CCSPC Day 4

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  1. centorian says:

    FIRST!

    I wonder who Graves will call a punk this year? Funny thing about that, like the rest of his message, I couldn’t understand anything he was sayiing.

  2. Michael says:

    Why after all these years do we still have no discussion over moral and fiscal accountability in the movement?

    Why are there strict theological and methodological standards and none for character?

  3. Bob Sweat says:

    Centy,

    You’re a punk for being first. I haven’t been first in ages. πŸ™ πŸ˜‰

  4. Bob Sweat says:

    Michael

    You going to post a recent interview anytime soon?

  5. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Boy, are you connected! πŸ™‚

    We think it will be better received if we run it on Monday…it came out very well.

  6. Michael says:

    Sounds like Sandy Adams just crushed one out of the park…things are changing…

  7. Bob Sweat says:

    I just read Macon’s post on Adams’ teaching. Michael, I think you’re right! After reading Mike’s notes, I hope to be able to get a CD of Sandy’s teaching.

  8. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Me too!

  9. Bob Sweat says:

    My SP is at the conference, so I think I will be able to get a copy.

  10. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Remember your old friend Michael when it comes… πŸ™‚

  11. Sparkyuno says:

    Ken Graves spoke last weekend at CC Inland Empire’s Men’s COnference at Chino Valley. I was blessed by his teaching and his love for the Lord. I have to admit, it beats the CC Men’s Conference in Anaheim. (maybe because it was missing certain individuals to promote the Riptide Documentary.

  12. Joe Marino says:

    There always has been talk of accountability at the conferences I went too. The only thing is, that it was not the best discussion. Like everything else, the responsibility is on the pastor to be accountable to God and himself, not to God and the people around him.

  13. DavidM says:

    Probably because there is no “discussion” at these events. It is preaching to the pastors, pure and simple. After over 25 years, I quit attending the CCSPCs, because, essentially, it is the same guys speaking to essentially the same crowd year after year. There has been very little in the way of creative planning for decades. Get the usual suspects together, pick a theme, and schedule who speaks when. Lots of alpha-dogs and wannabes and a precious few TRUE gentlemen. I know this sounds harsh and jaded but it is the result of going year after after year expecting something of significance.

    Of course, there are exceptions. I can listen to Tom Stipe at any conference because he brings the perspective of a non-company man. He seems to be his own man and is not afraid to deviate from the usual CC party line. A few others are worth the trip as well.

    But as far as discussions are concerned, not much happens. Lots of teaching but little in the way of scheduled discussions.

  14. Captain Kevin says:

    DavidM,
    A CC conference wouldn’t schedule discussions, since that is like having a conversation, and as we all know, conversation means emergent, and we can’t have that now, can we? (insert cheshire cat grin here).

  15. filbertz says:

    a free exchange of ideas tends to mess up the pecking order.

    lmottp-fil

  16. DavidM says:

    True! You might get . . . .mmm . . . opinions. Someone might actually think for himself and we cannot have that, can we?

  17. Bob Middleton says:

    I think things are changing, but CC will be what CC is, The sperakers are the “conversation”, with informal dialogue afterwards amongst the guys. CC’s still are an affiliation of relatively like-minded guys, but they don’t think the same on everything. But there were no “Alpha-dogs” speaking this year. CC isn’t perfect, but no group is because they are all just regular guys….that is simultaneously CC’s greatest strength and weakness. But that’s the church in general, including this forum…. πŸ™‚

  18. Corby says:

    It’s nice to see that people are hoping the best for cc.

  19. Dave Rolph says:

    Sandy Adams was amazing! My favorite line was when he said, “There was a time when Calvary Chapel was known for pointing fingers, but we were pointing them up, at Jesus. Now we unfortunately are sometimes known for pointing them at other Christians, and even at each other.”

    There has been plenty of talk about accountability, but not such as would satisfy the advocates of American style congregationalism or denominational hierarchy fans.

    And I’m sorry but the theme this year was not “How We Can Change Our Movement to Placate Our Critics.” It was about yielding to the Spirit. And as we have been often reminded here and elsewhere, we need to focus on what we are FOR, not on what we are AGAINST. I think we have done that this year as perhaps never before and I am extremely proud of our movement this week.

  20. Michael says:

    How was Adams’s speech received…it scared me for him to read it… πŸ™‚

  21. Tim says:

    Sandy was received extremely well. It was a fantastic message. I heard some people saying, “It was the best sermon on grace I’ve ever heard.” It truly was great, and well needed.

  22. Michael says:

    How do things look to you after the conference, Tim?

  23. Tim says:

    Things look great. I was telling someone else that this is one of the best SPC’s I’ve ever attended. There has been an attitude of humility, a desire to be led by the Spirit, and an emphasis on prayer that has been truly refreshing.

    We’ve had prayer services every night, laying hands on one another & worshipping the Lord. Instead of the conferences where we just talk about it, this is a conference in which we’ve actually been doing it.

    Not to mention the consistent emphasis on love, grace, and the gospel.

    Awesome conference. I had debated whether or not to attend this year, and I’ve very glad I came.

  24. JimB says:

    Dave Rolfe,

    Thank you for speaking and for sharing here. I’m very encouraged by the sessions. Its about time that some of these things were said by the teachers!!! I have to say I am hopeful… πŸ˜‰

  25. Corby says:

    I will say that I have more hope for the movement than I have in a while. If the speakers reflect and can influence others in the direction they spoke, it’s going to result in many changing their tune or to jump ship.

  26. Captain Kevin says:

    Dave R.,
    Yielding to the Spirit trumps placating our critics any day!

  27. Shaun Sells says:

    I actually cried during Sandy’s sermon. It was the best apologetic on grace I have ever heard.

  28. Michael says:

    Shaun,

    It read well….I’m glad everybody seems to be refreshed and excited.

  29. Bob Middleton says:

    MIchael one thing I think you might find encouraging is that there wasn’t a SINGLE criticism of another ministry heard from any of the speakers this year, and I didn’t hear of any in the conversations going on. This conference was about getting CC back on its original track, and I think having Tom Stipe and Dave Rolph on the first day as speakers set the tone.

    Michael, you asked for prayer for the conference on the first day because it would a very important one for the future of CC. We might not always satisfy your particular desires but I think overall you should be very pleased with how this conference went.

  30. centorian says:

    Interesting observation Corby. I always question how influential these things are particularly when you consider that everyone will go back to their churches and face the tempo, if you will, that they have established.. Not being critical or cynical here, just wondering.

    While I am in no way assigning motive or accusation to you Corby, I do find it interesting of a suggestion of separating the herd after attending an SPC. I’ve heard similar rhetoric for several years now and it is now a sentiment that I expect to hear from a few. People attend these things and get fired up and call for the separation of what they perceive as the sheep from the goats.

    There are several differing camps within the movement. Having come from a denomination that tolerated differing views and perspectives, I am comfortable with an army that doesn’t complete march to the same tempo. Calvary Chapel seems to have varying degrees of being comfortable with differing views, which is understandable for many reasons, not the least being that we are a movement that has a construct based on one central head or perspective.

    The ideal of people walking away from the movement and those possibly encouraging them to do so does seem a bit strange in light of so much talk about tolerance and acceptance this week. To suppose others will either change their tune or jump ship hardly fits into the construct of what I have read this week, or it’s the same old song and the only difference being the pendulum has swung in the other direction.

  31. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I really am very happy with what happened..spent a lot of time praying for Tom and Dave…and God answered us all. πŸ™‚

  32. Dusty says:

    Cent, 😎

  33. Dave Rolph says:

    Shaun,

    I laughed and cried all through Sandy’s message on grace. It was the essence of Christianity.

    Brian Brodersen gave a courageous and timely message that looked to the future.

    Chuck teaching on Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders was one for the ages. Read that passage and you’ll see the significance. If it doesn’t make you cry you aren’t human.

    Ending with Damian Kyle leading in communion was an appropriate cap on the evening.

    I haven’t heard a single person who didn’t think this was the best SPC ever.

    Thanks so much for those of you who prayed.

  34. Sarah says:

    Dave…so very glad to hear that. Have been praying for you and Tom and the others sharing, and for all the encounters happening throughout the time.

  35. capillacalvario says:

    This was the best SPC I have attended. My favorite message was Broderson’s, and the men worshipped Jesus passionately. Thanks for praying for us PPers!

  36. Corby says:

    I don’t know where people are getting this, but nowhere was the a call to tolerating different views. Nor was there a call to not. That wasn’t a factor at all. The closest thing to that was let other people do their thing especially if God is blessing it, but we still have our way, and thats cool. It was a call to continuing in the spirit what was begun in the spirit. It was a call to unity in this without specifically calling out anyone or anything in particular.

    At the same time, the very nature of calling a group of people to unity, any group around anything, is to communiicate the idea of get in line or get out of the way. Not that blunt, not that direct, but lets be honest, that’s what it is. To call people to unity is as much a call to division in a way, it’s all in how someone wants to paint it. Are you going to focus on the thing we are to be unified around or the things that aren’t included in that call?

    What i heard, without the words being used because they didn’t need to be used, was “all you Pharisees who follow LHT and other ODMs need to get back to where we began in the spirit.” The further unspoken implication, which to me goes without saying naturally, is if you can’t go with us, and we do want you to go with us, you may not fit what we are anymore because we are going back to what we used to be. The witch hunt is over, yes ther is false teaching out there, but the way to combat it is by teaching the truth and walking in the power of the spirit.

    More than one person said from a pulpit, we have been known more for what we are against than what we are for. My opinion on that is that this was true with respect to a minority that was very loud. The CC movement as a whole was not known for this from the inside out, but it was starting to be painted that way from the outside in. What I heard this week addressed that. Not calling for us to be more open minded and accept this or that, but a call to get back to the mindset that Chuck had at the beginning; not by power or might but by the spirit. There was no “if you don’t do it in this style you aren’t of the calvary way”. Instead, we were encouraged to function in our culture, in our style, all in the obvious context of being a CC (meaning in line with the distinctives and theology, duh, it’s a CC pastors conference).

    I’d like to echo what I think Dave said, it was a very forward thinking conference. Like another said, I think the ship has turned 180 from where it was potentially going two years ago, and that’s saying something. For me and many others, things are looking up. I also know that others in CC are fearful for CC because they think we are ignoring the warnings of the ODMs and throwing thinking out the window. That is not at all reality. The realty is that we were encouraged to make the main thing the main thing; making disciples and walking in the power and direction of the Spirit.

    And to all a goodnight.

  37. Nonnie says:

    Wow! I am so encouraged by what Dave, Tom and others have shared here about the conference. Truly answered prayer!

  38. centorian says:

    Thanks Corby, that does explain some things and confirms some things as well.

  39. Bob Middleton says:

    Corby, I think Dave Rolph specifically mentioned the ODM’s. I think the problem with the ODM’s is that they DON’T think much of the time.

    BTW, I don’t think I heard this blog mentioned in a negative light at the conference. Not that it wasn’t in some private conversations, but I didn’t hear it, and it certainly wasn’t mentioned negatively at the front.
    Who knows Michael, maybe some year you WILL be extended an invitation to the SPC (it might be a year or two πŸ™‚ )

  40. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I just want to pick who speaks one year… πŸ™‚

    This year was a good start!

  41. kevinleroy says:

    Why are you hopeful for the movement? What made you not so hopeful in the past? Glad you guys had a good Conference!

  42. Nonnie says:

    Wow, Dave, Corby, Shaun and others who have shared about the CC SPC. Thank you for sharing here. I am so very encouraged by this message of ‘pointing to Jesus and remembering the grace of God and where the CC movement started” I hope that the spirit of that crosses the pond and the ODM’s start losing their grip in some of the CC’s over here.
    Blessings to you all.

  43. brian says:

    “to tolerating different views.” in my christian experience these are not options, usually when I go into the corp. I look for what view is excepted and chameleon into that view. I know it is cowardly but sometimes I just want to be part of a group. I will admit I can avoid that most of the time but I am weak at times.

  44. A E A says:

    I was amazed that they put an ESV Study Bible on every ones plate.

    I concur. Great conference. I heard nothing but approval and optimism regarding our time.

    But it was definitely a conference, not to be confused with a retreat. Between the main sessions, mission reports, and workshops, there was very little “free” time.

  45. Chad Myhre says:

    If you place this conference back to back with 2008 (the Paul Smith Driven Conf)… you will see a distinct clash in message and attitude. It’s almost as if CC was saying… “that 2008 thing… sorry about that.” -I was totally blessed by Sandy’s message, the overall spirit of things and the general support and acceptance among the pastors.

  46. Steve Aspinall says:

    “all you Pharisees who follow LHT and other ODMs need to get back to where we began in the spirit.”

    I see what Centorian seems to be getting at.

    The statement above is as dangerous as any.

    ‘Pharisees’?

    Who gave the authority to band that term around?

    Those are brothers you’re talking about, and if the colour here is anything to go by, you can’t attack them, criticise them, or single them out.

    It is a straw man to say that the Calvary Chapel position, and the discernment specially addressed by ‘discernment ministries’ are mutually exclusive, an ‘either/or’ situation. Some would argue that the two are fundamentally necessary to each other and indivisible from the New Testament instruction. Some are called to stand on the wall and watch, keeping guard.

    Some Pastors in Calvary Chapel are ‘whole New Testament’ pastors. They believe in a current ‘End Times’ in which apostacy and massive in-church deception is to be expected. They see doctrine after doctrine which teaches that caution. They don’t see scriptures that say ‘and if there’s false teaching in the church, just teach the truth and magically the truth will drown out the false.’ Instead they see the Word talk about the subtlety of deception and the success of the enemy in infiltrating the church in a plethora of disguises.

    Some Pastors in Calvary Chapel are ‘Gospel plus Acts 2’ pastors. You could be forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t another chapter of doctrine, warning, caution or instruction in the entire New Testament that wasn’t simply either a repetition of ‘loose cannon flying by the seat of your pants’ ministry, or has the word ‘love’ in it. Some of them don’t even accept the eschatological position that many in Calvary Chapel have taken – they don’t think this is ‘end times’, just par for the course, or that ‘apostacy’ is just unnecessary pessimism, or that Calvary Chapel is in some way magically exempt because we think we’re teaching the Word and nothing else. That is the subtlety of deception. We have CC Pastors teaching from books by authors who are teaching false doctrine which is ‘right-sounding’, and if we switch off to discerning that, all you have left is that you have a feeling that what you’re teaching is sincere and right and certainly sounds to be both, but you actually don’t know whether it really is what you’ve been called to teach faithfully.

    In a sense, the issue of pastoral discernment is being cast off as the most unwelcome responsibility because it challenges the Pastoral sense of ‘as long as I feel everything is OK between me and God, everything is OK’ and it takes away one of the final areas of restraint and check between ministers that teach error and ministers that don’t. Perhaps they resent the fact that some of the flock turn out to be more actively discerning (discriminating) than the Pastors themselves.

    Motivationally speaking, both positions are right, or at least ‘right sounding.’

    Doctrinally speaking, one is more right than the other, because of the completeness and maturity, faithfulness and thoughtfulness of the position taken.

    Neither are ‘false’, so neither should necessarily come under a sword of division especially in the context of the movement setting up its defence for allowing the younger, less mature, less experienced pastors to bring in reams of doctrine from high-profile ‘teachers’ which is in itself the very same doctrine that Calvary Chapel chose decades ago to set itself apart from.

    But it is sad to see ‘leaders’ forget that liberalism (which they call ‘grace’) cannot POSSIBLY yield more faithful results than conservatism. The former is about reducing ‘care’, casting off the things we think slow us down in our innate spiritual superman-ship. It is about walking in the same general direction as the Word, the Apostles would take us. The latter is about walking in the same footprints as the Word, the Apostles would take us, because safety is in the way already laid out, the instruction already given, not the general sense of direction of the person undertaking the journey.

    This is, as Centorian points out, a pendulum swing. It is a generationally led pendulum swing, which historically is inevitably doomed to result in chaos, because the new generation never make improvements by announcing that what the old generation did was wrong.

    The problem with what is happening is ‘indistinct sounds’. The leadership of Calvary Chapel may be happy with ‘purifying’ their broadcast wavelength and the pastors who benefit from no longer being compelled to check the doctrine that they bring on board or pay any heed to wiser, more mature believers, may also be happy – even relieved. But the damage is already being done. This generation are ready to burn the authors, the teachers, and the books that Calvary Chapel once allied themselves with on the subject of doctrine. They are not doing that because some false doctrine has been found, or any discreditation has taken place. They’re doing it because the breeze is blowing in another – more inclusive – direction, because it is a path of least resistance, because they need generational heroes and Calvary Chapel hasn’t produced any for them because that was never the movement’s focus.

    Mixed signals. Mixed messages. None of them anchored on anything tangible and sound.

    Even in the content of this ‘back to basics’ conference, the emphasis is on ‘go where the Spirit leads you.’ That, unfortunately, isn’t a Biblical position as absolute as ‘the Word.’ It says ‘do what thou wilt, as long as thou feelest that thou art justified’ and it is one spiritual shade shy of ‘every man did what seemed right in his own eyes.’

    I’m glad people are so optimistic that Calvary Chapel is going to become something more clear than it was when it had distinctives and doctrinal standards which it actively maintained year in and year out. Because at the moment it seems more like a movement which is fighting for its relevance in a churchianity that has already long since abandoned discernment and contending for the complete faith first delivered.

    Pastors are confused. Flock will be confused. You can’t build decades of relationship between Calvary Chapel and doctrinal distinctness, discernment, kritikos, and then undo them in a year or two because a new generation feels too challenged by them, and expect all the pastors and the flock to be comfortable with what they see as ‘letting the guard down’ to the nonsense that they expect the enemy is already trying to pull off.

    It might sound spiritual to say ‘God will protect us if we just teach the Word’ or ‘the Holy Spirit will be our defence.’ There is still clear, distinct instruction in the Word for how WE (not God, not the Holy Spirit) guard against garbage doctrine, wolves in sheeps clothing and apostacy.

    The Word repeats these warnings numerous times. The fundamental question Calvary Chapel faces now is whether the Word is right or not, whether the repetition of warning actually means anything, and whether our responsibility to such is in need of any serious fulfilling.

    It is nice that the pastors who go to the conference can come away and say ‘we’re all on the same page, we’re all at peace, we’re all singing kum-bay-ah’. You’re kidding yourselves if you think that these issues are in any way clarified, or if you think that the pastors are getting any closer to singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to these issues. To many the interpretated themality of the good, sound teachings that have been given are not cut and dried, because they attempt to engineer a ‘counter-response’ to the problems that the Bible teaching church should be expecting, anticipating and dealing with.

    There are Pastors who will have taken ‘unity and grace’ away from Sandy Adams. There are Pastors who have taken ‘its OK to be distinct and to disagree on doctrine and to separate like Paul and Barnabad – we can have our corner of evangelicalism and have our distinctives.’ There’s something for everyone, because the sounds are indistinct and left to the interpretation of the hearer.

    That only breeds more confusion for the future, when people are looking for leadership.

  47. Steve Aspinall says:

    “It’s almost as if CC was saying… β€œthat 2008 thing… sorry about that.””

    Perhaps. But the way to deal with it is to show Biblically why 2008 was wrong, and 2010 is right, because there are Pastors who think the opposite. Without clarity and clarification, the mess only deepens. If Calvary Chapel has been wrong in its distinctives for 30 years, and if there isn’t a problem with doctrinal standards which many Pastors think there is, then someone should explain the misunderstanding from the front, instead of glossing over it with terms that are open to misuse, overuse, and misintepretation.

  48. Steve Aspinall says:

    Brian,

    “I look for what view is excepted and chameleon into that view. I know it is cowardly but sometimes I just want to be part of a group. I will admit I can avoid that most of the time but I am weak at times.”

    It isn’t necessarily ‘weakness.’ It’s part of what the church does. The church is not intended to be a smorgasbord of differing, sometimes contradictiory positions, ideas or doctrinal tinkerings. It is supposed to be a place of safety, a place where the leaders are on the ball of Biblical doctrine.

    Unfortunately it is a place where even leaders don’t take personal responsibility for their role. Discernment is their responsibility, not an optional extra. It is all well and good for church leaders to accusingly label those who call out false doctrines or problematic ideas as ‘unloving’ (their perception) and therefore ‘disobedient’ to the Word. The fact of the matter is that if all believers were all obedient then there wouldn’t be any issues for believers to disagree over, really. No one would be inventing false doctrines, because they would be dead to their own ingenuity and ‘talent’ and would instead simply be mirroring what the Word says verbatim. No one would be worrying about what they can compromise or down-tune in order to be ‘relevant’ because nothing could be further from the heart of the obedient disciple of Jesus to be anything other than salt and light, set apart and holy, distinct from the World and what it does.

    The problems, as you rightly say, come from the fact that we’re not perfect. But more than that, they come from the fact that many of us are not even trying to be serious about obedience, we’re selective. That’s how you can sacrifice objective discernment for subjective interpretations of ‘love’… you over-emphasise a self-determined ‘notion’ of one to the expense of the other, over the sincere objective pursuit of both.

    We trust the ‘group dynamic’ to establish the ‘right’ position for us all, we presume that all the people we look to are in a right relationship, in obedience, plugged in and tuned in the right ways, and yes, any of us could be out of step in that. And then we assume right-ness. And the only time we challenge it, oddly, is when we take pause to ‘discern.’

    For some, they ‘discern’ that their interpretation of ‘love’ doesn’t include calling someone to account for false doctrine, or problematic ideas, or even moral accountability. For others they ‘discern’ that false doctrine, problematic ideas and moral failure are to be called out. For the former, the love for the person who might take offence at having their sincerity or intent challenged by the perceived error of their message is paramount and it doesn’t matter whether what believers might or might not be taught is true, necessary or confusing. For the latter, their love for the body as God sees it (the number of those who were faithful believers, brought in at the end of all things), their love for Jesus (manifest as obedience to instruction), their love for the Word and for the Truth of God overrides whether the individual who may be the source of a problem feels happy and validated or not.

    We all plug into ‘groupings’ based on our convictions and based on how highly we regard how others view us. Hopefully the former more than the latter. The only question to ask is whether those positions are right or not. The answers are found in the Word completely, not in part. You only get a partial picture by nurturing partial omission.

    When you use a pulpit, especially at a conference, to give people reason to feel they shouldn’t act with Biblical discernment, or be on guard, that for me is utterly unforgivable. You influence people by peer pressure into a demonstrably deadly potential for compromise, ill-equipped and depending on themselves and with the added bonus of being made to feel guilty because the people claiming the high ground use emotive terms like ‘pharisee’ and make inexcusable jokes about very sincere people which have no basis in the Word.

    It all really depends on what your ‘group’ is, and whether it is Biblical or not.

    A group that promotes polygamy is clearly not a good thing, no matter how popular. Equally a group that promotes doctrines which aren’t in the word but which depend on teaching personalities for delivery is also not a good thing, regardless of how popular it is. A group that shuns taking responsibility for itself is not a good thing, but is often the more popular position.

  49. ODM says:

    Amen to all of that Steve – but I think you lost your audience due to the length of your deeply thought-out response. You hit the nail on the head in identifying the two groups of CC pastors. I just may take all of your writing and turn it into a booklet called “Choose this Day…” – or something to that effect. Then people who do want to have understanding into the breakdown of the CC movement will benefit from your wisdom. But on a forum like this, little one-liners that deliver a punch are more effective. At least they’re read. It’s kind like turning on a light and lifting up a rock and watching the bugs scramble.

  50. Steve Aspinall says:

    I’ll bear that in mind ODM. Thanks.

    I need to develop skills in superficial sound-bite theo-philosophical commentary it seems.

    I’ll keep working on it. I have to keep reminding myself that the ‘Twitter’ generation pre-dates Twitter. Art imitating life, and all that. Goodness knows how so many people manage with the Word of God in all its length. Actually, scratch that… I already know the answer… they just read books by people who boil it all down into key points and give them checklists to tick.

    Nonetheless, I’m glad that some kind of objectivity and balance gets conveyed, even in a lot of words.

  51. Steve Aspinall says:

    And I think my 4:31 was short and to the point πŸ˜‰

  52. Steve Aspinall says:

    “The times, they are a-changing.” – The Church

    “I changeth not.” – God

    You mean something like that, ODM?

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