Calvary Chapel Split Widens

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116 Responses

  1. Erunner says:

    It hurts to see this happening. Our nation is in crisis mode and hopelessly split. This is the last thing we need yet here it is with more to come. Every time they do this my admiration for BB grows. I honestly don’t know how he does it.

  2. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I concur.

  3. Ryan Ashton says:

    Interesting to see Bob Caldwell’s name as a signatory. His videos are still up on CalvaryChapel.com though he no longer serves as a pastor at CC Boise (though fulfills the role of “pastor emeritus” of sorts).

    Anyway. So, so interesting.

  4. Erunner says:

    Meanwhile my FB feed includes the idea that in 1993 Kurt Cobain predicted Donald Trump would be president. People are buying it.

    Another post says if you don’t say the United States is a Christian nation they are trying to curse the USA.

    And how many times have I seen 2 Chronicles 7:14 used in reference to us.

    Where is discernment? Where is common sense?

    My gosh it’s hard to believe the mockery and glee I’m seeing in the name of Jesus.

    And then this from CC. Maybe we’re already under God’s judgment……..

  5. Other than these are 2 distinct sets of bullies, just how does this effect the individual congregation?
    Also, the group that split from the LCMS in 1973 to later become the ELCA left and had nothing other than their individual congregation buildings. No seminaries, no offices no Infastructure. They did quite well.

    Not that I have any say, but I support a split and let the individual pastors choose like free agents.

  6. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think the congregational damage comes from all the lies about Brodersen at CCCM and the false allegations that half the CC’s are going doctrinally off the rails.

    It’s all a big load of crap.

  7. Surfer51 says:

    The Church is not an organization it is an organism that grows and adapts as needed.

    Brian is doing what he knows to be the correct course of action.

    Old names need to step aside and truly let the Holy Spirit move just as Chuck Smith had to do so many years ago when a new generation of rebellious youth with loose attitudes began responding to the gospel message.

    The old “holiness movement” crowd had a fit!

    But Chuck stayed the course and it went well for awhile.

    Now it is Brian’s watch.

    We old dudes have to trust God to lead and guide Brian as He sees fit.

    Having Carl Westerlund on board has got to say something to the old guard.

    Carl is not one to make stupid mistakes.

    John and Don McClure are not bad guys.

    Both have served God and been a blessing to the Body of Christ.

    They have seen the CC movement grow and have been in on the inside loop of things in a sense.

    Don should let this go and get out there and start something new somewhere.

    He and his brother are certainly very gifted in the Lord!

  8. Col46 says:

    Sickening, these counsel members claim to want to honor Pastor Chucks wishes…yet their actions are bringing shame to the body of Christ.

    These are seasoned, senior pastors, so called leaders…and this is what they come up with?!

    I would like to know who of the 14 signers are truly in agreement with this, or if their names were on the letter by default as members.

  9. EricL says:

    It comes across as the cranky old guys cursing the young whipper-snapper who dared to challenge them, and BB isn’t even young. (I believe he’s 60) Gotta keep those young rebels in check.

    So will churches have to get larger signs to show their full affiliation?

    “We belong to the Calvary Chapel Association of the Pure Philadelphia Brotherhood, Keepers of the Chuck Flame, Wearers of the Holy Hawaiian Shirt, and Protectors of the Soon-Coming Rapture (No Yucky Girls Allowed).”

    I hope it doesn’t resort to such foolishness, but this isn’t looking good.

  10. Chris Long says:

    All I know is as one that’s been in and around CC for years and has no real illwill towards anyone (I’m not really biased against CC), comparing this letter (and the previous one from CCA) to BB’s letter, so far the only people I see doing the dividing are the CCA. Their letters are angry in tone (“cranky old guys” tone as EricL put it), while Brian’s came off as seeking peace and was pretty gracious in tone.

    They make it seem as if it’s Brodersen that’s doing all the dividing. Yet, they fired first! That first CCA letter they sent was pretty clear that they were indirectly referencing Brodersen and they as a council were flexing their muscles. Then Brodersen responded with the only option I guess he felt he had left. But even in that, it was gracious in tone and clearly was specifically trying to avoid a full-on CC split meltdown. Now we see this from the CCA where they are really ratcheting it up.

    Personally I find this all rather sad. I guess Michael called it a long time ago that a split would be coming, but it’s still sad to see play out. And honestly to echo Erunner a bit, it’s really pretty much shameful given what is going on in our country right now. Our country is in chaos and these guys pick this time to cause division and chaos across the CC movement?? Our country’s in chaos, we don’t need it in the churches right now… I don’t know any of these guys personally but like Erunner, my respect for Brodersen has gone up while my respect for the CCA guys has dropped.

    Brian’s letter pretty much seemed to try to defuse and keep the CC’s from having to choose sides, yet this CCA letter is clearly wanting to force the issue and have CC’s choose sides.

    Praying. It’s usually misunderstandings that lead to this kind of stuff (that’s the optimist part of me saying that). Praying they can all maybe find some way to re-evaluate with an open heart and mind and come to some peaceful resolutions.

    Michael: Do we know (a) who actually penned the CCA letter? And (b) whether the whole CCA actually saw the letter before distribution? One would assume so, but…

  11. stephen says:

    Michael,

    I’m glad you linked Carl Westerlunds letter…that man has more love and wisdom than any man I’ve ever had the privilege to talk with.

  12. Kevin H says:

    “Certainly, some of our Calvary Chapel core values are not considered essentials to the Christian faith, but they are essential to who we are as Calvary Chapel. And one of the reasons our fellowship is so meaningful is because of these shared values. Rather than weigh us down, our core values make us who we are. The CCA Council has a limited mission. Our role is simply to affiliate churches, provide guidance and encouragement, and offer opportunities for fellowship. (We are disappointed anyone would see those tasks as rigid or controlling.) But our mission is important. If our identity and values get watered down or altered, not only will pastors get sidetracked, but we will lose the distinctiveness of our calling in the Body of Christ.”

    Can you speak any more out of both sides of your mouth in the same paragraph?

    “It is essential that CC pastors adhere to the core values! Not doing so will result in sidetracked pastors and a loss of our calling to the Body of Christ!”

    “Oh, but the CCA Council is just here to be nice and help pastors get affiliated and fellowship. How can anyone possibly get the idea that we’re rigid and controlling?”

  13. Rob says:

    “…yet we still consider him a brother”.

    Good grief. What a completely odd statement. Why do they even need to say something like that?

    Did they actually think Broderson’s action could qualify him to to be disfellowshipped? Or did they think he was in sin?

    Do they think they are being gracious by continuing to consider him a brother?

    Shaking my head.

  14. stephen says:

    The differences between the two letters (this one and Brian’s) is striking. Brian’s was full of grace and peace…seeking unity amongst disagreement.

    This latest CCA letter is nothing but devisive, deceptive, and power-grabbing with but one small statement (super stereotypical Christianese at that) about BB being a brother.

    They (the CCA) are either not very good at this or they literally don’t care to try to do well at hiding their intentions.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael –
    I think there is no effect at the congregational level. If we sent all of our PPers our to 3 of their local large CCs in our own areas to to a Man on the Street interview as people came out asking “what do you think of the CCA split going on and how will it affect you?” – I think you would get a bigger blank stare and silence than you would get from a CCer after asking them about Justification.

  16. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    I believe you are right that hardly any CC congregants know about these split issues. I had commented on an earlier thread that I would guess 99% of my CC has no clue about these things. And that is even with my pastor being one of the top leaders pushing towards this split.

    However, I think there will be effects as time go on. Effects going on even now that the congregants are unaware of. As the split continues on and becomes more official, it is inevitable that word will trickle out about the divide. This will cause concern and confusion for the congregants who likely will only get bits and pieces in many cases as to what is going on. Additionally, as I also previously commented on that same earlier thread, there are and will be cases where the congregation will be conditioned to believe that all Calvary Chapels should be the same and those that are “different” should not be accepted, or that we are to reject those who don’t think prophecy is important or reject pastors who drink. The objectives and attitudes of the backroom politics will seep their way into the thinking of the congregants without the congregants even being aware of the connection to the political issues.

    So there are and will be effects.

  17. Potatoehead says:

    There are other names behind the scene that have allied against BB.

    You have to recall Jeff Smith and Chuck’s brother Paul have shown their hand early on.

    The CCCM assets and the future assets are the pearl of great price as it were.

    This whole thing is not going to end well for those who cause division.

    They are causing themselves and their names to be associated with division.

    The Apostle Paul’s advice here is relevant, stable, and logical:

    “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.”

    Romans 16:17

    First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,…

    1 Tim 2:2

  18. JM says:

    I am jaded and unhopeful that anything can be done with this old wineskin, I think it would be best to bury it. Finish the split, choose other names and be done with it. It is not helping the body of Christ to continue this sickening power struggle. Here is a quote from my admittedly caustic post on another thread (“My Take On the Brodersen Resignation”). “The sins of the entity that is Calvary Chapel run too deep and too wide to fix. It is impotent because important, foundational issues were never dealt with and it appears that there is still no will to deal with them. I perceive at least two main factions that are trying to deal with this mess. One sees Chuck as a good pastor who had to put up with the incursion of false teaching. This may be partially true. However, it is not completely true because Chuck was not a good pastor. A good pastor would not have lied to help himself and hurt others the way he did. They are idolaters. The other faction sees Calvary Chapel as having become irrelevant and wants bring change to appeal to a broader, even younger base. However, in so doing, they have gone too far and brought in horrors like the Whosoevers. Why would anyone have to tell spiritual leaders that God does not need the help of satanic symbol bearers to further the Gospel. Buzzer sound. This is blasphemy.

    With the history related above, it is this writer’s strongly held opinion that all of this fighting is over a corpse. CC has been dead for a very long time and to continue to fight over the name of this corpse is counterproductive. Step away from the decay. Further, and unfortunately, as some of us continue to lob projectile commentary at each other, the body of Christ will be ill served and the outside will have more reason to look at us with disdain. The only thing that really remains of Calvary Chapel is its worldly shell and all that money. If the people who control all that money REALLY wanted to do the right thing, they would disband, seek out all the people who have been defrauded by the abusive Moses Model system and give them some kind of recompense. No matter what side a pastor is on in this—he should take the name off to show he does not agree with the aberrant Moses Model, decry the abuses and seek those that are wandering on the hills and uncared for. Unfortunately, abuse is the legacy of CC and pastors who were silent before need to find their man parts and take responsibility for it now. Where are you, men of God? Help!”

  19. Michael says:

    “Michael: Do we know (a) who actually penned the CCA letter? And (b) whether the whole CCA actually saw the letter before distribution? One would assume so, but…”

    We don’t know for sure, but we can assume it was McClure unless otherwise noted.
    I’m not even sure this morning who comprises the whole CCA…but it’s worth noting the signatures that are missing.

  20. victorious says:

    Glad Wayne Taylor is off of the list of signatories.

  21. covered says:

    Michael, shouldn’t the term “Council” also be defined as “The Leaders”? I can’t even imagine how many hours were spent by these guys in preparing for all of the drama that will surely come. I have personally dealt with 5 of these men and often wondered how they can sleep at night…

  22. Michael says:

    covered,

    I’ve done all I can do to show the rank and file Calvary Chapel pastor that this whole thing has been a sham from the beginning.
    What they do with these set appointed leaders now will determine the future of their “movement”.

  23. Not an attorney says:

    The truth is that CCA was developed not as a succession platform but primarily as a shield against potential liability and lawsuits. This is why CCOF the outreach directly tied to CCCM was dissolved and the shell corporation CCA was born in 2012, while the late Pastor Smith was still alive. Once the CCA shell was formed, it became palatable fro some folks to sell to the rank and file that CCA was pastor Chuck’s succession plan for the movement. The reality is that Pastor Chuck and CC Costa Mesa were being implicated in several lawsuits and attorneys for plaintiffs saw the mothership as the big fish with deep pockets,

    CCA was again a shell entity with zero assets allowing for a way to legally shield Big Calvary and Chuck from potential lawsuits caused by unruly cc affiliated pastors. Fighting lawsuits and paying settlements for other’s sins gets expensive very quickly. I say CCA was because legally it is no longer. The entity does not exist.

  24. Michael says:

    #24… exactly.
    The problem we have yet to fully investigate is that the shell ended up full of money…at least for a while.

  25. DavidM says:

    Upon reading it last night, my first thought was this: I would love to ask the CCA, when and to whom was this said: “Pastor Chuck made it clear he wanted the Calvary Chapel movement to be lead by a collaboration of men working together”?? Is it in writing? Or, are we all supposed to just take them at their word?

  26. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Not an Attorney

    Bingo. Exactly. You hit it on the head re: collateral liability for lawsuits, etc. I was involved in quite a few defenses when CCCM was a named defendant in the actions of another CC.

    My understanding is that the church loans, monies from retreats, etc. in the name of CCOF were assigned back to CCCM after CCOF was wound up and dissolved, from whence the church loan funds originated. Assuming my info is correct, CCA, at best, was/is a shell and likely does not have any directors that are associated with CCCM, unlike CCOF which had cross connections with its directors and CCCM (e.g Chuck as director in both, Roger Wing as CCCM employee, etc.).

    My personal experience and discussions with Chuck (as well as other long time administrative directors/employees who worked personally under Chuck on a almost daily discussion basis) was that he was adamant that CCOF was never intended to be a successor or governing entity for CC at large, even though a few times Chuck could not refrain from using it to “impose” it’s desires over an errant CC or pastor. I doubt he in his last days changed his mind in that regard as applicable to CCA.

  27. Kevin H says:

    “The CCA Council has a limited mission. Our role is simply to affiliate churches, provide guidance and encouragement, and offer opportunities for fellowship. (We are disappointed anyone would see those tasks as rigid or controlling.)”

    One more thought on this. If memory serves me correct from past reporting here, weren’t both Paul Smith and George Bryson kicked out of Calvary Chapel by the CCA Council? Now I know Smith and Bryson technically weren’t pastors (at least not senior pastors of individual CC churches), but they both had influential leadership roles within Calvary Chapel.

  28. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Kevin:

    “Influential”.

    NOT, at least not with PC. He once characterized Paul’s role to me…”he means well” and “he needs something to do.”

    Bryson’s influence doesn’t even bear discussing.

  29. Kevin H says:

    Sheck,

    So they were more influential in their own minds than in reality. 🙂

    But they still got kicked out by CCA, right? You know, the group whose “role is simply to affiliate churches, provide guidance and encouragement, and offer opportunities for fellowship.”

  30. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    “so they were more influential in their own minds than in reality.”

    Gees, that is straight from my wife’s lips when describing be and my version of reality. LOL

    Can’t answer you other question as I was gone by then, so no first hand info.

  31. Michael says:

    Bryson kept telling the truth about the creation of the CCA so he was sent to exile.
    Paul Smith wanted to raise hell during the pastors convention so he was sent away.

    Bryson looks like a prophet at this point…which is kind of like me looking tall…

  32. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Michael. Stop it. In my mind you are 6’2″ and a striking resemblance to Paul Newman.

  33. Michael says:

    Sheck,

    We’ve always been committed to the truth here.
    5’5 with a striking resemblance to a stump… 🙂

  34. Kevin H says:

    So the CCA council acts to expunge when they feel like it (Bryson, Smith), but at other times they, “simply…. affiliate churches, provide guidance and encouragement, and offer opportunities for fellowship.”

    Got it.

    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

    But those beer-drinking pastors better watch out if and when the Old Guard gains full control of whatever segment of Calvary Chapel.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If a CC pastor from the wrong side of the line is known to drink beer, what is going to happen? I am serious, is McClure going to show up and have an intervention? Who would call CCA to snitch?

    KevinH, You said to me above – “there are and will be cases where the congregation will be conditioned to believe that all Calvary Chapels should be the same and those that are “different” should not be accepted,…”

    This is a bad thing to think that you can walk into a church of a same name off the same web site and feel like you should know what to expect?

    This is why I specify LCMS over ELCA when telling people to look for a Lutheran Church – LCMS I can pretty much assume what you will find. ELCA I cannot tell you you will not end up with a woman or a gay in the pulpit pitching abortion and same sex marriage.

  36. John 20:29 says:

    Jeff Sheckstein sees Michael as a tall Paul Newman? i think Paul N was a short guy, too… when i was a young girl topping out at 5’10” my secret dream was to stand in the middle of a pro basketball team just to know what it feels like to be a petite girl. 🙂

    strangely, i never think of Michael in terms of height – and i seriously doubt that MLD looks like Martin Luther or that Xenia resembles an Orthodox icon … what i see here are souls and you all resemble beautiful flowers (sorry guys)

    anybody (especially us evangelicals) pray for Trump today? as hard as you prayed for or against his election?

  37. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Anything’s possible. As proof, blonde and blu-eyed Paul Newman was cast as Arie, a Jewish leader in the movie Exodus. At the time I pointed this out to all the girls in Hebrew school I wanted to be friends with, but it made no difference. Hence the reason I married a Shicksa and was disinherited.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jeff, when I married my shicksa almost 50 yrs ago, my family was too poor to disinherit me 😉

  39. Jim Jacobson says:

    @20 the last letter was written by Sandy Adams, although I’ve been told he didn’t write the last line suggesting guys respond. I did respond but not in the affirmative.

  40. Jim Jacobson says:

    I think it would be a mistake for CC pastors to take sides at this point. Neither side is being completely sincere (IMHO) and there is much more going on than just these emails and articles. I’m just going to pastor the church God has called me to pastor. I’ll stay in fellowship with guys who love Jesus and serve Him with integrity.

  41. Col46 says:

    Jim – I too responded to the email, not in the affirmative. I completely agree with your #41 “I’m just going to pastor the church God has called me to pastor. I’ll stay in fellowship with guys who love Jesus and serve Him with integrity.”

  42. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    @ your #36

    I wouldn’t know what may or may not happen to a beer-drinking pastor. But I would think they may need to be on their guard.

    As for Calvary Chapels being the same, I’m not arguing if that’s a good or bad thing. There certainly is value in a group of churches claiming the same name to act the same way. But up to this point, Calvary Chapel has resisted being a denomination which would then codify all the details that a “Calvary Chapel” would need to agree to and adhere to. Calvary Chapel’s “official” position has always been that they are a fellowship of pastors who agree on some common values. So again, one of the current “effects” on some congregants is an influence to believe that all Calvary Chapels should be the same when this has never been a reality (at least to the degree of the “sameness” that is being preached as an expectation).

  43. covered says:

    Jim J & Col46, thanks for being here and for sharing your thoughts. In my opinion, there are more CC guys like you two who believe that it’s more about Jesus and His calling on your life than a dove.

    As you said Jim J, there is more going on than just emails and articles. It will get ugly before it gets sorted out.

    Isn’t there a Pastor’s Conf. going on in Houston this week? I wonder if this was brought up?

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Kevin, in my days with CC – everyone who even thought of being a CC pastor drooled at the idea of having a CC just like all the other CCs – they saw it as a magic formula … even down to how you get paid by how many services your had.

  45. Tim Brown says:

    Hi, Jeff Sheckstein –

    I think you’ll remember me. I was Chuck the Lesser’s pastor in Fremont. I met you a few times. In fact, you walked through that closed down bowling alley w me discussing the pros and cons of location and improvements and access, etc. Very helpful stuff – and I was grateful for your assistance.

    I have heard that Chuck was strong-armed and manipulated by stronger personalities who took advantage of him in his later years and forced him into forming CCA – something he never initiated, desired, or sanctioned. I was in the little theater in Murrieta w many of the national and regional CCA team members in attendance. We were discussing the ministry and parameters of CCA. Someone – McIntosh, Ryan, Focht – someone, asked Chuck to address the elephant in the room.

    Chuck was asked if CCA was something he was strong armed into organizing, if it was something he sanctioned and endorsed, if it was just something he tolerated and rolled his eyes at. Chuck stood up and w that great voice said something to the effect of, “Fellas, no one is manipulating me or pressing me to do something that I don’t think the Spirit is leading us to do. CCA is my will and you guys have my full support and I look forward to what the Lord will do through you when I’m gone.”

    Those aren’t the exact words, but that is the full gist of what he said. Here’s my confusion – I was there. I heard that. That is not hearsay. And then, of course, I hear the counter-narrative of manipulation and so on. Can you help me think through this? Thanks.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  46. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Sure I remember you. Pastor Chuck was an interesting fellow, to say the least. One of those attributes (some would call it a shortcoming), was that he tended to tell people when decisions were to be made exactly what they wanted to hear or what would not offend them. For instance, and what is now seemingly well known, is that Chuck, in making a decision over who would pastor CCCM when he passed, did this:

    He promised John Courson that he was to be senior pastor,
    He promised BB that he was to be senior pastor,
    He told the Skipper he was to be senior pastor

    He likely reaffirmed those promises on multiple occasions. I don’t doubt he made this set of promises within days, weeks, or a month, knowing they fully conflicted. As you may recall this occurred at a time when he was losing control over Jeff and CSN and I could help him no further on the matter, so these guys and Don offered their help to him.

    In my 11 years with him, this trait was quite common with him. That is how I got over my initial reluctance to call him when I first went to work for him. I had to engage him personally as everyone came down to MHS from CCCM and told me what he wanted or ” his heart on the matter.” Through the years he brought me in to a ton of issues and responsibilities where this occurred. Only area it didn’t occur was over the few legal matters , by default, handled by me which I attribute to the fact no one else had a grasp on what was best for the church. Anyways, I don’t doubt your meeting occurred and what was discussed also occurred, as you put it. I only know that he told me and countless others who worked for him for quite a few years and dealt with him on almost a daily basis the exact opposite from what you say above.

    Please don’t take this as arrogance, but I got to know him quite well, how he thought, analyzed matters, the “Calvary way” (as Steve Mays put it), his “Old school” ways including “last man standing” wins. In fact, I would say of all the people I worked for over my years, I only knew “Chuck the lesser” better. Based on that experience and knowledge, I am virtually certain this attribute about Chuck manifested itself at that time on this issue.

  47. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    I failed to address the matter of his aging and being susceptible to being strong armed or influenced in an overbearing way. Without getting into details, I did observe this happening on many ministry issues at CCCM in my last year or so. I will go to my grave believing he was extorted into some decisions. If you want to discuss further, call me as I see nothing edifying in exposing thes matters on a public forum.

    Please however don’t infer that I believe you guys did this with him. But there can be no doubt others did.

  48. Potatoehead says:

    #36

    I have been in John McClure’s home and I have personally seen beer in his refrigerator.

    I found it to be a sign that he understood grace as a Vineyard pastor at that time.

    It in no way made me think less of him as a pastor, in fact I recall thinking,”good for him, he is not legalistic.”

    As for Don, I never saw his refrigerator…LOL

    I know Michael and I enjoy our “two fingers” now and then.

    Don’t know about Michael but I usually throw in a cigar with mine.

  49. Michael says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks again…they would bury me if they could…having a corroborating voice keeps the shovels at bay.

  50. Potatoehead says:

    #47

    In my own dealings with Jeff Smith I have found him to be exactly like his dad in that trait of “tell em what they want to hear or what will not offend them.”

    I admit that at first it stumbled me, but then I had a talk once with his secretary and found out he did it to a lot of people so I didn’t take it personally.

    Just to confirm what you shared.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “In my own dealings with Jeff Smith I have found him to be exactly like his dad in that trait of “tell em what they want to hear or what will not offend them.”

    Isn’t that the normal Pop American Christian Church preaching style? 😉

  52. Tim Brown says:

    Thanks, Jeff S. – you spent more time w Chuck in one morning than I have in my 31 years of being a CC pastor. I appreciate your perspective and your years of front row experience can’t be discounted. Thanks. Can you email me at tbrown7979@aol.com w your phone #? Thanks again.

  53. Potatoehead says:

    MLD,

    During one of my last visits with Lonnie Frisbee in 1992, out on the Balboa Peninsula, he basically said what you just said (#520).

    He told me that hardly any American churches preach the gospel message of repentance from sin and the cross of Christ.

    In his words:

    “If they did no one would go to that church it would not get big.”

  54. Concerned says:

    I’ve been part of the Calvary movement for some time now and see the CCA as a continuation of not only the “old school” ways but the old culture which has warped the movement from the time I have been a part of it – over two decades. We were told not to trust anything outside Calvary Chapel, but many speakers who made the rounds of the Calvary circuit were just as untrustworthy and were later discredited. I attribute the belief by some in conspiracy and other theories and the political vitriol from others to the closed culture and the prevalent lack of discernment. How could they be hearing from God now when they weren’t hearing back then about the above mentioned speakers? I really hope Brian is different.

  55. Steve Wright says:

    I really hope everyone reads the link at the end of Michael’s article from Carl Westerlund, which I think is far more an explanation from one actually, you know, THERE in Costa Mesa, than necessarily a defense. A man of high integrity, love, and loyalty who has served the Lord, served countless thousands over the years at Costa Mesa, and who is more than happy not being the top dog pastor (though he has been one), or the conference speaker, even though he probably has forgotten more Scripture than some of these big boys know. And he’s my friend. The most trusted friend I have in Calvary Chapel and the only guy I would trust to talk to about the very serious issues (and I have).

    I too was a 1st generation, Chuck Smith CCCM congregant. You didn’t have to be a hippy to be one. God saved me apart from any church or preacher and immediately brought me to CCCM as my first church. In time I served there (volunteer, not staff) in a variety of ministries, almost all of them under the accountability of Carl Westerlund because Chuck used him as oversight for so many different ministries there. I was ordained there but I also simply worshiped there, with my wife, through most of the 90s and into the new millennium.

    I was there when Chuck used every midweek service for a topical sermon. (Gasp). For awhile it was messages on the Holy Spirit (which became the Living Water book). He also taught through John but while going one or two verses at a time, they were not expositional studies but verses of “jumping off” into a topical message.

    Sundays were likewise, mostly topical, with an exposition that was always Scriptural but sometimes only tangentially related to the verses read. The Sunday night service was when the entire chapter(s) would be gone through verse by verse and the Sunday morning verses were taken from the chapter(s) taught that night. Of course, Sunday night had less than one third of the Sunday morning attendance so the majority of people at CCCM were not taught verse by verse all those years (unless they listend on the radio or got the tapes). Carl Westerlund explains this as well, above.

    I also listened on tape to the entire 5000 series Gen-Rev (recorded before I arrived). These are online and one can see exactly how Chuck used to teach. I challenge anyone to listen to these tapes and argue Chuck is teaching “verse by verse” through every verse. Check out how he handles the first 10 (ten) chapters of Leviticus as one obvious example. I just listened to 13 minutes of the 82 minute message and he has made some great points and hasn’t bothered to read or explain one verse in its entirety yet!

    And the thing is, the 5000 series was what all ministry school students, what the Bible College students also, were required to listen to. Not just for the material but (as I was told once) – “to understand the heart of Chuck” in his teaching. So if you wanted to teach “like Chuck” then apparently Chuck was teaching all the future ministry guys through this 5000 series in a way that NOW apparently is being opposed by some. Frankly, it is hilarious to those of us with personal experience AFTER things got so huge, if it was not so sad.

    And at this point I think I will note that my love and loyalty and the influence Chuck had on me is well known to the regulars here – lest I be quickly dismissed by readers passing through.

    When I was first saved, at CCCM, these guys had 20 years of pastoral ministry and men like me really listened and looked up to them. 20 years of service. Wow.

    Well, now a lot of us have 20 years of pastoral experience as well. Michael was kind enough to publish a couple years ago my thoughts on practical pastoral ministry that focused on accountability, compensation, and being available to the needs of the flock. (Some of us have even managed to stay faithful to our marriage vows)

    But, the conferences today have the same names speaking that were speaking in 1993. The same names for the most part on the bottom of that CCA letter. I was grateful for the opportunity to publish that article here, because nobody in CC bothers to ask guys like me about lessons we have learned in ministry. And there are lots of us.

    With one exception – Carl Westerlund. That article was actually the notes from a talk I gave the ministry students under Carl a couple years ago, when Carl invited me to share with the men.

    So please, even if you skip through my bloviating here, click the link and read what Carl Westerlund wrote above. Thank you.

    Steve Wright – Sr. Pastor CC Lake Elsinore

  56. Michael says:

    Carl Westerlund was the last guy I thought would write something publicly…and to say this;
    “From my viewpoint on site at CCCM, I see no substance to these charges. So my conclusion is that it must be an issue of power and control.”

    There is the bottom line.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    And this..

    ” My feeling is that my generation should be mature enough to recognize that our responsibility is to pass our values on to the next generation.”

  58. Steve Wright says:

    I notice the CCA website no longer has Brian’s article included in the other articles under the Philosophy of Ministry section.

    Brian’s article was “Reaching the Next Generation” – one of the core pillars of Chuck’s Ministry and one he spoke often about to my generation of pastors in training.

  59. Wellington says:

    “Chuck Smith is gone and he left no instructions for the movement.

    Maybe, just maybe, he wanted the independent affiliates to be just that…without a shell corporation calling shots for them.”

    Touche

  60. Wellington says:

    Post 7 “Having Carl Westerlund on board has got to say something to the old guard.

    Carl is not one to make stupid mistakes”

    Or perhaps-

    Where else is a guy in his late 60’s going to find a job that supports his family if he leaves CCCM ?

    Most likely he wont….

  61. Michael says:

    Carl Westerlund did not write that under any sense of coercion…that came from his heart.

  62. Wellington says:

    Mike MacIntosh signed ths doc but his church a horizon christian fellowship (non-calvary name)

    Greg Laurie didnt sign but remains silent.

    What gives?

  63. Michael says:

    Macintosh’s church has always been Horizon.

    Laurie has never been on the CCA council,nor does he have any desire to be.

  64. Wellington says:

    Oh ok.

    Smart for Laurie not to be in the CCA as he really doesnt need them or there association to raise funds for his harvest crusades.

  65. Michael says:

    Raising funds had nothing to do with anything.

    Laurie’s board made it clear that he was already extremely busy and Greg knew this was going to be a giant cluster bleep.

    There was no time and no desire to be on board.

  66. Steve Wright says:

    It is unseemly to accuse a good man like Carl of an unrighteous motive and then not even address one substantive point made. He set the record straight against those spreading gossip and slandering character. He told the world what is actually happening at CCCM in contrast to a line here or there at various conferences taken out of context and pushed by the ODMs. Maybe you ought to read it again.

    Some of us have also been on the receiving end by the old guard, readily believed by the hippy brotherhood, truth being optional to agenda. And some of us continue to only want to serve the Lord..no fanfare, riches, or celebrity.

  67. Tim Brown says:

    From where I sit, there are two main issues that need to be worked through.

    1.At this address https://youtu.be/x9MEa4ZcN5k Brian Brodersen makes it clear that whereas he will not ordain women to the pastoral office, he will allow women to teach and preach to a mixed congregation. The pastoral office is closed to them, but the pastoral function of expository preaching to a mixed congregation will be allowed, if not pursued.

    2. I had a Bible College professor tell us that 99% of church splits are personality and not doctrine.

    In any group you’re going to have people who don’t like each other. Yet they manage to walk w each other despite personal animus. Then comes along something substantive (like #1 above) and this alters the calculus of the relationship. Doctrinal disagreement gives personal animus ground to move forward on. Personal animus + doctrinal disagreement + (using Sheckstein’s testimony) uncertainty as to who legitimately should be doing what = division and confusion in the family of churches I love and respect and care deeply for.

    I think that for most the real issue will be (once the smoke clears and the dust settles): does CC divide over women in the pulpit? Is the CC tent big enough to allow for local freedom in this area or will this be a Movement wide distinctive. Some will argue it should be a local congregational issue. Others will argue that if we allow this, what else will we allow? Others would argue that we should take it on a case-by-case basis. Please be in prayer for us.

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Lutherans go through this. For the LCMS if we cannot resolve, we break off fellowship – both pulpit and altar.

  69. Pastor Char-broiled says:

    CARL IS A SPINLESS, CRONY YES MAN WHO IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR… AND PAID PRETTY DAMN GOOD FROM JESUS MONEY!

  70. Michael says:

    I find this bizarre beyond comprehension.
    In all the interviews I’ve done and all the research that goes into producing these articles I’ve never…and I mean never…have heard one CC person say a word to me about the place of women in ministry.

    The fact that the governing organization was created on the basis of a falsehood isn’t the issue?
    The fact that some people appointed themselves rulers over others isn’t an issue?
    The fact that raw power grabs have been made over and over again with slander and lies being the preferred tools isn’t the issue?
    The fact that the rank and file have been lied to over and over again isn’t the issue?
    The fact that the governing organization no longer exists legally isn’t the issue?

    What the hell is wrong with you guys?

    You can’t handle the real issues, so you’re going to make a stand on…women?

    This would be funny if it wasn’t so incredibly pathetic.
    No wonder one of your own can use hundreds of thousands of dollars in offerings to fund a personal law suit and get away with it.
    No wonder the GFA scandal was covered up.

    I’m sick to my stomach…what a farce.

  71. Michael says:

    Char Broiled,

    Prove it , prove it now, or get banned.
    You have 30 minutes to produce the evidence.

    I’m held accountable for every word I write about this mess…you will be too.

  72. stephen says:

    ***applaunds and agrees with Michael 100% on the Carl Westerlund topic.***

    Honestly, if you said that in my physical presence, Char, I might not be able to restrain my fists as much as I might regret it afterward

  73. stephen says:

    And I totally agree with Michael on #71.

  74. Michael says:

    I’ll go ahead and throw it all in.

    Brian Brodersen has been exponentially more honest and open in his dealings with pastors and congregants than Chuck Smith ever was.
    Brian Brodersen is a paragon of ethical virtue compared to his predecessor.

    Chuck Smith was a master manipulator and lied like a sick dog to avoid conflict…and right now this cluster bleep is his legacy,not Brians.

  75. Michael says:

    Someone better take down those videos with Chuck and Kathryn Kuhlman….

  76. Michael says:

    Char Broiled,

    I knew you had no proof and just wanted to slander the man.
    You’re banned.

  77. Michael says:

    Char Broiled,

    From now on your comments go to the spam filter where they remain unseen along with the ads for animal porn and hacking attempts.

    I offered you the ability to bring forth evidence and all you could provide was profanity.

    Enjoy your stay in our “guest house”.

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I assumed Char Broiled is Alex – perhaps not?

  79. Steve Wright says:

    Tim, did you read Carl’s article? I was teaching at the Tuesday School of the Bible at the same time in mid to late 90s when Chuck was letting women teach those classes too – to a mixed crowd, whoever came. I remember the raised eyebrows by some and I asked both Chuck and Carl about it and Chuck’s answer was exactly as Carl relates above.

    So if some guys really have a beef now, they should have had it against Chuck two decades ago. (this is when we laugh out loud at some of these big talkers now standing up to Chuck when he was, you know, ALIVE)

  80. Michael says:

    No it was not Alex…Alex has been a great citizen of late and is far too busy to deal with this crap.

  81. Michael says:

    I remember when Bill Ritchie had a woman in the pulpit for a couple of weeks…Chuck did nothing.

  82. Steve Wright says:

    Let me distill this as someone who has experienced in the micro what is now happening in the macro. Because it is very simple at its core.

    When you have men who have never had to submit to any formal educational environment for their early theological and pastoral training – to have other men, scholars and leaders, tell them “No, you are wrong and here is why” To evaluate their work and ideas with constructive criticism (and the occasional “average” C-grade)

    When these same men never had to submit to a supervising pastor, on staff as an assistant, but pretty much went from the pew to the top dog immediately…

    When these same men have never had to submit to a Board of Directors – and I mean truly submit to their decisions even if they really want the opposite (not the token, I have no opinion so I will do what you guys want situations)

    And when these men have never had to submit themselves to a written accountability document, constructed in such a way as to make clear how even “Moses” can get canned and sent looking for work…

    Then you have a situation where nobody has ever said, “No” to the person in their entire ministry lives. The only possible human being who might ever have done so with any authority would have been Chuck, but he is now dead and besides, unless you were on staff or a volunteer, he was much more of a “go for it, how can I help” guy for THESE guys we are talking about.

    We know what happens to small children who grow up without anyone telling them, no. And it is not any more attractive when it happens to ministry leaders.

    And Brian told these guys, no. No, I am not going to stop hosting an annual pastor’s conference. No, Costa Mesa is going to keep on as it was when Chuck was here and we are not obligated to now “share the wealth” just because Chuck is gone. And Brian is in the position of power to say, no, too.

    You can’t argue the CCA is Chuck’s great wish without also admitting that keeping all the assets like the Bible College under Costa Mesa’s control and ownership was also his great wish – or he would have changed it.

    Personalities and power. Carl nailed it. I have tried to explain it.

    And the reason I am impassioned about this is because I now have to waste time explaining to a bunch of people who love the Lord and have a great history within Calvary Chapel, usually one at a time, who read about this stuff online, “what is going on” – I even had a Bible College student ask me before class the other night! A student!

    You see, the thing that gets me is how come these men never send the mass email BEFORE they meet – wouldn’t you want the thousand plus pastors in the movement to be praying FOR your meeting if your goal is to seek the Lord for future direction. Why meet in secret and only afterwards announce about how great it was to have the Lord meet them and guide them etc.

    When Moses went to the mountaintop, the whole congregation of Israel knew about it beforehand.

  83. Michael says:

    No, I did not just forge Steve Wrights name on my own writing…:-)

  84. Kevin H says:

    FYI

    In regards to women teaching men, Pastor Joe recommends this teaching by Corrie Ten Boom as one of the best he has ever heard on forgiveness (there is no qualification that this is for women only):

    http://resources.ccphilly.org/G639

  85. Michael says:

    What Tim Brown wrote here was one one the most audacious acts of deflection in the history of the blog.

    According to my instant polling, it didn’t work.

  86. pstrmike says:

    Well said Steve Wright.

    No one took issue with women teaching years ago, no one raised an objection of the clip of Chuck and Kulhman on “A Venture of Faith” video, that was for many years required viewing for those seeking affiliation.

    And now we are going to make this about women? Really?

  87. covered says:

    I think that Steve nailed the issue with his #83. What stands out to me is the question about, why not ask for prayer and support before the meeting? I hope that the result of this mess will result in a sort of, draining the swamp with CC’s across the board. If I had to pick some of the men who would be left empty handed, well next to Grenier and couple others, five of the names on the CCA Council would be gone as well.

    Michael, since Brian controls the dove, how likely is it that he flex what muscle he has to take it away from some?

  88. Michael says:

    Covered,

    From everything I know about Brodersen, he’s much more interested in collaboration than exercising authority.

    What we’re seeing right now is a man who is sick of a few guys spreading slander and division and he’s done with it.

    What is still a possibility is that he takes all that away from the CCA…I know some are advocating for him to do that.

    Otherwise, he’s not interested in strife.

  89. covered says:

    I understand that he isn’t interested in strife. In fact, I (while my opinion doesn’t matter), have much respect for Brian based on working with him on some mission projects, believe that it’s possible that what is happening with the new coalition may cause Brian to act in a way that he feels is best for the brand.

    Just for the record, like you Michael, I have more friends who I consider men of God who pastor churches than those who I think are stirring the pot.

    I pray for first a cleansing and then for a group of men to be united. Just because I have been damaged by a few who fly the dove, that doesn’t mean I want to burn them all at the stake.

  90. Michael says:

    covered,

    At the end of the day if this is handled well, it’s a good thing.
    Brodersen doesn’t seem inclined toward tyranny and he’s not making any efforts to promote himself above the group as far as my information indicates.

    He’s removed himself from the ones who want to rule and bid them peace.

    It’s all too rational… 🙂

  91. Steve Wright says:

    What stands out to me is the question about, why not ask for prayer and support before the meeting?
    ——————————————-
    If you know the names of all of the 12 spies sent into the land, you also know when there is a mixed report as you hear from both sides once they return.

  92. Michael says:

    I have more than 12 spies… 🙂

  93. Steve Wright says:

    🙂

    The point is the CCA is bigger than the list of names on the letter. Were people not invited? Were people there who did not sign on to the letter? How many? What were their names so we can contact them?

    All those questions appear but stay unanswered when it is handled the way it was chosen to be handled – as if there is this great unanimity under the Spirit, Costa Mesa excluded. Maybe that is true, also…maybe half the room walked out or declined to attend.

    I know I certainly don’t know. Nor do most of us “rank and file 20+ years pastoring in the movement” guys.

    Nor can I know unless I listen to behind the scenes reports that may or may not be true, may be just gossip etc. So yeah, (he writes sarcastically) that’s what we need to encourage more of in the movement. (Note the title of Carl’s article)

    But hey, I’m only talking about transparency and blamelessness….Biblical principles some of us hold as absolute core pillars to our entire ministry. (Starting with putting our real names on internet comments).

  94. covered says:

    That’s my point Steve. I think that most had no idea what was going on with the self appointed 14 names above. There had to be at some point, a meeting, an email, phone calls to create this new coalition. Not every rank and file pastor knew what was cooking. On the other hand, as far as I have seen, Brian has been forthright and out front with his position.

  95. So clear up my confusion. I have been told for years that CC is soley purposed as a fellowship for like minded pastors. This is why it is not a denomination, no authority of one church over another – the attendees themselves are not even a part of the organization.
    So, for all of this fellowship going on why is everyone in the dark?

  96. EricL says:

    So the leaders of CCA treated the other CC pastors much like a typical church goer: they left them in the dark and allowed them no say in the decision-making. I guess the other guys aren’t seen as members of the CCA after all, just attendees.

    This Moses model seems to have new levels to it that I was unaware of…

  97. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    And here is another issue – if the CCs do not need to be like minded (teach the same thing) to be in association and do not need to have the same style (women allowed to teach in some, not in others) to be in association, just what makes them in association? – what is the draw to be in association? If you have a friend, take him out for coffee and still be ‘in fellowship’

    It can’t be for the conferences – half the pastors opt out. It can’t be the publishing house, there are much better ones around – what is it?

  98. Steve Wright says:

    Look, according to the CCA website, four guys on the council do not have their names on the letter and one guy has his name on the letter and is not listed as a member on the council.

    So who are “the men Chuck Smith appointed before he left this earth” to lead this council?

    Not only that, but you have the heads of oversight of entire regions of the country, multiple states, that are not listed on the council, while six of the fourteen guys hail from Southern California. Again, per the CCA website.

    Of course there is confusion.

    But the only “decision making” relevant was in how new affiliates would be determined going forward since no longer would there be an official stamp of approval from Costa Mesa. That process had gotten ridiculously complex and the hope was that it would be greatly simplified going forward, and one based on (at least at the meeting I went to) fellowship and relationship under the general philosophy of ministry of CC. Which ironically WOULD be going back to the “old days” and how Chuck used to do things. When all these men planted their Calvary Chapels – without all the hoops, book reports and so forth.

    That’s why there was this newfangled regional map covering the entire USA on the CCA website. To know who to reach out to, get involved with. I am sure almost every CC pastor out there is more than happy to submit to the church planting, affiliation, guidance of the council and was optimistic at the future to come.

    And there has not been one “decision” made or even really discussed publicly on that topic. I have not received one email on that issue yet. Because that is not what the fight is really all about.

  99. dusty says:

    Michael said,” I have more than 12 spies.”

    Lol you are funny. I know you are right but it was still funny

  100. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, it’s about believing in the independence of the local church while likewise being a part of something bigger than oneself.

    We have monthly opportunities to gather with each other for worship, study, lunch that has nothing to do with conferences (of which they too are many).

    There are plenty of opportunities for joint missionary projects, relief efforts, as well as training and education.

    There is a great childrens ministry conference that we often send our ministry workers to, something we could not host ourselves. There was a time we hosted a worship music conference because of the talent and experience of our worship leader. This does not even include the Bible Colleges and so forth, the Calvary High Schools (like where my son went) and so forth.

    Independent church does not mean you want to be a lone wolf either.

  101. CrucifiED says:

    I wish these kinds of things about how to teach were taught to us at the pastor’s conferences. I went to many conferences over the years and pretty much every single one was filled with message after message about our personal character as pastors, mixed with discernment and eschatology but very, very little help and training for how to actually do our main job in teaching through the scriptures.

    All the pastors who came out to the mid-west and started churches began with the verse by verse teaching and we all thought that was the ultimate distinction of a CC. That’s they way we heard it on Raul’s radio program before CC even came here. Everyone who took over those churches when the first round of pastors gave up thought we had to do the same thing.

    I always prefer expositional teaching but have now come to realize the problems with a strict verse by verse style. Aside from that though, I wish back then that I had had even a little teaching from CC pastors on how to do that with some guidance on when it’s effective or not to teach that way.

    Sadly though, most CC’s out here were never helped by the churches that sent people out to start them and everyone has been winging it out here for 20-30 years now on their own, still trying to figure out how to grow a church like they hear the other bigger CC’s have done.

    I wish I had even an inkling of what law/gospel preaching was before I quit the pastor thing at CC. So grateful now to have learned it now for the sake of all my witnessing unto others, even though I’m no longer teaching as a pastor.

  102. Nancy says:

    I miss Bob Caldwell

  103. Jeanine says:

    I am an outsider, a member of Saddleback. I am embarrassed for us, the body of believers that you would speak about each other in this manner over social media. Were you the ones who once honored your pastor only to speak badly about him upon his death? Who will step up to shut this down?

  104. JM says:

    Jeanine, IMHO, if the right precedent of truth, morality and honoring Scripture was set from the beginning, this would not be happening now. This whole thing was built upon a faulty foundation and, though it took some time, this faulty foundation is crumbling.

  105. Abashai says:

    Michael,

    It has been a long time since I was on Phoenix Preacher (PP). Hello all my brothers and sisters.

    This is the first place I came to when I heard the rumblings. When I started on PP Skip had ousted Peter, there was a witch hunt in England, and CC was showing its underbelly of insecure yet charismatic leaders who had weak theological training doing their best to wrangle in an international corporation made up of the people they think of as sheep. Every Calvary has its dirty little secrets. Dark Days.

    These events have been coming for some time as people have jockeyed to put themselves in the seat of chief bishop. How many top guys moved to Costa Mesa to try on Chucks Habit? do you remember Skip Hietzig, Don McClure, Jon Courson, and many others trying their hand at it? I do.

    The problem stems from Chuck (too soon?) I believe he did not have the sophistication necessary to build a global organization that Calvary Chapel has become. When he inherited Costa Mesa it was structured as an International Four Square church complete with oversight. His Calvary Distinctives, however, teach a leadership structure for the new churches that is based on the personality of the Leader with no accountability from a board. He teaches the board is just to act as accountants and a buffer between the pastor and the people. To that end, the men he raised up were insecure, yet highly charismatic leaders. He was able to maintain control over Costa Mesa because of his trusted assistant pastor and former Marine Corps Drill instruct Laverne Romaine kept everyone in line. I believe Once Romaine passed, Chuck lost all functional control, and refused to assign authority, to clearly delegate leadership – thereby breaking the very Moses Model he espoused in his ‘Distinctives’.

    Further Chuck never really defined what the organization was supposed to look like. (an org chart might be nice) This allowed him to keep control in his hand, as it was a personality driven organization, with a smokey swirl of Pastors always jockeying for favor. But it prevented the very thing that CC needs. Structure, with defined roles and responsibilities. In an effort to avoid the Popery of Romanism, Chuck set up an association of warlords with no real authority. A recipe for failure.

    Brian – I doubt you read this. You have done some dodgey things in the past. I know you nearly ran Vista into Bankruptcy, the nepotistic shame that weighs on CC London, and more. But I do believe you have been given a very gracious gift, and I still support you.

    Go outside of Calvary. Find sophisticated leaders who know how to structure a global organization. Clarify Roles and Responsibilities. Help your leaders to get some real Doctrinal Education, institute a Professional Education Requirement; Use meaningful performance metrics as an additional tool to watch how God is working; And lastly – Help your Pastors learn the complexity of the Human Journey – It’s not as black and white as Chuck made it. You know first hand.

  106. Toby Will says:

    But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. II COR 11:3

  107. Hellbinder says:

    The same brian brodersen or whatever who hung chucks wife out to dry and took over the church…

    What a load of crap.

    The whole mess is delusional nonsense and its very sad.

  108. Michael says:

    The delusional nonsense are the accusations you just posted which are flat out lies.

  109. Xenia says:

    In an effort to avoid the Popery of Romanism, Chuck set up an association of warlords <<<

    This is an absolutely brilliant observation.

  110. Deborah H Cuddhy says:

    Please stop this awful commenting stuff. Do you have any idea what all this does to new believers????? Stop it!!!! Hang out your dirty laundry in private . Not glorifying. D

  111. Michael says:

    Deborah,

    Honestly, you need to think through how really silly that argument is.
    If you can’t discern the foolishness of it, come back and I will enlighten you.

  112. Roberto says:

    warren buffet has had a succession plan for 30 years…and all companies he works with he makes sure there are succession plans in place Good Grief.

  113. Geoff says:

    I don’t know who wrote this blog post, but the bitter, hateful, and ignorant things written here are astounding…and very sad.

    That someone to ascribe motives to people he doesn’t know (in fact the bible says you don’t even know your own heart) is sad. That a supposed Christian would do it is beyond sad.

  114. Josh the Baptist says:

    Good point Geoff.

    Kind of like admitting you don’t know who wrote this, but then ascribing to them bitterness, hatefulness, and ignorance?

    Geez.

  115. Bob Sweat says:

    Truth always hurts.

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