HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Randy and Brenda Magnusson have joined the chorus of current and former members of Hollywood Adventist Church speaking out about their experience with Ryan Bell as pastor. As parishioners have wrung their hands about everything from Bell’s theology while senior pastor to his wildly unpredictable hair styles, the Magnussons have a far more basic question: “Are we still married?”
The two, married four years ago by then-Pastor Bell, are now questioning every detail of a ceremony as noted for its Adventist Hollywood celebrity sightings as for its quirky vows and “Roaring Twenties” costume theme.
“We were able to deal with Ryan getting fired by the Southern California Conference. Any regular at the Purple Church could have seen that coming,” said Brenda. “But then came the Year Without God. I feel like some kind of red line has been crossed.”
Although he admits that he and Brenda are undeniably in possession of a marriage certificate and an increasingly awkward wedding video, Randy share his wife’s concerns. “Are we still married before God?”
The Magnussons have decided that while some may deem it too early for a renewal of vows, they would like to have an additional religious service to further legitimize their marriage. This time around, Randy says they are playing it safe and picking an officiating pastor “less prone to flaming out.”
“We are doing our homework,” says Brenda who has asked Southern California Conference insiders to screen potential candidates for their projected pastoral shelf life while automatically red-flagging anyone showing promise as a blogger.
Any humor taken at the expense of Ryan Bell is out of place. I believe he is sincere, although sadly mistaken. Indirectly poking fun at him through satirical stories about his former congregation, will not help him. We should pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to Ryan sufficient reasons to believe in God again, in his own time. Meanwhile, we should exhibit only love and respect for him.
Having interacted with Mr. Bell, I’m pretty sure he’d find this article nothing but amusing, and not at all offensive or “at the expense of” himself.
Let’s just say that This wouldn’t just be satire if the conference president was correct when at first he “annulled” the good pastor’s ordination…