An Open Letter to Bill Hybels

Dear Bill,

I have watched you from afar for many years and admired so many things about you. You are bright, articulate, dedicated, and diligent.  Most of all, I love how you are passionate for our Lord.  You love Him and it is obvious that you do.

When you speak for the Lord Jesus Christ I stand with you and shout, “Amen!” 

However, when you say “the local church is the hope of the world,” we part company, for Jesus Christ alone is the hope of the world.  You have even parted company with yourself when you say this, for no one can serve two masters.  You can either serve Jesus or you can serve the church, but you can’t serve both.

You know that Jesus taught us to seek the kingdom of God above all else.  The church in the New Testament was preparing for the coming of the kingdom in that generation.  Do you really believe that the Lord and His apostles were wrong about the timetable? 

We live in the day of the kingdom of God, and building the local church is diverting energy from the Lord’s house into the houses of human leaders.  I hope you will join me in forsaking the works of our hands so that we might walk before Him in the house that He has built for us.

If you are at all interested, here is elaboration on what I have said here.  In the meantime, everything I believe can be summed up in the statement “Repent, and follow Jesus Christ our Lord!”

With warm regards and the utmost respect,

Mike Gantt

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9 Responses to An Open Letter to Bill Hybels

  1. walter says:

    Wow, I’m not sure if it’s surprise or horror finding zero comments. I watched Bill on a selection of his speech at the leadership summit and was amazed at how obvious he was challenging leaders to learn from the world. Also directly saying he is placing upon the church business models from the world. He said he felt sorry for leaders that limited their influences, holding his hands about a books width apart, and challenging the audience to challenge themselves to learn as much as they could from leaders from all walks of life, spreading his arms as wide as he could. There is to much to get into on this subject to do it justice in a comment but anyone that truly loves Jesus can see through this. The one thing I will say is that “the called out ones”, “the church”, are Gods children. They are His sons and daughters, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. I’m positive putting a business model in place, from the world, and good job their doing these days, to run the church is a bad idea. Also training leaders to lead His sons and daughters with council given by leaders that are hired to create profit or run a false religion is another bad idea. Anything of value we can learn from these people is already taught in the Word of God and besides whatever God uses in our ministry that we had, past tense, learned in the world will be in His timing and for His glory, Moses and Paul come to mind, just to name a few of many biblical influences I limit myself to. It is I who feels sorry for Bill.

    Deception is getting slicker but remains the same. The faithful will hold fast to the Word and it will be the few that will teach the many. Jesus is coming, repent indeed !!!!

    Good attempt with the letter but I believe Bill said it was unfortunate someone would say such things but he just believes many people don’t know what it is they do at Willow Creek.

    I’m not sure a whole lot of people at Willow Creek knows what they do at Willow Creek. What exactly is a Christ experience? It’s nice to know Bill realizes there are people that come on Sunday that are also looking for a “deeper” Christ experience and he is wanting to provide one but the true horror is so many people going after this obvious wrong. The church is not reading the Bible. And Bill thanks them.

    • Mike Gantt says:

      Bill is actually forced to go outside the Bible to get advice for building churches because the Bible gives no such counsel. Rather, the Bible promotes the kingdom of God. I learned this firsthand 20 years ago when I determined to be completely biblical in the way I pastored my church. The outcome of following the Bible wholeheartedly was that I began preaching Christ more and more…and, as a result, the church disintegrated. Most people thought this was a problem, but it is the biblical way. He who promotes church compromises Christ; he who promotes Christ advances the kingdom of God.

      You will find more in this overview.

  2. walter says:

    We are told not to build on another mans foundation. Healthy sheep reproduce. Healthy sheep preach the gospel where the gospel isn’t being preached, healthy sheep plant churches where bible teaching churches are not planted. Bill isn’t training people up to go where the bible isn’t , he is coming into my town and your town and taking churches. Same as Rick Warren. God says My people parish for a lack of knowledge.

    Principles of church are laced through out the new testament and confirmed through out the old. For instance Jesus sent out His disciples two by two, In Acts Barnabas and Paul, Paul and Silas, Barnabas and John Mark. In the Old, Moses had Arron and David had his Nathan. Leadership without plurality in some form of cover will eventually falter no matter how good someone starts out. Samson comes to mind. Leadership of the world is not the leadership in the bible. The only CEO in Gods economy is Jesus Christ the head of the church. We all are under His anointing, He is the anointed one. No special man with more anointing than we will come and show us a movement that is going to change the world. Jesus came into this world and made a way for us to have fellowship with the living God. He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword. The truth will divide, the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. The only true and lasting peace will be when the prince of peace returns.

    Believers are the church. The bible most certainly teaches church building. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Gifts are given for the purpose of building up the saints. Buildings will burn or fall apart but the Word of God will remain and those that cling to Him. Sheep need their hands placed into the hands of Jesus and eventually through trial and error they will turn and do the same for others. Church building 101.

  3. Mike Gantt says:

    If a plurality of leadership was adequate protection against falling then the New Testament church would never have gone apostate, as the apostles said it would (2 Tim 3:1ff)…and confirmed that it did (1 John 2:18).

    The principles you find in the Bible should be applied to seeking the kingdom of God, not building churches.  The kingdom of God is what Jesus said we should seek (Matthew 6:33), and that is something He builds – not us.  The apostles taught the New Testament church to prepare for the kingdom of God which was coming in their generation.  That kingdom came, and is in our midst today…and forever.

    In the kingdom of God, church is not something you go to – it is something you are and a way you live.

    How to Be in the One True Church

    Church Is Not the Answer; Christ Is

    Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church

    The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now

    Church Is a Business – The Kingdom of God Is Not

    Leave the Man-made Church and Join the Church of God

     

  4. walter says:

    I must apologize, not reading your theological stand was a mistake on my part. As the saying goes, “just because someone is against what you are against does not mean they are for what you are for.” Jesus rebuked the man on the road to Emmaus by saying “Oh you who are slow to believe ‘everything’ in the scriptures.” There is no point in even beginning to start this. Let’s just say that if you got up and started preaching this stuff in a church I attended I would get up and walk out also. What I am for is the church repenting with tears as they return to the Word of God. The Bible speaks more for the time we live than any time in history. At a time that we need to get deeper into the Bible we are getting further from it. I’m sorry but you’re part of the problem.

  5. walter says:

    Your logic reminds me of a missionary I knew that made himself a pastor and held to the same logic. He constructed a Mosaic form of leadership and said that Moses appointed elders and they were never mentioned again so it didn’t work, he would not appoint elders. How profound. I think it’s the law of never mentioned. I think he made it up. He now has the fellowship he wanted but will never experience what God wanted.

    It is clearly biblical that we are to build one another up in Christ. We are a spiritual house and we are the stones that make it up with Jesus being the chief corner stone. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Holding onto one aspect that Jesus preached that all other aspects must fit into, be directed by and interpreted through will lead to gnosticism. He also said His kingdom was not of this world and in John chapter 5 we read that this world is in the hands of the evil one. Claiming an insight that changes orthodoxy and reorganizes the bible with questions that you are the one holding the answers is very cult like and I’ve been through things like this and I hate that kind of stuff and I believe God does also.

    One of the prophets said about a coming time that we should not put faith in a guide. I am beginning to believe the time is getting close. You pastors are all becoming nuts. Leadership is caving all around and Gods children are wide open for seduction. No wonder Jesus said He will spew Leodicia out of His mouth. America is done. If the church does not wake up we have no hope. Just as the days of Jeremiah. It can go easier on this country if we repent , judgment is inevitable, 54,000,000 babies aborted, forget about it, an angry Angle of the Lord is standing in the doorway with a flaming sword, but if we don’t wake up this place is gone. The church, the Temple of the Holy Spirit in America is becoming an abomination.

    • Mike Gantt says:

      Your logic reminds me of a missionary I knew that made himself a pastor and held to the same logic. He constructed a Mosaic form of leadership and said that Moses appointed elders and they were never mentioned again so it didn’t work, he would not appoint elders. How profound. I think it’s the law of never mentioned. I think he made it up. He now has the fellowship he wanted but will never experience what God wanted.

      I haven’t been a pastor or a part of a church for almost twenty years.  The argument between you and the missionary (which is about church government) is of no interest to me.  The kingdom of God does not need human government.  Rather, it needs us only to follow.

      It is clearly biblical that we are to build one another up in Christ.

      Agreed.

      We are a spiritual house and we are the stones that make it up with Jesus being the chief corner stone.

      Agreed.

      We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

      Agreed.

      Holding onto one aspect that Jesus preached that all other aspects must fit into, be directed by and interpreted through will lead to gnosticism.

      Adding to or taking away from the word of God will always lead to problems, whether those problems are called gnosticism or something else.

      He also said His kingdom was not of this world and in John chapter 5 we read that this world is in the hands of the evil one.

      Agreed.  So why do you want to build churches that are of this world?

      Claiming an insight that changes orthodoxy and reorganizes the bible with questions that you are the one holding the answers is very cult like and I’ve been through things like this and I hate that kind of stuff and I believe God does also.

      I don’t believe I’m the only one who has these insights.  As for “God hating this kind of stuff,” none of us would have any of these insights if it weren’t for Him.

      “Orthodoxy” is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder that matters in this regard is Jesus Christ.  Only He doesn’t call it orthodoxy – He just calls it truth.

      One of the prophets said about a coming time that we should not put faith in a guide. I am beginning to believe the time is getting close.

      That’s my point.  This time is already here.  Stop trusting in human leaders.  Trust only in Jesus Christ our Lord.

      You pastors are all becoming nuts.

      As I’ve said, I’m not a pastor.  I’m just a human being who is reporting what he’s read in the Bible.  That is, I’m one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread.  No one needs me, but we all need the word of God.  And it is freely given to all of us.

      Leadership is caving all around and Gods children are wide open for seduction. No wonder Jesus said He will spew Laodicea out of His mouth. America is done. If the church does not wake up we have no hope. Just as the days of Jeremiah. It can go easier on this country if we repent , judgment is inevitable, 54,000,000 babies aborted, forget about it, an angry Angel of the Lord is standing in the doorway with a flaming sword, but if we don’t wake up this place is gone. The church, the Temple of the Holy Spirit in America is becoming an abomination.

      Agreed.  That’s why forming (or reforming) more man-made churches only perpetuates the problem.  Let us truly repent of every secret sin, and live for the One who sees our hearts.  To repeat, let us throw off the yoke of human spiritual government in order to fully embrace the yoke of Jesus Christ, which is the kingdom of God.

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