorable? Even with good motives, it is still wrong, in my opinion.
You see, all the rascals are not Baptists. Many pastors who have removed the name Baptist from their churches have spent a lifetime in the Baptist "camp" so they are familiar with all the problems; however all the other groups have problems as well!
Evangelicals and new evangelicals have philandering pastors, evangelists who stuff their pockets with money, cultural clods, crackpots and all other types. Hiding behind other names will not solve the problems.
I was saved in a fundamental Baptist church, educated in fundamental Baptist universities, had a lifetime of ministry in fundamental Baptist churches. My children were reared in a fundamental Baptist home and educated in fundamental Baptist schools through university level. I've made a good living and great friends in fundamental Baptist churches. So, as they say in Texas, "I'll dance with the one that brought me."
I surely don't want to be identified with Hybels and his crowd.