Dr. Foster's Open Letter
Dr. Foster has written a letter to the community at the invitation of the Westview Newspaper:
My family and I moved to Bellevue 17 years ago this coming October. We love living here. Our girls have grown up here and all have gone to school here and all are proud Hillwood graduates. We came here to plant our lives and build a church that would be open to all regardless of religious background and lack thereof.
For 10 years we met in the Bellevue Middle School and for the last 6 we have been enjoying our HopePark campus. For 16 years God has blessed us, and thousands of people have come to discover and celebrate the goodness of God. And while we have had our rough spots as any big family will, what took place this weekend is the first time in my 34 years as a pastor that we have attracted this much attention for all the wrong reasons. For this I am truly sorry. It just highlights that, while we serve a good and perfect God, none of us are perfect.
Please do not mistake what happened at Bellevue Community Church this past weekend as a lack of love for each other. It is the fact that we love each other so much that our present public disagreement hurts us all so deeply. We will get through this better not bitter. We will find a way ahead and we know God will make a way; He always has and He always will.
For those of you who read the news and watch the reports and say, "see there, just another church squabble." It is for you that we have labored so long to find solutions to our differences of opinion. Do not let our humanness in any way detract from the wonderful joy and freedom of knowing and experiencing the liberating love of Jesus. While we may not be at our best right now, we believe in a God who loves us most when we deserve it least.
Whatever God's will is in the matter, Paula, I, and our girls will continue to be proud members of our vibrant community. We will advance the good and extend the love of Jesus Christ as best we can. As the half brother of Jesus said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4 NIV)
Someone asked how I was feeling and the first thing that came to mind was, My wife of 34 years still loves me and my three grown daughters still respect me, I have my health (if not my hair), I ride a Harley, live in the greatest country, in the coolest city on earth, and I love what I do. What else is there?
Very nicely worded, very fair minded.
Dr. Foster has quite a few people who consider him their pastor who are currently making plans to disrupt the weekend services. At the TalkBCC Forum, the demonstrations of emotionalism and irrational anger and unbiblical resolution are indicative of conflict to come. He has an opportunity here to speak peace to these people, to pastor them. His sporadic press releases amount to practical silence, in my opinion. He needs to speak directly to his supporters. They deserve it.
This is assuming he would encourage them to act honorably and peacefully.