Withhold judgment until facts are known

Updated 8/13/2018 11:00 AM

I have two questions regarding allegations against Pastor Bill Hybels:

One, When did "allegation" become synonymous with "fact"?


Two: What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

I'm not saying the allegations aren't true. I am saying we need to wait until the facts are in. People who don't know anything about Bill or Willow Creek are spewing judgments based on extremely limited information in the newspapers.

The same holds true for some of Willow's own members. Sometimes allegations turn out to be false, while other times they are painfully accurate. We don't yet know which way this will go.

In addition to judging Bill, some are using this situation to malign the church by saying it teaches a "watered-down version of the Bible." Yet, Bill and other pastors have consistently taught from the Bible, told us to read it daily, and encouraged us to be loving, compassionate, forgiving, generous to the poor, nonjudgmental and to be the hands and feet of Christ.

We are to "love everyone, always" -- even those who are difficult to love. Bill taught us to serve God by serving others, and started a Care Center that offers food, clothing, health, legal and financial services to help people facing tough times. Willow's annual "prison pack" weekend results in every Illinois prisoner getting a bag of Christmas treats. And Bill has always made sure Willow is front and center with donations, supplies and volunteers when disasters strike.

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None of this makes it OK to do what Bill is accused of doing, but I will not assume to know what's true based on the current limited information. I'm grateful to Bill and Willow for the teachings and opportunities to serve others, and will pray for truth, healing, and resolution for Bill and the alleged victims.

Susan Miura


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