Community Chapel and Bible Training Center
Community Chapel was a Pentecostal church south of Seattle that rejected the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. I was a member of it from 1978 to 1988. When I joined, I thought it was one of the best churches in the world, but to my bewilderment it split in 1988 while embroiled in several horrible scandals. It had already seen most of its members scattered to the winds before it closed completely in 2006.
During the course of its dissolution it became obvious to me that the teaching of the Chapel had been defective from the start, and that its founder and pastor, a man named Don Barnett, was not only a teacher of false doctrine but was emotionally disturbed before he'd ever founded the Chapel. I see now that what he created at Community Chapel had nothing at all to do with true Christian faith but was a bizarre, dysfunctional caricature of it.
In the past, as I resolved the questions I was left with after the Chapel collapsed, and as I progressed in understanding how I could have been so susceptible to its fanatical, isolating beliefs, I spent a lot of time debating with fellow ex-Chapel members about my conclusions, which by necessity of course involved very specific, explicit criticism of the Chapel's doctrine. While that was very fruitful for my thought in some respects, I've found polemics are not very nourishing if made the chief activity of one's spiritual life. For the past few years, I've found myself thinking it is better—while still being mindful of the lessons I learned at the Chapel about the damage false doctrine can do—to concentrate on showing what is true instead. Here are two sites where I try to do that:
- I Believe in the Holy Trinity—a site that affirms an important doctrine that the Chapel misled me into thinking false.
- "Arrive Without Traveling"—my blog about topics in Christian life and faith that I currently find interesting.
For those who are still interested in the sites that directly address the Chapel and its issues, here are the links to the old Chapel site and to the blog where I do address Chapel topics when I feel the need: