If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video of Bill Hybels announcing that Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, had withdrawn as a Global Leadership Summit speaker. Hybels exemplified tremendous class as a leader and a gracious spirit as a Christ-follower in handling this situation.
Be sure to take note of what Hybels described as a “growing trend” specifically in the United States culture, to throw stones first and ask questions later. Ministry leaders can learn much from Hybel’s response.
Following Hybel’s response, Ed Stetzer went on to suggest a few principles to consider about the issue of homosexuality and evangelical churches:
- The issue is not going away and you cannot ignore it or seek to downplay your views.
- The culture sees this as a “justice” issue–Christians discriminating on the basis of immutable characteristics.
- Though it is easy to make the case (in the church) that homosexual practice is incompatible with scripture, it will be an exceedingly difficult case to make in today’s culture.
- Building bridges and showing grace and love is needed, lacking, and essential when dealing with people with different views and values.
- At the end of the day, all evangelicals (including centrist evangelicals like those at Willow Creek) will still have to deal with an issue that the world perceives as narrow and bigoted.
My takeaway from Hybel’s approach: You don’t have to water down your biblical worldview in order to demonstrate grace. We can exemplify Jesus’ love and scriptural soundness in a fashion that is counter-cultural to the attack-ful climate satiating so much of our American culture.