Willow Creek, LGBT issues and Change.org

Adam Hamilton, the senior pastor of the church I attend, was recently published in the Huffington Post. His article, titled When LGBT Supporters Get It Wrong, points out that sometimes it is not evangelical organizations and churches that erect walls that hinder understanding and communication. Here is a clip from his piece:
This year a group called change.org started a petition drive to protest Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz' plans to speak on leadership at the event. Willow Creek was described as having a "long history of anti-gay persecution" on the change.org website. 766 people signed the petition and Mr. Schultz chose not to speak. This would seem, at first glance, to be a victory for change.org and for the LGBT cause.

Here, however, this particular group of LGBT supporters got it wrong. The question change.org and others might want to ask is, how do we positively influence people who see the world differently than we do? Petitioning Howard Schultz to not speak, characterizing Willow Creek as persecuting LGBT's (Willow is arguably the most influential church in the U.S. and one that is far more moderate than many evangelical churches) and then succeeding at seeing Schultz back out of speaking at the conference will serve to further alienate moderate evangelicals and actually hurt the LGBT cause.
I applaud Adam for pointing this out and suggest that you read his article in full here.


  1. Have you had the chance to see this video from the conference? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFhSfr13Y6o&feature=player_embedded

    I thought Hybels handled it really well and was very gracious in his response. If only the people who started and signed the petition would act as gracious as him.

  2. Thanks for that link Stephanie. I suspect that the issue is the one that Hybels described in the video about only recognizing heterosexual marriage. I imagine many gay folks would be offended by it. I wonder if the petition organizers will actually meet with Hybels? Let me know if you hear anything.


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