Calvary Chapel: What Now?

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141 Responses

  1. Just Curious says:

    It will be interesting to see if there will be another attempt to remove the dove at Visalia.

  2. Michael says:

    As things stand today, there is no person or group with the authority to do so.
    I do know that some would like to find a way to do it…but that opens up a whole different can of worms.

  3. Steve Wright says:

    There is even talk about writing accountability measures into the affiliation process…though how those would be enforced is an issue, as always.
    ———————————————————
    I have said that on this blog for years. Let each church write their own, as fitting that church – if the CCA wanted a couple templates to offer churches to help, other churches could offer. I would gladly offer ours as it was a team effort. (If anyone’s reading). Just pull it down from our website and copy it as desired.

    This would be similar to how CCOF has in the past offered new churches a suggested by-laws template, or churches looking to revise their by-laws. An aid, but not a word-for-word mandate.

    The thing is you HAVE one. Just like you have a Board, have a bank account, have by-laws – CCA does not weigh in on the merits of the independent church’s accountability plan – but they simply note you have one at affiliation.

    Eliminating the plan later, after affiliation, would be treated the same as a pastor deciding to become amill in his theology. He is no longer “like-minded” because we would include “like-mindedness” as to accountability as well.

    May it be so.

  4. Michael says:

    Steve,

    That’s a good idea…and I’ll make sure it’s ‘read”… 🙂

  5. Learner says:

    I watched the entire memorial and noticed all those subtle (or not so subtle) statements for the future.

    I loved seeing the faces of men from outside the movement.

    I’m excited for what’s in store. Reform is needed. A return to the simplicity of Jesus and his gospel as not simply the entry point for salvation would revolutionize the movement.

  6. John Schmidt says:

    Hi Steve Wright,

    I found your comments disappointing. Just when Michael posts something which, although at this juncture is just a rumor of future developments, represents real and genuine hope of fixing something which is severely broken and very destructive, you choose to follow the well-worn path of chiding us for being concerned, insisting that there’s never been a genuine problem at all, and suggesting we should feel guilty for thinking negative thoughts about such wonderful leaders.

    This is Michael’s blog, and he can allow posts from those who deny a problem exists if he chooses, but I personally don’t see how such comments can be very constructive. Just my two cents worth, from someone who once was active in the Calvary Chapel reform scenario, but eventually decided they didn’t really want to change anyway and found something more constructive to do with my time.

    By the way, Michael, I think you handled the whole situation with Chuck’s passing very well, and said exactly what needed to be said at the right time.

  7. Michael says:

    John,

    Steve has been very helpful in promoting an accountability structure in his local area.
    His own bylaws are an excellent and this offer was well meant.

  8. Xenia says:

    Poor Pastor Steve: damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

    He offered a practical plan to eliminate many of the problems people see with the Moses Model. Yet he refuses to hate Calvary Chapel so he’s a disappointment. Good grief. I think Pastor Steve’s approach represents the best possible future for CC.

  9. “Those on the “progressive” side seem willing to let the traditionalists leave rather than engage in contentious debates.”

    “For today, I’ve never heard my sources as excited about the future as they are now.”

    As most of us have done, we voted with our feet and shared in the creation of new and beautiful things without being dragged down by the brand and having to worry about our logo being yanked.

    By letting those of the CCTraditionalist/Distinctives camp vote by their choosing to leave the beauty will be that CC can be less of a “rapture ready” wasteland and more of a vital church which recognises its vital but smaller part in the greater work of God while being busy doing the work of the King and Kingdom as Jesus called us to do.

    =)

  10. It will be interesting to see if there will be another attempt to remove the dove at Visalia.

    I pray “Let them keep their old dove. Its time for a fresh start, leaving the past behind.”

  11. John Schmidt says:

    Michael,

    I will look at them when I get a chance.

  12. Steve Wright says:

    Hi John,

    You will notice, I hope, that my comment was in reply to what Michael reported he was hearing.

    An “amen” as it were. Not sure how you appreciate his article but my comment rings disappointing.

    And as I noted, it is something I have already written here on this blog for many years.

  13. Ricky Bobby says:

    Well, finally some good news coming out of Calvary Chapel (that isn’t fake good news about how many folks “they” have saved or how many butts they have in seats or how the last conference or cruise went etc).

    Rooting for the New Team. Sounds promising, though I remain skeptical. We’ll see what they do vs. what they say.

  14. Ricky Bobby says:

    “There is even talk about writing accountability measures into the affiliation process…though how those would be enforced is an issue, as always.”

    And then:

    “As things stand today, there is no person or group with the authority to do so.
    I do know that some would like to find a way to do it…but that opens up a whole different can of worms.”

    Well, then, it really makes no difference and is just window dressing. Paper Tiger PR lipstick.

  15. Michael says:

    It’s too early in the process to know what may come about.
    If you claim authority over a group, you also incur liability…and no one in their right mind wants to be liable for the actions of people they don’t know.
    The other issue is that all accountability is a paper tiger in American free enterprise religion…the bad guy just moves down the road a piece and starts over.

  16. Ricky Bobby says:

    Why have an “agreement” that isn’t enforceable in any way.

    There should be a submission of Corporate By-Laws for review by the CCA committee to become an “official” dove toting “Affiliate”.

    The Corporate By-Laws are individual for each franchise, but must contain a certain set of basics defined by the Committee.

    The By-Laws either has the stuff or it doesn’t. If it meets the basic requirements, good to go. If not, no go.

    I can think of a list of basic requirements.

    This provides both Independence and self-built-in Oversight through the particular CC’s By-Laws.

  17. Michael says:

    RB,

    That’s actually the basic outline of what’s being tossed around…

  18. Papias says:

    “There is even talk about writing accountability measures into the affiliation process..”

    I remember a conversation I had with my ol CC pastor, one of “Raul’s guys”. He basically stated that if there was any kind of push for CC pastors to have accountability, that he and a bunch of his counterparts would leave the CC fold and start their own brand.

    Its been a few years, but that was the gist of his statement.

    On the other hand, I would applaud an attempt to have greater accountability for pastors. And if they want to take their churches off and play ball elsewhere, then let em.

    Unfortunately, there would be those who would go with them…. 🙁

  19. Michael says:

    Papias,

    I have no doubt that there will be a “traditionalist” split off group.

  20. Mark says:

    John Schmidt- you’re misguided dude. Steve Wright is A CC pastor and has much more of a dog in this fight than Michael or most others that post here. Despite Michaels constant efforts to be otherwise- he is a bystander to CC- not an insider. He has “sources” – but Michael has been breathlessly reporting the “impending split” of CC for half a decade. CC will maintain the “distinctives”- including the postion on Calvinism- and those who want to follow otehr theologies will not fly the Dove. It still puzzles me why folks want to force CC to change its theology to fit their views when there are plenty of places for them to go where their views are accepted.

    As Steve and others have stated here for years- there is a structure in place at CC for accountability at the local level. There are a few bad actors in the over 1500 CCs worldwide but if someone has a problem they address it at the local level. If the problem is not resolved the person is free to move on. The overwhelming majority of CC folks have lived with this system for decades. I know this blog is mainly for the few who have a problem with this system but I do not see Brian Broderson leading a complete overhaul of CCs worldwide. The thousands of us serving in our local CCs really dont fret over these issues. We acknowledge CC isnt perfect, but we will take our imperfect system over anyone elses.

  21. Mark says:

    Micheal: “I have no doubt that there will be a “traditionalist” split off group.”

    Michael- you’ve been talking “split” for years. The only ones that will be splitting are the ones who dont want to follow the distinctives. The vast majority of folks sitting in the chairs and filling the baskets are perfectly fine with CC traditions – that is what they love about CC. Why doesnt anyone understand this?

  22. Bob Sweat says:

    And along comes Mark.

  23. This little video and talk is really entertaining and short, but profound.
    I think it applies to the future of CC, and the greater work of God.
    Yes? / No?

  24. Ricky Bobby says:

    I think John Schmidt’s comments about Steve Wright were spot on. Steve has become a Sacred Cow around here. I think it’s wrong, but it’s your blog.

  25. Michael says:

    Mark,

    Your group will not be small…
    I’ve been told more than once that the “distinctives” will no longer be emphasized or codified.

  26. Kevin H says:

    So if there end up being accountability requirements in order to affiliate with CC, will this apply only to new applicants or will existing CC’s also have to meet the requirements in order to maintain affiliation?

  27. the “introverts” at CC were the experientials, the mystics, those who moved in the gifts, who wanted to linger in worship.

    the “extroverts” were the assertive one who codefied the “distinctives”, shaped the “brand”, and systematized things so the submissive ones in the pews would line up, sit down and listen and occasionally participate in the experiences, the longer times of worship, but for the most part wanted to be told what to think by the ones “over” them

    i’m hoping the “progressives” will offer a vision which welcomes back the ones who were chased out by the big dogs

  28. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    Since CC is nondenominational there should be no regrets for it to fracture and go in many directions. Nothing is lost if there was nothing to maintain. All that matters for them is association to Christ. Flying the dove is a far second place to having the dove abide upon you.

  29. Flying the dove is a far second place to having the dove abide upon you.

    =)

  30. Ricky Bobby says:

    The CCA could go a long way to correcting Calvary Chapel’s bad reputation by requiring the following in “official” “Affiliate” Corporate By-Laws:

    1. Transparent Finances. Publish (online or distributed at the church) the annual budget and show how much came in, how much went out and where it went to. Pretty simple and remember the words at the last CCSP: “if you’ve got nothing to hide…you’ve got nothing to hide” or something like that. Mere words and PR unless it’s required and done.

    2. Child Protections: Mandatory Reporting of child abuse, Vetting all Staff, Pastors, and Volunteers with zero tolerance policy for past convictions or allegations of child abuse for those who work with Youth. No felons working with you, I don’t care how much they are currently “saved”…when push comes to shove that’s bullspit and too risky. Recitivism is too high. Pit bulls eventually chew the face off of kids.

    Post what is and isn’t acceptable Child Punishment according to your State’s Laws. Right now, “the Church” teaches Taliban “beat your kids with belts, rods, paddles etc” which often leaves bruises, draws blood etc when done violently and often leads to other abuses like locking on closets, kicking, punching, open hand hitting in the head and face, etc etc.

    Part of protecting kids is teaching what is and isn’t legal and Godly ways to discipline your kids.

    If you’re going to make a “taboo” of a particular area of “sin”…may I suggest Child Abuse instead of Homosexuality.

    3. Mechanism in place to hear grievances at the local level with a further mechanism to bring in a Christian Mediator if the in-house attempt to address a grievance isn’t to the satisfaction of the Lay-Person.

    4. By-Law that has the CHURCH and it’s members/givers/tithers owning all the “stuff”…and not the Moses Model CEO Pastor. If the Pastor messes up big time, he loses the stuff that was paid for with other people’s money who gave to “Jesus”…not to the Pastor’s family.

    Those are a pretty solid 4. I can think of more, that would go a long long long way to correcting Calvary Chapel’s current cult-like ways and corruption-abuse-incentivizing non-accountability laissez-fair church zero-rules it has now.

  31. Steve Wright says:

    you choose to follow the well-worn path of chiding us for being concerned, insisting that there’s never been a genuine problem at all, and suggesting we should feel guilty for thinking negative thoughts about such wonderful leaders.
    ———————————————————–
    How John could write this based on my first post is beyond me. Maybe he will share with us how he got THAT from my post. I don’t know John.

    How Ricky Bobby could affirm John’s comment, is however, no surprise to me at all. I know Ricky.

  32. Ricky Bobby says:

    And I know Steve…and John was spot on. But, unlike with how others are allowed to treat me, Steve is a Sacred Cow and special.

  33. Ricky Bobby says:

    …but that’s OK, I don’t require protection and I don’t email Michael constantly complaining and crying etc by how I’m treated on here.

    I take care of it myself, with my big boy pants on.

  34. PP Vet says:

    a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver and half a pint of doves’ dung for five pieces of silver…

    It was explained to me that the donkey’s head represents the wisdom of man, and the other is what you have once the dove has left.

  35. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Let bygones be bygones.

    Let bylaws be bylaws.

  36. erunner says:

    Let’s not derail the thread.

    I’m happy to see Rick Warren was at the memorial and it could be cool to see Saddleback and CC partner in some way down the line. That move alone might bring a split quicker than anything else! 🙂 The idea of the departure from Calvinist/reformed theology is a good one that I hope includes any future sales of books slamming Calvinism being addressed.

    I have grown tired of believers sniping at one another while cults and ‘isms are thriving as they continue their growth.

  37. Steve Wright says:

    Although the Board of Directors may amend the By-Laws in general by majority vote at any
    time, these accountability guidelines will be binding on all future Boards and Senior Pastors of CCLE. They may only be amended once per year, at an annual review by the Board. Such annual amendments may not be of a materially substantial or significant nature, and are passed by majority vote. Upon any such annual amendment, the newly revised accountability guidelines will be sent to all ministry leaders, with an explanation as to what portion was amended, and why the Board felt this change to be warranted.
    Any amendments to these guidelines that are materially substantial or significant, including the revoking of the entire agreement, will require notice and approval by the entire fellowship of CCLE, at a meeting specifically called for that purpose. Such approval shall be by majority vote of those present.
    ———————————————————–
    The wording above is what we wrote to give “teeth” to accountability at CCLE – both now and going forward.

  38. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    God did not give bylaws and accountability measures to lead his flock. He gave a shepherd and he gave fathers. The failure of denominations is father failure. New codes of conduct and guidelines of accountability might find a useful place but only fathers will restore order to a house. Give us fathers.

  39. Nonnie says:

    I love this!, “That statement is basically that the wars are over…that Calvary Chapel is no longer going to be as identified with who they oppose as what they are for.

  40. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Steve

    You may want to check that provision with the Brad Dacus people at Pacific Justice Institute as it seems to me that the Board s abrogating its obligations and rights under CA non profit law in regard to deferring to the body, thereby making them de facto members when in fact they have no such status in the churches articles of incorporation.

  41. Babs,
    I think both testaments are full of by laws that state how the shepherd will lead the congregation. When Eli’s sons made the strange fire offerings, were they not breaking the by laws on how to properly present an offering?

    Paul’s corrective letters to the churches, were they not in response to those who were breaking the by laws that Paul himself left behind?

  42. filbertz says:

    Pot Calls Kettle Black!
    RB labels SW “sacred cow.”

    Final irony tallies still being counted, but new world record possible!!!

  43. Michael says:

    Dread,

    That was almost poetic…but it doesn’t make a lick of sense. 🙂

  44. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    MLD,

    I was careful in my wording.
    Second, the law of Moses found its end in Jesus, who sent the Spirit. I vigorously disagree with your claim that we should make the writings of Paul into neotorah. It is the religion that makes NT to be new law that is fatal to the life of the NT people. We are Spirit led. Paul’s law was simple; “walk in the Spirit…”

    I will check on your vigorous rebuttal later.

  45. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you, Jeff. That would certainly not be our intended desire.

  46. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Yeah Steve has his body guards here that’s for sure.

    I actually agree with Mark tho, why do people want to change how and what CC believes? If they think Calvinism is false then let them teach that and let them choose Pastors that don’t adhere to those teachings (Calvinism), very simple, every church does it. You don’t like what CC teaches then leave and find whatever flavor of Christianity you so desire. Seems like there are a lot of whiners out there that want CC to shed thier belief system. Now the abuses are a different story, I’m just talking distinctives etc.

  47. I agree with Sol Rod (not about the body guards) but about let a church teach what it wants. My church body firmly believes Calvinism is wrong – and i am talking about the old style Calvinism. In the Lutheran Confessions, they clearly state what and why they think Calvinism is wrong.

    Now, this never comes up in a sermon, because we preach what we believe, not what others believe.

  48. Babs,
    I think you are still off base – “walk in the spirit” is the constitution of the NT Church. Parts of Paul’s letters are the by laws … the how do we practically carry out the constitution – or how we walk in the spirit.

  49. I should modify my statement – ” the how do we THE CHURCH practically carry out the constitution – or how we walk in the spirit.

  50. Michael says:

    Solomon,

    This isn’t about changing doctrine, it’s about who they fellowship with.

    I’m holding in my hands a personally autographed copy of Fran Tarkentons biography… 🙂

  51. Ricky Bobby says:

    I agree with Sol Rod, I could care less if the particular CC’s want to roll in the aisles, have after glows, handle snakes or go liturgical with hymns, bread and wine sacraments and infant baptism.

    It’s about the Accountability measures including financial transparency and who owns the stuff…and vetting the adults and zero tolerance policy for child abuse etc.

  52. Reuben says:

    If there is an ounce of truth to any of that article, I am shocked, and amazed.

    I would attribute those changes to two people. Michael Newnham, and Alex Grenier. Because God knows, nobody in CC was willing to step out their own front door, beyond a call to a guy somewhere in CCOF, which does not exist…

    Oh, and bye bye Bryson. Have fun flipping burgers in a Russian McDonalds.

    SolRod, you have a very good point, and I think it needs to be said again, “You don’t like what CC teaches then leave and find whatever flavor of Christianity you so desire.”

    The more I think about it, the more I agree with that sentiment. However, it presents a dual standard. Calvinists can pack their crap and join the heretic ranks, but homosexual pedophile “pastors” can get moved from church to church without question, and that has always been the problem. The corruption within has to be dealt with before anyone can take seriously the “doctrinal hills to die on”.

  53. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Michael,

    Is that the old one from back in the day? It’s a black and white photo of him in the road whites on the cover of the book. I have that one as well.

  54. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    MLD,

    Describe precisely what you are trying to say by calling the writings of the NT law. Please be clear… evangelicals treat it thus but I think erroneously

  55. Steve Wright says:

    evangelicals treat it thus but I think erroneously
    ——————————————————
    That has been my primary point every Sunday for the last several weeks going through Romans 6-8

  56. Dave Sloane says:

    I love reading Louis L’Amour novels. One of the things he would say in a novel is,”He rides for the brand.”

    As one who was there at CCCM since 1967 until being invited to move on during the mid 90’s I got to experience the changes. Initially everyone was involved in what got titled, “The Jesus People Movement.” There was no real “church” commitment or affiliation so much as places where Jesus People were. CCCM was just one of the many places.

    Then the noose tightened and I started to witness the forming up of a brand in a few of the local places where we were. As time rolled on the walls began to be built and the cells were dividing into subtle clusters.

    “Talking to the door to address the window” type of comments started coming from a few pulpits about “other” places we all gathered at.

    The places that allowed all kinds of people from all kinds of traditions were shunned, such as Kathryn Kuhlman or Brant Baker etc.

    A very solid Brand was solidifying with it’s own logo and prestige @ CCCM. I started getting labeled a spiritual “Lone~Ranger” because I loved visiting all of my brothers and sisters in other places. I eventually got marked and my picture got posted up on the “Guard Shack” wall of CCCM as a person of interest to keep an eye out for.

    You have no idea how bad it got for those of us who attempted to stick it out. Finally when the Vineyard (Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa’s unacknowledged church split) came on the radar, offering a place that openly accepted people from all places around, a lot of us breathed a sigh of relief. But then as can happen they drifted into a brand name also and history got repeated.

    I like that the podium had Rick Warren present. Rick is a good man who actually cares a lot about people and doing his best to find ways and means to connect with them and to meet their needs as he sees them to be.

    He spends his money to minister, plain and simple. He hires experts in their fields if need be to find more ways to reach more people. He finances other people to go out there and meet the needs of others. And on top of all that he does studies to find out who would be the most effective out there in the mission field with the biggest bang for dollars spent. A very wise and good steward is he!

    He honored a fellow man of God that day! Pastor Chuck Smith would have attended a service for Rick if it were the other way around.

    I wonder what the traditionalist would say if they only knew that Debbie Kerner Rettino, who was Lonnie Frisbee’s side kick during the early days of Calvary Chapel, worked as a secretary at Rick’s church for years?

    Debbie who sang like an angel and had a heart as pure as Mary the mother of Jesus up on stage at Calvary Chapel. Debbie who initially paid an awful price for accepting Christ as her Lord and Savior. Her family counted her as being dead for that.

    How are the traditionalist CCCM types going to treat Debbie now that they know where she has been?

    The whole thing is hogwash! There is only one body of Christ. There is only one group of souls saved from humanity. There is only one Christ who died upon Calvary’s tree for you and me.

    There is only one Bride of Christ that Jesus loves dearly.

    And Pastor Rick Warren is included in the body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. You can’t exclude the man of God if you wanted to.

    Kathryn Kuhlman had it right when she invited the clergy to sit in chairs on her platform during her services. She knew that there is only one body of Christ. And God responded with His manifested presence, I know from personal experience because i attended every single service she had in LA for ten years.

    And we are come to worship Him who has redeemed us from every nation, tongue and kin.

    Jesus.

  57. Dave Sloane says:

    @#27
    It is obvious to me that you are a person of much understanding, your stock has gone up.

    My own personal perspective has been that those who truly would be wonderful in the “positions” are the usually the one s that pole position for them and end up loosing out. Those who did get them are not usually the ones who should be in them.

    The Holy Spirit sensitive ones are not competitive nor are they aggressive so those who are beat them to the power. The type A’s beat the type B’s 10 to 1 in the final inning.

    One CC pastor who is in here now and then, and seemly much respected here, I have met face to face, and I would never have picked him for the position, never (underlined in bold type)…his wife honestly would have been a much better choice in my opinion for the position…just saying…yes I have met her also.

    I know that if you would reflect on some of those who did become pastors and look at what you know about them you would understand.

  58. Dave Sloane says:

    Should have proof read…

    “My own personal perspective has been that those who truly would be wonderful in the “positions” are the usually the one s that pole position for them and end up loosing out.”
    ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
    My own personal perspective has been that those who truly would be wonderful in the “positions” are not usually the ones that pole position for them and end up loosing out.

  59. Babs,
    I wasn’t comparing it to law. “By laws” in a church (which you say are anti biblical) are ground rules for operation. I think we find Paul laying out the ground rules to church operations all over – from direct instruction to young pastors (Timothy & Titus) to corrective letters to those who are not doing church right.that all over the NT.

  60. Ricky Bobby says:

    Thanks Reuben.

  61. Bob says:

    There is always room for improvement and some change, but CC has become an institution like so many. I have travelled around many parts of the world and when I stop at either Starbucks or McDonalds I know the basics of the menu and the taste of the food.

    Regardless of the underlying safeties and accountability CCs have a look, feel and taste which make them CC. I predicate that will not change and if it does the whole organization will fail.

    “One Grande Latte and as one please.”

  62. I’m agreement with Reuben & Ricky Bobby.

    SolRod said, “Seems like there are a lot of whiners out there that want CC to shed thier belief system.”

    I can only speak for myself, I lived thru that same transition away from joy & freedom into the descent into branding and brand self awareness. I grieve for that loss of joy, and hope it can return, along with less control and willingness to make mistakes…

    …but I’ve discovered that I don’t need a dove or the brand to fellowship in both spirit and truth because there is only one brand that I seek to identify with and that is in the finished and ongoing work of Jesus.

  63. incognedo says:

    I never went to CC as part of the actual church “member”. But I think I understand some of the struggles. You first come to Christ through a church family, family member, friend, ?? Then the real work begins!? For me it started with eschatology and Complementarianism with a some bit of conspiracy theories mixed in. I dove in with both feet, like an idiot, and really bought into the entire package. I lived with the people of the faith and I must say I loved it, it was a real family and I still stand by that. But there was this constant fear that I would slip up, fall, get caught believing the wrong thing or tick off a higher up and get the boot. I saw others get the boot and it scared the living hell right into me.

    Much of this is on me, I was emotional, a loose canon, and took things way to seriously. I also often misread sentiments and I had somewhat non accurate recollections. In other words I was human. I have spent a great deal of my Christian life trying very hard not to do that and spent many nights repenting of it, being human that is. I was “saved” in 1981 was baptized not to much later. I had a recording of my baptism and a picture, I threw them in the trash not to long ago along with much of the “memories” of that life. When my mother passed I was finally able to 86 many of the other memories such as year books and other such nonsense.

    Religion is funny that way, you are suppose to loath your preconversion life because you were an unregenerate piece of human trash, a jr Hitler just chomping at the bit to take out a few million outside common grace of God. Now I was a gullible tool and probably took some of this to the extreme, that to is on me. But it is what we were implicitly taught. When my brother died I got invited to a church and got my first does of the “satanic ritual abuse” scare. The preacher taught on this and how there were millions of kids abducted and Satanic covens all over the place. I was still trying to get over the idea that my brother was writhing in eternal torment at the hands of a just and loving God. I got invited to some billy graham movies and was caught up in the excitement. I tried living the Christian life for a few months but kept walking away with what a piece of crap I was, even before I was born I was a piece of crap.

    Eventually the entire house of cards came down on my head, the only people that pulled me out of the darkness were my “natural” family after I had berated them with my punked out version of the Christian faith. So here I sit between the two “tribes”, then I came here as saw there may be a third way. I dont pretend to be innocent and I made many mistakes and I have tried so hard to repent of them. I am posting under a pseudo name because I am still a coward.

  64. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    Screwball religion does not make Jesus false. I sense you know that Incogedo

  65. Andy says:

    Someone way up there wrote: “I know this blog is mainly for the few who have a problem with this system but I do not see Brian Broderson leading a complete overhaul of CCs worldwide”

    Surely you jest.

    Brodersen was the one that had the “semi-emergent” Mike Erre speak at CCCM. Brian is the one that retweets and follows all of the above: catholic Cardinal Dolan (no explanation necessary), Rick Warren (purpose driven/seeker sensitive), Mark Driscoll (new calvinist), John Piper (new calvinist), and so on. Brian was the one that wrote two articles in defense of TD Jakes as well.

    You might love Erre, Dolan, Warren, Driscoll, Piper, and Jakes. That’s not the point, even if you love them all. The point is that, it’s hard to imagine Chuck Smith having strongly endorsed all these individuals in some public way. Maybe he did in some way later in his life, certainly it wouldn’t have happened earlier in his ministry. It wasn’t even that long ago that treatises were written by CCCM against emergent and purpose driven.

    Are there changes coming to CC in general? YES. I believe that to be totally obvious. It would take an ostrich to deny it. Is it for better or worse? Most will say, better, since they already hated the “old way”.

    I say it’s for worse. But I’ll vote with my feet.

  66. J.U. says:

    Going back to RB’s post #31 and church “official” or “legal” structure, I’ve got some comments.

    1. Transparent Finances. Absolutely. I think it is part of good stewardship. I don’t donate money to “the church.” I donate to God’s organization. I think I am actually required by the Bible to verify how that money is spent. Every nickel and dime spent should be accounted for. Of course the church building needs maintenance and heat and lights. And the staff needs to be paid and get insurance and a retirement plan, that’s fair. And the church does need vehicles and has other expenses. Pastors attending conferences or having lunch with members and non members can be doing the Lord’s work. But like any well run business, and it is a business in this sense, the budget should be open to the “stockholders.” There’s always room for abuse, but hiding the finances almost guarantees the abuse will never be discovered.

    That’s also good stewardship of the church leadership to have open finances. Now if you want to pay your pastor $100,000 a year, that’s a church decision. (I don’t think most pastors get that much and the real violators of trust probably get much more.) But the budget should be open and transparent, at least to the members. (Which gets into another issue of “members.” I would say, if the church does not have formal membership, then the finances must be open to everyone.)

    2. Child protection. RB recommends good Biblical as well as I suspect legal requirements. I know we are all forgiven our past sins, but I do believe some past sins disqualify a person from serving in certain ways. Again, the church does have a business sense as it is figuratively “licensed” and regulated by the laws of the land, which creates a legal obligation, and such vigilance in hiring staff and protecting children from harm is also good stewardship.

    Numbers 3 and 4 are the documented mechanisms for dealing with problems and sin and even law breaking. Sadly, they are a requirement amongst fallen humans.

    I’m not sure about ownership of church property. Sometimes churches split. Then who gets the physical plant? I know by-laws can be written to address that issue and it is always best to write those rules during a time of calm and unity rather than try to deal with it in the middle of a crisis. Having the pastor own the physical plant and property seems a system very prone to abuse. I don’t think a church should be a paternalistic with the property and the “business” inherited by the family. It belongs first to God. So I think the property should be invested in the congregation, not the leadership or the staff’s family.

    All four of RB’s points are excellent suggestions for any church’s structure, and are something we should all take to our own personal churches and determine how the places we contribute to are run. That is good stewardship and that is what an educated church body should do. I think that is the responsibility of every Christian and I hope some reading this blog will take action to improve the structure of their own church. Further, if they find the church they attend and contribute to doesn’t follow such common sense rules and is not open to changing that, then they should “vote with their feet.”

    On another note, the issue of oversight, that is a problem with “non-denominational” churches, which, in a way, it appears that CC is. However, remember, the most structured and hierarchical church in the world, the Roman Catholic Church, still had an institutional problem and didn’t regulate the wrongdoing that occurred. For those of us who believe in local government, a non denominational church should be regulated and “policed” by the members themselves. The four suggestions form RB would help form that type of structure and provide that stewardship.

  67. Ricky Bobby says:

    I have a deal for Calvary Chapel.

    If the Calvary Chapel Association will adopt meaningful requirements in their “Affiliation” agreements similar to the Top 4 I listed above…I will shut down the CC Abuse blog.

    All I want to do is have the chance to review the new requirements and make sure they are meaningful.

    There is no reason this can’t be done and no reason it shouldn’t be done and it doesn’t expose the CCA to liability, it still keeps them at arm’s length, it puts the teeth into the CC Franchisee’s by-laws for them as a pre-requisite to fly the dove.

    Seems a fair trade to me.

    I’ve got piles and piles of stuff yet to publish and a big axe to grind…and I figure I’ve got another 30 years or so on this planet.

  68. Ricky Bobby says:

    …however, since most of those featured on the CC Abuse blog are in the Traditionalist Camp…the New Guard may like having the CC Abuse blog around. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” as they say LOL.

  69. Reuben says:

    Ricky Bobby,

    You know my position on this. Drop the bombs till the change is forced. Moses is dead, time to incite real change.

  70. covered says:

    Mark is still drinking the kool-aid I see.

  71. Michael says:

    There’s a follow up coming tomorrow.

  72. Michael says:

    We dismiss Mark too easily.
    I believe he speaks for a significant number of both CC pastors and congregants.
    Because he holds tightly to ideas that most of us have rejected, we discount him.
    I have been guilty of this.
    I believe in his heart of hearts he wants to do right and be right…and that’s a good thing, even if we differ on what is right.

  73. covered says:

    Theology and distinctives is the least of CC’s issues. As long as there is no accountability for the rogue pastor’s it will get worse before it gets better. The problem will get worse because none of the good guys want the headache of enforcing accountability.

  74. Michael says:

    Covered,

    If you were a decent, God fearing pastor in California, do you really want to be legally liable for some clown in Oregon or elsewhere?
    It’s just not as simple as we would like it to be…

  75. Michael says:

    Every guy I’ve helped defrock has simply moved up the street or up the state and started over.

  76. Michael says:

    and yes…it is going to get worse.

  77. covered says:

    I hear your heart re Mark. My issue has more to do with the kool aid drinkers who’s eyes have been fixed on man rather than the Man. First and foremost the desire of any and all CC lovers should be for cleaning up their mess (Bob G’s, Skip etc) and putting into practice a level of accountability protecting children and abuse victims. Until these types of changes are made, then it’s the same old show.

  78. Michael says:

    covered,

    The minute that they do that…and it could possibly happen…those most likely to need discipline will leave.
    The very fact that it’s on the table makes some want to split…

  79. covered says:

    It’s not easy but it’s necessary. I know there are more good guys than bad. It just seems as though if all agreed that cleaning up the mess is the first priority, just the impression that would give is a huge change.

  80. Michael says:

    covered,

    It’s low on the list…a remote possibility that I’m lobbying for.
    Things are still too up in the air to say much for sure, though.

  81. Michael says:

    This article was confirmed on national radio this morning…by a close associate of George Bryson.
    He almost chokes making the admission… 🙂
    Starts about 23 minutes into the podcast.
    http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/11/why-shepherds-and-sheep-need-sheep-dogs/

  82. erunner says:

    Calvary Chapel Cypress is right up the street from us. Hard to believe so many pastors had such a huge problem with Rick Warren attending the service. The idea the Cypress pastor gives that Rick should have stayed away irks me no end.

    Greg Laurie filled in for Rick when his son died and Rick was on the platform with Greg and Chuck at the Harvest Crusade. Greg would make a great target because as we know 99% of those who go forward at a crusade are false conversions plus he hangs with Rick Warren.

    Let’s spend all of our time chasing down other believers who aren’t lined up with us 100% while the cults continue to grow at alarming rates. I hosted a home Bible study over 35 years ago and a special speaker came with newspaper clippings to show us how close to the end we were. We lapped it all up. Nothing seems to change.

  83. The fool pastor said that he preaches on Sunday mornings to bring people into accountability – well, there is an admission that the gospel is not preached … which was my reason for leaving CC.

  84. madrie says:

    : / What we are for and no opposing?? Hmm sounds like we are to be positive Christians and never mention “sin” or “warn others.” Hmm are we to stay silent while the wolves just move in?? uggghh… that’s the new paradigm. Lead the “new movement?” I thought God was the same yesterday and today…. ….

  85. Xenia says:

    “Chris has a love for Bible Prophecy and sees the modern church’s move away from *historic Christianity* as a indicator of the the last days.”

    I just find remarks like this hilarious.

    Forgive me.

  86. covered says:

    I just listened to the nut job from Cypress. Holy cow, who does this guy thinks he is? He is a great example of all things wrong with CC. Where’s the grace? He’s a typical CC guy who thinks he has all of the answers. I attended a CC since 1993. I was an assistant to another typical CC idiot. I am embarrassed for these guys.

  87. everstudy says:

    I’d stay away from CC Cypress…

  88. brian says:

    I listened to the broad cast and must admit that the crazy runs strong with young sky walker.

    Now I have to go bang the stupid out of my head. Be back later.

  89. covered says:

    Chris made a comment that he pretty much opposes all things written on this blog. If I opposed many things or even some things I wouldn’t waste my time here. Why does he come here if he’s pretty much against it?

    It’s weird to me that so many CC guys who claim to hate this site seem to know a lot about it. Keep up the good work Michael!

  90. Gary says:

    Anybody here have a problem with repentance?

  91. Michael says:

    Gary,

    No, but I have a huge problem with stupid.

  92. covered says:

    Chris sounded a bit jealous that he wasn’t invited back stage… I hope that whoever invited Rick hears Chris’ comments. Cypress is awful close to Costa Mesa to be making stupid comments.

  93. Michael says:

    Chris is close geographically, but may as well be in China philosophically.
    If you didn’t hear a split coming in that interview, I don’t know what to tell you.

  94. Ixtlan says:

    “Chris has a love for Bible Prophecy and sees the modern church’s move away from *historic Christianity* as a indicator of the the last days.”

    Spoken by someone who knows very little of church history. Hard not to want to laugh, but it really is sad.

  95. berean says:

    Wow, one radio interview and some of you have the guy all figured out.

    Impressive.

  96. Ixtlan says:

    that’s right berean, it was all spoken in a vacuum; didn’t mean a thing.

  97. Michael says:

    berean,

    I’ve also watched him at George Brysons conference and struggled through some of his teachings.

  98. covered says:

    berean, the arrogance alone said much about him. If you are a CC pastor, do you want Chris to speak for you?

  99. berean says:

    Teachings and beliefs are one thing, but the interview I listened to stated the obvious.

    Common sense would dictate that nobody could crash that memorial with all the security, so the invitation is what was at issue. I know a person who actually attended and he said the feel of unease in the place was palpable and the level of discussion and questions went way up when he walked out and took a seat.

    I agree with the camp that feels the whole show was unnecessary. It was a provocation and was not appropriate for the evening.

    Call the opposition weak or immature, call them whatever you want, but the person who may cause the offense should take into consideration their action in that it may stumble others.

  100. Michael says:

    covered,

    I think we’ll hear more from Chris in the future.
    He was certainly articulate and he hit all the traditionalists buttons with clarity.
    He may end up being a representative for that branch of CC.

  101. Michael says:

    berean,

    Rick was an invited guest…and not just by one person if my sources are correct.
    It was meant to be provocative and it was meant to send a message.
    It was by all accounts successful in both.

  102. berean says:

    @ #100

    I don’t disagree with what was said.

    * Rick was invited by someone.
    * It was seen as provocative by a large number of pastors.
    * If the one who invited him knew the reaction it shouldn’t have happened.
    * If Rick knew that reaction was coming (and how could he not) why go ahead with it? He would have avoided all the useless discussion now being had that in no way helps the body as a whole.

  103. covered says:

    berean, so you believe that just the fact that Rick was invited and attended Chuck’s memorial is enough to cause people to stumble? If this is true, then CC is on weaker ground than I thought. Rick isn’t the enemy, it’s those who are afraid of him that make people nervous.

  104. Ixtlan says:

    @101
    oh, it was definitely a message. Whether I agree with it or not isn’t my concern. It is appropriate to send such messages at a memorial for a head of state. With that in mind, it wasn’t offensive, it was making a statement, one that I think the family had a right to make. Don’t you think there are greater things to get worked up about?

  105. Michael says:

    berean,

    He was asked by friends…and Rick is a very loyal man despite what the critics say.
    My only quibble with it was that I thought some others deserved to be there as well.
    The bottom line is that the current leadership wanted to make a statement…and they did.

  106. covered says:

    Michael, I truly hope that the ship gets right. From what I heard, Chris is everything that’s wrong with CC. People are fed up with the arrogance. The whole idea of CC being the only ones who are right is wearing out. There are some much brighter, gifted teachers within CC who actually do get it. To think that Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll are the enemy is ridiculous.

  107. berean says:

    I think it’s tragic that someone (not all the family) thought it appropriate to “send a message” and depending on the whole of that message many may indeed get “worked up”

    Is a memorial the time or place to “send a message”?

    Rick may be a great guy, I haven’t met him but he represents a model of church and doctrinal views that are far afield from CC. That couldn’t be said of any others on stage that night, as I saw them, unless some were hidden from view.

    Look at all the photos after the event with all the old school pastors and there is Rick. It kind of reminded me of the sesame street “which one of these things doesn’t belong” song. (At least I think it was sesame street)

  108. Michael says:

    berean,

    I understand what you’re saying and if I were in your place I might agree.
    Historically, state funerals have been used to speak without words about who the new leadership would (and would not) be and what views would hold sway after the death of the leader.
    That is exactly what happened at the memorial…and other cues have been missed in all the furor over Rick.

  109. babylonthegreatfallen says:

    Drama over Rick Warren at Chuck Smith’s funeral? We can’t blow our own nose… So this is where the guy who loved hippies and didn’t care what people thought about his associations ended up? Not only is he dead so is his movement.

  110. covered says:

    berean, yes this memorial was a place to send a message. When 1,000’s of people are wondering, “now what”, it’s a great opportunity to send a message and I think that it was brilliant. Out with the old, in with the new. I’m not sure that Chuck would have objected. At the very least, his family must agree or Rick wouldn’t have been there. You aren’t speaking for the Smith family are you?

  111. berean says:

    I completely understand what you are saying Michael. What we are talking about, IMO, is CC and what has made it what it is. Distinctives are supposed to be what is agreed upon at the time of affiliation, correct?

    If someone wants to change or disregard those distinctives, and I have heard some want to do exactly that, then is it still CC?

    If I understand all of this there seems to be more to the throwing off of the old guard than just accepting peripheral associations people may have.

  112. berean says:

    @114

    I do know some of the family weren’t there, nor were they asked their opinion or for their presence. Two of Chuck’s children are not in agreement with the direction and to the best of my knowledge were not given the option to speak.

  113. Michael says:

    berean,

    Those are excellent questions and they deserve an answer.
    It’s my understanding that the “distinctives” are being put on the far back burner…I have heard they won’t be published anymore.
    Like I wrote in the new article, there is no move to go beyond the accepted CC doctrines, just a desire to not engage in conflict with those outside the camp.

  114. Michael says:

    berean,

    I’m going to withhold any comments on the family issues.
    They are sad and intense and have little to do with doctrine.

  115. berean says:

    Apologies It was just an answer to a question. Hat tip.

  116. Steve Wright says:

    If Franklin Graham lived down the street I imagine he would have been invited to the funeral and asked to sit on stage.

    Rick Warren is more famous than Franklin Graham – the guy actually hosted a Presidential debate! He prayed at the Inauguration. When his son died, it was headline news all over the country. That was not the case for example when Greg’s son was killed.

    So maybe I am just naive, but I did not think anything when I saw Rick on the stage rather than sitting randomly in the crowd. Maybe just also due to all the Harvest Crusades I’ve seen over the years with them all sitting together.

    As an aside, due to our Sunday service schedule I was unable to attend in person – but I do understand there was a special section for any and all CC pastors near the front. That was sort of neglected in that podcast.

  117. Michael says:

    berean,

    No problem…thanks for understanding.

    Steve , I think you’re right about Franklin…though some on that platform were not fond of him either.

  118. brian says:

    Let me try to translate from my twisted perspective. I would never hope this would happen but as an extreme example, your house is on fire and your family is in the house and a bunch of Catholic, Jesuit, gay, atheist firefighters show up to get them out, do you care what their theological bent, their orientation, their belief structure, fill in the blank do you care? Of course not, you care that they are dedicated and well trained. I dont get the whole I cant show up on the platform / stage / pulpit (hard to tell the difference). Who cares if Rich Warren showed up, I mean some people have made a cottage industry out of him, I am not a Rich Warren fan at all, I read Purpose Driven Life, even went through part of the course. It made me want to sand paper my eye brows off with a sand blaster. But he did good with his money and tried to raise some awareness with in his camp.

    I dont think some of these people get that, and the entire I represent the historic Christian faith spoken about during the broadcast intro, oh please he needs to stand inline behind the Catholics, EO, Lutherans, Calvinist, Reformed, Anabaptist, Quakers, Anglicans, etc. My response, grow up.

  119. Michael says:

    brian,

    You may have a point there. 🙂

  120. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, it’s funny because I definitely did not think Rick had any purpose (pun intended) in speaking at the memorial. And I assumed he would be at some point since he was there.

    So when he did not, that was the last I thought about it.

  121. berean says:

    I suppose Franklin may have been invited, but the difference is Chuck would have likely approved. In fact he reached out to Franklin for a crusade earlier this year and they partnered in the event. He would have never extended such an invitation to Rick. On all the occasions where Chuck and Rick were put together they were never at Chuck’s direction.

    That record is pretty clear on this.

  122. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Rick was a living neon sign flashing “change”.
    We’ve yet to see how it all plays out.

    Goodnight, all.

  123. Steve Wright says:

    On all the occasions where Chuck and Rick were put together they were never at Chuck’s direction.
    ————————————————————-
    I don’t pretend to know such things, so I’ll take your word on it and ask you this.

    Did Chuck ever refuse to appear when he knew Rick would be there? Do you think Rick had more influence over someone like Greg at a Harvest Crusade than Chuck would in a “either he goes or I go” moment.

    Or was Chuck not like that?

    That said, a whole lot of people around this crazy internet say that if you appear with someone, you are guilty of embracing them and their beliefs. That you should refuse to attend, rather than compromise.

    I’m just saying I did not think one iota about Rick being on the stage after I saw he did not speak. Much like I don’t think of Rick when I go about the pastoring of our local church.

    Or Driscoll, or Piper, or MacArthur……

  124. Steve Wright says:

    By the way, I’m not arguing left, right or sideways to all the stuff you (Michael), Jackie and others are discussing about messages and meaning

    I’m just sharing what I, personally, had going through in my mind in the moment of the event (and it wasn’t much)……….before I read the media and was informed how I was to think about it. 😉

  125. brian says:

    I agree I am a heretic at best and most likely a demon possessed worshiper of Satan, but I would not care if it was Driscoll, Piper, MacArthur, Warren, The Pope or bozo the clown, I would have given any one of them a drink, visited them, gave them clothes etc. It would not matter who they were, it is what a follower of Christ would do. Of course I am wrong and we should continue to hate each other, have conferences where we put up straw men and knock them down and cut deeper wounds into the Body of Christ, for some strange reason we, and I include me in this, are not satisfied with what the Romans did to our Lord.

  126. brian says:

    Pastor Steve I do read all you write, I think I am about the same age. I am 53 and I have been in the industry from 1980/81. But back in the day I did seek an answer to such issues such as evolution, age of the earth, eschatology, ecclesiology soteriology and all the other ologies. To be honest I find all that rather silly and the apologetic well lacking. I know that I have never said “thus says the Lord”. I have never been able to do that. But you are a Pastor, and a good one from what I can say, you gave me a link to your sermon on beginnings and I listened to it, several times. There are answers and refutations that that has no meaning to me. I just want what I do in this life to mean something and I want to know that those I have given my life to, will find eternal life.

    If God needs my soul for them I would gladly give it, after so many years as an evangelical my soul is rather worthless, I got that part of the religion in spades. As pathetic as it sounds I want to leave a legacy, for some reason that is evil when the laity want to do it vs the priest craft but well it is what it is. You seem like a decent person, I will believe that until my dying day, my main reason is because you are willing to be a pastor. That is not an easy job and often thankless.

    I hold to the validity of the theory of evolution, I hold to an old earth and an allegorical view of some of the OT. I am a universalist because I cant imagine the people I have worked with being tortured in eternal hell fire because they missed a check box on the true believer application. You know all this apart I just wish I could find peace, but for some strange reason that is also an apostate road.

    There was a time I would have come to the altar and fell on my knees and said the sinners prayer, but that does not get you in through the gates. You need to be effective, efficient and successful. I see you as a pastor, as I do Michael, knowing what you know of me that is a big give on my part. You lead a body of believers I admire that I once even aspired to that a sin I will never commit this side of eternity. The only thing I ever wanted was peace with God and to share that peace with others. Of course that is stupid and I get that, well actually I dont but it is what it is. I do hope your ministry increases and that CC finds some peace. I went when Pastor Chuck passed, I wept mainly because cancer is a spurge and it needs to die the death. We landed on the moon and we can kill this evil. At least that is my hope. Sorry for the convoluted thinking. I do wish you all the best.

  127. brian says:

    went =wept sorry I am basically literally typing blind, and the audio feedback is not working sorry.

  128. Steve Wright says:

    Brian, first, thanks for the kind words and well wishes for our church.

    You have a couple years on me, but not many. I’m 46. Definitely post-hippy and in fact came to the Lord much later than a lot of them – and from quite a different background.

    You speak of evolution a lot. I went to a private school from 7-12, where everyone from our graduating class of 70+ went on to college (and only 2-3 of them went to a Junior – the rest were all Universities).

    No religious connection at all. I was taught evolution from cover to cover.

    I went to a 4-year University where likewise, that is all that was taught.

    When Jesus saved me at age 25, when I as yet had no church, the very first question on my mind was ‘what about evolution’. So I have done quite a bit of study myself, and I always read any new evolutionary articles that come through the mainstream news.

    I just read one this week, and posted it to my facebook even. This very intelligent scientist was explaining his theory on what the earth was like at the beginning – and how life really could not have formed here initially. He believes life hitchhiked here on a rock from Mars. He is not alone in that belief.

    That is when we no longer are talking about science, agreed? We are talking indoctrination. His science actually supports the idea that life could not have taken place here, yet, since we are here, we must have come from Mars. Which just pushes the question back of course since he certainly does not explain how life began on Mars.

    Not some kook website. Mainstream evolutionary news. I do not apologize for denying evolution when it is clear they are making up whatever it is they can to avoid dealing with God.

    And speaking of God – I believe He is looking for opportunity to save, not damn. You may not share that belief with me, but I hope you will one day. The thief on the cross I think gives us plenty of hope that is the case.

  129. tbro says:

    Driscoll, Begg, Warren, et al on the platform and w taped messages…

    Message: Pastor Chuck had an influence that transcended the CC tribe. It was a fitting tribute.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    CC Fremont

  130. I think Pastor Tim said it best “Pastor Chuck had an influence that transcended the CC tribe. It was a fitting tribute.”

    And it should be left at that.

  131. stupid says:

    Steve,
    This is where the theory of evolution is heading. As more and more scientists realize life could not have begun on Earth they must rationalize apart from God. Mars is the first step. When it is discovered that life could not have begun there, Venus will start to look good, then the other planets, then another solar system. Anything but God!!! Even Dawkins believes this. It takes no guts to believe in evolution.

    brian,
    Is that you? I didn’t recognize you with your eyebrows sandblasted off. Oh, that’s gotta hurt.

  132. stupid says:

    tbro,
    And that’s not all. There could’ve been dozens more well known pastors and teachers there who have been influenced by Chuck, directly or indirectly. It could’ve gone on for days.

  133. Gary says:

    This just in… Life began on Abell 1835 IR1916. This is not a star system. It’s a galaxy. It’s the farthest known galaxy from earth. Abellution has arrived.

  134. stupid says:

    Abellution. That’s stupid

  135. Apologia77 says:

    Oh so sad and so many issues, and the most important ones overlooked, sometimes in hypocrisy. Lets consider them. First, having differences as believers and standing on consciense sincereley is biblical. Second, throwing out parts of biblical doctrine and teachings and ‘focusing” on a smaller or more basic part of the word in order to compromise with unbelievers or people with different interpretation is not biblical. Third, christians are called to pursue their own understanding seriously and in good conscience and defend their faith like they believe it.

    What has happened recently?

    1.People who are pastors in cc who agreed distinctives and formed fellowship based on common ground with chuck smith and others have been violently overtaken by brothers with agendas. These brothers with agendas think more highly of their agendas than their brothers and feel happy to hurt, alienate or betray the trust of their fellows. Result, pastors and congregations will be hurt, confused and disappointed.
    2. People who disliked the views and ministries in that group And were no longer a part of it are now celebrating the triumph of their bad attitudes, the importance of their viewpoint, and revenge against enemies that they chose to create and fester over.
    3. People who were happy with distinctives and ideas are being shown a cold shoulder and an exit sign, deliberately, controversially, hurtfully, childishly and are being told that it is a new move of the holy spirit revealed to only a few, thus declaring their own faithful ministries to be void of the work of the spirit. Hmmm… New wine in old skins? Biblical?
    4. Unelected men are dictating dramatic changes in an association based formerly on principles which opposed such a thing. Agenda rules. No open discussiosn or debates.
    5.all this is being done in the name of compromising for unity. That’s like waging war for peace. Or promoting sex in support of virginity. These same people are celebrating their forging of a new split in the foundries of contention and controversy. Biblical? Even sincere or mature?
    6. You could achieve the same in a godly, mature, kind way by deciding that those who want something new are going to leave and do something new. No need to offend, no politics, no damage, no bad feeling. But i suspect these leaders will cling to their inherited empire and care less that they have promoted offence across christendom, estranged christians who had found a home, and joined hands with some of the most hateful detractors in order to create a compromise on 40 years of understanding and agreement.
    The doctrinal issues don’t even matter. Calvinists have places to be calvinists. Purpose driven also. Ecumenical also. Why make it so that people who reject those things can no longer have a place where they can be so, and free to say so, without fear of being accused of some terrible crime.
    This is wicked.
    We are all promoting division. The Romanists rejected unpaganised early church doctrine. The copts and the eastern orthodox picked their pet divisions. The reformers rejected the mainstream. Methodists and baptists, etc etc. Why can’t we all continue to be distinct. Why do we need to force homogenisition? How dare we condemn those who choose a compartment while maintaining our own. That is no more liberty and no more loving. You know what? When George wept, Jesus wept, because a sincere and faithful believer grieved for the compromise he saw. His heart was right in what he believed, and he got ridiculed and abused for it by a multitude with their agendas. Christ can relate to that far better than any of the other attitudes on display.

  136. Michael says:

    A77,

    If only it were all that simple…
    Basically this comment is a half truth and that makes a whole you know what.
    The difference between your camp and the current camp in control is that they won.
    Your camp was every bit as divisive, sleazy, unkind, and sub Christian.
    When people choose to go to war, somebody loses.
    You lost.
    Had you won, the bloodletting would have been even greater in the name of Jesus.

  137. Ricky Bobby says:

    I give it about 1/4 truth, I think you’re being generous with 1/2 Michael.

  138. stupid says:

    I’ll give it a 67. It has a beat-them and you can dance around it.

  139. John Schmidt says:

    LOL at Michael @ #77:

    “Every guy I’ve helped defrock …”

    🙂

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