Kevin’s Conversations: When Should We Cry “Wolf”?

You may also like...

164 Responses

  1. When I came to my present church about 7 years ago, the name Rick Warren was akin to Anton Lavey for a large group of the congregation.

    This due to a steady diet of ODM websites, books and seminars.

    Now I don’t subscribe to many aspects of how RW approaches church, but all the conspiracy theories are ridiculous.

    And I started quoting Rick every once in a while in my messages. 😉

  2. Em ... again says:

    excellent – “Where is my heart when I speak? What are my motives? What am I trying to accomplish?” where is my heart when i speak, indeed 🙂

  3. Bob Sweat says:

    Kevin,
    Excellent! Now we await Josh. 🙂

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    not gonna bite….

    not gonna biteeee……….

  5. Kevin H says:

    Josh,

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Steve Wright says:

    Let’s remember the outrage expressed by a large number of Piper disciples against Warren, leading even to Piper publicly filming and interviewing Warren with some Soteriology 101 questions after a prior phone interview, which I thought Warren showed a lot of humility in sitting through and answering. It’s not just something that those “crazy” ODMs practice. Guilt by association is not just on the fringe.

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m probably gonna bite.

  8. Kevin H says:

    Steve,

    You’re right that guilt by association with Warren and others is not contained just to the fringe, although the fringe like to major in it. Maybe I’m being optimistic when I say a relatively small group employs these types of tactics. But I like to believe that most Christians don’t.

  9. Al says:

    Wish I could agree with this, but the biblical example doesn’t support the Ideal expressed.

    Read the Prophets, read Jesus, read Paul the Apostle.

    Truth is, it’s a mixed bag. The bible presents an Ideal, but then examples the opposite many times.

    The Prophets were downright vicious in their criticism. Jesus literally cussed out the Pharisees and literally beat the Money-changers, assaulted them! Paul the Apostle yelled at the Judaizers and told them to cut their own testicles off.

    So many examples that are the opposite of the Ideal you express….even by Jesus himself.

    Is what it is.

    Truth is, folks will say what they say, do what they do…and it is part of God’s Providence and Plan and is intended to happen b/c that is the Design.

  10. Michael says:

    John Piper was the best thing that happened to Rick.
    It was an opportunity to speak directly to his critics and clear up the garbage the fringe had created.

  11. Al says:

    I can fill the pages with example after example…..after example. But then some on here will call for my head on a platter LOL and not nearly example the Ideal expressed in this article 😉

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    When we talk about reforming the modern church, to a large degree, we are talking about fixing the damage caused by Warren and his followers.

  13. Al says:

    Out of respect for Michael, because I love him and I truly believe he cares about me after feeling and sensing his spirit and finally getting to understand the real man behind the blog….I will leave the discussion and keep it that concise and not hammer my point home.

    Love you Michael. You are truly a good Pastor and Man. A GIANT among us midgets. Keep being who God designed you to be. You are a breath of fresh air. Someone who truly cares of the little guys, the downtrodden, the chewed up and spit out…and somehow you were able to survive me and still love me, which is proof that you practice what you preach.

  14. Kevin H says:

    Al,

    The ideal I expressed is that we should check our motives and discern the circumstance before we speak. I didn’t say anything like criticism should never be harsh.

  15. Michael says:

    Blessings on you, Alex…soldier on.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    Rick’s interview with John Piper was one of biggest eye-rolling moments.

  17. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Define for us what you lay at Warrens fault.
    My guess is it has nothing to do with Rome…

  18. Kevin H says:

    Al,

    My response was written before your last could responses. Don’t feel the need to be egged on. 🙂

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nothing to do with Rome. Everything to do with a doctrine-less, conviction-less church, designed to entertain the soccer moms.

  20. Kevin H says:

    Josh,

    There can be plenty of criticism fairly laid at Warren’s feet. You could onto some of it. This article was not a defense of Warren. Only of unrighteous attacks, of which Warren is a prime target and an easy example.

  21. Kevin H says:

    You could “be” onto some of it.

    Apparently having trouble with my typing today.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll lay my point out again. Everything that Warren pioneered is what we hate about Modern churches.

    Yet he’s the one guy (this article included) we run to defend like no other when we feel he’s been wronged.

    It would seem there could be better targets for our support.

  23. Jean says:

    From what I’ve seen of Warren, including reading his most famous book, he takes secular ideas and formulas, whether a diet or career advice or relationship advice, and he fashions them into Christianity. All of these things he teaches are good in themselves, and probably any religion or no religion could teach them without all the proof texts set forth in multiple translations. But, none of those “very good ideas” are why Jesus was incarnate.

    I think what he has done is he’s hitched a ride, so to speak, on the tradition of Christianity, to sell a secular product(s). Again, these products are not bad ideas; but they are secular ideas on which he has glued a veneer of religion.

    But the sad thing is that all the people in his church are not getting fed the Bread of Life in the mean time.

  24. Josh the Baptist says:

    “But the sad thing is that all the people in his church are not getting fed the Bread of Life in the mean time.”

    Exactly, and because of his success, 100’s of younger pastors have followed his footsteps.

  25. Kevin H says:

    Josh,

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that “everything” Warren has pioneered is what we hate about modern churches. I’m sure if we sat down with a list of all the major things Warren has done, we would all find some things on the list that we thought were good. But yes, Warren is a major player, if not the biggest player in the modern church / seeker sensitive / mega church movement and we could blame a lot of the things we don’t like about it on his influence.

    With that said, we run to defend Warren the most because he is seemingly the victim of the most frequent unrighteous attacks. If John Piper or Billy Graham or Skip Heitzig (I add that one for Michael’s edification) were the victim of an inordinate amount of these types of attacks, we would be spending our time defending them, too. Plus, like I said on the thread last week, the fact that Calvary Chapel often gets wrapped up in the Warren attacks, it only makes in natural for that discussion to spill onto this blog. More so than other pastors who have no association with Calvary Chapel.

  26. Kevin H says:

    Forgot the smilie 🙂 for Michael’s edification. 🙂

  27. Michael says:

    I don’t see Warren as the cause, but the symptom.
    What I hate about modern evangelicalism is the lack of accountability…doesn’t apply to Warren.
    I hate pastors who are in it for the money…Warren tithes 92% of his income.
    I hate big churches that don’t give back…Warren’s work on mental health issues alone covers a multitude of sins.
    I don’t like the shallow theology…but it’s no worse than getting a prophecy update every week.

    A better example would be Eugene Peterson.
    He has written some magnificent books.
    He also wrote “The Message”.
    I’m not throwing out his books because I don’t appreciate that one.

    I have no problem with critiques of Warrens methodology.
    I have huge problems with claiming he’s a Jesuit sympathizer here to take the church back to Rome…and establish the New World Order in his spare time.

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    “What I hate about modern evangelicalism is the lack of accountability…doesn’t apply to Warren.”
    Sure it does. Warren created an impenetrable fortress. Guys like Noble and Furtick learned it directly from him. Turns out, Rick is a pretty nice guy. So far it hasn’t been an issue.
    “I hate pastors who are in it for the money…Warren tithes 92% of his income.”

    Warren’s is worth around $25 million. He can float the stories about how much he gives, but he’s one of the wealthiest pastors in the history of the world.

    “I hate big churches that don’t give back…Warren’s work on mental health issues alone covers a multitude of sins.” I’m ok with that.

    “I don’t like the shallow theology…but it’s no worse than getting a prophecy update every week.”
    True. Two turds. Which smells better?

  29. Xenia says:

    I think a lot of the things we dislike about modern Christianity can be laid at the feet of Chuck Smith. I believe he is the one who popularized rock music (and all rush for relevance that followed afterwards) in church services. Without Chuck Smith there would have been no Rick Warren. Only the most strictly traditionalist churches (Orthodoxy is the only one that comes to mind) have escaped the taint of what Chuck set into motion.

  30. Owen says:

    Kevin,

    Not going to comment on Warren as I don’t know enough. Just wanted to say I appreciate your balance in the pieces you write, and the point of checking our motives is very well taken. It’s something I personally have to work on.
    Thanks for another great article.

    “and establish the New World Order in his spare time.”..

    Michael, thanks for my morning chuckle!

  31. Bob Sweat says:

    Josh
    You and MLD have a lot in common. 🙂

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    Both broken records?

  33. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Chuck was just following the lead of the person most responsible for some of these things.

    Aimee Semple McPherson.

    Aimee produced the best show in Hollywood week after week…to understand today we have to understand Aimee.

  34. Michael says:

    If I disappear it’s because of computer issues, not offense…just what I didn’t need.

  35. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sister Aimee was a fascinating character.

  36. Michael says:

    Aimee might be the single most important figure in modern evangelicalism, along with Billy Graham.

    I highly recommend the study of her life.

  37. Xenia says:

    I’ve read a few books about Aimee. Not a fan.

  38. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I actually did defend Heitzig once when he was under ODM barrage…that’s probably what made me sick… 🙂

  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    Not a fan either, but extremely interesting.

  40. Xenia says:

    When we decide we dislike a public figure, the mature thing is to acknowledge that the person has some good points and that their motives might be good and that their followers may have good intentions.

    On our Meals on Wheels route yesterday, I was entangled in a discussion by one person who tried to convince me that as a Christian, I *had* to vote for her candidate. I tried to explain why that was not possible. She didn’t hear a word I said, just launched on a tirade about the other candidate and their godless followers. I managed to get away….

    …. only to find myself at the next house in a similar- almost identical- conversation from people championing the other candidate. Same type of conspiracy theories, same opinion that a true Christian *must* vote for their candidate, etc.

    Neither side would grant that the people on the other side had good intentions and were following their consciences and that everyone has the best interests for American at heart.

    I see this with the ODM people. They cannot imagine that the people they complain about have good intentions and are trying to follow God in any way whatsoever. They are evil and that’s all that can be said.

    I am pretty sick of this way of talking about people.

  41. Michael says:

    “I see this with the ODM people. They cannot imagine that the people they complain about have good intentions and are trying to follow God in any way whatsoever. They are evil and that’s all that can be said.”

    I wish I would have said that…well done.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Agreed. Xenia makes a very valid point.

  43. Em ... again says:

    #33- Aimee Semple – was she an evangelical? are pentecostal and evangelical interchangeable titles?
    memory lane warning…
    i’m probably the only one who visits here who has seen that gal in person (it inoculated me against pentecostalism) down at the Angeles Temple, i think it was called… i was a pre-schooler – maybe 5, dunno – but i have a vivid memory of some trips on the streetcar from Glendale down to Echo Lake (about a month after Easter that lake would get a miraculous infusion of young ducks every year) i loved to ride the streetcar – must be why i love the “Trolley Song”
    yes i do remember her shrill voice, little heathen that i was, i thought she was wacko and wondered why my grandpa liked to hear her preach (he got over it in time) … she had a ramp installed somewhere up in the corner of the balcony and rode her motorcycle down that thing to her pulpit – that got your attention… as i recall, her favorite hymn: “I come to the garden alone” 🙂

  44. Michael says:

    I worked with a wonderful woman who basically grew up in Angeles Temple…she loved Aimee.

  45. Em ... again says:

    i’m not so sure that Warren isn’t doing God’s work… from far off it looks to me like his church provides a non-condemning community where disenfranchised folk can gather, bring their children to a clean and affirming atmosphere in a really fractured world… some will find Christ and some won’t, i suppose – but it will be because of their own hearts’ desires, not because there is no gospel preached
    dunno, but that’s the way it looks to me… dunno, tho, do i?

  46. Em ... again says:

    #45 – yes, there are some really wonderful Four Square saints out there – honest, salt of the earth IMX

  47. Michael says:

    Em,

    This lady is about as salty as you can get. 🙂
    She was still working as a teller in her late seventies…sharp as a tack and could cuss like few I’ve known.
    Huge heart…love her.

  48. richard says:

    today’s post reminded me of the calvary chapel 7 minute rule. funny but true

  49. Em ... again says:

    #48-well, i think the cussins got to go, but i’ll take an honest potty mouth over those fake whitewashed sepulchers …

    #40-today i was made aware of the new release of emails that expose the corruption in one party’s politics (maybe the two words are interchangeable? – corrupt/politics?)… i think these bandwagon candidate supporters are, as you say, well intentioned – hoping there’s a fix for the corrupted system that we’ve evolved into… thing of it is, any world system is by definition, corrupt – but it is sad to see folk hoping they truly can vote for change – dunno – we can pray for it, at least

  50. ( |o )====::: says:

    “the calvary chapel 7 minute rule”

    Would that be, “any bible commentary over seven minutes must include ‘Chuck says’…”?

  51. Duane Arnold says:

    Can we not just say that Rick Warren stands in a long line in America that can stretch from Henry Ward Beecher to Sister Aimee Semple McPherson to Norman Vincent Peale to Robert Schuller. With all of these, there are probably theological issues that could be (and have been) addressed. Rick Warren, however, is slightly different because he stands a bit closer to some of us, in terms of theology, background, etc., and because of the explosion of media outlets.

    I think with almost any Christian leader/celebrity, if you go looking for heresy, character faults, etc., you will probably find what you are looking for; but that might have more to do with the person looking, rather than the person being examined. Just a thought…

  52. Michael says:

    Corruption has been a part of government since the creation of government.
    Read about Hoovers FBI, for example.

    The world has changed in many ways…it’s incumbent on us to understand how to live in exile…

  53. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Amen…which is why I try to divert attention away from myself and on to someone else… 🙂

  54. DavidM says:

    I doubt that this will change anyone’s opinion of Rick Warren, but . . .
    A few years ago we had a visitor in our home, a college friend of my wife. She is a member of Warren’s church. She is not a close friend of Rick. She talked about how, when her husband was dying of cancer at a relatively young age, the Warrens showed up at her home several times to pray with them and offer encouragement. After her husband’s death, again the Warren’s came over several times with meals and love and help. While she was telling me this things, my thought was that she was describing what a shepherd is. She said that nobody knew of these visits other than the people she told.

    Say what you will. Yes, he is not perfect in theology, but who is? (Well, some on this board think they are). But I know of many pastors who would send one of their staff to help “invisible” church members. The woman’s life was profoundly touched, and she is devoted to Jesus.

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m glad he does that type of thing, still. I wonder how they split that up between staff members? No way he’s visiting 20,000 people, right?

  56. DavidM says:

    #56 Right, a church of any significant size would of necessity need to divide up the pastoral visits. But, for the woman mentioned, it meant a great deal to her, and it showed that he took part in visitations.

  57. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I don’t know how he does it…but I know bunches of people over the last decade with similar stories.
    When we hit a real rough spot back in the wilder days I was surprised to find a note of encouragement from Kay Warren posted here…

  58. Kevin H says:

    richard,

    Having no idea what the “Calvary Chapel 7 minute rule” was, I googled it and came across a video that said that a calvary chapel pastor will make derogatory comments about another religion, person, or congregation every 7 minutes in his sermon.

    Assuming this is what you were referring to, this would seem much too great of a broad brush. However, I can speak to my singular experience and say that it’s probably not too far off from reality.

  59. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Not too far off from reality… 🙂

  60. Josh the Baptist says:

    David and Michael – That is good to hear. That certainly shows a Pastor’s heart.

  61. Kevin H says:

    DavidM,

    That’s a good story to hear. And that’s probably another reason why we may be more apt to defend Warren in comparison to others. We may have disagreements with Warren’s theology and especially some of his methodology, but the guy sure seems to have a lot of good character traits. Unlike some of the other Christian celebrities who may appear to be jerks or egomaniacs on top of having disagreement with their ways of doing things.

  62. Michael says:

    Josh,

    There’s a story I really want to tell, but can’t because of confidentiality issues.
    I’ve known Warren to reach out in compassion to people who have nothing to benefit him in the least…just to show compassion.

    I’m a Calvinist…I don’t like how Warren does church or what he says in it.
    I do believe he is a man of God, though.

  63. No one probably knows this, but a couple of guys from Saddleback are on a 2 month drive around the western US in a motor home meeting with Pastors. They are part of the team that is setting things up for when Rick steps away from the pulpit. They are meeting with hundreds of pastors and staff members to talk about what God is doing in churches in 2016.

    By an odd chance, I got to meet with them for a couple hours of conversation a few weeks ago as they traveled through Idaho. Very fun conversation, even though I am not really a PDC kind of guy.

  64. A RW story from when I was serving at a church in central California. Rick was personally involved in helping set up a ministry at a camp for inmates in the central California foothills. He came out and spent time talking to some rough-edged guys. I had to give props for his willingness to be involved in a ministry that wasn’t about hype or glory, but about serving some guys who are off the radar of most people.

  65. Richard says:

    Kevin – exactly my thoughts too – a bit over the top, but almost funny how most feel the need to belittle or put down others.

  66. Bob Sweat says:

    I’ve been in churches with less than 150 members where the pastor will not visit his parishioner”s home. It seems as the the modern day pastor feels that their only responsibility is too study and teach. I know that I painted a broad brush, but that’s what I have experienced.

  67. Michael says:

    PH,

    Interesting…I didn’t know about that.
    Were they headed to Rome? 🙂

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Piney – and here is the problem with Rick Warren and the whole PDC thing.

    God will do in 2016 in his church what he has done in his church from the beginning – saving sinners through the preaching of his word and the proper administration of his sacraments — nothing more and nothing less.

    You may not have listen to them close enough. What they were asking you guys was “what should WE do in the church in 2016 – because what God is doing isn’t working or not working fast enough – what is our purpose?”. It is the same thing as when RW began by asking the people in the neighborhood – what do you want in a church?

    It’s really an anti God game plan. RW’s intent may be good (to give a nod to Xenia’s previous comment) but wrong headed.

  69. Muff Potter says:

    Michael @ # 10:

    I know this will probably go over about as well as a fart in a NASA spacesuit, but I think Piper’s a whack-job.

  70. Michael says:

    Muff,

    Sometimes…he is.
    So am I.
    He’s not on my list of favorites anymore,but he has done some good work.

  71. MLD, for the most part I don’t disagree with you re #69. The purpose driven model is a much more pragmatic, human-centered approach to church than I am even close to being involved with. But I have many friends who are more embracing of that style of ministry who love God and seek to share the gospel with others.

    I find God to be bigger than any denomination or particular approach to evangelism. I find God often working in spite of our human efforts and strategies.

    As I met with the guys on the PDC road trip, I felt utterly convinced that I was conversing with brothers, not the enemy. They want people to come to Jesus.

  72. And to the conversation with the chaps who I conversed with, both are brand new to Saddleback. They aren’t necessarily dyed in the wool PDC. In fact one of them told me hadn’t read the PDC book. What we spent our time talking about most was the power of the gospel and the Bible. Though I probably would pass on a lot of the ways they would approach ministry, I enjoyed their company.

    We have a church here in town that is very much PDC modeled…so different than my approach to ministry. Yet, of all the pastors in town, the pastor of this particular church is probably my closest local ministry friend. Yes, he approaches ministry with way more hype than I do, but I do not question his desire for people to be saved at all.

  73. Bob Sweat says:

    PH

    Well stated!!!

  74. MLD my favorite part of your # 69 comment was when you opined that I might not have been listening close enough, and then proceeded to tell me what they did say. I got a kick out of that. 🙂

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have no doubt all of the guys are great guys. I know for a fact Rick Warren is. As I have said several times, his grandaughter was in our church preschool for a couple of years and I would run into Rick on campus when he would pick her up.

    But the system is manipulative – why not just preach the law and the gospel? Jesus used to build up large groups of followers (they weren’t called Saddleback Sams back then) – thousands upon thousands, feeding them, healing them, doing all sorts of community good works, going to their parites etc – and they loved him. But then when he stopped and preached the law and the gospel to them, well, they all (except the 12) left him.

    I am afraid the PDC model does not get around to the proper preaching to them.

  76. covered says:

    About a year ago, a very gentle, sweet and loving pastor passed away at the tender age of 50 years old. His widow asked a good friend (CC Pastor), to officiate the memorial service. The problem was that my CC Pastor friend is an associate at a very small church and didn’t have the facility to accommodate the anticipated crowd (a couple of hundred), that may show up. So, it was a CC guy who died and a CC guy is going to officiate the service and there was no place to have it. My pastor friend (who was officiating) was contacted by RW’s secretary offering the use of Saddleback Church. While getting ready in the “green room”, Rick comes in and sits with my friend for several moments and gave him some bottled water, some words or encouragement and prayed for him before my friend spoke to the crowd of over 500. Like many of us who came from CC, my friend thought very little of RW. As of today, he would tell you that RW is kind, gentle, loving and very generous. Our theology may not be the same but RW behaves more like Jesus than many of us do.

  77. Here is the Saddleback statement of faith: https://saddleback.com/visit/about/what-we-believe

    Just more info for the convo…

  78. covered says:

    I really dislike all things PDL. I don’t agree with what little I know about RW’s theology. It’s the same for Eugene Peterson. When I read his autobiography however, I was humbled by his faith. I want to learn not to condemn these men because I don’t agree with their theology. Disliking someone or slandering them because their faith statement is different than mine is absurd. I pray that I learn to be as humble as either of these men. I have too big of a plank in my own eye and not enough fight left in me to throw either of these guys under the bus.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    I’m glad Duane mentioned Schuller up there in the comments. He wrote “Possibility Thinking” a year before Chuck even met Lonnie. And it looks like that was already his third book.

    He certainly had a huge following for years before Chuck surfaced.

    By the way, the McPherson “castle” is in Lake Elsinore and sold last year for a mere 675,000 (about half the original offering price). It is estimated to be worth twice that today, but as they say, something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay and when it comes to real estate – location, location, location. It was on the market for quite some time before someone paid the $675,000.

    (and no, it was not me. 🙂 )

  80. Steve Wright says:

    For those who do not know, Calvary Costa Mesa is about 7 miles from Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral

    (or what USED to be Schuller’s – the Catholics own it now. They’ve got plenty of money)

  81. Steve, I remember driving past that castle all the time when I lived in that area, just off highway 74.

    I also listened to the entire Piper/Warren video this afternoon as I dealt with paperwork. I couldn’t help think that it reminded me of an ordination interview. Almost a two hour conversation with John peppering Rick with a host of theological questions. And in the end, Piper conferred Warren the ordination.

  82. Josh the Baptist says:

    I do appreciate the testimonies to Warren’s pastorly leanings. That is a forgotten calling among modern pastors.

    The internet has been bad for Piper when he was just a pastor and an author, he was solid and well-respected. Since you see all his little thoughts on social media, you realize he’s kind of a doofus.

  83. Fly on a wall says:

    “When we decide we dislike a public figure, the mature thing is to acknowledge that the person has some good points and that their motives might be good and that their followers may have good intentions.”

    Yeah Xenia, got the Chuck Smith jab in.

    Just kidding.

    Chuck was a young man when he attended Amiee’s church and he graduated from Her life Bible college, so indeed he was influenced by her model of doing church.

    Interesting enough Kathryn Kulhman was there at the same time and knew Chuck.

    Precisely because of Amiee’s theatrics Chuck had determined to go in the opposite direction and be as unemotional as possible.

    Thus his just standing at his podium and not moving around like Aimee did.

    Chuck always strived to be as “normal” in the public eye as humanly possible.

    Of course there are those who know him as another man having dealt with him in business and behind the scenes as some here have stated.

    But over all, there are thousands and thousands who know their scriptures because of Chucks life long efforts to teach the Bible.

    Above some one mentioned how wonderful the Warren family was to a couple.

    Most don’t know that Chuck once paid for a woman’s medical bills, or that he gave 100% of his pay check to the church every pay period.

    Or that he comforted a mother and swept up the mess that her son had made in his bedroom when the son blew out his brains with a gun.

    There is another story of him visiting a woman at Hoag hospital. She told the Lord that she needed her pastor, telling no one this but the Lord. Some how Chuck just showed up and made her day!

    Chuck and his entire family were always accessible.

    Chuck would stand out in front of the Church and speak with every person who wanted to speak with him.

    He really did have a good side to him Al.

  84. CostcoCal says:

    “Chuck would stand out in front of the Church and speak with every person who wanted to speak with him.”

    That is a memory I have since I was but a lad.

  85. Al says:

    The biggest Problem with the Chuck Smith Cult is this:

    Celebritizing and over-emphasizing the Lead Pastor and especially Chuck Smith as the Guru and near Deity…and then the terrible example Chuck Smith set in the lack of Accountability for HIS PASTORS who he LIED on air and said, “I am not those guys pastors” referring to the Calvary Chapel Pastors waving his Dove and preaching and propagating his Brand.

    Chuck Smith was not “specially anointed by God!” no more than Benny Hinn or any other self-promoter that can put butts in seats.

    Chuck Smith was an Adulterer, a Liar…he was also a good father and had a lot of good qualities.

    Chuck Smith was very much human like the rest of us. He was not “qualified” to be a Pastor IF you “Simply teach the bible simply!” which assumes you follow it simply as well…which is Calvary Chapel’s mantra.

  86. Al says:

    The Truth is: Chuck Smith rebelled from the Church Sect he came up in (Foursquare I believe). He said, “I’m gonna go do it my way! A better way!”

    Chuck Smith then co-opted the charisma of Lonnie Frisbee after Kay Smith was so enamored by Lonnie and had a heart for the dirty drugged out Hippies (of which there is your Old Guard CC Pastors, a bunch of burnouts who got told they were “specially anointed by God!” and found a better gig than drugs).

    Chuck Smith came in, likely under good-hearted circumstances and wanting to help these young drugged out idiots….and he cleaned them up, took them off the beaches and out of the Tents and Hippie Homes and Communes and put them into a Baptist-light Church setting only with heavy Charismatic overtones…which the Hippies loved.

    Then Chuck Smith had “Success!” b/c so many were now following him and worshipping at his feet. Chuck Smith love the attention, I saw it with my own eyes as he was practically accosted like he was a Beattle or Elvis when he came into the Logos Building for our “meeting”. It was actually disgusting to witness. I was like “You gotta be kidding me.” No wonder Chuck was so prideful, you idiots are partly responsible.

    I agree with Michael now that the blame is equally on the “followers” and Enablers who put that guy on a pedestal and I blame the 1500 “Pastors” who Chuck Smith said he was NOT the Pastor of….for worshipping him and for participating in that Idolatry.

    Future generations will know the Truth about Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel and will have a different opinion than “Specially Anointed by GOD!” Nope. Just a bunch of typical human men doing what human men and fools do….and then clinging to the “Glory Days!” which are themselves a mythology and not truthful.

  87. Al says:

    Any beef I have with Rick Warren would be this: Don’t Idolize the jerk. He’s a man.

    At least Rick Warren reverse tithes and gives back 90% of his books sales…though he is STILL a multi-millionaire from Selling Jesus as his only Product so I say give all the money from the Book sales to help people for Jesus. Why do you need to have Millions of dollars when it was gained only from selling the Gospel and Jesus? Unless Rick Warren counts his book as “Not Jesus” but some self-help book, then fine. Then call it that and state that it’s not about Jesus.

    I haven’t heard if Rick Warren is an Adulterer like Chuck Smith and Raul Ries and others or if he is “Violent” and “given to violence” and beats his kids etc. Dunno. So maybe Rick Warren is “qualified” per the Bible that “we simply teach simply!”

    As far as the Purpose Driven stuff….I read it…it is Tony Robbins sprinkled with Jesus.

    I don’t think the Purpose Driven stuff is evil. No more than the Fundamentalist Christians who support stupid “Christian” movies like “Left Behind!” are evil. It’s a difference of opinion. It may be stupid or illogical or not in line with our opinion….but c’mon if you dive into the Fundamentalist Evangelical Circus….there are way whackier things than Purpose Driven.

  88. Al says:

    So-called “Christian” “Pastors”:

    It will NEVER be Moral or OK for you to be a Multi-Millionaire from selling Jesus and the Gospel to people….while you have struggling Single Moms in your “Church flock” who can barely make ends meet.

    You are fooling many, you are not fooling me.

  89. Erunner says:

    I’ve only read the Chuck Smith was an adulterer from one other person. So I’ll be the one to ask where your proof is .

  90. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I don’t want to get into it here…but that will be in my book as well.
    It is not just a nasty rumor, it is fact.
    What’s important is the impact it still has today…but that will be best served later and not on the blog.

  91. Bob Sweat says:

    Michael,

    When will that book be released?

  92. Michael says:

    It’s going to be a while.
    I’m still working on it and then it has to go through the publishing process that could take a year.
    Trust me, I’m trying. 🙂

  93. Al says:

    I can’t wait for Michael’s book. It will be the most truthful historical document about Calvary Chapel there is (when it is published).

    It is what God put Michael here for (along with helping me and others, including Trey and his local congregants and you on this blog), I am convinced.

  94. Al says:

    You can feel the Chuck Worship balloon deflating above with the disclosure of what is true.

    It is healthy. Too many have that man on a pedestal to this day. It makes me sick.

  95. Erunner says:

    Michael, if PA continues to bring it up people are going to want to know where the proof is. I think that’s only natural. Do you think if there’s proof out there someone else won’t release it before your book comes out?

    You realize some are going to accuse you of keeping quiet so your book will sell more?

    Thanks for responding.

  96. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I’m at the stage of life when I don’t really give a damn what other people do…I have all I can handle just doing what I need to do.

    People are going to say all kinds of awful things about me…just like they have for the last fifteen years.

    The point of my book is to equip people to see and understand the realities of evangelicalism…and then able to make informed spiritual choices.

    It’s not just about Chuck…that in itself has little value.

  97. Em ... again says:

    umm… don’t goad Michael to post here from the contents of his book… some things don’t excerpt well…
    but hurry up with that book – praying for a triumph of truth and grace 🙂

  98. Erunner says:

    Michael, I just read most of an eye opening book on the genesis of the Jesus movement. It looked at the big picture and there was tons going on before things broke at CCCM.

    I’m glad you seem to be taking the same type approach. Meanwhile life goes on for each of us. God bless.

  99. Em ... again says:

    “People are going to say all kinds of awful things about me…just like they have for the last fifteen years.”
    Luke 6:22-26 (and surrounding verses) … as has been noted here recently, we haven’t chosen the easy life …

    just sayin … again

  100. SJ says:

    AI, is your source strong that CS was an adulterer? Surely the OC Weekly would have dropped the story as they hate CC as much as anyone. My understanding is that CS would not even get into and elevator alone with another woman.

  101. Michael says:

    This is not the time or place for this discussion.
    I don’t know about Alex’s sources,but mine are impeccable…this is pretty much common knowledge among the old guard.
    There will be a day to discuss this matter…this is not it.

  102. Al says:

    It’ll come out in a more formal way. I’ll let that process play out. I’ve got several sources and I’m sure Michael does as well. He’ll be the one to officially publish it and should be the one b/c he is the man who has most reported on Calvary Chapel and will do a better job than me at telling the story in a more official format/medium.

    I greatly look forward to it and will promote that book for the rest of my life.

  103. Al says:

    “this is pretty much common knowledge among the old guard.”

    Yup, and even guys my age who left their wives for the church secretary. They figure if it was OK for Chuck, it’s OK for them.

  104. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I take my shots at evangelicals and once in a while at CC (and I can do it with the best of them) – but what purpose does the “Chuck was an adulterer” serve? Isn’t just dancing on his grave enough?

  105. Babylon's Dread says:

    Erunner

    What are you reading on the Jesus People …

  106. Al says:

    Michael, title your book: “Touch not God’s Anointed: The History of Calvary Chapel and Chuck Smith”

  107. Al says:

    MLD said, “but what purpose does the “Chuck was an adulterer” serve?”

    To Pop the Idolatrous Bubble and to knock Chuck off the Pedestal that so many put him on in an unhealthy manner. It’s the Truth. It’s a MAJOR part of the Story that even guys like Dave Rolph and probably even Steve Wright know, but keep hidden from the Public…yet a guy like Steve Wright has no problem criticizing those outside his Calvary Chapel “Affiliation” and does so a lot on here.

  108. Al says:

    MLD, and so you know, I confronted the man to his face about it, b/c that is how I roll. That’s partly why he hated me so much and then called my blog “All lies!” b/c it pissed the prideful old man off.

    One of us died a year to the day after his curse from his mega-church pulpit. The other is still chirping. Or is it “yapping”?

  109. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well without Polaroid pictures and testimony from the woman – it sounds like gossip to me. BUT… more than that, it seems to be for revenge only.

    But in today’s age people don’t care about gossip and revenge and I guess there is no stopping it. (I am not saying that is what Michael is doing – but what Alex wants Michael to do) Also, like Chuck I would be pissed off if you asked me that to my face.

  110. Al says:

    “Well without Polaroid pictures and testimony from the woman – it sounds like gossip to me. BUT… more than that, it seems to be for revenge only.”

    Then the Gospels are “gossip” where’s your evidence?

    Nope, not revenge at all, just the whole story.

    God told the whole story about King David, didn’t hide his sin…yet you want to call telling the truth about Chuck Smith as something unrighteous?

  111. SJ says:

    Sorry Michael.

  112. Al says:

    MLD, Martin Luther told the truth about the Pope, nailed 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg….”revenge”? Or telling the truth and calling b.s.?

    It’s extremely relevant to Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel and their Legacy.

    A man who wagged his finger so much at the sinners outside his walls….a Non-Denomination that publicly and politically goes after the Gays and Gay Marriage in California etc.

    …hiding the fact their Guru is an Adulterer.

  113. Al says:

    “Your sin will find you out.” <—Isn't that a bible verse from the "inerrant, infallible, perfect WORD of God!"

  114. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “yet you want to call telling the truth about Chuck Smith as something unrighteous?”

    yep – not for content but for motive. 99% of the people in this country have no idea who Chuck Smith is and even less care – so your motive is your purpose.

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al,
    “…hiding the fact their Guru is an Adulterer.”

    If it is so obvious and it is the Truth as you say — lay it out here and now. Why would you wait if it is true and you have the evidence?

    Come on – for once be truthful yourself – you got Nada.

  116. Al says:

    “yep – not for content but for motive. 99% of the people in this country have no idea who Chuck Smith is and even less care – so your motive is your purpose.”

    Ah, you’re playing God and judging my heart.

    I’m doing it for the right motive, the truth is important and Chuck Smith should not be put on a pedestal and made an Idol. He was a sinner, not “specially anointed”. The Calvary Chapel version of the Gospel relies heavily on the “Transformational Gospel” stuff and a Chuck Smith cannot have been “specially anointed” and an Adulterer….in Calvary Chapel’s own Construct.

    Knocking Chuck Smith off that false Pedestal is right and righteous. If you don’t like it, take it up with God 😉

    …oh right, you’re already god b/c you know my motive 😉

  117. Al says:

    Not taking the MLD bait. Good day all. God bless you Gene, you’re a good man, probably better than Chuck Smith was…but I question the motive of your last post 😉

  118. Bob Sweat says:

    Dread,

    In case Erunner doesn’t answer, the book is God’s Forever Family. A great read.

  119. Michael says:

    I’m not at home. For this very reason I said this was not the time or place . This is done now.

  120. Em ... again says:

    i have to side with MLD on the CS adultery issue… i assume it was a one time thing and, if provable, should be part of his life story or whatever the context will be in Michael’s book…
    if he was a serial adulterer, that also bears examining, but not gossiping about IMHO
    i wince every time one of these philanderers identifies with David in an attempt to cover/excuse their, immature at best, walk with God… and i wince every time someone digs up another’s past sin for no purpose, but to point a gloating finger …
    can fingers gloat? dunno

  121. Babylon's Dread says:

    Bob,

    I suspected it was that book… used it in my thesis … very good book

  122. Erunner says:

    BD, drifted off to sleep but Bob answered correctly. The citations were a book in and of themselves. Found it to be a great read.

  123. Al says:

    1 Kings 18:25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”

  124. Al says:

    1 Kings 18:28 8 And they cried aloud and wcut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of xthe offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
    30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been ythrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, z“Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs1 of seed. 33 aAnd he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and bpour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
    36 And at the time of cthe offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, dGod of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that eyou are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that fI have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 gThen the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, h“The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to ithe brook Kishon and jslaughtered them there.

  125. Al says:

    God doesn’t really deal with idolatry the same way as the OT times, thankfully for all of us LOL.

    But, I believe God deals with idolatry today, just in a different manner and as he chooses and when he chooses. It is what it is.

  126. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So deal with the idolators … not the one they idolize … especially when he is dead.

    The sin belongs to the one who worships the false idols — not the idol

    So, turn your attention towards them.

  127. Babylon's Dread says:

    The church today is paying a severe price for the moral, ethical and spiritual collapse of the ministry …

  128. Babylon's Dread says:

    My ministry I intended to say clergy

  129. Al says:

    MLD, sometimes the Idol has to be shown to be impotent and carved out of stone. Sometimes destroying the Mythology is the best way to really help folks.

    I hear time and again from former Chuck Cult Followers: “Wow, I am so thankful to know the truth and to be out of that cult”. That is words I’ve heard more than a few times in person. People thanking me for doing what I’ve done b/c it helped them see the lies and fraud and mistake in giving over so much to the Chuck Cult in the form of Calvary Chapels they gave their lives to for many years.

    I have heard the words with my own ears. Words like “I don’t drink the Kool-Aid anymore” etc. There is a cult-like dynamic in many of the Franchises under the Calvary Chapel Tent…but less and less b/c of the work of men like Michael…work that steadily, like erosion, keeps chipping away at the Mythology and False Idolatry.

    Things in CC are a lot different today than 10 years ago. In another 10 years the Old Guard will die off.

    I have hope for the future of CC as it disbands, and as new blood gets in there and as the New Guard continues to challenge the False Idolatry and Bad Ways of the Old Guard.

    In 10 Years, Calvary Chapel will no longer be the Chuck Cult. There will no longer be that over-emphasis on that man, maybe a few stragglers, but nothing like it was before. That is good.

  130. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OK Don Quixote – charge at the Chuck Smith windmill 😉

  131. Al says:

    Dread, very true. I have a lot of Atheist and Agnostic friends. The Clergy or Pastorate is the Church’s own worst enemy oftentimes in terms of testifying against Jesus and the Gospel.

    The Trend is showing a major Decline in Evangelicalism and Christianity. There’s a reason for that and it ain’t the “devil!”…well it is…but it’s the devil inside…inside the Pastors and Churches…the sin nature and Pride etc.

    Atheists and Agnostics are largely as moral and sometimes more than many under the Christian Tent. Their morality may look a bit different…they may drink some or be OK with Gay Marriage…but they exceed most Christians in terms of “Love your neighbor” and having a heart to help the Orphan and Widow and for no ulterior motive like earning a Get-Out-of-Hell-Free Card like the Works’ Righteousness Catholics or similar Evangelcal Sects/Constructs that do “good works” to prove their Salvation.

    What the Atheists and Agnostics DO see is the many examples of a fat, proud, finger-waving Pastorate that excels at wagging its finger at the “heathen” outside their Church Kingdom Walls….and then is Greedy, Lying, Adulterous, Gluttonous, Unjust, Prideful, Hypocritical and spends the vast majority of the money they collect “For Jesus” to fund themselves and their “Ministry”….while helping very few Orphans and Widows and “Least of these” in a real tangible way.

    We’re all sinners. All of us. Atheists and Preachers included. It IS a heart issue. An honesty issue. A Pride issue. I get tired of the lying and faking of “Church”. If you’re going to preach a particular line, then tow it. If you really want to reach people that aren’t already churched up, then don’t beat them over the head with the bible, love them…but if somehow God saves them despite you, once they’re in, don’t turn them into Idol Worshipping “donors” supporting a Cult-of-Personality “Ministry”…that’s not what this is all about, or rather not what it should be about.

  132. I took over a church that held it’s previous pastor (who wasn’t a bad guy per se, but not perfect either) in such high regard, they proceeded to chew up and spit our the next two pastors who came along and tried to fill his shoes. This man retired in 1999, yet for a decade the many in the church couldn’t bring themselves to look forward, instead they had their eyes fixed firmly on the “glory days” of the past.

    When I got here they tried to do the same thing to me. It’s a weird psychological condition of trying to communicate our devotion to someone by tearing apart someone else. But it happens.

    Funny, based on the topic of this thread, but one thing that kept me going was a Rick Warren quote about not fighting your critics, but just outlasting them. Now, some 17 years later after the beloved pastor’s departure, we have a congregation that, for the most part doesn’t know who pastored the church almost two decades ago. It certainly has shrunk our numbers and weakened us, but I believe we are finally laying a forward-focused foundation.

    As to the convo going on between MLD and Al, I’ve been on both sides of the aisle. For the most part I have chosen not to expose sin. But there have been one or two cases where I felt to not expose would be the wrong thing for me to do. (Kind of like a Joe Paterno situation?)

    Anyway, just some history and thoughts…

  133. Al says:

    MLD said, “OK Don Quixote – charge at the Chuck Smith windmill”

    Chuck Smith is simply a microcosm of the Evangelical Church and Christianity in America.

    Christianity as an Institution is declining. Good. It shouldn’t be an Institution. Ecclessia is not an Institution. Never was, never will be.

    I take comfort in knowing that it is what it is. God’s plan continues to unfold. Nothing i do or say will change that…yet i do and say what I am compelled to do and say…as you do.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/12/christianity-faces-sharp-decline-as-americans-are-becoming-even-less-affiliated-with-religion/

  134. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “It shouldn’t be an Institution”
    Except for the tiny detail, lost on many, that it was Jesus himself who instituted the Church.

    If it weren’t for that. you would be right.

  135. Al says:

    Piney said, ” For the most part I have chosen not to expose sin. But there have been one or two cases where I felt to not expose would be the wrong thing for me to do. (Kind of like a Joe Paterno situation?)”

    Agreed.

    In my experience, the Chuck Smith Cult has excelled at exposing the Sin of those who criticize them or their Competition outside their Walls or the “heathen” “enemies” etc. IT’s not like they don’t expose sin, they just don’t expose THEIR own sin.

    I’ve seen many examples of CC pastors exposing the sins of their flock, especially if it was someone who challenged them….but the CC Pastors’ sins…different ballgame, then it’s “Don’t Gossip! Love covers a multitude of sins!”

    God calls what I describe above “Injustice” and not having Just Scales. And God says he “Hates” Unjust Scales, they are an abomination to him.

  136. Al says:

    MLD, you are misusing words.

    Jesus built a building, started a denomination, created the office of Pope etc?

    Nope.

    Jesus taught “do not be called Rabbi/teacher, you are all brothers.” Jesus taught against a Hierarchy: “Greatest is to be the least” “Do not do leadership as the world does, you are to be servant of all” “Don’t lord over people as the world does” etc

  137. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al, all of your error about church comes from being brought up in the Chuck Smith cult – so I don’t blame you for not understanding what Jesus started. Jesus instituted the church, the office of the ministry, which includes the office of the keys and the responsibility of discipline. He also instituted the sacraments and a ministry of formal teaching.

    It’s not pixie dust Christianity that you now perform.

  138. Al says:

    “It’s not pixie dust Christianity that you now perform.”

    “perform” interesting choice of words and exactly the problem I have with your Sect…only “perform” in a different context than the Entertainment use of the word like the Steven Furtick’s or Ed Young’s or Joel Osteen’s or Benny Hinn types of “perform”…”perform” as in ritualistic “perform” aka works righteousness perform that you would then re-interpret as “receiving the means of grace” from your Lutheran Synergistic lens.

  139. Al says:

    I don’t “perform” Christianity in either the entertainment context or ritualistic context.

  140. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    my use of ‘perform’ is that you want to make up a new something that has no basis in history.Hence, you sprinkle pixie dust on you ideas and think that makes them real.

    In fact, removing the historical church and saying that it has nothing to do with what Jesus instituted is no different that what you accuse Osteen, Furtick and the others. Your view of what church should be is in that same fantasy category as theirs.

  141. Al says:

    I try to “love your neighbor” and “love God” and I “hope” in Jesus as Messiah and fully admit I am a sinner.

    If the biblical narrative is true, then that’s about all there is left after you toss out all the heavily disputed non-essentials.

    What must I do to be saved? How do you know for sure you are saved?

    I’ll save us all the back-and-forth for hours and hours to get to the conclusion that we’ve gotten to every single time we do this (and I have yet to find any ambassador of any Christian Sect that has solved those two questions above any differently):

    It’s a Mystery.

  142. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will leave it at this – you idolize Chuck Smith as do his followers. Anything that can control a person’s life, thoughts and actions as Chuck Smith does yours is an idol.

    You need to repent of such idol worship. Also, there is admonitions against idolizing the dead. Leave the man alone.

  143. Erunner says:

    People need to quit referring to CC as a cult. It’s a viewpoint and not a fact. Believe me I’m not on the CC bandwagon but really, enough is enough.

  144. Al says:

    Actually, I rarely think about Chuck as a percentage of the amount of information my mind consumes on a daily basis.

    Now it may appear that way to you b/c you may only have a few original thoughts per day, but mine are in the millions 😉

  145. John S says:

    Steve W,

    Allow me to correct your statement that the former Crystal Cathedral was purchased by the Catholic church because “they’ve got plenty of money” (#81). Actually, that purchase was the result of financial difficulties. I’m sure it was an honest mistake on your part. Here’s the story, which many locals know:

    The Diocese of Orange owned a plot of vacant land in Santa Ana, on MacArthur Blvd a half mile east of CCCM, comparable in size to the CCCM property, where they had planned to build a cathedral for Orange County. But due to law suit settlements over abuse allegations, the diocese couldn’t afford to build it. When the Crystal Cathedral became available, they saw that as an answer to their prayers and converted that facility to their cathedral instead.

    Before this happened, they started a new church at the site called Christ Our Savior Cathedral Parish. According to their website, after purchasing Crystal Cathedral, the new church was recommissioned as a “regular” parish and renamed Christ Our Savior Catholic Parish. That church is currently meeting in modular prefab buildings at one end of the property, and the rest of the land contains a sparse stations of the cross circuit built on the bare dirt.

  146. Al says:

    E, many describe CC that way, in fact a lot of former CC pastors and members and former CC church staff etc.

    It is what it is.

    It is not unlike Calvary Chapel referring to other Sects it disagrees with as “cults” or “semi-cults”.

    Unfortunately, in some of the Calvary Chapel Franchises….it’s hard to describe what I’ve seen and heard through testimony as other-than cult-like.

  147. Em ... again says:

    IMV – conversations such as this one are actually good for the Church… examining the churches for what they are – as Erunner noted – ‘viewpoints’ can go a long way to clearing up confused loyalties…
    not so much is gained by just breaking the idols, but that has some value, too, if not carried to extreme… IMHO
    it is too bad that folks tend to equate the message with the persona of the man bringing it… i think some who are in the pulpit are gifted to teach far more than they are gifted to pastor a flock – a good teacher is a wonderful blessing… as is a good and loving pastor… i wonder if different churches need different ministering, different organizational structures? … dunno … thinking

  148. Al says:

    John S, Steve Wright often speaks out of his arse. It’s kind of his thing. Thanks for correcting the record….and if you hang out here, get used to that sort of thing with Steve. He does know the insurance biz pretty well though.

  149. Erunner says:

    Al, cults would be folks like Mormons, J.W.’s, Scientology, etc. They all lower Jesus from His rightful position as God the Son, second person of the trinity.

    I agree that there are probably cult like situations in CC but it’s not due to the misidentification of who Jesus is. It’s more of a personality thing in holding people up where they don’t belong.

    Em, I’m open for open discussions that don’t treat Evangelicals as almost foreign to the body of Christ. Broad brushing doesn’t do much to having these conversations though.

  150. I agree with Em that such discussions, if done in a spirit of love and in the pursuit of truth, can be helpful for progress and understanding.

    But if the flesh is ruling rather than the Spirit, than all the slander and broad brushing will only render injury and disunity.

    Truth can stand up to scrutiny.

    Any anything that isn’t truth does us no good to hang onto.

  151. My favorite times at the PP are when this blog serves as safe place to explore our differences, process issues and remind ourselves of the simplicity of the Gospel.

  152. Em ... again says:

    John S, thank you for the details on the purchase of the Crystal Cathedral property (still not clear as to whether they’re worshipping in the structure?)

    but in Pastor Wright’s defense, i think his point was that they had the money to buy the place, whereas no other church did… they, the RCs, do seem to manage their money better, perhaps that is one reason they seem to have more of it… then there’s that large bank over in Italy which definitely does manage its money well 🙂

    as to where Pastor Wright speaks from, at times Al is an expert on that form of expression lol

    just sayin … (cuz Michael isn’t here right now)

  153. Em ... again says:

    usually, no matter how much dust gets stirred up here… the end result is sweet reason… of course, there are always those willfully blind who just come to swing their cathartic axes, but not many and not often anymore … or so it seems to me

  154. Em ... again says:

    a parting thought… Al needs a new gravatar… those glasses make him look like HC 🙂

    God keep

  155. John S says:

    I tried to make it clear I wasn’t trying to insult Steve W, just remarking that it was a financial setback, not a surplus, that precipitated the cathedral purchase. Since Steve isn’t in the local area, he did not know the story.

    I hadn’t given any thought to the details of the conversion of the facility, but the <a href="http://www.christcathedralcalifornia.org/&quot; Christ Cathedral website says

    While Christ Cathedral is being transformed into a Catholic place of worship, Mass will be held in the Arboretum.

    Thanks, Em, for the interesting question.

  156. John S says:

    Sorry, messed up on the link. Try

  157. John S says:

    Sorry, messed up on the link. Try

    This …

  158. Pineapple Head says:

    Re Em’s 154

    As long as people can endure the occasional sharp elbow or having their toes stepped on, then tally ho. Or something like that.

  159. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    All I can say about Christ Cathedral is that there is much more Christian preaching / teaching / thought and prayerful meditation going on now than with the previous occupants.

  160. John S says:

    I’m betting they’ll do away with reserving the entire front section to high donor families who buy their own pews!!

  161. Al says:

    E said, “I agree that there are probably cult like situations in CC but it’s not due to the misidentification of who Jesus is. It’s more of a personality thing in holding people up where they don’t belong.”

    I use the term “Chuck Cult” to denote a cult-of-personality. I find the Idolatry “cult-like” an unhealthy, but that is just my opinion (which happens to be shared by many others).

    I think when you place that much importance on a man, an importance that is taught and sold and perpetuated under Chuck’s Doctrine of “Special Anointing” then you are in dangerous waters. The bad fruit bears this out.

  162. Al says:

    Piney said, “I agree with Em that such discussions, if done in a spirit of love and in the pursuit of truth, can be helpful for progress and understanding.

    But if the flesh is ruling rather than the Spirit, than all the slander and broad brushing will only render injury and disunity.

    Truth can stand up to scrutiny.

    Any anything that isn’t truth does us no good to hang onto.”

    Truth can stand up to scrutiny. Truth is not “slander”. Broad-brushing is common and necessary when addressing a Group and “Movement” or Non-Denomination that claims a Unity and Bond and Likeness when it serves them.

    Even Paul the Apostle “broad-brushed” regarding the Cretins. We have a biblical example in the “perfect, inerrant, infallible, Word of God”

    Titus 1:12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith”

    Paul the Apostle, who you believe wrote inspired perfect Scripture…aka “God’s word”….broad-brushed.

    I always find it ironic when bible-believers strain gnats and swallow camels and we have a biblical example of exactly what you are gnat-straining, and you would assert Paul’s words were “inspired Scripture” correct?

    I am all for Unity and not Division. I think we should all be unified in telling the Truth and in being Intellectually Honest when dealing with these issues.

    Piney, is “Cretins are ALWAYS….” a broad-brush? Was it sin of Paul the Apostle to agree with the prophet he quoted? Was it being “divisive”? It’s called a rhetorical device and it is not sinful.

  163. Steve Wright says:

    Actually, that purchase was the result of financial difficulties
    ——————————————-
    John S, I appreciate the backstory but “that purchase” still cost 57 million dollars. Whether they had more expensive plans for property elsewhere that could not materialize does not alter that fact.

    The fact that the Catholic Church can be described as both in financial difficulty while also coming up with that sort of scratch is a problem most churches would like to have.

    I was just putting their wealth alongside the optics of Schuller, as I’m sure most reading know they only put the property on the market because the bankruptcy court required its sale.

    ABC headline “Bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Sold to Catholics for $57M”

    I don’t think my comment erred from that simple truth, but like I said, the backstory you provided is interesting.

    Thank again.