"After years of mediocre churches we were thrilled to find a church that was DIFFERENT. A church where EVERYONE was accepted. We cannot attend BCC if Bill West is the head pastor. I refuse to attend a church where it takes everything in me to not fall asleep and where I am constantly checking the time on my cell phone."
Heh. Apparently EVERYONE is accepted, except for Bill West. ;-)
Seriously, though, in just the short 3.5 days of the myriad conversations about this mess, maybe ignited by Dr. Foster's own sarcastic, hyperbolic description of the elders' preferred direction for the church (at the first Red Caboose meeting), I have heard more times than I'd like this notion that those who support the decision of the elders/staff want a lame, boring, traditional, and even legalistic church.
Um, exsqueeze me? Uh-baking powder?
The irony -- dare I say the "contradiction"? -- in some of these comments is that on the one hand they praise the tolerance and inclusive nature of BCC and on the other hand make clear their distaste for so-called "churchy people."
As if such people would have been attracted to BCC in the first place. As if any people like that would have stuck around in the church long enough to get appointed by Dr. Foster to the elder board. Let's be reasonable, folks.
It smacks of reverse Pharisaism to me. "I thank you Lord that I'm not like that religious person over there."
Three truths needed here:
1) Healthy (and biblical!) churches need disciples in all phases of the journey. Neglecting the mature and maturing believers in favor of the Primacy of the Seeker is just as bad as neglecting the seeker for a case of stale religiosity.
2) Pre-Christians, new Christians, and "baby" Christians cannot grow spiritually without the help, encouragement, teaching, and mentoring of established and mature Christians. You may not want those folks around harshing your vibe; but you do need them. (Just like they need you! That's called "being the Church.")
3) Lastly, it would be very convenient for one side of the conflict if the vision of BCC, as presented in the Core Values and the Statement of Faith, made it clear that the church is for seekers only. But it clearly does not.