Friday, August 04, 2006

Looking Ahead and Some Words of Advice

We have a real opportunity here to do the real work of health and unity. We have a real opportunity here to face that our church is broken and has been for quite a while. There are no easy fixes. (Let's not forget there are still cottage meetings going on, and there are still people who are just now or have yet to get the information they really need to see the extent of our problems.)

Those of us who have been "talking" this week seem to sense some calm right now, and I do think it is a good idea to ride that calm into the weekend services. I've been informed that the services will be reserved entirely for praise and worship. No messages. I can't think of a better thing for our community to do right than to gather as a body, go before God, and tell Him how awesome He is and how much we need Him.

As beautiful as the image of the Fosters and the elders embracing and "patching things up" is, it is not only simplistic, but unfocused. This conflict was not about Dr. Foster vs. the elders, with the congregation caught in the middle. There is an entire group of people that seem to be forgotten. Their healing and protection must be at the forefront of our congregational concern. Immediately working at reinserting Dr. Foster into our church in any capacity would be wrong and actually quite damaging. (If you don't really know where I'm going with this, please re-read this previous post of mine.)

It might make you feel better to be able to hear Dr. Foster's dynamic speaking again. But that cannot be our goal. Separation is vital right now. Insisting otherwise only demonstrates a missing of the most important piece of this scattered puzzle, and it's not the elders or the Fosters or the congregation. You can do the math, but if you don't know who I'm talking about, you will need to listen in the coming days most carefully.

So what we have to do will be hard. And I plan to "talk hard" next week. This stuff is unavoidable. And if we want to be a Gospel-driven community that continues to lead with the radical message that Jesus Christ has come to rescue sinners, we cannot afford to give in to easy sentimentality or cheap grace.

It's not pleasant or fun to be broken. But getting our church "fixed" will not come from trying to implement the thing that will most please us. Together we have to trust a fresh wind from God. He's promising mercy to the brokenhearted.

Look, bringing dead things back to life is sort of God's whole deal, you know?

It's not time to "shut down the blogs." It's finally time we start talking to each other. So next week I'll start talking hard. I hope you'll join me.

Until then, some advice:

Go to a service this weekend. Go with an open heart.
Spend some time reading in your Bible. Don't necessarily go into it looking for stuff that applies to the church. Just pick a spot that seems like a good starting point and read. Let the book speak to you. Go to the Word looking for wisdom, not ammunition. Look for stuff that applies to your personal walk with God or to the spiritual health of your family.

Get outdoors. Go for a walk. Take your kids to the park. See some friends you haven't seen a while.
Scrapbook. Go golfing. Watch a ballgame. Go to your neighborhood pool.
Eat out with friends. Go see a movie. (I don't know about you, but The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a siren song to my ears.)

Just take a breath.

See you Monday.

Peace.

13 Comments:

At 6:55 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

Jared,

Thanks for letting me retort as I have been doing.... but also know if you think I'm out of bounds... I respect your delete key! : - )

With your mission statement/reason for this site (I guess?) being - A place to comment and reflect on the Bellevue Community Church conflict.... I'm trying to balance my retortedness (is that a word or what... heh?)... with a perspective that does have some glint of humor or hilarity in it... to hopefully lighten things up from time to time... kind of like me going to see Talladega Nights - Ballad Of Ricky Bobby.... but not....

Instead... I'm trying to offer insight here laced with laughter and upside down frowns... hopefully at all of ourselves... me.. included.... while also making it clear that in no way is this a "laughing matter"... but more that it might be okay to lighten up a little... post to post... and smile... and grin... because....

Ultimately.... God is probably getting a little bit of a chuckle out of some of the aspects of us old and new BCC "Christians" locking horns (for lack of a better analogy) over something that we all should have been in immediate consensus about and in accord with.... regarding the problem, the solution and the opportunity you speak of to regain our health & unity at BCC.

I've heard it said that sometimes it's better to laugh than cry.... but I think in this case... it probably would be good to do both... cry and laugh... if we can....

God's gotta be saying....

- those silly knuckle-headed Christians.... did they think I would forsake them.... they always do that... speak before they think.... leap before they look.... but I love 'em.... oh... yeah... I love 'em all....

Don't they know that??? Didn't I show them... some 2000 years ago?????

Son.... you think it's about time you go on back down there and look 'em right in the eye and say....

I LOVE YOU... for me????

Now, they gotta understand... that it's gonna take some changes.... but they'll be alright.... I'm right there with them.... like I've always been.... from day one.... and nothing's changed... about me.... I'm the same....

Alpha Omega.... the beginning and the ending....

Sort of like what's taking place down there at BCC....

The beginning of something new.... the ending of something old..... if they think I'm not in their midst... well, I'm gonna give 'em all one big noogey on top of their hard little heads.... I am....

- The Great I Am

------------------

Rind kegards,

C. Evan Leonard

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

Jared,

I want to make a personal inquiry to you about something... would you email me at:

cevanleonard@mac.com

... so I can contact you and make my inquiry?

Thanks,

CEL

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anna Wilcoxson said...

Hey, Jared
Just wanted to let everyone know that, in addition to the all worship weekend, Portable 4 has been set aside as a prayer room. It will be a great place to get away from the hubbub (alone or with a friend) and talk to God. I encourage everyone to spend some time there or in the service in communication with our Lord.

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Dirk said...

Saturday night's service was beautiful in its simplicity. It delivered on the tag line of the current teaching series that got de-railed: "How music can chase away the ugle and move us to God." Yeah, we have a long road ahead, but singing "I have decided to follow Jesus" is a great start.

 
At 6:13 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Jared;
I appreciate your efforts and work keeping up this blog. It is a good way for people to stay informed. I do, however, challenge, in a brotherly way, your title. BCC is not broken. In fact, the structure worked. A problem was discovered and Godly men took steps to reconcile it. A church with more history behind it might have acted faster but, given the relative youth of the congregation, the process was handled. The call for a vote and the angry folks threatening to leave shows the spiritual youth of our fellowship. Those who hang together as a body and refuse to allow the Evil One to work will grow stronger. Those who choose to follow a man will probably find themselves in a similar situation again.
God bless you, Jared. God bless those who seek His will.
Richard
BCC attendee since 2001

 
At 6:27 AM, Blogger Jared said...

Richard, I appreciate it. Thanks for the input and the blessing.

The title of the blog, btw, has a double meaning.
For what it's worth, I think both meanings are still true.

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jared,
Thank youfor this outlet.
continue to try to keep
the bickering to a minimum.
And the discussion fair
open and with respect for
one another. I heard
today that ugly comments
had been allowed, and
I have not had a chance
to read them all. So do
not know if that to be true. I hope not.
Today - - I felt peace.
with a quiet underpinning
of concern.
To me - the most amazing
thing is that we have "heard" Dave's teachings - meaning truly
heard them - taken them to heart and applied them - -
we are the church he taught
us to be - a body/community of believers doing life together, lifting one another up, - - we will
continue to be the lighthouse on the hill.
A church is never about
one man - - no matter
how dynamic and gifted -
a teacher - - whom we love.
BCC may end up having
many charismatic teachers
in her lifespan. All of
whom we hope will bless us
with wisdom and teach us
to love Jesus and the Bible, and our fellow man.

God Bless BCC - - may
God's plan , whatever it
is , glorify God and our Savior. Rhonda E.

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

Rhonda,

I don't mean to be a monkey in the wrench here (is that the correct euphemism?).... but I cringe every time I hear or see the "Dave's teachings" thing.... and here's why....

You give apparent ownership to Dave for the teachings of Jesus Christ... and/or God.... that he has utilized and, in my opinion, diluted... and renamed them 10 ways to do this... and 12 ways to do that... and etc...

And, when you voice your feelings in that way or make statements to that effect.... you are part of the perpuation of "the man worship" issue that is partially central to the problem(s) that BCC has been dealing with and finally dealt with this past week....

I also caution you about joining the Blog police... : - )

If you knew Jared Wilson... as many do... you would know that he is fair-minded and clear-headed. And, the fact that someone would say ugly comments have been made here or elsewhere... brings up the whole issue of "what is ugly" and to whom "is it ugly"....

Sometimes, we need to hear or read a contrary, polar opposite opinion or statment to bring us to a better understanding of what we actually think ourselves. Kind of like your "we have "heard" Dave's teachings " comment.

I get what you meant, Rhonda.... but I don't agree that they are Dave's teachings.... he's borrowed them... repackaged them... reworded them.... but you are saying they are his?

Do you get what I mean? : - )

Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard

 
At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Nathan said...

Chuck, excellent point about propriety. This Blog is truely a gift from God and can be a valuable starting point for change.

Also, where else can you read a reference to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer during a church fight !?

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Jared said...

I was wondering if anybody'd get that allusion. Thannks, Nathan!

Hey, btw, are you the Nathan in our men's small group?
---

Rhonda:
I appreciate the kind words and concern.
I do apologize if anything posted over here has offended you. While I think some tough words have been shared in the comment threads, I wonder if the person you warned you about ugly comments hadn't confused my site with the TalkBCC Forum. There's some pretty harsh stuff going down over there, comparatively speaking.

I am doing my best to keep up with comments, but I'm receiving a little over 100 emails a day, which includes notices of blog comments. With all that's coming in, it's possible something inappropriate has slipped through the cracks.

Like I said, I don't recall anything especially out of line posted over here, but I will try to stay more diligent about monitoring comments. To some extent, though, I trust folks to follow the Site Policy (linked to from the sidebar menu under the Observe heading). I am thankful that the mean-spirited back-and-forths seem to have left this site alone.

 
At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Rhonda Ethridge said...

Jared,
you are right - I realize
now someone was referring
to the talkbcc group blog
- not sure they were even
aware of yours.
I just visited the talkbcc
one ONCE today - - and
was so turned off I will
never return.

thank you - and forgive
my error - and my
poor assumption that they
were speaking of yours.

Rhonda E

 
At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Rhonda E said...

Judas,

very well said. you
are absolutely correct.
and I appreciate your
insightful commentary.
I stand corrected.

I apologized to Jared or meant to. the person
obviously must have been talking about the talkbcc
format - which I found
appalling.

I do find Jared to be fair balanced - -
this site has the bar raised
way high -with much more
intelligent conversation
and insightfulness.

keep up the good work,
I'll shut up and listen
now,

Rhonda E

 
At 5:51 AM, Blogger Jared said...

Rhonda, there is absolutely no need to apologize, and certainly no need to "shut up."
If everyone shared your concern about right and balanced speech, our conversations would be much more profitable.

Thanks so much for being a positive presence.

 

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