Openly gay Willow Creek leader to speak at Matthew Vines’ conference

Kicking off today in Atlanta is the Reformation Project conference designed to train and equip leaders to advocate for homosexual Christians. Among those leading: an openly gay worship leader from Willow Chicago, a satellite campus of the well-known Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., pastored by Bill Hybels.

The worship leader, Darren Calhoun, has issued a statement through Willow Creek:

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 3.25.15 PM

I can just hear it now: “Oh, but he says he is celibate,” says the compromising church. DOES NOT MATTER. He is holding hands and advocating with Matthew Vines as a Reformation Project leader representing an org that is diligently trying to get the Church to accept homosexuality. He is still rebelling against God.

Willow Creek spokeswoman Heather Larson told WORLD News Group’s Warren Cole Smith that Willow Creek establishing an openly gay man in leadership at the church does not signal a change in direction for Willow Creek.

This begs some questions: Heather, what statement of policy are you talking about, and how did it not change? Second, why does Willow Creek appoint leaders who are openly rebelling against God? And third, for all of you Willow Creek Association members out there who have scolded your sheep for years when they have brought concerns to your leadership about participating in Bill Hybels Global Leadership Summit: Do you think that perhaps you should reconsider your participation now, and perhaps issue an apology to those you’ve berated for their concerns?

Accounts of churches folding to the gay agenda are coming quickly now, in the wide wake of Tony Campolo’s revelation this week that he has “changed his mind” (no he hasn’t), and is now advocating for full inclusion of LGBTQ members into churches everywhere. This announcement motivated David Neff, the former editor of Christianity Today (CT), a former board member of the National Association of Evangelicals, to congratulate Campolo on his Facebook page for his change of heart. Says current CT editor Mark Galli:

“[W]e were surprised when … David Neff … praised Campolo’s move,” Galli wrote in an editorial posted Tuesday on th e magazine’s website. “We’re saddened that David has come to this conclusion. Saddened because we firmly believe that the Bible teaches that God intends the most intimate of covenant relationships to be enjoyed exclusively by a man and a woman. We’ve stated this view explicitly in many editorials, and it is implicit but clear in many of our feature stories.”

“Tony Campolo yesterday, David Neff today. Who will find the courage to do so next?” asked Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian. “These are exciting times!”

I’d say these are troubling times for the sheep. Gird your loins: more are falling.

Hat tip: Sue Johnson

Troubled about Willow Creek, or your church’s relationship with the Willow Creek Association? Read this: Here’s your Willow Creek/Global Leadership Summit research

 

 

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33 Responses to Openly gay Willow Creek leader to speak at Matthew Vines’ conference

  1. thefinley says:

    Just a question. This man, Darren Calhoun, says that while he is gay and "attracted to the same sex," he is on a "journey of celibacy and prayerfully discerning what that means for [his] life." Now, I cannot know his heart and mind, but if he is prayerfully discerning and reading the Bible, he would know that lusting after anyone (man or woman) is just as sinful as having relations with anyone outside of marriage. If he is following this, and repenting when he doesn't, what differentiates him from a man that opening admits his struggles with porn?

    Like

  2. thefinley says:

    Just a question. If this man is "attracted to the same sex" but is on a "journey of celibacy and prayerfully discerning what that means for [his] life," and is understanding that celibacy is not just physical but also mental, and is repenting of his sins, what is different between him and a man that openly admits to struggling with porn?

    Like

    • rosinavoz says:

      The difference would be the porn guy is struggling to overcome his sin for good. He isn't going around proudly proclaiming he is a porn addict. Calhoun says he is living in celibacy, yet he also proudly proclaims he is gay and wants to join with Vines who is working for full acceptance of the LBGT lifestyle within Christianity. There is no real repentance here. Amy got it right…he is in open rebellion against God.

      Like

  3. Faithful Stewardship says:

    Is he openly rebelling against God meaning that he's engaging in homosexual relationships? Or is he admitting he has homosexual desires (confession) and living a life of celibacy? While both involve sin, the latter is hardly "open rebellion". Do we expect heterosexual married men to pretend they don't struggle with finding other women attractive, or confess and abstain?

    Like

    • tonibrown64 says:

      Makes no difference if he is acting on it or not- though it would be foolish not to acknowledge that it is highly possible that he publicly claims celibacy, perhaps to secure his position in the church, and his private life could reflect otherwise, we have no way of knowing, as his credibility is tarnished with his bold "identity" statement which demonstrates a serious lack of biblical understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit after regeneration. He identifies as a homosexual therefore admitting to sinful thoughts and desires – Christ makes clear in scripture that lusting in the heart is the same as acting upon it (Matt 5:28). The fact that he boldly identifies as gay and is supporting the devious Matthew Vines should be enough for any student of scripture to know that he remains lost.

      1 Corinthians 6:11King James Version (KJV)
      11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

      WERE -WERE- WERE some of you!

      Like

    • rosinavoz says:

      "Is he openly rebelling?"

      Yes! The open rebellion is in his participation and joining with Matthew Vines who is openly advocating for the affirmation and acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle within Christianity. From the Reformation Project webpage:

      "The conference will be a prime networking opportunity for all Christians who want to advance the dignity of LGBT people, especially Christians in non-affirming churches, denominations, or communities who seek to have more loving, fruitful, and informed conversations with non-affirming friends and family members."

      Vines wants the lifestyle affirmed….and nothing less. Do Christian men struggling with porn go to conferences where they are working together to bring about the total acceptance and inclusion of 'Christians Addicted to Porn'? Haven't heard of anything like that, have you? Of course not! That is because they are ashamed of the behavior and are in a spiritual battle to overcome it. But these people are out in the open holding their fancy upbeat conferences, flaunting their same sex attraction, whether they are living in celibacy or not. Celibacy means nothing if you are out there advocating for the complete acceptance of the lifestyle. They don't see it as sin. Vines pulls Bible verses completely out of context and badly misinterprets scripture to come up with his affirmation of what God says is an abomination. He is totally unrepentant…not struggling to over come his same sex attractions at all. He revels in them, and if Calhoun is joining arms with him, then that is a pretty good indication of what is in his heart….and it is not true repentance in any biblical sense of the word.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bethany says:

    He is joining with Vines to help advocate for homosexuality's acceptance and affirmation in the church! Doesn't sound like he disagrees with Vines' views at all. He should be speaking out against him if he believes homosexuality is a sin.

    Like

  5. Eric Hupf says:

    Being gay is a mental battle for lots of people. I'm not going to cite scripture, but there is scripture for what I am about to say. The church is supposed to love others. This love is supposed to be a reflection of God's love for us, meaning unconditional, can't be turned away, can feel like it is undeserved, (you get the point). How are we loving the person if all we see is his sin? Would it be better if he kept it inside and didn't share this? Either way it still exists! The light brings healing, while I can't say the same thing about the darkness. If we can't be honest inside the church, then where do we run to? Jesus isn't physically here, and often talking to God feels one-sided. The church is the bride of Christ, don't let it become an obstacle to finding Jesus.

    While the bible does discuss a relationship between a man and his wife, it barely says anything about LGBQT. I dare you to find a verse, look up the context and the greek/hebrew words and their definitions, and then tell me that God is openly against the LGBQT community. While some of their actions might not line up with scripture, does the straight community's line up?

    To sum up, I want to love the person and encourage them to share about their struggles. It's impossible to live an honest, integrous life if you are hiding from the people who are supposed to love and help you grow as well as be there to strengthen you as you struggle with it. Hear me out, I'm not supporting the decision or going against it — I don't know the situation well enough. But I am saying that we can't hate the sin if we are going to hate the sinner. The world is judgmental enough to do that for us. Let your love for them show Jesus and show what you believe — don't use words unless they ask for them.

    If anything is confusing of if you have any questions, ask. I am only human, I don't always have the clearest words to say what I want to nor are my opinions perfect. Let your Bible tell you if I am right or wrong, but please don't hate on what I say just to hate.

    Like

    • matt says:

      romans 1 (towards the end of the chapter) clearly states that men and women will openly give up their natural relations for unnatural ones ( women and women, men and men). Paul also says in chapter 1 of romans that those that does this are deserving of the punishment they receive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jkoci says:

      Loving an LGBT, and having one serve in a leadership position at the church are very different!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Manny P. says:

    Here we are folks, the rise of Babylon…….we have to realize the existence of two churches! The bride, or true church and the Harlot or visible church that has turned away from God and will embrace the antichrist. It's eye opening how homosexuality will figure in the last days, it's obvious that prophecies regarding this have come to pass……..man giving up the use of a woman and committing with other men what is shameless, reprobate and abominable. It's so pervasive that The Church is embracing it, approving it, and negating what God says about it. The bride gets smaller, but brighter as darkness fills this world, small in number, but alive with The Spirit. In five years, if we are still here, none of us will recognize The Church any longer, you'll either come out of her completely, or you will be sucked up into the maelstrom, God says He's going to send a delusion to the world to believe the lie they concocted, this is part of that lie, that God approves of this heinous lifestyle. The family unit will be virtually none existent, as the antichrist will abolish the last vestige of the God ordained family order……Man, Woman and child.

    Like

    • Jared says:

      Only problem is, Manny, Mr. Calhoun isn't committing these acts with other men. In remaining celibate, he's stating, "Yes, this is a temptation for me. So, i'm avoiding it." I would challenge all of us to take such a view of sin in our lives. To boldly say, 'Yes, I'm tripped up by lying, love of money, pornography, anger, drug use, gluttony' or what have you, and then to say, 'And by God's grace, I'm abstaining from this.' Homosexuality has become such a hot button issue in the church today because so many of us aren't tempted in this manner. So it's rather easy to say, "Goats go that way, all of us sheep, let's go this way." The fact is, the fall has broken us in countless different ways, and we all struggle with sin. Lusting after a woman, or a man, is in fact the same. Lying, is in fact just as evil. We need to laud the actions of Mr. Calhoun, and the strength to not only identify this sin publicly, but to just as publicly mortify it.

      Like

  7. Eric Hupf says:

    Being gay is a mental battle for lots of people. I'm not going to cite scripture, but there is scripture for what I am about to say. The church is supposed to love others. This love is supposed to be a reflection of God's love for us, meaning unconditional, can't be turned away, can feel like it is undeserved, (you get the point). How are we loving the person if all we see is his sin? Would it be better if he kept it inside and didn't share this? Either way it still exists! The light brings healing, while I can't say the same thing about the darkness. If we can't be honest inside the church, then where do we run to? Jesus isn't physically here, and often talking to God feels one-sided. The church is the bride of Christ, don't let it become an obstacle to finding Jesus.

    Like

    • rosinavoz says:

      The sinner can't come to Christ unless he understands why he needs a savior. Until he sees the awfulness of his sin, he will not have any real desire to come to Christ, to abandon all, and live for Him. We have to share the WHOLE gospel…Law and Grace….the just judgment of a holy God each of us deserves and then the mercy of God in providing a means of salvation through Christ. Just sharing the love of God alone without also stressing the sinful nature of man and his need, just makes for false converts. They say they got 'saved', but their lives do not really change much. Could Calhoun be one of those? To say he is celibate and then join hands with Vines is a contradiction which makes his claim to faith suspect.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        If you are truly a believer in God and are showing his love to others, then at some point the conversation will come up about sin and how much you and they need Jesus. Love does not create false converts. Broken people do that. And we are all broken, so we all must fight through it using the Holy Spirit as our guide.

        Like

  8. @mcjennn says:

    Folks, this is the issue, not whether or not he is lusting/whatever:

    " He is holding hands and advocating with Matthew Vines as a Reformation Project leader representing an org that is diligently trying to get the Church to accept homosexuality. He is still rebelling against God."

    Like

  9. @mcjennn says:

    Folks, this is the issue:

    " He is holding hands and advocating with Matthew Vines as a Reformation Project leader representing an org that is diligently trying to get the Church to accept homosexuality. He is still rebelling against God."

    Like

  10. rosinavoz says:

    It takes courage to address these issues, Amy. Thank you for posting this.

    Like

  11. Scott Fyan says:

    He is saying he is GAY ??
    Would he be better off saying he struggles with lust towards other men? He needs the fear of God …

    Like

  12. Larry says:

    If he agrees with Vines & Co. why is he celibate? That's certainly not necessary in their version of events. And, if he doesn't agree with them, what's he doing there? I know people who struggle with same-sex attraction who are strong, committed Christians. They would never attend such an event much less lend support to it in the way this man is doing. His rebellion is in supporting this group of false-teachers, not in his particular area of temptation.

    Like

  13. Larry says:

    If he supports Vines & Co. why is he celibate? That's certainly not something they see as necessary for "gay" Christians. If he doesn't support them, why is he going? I know mature Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction and they would never attend, much less lend support for such an event because they don't identify themselves by their sin and they recognize this for the soul-destroying false teaching that it is. This man's rebellion is not his particular area of temptation but his willingness to support false teachers. His home church should deal with this but I'm guessing they will not.

    Like

  14. Zosia says:

    That question was answered in the article: "
    I can just hear it now: “Oh, but he says he is celibate,” says the compromising church. DOES NOT MATTER. He is holding hands and advocating with Matthew Vines as a Reformation Project leader representing an org that is diligently trying to get the Church to accept homosexuality. He is still rebelling against God".

    Like

  15. @mam646 says:

    And by 'gay' you mean a SINNER just like the rest of us, right?

    Like

  16. Bethany says:

    He should be speaking out against this sin, not aligning with Vines who is all about celebrating this sin.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ben Narsil says:

    “prayerfully discerning what sodomy means to this life?” This is basically mumbo-jumbo folks…Let’s call it neo-evangelical speak or liberal minded Christianese. Let’s see if the question posed here even makes sense…To be discerning implies that one is able to make “righteous judgments or right-wise judgments”, discernment is akin to judgment in that it evokes the concept or idea of making a right or wise decision between two or more possible choices. The oxymoron in this case is the implication that one needs to “prayerfully discern” if sodomy is ever right under any circumstances in light of the Word of God. A genuine Born Again, Holy Ghost filled Christian does not need to “prayerfully discern” what sodomy means to this life. The Word of God is clear on the matter. Ro 1:32 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death…”

    Like

  18. Dave says:

    Quote: "You cannot practice homosexual sin and be a follower of Christ."

    He's not. He's choosing celibacy.

    Like

  19. The bible says to love people…so true, however, once eyes are opened to see truth, the bible calls leaders to teach truth, not compromise…if homosexuality is ok, then so is alcoholism, fornication, theft, illegal drugs, hatred, strife, anger, malice ect…in other words, it's ok to give ourselves over to the flesh and demand that Christianity except it or else be labled as Pharisees…wake up people

    Like

  20. Deanna Potterton says:

    Eric Hupf, We are still suppose to tell the sinner that it is wrong to sin. Jesus taught us that in his word. If we just love thrm that's not helping them to change is it?!!!

    Like

  21. Jeff says:

    Orientation is often on a continuum. In other words, straight people often have occasional or seasonal (hormonal surges in youth and change of life ages) same sex attractions. Many people are mostly straight; but, have same sex curiosities and are ashamed and hate themselves for it. This causes them to lash out with harshness and disgust and deeply hurts those with same sex or both sex orientations. Bible scholars with open hearts and minds will research scripture in an unbiased way and discover the 7 places scripture mentions same sex conduct will find that it's only in 4 contexts, rape, temple prostitution, pedophiles and the big one, idolatry/worship before graven images. The word homosexual is only a little more than 100 years old and was never mentioned in scripture until 1946. Intuitive people and people who are open to God and humanity will discover that God equally loves and values every person and that te gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. Grace is unearned and unmerited…and for everyone. Jesus said, "It is Finished." He meant it. The church needs to chill and many church leaders owe an apology to the lgbt unity for excluding and condemning a millions of believers. Without gay people in the church, our music would be terrible, our decor would be mauve and country blue and eighties jewel tones and everyone would have awful hair. The church needs to embrace the gays that have remained and ask the ones they rejected to come back. Praise God for Tony Compolo, a brilliant man I know and love and his brilliant wife Peggy. Wage up people. Where are your 18-28 year olds? They left with the number 1 reason being the harsh way you treat the lgbt community. I'm praying for the church that we will be one. No exclusions, no condemnation, no exceptions.

    Like

  22. elisha says:

    Show lgbtq in the bible? You bumped your head, asking for some gay a** term in the bible. I dont even know what it means but i know what sodom gomorah meant. I know what sexual sin means. Im accountable to that, i know it. Responsible. When i knew my heart wasnt right with God the responsible thing for me to do was sit myself down from ministry. Spoke to my pastor and nobody else, ashamed of my sin. You think i shouldve looked for compassion and confess thru an article in the church bulletin. You think my pastor shouldve awarded my sin to be noble and make me into a leader of the church.

    Like

  23. Sandra says:

    I am dismayed that so called followers of Jesus could get this so wrong! From my understanding of what the Bible teaches, God commands us to Love everyone. Enemies, friends and neighbors. Therefore, we as christians (followers of Christ) must love homosexuals; else how will they come to know the love of God. However, that does not mean we condone or embrace their sin.We must be the light to them to show them the way to Christ. Everyone who came to Jesus was faced with a decision. Either to accept the Good Shepherd and His Kingdom, or keep serving a master who would lie, steal and destroy John 10:7-11 Those who came to Jesus and received His teaching were changed by the power of God, and it is this same power that will work in the lives of anyone who wants to commit to and follow Jesus Christ. Romans 1:21-32 is very clear on the subject of homosexuality and those who support it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Marie says:

    ……..and the pew sitters praised the 'worship leader/leaders' for they are the 'chosen ones' to lead us into the 'presence' of a holy spirit. We, the pew sitters applaud these worship leaders, we are dependent and co-dependent on these worship leaders for we cannot enter into the presence of our LORD with them in today's church culture, the pastor walks on stage and thanks, praises, and gives the worship leader and his praise team compliments, flatters their talents, and the pew sitters applaud their stage presence, their amazing musical talents, and their volunteerism to the church system, and we, the pew sitters flatter the worship leader and the praise team after the show, I mean church service, with compliments, praise, and admiration, secretly desiring to be the center of attention one day in networking to have our place on stage and receive the praises of men, just like them. And when we speak to these worship leaders and the praise teams, we hear grand, swelling words of how they are serving the lord and how 'they' are leading people into the presence of god…..the boasting and the bragging, the pride, the swelling words of puffed up egos……yes, 'we, the worship leader and the praise team' are the most important part and people in the church, for without us,

    no one cannot worship god.

    We, myself included, worship/worshiped the worship leader and the praise team/praise band and lavished them with praise, believing they were closer to god than the rest of us…….until the day came when the worship leader confessed he was gay.

    Humanism/human idolatry is legion in our churches and it is time we repent. Yes, all of us who claim to know and love our LORD Jesus, the Christ, above all people and things. We LOVE, love , love our worship leaders until we find out they are gay………..then what do we do? We don't pray for them, the ones we used praise, worship, and applaud……………….we turn on them and we shun, we lie about them, we mock, we sneer and jeer, we destroy them over the internet/facebook with our vile words, we become the vipers that Jesus speaks of in His Word.

    I know this because I was one of them in the church, until Jesus called me out. May we humble ourselves and pray for these people with tears and a heart that reaches out to the lost, and loves them with the Gospel of our Savior.

    To our God be His Glory in the Highest. Amen.

    Like

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