This was supposed to be posted last week but I was having problems with YouTube (which are still ongoing). It was meant to be a companion piece to my blog from last Friday about the dismissal of Pastor Ryan Bell from Hollywood Adventist Church. Events such as this really colour my view of what it means to be in “a church,” because while I think Christian community is absolutely essential — I don’t believe in individualistic religion — the hard fact is that it’s nearly impossible to form a community without drawing boundary lines. Who’s in; who’s out. Who can lead; who has to follow. And how do we deal with those who disagree with some of our core beliefs yet still want to be included in our community? How, in fact, do we even define our core beliefs?
These are the questions that drive me, not just in today’s video but, in a way, throughout this whole video series. I want to examine my church’s core beliefs and where I stand in relation to them but at the same time I feel the need to question this whole concept of having “fundamental beliefs” and how that relates to the lines we draw, and how we treat people who stand on the opposite side of these lines. And, as always, I look forward to discussion.
Note: I added this after I posted … if you watch this video in the context of last Friday’s post, you might also want to watch this farewell sermon from Ryan Bell … I’ve linked to it starting at the point where he talks about the Adventist church. Everything he says here is everything I believe about the church, what it is and what it ought to be. It’s just sad that that commentary is coming from someone who’s been told he’s no longer welcome as an Adventist pastor.