CCSPC 14 Day 1 Review
It was the best possible start for this conference.
Before the messages started, Laurie and Brian Brodersen pointed out the elephant in the room, and in doing so broke the “no talk” rule.
That elephant is that the fact that there is division in the ranks and doubt about the future and the leadership of the movement.
By speaking directly to the matter, Laurie enabled there to be a measure of honesty and openness that has been sorely lacking for so many years…and may also rescue the movement from those who want to entomb it in the past while preserving their power in the present.
Combined with a live stream on the internet, the inner sanctum has now been opened.
Damien Kyle opened the conference and tried to nudge the door shut a bit.
He must have been put in charge of hagiography as well, as his words about Chuck Smith were better suited for someone being nominated for sainthood.
Kyle’s message was heavily laced with exhortations to personal holiness and crafted the message that the head of the movement was Jesus and that the unity of the movement was dependent on how close each one was to the Lord.
In other words, it didn’t address the issue of the current or future leadership at all but it rang all the right bells.
Using Isaiah 6 as a background Kyle admonished the gathered pastors to have “sanctified lips”.
“The single biggest threat to Calvary Chapel today comes not from without, but from within… as pastors attack and slander and devour each other.”
That sort of faux holiness guilt trip has long been the favorite tool of those who love the “no talk” rule.
Greg Laurie kept talking.
Saying that Calvary Chapel was “at a crossroads” Laurie was blunt…”many will determine the course you and your church will take from this conference…I’ve heard from you. I’ve heard some of you say if they make any changes at all, I’m out of here…and I’ve heard others say that if they don’t make some changes, I’m out of here”.
Continuing from there, Laurie tried to find a “via media” between those who want to keep the old traditions of CC and those who want to add new perspectives to the old.
It was a bold and honest attempt to move all the segments of the movement forward.
Time will tell how well it was received by the rank and file.
Two side notes:
Brian Brodersen is working with a heavy heart…his infant grandchild will have to undergo heart surgery today.
The attendance numbers are interesting…there appear to be about 1200-1300 people there, but pastors were allowed to bring assistants and guests.
The actual number of senior pastors in attendance may be much smaller than in years past…