A Feel-Good Sacrament by James M. Kushiner

A Feel-Good Sacrament

Clinton Bares His Soul” declared the Chicago Sun-Times front page, of President Clinton’s August appearance at Willow Creek Community Church for a leadership conference. During the almost 90-minute interview and question-and-answer session led by Willow Creek senior pastor Bill Hybels, the president said he was in a process of “totally rebuilding my life from a terrible mistake that I made,” referring to his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Responding to Hybels’s comment that some people still believe that he never truly apologized for his actions, the president declared that his apology at a National Prayer Breakfast had been “full and adequate.”

But there was little genuine baring of the soul and certainly nothing spiritually edifying taking place at Willow Creek. Sun-Times reporter Ernest Tucker noted that the president “seemed at ease, at times poking fun at himself. The audience applauded and laughed at his Jay Lenolike quips.”

In his Breakpoint radio commentary, Evangelical leader Chuck Colson noted that “you could have mistaken the setting for the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’.” The president offered “little mention of God and no mention of sin.” Instead, he said in reference to his affair with Lewinsky, “I wake up every day, no matter what anybody says, with this overwhelming sense of gratitude. If I hadn’t been knocked down in the way I was and forced to come to grips with what I’d done and the consequences of it, I might not ever have had to really deal with it a hundred percent.” He also noted, “two-thirds of the American people stuck with me. That’s an incredible thing. . . . In a funny way, when you realize there is nothing left to hide, then it sort of frees you up to what you ought to be doing anyway.”

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


James M. Kushiner is the Director of Publications for The Fellowship of St. James and the former Executive Editor of Touchstone.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

31.6—November/December 2018

Tragedy & Transcendence

on Futility & the Open Door to Deliverance by Patrick Henry Reardon

33.2—March/April 2020

Blessed Peacemakers

Encounters with Faith & Forgiveness in Communities of Faith by Nicole M. King

28.2—March/April 2015

Facing God

on Divine Worship & the Natural Limits of Community by David Mills

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00