Willow Creek’s Attempt at Conciliation and a Smart Rebuff by the Victims

“Conflict forces us to be fully present because it shatters our ego – stripping away all hope of escape or sugar coating. It removes everything that is nonessential to our authentic being; it removes all superficial layers. Conflict is painful because it wakes us up out of our created illusions. And if we lean into it, conflict can be the catalyst to our enlightenment.” ― Alaric Hutchinson

http://www.iemoji.com/view/emoji/866/flags/triangular-flag
Red Flag

Yes, I’m writing fast and furiously before I hit the road.

Crossroads Resolution Group hired to WCC has links to Peacemakers.

TWW and other groups have written extensively about Peacemakers. It is our opinion that this group markets itself to leaders. It was hired by Sovereign Grace ministries during their long attempt to smooth things over. Frankly, when CJ Mahaney likes a group, one should beware! (Note: TWW was on another platform at the time of writing some of these posts and have not updated the format to the subsequent blog so things look a bit odd but it is still readable.)

A few days after posting the Sande interview, Mahaney featured Peacemaker’s Leadership Opportunity resource kit in his blog post, “Resolving Conflicts – A New Resource for Pastors” (Note: This resource is specifically FOR PASTORS – more on that in the next post.)
In this post Mahaney remarked: “I was so impressed by the content that I had copies of the study purchased and mailed to every senior pastor in Sovereign Grace Ministries.” Here’s the link to the Peacemaker Ministries resource.

As we continue to connect the dots between SGM, CCEF, and Peacemaker Ministries, you might be interested to learn that Dave Harvey was a keynote speaker at the 2009 Peacemaker Ministries conference that took place in Dallas, Texas. This year’s Peacemaker conference begins in just two days. The Conference title is “Forgiveness”, and SGM’s Josh Harris will be speaking. For more information, go to this link.

On the surface Sovereign Grace Ministries appears to have a cozy relationship with Peacemaker Ministries, and we wonder how much of their almost $3 million budget has been supplemented by the SGM “family of churches”.

The Crossroads Reconciliation Group demonstrates their cozy relationship with Peacemakers which also supports *Biblical Counseling.* CRG explains how they provide conflict resolution by quoting extensively from Peacemaker’s material.

Adapted from Peacemaker Ministries

They do again under *Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation” by linking to Rules for Procedure.

The Guidelines for Christian Conciliation (http://peacemaker.net/guidelines-for-christian-conciliation/) (and hence, these Rules) are designed to provide an introduction and procedural framework for biblical mediation and arbitration, otherwise known as Christian conciliation. (If you are unfamiliar with Christian conciliation, we suggest that you read Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Christian Conciliation (http://peacemaker.net/frequently-asked-questions/) before you read these Rules. These questions and answers provide an overview of the conciliation process and will enable you to understand these Rules more readily.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Although many conflicts can be successfully resolved with the assistance of lay conciliators, some disputes are so complex that they require the involvement of well-trained professionals. Furthermore, the Institute for Christian Conciliation (a division of Peacemaker Ministries) has no control over persons or organizations that use these conciliation procedures outside of its direct administration, and cannot be responsible for the services they provide. For these reasons, when parties select their own conciliators, they should carefully consider the training and experience of the individuals who may serve them.

It runs deeper with the resume of David Schlachter who basically runs Crossroads.There is no question that this groups is closely linked to Peacemakers.

I have served as a mediator and arbitrator since my certification in 1999 as a Certified Christian ConciliatorTM, serving as a Vice President for Peacemaker Ministries, directing The Institute for Christian Conciliation, from 2005 – 2012. In this role, I oversaw the delivery of mediation and arbitration services for Peacemaker Ministries handling several hundred cases.

I am a Conciliation Panel member for the Institute for Christian Conciliation, serving as a mediator and arbitrator. (www.Peacemkaer.net/ICC).

Due to our many posts involving Peacemakers, TWW is of the opinion that this group will be biased towards the leadership at WCC. Therefore, we are providing this post as a resource for the victims of Bill Hybels as they process their situation.

The Chicago Tribune presented an update on WCC and reveals that WCC hired this group 12 years ago because Hybels was accused of being abusive!

Today, May 27, 2018, the Tribune posted As Willow Creek seeks reconciliation, pastor’s accusers seek independent inquiry.

Now, the elders have taken another step by hiring a Christian conciliation firm, Crossroads Resolution Group, to help the church communicate with the women and, leaders say, repair some of the damage they have done.

The victims have rebuffed this attempt. It appears that they get the issues surrounding Crossroads. I would not trust any conciliators with this group due to their ties to Biblical Counseling and Peacemakers.

Adding to the mistrust, the church hired a firm whose founder, David Schlachter, was hired by Willow Creek’s elders 12 years ago to address complaints that Hybels had been abusive and bullying toward staff members. Hybels rejected calls that he take time off, and an elder, who wanted to see the complaints addressed, resigned and left the church after working with the conciliator.

In response to questions from the Tribune, Willow Creek said Friday that Schlachter “has made clear that he does not want to be an obstacle to reconciliation” and will no longer participate personally. Instead, two other conciliators from his staff will work with the women.

TWW has written extensively on the Biblical Counseling Movement. here is one post to get you going. Biblical Counseling: Anyone Can Do It, Sin Is the Focus, Confidentiality Is Not Guaranteed and Women Should Beware

Note: women should beware.

It appears that the victims get the problem surrounding this group as well as the difficult issues of repentance and reconciliation.

Here are some of their responses.

TWW stands with these victims as we express our concerns about how WCC is proceeding with this issue. TWW has some ideas on finding a truly independent group but are aware that this may not be their priority.


Comments

Willow Creek’s Attempt at Conciliation and a Smart Rebuff by the Victims — 57 Comments

  1. I found the following quote from the latest Chicago Tribune article especially helpful for background on why it makes sense to refuse to agree to conciliation:

    Conciliation is not to be confused with mediation or arbitration. Unlike arbitration, it has no legal standing and the conciliator cannot offer an award. Unlike mediation, the goal includes the repair of a relationship. But parties can decide to pursue mediation to reach an agreement.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-willow-creek-reconciliation-20180524-story.html

    I’m working on a blog post that analyzes different forms of dealing with cases of disputes that may include a combination of:

    * Interpersonal dimensions (individuals were harmed).

    * Social dimensions (harm was done in public).

    * Organizational dimensions (there were failures in corporate governance, potentially even malfeasance or negligence).

    * Legal dimensions (criminal misconduct involved, or issues that could end up in civil litigation or regulatory agency action).

    What I believe we’re seeing here is an attempt by the Willow Creek Elders to control the narrative in ways that lower the level of corporate responsibility. Conciliation makes this primarily a relational restoration issue.

    Meanwhile, there is a different narrative from the women who have reported sexual misconduct by Bill Hybels, others who were publicly labeled colluders, and those with direct interest in historic issues involving Willow Creek Church, Willow Creek Association, and Bill Hybels. They have detailed personal, social, and organizational problems.

    If we understand that practical system solutions in conflict situations must parallel the full scope of underlying problems, then conciliation is not the appropriate solution in this case. Whatever solution options are pursued need to address:

    (1) the personal damage done,

    (2) the fact that there are as-yet unretracted public declarations about the women who reported abuse being “liars” and others former Willow Creek leaders who have been “colluding” against Bill Hybels, and

    (3) reported past corporate failure of Elders and conciliation efforts to deal with prior instances of alleged bullying by Bill Hybels.

    Also, from some of the research I did yesterday about conciliation “agreements,” they seem to parallel the problems inherent in those church membership “covenants” which are actually are legal contracts: They bind signators to the results, sign away certain legal rights for future action, and may require silence about the process and results. Caveat emptor!

    So, the four women who gave statements over the past few days (linked to at the end of the above article) have wisely and effectively countered the weak Willow Creek Elders’ argument for mere conciliation. They have consistently called instead for an independent investigation by a neutral party to establish the facts, and that this process must precede any attempts at relational reconciliation.

    I appreciate their standing firm in this. I see their courage and fortitude as important. It not only affects their own case, but provides constructive role models for the many #churchtoo survivors who get pressured, guilted, or persuaded to settle for a process that will inherently fail to deal with public and organizational aspects of their situations — despite any good that may come from dealing with the interpersonal.

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  2. A big problem with consultants is the general human tendency to say what their buyer wants to hear. So unless the plaintiff pays part of the bill it is hard to get impartial resolution. A good place to start might be to at least ask the people bringing complaint who should be brought in to resolve the impasse.

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  3. Because I’ve been regularly updating a resource bibliography at SSB on the Hybels/Willow Creek situation since late April, I read the Tweets and review the articles listed (now totals over 50 links). It’s one of the ways I absorb information for spotting trends, writing analysis pieces, and developing case studies.

    From that context, here is a piece I wrote May 25th that relates to this TWW post — *Willow Creek and Rapprochement: Truth THEN Reconciliation; Accountability OR Consequences.* It gives some of my emerging reflections on the Elders/Crossroads Resolution Group issues and survivor responses available to that point, along with a model from the Truth and Reconciliation process used in post-Apartheid South Africa.

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/willow-creek-and-rapprochement-truth-then-reconciliation-accountability-or-consequences/

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  4. I used their materials while in SGM. They were actually pretty good and biblically sound.

    The problem with hiring them is that these guys WILL NOT bite the hand that feeds them.

    So… once again we see that a ministry will follow the gospel to the grave… unless their livelihoods are endangered ($$$)

    American christianity… sigh. The apostle Paul would have ripped all of these guys a new one.

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  5. JeffT: “Have whitewash, will travel”

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27.

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  6. jyjames,

    Thanks @jyjames … keeping track of links and occasionally doing some analysis/commentary … who’da thunk that could become a means of activism? We can all do at least something. This is what I can contribute, as someone semi-retired and mostly tied to a computer.

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  7. Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll attempted the same thing with David Schlachter and Crossroads. Trying to move straight to conciliation instead of pursuing the truth of all that was going on, in order to smooth things over and say publicly that Driscoll was pursuing reconciliation. It was a sham and the 3 dozen Mars Hill elders ultimately saw through this ruse of Driscoll and Mars Hill. How much Crossroads and Schlachter were part of this is unknown.

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  8. “Adding to the mistrust, the church hired a firm whose founder, David Schlachter, was hired by Willow Creek’s elders 12 years ago to address complaints that Hybels had been abusive and bullying toward staff members. Hybels rejected calls that he take time off, and an elder, who wanted to see the complaints addressed, resigned and left the church after working with the conciliator.”

    And it was only at the golden parachute time in the present day that Hybels agreed to step down. Anyone sensing a pattern?

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  9. brad/futuristguy,

    “What I believe we’re seeing here is an attempt by the Willow Creek Elders to control the narrative in ways that lower the level of corporate responsibility. Conciliation makes this primarily a relational restoration issue.“

    Very good point! They have indeed attempted to minimise the issues involved.

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  10. A church I once attended went completely AWOL and the denomination sent in a “peacemaker” to sort things out. It was a complete waste of time, ineffectual and useless to actually solving any problem. Left many of us feeling quite cynical.

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  11. Somewhereintime:
    I used their materials while in SGM.They were actually pretty good and biblically sound.

    The problem with hiring them is that these guys WILL NOT bite the hand that feeds them.

    So… once again we see that a ministry will follow the gospel to the grave… unless their livelihoods are endangered ($$$)

    American christianity… sigh.The apostle Paul would have ripped all of these guys a new one.

    I encountered Ken Sande’s “The Peacemaker” more than 20 years when a friend in seminary called it to my attention. The concept appears sound in principle — “Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called sons of God.” “Are you not competent to resolve minor matters? Don’t you know that you will judge angels?”

    I think that a weakness of this approach is that it takes insufficient account of the possibility of manipulative evil on the part of the more guilty party in a dispute, and on the part of the local congregational authorities overseeing an attempt at reconciliation. Those authorities may have conflicts of interest which would unjustly favor a subset of the disputants.

    I think that a very wise, very discerning, very patient and very righteous person functioning as a conciliator on the Peacemaker model could implement these procedures fairly and produce genuinely good outcomes. Story after story here at TWW suggests that this may not be the norm.

    I have long been troubled by the way that (it seems to me) the “4 promises of Forgiveness” can interfere with the discovery of bad character in a serial offender. People’s behavior ought to inform how we think about them — to shape our mental model of “who this person is”. (“A wise person sees danger coming and seeks refuge”) Past transgressions are data for that mental model. The “4 promises” seem to be to constrain victims to not incorporate new data, which may be reflective of bad character, into their mental model of the offender. They constrain the victim to not think much about past transgressions (once forgiven), nor speak of them to the offender or to others. This seems to me to create a relational environment in which people of bad character can “hide in plain sight” since they are protected by the (IMO flawed) theology of forgiveness.

    It’s somewhat similar to the dynamic that has been suggested to function within the pastoral theology of the SGM/SGC movement:

    https://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2018/03/22/a-theory-of-why-sovereign-grace-churches-seemed-to-side-with-perpetrators/

    A sociopath could do massive damage to many people and never be stopped.

    My assessment is that this dispute resolution model is “wonderful in principle, but often not good in practice.” That assessment, sadly, could IMO be applied to much of the present institutional Church.

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  12. Samuel Conner:
    My assessment is that this dispute resolution model is “wonderful in principle, but often not good in practice.” That assessment, sadly, could IMO be applied to much of the present institutional Church.

    The only reason these particular companies are hired is for damage control and PR. I believe their veneer of being “peacemakers” is a fraud.

    Furthermore, these issues have been brought to the full church, which means they should be dealt with publicly. So whenever a company is brought in and claims the way of bringing about peace is to have private meetings with individuals after a major problem has been brought to the church, they are not doing anything biblical. It’s just a ruse to try and threaten the individuals or control the information.

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  13. Here’s what I think. Sit Bill down in a room with all his accusers, children, and wife and let them talk. He has hurt them all. He should hear all of their thoughts no matter how hurtful. The Barrington police might like to be there for crowd control. Let the accusers get what they want to say off their chests and let them choose whatever future path (legal) they choose. Defrock the bum. It’s Bill’s fault that this has happened. It is the Elder’s fault that they did not have control over their “sex driven” Pastor. Let the chips fall where they may.
    If Bill and the church are sued, it’s their own fault for being gullible to a snake charmer.

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  14. Doug: Who says “up yours” anymore? We used to say that as kids in like 1986.

    Bah. That’s because you’re all rubbish. Besides which, how does one end a letter?

    [Up] Yours,

    Roger Bombast

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  15. Samuel Conner,

    I think you’ve described it very well. Put another way, albeit with less detail, one might say that the flawed process of “reconciliation” is really a move by the powerful to draw a line under the whole thing, officially consign it all to the past, and make the victim sign up to this. The net result is that the powerful can keep what they’ve taken, as far as possible, and get on with their plans in peace.

    Very different from, say, stating that if they’ve wronged anyone, they’ll pay back four times what they owe (or some meaningful equivalent for people from whom they’ve stolen something less tangible than money). Obviously, I’m thinking here of a certain tax-gatherer in Luke’s account. Zacchaeus seems to’ve wanted to do more than just manipulate his victims into a corner. It seems he wanted to set them free as much as himself.

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  16. Samuel Conner,

    I’d agree with that. One of my greatest learnings from scripture is that man’s heart is fully corrupted.without a life changing experience in repenting and then giving your life over to Christ,there is no hope in having one respond as one should.

    Unless one truly looks at his response/action to an in individual in light of what Jesus would want us to do, it will ALWAYS be the other person’s fault.

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  17. Siteseer:
    A church I once attended went completely AWOL and the denomination sent in a “peacemaker” to sort things out. It was a complete waste of time, ineffectual and useless to actually solving any problem. Left many of us feeling quite cynical.

    My daughter owns a 4th generation Peacemaker, also known as a Colt .45. I have much more faith in my daughter’s Peacemaker than I do those guys!

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  18. ishy: The only reason these particular companies are hired is for damage control and PR. I believe their veneer of being “peacemakers” is a fraud.

    Furthermore, these issues have been brought to the full church, which means they should be dealt with publicly. So whenever a company is brought in and claims the way of bringing about peace is to have private meetings with individuals after a major problem has been brought to the church, they are not doing anything biblical. It’s just a ruse to try and threaten the individuals or control the information.

    This happened in a church I was part of and the church pretty much disbanned. Two of the elders, one being the pastor, were in counseling over interpersonal issues. The other two elders, along with other leaders, knew there was a problem. The problems had affected the entire church, but the two in conflict, along with their counselor/mediator insisted that everything stay private between the two. Even after confrontation about how the two in conflict had been affecting the rest of the leaders and church, they would never acknowledge their issues or that the issues had damaged the church. They said the reason they weren’t acknowledging their issue was because it was private . . . except it wasn’t when so many leaders had gone to them with issues over how the two of them were dealing with others.

    The result – three fourths of the people left the church. That is one great reconciliation job there. What was really the icing on the cake was the two conflicted elders sitting with leaders toward the end saying that everything was just fine between the two of them now and can we just move on with the business of church!! Obviously, the rest of the people didn’t matter.

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  19. Well, from a conflict of interest standpoint, this conciliation process is fatally flawed because of the presence of David Schlachter. Even if he’s not participating, it’s still his firm.

    Personally, I’d think carefully about possibly filing a lawsuit against Hybels and Willow Creek and then asking for a mediation process to try and settle the lawsuit. The lawsuit is the stick to get people to the mediation, and if it fails, there’s that to fall back on. The carrot is that this could be resolved out of court. I am only suggesting this for one reason alone–usually a mediation is conducted by an attorney. There are lots of mediation-trained attorneys out there; it should not be difficult to find a firm that has no connections to any of the parties in this situation.

    Moreover, unlike these “certified conciliators”, where it’s completely unclear whether they can be disciplined or removed, lawyers have a legal canon of ethics and an extensive body of case law as guidance and, finally, there’s a way to get discipline of a lawyer by filing a complaint with the state bar.

    Frankly, in a serious situation like this, going with “lay conciliators” makes my skin crawl. This is a serious situation where you can’t just bumble in there with prayer and your interpretation of the Bible and hope to reconcile a group of women who allegedly were sexually harassed by a “man of God” as part of a pattern of behavior. To me, it’s up there with “Biblical counseling”–a bunch of wannabe counselors crashing in with their preconceived notions and making things a lot worse.

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  20. Bridget,

    One more addition, within six months the two conflicted elders left the church as well. They each had their reason to not be part of the church. But the church now wanted elders accountable to the church . . .

    Most of the people who had already left did so because they could not continue with the status quo as these two elders wanted. The other two elders, one had resigned and one was being forced out for nefarious reasons.

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  21. Problem is that too many of these for-profit “Christian” organizations need to make money to continue to exist, because the founders have set them up to be a source of income and personal wealth rather than a bona fide ministry. They are simply not willing to do things like Paul, who at all costs served the Lord. This included giving up all the wealth, comfort and affluence that his status as the greatest scholar and religious legal expert of his generation would provide to humble himself, taking on a blue-collar job to finance his evangelistic activities, which involved great peril, ultimately resulting in humiliation, torture and a violent death. That’s a leader of the Church!

    But these organizations that are formed, such as Peacemakers, are apparently not about sacrifice and humility, not about serving the Lord and the truth at all possible costs. They are about providing comfort for those who run them, and when your goal is mammon, you will not serve the Lord. You’ll pervert justice to make yourself more affluent, you’ll serve men rather than God. You’ll make a travesty of the Bible.

    Ask yourself, can Peacemakers truly be defined as promoting the following? “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17. If not, they’re not of the Lord, they’re against the Lord.

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  22. It is so inspiring to see these women of substance persevere with courage and wisdom in this process of fighting for the purity of the church. Through their statements Betty Schmidt, Nancy Ortberg, Nancy Beach and Vonda Dyer have explained the specific goals they have in mind: they do not need a third party to communicate for them. They are spiritually in-tune, mentally intelligent persons who are willing to stand up for the health and integrity of the church.

    There are lessons we can learn from this spiritual warfare.

    For genuine revival to happen, such hidden sins of the leaders/church must be exposed and repented from. It is not the exposure that will hurt/kill the church in the long run. Our merciful Father can always cleanse us from sin while bringing glory to Himself.

    Jesus went to the cross. He did not invest that much time or effort trying to “preserve” his image and reputation, or even his ministry on earth. Jesus let the Holy Spirit come to us.

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  23. Doug,

    “Who says “up yours” anymore? We used to say that as kids in like 1986.”
    ++++++++++++++

    people with enough tact not to say the current equivalent F*#@ YOU in this environment.

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  24. Somewhereintime,

    “One of my greatest learnings from scripture is that man’s heart is fully corrupted.without a life changing experience in repenting and then giving your life over to Christ,there is no hope in having one respond as one should.

    Unless one truly looks at his response/action to an in individual in light of what Jesus would want us to do, it will ALWAYS be the other person’s fault.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    (i’m relaxing today after a few weeks of non-stop intensity. reading here and engaging is one way I relax. so i’m commenting liberally today)

    What i’ve learned from observing people everywhere (with and without any of the world faiths) is that most of them have very good hearts. most people instinctively do take responsibility for their actions, and readily apologize with sincerity.

    (of course things get tricky when money, power, & institution are at stake.)

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  25. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar): My daughter owns a 4th generation Peacemaker, also known as a Colt .45. I have much more faith in my daughter’s Peacemaker than I do those guys!

    “Then I went and bought myself a Colt 45,
    it’s called a Peacemaker but I never knew why.
    I never new why, I didn’t understand,
    Mama says the pistol is the Devil’s right hand…

    The Devil’s right hand, the Devil’s right hand,
    nothing pulled the trigger but the Devil’s right hand.”

    – Steve Earle, “The Devil’s Right Hand”

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  26. Amazing how these people keep hiring people to help them communicate better. Communication is not the problem. Sin is the problem. Ongoing sin. Covered up sin. Sin that is likely also criminal in nature in at least some cases. Rot from within is the problem.

    What is needed is utter repentance. Sackcloth and ashes. When I see that, I might just begin to think they may be, just may be, serious about repairing the damage they have done.

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  27. Somewhereintime: I used their materials while in SGM. They were actually pretty good and biblically sound.

    I was never in the SGM but I love Peacemaker’s materials. They are very Biblical and helpful. perhaps they are too buddy-buddy with SGM but in my opinion, this does not impact the quality of their basic principles.

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  28. John: Amazing how these people keep hiring people to help them communicate better. Communication is not the problem. Sin is the problem. Ongoing sin. Covered up sin. Sin that is likely also criminal in nature in at least some cases. Rot from within is the problem.

    What is needed is utter repentance. Sackcloth and ashes. When I see that, I might just begin to think they may be, just may be, serious about repairing the damage they have done.

    AMEN John.

    God bless you.

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  29. Interesting that there aren’t that many comments on this post compared to most TWW posts. it could that it was over the Memorial Day Weekend.

    I have a few comments on Peacememakers. I have heard and one person who was formerly involved with Peacemakers confirmed this that Ken Sande no long supports C.J. Mahaney after how Sande saw Mahaney responded when the documents came out showing Mahaney’s sin and hypocrisy. I am glad to hear Sande changed at least in support though I haven’t seen Sande write any public statements indicating this which is sad.

    One typical practice of Peacemakers is that from what I understand when they do mediation is that they require both parties to keep quite and to basically never share what occurred in the mediation. Sometimes this can be useful but on the other hand it can work to keep others in the dark about sin or even questionable actions of leaders. It works kind like the old call something “gossip” or “slander” tactic that attempts to keep people from sharing questionable actions of leaders.

    With the confidentiality the Peacemakers decision is what becomes known. Those not directly involved are many times not allowed to hear all the facts and make their own decision. Thus the Peacemaker process IMO is far from perfect and like a lot of things swayed to protect churches and leaders vs. regular members.

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  30. The storyline of the Bible is about reconciliation — God’s love and gracious offer to all of us who rebelled and sinned against Him. As a result, reconciliation is a powerful concept within Christianity.

    Bill Hybels, when recounting his story about having further discussions with his accusers indicated that if they wanted to discuss reconciliation that he was all in. Pam Orr, in her public comments, cited reconciliation as what the Elder Board stood for. Now there is a Christian conciliation organization involved. There is a consistent theme of reconciliation being a focus for WCCC.

    However, there are a couple significant issues with trying to use “reconciliation” this way. The first is what has been pointed out by the women involved already — that this is skipping by the necessary step of repentance. The second is that this presentation of reconciliation is incredibly manipulative. It attempts to paint the picture of WCCC extending love, the potential for restored relationship and seeking unity while the accusers are sinful, stubborn, unbiblical and un-Christian because of their refusal to participate. It tries to shame the accused into a process where the sinful behavior will (at best) be glossed over and emphasis will be placed on their duty to “reconcile” as a biblical requirement. This isn’t reconciliation at all, but just another PR and power move to silence anyone that threatens to rock the boat while keeping power structures and cash flow intact.

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  31. Steve240: One typical practice of Peacemakers is that from what I understand when they do mediation is that they require both parties to keep quite and to basically never share what occurred in the mediation.

    i.e. Automatic gag order, without the Hush Money payment.

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  32. Bridget: What was really the icing on the cake was the two conflicted elders sitting with leaders toward the end saying that everything was just fine between the two of them now and can we just move on with the business of church!! Obviously, the rest of the people didn’t matter.

    The only reason for the existence of the Lowborn is the enrichment and convenience of their Highborn Betters.

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  33. Let me guess……..the only way the group of women will be happy, is if WC hires Boz T. of G.R.A.C.E. (Who also is a lawyer) to do the investigation.

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  34. I was a part of toxic church leadership that at the 11th hour tried to bring in Peacemakers to help. It was a train wreck and all they ended up doing was deepening the hurt of many in the congregation. We had actually resigned but so wanted reconciliation we came back to be a part of the peacemakers process. It was terrible.

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  35. Roseann Barr says she was tweeting while on Ambien when she made her remarks that got her fired. May she can be co-pastor of Willow Creek?

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  36. drstevej:
    Roseann Barr says she was tweeting while on Ambien when she made her remarks that got her fired. May she can be co-pastor of Willow Creek?

    Or she can revive Mars hill Seattle.
    Roseanne Barr has always had the reputation of being a loud abrasive jerk, Ambien or no.
    And somebody needs to get her off Twitter before she shoves her foot any farther into her mouth.

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  37. Headless Unicorn Guy: The only reason for the existence of the Lowborn is the enrichment and convenience of their Highborn Betters.

    The weak are the meat which the strong do eat.
    There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well.

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  38. Truthseeker:
    Let me guess……..the only way the group of women will be happy, is if WC hires Boz T. of G.R.A.C.E. (Who also is a lawyer) to do the investigation.

    He’s got the best track record and reputation.
    Peacekeepers is just a snow job cover-up group for whoever greases their palms.

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  39. RE: Most recent update of the WCC and WCA statement by the elders:

    If we are not walking in the light of the Holy Spirit, we can rationalize so many things we do, or not do. The sin of omission and the sin of bearing false witness easily get ignored in the church. We may try to wash our hands clean as leaders, but let’s fear God Who sees the heart and all things hidden.

    May Christ purify His church by purifying us first.

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