Killing The Brand

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261 Responses

  1. The machine rolls on.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=PBAl9cchQac&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DPBAl9cchQac

    Hi There!

    I’m on my way I’m making it
    I’ve got to make it show, yeah
    So much larger than life
    I’m going to watch it growing

    The place where I come from
    Is a small town
    They think so small
    They use small words
    – But not me
    I’m smarter than that
    I worked it out
    I’ve been stretching my mouth
    To let those big words come right out

    I’ve had enough, I’m getting out
    To the city, the big big city
    I’ll be a big noise with all the big boys
    There’s so much stuff I will own
    And I will pray to a big god
    As I kneel in the big church

    BIG time I’m on my way I’m making it
    BIG time, Oh yeah
    BIG time I’ve got to make it show, yeah
    BIG time
    BIG time so much larger than life
    BIG time I’m going to watch it growing
    BIG time

    My parties have all the big names
    And I greet them with the widest smile
    Tell them how my life is one big adventure
    And always they’re amazed
    When I show them round the house to my bed
    I had it made like a mountain range
    With a snow-white pillow for my big fat head
    And my heaven will be a big heaven
    And I will walk through the front door

    BIG time I’m on my way I’m making it
    BIG time
    BIG time I’ve got to make it show, yeah
    BIG time
    BIG time so much larger than life
    BIG time I’m going to watch it growing
    BIG time
    BIG time my car is getting BIGGER
    BIG time my house is getting BIGGER
    BIG time my eyes are getting BIGGER
    BIG time and my mouth
    BIG time my belly is getting BIGGER
    BIG time and my bank account
    BIG time look at my circumstance
    BIG time and the bulge in my
    BIG, big, big, big, big, big, big, big
    BIG, big, big, big, big, big, big, big

  2. Andrew says:

    Since I don’t have access to the letter it is hard to comment but could “killing the brand” be a good thing? If the brand has become idolatrous than I would say this is good but if the purpose is to have the same exact management and people open up shop under a new brand than I would say its bad. Or worse yet open up 2 or 3 different brands making it look like they are in competition but at the very top level of management unknown to the public they are owned by the same people. That is what you call shady business practices.

  3. Papias says:

    “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”

    Some think its better to have divisions – keeps the troops busy and loyal.

    I used to know some CC-ites play a game of “our church is more blessed than yours” and will try to back this up with the numbers game. Surely, they think that more people attending their church MUST mean that God is blessing their church. This is within the CC brand itself. Never mind the big churches outside the brand, as those as not teaching the Bible or are seeker churches, or any justification that the numbers don’t matter, as the church they attend “teaches the Bible simply”.

    This attitude is only strengthed by the lists of who speaks at pastors conferences – its the big wigs.

    And don’t forget, Chuck plans on being at the upcoming SR pastors conference this year, and pretty sure that this letter is just a shot over the bow to all CC pastors. The message is clear – Tow the line or leave – theres your choices.

    And yes, I’d like to get a copy of that letter. 🙂

  4. Papias says:

    “Chuck ends his email with a shot at a certain blog that he calls “an enemy of Calvary Chapel”.

    Did he mention PP by name?

  5. Michael says:

    Papias,

    No…but I’m the only one that wrote about it.
    The reason I put that in the article is some have assumed in error that he was referring to a CC pastors blog.

  6. Andrew says:

    So if there is a church split of the 100% autonomous completely independent churches, could it be that CCA remains a holding company and the church splits are basically just subsidiaries of the same exact company but just re-branded? Although apparently there are no ties with any of the 100% autonomous independent churches and Chuck apparently has no authority, no power, etc. , so I don’t know what a church split would look like and not sure how anyone can either leave or toe the line when Chuck says “we are all independent”. I’m confused. I just find this twisting of logic quite insulting.

  7. Papias says:

    “He has indeed signed off on all of George Bryson’s emails in opposition to changes in the structure or theology of Calvary Chapel…..

    Now…follow me out here…he also approved the blog article that caused the conflict before it was posted.”

    Mulling these two statements and their apparent contradictory(ness). How could he approve both, knowing that one would appear to go against the other?

    Surely, he must know that by siding with two opposing viewpoints, he is setting up an “after-school fight”?

    And its only just begun. As we have said for years, there will be separate branches of CC, each claiming to have the blessing from PC, and it looks like both will be right.

  8. Michael says:

    Papias,

    Yes… 🙂

  9. Andrew says:

    “Mulling these two statements and their apparent contradictory(ness). How could he approve both, knowing that one would appear to go against the other?”

    Because PC is a business man and he sees multiple streams of revenue for his legacy and his heirs. Its marketing 101.

  10. nancy says:

    I can’t help thinking that maybe CS wants to kill the brand so to speak … not too far fetched at this point … since he has pretty much maintained control even at his age … seemingly not being willing to pass on the authority. Maybe he would rather CC pass away when he does instead of thinking it could possibly go on without him. Yes yes … I know … bracing myself for the backlash … ducking now …

  11. PP Vet says:

    “PC is a business man and he sees multiple streams of revenue ….”

    How in the world can anyone read a man’s motives like that.

    I suspect he is just a man who enjoys preaching the gospel and seeing people’s lives change for the better as a result. That is a much more reasonable explanation for why he got into the ministry and stayed in.

    I suppose one could say that he now finds himself in the position of having a tiger by the tail.

  12. Michael says:

    Nancy,

    The thought crossed my mind as well…

  13. erunner says:

    Alex seems to have lost the first round much to the surprise of all. I have noticed at his blog that it is now moderated as opposed to before where it was pretty much anything goes.

    If Alex and the folks there had said the same things but in a more subdued fashion might that have helped his cause to this point?? Or am I totally off?

    Lastly if this holds up maybe BG will take his victory and leave it at that or is that pretty much unthinkable? Back a little later.

  14. The Dude says:

    Calvary chapel as we knew it died years ago.What’s left of it is just a husk.

  15. quikstart says:

    Agreed #11. PC is not in ministry because he is the greedy money hungry tyrant some make him out to be and its too bad such suggestions spews forth by some here. Anyone that has spent anytime with the man knows he is not all about money and that is not what motivates him. A flawed man yes, but not a greedy money hungry one.

    In my life, I’ve watched families in businesses and families of founding patriarchs in ministry (ie. Crystal Cathedral) fight over succession and assets in states all across this country…human nature is alive and well unfortunately, in the church and outside of it.

    My father held on to his dying retail business many years after developing Parkinson’s, diabetes, and dementia. Like PC he started in the 60’s and didn’t want to give up what he had built and until he stroked out he kept saying he had faith God wasn’t done with the business yet or him. I also think he justified his holding on because he simply didn’t trust the younger son to do the right thing with the business.

    A pastor and son told him it took just as much faith to walk away and let the other son in waiting assume control as it did to hold on to what he personally couldn’t keep. Trust God there too.

    Whatever will happen at CCCM is only speculation but church history proves that when institutions grow up and then split God gives birth to something new out of the old. In that, there is hope and there is Good News.

  16. Steve Wright says:

    I too have the letter that was sent out, and I do not think this article does a full or fair portrayal to that letter.

    A) The theme of the letter is a concern over a lack of love among CC pastors (to whom the letter was addressed). In fact, five different Bible verses, and one old praise chorus we used to sing are cited in what is a pretty short letter. All about unity and love. The letter begins with grief over a lack of love, and ends with a call for love among us. Michael mentions division once here (and then blames Chuck for it which is rather ridiculous for a lot of reasons I won’t elaborate on here). Any CC pastor (the only ones this is addressed to) are being reminded by Chuck that love is our calling card. Without doing a formal word count I would estimate close to a 50/50 split between Chuck’s words and the Word of God.

    B) As to what was said above: “He invites those who want “reform’ to leave the association again in this email.” – What was actually said is reform its (CC’s) theology. That detail makes a big difference when people talk about general reform versus theological beliefs of a movement like CC. Especially when the sub-context to all this discussion is Calvinism and if CC should embrace Calvinist pastors.

    As for the bulk of Michael’s blog article here that names family members and their various supposed beefs in some feud in Costa Mesa, given what is written here (and has been written in the past) I think it is not too much of a stretch to see why the ‘enemy’ term was used (if in fact it was used to refer to this blog because that is not a certainty). CC as a whole does certainly have a lot of enemies, and some of them are allowed to post here.

    Any such battle, whether it exists as reported here or not, is nonetheless not the issue as to the referenced email, nor does it concern either Sutton’s blog article or Bryson’s emails.

    I do not believe the two issues should be conflated as they were here. When I read Chuck’s letter I saw the concern he was expressing and it came through sincerely and clearly. If Michael wants to use his inside sources to discuss the future of Costa Mesa when Pastor Chuck goes to his reward, then that should not be lumped together in the same article as a discussion various pastors are having (or not having as the case may be) about the role of Calvinism in CC’s future.

    Now, like Nancy, I will duck too and everyone who so desires can get their “company hack CC apologist” shots in….

  17. Candace says:

    Bet Chuck Jr. is glad he’s not involved in this messy fratricidic mess.

  18. Michael says:

    Steve,

    His letter was a response to the conflict that ensued after the blog article.
    Since the publication of this article this morning more people have confirmed that my take is “spot on”.

    I do accept the correction as to the use of the word “reform” and will correct that.

  19. Reuben says:

    Steve, oh great CC company hat man… (tongue in cheek)

    What you are saying is that the letter Chuck sent out has nothing to do with anything?

    Because I really want to get that straight.

  20. covered says:

    Michael, great insight as usual. This is why I (unnecessarily) defended you yesterday. You do all that you can to bring the truth and let the pieces fall where they may. Thank you for your diligence and honesty. Of course every CC guy here at PP is going to struggle with your assessment but shooting the messenger doesn’t change the message. I appreciate your willingness to share the truth.

  21. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    All these petty little family feuds over what? a Corporate empire? Who cares anymore, CC is about as interesting as Kansas City Royals baseball.

  22. Steve Wright says:

    His letter was a response to the conflict that ensued after the blog article.
    ———————————————————-
    I recognize the timing.

    However, Bryson has been sending emails for quite awhile and has received pushback from some in response for quite some time. Bryson has chosen to send private emails, to pastors, and has removed those pastors from his list who ask to be removed, and apparently many have. So the confllct did not just show up with Sutton’s blog article, nor is Pastor Chuck “responsible” for division concerning Calvinists who wish to be CC pastors (or CC pastors who wish to open the door for Calvinists to join us)

    Glad you see my point B). My point A) also stands as a more full and accurate description of the email.

    As far as opinions on whether you were “spot on” in combining two issues, or my opinion that you are wrong to do so – well, opinions are just that. And we all have them. I’ll stand by mine.

    Reuben – The letter is a call for love amongst those who are CC affiliated pastors. A sincere and fairly simple plea – coupled with lots of Scripture in support. I thought it was a very good letter.

  23. Michael says:

    covered,
    Thank you.
    Time will tell if my research is vindicated.

  24. Mark says:

    Michael you r quite arrogant to think the letter was in response to your blog. You and Alex both think the world revolves around you and your important “cause”. Just ain’t so

  25. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I only report the news, I don’t make it… 🙂
    Nowhere in the article did I say that the letter was in response to me.

  26. Reuben says:

    Steve,

    So there is a lack of love in the movement, that supposedly everyone in the movement knows about, because everyone braids hair and paints nails with Broderson and Stewart on their spare time, and they sure as heck read PhxP or CCAbuse every day for a good laugh. It is just this thing the spirit is revealing to the movement, and Chuck, the spirit spokesman, sets it all to rest, just get along, go back to braiding hair? Nothing to do with any of what Michael postulated up there. Nada.

    Am I still following?

    Because, Steve, you send that letter out to thousands of pastors who know of none of these things, and the immediate response is, “what the heck is going on out there in Costa Mecca LA LA Land?”

    And that is reality.

    So if I am still tracking with you… nothing to do with anything. Right?

    So I will contend that you are attempting to perform a weeeee bit of damage control again, and you forget who you are, and what you know, and for whatever reason why you have to clear things up.

  27. Steve Wright says:

    No Reuben, you are not tracking. The backstory is a couple years worth of private emails relating to the future of the movement – between CC pastors, about the affiliation we share. Not some strange mystery out of the blue…

    And not about the PP or CCAbuse blogs…….

  28. Steve Wright says:

    And by future of the movement, Reuben, – I mean just that. The movement and what it means theologically to be a CC pastor as respects Calvinism. About affiliating new pastors into CC.

    Not the future of Costa Mesa and her assets, as Michael writes about here.

  29. Reuben says:

    Nancy @10 is right. So long as Chuck says and does the right things in the eyes of the movement, it can destroy itself, and for a majority of the CC pastors out there, they have no idea why.

  30. erunner says:

    Reuben, In my early days here and for quite some time on Alex’s blog I believe Michael and Alex hurt themselves by how they presented what they were wrestling with. If you’re not accustomed to a no holds barred barrage of comments I don’t see how some will get past the “noise” to the substance of what is being shared. As a result people quite possibly tuned out very quickly. It reminded me at times of rubbernecking while passing a car accident.

    Those days changed here as Michael began to approach things differently and it appears there’s strong moderation currently on Alex’s blog.

    I was a cheerleader for CC for some time and I eventually was hurt deeply and have not attended CC since then and am still having trouble finding a church home. I desire good things for the church throughout our nation as the world around us is going to he** in a hand basket.

    Quite honestly I wouldn’t have blamed someone who dismissed Alex, and Michael early on, based on how they expressed themselves.

    If people want to refer to CC as a cult or state Chuck Smith is not a believer then I’m not interested in anything else they have to say.

    At the same time if people are going to tell genuinely hurting people to grow up and quit whining I’m not interested in what they have to say either.

    Many of us have been through very dark personal times and are still experiencing them due to health, finances, and personal relationships among other things. Take care.

  31. covered says:

    Reuben makes a great point. I believe more pastor’s don’t have any idea of all the nonsense that goes on in Costa Mesa than those who do. While speaking with a close friend who is a CC Pastor of a very large church, we were discussing the sense of anxiety and unrest for many CC’s and he made a comment that there are times whey he learns what is going on from this blog before he hears it elsewhere. I found that very telling.

  32. Reuben says:

    Steve,

    With all due respect, and I mean that, I don’t follow you at all. This is not over Calvinism. Lest you forget, I was a part of the voice of those calling for the burning at the stake of all non-traditionalists in the movement, then I was a part of the voice of those leaning towards pushing the envelope. Then I was part of the voice of those calling for answers to who would succeed the Chuck.

    Then of course, I was a voice of those who saw the reality of CC, and called for its demise.

    Chuck don’t care about any of that. He has had more stuff slid across his desk than we will ever begin to discuss here, and he deny’s all attachment, all responsibility, all power. Then he “approves this message” and sends the Calvinists running?

    No sir.

    He is killing his own brand.

    Why? We may never know. He will be dead, and people will be clamoring to fill his shoes. It will end with those who posses the gold. They make the rules. So Chuck leaves the fight to the clamoring fools, and “ends well” by telling us to resume braiding hair. For this, he is an irresponsible fool. He has turned the blind eye for far to long to preserve his legacy. I would buy Glenn Beck’s chalkboard conspiracy theories over this being about “love” and “Calvinists”.

  33. Reuben says:

    And to be clear, having known quite a few CC pastors who have no idea what PhxP is, or who Brian Broderson is, they already know that burning false god worshiping Calvinists at the stake is fundamental to the movement. It is a no brainer.

    They have read the great theology of Bryson and Hunt.

  34. Steve Wright says:

    Reuben, like I said in an earlier post. We all can have an opinion. My main point in first posting up there was to add a little more factual weight to Michael’s post so the opinion people form is closer to reality. And I’m glad he made at least one change to what he first wrote.

    I think your #33 is the fruit of Michael putting together two distinct issues and speaking of them as one. It breeds confusion.

    I understand everyone has their strong opinions….whether one cares to listen to someone who actually receives and reads all these emails (emphasis on ALL) is up to them. Like I said, I’ve been getting them for quite some time.

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    “We are not ignorant of his devices.”

    The movement that gave wings to dispensationalism would do well to consider some other interpretations simply for the reason that when I parse out Revelation it is about the war of Satan against the witness and the witnesses to the Lamb. That ole serpent uses some devices that are as old as Adam.

    Money Sex Power Religion Intimidation Seduction

    This scenario is so far from all the reading I have been doing about CC of the days of Lonnie Frisbee

    You know one online critic says if you got rot in the root it is in the fruit. I don’t buy the particulars of their applications but I would say the tawdry conflicts that you describe here IF TRUE make ole Lonnie look like a monk.

    Anyone remember when… ?

    We still haven’t comprehended the kingdom have we?

  36. As long as ChuckSr is defining what it means to be a Calvary Chapel then by all means, one should be loyal to his definition.

    Love, peace, no in-fighting, that is a great statement of vision, enforceable only to the extent that those affiliated pastors wish to put aside all other distractions.

    I’ve accepted the reality that it is Chuck’s church and band of pastors, and that is truly OK.

  37. Here’s a silly little distraction, courtesy of a silly little dictator who is ruining his country, threatening others, and might actually succeed in touching off World War III…

    http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20130411T00&p0=205&fg1=951a20&fg2=000&msg=North+Korea%27s+Missile+Launch

    Love one another, its a really good thing to do while the missiles fly.
    Peace

  38. …hope to see you all at 8:10 am tomorrow

  39. Kathy says:

    “an enemy of Calvary Chapel”.

    What a bizarre comment, how can Michael be an enemy to Calvary Chapel? How many CC Pastors post here? How many more visit this site and don’t say anything?

    As long as he posts the truth, Michael should be able to post what he wants. If there’s CC corruption, the public should know about it. Unfortunately, because of the Moses’ model, it is irrepairable, but at least there’s public record of it.

    Whole thing is odd… but like someone else said, unless we have the entire stream of emails, we only have one version of the story.

    So, I agree with Kevin…. meh.

  40. Kathy says:

    Steve: why can’t the emails be public record? I don’t understand the secrecy. Why shouldn’t the sheep have full access to what will happen when Chuck Smith dies?

    One of the differences between cults and churches is cults are shrouded in secrecy, only known to a select few. I believe the churches should be the opposite, transparent, even better, he should conduct his emails so they are an example to everyone else.

    But I do agree with you, if one does not have the full stream of letters, one can’t form an opinion. It’s like emailing someone the comments half-way down the page, then asking someone to form an opinion. What transpired above is just as important as the comment itself.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    Why shouldn’t the sheep have full access to what will happen when Chuck Smith dies?
    ——————————————————————-
    Kathy, that is not what the emails at all are about. I do understand why you asked your question in this way though, but as with Reuben’s comment above it again shows that Michael is making a significant mistake in combining two issues. He won’t listen to me, but I believe the comments show the confusion.

    I only commented at first because, as a recipient, I knew Michael was in error. He fixed one. I wish he would fix the other I referenced. I just counted and 18 times in this short letter Pastor Chuck references or appeals to love – using the word.

    Michael does not mention ‘love’ once above in his summary. The theme of the letter – totally ignored.

    Thank you for seeing the larger point, Kathy. That there is a large stream of correspondence and a certain narrative that is lacking here and in its place a different, unrelated narrative is substituted..

    It bothers me, but it is all too common in the blogosphere, to read “The reality is…” and then opinion is offered as reality despite the actual WORDS used. We see this in comments all the time. Someone writes something, and someone else comes along and says ‘What you REALLY mean is….that’s the reality’

    As best I can I’ll let people’s words stand as written. Let their yes be yes and no be no.

  42. Michael says:

    Steve,

    You choose to believe the best about Chuck and that is your right and I respect it.

    Numerous sources before and after the publication of this article believe that I nailed it…and the point is that all of Chuck’s references to love are utterly disingenuous as he is the one stoking the fires of this conflict for his ends.

    I stand by the article and I’m grateful for the correction you made.

    I don’t think the rest needs any correction.

    Time will tell if I’m right.

  43. filbertz says:

    perhaps this and other controversies will motivate some to leave the ‘brand’ and seek something else, similar to Smith’s leaving the Foursquare Church earlier in his ministry years. The genetics of the CC ‘movt.’ is nomadic…

  44. Steve Wright says:

    Chuck’s references to love are utterly disingenuous as he is the one stoking the fires of this conflict for his ends.
    ———————————————————————-
    Well, I certainly choose to believe this is inappropriate.

    I would need a “source” equivalent to the finger of God on stone tablets before making that judgement.

  45. Reuben says:

    Why, Steve? Because Chuck can only be proven wrong by God?

  46. AnonymousCoward says:

    While Brian B is a great Bible Teacher, Jeff S has a heart of gold. I seriously believe that Jeff will carry the CCCM torch ultimately.

    Brian belongs on a foundation of his own making in England. Always I have believed that Brian got broadsided by his wife’s homesickness for her family. Brian would have been at the helm of his own ministry in England to this day had he not given into the need for his wife to be reunited with her family here in America.

    I think it would be a good thing if Brian gave it another shot. There certainly is a need for a great Bible teacher of his caliber in England.

    If he stays here he misses his true calling in the Lord and will only be preaching to the choir over and over again and again…BORING!

    Would it not be great to be challenged and satisfied in your own accomplishments in the Lord like Paul the apostle who refused to build upon another mans foundation Brian?!

    Or like Chuck S who built upon his own foundation.

    Brian, are you listening? There would be no conflict had you stayed the course in England.

    It is time for Jeff S to come out of the gate. I don’t think people have seen what Jeff’s full potential is as of yet. Step aside Brian and get back on track with the Lord.

  47. I couldn’t comment yesterday, and in the beginning, I didn’t think I cared enough to comment. However, the thread has taken a particular direction, so I will comment.

    Michael, I think your article is the worst of the worst in journalism.

    You start out with “I have an email, but I won’t show you” (Kathy says that all church emails should be made public – you are a reporter, make it public.)

    But I think that you made a big deal of dangling the email in front of people like candy, to make an unrelated point about Chuck Smith. You say he is the cause of the division – and you go on to “prove” it by saying that Smith signs off on other people’s blogs … then offer no evidence for that.

    Does anyone in their right mind think that Roger Oakland sends his emails to Chuck for approval before he sends them out??? Give me a break. And who are these insiders who would know that – my goodness, is Jeff Smith or Brian Brodersen your sources?

    The part about the Brodersen “dismissal letter” is the kicker – it was written but never delivered… LOL. If it meant losing Cheryl, then Chuck would have never had Paul write it up in the first place.

    Michael – you are losing your grip or other people are spinning you.

  48. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD,

    Wow…

    Um I am so glad that I really have no horse in the CC matter. I have been able to mostly ignore the whole thing. Very helpful to my stress. I once cared but no more.

  49. Babs, that is why I made the comment – I have no horse in this either. I have no reason to defend CC and Chuck Smith, nor do I have reason to hurt them.

    I think that some CC insiders who have a “political” agenda are yanking Michael’s chain… and he let’s them.

  50. Steve Wright says:

    Why, Steve? Because Chuck can only be proven wrong by God?
    ————————————————
    Quite the opposite Reuben. I wrote it that way because Michael is claiming knowledge of motive and purpose that only God has. You think someone can know the heart of a guy just because he has an office in Costa Mesa?

    What was written there, that I copied, is exactly the sort of thing we are forbidden to do in Scripture – even against our worst enemy (and yeah, I know, Michael reminds us he is not an enemy)

    Certainly no “CC source” has it, and frankly, whoever these sources are should probably give Michael ALL the information, and not just some of it – so he can report accurately.

    As I already told him…..

  51. Dabylons Bread says:

    Steve,
    With all due respect, Chuck’s email IS a charge to love…true. Yet, it’s equally true that this dilemma is due to his making. He had not endorsed both Bryson’s email & Sutton’s blog post. Yet, because this backfired and became a topic of discussion on this blog (the supposed “enemy” of CC) he issued this email, admonishing ‘love’.

    The MOST LOVING thing CHUCK could do is address the George Bryson email head on (or the Sutton blog) and not beat around the bush, or endorse two opposing sides while allowing them to joust in front of the lunchtime crowd. To do this would take boldness, clearly & authority … but this would be the most loving thing.

  52. Alex says:

    Steve Wright, Calvary Chapel pastor said, “Quite the opposite Reuben. I wrote it that way because Michael is claiming knowledge of motive and purpose that only God has. You think someone can know the heart of a guy just because he has an office in Costa Mesa?”

    Alex says: You have judged my motives often and made declarative statements that something was done out of a particular motive that you were sure of. Your hypocrisy is showing in the statement above.

    Steve Wright, Calvary Chapel pastor said, “What was written there, that I copied, is exactly the sort of thing we are forbidden to do in Scripture – even against our worst enemy (and yeah, I know, Michael reminds us he is not an enemy)”

    Alex says: Yet Chuck Smith, BG, SH, etc and you do it all the time. I thought we’re supposed to “love our enemy!” yet CC sues, belittles, smears, lies, calls down God’s wrath on their supposed “enemies” and the examples are documented and the list is long and empirically verifiable. Again, your hypocrisy is showing and your spin doesn’t fly in the face of the verifiable Record. You can spin words, doctrine, philosophical positions…can’t spin facts, empirically verifiable evidence of lawsuits, recorded public statements, court docs, etc.

    Steve Wright, Calvary Chapel pastor said, “Certainly no “CC source” has it, and frankly, whoever these sources are should probably give Michael ALL the information, and not just some of it – so he can report accurately. As I already told him…..”

    Alex says: “ALL the info”? OK, let’s get all the info from Calvary Chapel…said no Realist ever. CC doesn’t provide “All the info”…they are as transparent as a stone wall.

    I think Michael’s article is more likely true than not true. My particular experiences color my perceptions of the limited information we get on these sorts of matters…as Steve W’s and Mark’s and the CC pastors’ are colored by their experiences and loyalty and biases.

    Michael takes a risk by publishing this, as he could get sued by CC. I don’t blame the sources for wanting to remain anonymous as CC would probably sue them as well. Calvary Chapel seems to be very litigious, part of their Legacy.

    Oh, and I’m back baby! After a very brief break. I’m refocused, remotivated and ready to ruuuummmmbbble! …only I’m more Agnostic than ever and Calvary Chapel, Steve W, and many in Christian-land are proving some of my Agnostic friends much more correct than I ever imagined.

    I still “hope” in Salvation, I’m not “angry” at God, if He’s real, I figure He understands…and I figure it’s best to be honest, as if He’s real and omniscient, you can’t really hide doubt anyways, no?

    It’s funny, though, I’m no Atheist…as my doubt in “No God” is still stronger than my doubt in “God”. I think there is a giant misperception about Agnosticism. I think one can be a Christian Agnostic…”hoping” in Salvation through Jesus Christ (if real)…but also “hoping” it’s not real so that so many friends, children, family, humans don’t “suffer eternal torment for eternity”…which seems so cruel and unloving. What a terrible reality if true. That a person God created who wasn’t given the opportunity to hear the Gospel would suffer eternally with no end…tormented forever. Yikes, very cruel.

    If it’s all true, I beg God for mercy and appeal to Jesus Christ as Messiah and payment for the debt owed a God who requires something or you get eternal torment, no end to your misery forever.

    I hope, however, that it’s not true. I hope the Nihilists are correct and we all cease to exist and our Consciousness ceases when we “all” die. I would trade my “eternity in heaven” so that others wouldn’t suffer an eternity in perpetual torment.

    I also hope the Universal Reconciliationists are correct and that by some miracle God redeems “all” of His creation…and has Mercy on all. Seems much more loving.

    But, again, who the heck knows for sure…I guess we’ll all find out the moment we pass…either ceasing…either being glorified into the next existence (heaven) or being nuked in hell for eternity.

    Reading the conversations on here through that context makes the rest of this stuff look so unimportant and petty and has completely removed any moral authority or perceived “power” some of you think you have. You are little men with no answers and you are on a constant treadmill of feeling compelled to defend an argument you cannot win and an argument you don’t understand.

  53. Alex says:

    I do appreciate the opportunity to hash all this stuff out over the years here and to learn what true belief is from many of you, which has affirmed my Conclusions above. It is good to get an honest look at how pastors and believers really are…no different than my atheist and agnostic friends, not deep down underneath professions and creeds and stated positions. We all have the same Human Condition.

    I have had an epiphany and found my Box. Christian Agnostic. I reject Selective Fundamentalism, it is more likely false. I feel at peace. It’s the only shoe that fits without much intellectual discomfort.

  54. Andrew says:

    “Agreed #11. PC is not in ministry because he is the greedy money hungry tyrant some make him out to be and its too bad such suggestions spews forth by some here. Anyone that has spent anytime with the man knows he is not all about money and that is not what motivates him. A flawed man yes, but not a greedy money hungry one”.

    I should probably reframe what I wrote. Its not so much about the money than it is about the POWER. Although PC did sue Mike Kestler for millions I think it was, but the real issue is about control and power. Although PC is a very wealthy man in relative terms, it is more about influence and power than money. So I do stand corrected. Reading his own distinctives, its not hard to figure that out at all. And why is PC sending out his emails to all the Calvary Chapel pastors if he has no power, influence, authority, etc.. that he continues to state when it comes to child abuse in the Calvary Chapel churches. Hypocrisy 101!

  55. Alex,
    “We all have the same Human Condition.”

    Where have you heard anyone say differently. The Christian faith is that inspite of our Human Condition, Jesus has saved us. “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Check it out – it’s in the Bible.

    Our old man still clings to us and will not go away. As I said many times – we are 100% sinner and 100% saint.

    Your thinking of what Christianity is or what a Christian is, is 180 degrees in the wrong direction.A Christian can never say that they are better than the atheist, hindu or jew … only that they are saved from the consequences of their sin.

  56. Kayfabe says:

    “I should probably reframe what I wrote. Its not so much about the money than it is about the POWER. Although PC did sue Mike Kestler for millions I think it was, but the real issue is about control and power. Although PC is a very wealthy man in relative terms, it is more about influence and power than money. So I do stand corrected. Reading his own distinctives, its not hard to figure that out at all. And why is PC sending out his emails to all the Calvary Chapel pastors if he has no power, influence, authority, etc.. that he continues to state when it comes to child abuse in the Calvary Chapel churches. Hypocrisy 101!”

    I don’t doubt for one minutes that $$$$$$$$$ plays a big part in Chucks motives

  57. Andrew says:

    “I don’t doubt for one minutes that $$$$$$$$$ plays a big part in Chucks motives”

    Since It seems whoever holds the gold has the power, you might be right. However, I don’t think Chuck is motivated by money to live an extravagant lifestyle especially since he is near the end of his life but I do believe he is probably motivated by not wanting to loose control. My advise to Chuck is to repent. Renounce the Moses Model and not just speak about love among CC pastors like that is the only thing that matters. Maybe Chuck should speak about loving those that have been terribly abused in the CC system that he seems to want to control. Its not all about CC pastors. What about the people that attend or those that have been disposed of in their so called “church discipline”.

  58. Andrew says:

    Steve said it:
    “The letter is a call for love amongst those who are CC affiliated pastors. A sincere and fairly simple plea – coupled with lots of Scripture in support. I thought it was a very good letter.”

    When Paul wrote his epistles, they were meant to be read to the entire church. But when Chuck Smith writes a letter it is only to the select few.

    This actually solidly confirms in my heart now that CC has set up a two class system of clergy and laity. I don’t need to read the letter, Steve just demonstrated to me what I suspected all along. CC is a world class cult with some really good people inside. So sad.

  59. A Believer says:

    “But when Chuck Smith writes a letter it is only to the select few.”

    There was nothing in the letter to the pastors that Chuck hasn’t preached very openly to his congregation (and through radio worldwide) throughout the many years of his ministry.

  60. erunner says:

    AB, Come on!! You can’t be trusted as you are part of the CC cult. Please don’t let facts get in the way. You must be imagining things. 🙂

  61. Andrew says:

    A believer,

    “There was nothing in the letter to the pastors that Chuck hasn’t preached very openly to his congregation (and through radio worldwide) throughout the many years of his ministry.”

    Ok, so post the letter here for us to see. I will be waiting.

  62. Ixtlan says:

    Some clarity before this thread goes sideways.

    Chuck Smith’s letters are not on par with Paul the Apostle’s. Paul asked for his letter to be read publically, I am not aware that Chuck has asked the same.

    Not all discourse is intended for public consideration. A Believer has said that the content is not anything that hasn’t been spoken of openly before. I’ll take his word for it. I don’t need to be in the room when someone has a rectal thermometer inserted, I’ll take their word that it happened. Andrew, if you want to be on the “inside” of all this, affiliate as a pastor with Calvary Chapel and then have a seat in the waiting room.

  63. covered says:

    ixtlan, I couldn’t agree more. This is a private email (letter) and even though I despise just about all things Calvary Chapel, it’s not for public consumption unless Chuck authorizes it. Some things are to remain within the tribe. This isn’t the type of letter that contains some sort of safety or public health issue so it should remain in front of the eyes of the intended recipients.

  64. Andrew says:

    The letter is either fit for public consumption or its not. AB is making the claim it is no different that Chuck’s public addresses to congregation. If so, post it as public. If not, don’t make the claim.

  65. Andrew says:

    “Andrew, if you want to be on the “inside” of all this, affiliate as a pastor with Calvary Chapel and then have a seat in the waiting room.”

    And how did I affiliate as CC pastor when I am already under church discipline from a CC pastor? Sounds pretty contradictory.

  66. Ixtlan says:

    thanks covered.

    To further clarify, some of those within the tribe have felt the need to inform Michael of what is going on at the Mother Ship. They are within their right to do so as is Michael for publishing this story. There is a fine line that needs identification here. Where it becomes detrimental is when too many well meaning… or not people think it is now necessary to turn over every single stone and scrutinize down to the minutia elements. We no longer see the forest due to the trees. To do so runs the risk of placing ourselves in the seat of Moses and we become what we object to.

  67. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I have the email and it really isn’t anything anyone hasn’t heard from Chuck before.
    I contend that the circumstances surrounding the email are the issue, not the email itself.
    I’m not sure what your point is…I don’t publish my email and even though this one was sent to hundreds of people I don’t feel compelled to publish it either.

  68. Andrew says:

    But a Moses Model pastor can not be wrong even when they put one under church discipline. “Touch not God’s anointed” is what I have been told.

    If you want to see the forest instead of just the trees, than the more light onto the dark to expose is better. Thank you Michael for posting the article.

  69. Andrew says:

    Michael, I am not asking you to post email since you need to uphold your confidence. I am asking the CC pastors here that are not willing to post it, to post it.

  70. Andrew says:

    And Michael, if it was only meant for CC affiliates, then the copy you got was not intended for you. See my point.

  71. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    If I was a CC pastor, I would not post it either.
    No point in doing so.

  72. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    But some CC pastor sent it to you. Why? It wasn’t addressed to you was it?

  73. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    It was not intended for me…and no, I don’t see your point.

  74. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    It was sent to me to help me write the article this thread is based on.
    The article is not about email, it’s about the power struggle.

    I have to go pick up my son.

  75. Andrew says:

    Michael,
    I get your point that you don’t think anyone should post article. However, if you were CC pastor would you forward email to non-CC pastor?

  76. Andrew says:

    Michael,
    If a CC pastor sent you the email to help write the article then I would say you are being played by this CC pastor to accomplish his goals. This guy should come forward and say that he sent you the email. Did Chuck approve this CC pastor forwarding you this email?

  77. covered says:

    Andrew, I understand your opinion but respectfully disagree. I think that if that email had any information that could cause harm to anyone then it should be made public. I have some very close friends who are CC Pastors and I don’t expect them to share the contents of this email with me. In my opinion it’s just like reading someone else’s mail. Voluntarily showing it is one thing but expecting to see it because I am a victim of their abuse is completely different.

  78. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I have multiple sources and multiple copies of the email.
    Before I ever publish anything I have multiple sources and do multiple interviews.
    That way, no one can “play me”.
    My name and credibility are on the line every day…so I’m damn careful about what is put on this blog.

  79. erunner says:

    Here’s a little something Brian Broderson wrote and I think we all will benefit from reading it. I think he’s been reading my blog! 🙂

    http://calvarychapel.com/blog/christ-the-church-and-the-mentally-ill

  80. mrtundraman says:

    If the definition of what makes something a Calvary Chapel is the affiliation of a pastor with the person of Chuck Smith (which was the traditional meaning of Calvary Chapel) then when Chuck Smith passes away affiliation must of necessity cease.

    To define Calvary Chapel as anything else it to change what it has always been and has always meant – to Chuck. If it’s fundamental to CC to not want to be a denomination (in spite of all appearances) then there isn’t another basis for CC to continue as an entity.

    I could see Chuck Smith seeing something like a Calvary Chapel Association as in opposition to his ministry philosophy (that CC is not a denomination).

  81. mrtundraman says:

    Will they remove the list of “Calvary Chapel churches” from the CC website? To me that’s always been the question. Chuck likes the idea that he has a legacy of more than a thousand churches, but he doesn’t like the notion that he’s formed another denomination.

    To that end, having a list of CC churches on the CC website is problematic. It is an “approved churches” list defacto and Chuck is the approver and he alone controls the brand. The CC website is just the CCCM website.

  82. Mark says:

    Alex you poor misguided soul. All of the anger and annoyance I have felt towards you had been replaced with an overwhelming feeling of sadness that you have walked away from whatever thread of faith you once held. I will now add you to my daily prayers for , though in the past I believed you incapable of letting go of your vengeance for abuses no worse than many of us have endured, I now realize that you have always been a scared insecure man who sought only his fathers love and now have given up on the true Fathers love. I pray for your salvation and for inner peace.

  83. erunner says:

    Mark, You’re out of bounds to question Alex’s salvation. That’s not our call.

  84. mrtundraman says:

    Mark, What was there about what Alex has written that filled you with anger?

  85. Alex says:

    Mark, LOL! I know you’re probably serious, which makes it even more hilarious 😆

    There are certain personalities I peg pretty accurately, thanks for confirming my read of you.

  86. Chile says:

    Mark, your words show your character.

  87. Alex says:

    It only took expressing my doubt in Selective Fundamentalism (or Mark’s belief system) to finally get on CC pastor Mark’s daily prayer list. Nice! 😉

  88. Andrew says:

    Michael wrote “I have multiple sources and multiple copies of the email.
    Before I ever publish anything I have multiple sources and do multiple interviews.
    That way, no one can “play me”.
    My name and credibility are on the line every day…so I’m damn careful about what is put on this blog.”

    Ok, so all your sources must be CC insiders for this article. Also the email made reference to a blog calling it an enemy of CC which you stated is referring to you. Now using logic it appears that who ever sent you these emails apparently from a multitude of sources from the inside of CC are actually going against the “heart” of the email to send it right into the hands of the so called enemy. So the question for all these CC insiders, why the heck are you still affiliated with Chuck Smith and so afraid to speak up against him if you disagree with him calling this blog the enemy? Stand up for the truth and be honest instead of trying to influence things through your back channels. I really don’t get it.

  89. Chile says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that just as a person experiences another crushing blow, it somehow sends a signal to pharisees to jump in and hit the person again, while he is down.

    “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

    I’m reading plenty of loveless comments.

  90. Chile says:

    Wow, Mark is a pastor? That’s sad.

  91. Alex says:

    Ironically, it just further proves my Thesis.

  92. Andrew says:

    So pastor Mark @ 24 said the letter had nothing to do with a response from Michael’s blog.
    Michael says that there is a correlation.
    I trust Michael over Mark on this point especially in light of pastor Mark’s rhetoric.

  93. A Believer says:

    Enemy:

    “A person who is actively opposed or hostile (unfriendly, antagonistic) to someone or something.”

    Look, this is no big deal. Unless we pour more meaning into the word that isn’t necessarily there.

    Over the years Michael has expressed opposition to not only CC’s theology, but also it’s form of church government. He feels CC is corrupt and needs reform and is antagonistic to it in it’s present state. He certainly has expressed that about Chuck repeatedly over the years and this is no real secret to those who have followed here a long time.

    Chuck did not say that PP was an enemy of the cross, or of Christ. That would be a bigger deal.

  94. Andrew says:

    A Believer,

    So if you are going to be loyal to Chuck and follow the intentions of his letter which was written to affiliates only, why send it to the enemy of CC or the enemy of Chuck. Makes no sense unless you are willing to confront Chuck head on or else disaffiliate with the man?

  95. A Believer says:

    Andrew,

    Sorry it took me so long to respond, I was busy working and didn’t have a chance to review your response.

    I’m not a CC pastor. A CCCM insider, yes, and I am aware of the full content of the letter.
    I have CC pastor friends who shared the content with me. I read the whole thing.

    Don’t just take my word for it, …other CC pastors who post here can confirm that there was nothing stated to the pastors in the e-mail privately that Chuck hasn’t consistently taught publicly for years. It was just a call and exhortation to love.

  96. Andrew says:

    A Believer,

    This letter that I haven’t seen sounds exactly like the doctrine of “vote with your feet”. If you truly are a CC affiliate that has problems with CC you better vote with your feet. They take this doctrine very very seriously in CC. No messing around there.

  97. PP Vet says:

    Let’s face, Newnham is “he who troubles Israel”.

    One of my favorite scriptures. (“Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” I Kings 18:17)

  98. Mark says:

    Sorry that so many are questioning my sincerity. It’s no secret I have clashed with Alex over his crusade. I was being honest in explaining why I felt anger and also being honest in stating I will pray for him. Doesn’t it break your heart to read such a cry of hopelessness and despair from Alex? Such misguided deceptive thinking? How can you ignore this? I’ve stated many times here that I’m not a pastor. Just another sheep. This is directed solely to Alex: I’m sorry you have suffered so much that you have lost your true love I sincerely am. Am I will be praying for you.

  99. A Believer says:

    Andrew,

    There are those within CCCM who are supportive of Michael’s efforts to bring what they perceive as change or reform within CC. They have simply chosen clandestine means to accomplish these purposes rather than approaching this openly.

    Whoever they are, they have chosen to remain secretive about their identity for obvious reasons.

  100. mrtundraman says:

    Far be it from me to defend a CC pastor, but I could see how some would forward such an email onto Michael. Some or all of these may apply –

    1 – They trust Michael to keep their identity anonymous.
    2 – They disagree with Chuck’s assessment of Michael and or this BLOG.
    3 – They want to see CC continue and hope to have some part in that future.
    4 – Although they disagree, they don’t see this subject as meriting separation from CC.
    5 – They may be on their way out anyway.

    To me is’t like hiding Jews from Nazis. It’s wrong to lie but it’s way more wrong to give up innocents to be slaughtered.

  101. Andrew says:

    “Don’t just take my word for it, …other CC pastors who post here can confirm that there was nothing stated to the pastors in the e-mail privately that Chuck hasn’t consistently taught publicly for years. It was just a call and exhortation to love.”

    The part I think most would like to know about is the shot Chuck took regarding a particular blog. And yes, Chuck has taken shots like this before particularly with Alex. Its all documented and nothing new there. Chuck is full of this kind rhetoric and he has no credibility with me at all.

  102. Andrew says:

    “To me is’t like hiding Jews from Nazis. It’s wrong to lie but it’s way more wrong to give up innocents to be slaughtered.”

    I am not asking any one to rat out anyone here. Not my intention. I am asking the CC affiliate pastors that have issues to seriously consider coming out from among them. I believe you may be putting your flocks in danger which is not protecting them from slaughter.

  103. A Believer says:

    Alex takes shots at Chuck, Chuck shoots back. You take shots at Chuck.

    Yep, we’re all big boys here.

  104. Andrew says:

    But Chuck takes shots from the bully pulpit and has no problem with suing when he feels like it. Big difference in my opinion.

  105. Hey, “it’s all just a silly little family disagreement”…

  106. A Believer says:

    Andrew,

    I apologize for the snark in my last remark.

    You are certainly entitled to you opinions and perspectives and they are not without merit.

    I don’t see Chuck being above making mistakes. And such being the case, he is in need of God’s grace and our prayers.

  107. A Believer says:

    yep G.

    …and a very public family at that.. and as such the family’s dirty laundry has to undergo blog scrutiny! ….eeeewwww! 😯

    -skidmark Believer

  108. mrtundraman says:

    A Believer – I see the truth in your rationale for why someone would forward such an email. It does show the cracks in the CC organization, but they are pretty apparent for all to see nowadays.

  109. mrtundraman says:

    A Believer – as someone who works for a company which has had changes in the past year due to ownership changes, I am curious what you see in your future when the winner of the knock down drag out fight for power at CCCM ends.

  110. Chile says:

    Mark @ 99, I’m not questioning your sincerity. It looks like you sincerely want to kick Alex while he’s down.

    Even your 99 response is found lacking.

  111. AB,
    Which is why it’s not so easy to dismiss.

  112. mrtundraman says:

    Why are the church assets a family matter? This is just plain wrong.

  113. As I see it, Mark, Alex is no more lost than you are if you had a season of challenge, that is, of course, unless you believe one can lose their salvation.

    Once a new creature, always a new creature, even when the new creature is soul-weary.

    Encouragement to press forward, journey on, keep confidence in He Who empowers, that is true encouragement. Anything less is mockery, which, I’m sure you didn’t intend.

    Alex, courage.

    Smith followers, when it is done, then everything will change.
    Until that day, look past Smith, and focus on Jesus.

  114. Chile says:

    A Believer @104 said,

    “Alex takes shots at Chuck, Chuck shoots back. You take shots at Chuck.”

    Seems this sentence has an order problem. Let’s try this again:

    Chuck ignores Alex’s pleas for help to correct a wrong within Chuck’s organization, Chuck calls a fatwa on Alex from his bully pulpit, then Alex responds, and we all take shots at Chuck.

  115. mrtundraman says:

    When you have done all else, stand.

  116. Alex says:

    Mark, I thought you stated you were a CC assistant Pastor before. Maybe it was another Mark? Did you ever serve as a pastor in CC in any capacity?

  117. Andrew says:

    “I don’t see Chuck being above making mistakes. And such being the case, he is in need of God’s grace and our prayers.”

    Problem is Chuck sees himself and his affiliates beyond making mistakes. “Touch Not God’s anointed” is what he told “Christianity today” reporter if I recall.

  118. Kathy says:

    testing.
    my comments are not posting. Am I banned?

  119. Mark says:

    No. Never

  120. Kathy says:

    Interesting. I can’t post multiple paragraph comments. Okay. No prob. Was this on purpose?

    Anyways, I’ll have to condense, CCCM’s best rebuttal: post all of CS’s emails regarding the subject. Till then, public only has what Michael tells us. Secret = nefarious. Transparency = truth. At least to most people.

  121. Kathy says:

    Michael = critic.
    North Korea = enemy
    Michael =/= enemy.

  122. At the risk of being skewered, I have an honest question. Stepping back a minute to take, hopefully an objective look at the suit filed by Bob Grener, when an individual makes allegations in a public forum against another, and the accused feels he has done nothing wrong, or not guilty of the allegation, what legal alternative does he have to expose the allegations as false and protect his reputation other than to file suit in a court of law? Looking for an answer especially from those who criticize the accused for filing suit implying he is a money grabber.

    I cant speak for the complainant in this case but if I was guilty of what Alex has accused Bob of doing, the last thing I would do is file a suit opening the case up to scrutinization by a judge and/ or jury

  123. Michael says:

    There is no dispute over the content of the email.
    There is much disagreement over why it was written and who is responsible for the conflict it addresses.

  124. Michael says:

    Steve,

    If anyone believes that I am making false allegations or spreading misinformation they can come right on this blog and present their case.

    Steve Wright and Mark have done so on this very thread.

  125. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Two things I will say in regard to the Grenier case.

    Before anyone ever heard of Alex, I tried numerous times through various to engage with Bob Grenier so that this kind of public bloodletting would never have to happen.
    I was ignored, then rebuked by his friends.

    Second, if he believes he can outspend Alex in the legal arena, all the truth in the world won’t help the Grenier brothers.

  126. Michael
    I was speaking specifically in reference to Alex’s web site, his allegations and the law suit Bob Grenier has filed against him.

  127. Michael
    I mean no disrespect…I am trying to get some things together in my head, I could understand you mediating a matter if both parties submitted to binding arbitration in advance…were you empowered to render a decision in the matter? Secondly, do you think a blog where there are no evidenciary procedures or real order is the best forum to attempt to settle matters of this nature. And thirdly, do you think Alex would have yielded to any decision (including your) that was adverse to him.

    I am not picking a fight with you. Seeking to understand why, if Bob was guilty, he would file a suit. I don’t know that I agree with the “because he has deep pockets and can outlast Alex” conclusion. Sounds like a risky motivation that could backfire, although it is true with big corporations vs little guys

  128. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I wasn’t intending to mediate it here.
    The intent was to get it mediated out of the public eye…kind of like Christians are supposed to if at all possible.

    Very few people can afford to contest lawsuits…

    The better question in my mind has nothing to do with Alex.

    We now have a signed affidavit that has been entered into the court record of an accusation of sexual abuse.

    Why in the name of all thats holy hasn’t there been an independent investigation of this by CC with a public report of the findings?

    That is what I simply can’t fathom…and what dragged me out of semi retirement.

  129. You raise some good questions too

  130. My only response is Chuck must have heard the evidence and concluded there was no merit to the allegations. If he felt that, I can understand him not going any further it. It there is merit to the charges and it comes out under scrutinization of a law suit that Chuck intentionally turned a deaf ear to legitimate evidence, I can certainly understand you being angry with him and CCCM

    Btw a signed allegation is just that. It too will be scrutinized and the accused have the opportunity to respond…but you know that

  131. Andrew,
    “This letter that I haven’t seen sounds exactly like the doctrine of “vote with your feet”. If you truly are a CC affiliate that has problems with CC you better vote with your feet. They take this doctrine very very seriously in CC. No messing around there.”

    What’s the problem with that? My church body would do the exact same – well not exactly, we wouldn’t make it voluntary. Most of “signing up” to be a Lutheran church is doctrinal and confessional – if you want to be a Calvinist teaching church, you have evey right to do so – just not under the Lutheran name.

    So, perhaps Chuck smith is being very nice about this.

  132. Alex says:

    I’m not “in despair”, I just call bullspit on Selective Fundamentalism. In fact, I was telling Michael the other day how good I have it where I live. Life is really good, actually. Much to be thankful for. I feel bad for folks who are jobless or who live in third-world countries or who have severe health issues etc.

    My stuff was more out of concern for others and for the injustices and to take a stand for what I thought was the Fundamentalist way to go in taking on evil vs. some mythological vendetta to get back at BG for what he did to me. Ironically, it is CC pastors who told me to focus solely on BG and to leave the rest alone…and it is that advice that has given BG his angle in his lawsuit.

    I see things differently now after wrestling with stuff for so many years. I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure what the truth really is, and I’ll hope that Fundamentalism is wrong (for the sake of so many) while hoping in Jesus in case the premise of eternal torment is correct. I’ll continue to tell my kids about Jesus, but I will warn them of the evils in the church and in Christianity and I’ll be honest with them when they are older if they ask real questions about all this stuff.

  133. A Believer says:

    Tundra,

    As to what my future looks like in CC, …I have no idea.

    I do trust Jesus with my future and I’m going to spend very little time worrying over it.

  134. Alex says:

    Michael said, “Second, if he believes he can outspend Alex in the legal arena, all the truth in the world won’t help the Grenier brothers.”

    That’s the critical issue that I became aware of. If the very rich Calvary Chapel System would pony up the $150,000 to $200,000 it would cost to go through a full defamation suit to Jury Trial (with discovery, depositions, etc) then I’m on board.

    I think BG gambled that I’d either represent myself (which I wanted to but was talked out of it by many many people) or that I’d then understand the full weight of how much it would cost to go all the way and that I wouldn’t be able to follow through with that option.

    I don’t think BG considered the Anti-SLAPP and that that was a surprise to him. It ended up being the only real option I had.

    If the judge sticks to the recent tentative ruling, it looks like our attorneys will probably appeal (fortunately it looks like no further cost to us). That will take another year to two years for the Appeal’s Court to make a final ruling.

    The reason Anti-SLAPP is an option is b/c if BG loses he has to pay our attorneys fees for the work at the lower court level and at the appeal’s level. BG has big donors and big friends in Calvary Chapel. His close associate is a millionaire and he has other millionaire friends who have given him a lot of money in the past. BG has a real advantage, along with being good friends with the local Sheriff, the recent D.A., the former Police Chief, the current Police Chief etc. The son of BG’s main assistant pastor works for the D.A.’s office, one of his long-time friends was a prosecutor there etc etc. I’m just pointing the stuff out, I think it would be naive to think that there is absolutely no bias or absolutely no tendency to want to believe the best about BG there and the worst about me and many others.

  135. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Chuck Smith has a documented and published record of covering over sexual misconduct.
    You know that, I know that, and he said it to Christianity Today.
    This sort of allegation is far too serious to leave to the private judgment of one man.

  136. A Believer says:

    Andrew,

    “Problem is Chuck sees himself and his affiliates beyond making mistakes. “Touch Not God’s anointed” is what he told “Christianity today” reporter if I recall.”

    I would disagree with the first statement. I know Chuck personally and have sat regularly under his teaching. Chuck has publicly admitted he is not above making mistakes many times in the 35 years I have been there.

    If you were to ask him personally if he is above making mistakes, I’m sure he would say no.

    The “Touch not God’s Anointed” statement is not without context and it would be best for you to quote the whole CT article in context.

    I have heard Chuck on this. He does believe God has anointed him specially to teach and that in doing so He is under God’s protection. Of course He believes He is following God’s will for His life and is trusting Him for protection while he does God’s work. He does not believe he is above God’s correction.

    What Christian doesn’t trust God to protect them while they are about His business?

    That is not the same thing as saying that because God has called and anointed you that you can’t make mistakes.

    David was anointed by God to be King and committed adultery and murder.

    If you want to play “Nathan” in Chuck’s life and call his sin out, then have at it.

    God does use his messengers to correct His anointed if necessary.

  137. Alex says:

    Money is power. That’s how our System works.

    Fortunately, it’s not over yet and if our attorneys appeal, we still have a shot at getting the suit Anti-SLAPP’d.

    It wouldn’t prove or disprove BG’s guilt or innocence though. I think the only shot at that is if Paul files criminal charges, but I have no control over that and even then it would probably be tough to get a conviction as good lawyering could muddy the waters when it’s a he said, he said.

  138. Alex says:

    A Believer with the classic appeal to context in spinning the “don’t touch God’s anointed” stuff. Actually, AB, the context was much much worse than Andrew presented.

    Chuck really believes God zaps his enemies for him. Yikes!

    AB, do you seriously buy into that Doctrine of Divine Retribution? Think.

  139. Alex and Michael
    Thanks for the info
    Michael, For the record I pay very little attention to pastor Chuck and the goings on of CC. Maybe that is a fault of mine but I confess Iam unaware of any cover ups by pastor Chuck and I dont read Ct. I guess I live with my head in the sand!

  140. Chile says:

    A Believer, then what did Chuck mean when he warned the Christianity Today reporter to not touch the Lord’s annointed?

  141. Reuben says:

    Hoppy,

    Your head is in the sand. Go be a Vineyard. RUN!

  142. Alex says:

    I think BG was surprised by the Anti-SLAPP b/c I heard he was very very angry about it recently from the pulpit and decrying it. Supposedly he had some sort of meltdown, some folks aren’t going back, it was really bizarre.

  143. Michael says:

    Chuck to CT;
    “During the investigation for this article, Smith cautioned CT’s reporter: “The Lord warns, ‘Don’t touch my anointed. Do my prophet no harm.’ I think that you are trying to do harm to the work of God. I surely wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.”

  144. Michael says:

    Chuck to CT;

    “Smith says he practices restoration and that pastors who have been restored to ministry after sexual sin have gone on to run successful ministries. “If they repent, we do seek to restore in a spirit of meekness, considering ourselves lest we be tempted,” Smith says. “We feel that we have a biblical basis [for doing so].”
    If pastors repent and enter counseling, Smith says, they should not be forced to leave the pulpit permanently. “I can tell you of many ministers, great ministers, whom we’ve been in the process of helping restore, and fortunately the problems never became public and so people are not even aware of them. I feel that that’s an honor to God.”

  145. A Believer says:

    “Chuck really believes God zaps his enemies for him. Yikes!”

    Now Alex, that’s your spin.

    I heard Chuck’s Sunday night comments directed to you and I didn’t interpret them the same way you did.

    I saw his comments as saying that he wouldn’t want to be in the place of someone opposing the the work of God, implying that might be the case with you.

    Chuck pulled up short of condemning you to anything but God’s correction.

    He never said you weren’t a christian, never condemned you to hell, and even pulled up short of making a definitive statement about whether you were right or wrong.

    His statement about you coming under God’s dealing with you (even that wasn’t clarified) was a hypothetical and would only apply to you if true.

    You simply misconstrued Chuck’s words in the opinion of many who heard Chuck’s words.

    Maybe you could put Chuck’s own words up here again and let people decide for themselves what Chuck did or did not imply.

    One thing that is certain is that you felt Chuck was calling down some kind of curse upon you rather than simply correction if necessary.

    Then you had no problem speculating that this curse backfired on Chuck and he was afflicted with cancer in the process.

  146. Alex says:

    AB, listen to it again. I have Atheist and Agnostic friends (some who don’t like me b/c I argue them to death) who said they saw it as I stated above….

  147. Alex says:

    AB said, “Then you had no problem speculating that this curse backfired on Chuck and he was afflicted with cancer in the process.”

    I was mocking Chuck’s Position of Divine Retribution…and used satire/humor/irony to make the point.

  148. Alex says:

    Personally, I am now persuaded that stuff most likely happens randomly…except for Cause-Effect Correlations (reaping and sowing) where actions have consequences.

    i.e. If you smoke five packs a day, something bad will probably eventually happen to you health-wise.

    If you ride a motorcycle, you probably die in a crash eventually.

    If you put a gun to your head and pull the trigger, you probably die.

    If you like the taste of kool-aid, you probably attend a CC 🙂

  149. A Believer says:

    I have listened to it more than once Alex.

    It’s too ambiguous and tentative to be taken as seriously as you suggest.

    But I understand how you can interpret it the way you did. You have a very strong anti-Chuck bias and that does color the way you view things.

    To be fair, you could say I have biases in the opposite direction that color my perceptions of the communication.

    Fair enough. As a CCCM employee, my voice has very little weight here in this forum. My perspectives are discredited from the get go.

    My expectation about how much influence I have here has to be realistic.

  150. Alex says:

    Besides, MTM (Doug G.) has touched God’s anointed more than Jerry Sandusky at a Boy Scout convention…and Douggy G has done just fine.

    Michael’s down a lung and jobless, so maybe Chuck saved up the zap just special for Newnham.

  151. Julie Anne says:

    Alex said:

    I think BG was surprised by the Anti-SLAPP b/c I heard he was very very angry about it recently from the pulpit and decrying it. Supposedly he had some sort of meltdown, some folks aren’t going back, it was really bizarre.

    Alex, Bob fits Chuck’s pattern to a tee. He’s been whining about it ever since, claiming he should have had his day in court – – wah, wah, wah. Pass me the Kleenex, pls.

    ~jezzy b

  152. Alex says:

    AB, your 150: agreed…except that I would be influenced by you if what you said rang true to me from a philosophically logical perspective as I tend to base my beliefs (and doubts) against that metric.

    I would also be influenced by you if you showed a sincere effort to befriend me and to walk with me and to help me etc…as all humans tend to respond to that and to be influenced by those who they consider as friends and allies.

  153. A Believer says:

    Why do you see Chuck’s comments as “Divine retribution” and not God’s correction to a wayward child?

    Read this, then comment:

    http://www.gracegems.org/06/10/correcting.html

    Is it possible that Chucks comments could be seen in this light?

    As a dad with kids, is you discipline with them punitive or corrective?

    When Chuck says “I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes (if you are opposing the work of God), wouldn’t it be a lot like saying ” I wouldn’t want to be in His shoes if he crosses Dad and gets spanked!”

    I mean who likes pain even if it is for our good?

    You read condemnation into Chuck’s statement that isn’t necessarily there because you have your reasons for not granting Chuck the benefit of the doubt.

    Whether your reasons hold up under scrutiny may be another story.

    But really Alex, since you discredit my perspective as coming from a “Kool-Aid drinker”, why should I even go on in this exchange?

    I understand why you distrust me and I don’t know if it’s worth my time trying to convince you that another perspective has any merit.

  154. Chile says:

    I played the clip of Chuck’s speaking out against Alex from the pulpit to people who have nothing to do with CC, I didn’t taint their responses either; but they assessed it much like Alex did and were appalled that anyone, much less a pastor, much less a leader of a movement would speak like that, especially from the pulpit!

  155. Michael says:

    Just for the record…

    AB has been here for years… and while he and I disagree about much he has always been kind beyond the call of duty to me.
    He is very gifted and a very good family man.
    He is, in my opinion, a good brother and I’m thankful for him.

  156. Chile says:

    A Believer, did you have any problem with Chuck’s reasons for not ever getting back to Alex like he said he was going to? You know, when he said he wrote an email but it just didn’t go through so he just left it up to the Lord. The man didn’t have the decency to respond to Alex as promised. With that in the same speech, seems the rest of what Chuck said bears some scrutiny.

  157. Alex says:

    AB said, “Why do you see Chuck’s comments as “Divine retribution” and not God’s correction to a wayward child?”

    Because of the words Chuck used and the attitude in which he presented his comments and his history of Divine Retribution as exampled in the CT article and warning to the reporter and as exampled by stories from CCCM insiders who told me of man who died after he had touched God’s perceived anointed in CC and that it was believed that God zapped the guy for Chuck, etc.

    Plus, Chuck is hanging onto some big personal lies that I confronted him on privately and when I didn’t kiss the ring in the “meeting” and then outed the details, he was ticked.

  158. Alex says:

    AB said, “Is it possible that Chucks comments could be seen in this light?

    As a dad with kids, is you discipline with them punitive or corrective?”

    As a dad with kids, I would say no. I would never have that sort of smug “God’s gonna get you!” attitude with my kids. I love them too much and don’t wish God’s zapping on them at all. I always do whatever it takes to try and bring peace to them and to help them with discipline, not as some kind of “oh, you’re gonna get it!”…more like “I love you and I want to help you and the reason I’m doing this is because…” attitude.

    I have kids, so I don’t buy that mythology anymore. I know the difference between love and loving discipline and selfishness and pride.

  159. A Believer says:

    Alex,

    “I would also be influenced by you if you showed a sincere effort to befriend me and to walk with me and to help me etc…as all humans tend to respond to that and to be influenced by those who they consider as friends and allies.”

    To be honest Alex, I’m not in a position to evaluate your allegations , so I will neither stand in your way or empower you in your quest. This may sound trite to you, but the best I can offer is to commit you and your cause to god in prayer.

    When I expressed this to you in the past, you said no and tried to paste mountains of “evidence” on my FB wall.

    Sorry, that is unacceptable and only gives me one side of the story, …yours.

    So, I had to unfriend you due to your not honoring my request to refrain from that.

    The pattern is you turn on friends who don’t agree with your methodology or conclusions.

    Dave Rolph and others I have knowledge of have fallen victim to this approach

    Why should I set myself up for that?

    Case in point was that when I didn’t react the way you wanted me to, you devoted a whole blog post on CCA exposing me and naming me as the problem.

    So, who was being unfriendly?

    Can you honestly say any of my interaction with you has ever been unkind or have I ever sought to diminish your allegations? I have simply said, I don’t know and that is my offense?

  160. Alex says:

    AB, I think you misunderstood my comment…it wasn’t an invitation for friendship or a regret that we aren’t close friends or even FB friends, it was a general statement on what tends to actually influence people.

  161. Alex says:

    AB said, “Can you honestly say any of my interaction with you has ever been unkind or have I ever sought to diminish your allegations? I have simply said, I don’t know and that is my offense?”

    Our phone conversation was great. You are usually very straightforward and not a pr***k like some of the CC guys and we’ve had some good back-and-forths from the opposite ends of the Chuck Spectrum. I understand why you defriended me on FB. You wanted to keep your job! 😆

  162. Chile says:

    How kind is it when a person passes by on the other side when the wounded is lying on the ground and begging for help, to no avail? Is it kind if it’s done with a smile? Is it kind when it’s done by saying “I don’t know”?

  163. A Believer says:

    Alex, God has given me a sphere of influence. Mostly it is with close friends, family, and co-workers who truly know me.

    You are not in that sphere by your own choice as you don’t trust me. Totally understandable. Plus, I don’t know you well enough to let you in. Poor decisions about friendships can wreak havoc in one’s inner circle!

    Plus, I don’t know how I would try and influence you anyway even if you allowed for my influence, since I have no way of knowing if you are creditable in your allegations.

    I wouldn’t want to influence you in the wrong direction unwittingly and be culpable before God for that.

    My only real fundamental difference with you is this. Even if all you say is true, I disagree with your methodology in dealing with it (as I have observed you here over the years).

    But to be fair, I’ve never been in your shoes, so I’m not sure at this point how I would deal with it. I’m fairly certain it would not be what I’ve seen you do.

    However, just because I may not agree doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for you, don’t care, or lack understanding.

    I see you as special to God as His creation, adopted into His family, and loved by Him.

    This doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything! 🙂

    I don’t require agreement to be friendly with others. Especially since I’m old enough to know I can be wrong about things.

  164. Alex says:

    AB said, “Dave Rolph and others I have knowledge of have fallen victim to this approach”

    Rolph’s not a victim.

    What happened was Rolph (and some others) lost the court case in front of Judge Chuck to Ries, Rosales and Bryson b/c I wouldn’t play ball and kiss the ring in front of Chuck and then outed the details of the meeting after Chuck didn’t get back to me. It pissed Chuck off and he sided with the Bob Camp.

    Rolph and some others were going to go de-Dove Bob, but Chuck put the kai-bosh on it. So much for “I have no control, I don’t exercise control, I have no responsibility, I exercise no responsibility” etc. Chuck either makes stuff happen or he stops it from happening.

    Chuck, gasp, tells some lies* (there are always loopholes though, as “liars” are supposedly going to hell, along with the homos, and we all know Chuck can’t go to hell, that’s impossible, he saved all those hippies…err he co-opted Lonnie Frisbee’s evangelism and institutionalized all the hippies).

  165. Alex says:

    AB, yup, got it, no problem, I wouldn’t let you in my close circle anyway, you are a friend of Bryson’s and that shows poor character or bad judgment or both, so you’re right, i wouldn’t trust you. But I’ve got no problem with being PP friends.

  166. Alex says:

    Fortunately, I think when Chuck dies, he will simply cease to exist. But, if God is real and the semi-orthodox version of Christianity is truth, then he probably gets in on Grace. I hope for the same.

  167. A Believer says:

    “You wanted to keep your job!”

    Explain how my job could be in jeopardy when I haven’t violated my fiduciary responsibility to Chuck as my employer?

    I have a high bar of evidence required to take action (like leaving my job).

    So far, only having one side of the story (yours), It would be irresponsible of me to take that kind of action.

    But I get that people think that.

    Truthfully, comments like that carry more weight with me when they come from people who actually know me and have my ear.

  168. A Believer says:

    Alex,

    re your #166.

    I do see that as your perspective and perception of things. Could be some truth in there, …could be some error. Probably a mixture of both.

    The perception versus reality problem can affect us all, including me.

  169. Steve Wright says:

    I would also be influenced by you if you showed a sincere effort to befriend me and to walk with me and to help me etc…as all humans tend to respond to that and to be influenced by those who they consider as friends and allies.
    —————————————————————-
    I refer back to AB’s post 161 in response to this comment from Alex. It should not get lost in the avalanche of posts here and is worthy of a reread.

    Since AB responded, I too will add my own two cents, especially for the relative newcomers here since the Grenier lawsuit.

    A couple years ago AB and I spent about two hours on the phone talking about nothing but helping Alex and the best way to do that. I vividly remember it as I was watching my little girl play in the kiddie area at the local Burger King.

    Although Michael may not be in the mood in this thread at this time to confirm, he knows plenty about this and my concern for Alex from back in the day. (I won’t disclose private emails to prove it though)

    And as AB wrote, Alex also torpedoed that effort with me, to the fullest.

    Friendship requires trust.

  170. Chile says:

    Doing the right thing doesn’t even require friendship.

  171. While this little exchange reminds us all of why we love religion and power, let me offer this little reminder that whatever goes on or how it turns out, its a marvelous thing to hear Robert Plant and Patty Griffin sing this song…

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ais53rladFU&feature=related

  172. A Believer says:

    Chile,

    What process did you use to determine what is right and what is wrong in the Grenier situation? Have you investigated the other side of the story seriously including a point by point refutation of the “mountain of evidence”?

    It seems a “mountain of evidence” could take very long to investigate thoroughly. Do you have the time, energy and resources to investigate this in the manner justice and fairness requires?

    Are you ready to put your investigative process under intense scrutiny? …because the charges are very serious.

    I also don’t know how anyone here including Michael can speak with any authority about the manner or extent of Chuck’s investigation of this.

    Michael himself has admitted he only has Alex’s firsthand story, and second hand information from sources he “trusts” since Bob did not respond to him. For many that is not enough to come to conclusions. For others, Michael’s opinion is sufficient. After all, we have to conclude Bob’s not wanting to talk with Michael is certainly an admission of guilt.

    Right? I suggest that is not the only option.

    I do know Chuck had access to Bob’s side, which is more than most here have.

    Yet we can pass judgment righteously on Chuck’s decision?

    First Alex decides to empower Chuck to arbitrate this matter. When things didn’t go the way he thought or hoped they would, he seeks to discredit Chuck. Chuck doing a bad job looking into the allegations is the only possible conclusion? Seriously?

    It’s just way too easy for those who already don’t like Chuck or his methods to side with Alex and those who trust Chuck to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    It’s either that Chuck really does love the power and control and exerts control where it’s convenient for him (thus making him a monster) in spite of the fact that Moses Model reference in Distinctives withstanding, it goes against all he has taught and modeled throughout the years concerning being a servant leader and the opinions of those close to him who know and love him…

    …or, he only involves himself when he is constrained by others to do so at their bequest, essentially empowering him voluntarily to arbitrate on their behalf. And he does this reluctantly since he doesn’t like having to deal with conflicts (those who know him best say this is true).

    All this is unrelated to whether Chuck gets to have a say about whether or not he wants calvinists to be affiliated, since we should acknowledge the right to join together with like minded people for the sake of fellowship, unity and effective service together.

    Try going after ACTS 29 leadership about their failure to prioritize conflict resolution within their ranks because they won’t take in Arminians who refuse to sign on to the calvinist membership requirements and see how far that will get you.

    Apples to oranges as they say.

  173. Chile says:

    A Believer, it’s not as complicated as you make it out to be.

    Wherever there are 2 or 3 witnesses, an accusation against and elder/pastor can be received. There’s far more than 2 or 3 so that requirement is met.

    Investigation must be made. This is what Alex was asking for. This is what others have called for. This is what CC, Chuck himself, resisted for years. This is what Bob resists. At no time has anyone within CC stepped up to this task. You may refer to a few who claim to have looked into it, but that is easily dismissed by the fact that Grenier boys had not been asked for their side, that is until Alex forced Chuck’s hand. But even then, Chuck still didn’t follow through as he said he would. None of the others also bringing accusations against Bob have been called for their side of the story, either; so whatever info Chuck had/has is not true investigation at it’s most basic level. Besides, true investigations publish their reports publicly. Transparency is required in situations like these. Bob needs to either be disciplined or have his name cleared, which requires transparency. Whether or not a pastor has a good reputation in the community is one of the requirements for being an elder/pastor.

    I am currently watching two mission agencies go through years of investigation about sexual abuse in boarding schools. They have lots of work to uncover the truth for so many that happened so long ago, yet they are able to do it. Meanwhile, to look into the Grenier situation would be practically nothing in comparison.

    We know this can be done in a reasonable amount of time. Just ask the handful of CC pastors in Colorado who ousted former CC pastor Brian D. Abeyta, for operating without a board for 3 years, his stealing tons of money, 4 women testifying to having a relationship with him, and the many testimonies of spiritual abuse and intimidation tactics. They were able to look into the matter and make a determination.

    So it’s been done and it should have been done with Bob Grenier, but hasn’t.

  174. Kathy says:

    A Believer writes: “Yet we can pass judgment righteously on Chuck’s decision?”

    It’s not so simple. When I pass judgement, and many will agree with me, it’s because 3 of 4 of Grenier’s son are alleging abuse and one is alleging sexual abuse. There’s people accusing Grenier of mismanagement of funds and bullying. Now, Bob Grenier is suing Alex.

    Is this the actions of a godly man? Should such a man be in the pulpit, much less carrying the CC banner?

    Pastor Smith says, “There’s nothing we can do.”

    It’s the lack of concern that we are judging and it seems to be an epidemic within the CC system.

    People can be de-doved (I love that phrase, Alex does have a sense of humor) for quoting Spurgeon but it’s okay to sue your own family?

    What is also vile is there’s plenty of godly men doing the work of God within the CC community. Steve W., Steve H., Shaun, Bob Caldwell, etc… yet they have the same attitude as you… they turn a blind eye whenever it’s about the dove. If you had seen this in your own congregation, you would have asked the member to clean up his family first. Yet, when it’s a CCSP, he’s granted immunity.

    How many times over does this happen in the CC organization? It seems like a lot.

  175. Kathy says:

    #175: she writes the truth.

  176. Chile says:

    Giving the benefit of doubt in a case like this is irresponsible and a dereliction of duties with so many bringing accusations, so many corroborating testimonies.

  177. A Believer says:

    Kathy and Chile. I appreciate both of your responses.

    And while I see how you can deduce what you did from the blog information available to you, I’m not entirely convinced you have reached the right conclusions.

    What is sorely missing from PP is Bob’s side of the story, …unless you are willing to accept Alex’s version of what Bob is saying.

    In my opinion, trail by blogging (for Bob or Chuck) is fatally flawed due to the inherent limitations of the medium. About the best thing the blog can due is raise awareness of an issue.

    It did do that. Chuck did look into it and decided not to act. The action being that he could have removed Bob from affiliation or reprimanded him. Legally, since CC Visalia is independent and Pastor/Board run that’s all Chuck could do anyway. Removal from being a pastor would have to be a board decision and Alex already made that appeal to the Visalia board unsuccessfully.

    It’s not so much that recourse was denied Alex, but that his allegations failed to meet the criteria needed by both the CC Visalia board (for pastoral dismissal) or Chuck (for disaffiliation). The many corroborating testimonies alluded to, have apparently been outweighed by even greater testimonies from Bob’s side to the contrary. Allegations in an of themselves prove nothing except the existence of a problem.

    That’s just the way it turned out. Either way someone was not going to be happy with the outcome. It turns out it was Alex.

    Now we could debate all day about whether the CC Visalia board is corrupt, the process was too slow and flawed or Chuck is corrupt, or that Alex is unreliable or delusional, but again we are left with determining even that using this blog as a tool which I think it is not equipped to do effectively.

    I think people are going to listen to whoever they trust at the end of the day. Since this site is dominated by those who have had beefs with CC I’m truly not surprised by the judgments being expressed here.

    Look I’m not suggesting people should stop voicing their grievances or concerns here. A place needs to exist for that to happen.

    Maybe the only way in the future to make everyone happy is to build into the CC association process an agreement that internal disputes not settled satisfactorily by the board, must submit to outside independent Christian arbitration that both parties would agree is binding.

    I suspect even then, not everyone will be happy with outcomes, but maybe it would be better.

    It’s good to know ex-CCites care enough about us still to make sure we get this stuff right! 😉

    You would think your feet would be free of dust by now……

  178. Andrew says:

    A believer,

    I respectfully disagree to put this back on the local board. A Moses Model pastor can hire and fire at will. Only the Moses Model senior pastor is affiliated with CC. The responsibility rests squarely with Chuck Smith to deal with this. But he won’t.

  179. Andrew says:

    A believer,

    And I don’t give leaders the benefit of the doubt over victims. The Bible doesn’t teach that. If there is substantial number of witnesses than it needs a proper vetting. Not the kind, “well I tried to send an email, didn’t go through. gave it another shot …and it didn’t go through and than well I just let it go..” IRRESPONSIBLE at a minimum.

  180. Alex says:

    AB said, “It’s not so much that recourse was denied Alex, but that his allegations failed to meet the criteria needed by both the CC Visalia board (for pastoral dismissal) or Chuck (for disaffiliation). The many corroborating testimonies alluded to, have apparently been outweighed by even greater testimonies from Bob’s side to the contrary. Allegations in an of themselves prove nothing except the existence of a problem.”

    Which exposes Chuck’s lying during the Iglesias CC Molestation trial.

    Also, if that is the case then the standards are so loose at CC that there really is no standard and the Qualifications mean nothing, which denies the “simple” and literal meaning of Scripture and invalidates the bible as to be taken literally by Fundamentalists which is part of why I am a Christian Agnostic and reject Selective Fundamentalism.

    Calvary Chapel has proven the thesis. Strict standards on homosexuality and no women pastors, but pretty much anything else goes.

  181. Alex says:

    Steve Wright CC pastor said, “A couple years ago AB and I spent about two hours on the phone talking about nothing but helping Alex and the best way to do that. I vividly remember it as I was watching my little girl play in the kiddie area at the local Burger King.”

    I vividly remember stuff too, but that doesn’t count. There’s a difference of opinion, blah, blah. I can’t be sure of your vivid memory. You could be making that up etc. There’s no way to tell for sure. I can’t take your word for it, sorry. (sarc for the tone deaf).

  182. Alex says:

    AB said, “Explain how my job could be in jeopardy when I haven’t violated my fiduciary responsibility to Chuck as my employer?”

    Alex: It was a joke.

    AB said, “I have a high bar of evidence required to take action (like leaving my job).”

    Alex: Did you read the Court docs? Did you read the testimonies given as Declarations by Jim Souza (20 year CC assistant pastor), Hank Kampen (former CC assistant pastor), Bryan Prosser (long-time CCV’er, school teacher), Paul Grenier (Bob’s blood son), Tim Taylor (former CCV congregant), the emails from Alice Bryant (former long-time CCV Bookkeeper), Edna Silva (most recent CCV Bookkeeper)?

    Plus, have you read all the testimonies at the CC Abuse site from about 20 other CC families who have shared stuff on there in one form or another?

    I’m guessing that you are probably biased enough that you could read the mountain of evidence and you’d still give BG the benefit of the doubt b/c he denies all of it and b/c (gasp) some of his close confidents and remaining employees and folks on the payroll back him (well, and his buddies like Ries, Rosales, Bryson and his local political friends).

    Hey, you’re right in one sense, the stuff doesn’t matter to a large Group in Visalia and Costa Mesa, which is shocking to me and many others, but more of a testament of how corrupt things are in the church and govt. and how much of a lie religion and Calvary Chapel are in most areas.

  183. Andrew says:

    “Qualifications mean nothing, which denies the “simple” and literal meaning of Scripture and invalidates the bible as to be taken literally by Fundamentalists which is part of why I am a Christian Agnostic and reject Selective Fundamentalism”

    This doesn’t disprove Fundamentalists. But I believe it casts a shadow on Calvary Chapel so dark that I call them an outright cult to be in such denial. This is about CC not about a biblical hermeneutic that CC is not consistent on. If Chuck Smith or CC believed in fundamentalism they would take these accusations seriously which they don’t. Its a game and politics to them. Its not about following the Bible.

  184. Alex says:

    And, ironically, it’s all good, as discovering what isn’t “the truth” through this process has helped me identify what is the truth as it relates to the much larger questions of Existence and life and religion etc.

    The mythology of Selective Fundamentalism has been completely obliterated and it is a relief as I was growing increasingly weary of trying to pound the square peg through the round hole.

    I think your form of religion, while largely corrupt, is psychological necessity and coping mechanism as Delusion is a great opiate and actually works to keep society in some sort of order. I think most are very well-meaning and need to be told what to think and what to do and that if they follow some sort of list of rules they’ll be exonerated and not go to hell.

    That’s a powerful dynamic. Unfortunately, many in religion exploit it to their gain, while professing otherwise with their lying mouths.

    I still “hope”, I still think there’s a possibility of God and Jesus and will appeal to such, but intellectually, it is unlikely. I would say that I “hope” Selective Fundamentalist Christians are right…but I can’t b/c that means that so many will suffer forever in eternal torment, many who are much better people than those I unfortunately had to experience in the church, no end to their torment ever, so terrible, so unloving. I hope you’re wrong for the sake of others.

  185. Dabylons Bread says:

    AB, you said, “Legally, since CC Visalia is independent and Pastor/Board run that’s all Chuck could do anyway.”

    I believe you’re correct in you’re assessment.

    Yet…
    would you consider it somewhat of a double standard that though Chuck won’t/can’t rule on BG scenario (a potentially shameful/wicked truth if what Alex [and others] have alleged, is true) he ‘chooses’ to rule against the supposed “reformed-friendly” movement?

    In other words, CS’s energies seem more directed upon purging CC of any hint of reformed/reformed friendly activity, while (at least) giving the appearance of ignoring the far great evil of abusive pastors/elders (and their dehumanized victims).

    Would you agree with this?

  186. Andrew says:

    “I think your form of religion, while largely corrupt, is psychological necessity and coping mechanism as Delusion is a great opiate and actually works to keep society in some sort of order”

    Alex, I am not sure if this was addressed to me or not but I do understand where your comments are coming from. This is exactly why I am trying to distance myself from CC until they repent of their arrogance. What you describe above is what I refer to as the CC and Chuck Smith form of religion and I completely agree with you.

  187. Alex says:

    Andrew, it was addressed to AB/CC but unfortunately, I see the same thing in all the other religious boxes. Heck, it’s in ever philosophical Camp and every other religion as well, even Secular Humanism and New Atheism. We’re all afflicted with the Human Condition to one degree or another, except Jesus, if He is real.

    On another topic, the Currency Wars are really heating up (as noted previously) as Japan recently went on massive offense. Buckle up, we’re getting closer to blowing up the Current System and ushering in a World Central Bank scheme and new WRC (world reserve currency to transact global trade instead of the US dollar as such).

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/currency-war-is-hell-on-emerging-markets-2013-04-11

  188. Dabylons Bread says:

    If an email example like the one suggested below was sent out from CS (and/or CCA) I wonder how much more appropriate/righteous/redemptive would the CC cause be?

    To my fellow brothers and servants of Christ,

    My heart is deeply troubled over the division/shame that I have seen creep into our body as the result of;
    being lax with moral standards,
    pastors’ who have taken advantage of the vulnerable,
    and the attitude of exclusivity (shutting ourselves off to the larger body of Christ),
    we have observed.
    In the beginning of the CC movement, the factor that drew people was the love of God (for God and others).

    One of the choruses which was sung often was,
    Love, love, love, love
    Christians, this is your call
    Love your neighbor as yourself
    For God loves all

    It was based on Jesus’ words in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another.” This was the strength of our movement, and thus the area that the enemy has targeted in his attempt to destroy what God has begun…

  189. Andrew says:

    “We’re all afflicted with the Human Condition to one degree or another, except Jesus, if He is real”.

    You nailed it. Jesus definitely is real. There is no question in my mind about it. Strengthen the faith you have in Him because no one else has the words of eternal life. I believe this is what Peter said. There really is no where else to turn. He is it.

  190. Alex says:

    Andrew, what if I have doubt? What if it’s like 50-50, does that mean I’m going to hell?

    …others are welcome to answer that question. It is a very interesting philosophical consideration when it is discussed to its end.

  191. Alex says:

    What if it’s like 99 part doubt and 1 part faith, am I in or do I burn forever?

    I don’t reject Jesus or God. I just hope that your version of religion is wrong as it means so many friends and loved ones will burn in hell forever with no end ever if they reject Jesus.

    What if I hope it’s wrong, what if I think there’s a possibility it could be wrong, but think there’s a possibility it could be true and appeal to Jesus as my only hope if it is true?

    Do I burn forever in that scenario?

    What if I’m missing baptism? (I’m not, been baptized twice). What if I’m a “good” person? What if I “love my neighbor” and give to the poor like Jesus said? If I have doubt am I damned?

    What if I was a total sinful bastard and didn’t get baptized but appealed to Jesus and said I had absolutely no doubt about it, am I in? Do I burn?

  192. Chile says:

    AB said,

    “What is sorely missing from PP is Bob’s side of the story, …unless you are willing to accept Alex’s version of what Bob is saying.”

    I want to focus on this critical issue. I am willing to accept the testimonies given as Declarations by Jim Souza (20 year CC assistant pastor), Hank Kampen (former CC assistant pastor), Bryan Prosser (long-time CCV’er, school teacher), Paul Grenier (Bob’s blood son), Tim Taylor (former CCV congregant), the emails from Alice Bryant (former long-time CCV Bookkeeper), Edna Silva (most recent CCV Bookkeeper), the young girl (whom Bob told not to turn in her abuser,) the maintenance guy (falsely accused and fired,) Tina (long time volunteer who witnessed Bob’s explosive anger and retribution,) and the various others who have reported of their first hand knowledge of Bob’s actions as well as Alex’s testimony of physical abuse in the home along with his knowledge of unsavory church business.

    Yes, I accept that there are more than enough testimonies so that it is incumbent upon the leadership of CC to step in and do whatever investigating they have to do in order to either clear the air for Bob (damning all the afore mentioned people,) or remove Bob’s dove since the leadership of CC are the only ones who have any real power over Bob. Boards and elders have no real power and are not the ones affiliated with CC, only Bob, the pastor, is affiliated with CC; therefore, the responsibility ultimately lies with CC leadership.

  193. Andrew says:

    Alex, I have heard you speak. I have seen your posts. I’m convinced you believe but I think sometimes you like to entertain this philosophical idea about doubt. However you did mention that this problem is in every philosophical camp. So I do encourage you to see the problem with this philosophy that I think you know already exists. Jesus is more real that this philosophical consideration.

  194. Alex says:

    BG’s side of the story is: he denies everything and has folks that deny it along with him. He says he was investigated and that Detective Brian Haney quickly saw it as a “smear campaign” or something like that, according to BG. I was told there was going to be an arrest (by an insider close to the VPD and city of visalia) but at the last minute something happened and they didn’t make an arrest. Something doesn’t add up. I would like to know if Detective Brian Haney actually made the statement BG says he did. If so, I don’t see how Detective Haney could make such a statement based on the evidence that was given to me and to him by former CCV Bookkeepers and others. While the stuff wasn’t Bernie Madoff level, it certainly doesn’t look to be legal or right, if it is, then we all need to take notes from BG’s way of doing things and work the System better IMO and keep more of our money.

    With Paul Grenier’s molestation allegations, that’s a much more serious issue, but again, BG has the out of simply calling Paul a liar. Personally, I believe Paul due to my personal experiences with BG and his weird behavior in our home that has been interpreted by some clinical therapists who are experts in these areas as sexual in nature and what they call “grooming”, but that is their opinion and my opinion.

    All the other stuff is bad, sad, wrong, etc. and it gets swept under the rug as well. Everyone’s a liar, there’s context to everything, it’s a hate campaign, a vendetta etc. blah, blah, blah. It’s an effective strategy so far.

  195. “what if I have doubt? What if it’s like 50-50, does that mean I’m going to hell?”

    There isn’t one follower of God who hasn’t had doubt, or seasons of doubt, or facets of their faith which spring from the contradictions of bible passages. Thing is, one cannot become un-born again, and a new creation cannot become an old creation. Cling to that reality of a thing being a thing.

  196. Alex says:

    Hey, if the govt. and church have reviewed the stuff and say BG is good to go, then so be it. If the CC Visalia Board is good with him, then so be it, if Chuck endorses that stuff, then so be it.

    I thought the church and the bible was against that sort of stuff, but I see things differently now. Don’t listen to the words of church and church leaders, watch their actions and inactions. There’s your real expression of belief, there’s your real doctrine and theology.

    The greatest argument against God and the church is the church and God’s supposed anointed.

  197. Chile says:

    AB said,

    “It’s not so much that recourse was denied Alex, but that his allegations failed to meet the criteria needed by both the CC Visalia board (for pastoral dismissal) or Chuck (for disaffiliation). The many corroborating testimonies alluded to, have apparently been outweighed by even greater testimonies from Bob’s side to the contrary. Allegations in an of themselves prove nothing except the existence of a problem.”

    As already established, the allegations against Bob are not only Alex’s. But for you to say that Alex’s failed to meet criteria needed for disaffiliation, doesn’t ring true. Again, no one ever contacted those making the allegations, nor their corroborating witnesses, nor did anyone tell their findings of either side.

    The information has to be brought out into the light. If Alex and all the others are making false accusations, then it needs to be shown so. If the accusations are not met with a reasonable response by Bob, then he is unfit for the pastorate, therefore affiliation. Silence is not a defense in the church.

    If you claim the many corroborating testimonies have been outweighed by greater testimonies from the accused, Bob Grenier, then make those public. This sounds very unprofessional and extremely biased, it sounds like you simply took Bob’s word that all those people making consistent accusations against him are all bad and all lying. Really?

    If all you had was one son speaking (though all 3 boys agree on the facts,) that would be enough to look past Bob’s denials. But that’s when you find the many corroborating testimonies and people with allegations of their own that are consistent. For you to say these allegations mean nothing is wrong.

    If Bob has truly been able to answer all the accusations in a satisfying manner, then the investigator must speak with those making the allegations for a response. Bob’s answers must be made public, as this has become a very public matter for CCV, Visalia (considering he was the Chaplain of the Police Dept. now put on leave,) the many alleged victims, and CC as a whole since this has been an ongoing topic of concern displaying the weaknesses of the CC Moses Model church government style. The facts and findings need to be brought out into the light. If the accusers are all lying (they would have to be in a conspiracy,) then these facts to be known as publicly as the accusations were made.

    AB, let’s cut through the many words … there’s enough evidence to know there is an existence of a serious problem. CC leadership has failed to investigate and resolve this issue. This means that affiliation means nothing and quibbling over whether or not reformed leaning pastors can be in affiliation only serves to show the disconnect the CC leadership has. If you can’t deal with moral failures, serious growing allegations, and a pastor who doesn’t meet the qualifications as per Scripture for the office, then “affiliation” has no meaning.

  198. Chile says:

    Babs @ 187 said it much better than I,

    “In other words, CS’s energies seem more directed upon purging CC of any hint of reformed/reformed friendly activity, while (at least) giving the appearance of ignoring the far great evil of abusive pastors/elders (and their dehumanized victims).”

  199. Chile says:

    Dabylons Bread @ 190 makes a great point!

    Me thinks the emPHAsis is on the wrong syLAble.

  200. pstrmike says:

    @187

    If what you say is true, then yes, it is a tragedy. There is also the sense of patriachol/apostolic authority that many of these guys give to Chuck Smith.

    I remember reading this many years ago:

    We are not a denominational church, nor are we opposed to denominations as such only to their overemphasis of the doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the Body of Christ.

    Continuing to pray for Alex, for Paul, Bob, Gayle, for justice and for mercy.

  201. Chile says:

    AB said,

    “Maybe the only way in the future to make everyone happy is to build into the CC association process an agreement that internal disputes not settled satisfactorily by the board, must submit to outside independent Christian arbitration that both parties would agree is binding.”

    Yes. It’s not intended to make everyone happy, but to resolve conflicts, disputes, and bring true abuse and corruption into the light, with appropriate consequences. If it’s law breaking, then it ought to be taken to the courts.

    Note: Sexual abuse allegations should be immediately reported to the authorities and the professionals should be the one’s deciding if the allegations are actionable.

  202. Chile says:

    Excellent, pstrmike @202 said,

    “We are not a denominational church, nor are we opposed to denominations as such only to their overemphasis of the doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the Body of Christ.”

    Exactly what Chuck is doing today, dividing over doctrinal differences, ones that are within the pale of orthodoxy.

    All the while, ignoring the disqualifying factors of CC pastors causing much damage. See the list at CalvaryChapelAbuse.com under people’s experiences in CC.

  203. Chile says:

    AB said,

    “You would think your feet would be free of dust by now……”

    AB, I don’t know your motivation, but please understand that this statement is often received as a CC tactic to just shut down the truth. The underlying meaning of many such statements is, “Don’t speak out about the wrongs, just go away and let us continue in our wrongs unnoticed.”

    How many of us approached leadership about a leader in known, habitual, unrepentant sin only to have the leadership shut us out. Canceled appointments, no return communications, and excuses for months and years on end. Then after lots of time has passed, those of us with legitimate issues are then labeled as bitter, unforgiving; and told to move along, vote with your feet, forgive and forget, “are you still here?”

    Yes, we are still here, because we have very serious and legitimate issues that should be resolved within the church if the church (or org) is going to claim it’s moral authority.

  204. Alex says:

    pstrmike said, “Continuing to pray for….justice and for mercy.”

    If the bible is true as interpreted by most of what is considered “Christian”…I pray for mercy for all, as justice doesn’t seem to be served by a loving God by damning people to hell to suffer forever with no end, many who never get the chance to even hear the Gospel message.

  205. Alex says:

    If it really is all true, why couldn’t God change His mind and have mercy on all of His creation, if He is all powerful? He changed His mind before, if the bible is to be taken literally, no?

  206. Rob Murphy says:

    It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

    For myself, for Alex and everyone who is looking at this moment and whatever wickedness is staring us down, we must remember that this moment is not the reward.

    The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

    I don’t have a tracking number or an arrival date for that righteousness and justice.
    But I also don’t have an expiration date.

  207. Alex says:

    Why is it set in stone? Why can’t the outcome be different than what the Fundies say is so absolute and concrete? If God changed His mind once, why can’t He do it again?

    My guess is b/c that doesn’t fit the hell narrative, which seems to be a great control tactic to fear folks into revering a corrupt leadership, of which many are addicted to the power. I even see this power addiction and “God’s anointed” dynamic in good CC pastors and other pastors. There’s something not good in the dynamic of believing you are more special than other folks as a special agent of God with some sort of anointing.

  208. Alex says:

    Lots of bible verses, that if taken literally, say concretely that God “changed his mind”/relented/repented etc.

    Seems a contradiction to other narratives that say He never changes etc and that the stuff is all concrete and absolute and a certain outcome (if true as interpreted by Fundies).

  209. Alex says:

    “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.” The Hebrew word is “changed” as in “changed his mind” if interpreted literally.

    “and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them” KJV. Hard to parse that one, but apologists spin like a top on this one.

    “The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.” KJV. The Hebrew word is “changed” which means He changed His mind.

    “The LORD changed His mind about this. “This too shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.” NASB. Hebrew word is “changed”.

    “So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created–and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground–for I regret that I have made them.””: But then God changed His mind, supposedly because of one man, Noah.

    There’s a bunch more. “changed”, “changed”, “changed”, “changed” etc etc. but I know, spin, appeal to all sorts of context etc.

  210. Michael says:

    Theologically, we would say that God was using anthropomorphic language to communicate to these ancient people.
    If you allow for a literal interpretation of these passages you end up with a God that is no longer omniscient…a God who no longer knows the end from the beginning, but is reacting in real time to the changing ways of His creation.
    He is no longer perfect in knowledge…He did not anticipate or know the outcome of these matters which necessitated a change of mind.
    Some people want a god like that…I’m not one of them.

  211. Alex says:

    Michael said, “Theologically, we would say that God was using anthropomorphic language to communicate to these ancient people.”

    OK, then maybe that’s the whole of Genesis and Genesis was “anthropomorphic language” as well and not to be taken as literal and as a Science book.

    Pick and choose “anthropomorphic language” which is a big part of Selective Fundamentalism.

  212. Michael says:

    “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.”
    (Revelation 8:1–5 ESV)

    It is my belief that those “prayers of all the saints” are all the times we’ve prayed against injustice and unrighteousness “thy kingdom come, thy will be done”.
    There will be a day when those rise up before God…and are answered.
    That day is not yet here.

  213. Alex says:

    Michael said, “If you allow for a literal interpretation of these passages you end up with …”

    You end up with contradiction and the fact that “maybe” the bible isn’t what Fundies make it out to be and that “inerrant” and “infallible” etc is quite an over-sell. It’s not like Fundies example belief in most areas anyway. They say the words, but when push comes to shove, there is much disbelief in all sorts of “literal” bible verses across the board, all denoms, etc.

  214. Michael says:

    Alex,

    Should you study the matter, you will find that many believe that the first three chapters of Genesis are Hebrew poetry…that they are not telling us “how”, but “who”.
    The Bible is not a science book, it is the story of God, His people, and their redemption.

  215. Alex says:

    Michael, I don’t see how an intellectually honest person can call the straightforward stuff of “God changed His mind” as “anthropomorphic” and then in the next breath say Revelation is literal, when Revelation is about as metaphorical a text as there has ever been in human history.

    If Revelation is literal, then Jesus is a blood-stained warrior who kills all His enemies with a sword until the blood is bridle high. Not the “loving” Gahndi Jesus of the Gospels, no?

  216. Rob Murphy says:

    @ Michael, #216 . . . my life with God has been often most tumultuous when I get that one little collection of letters, O, H, and W out of order in what God is showing me. I prefer to know the ‘how’ over the ‘who’ – that is, the One (Himself) He would show me and the One I most need to know.
    In short, it’s not just the first three chapters of Genesis . . . that’s been the last 40 plus years of my life and counting.

  217. Alex says:

    Any which way you slice it, there is massive contradiction and paradox. It simply doesn’t add up. Appeals to the bible are really appeals to Selective Interpretation and fitting the text into a particular Box.

  218. Michael says:

    Alex,

    An intellectually honest person would study enough to know that the Bible is comprised of many types of recognizable literary genres.
    The book of Revelation is an example of “apocalyptic” literature.
    Thus, while the “censer full of prayers” may be symbolic, there is truth behind that symbolism.
    That truth is that there will be a day when God makes all things right and righteous…and the saints are to wait for that day in patience.
    I would differ with your assessment of the Jesus of the Gospels as well…

  219. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I’ll steal that for a book someday. 🙂
    Till then, I’ll just say amen.

  220. Alex says:

    Unfortunately, Michael, I think you just used a fancier way of saying “it means symbolism/metaphor/anthropomorphic” when it doesn’t fit my Box, my Conclusion, my Premise…and it means “literal” where it does fit my Box, my Conclusion, my Premise”

  221. Alex says:

    Well, got to go earn some money to pay for CC Pastor lawsuits and food for my kids. I feel so blessed thanks to Calvary Chapel! Blessings! 🙂

  222. Michael says:

    Alex,

    You are judging the book by it’s readers.
    I dont worry much about terms like “inerrancy” any more…I just believe that the Bible is “true”.
    I believe this by faith…faith that God has spoken and that He has preserved His words.
    No argument can create faith…it is a gift.
    I pray that God give you a measure of faith to believe in spite of His erring and sin filled followers… like me.

  223. Rob Murphy says:

    Alex I know I am often clamoring for the blood soaked Jesus to show up, but He has not…yet.
    It is my opinion that God seems absent from the recent turn of events in the courts in this case and I’ve only got a couple hypotheses.
    1. That like Eli’s sons, Hophne and Phinheas, there won’t be a godly decision from the courts or from CC or Bob because they are all already set in their course and due to be destroyed. All of them are showing their godlessness. As God tarries in His grace, all must repent.
    2. God is using this to teach me not to put my hope in any system that has exempted itself from God. He’s also showing me my own hypocrisy and my need to press on to the high mark heavenward, with grace as my deepest need to live in newness.
    3. I am every day storing up wrath in choosing “my way” or I am pressing toward the grace that is only available in the high calling heavenward. “my way” and making allies with this system is a capricious mistress and is proven an undependable reward system. I must throw myself at faith and believe in God’s reward.

    On a personal note, this is not meant to pile on, I hope you will hear it. My church is not a CC anymore. We experienced the inconsistency and deception, we listened to your testimony and added it to our experience. We made appeals, we spoke out, we were not heard, we withdrew. We are the fundies you seem so angry about and toward, but wherever possible, in as much as we were able, we did what God called us to do. I/we are not perfect, but we are pressing on toward God’s call heavenward, trusting and resting on his grace. Your suffering was not meaningless to me and I am saddened that this latest turn of bad decisions is poisoning your heart and that your faith is taking on so much water. I pray that you will not be shipwrecked and I pray that God would restore your heart.

  224. Michael says:

    Rob…well said…and I know you’ve paid for each one of those words.

  225. Chile says:

    Rob Murphy said,

    “On a personal note, this is not meant to pile on, I hope you will hear it. My church is not a CC anymore. We experienced the inconsistency and deception, we listened to your testimony and added it to our experience. We made appeals, we spoke out, we were not heard, we withdrew.”

    Sounds like you’ve been through a lot! Sorry you had to go through it, but glad you have grown from it. May your journey be a good one!

    Btw, I’m impressed!

  226. Bob Sweat says:

    Rob

    Thank you for sharing.

  227. Andrew says:

    “I pray for mercy for all, as justice doesn’t seem to be served by a loving God by damning people to hell to suffer forever with no end, many who never get the chance to even hear the Gospel message”.

    Alex, I don’t know the mind of God but His ways are certainly above our ways. Could it possible be that on everyone’s death bed, in that last split second of time, God would somehow “suspend time” so to speak metaphorically for the individual who has never heard of Christ, and speak to that individual Himself, offering the free gift of salvation? So that no man would be without the offer and would also be without excuse? No fundy I have ever talked to has told me that that couldn’t happen or be the case. Your arguments are suggesting that God is unfair or unloving but these arguments can be shot down in a heartbeat if you care to look at the possibilities with an infinite God. We can never truly know the state of someone soul when they enter in the presence of God. We can truly only be accountable for our own actions and no one else’s. If you consider the pain that Christ bore on the cross (not just physical or emotional turmoil but the atonement Christ paid) for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to go to Hell really shows a very kind, gracious, loving, forgiving and just God. There is no other way around this.

  228. Andrew says:

    “Should you study the matter, you will find that many believe that the first three chapters of Genesis are Hebrew poetry…that they are not telling us “how”, but “who”.
    The Bible is not a science book, it is the story of God, His people, and their redemption”

    Yes there those such at Tim Keller that believe in theistic evolution. Unfortunately, its not just the first three chapters in Genesis that are attacked but a large chunk regarding Christ being the second Adam, The genealogies in Luke are suspect and the fact that death proceeded the the Fall and sin among many other theological problems. I can not recommend Tim Keller when he takes these Biblical approaches but then takes a complentarian approach to the Bible. To me this is unbelievable. Alex is definitely right that this is a type of “selective fundamentalism” at its worst. I consider Tim Keller a brother and don’t view this as something to question his faith over but for someone who is seeking real answers and a reason for their faith, I can never recommend Tim Keller’s theistic evolution. To me it just seems that this biblical hermeneutic could turn someone into an atheist very fast.

  229. covered says:

    Andrew, your #229 is a good word.

  230. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Nowhere did I mention Tim Keller or attempt to make a case for theistic evolution.
    I was stating that there are numerous literary genres in the Bible that must be a part of sound exegesis.

  231. Andrew says:

    Alex,

    Change has to do with “time constraint”. People are trapped in time but God is outside of time altogether. When the Bible says God changed His mind you need to consider this fact that God is not locked into this “time constraint”. He is outside it altogether. Time is a dimension in the “space-time” continuum. Modern physics recognizes that time is relative to the mass and speed of an object. I don’t find this supposedly contradiction in the Bible really that hard to resolve especially when you take modern science since Einstein into consideration.

  232. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    I agree with you that there are different literary genres in the Bible. I disagree with those that would say the first three chapters of Genesis are Hebrew poetry. I mentioned Tim Keller because he is the most well know pastor besides maybe N.T. Wright that has said this. They both believe in theistic evolution.

  233. once a cc guru says:

    Alex’s plight and subsequent reaction of utter despair and disappointment to the injustices of the “cc machine” in which he and so many of us at one time trusted in reminds me of a speech by Mario Savio in 1964 given at Berkeley against the corruption within the university’s hierarchy…

  234. mrtundraman says:

    AB wrote – “It’s not so much that recourse was denied Alex, but that his allegations failed to meet the criteria … [needed by] Chuck (for disaffiliation). The many corroborating testimonies alluded to, have apparently been outweighed by even greater testimonies from Bob’s side to the contrary”

    While I can see that you want to believe that to be the explanation for what happened, what evidence do you have for that as the explanation? I think when you use the word “apparently” you are admitting that you don’t know that’s the correct explanation.

    Could it also be that Chuck knows that Bob has a problem and yet is choosing to overlook it for reasons largely known to Chuck alone?

    There was a case with Mike Kestler where Chuck knew that Mike “had a problem with the ladies” yet failed to act when he should/could have because it went against Chuck’s other interests (namely the control of CSN $$$).

    Do you have ANY evidence that Chuck weighed the evidence from both sides and decided against Alex? I think you are making a presumption here without any evidence of what you hope Chuck did..

  235. mrtundraman says:

    AB wrote “Maybe the only way in the future to make everyone happy is to build into the CC association process an agreement that internal disputes not settled satisfactorily by the board, must submit to outside independent Christian arbitration that both parties would agree is binding.”

    Some of has have called for that for many years. If there’s a Scripture that says “Don’t allow an accusation against an elder without 2-3 witnesses” that would imply that there’s a process in place for dealing with accusations against pastors (elders in this passage).

    If I have an accusation against Chuck Smith or any of the other Moses Model pastors how/where can I bring the accusation today? That’s why I say that people like Chuck and the other Moses Model pastors (no matter how good of persons they might be) are essentially unaccountable.

    Their typical response – “we are accountable to God” but how does that answer the passage about handling accusations against an elder? It doesn’t. How can they be accountable to God if they have set up a church organization in opposition to his rules of how things should be done in the church?

    Chuck can be the greatest guy in the world, but why in the world would he have created such a system where pastors are unaccountable? Doesn’t he know Scripture better than that?

    AB, I think you are a great guy and we’ve had some great conversations over the years but I’ve got even less respect for your employer than ever before. I don’t think he’s got any integrity left – at least in my eyes. I think he does what is convenient for him and not what is good for the body.

  236. mrtundraman says:

    AB wrote – “It’s not so much that recourse was denied Alex, but that his allegations failed to meet the criteria … [needed by] Chuck (for disaffiliation). The many corroborating testimonies alluded to, have apparently been outweighed by even greater testimonies from Bob’s side to the contrary”

    How is this response any different than Larry Taylor’s book on assistant pastors where he wrote

    “In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on. If the church is a Calvary Chapel affiliate, then take your concerns and share them privately with Pastor Chuck or with Oden Fong, then drop it, leave it alone. Let them handle it. Trust God. He’ll correct the situation.”

    God, I trust. He judges perfectly.

    Chuck, not so much. He perverts justice.

  237. mrtundraman says:

    Bottom line is that the evidence is overwhelming that Chuck is more concerned about protecting pastors than he is concerned about the sheep.

    And THAT’S the definition of a hireling in Scripture. No concern for the sheep.

  238. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Bottom line is that the evidence is overwhelming that Chuck is more concerned about protecting pastors than he is concerned about the sheep.

    And THAT’S the definition of a hireling in Scripture. No concern for the sheep.”

    This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  239. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Psalm 118:8-“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”

    Psalm 146:3-“Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.”

    Jeremiah 17:5-“Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.”

  240. mrtundraman says:

    “Change has to do with “time constraint”. People are trapped in time but God is outside of time altogether.”

    I have heard this, but I’m not as convinced as I once was. To say God became man and to say that the God-Man died and rose three days later is to say that God is intricately involved in time.

    Time is also a sequencing of events and is found in the relative order. “And God said”, is to say that God acted and acts in time. God said let there be light before there was light so to me this refutes the idea that time came into existence with matter.

    “When the Bible says God changed His mind you need to consider this fact that God is not locked into this “time constraint”. He is outside it altogether.”

    Doesn’t solve the problem of the passages really though, does it? To be in a relationship is to act in time towards another person. If some part of the Trinity consists of a relationship between the persons of the Trinity, then there’s some aspect to time involved. If anything the idea that God change HIs mind shows His relationship to time. Doesn’t mean His nature is changeable or that the future is unknown to God or that He lacks the power to control the future and form it in the way He forsees.

    “Time is a dimension in the “space-time” continuum.”

    To say that something is a dimension isn’t to say anything meaningful in this context. It’s like saying that objects have three dimensions. So what?

    “Modern physics recognizes that time is relative to the mass and speed of an object.”

    Again, not relevant. And it doesn’t establish that time is dependent on mass either. To say that time came into existence when matter came into existence, as some physicists do, is to make a statement which can’t be proven nor can it be tested in any science experiment. It might only make sense in a purely materialistic universe but even in a universe where there was no matter just spirits there would still be the opportunity for interaction between the spirits and time would be required.

    “I don’t find this supposedly contradiction in the Bible really that hard to resolve especially when you take modern science since Einstein into consideration.”

    Science is divided on the question of whether time requires matter or not. It is not as much a given as we learned in high school physics/

  241. A Believer says:

    Tundraman,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I recognize you have had issues with Chuck throughout the years, as have others.

    To what degree there is validity to your assertions I couldn’t really say for sure. I certainly don’t think your viewpoints are without any merit at all. Any man who can’t learn from his critics would be very foolish.

    “….don’t think he’s got any integrity left – at least in my eyes.”

    I also appreciate that above you stated your views about Chuck are just that- your views (although shared by others).

    As far as any evidence I have that Chuck was thorough in his investigation of the Grenier situation, I don’t offer any.

    My point was there is no evidence that he didn’t. But that has been the assumption here.

    So, we’re all just guessing! 😉

    BTW, I looked into the information concerning CCCM’s assets by talking with a board member. The information you have about control of the assets being passed on to Jeff Smith is a mistake that the CCCM board corrected a while back.

    In addition, while Chuck currently holds the office of president for the CCCM corporation, he will not be appointing a successor. Bylaws have been recently changed.

    Control of CCCM’s financial assets will not be going to the Smith family as has been alleged in the past. That is error.

  242. Alex says:

    AB, what about KRTM and Penfold Communications?

    I’ve been told that Jeff Smith and his family are the Board members of Penfold, which is the corp that holds the lucrative Radio assets, that were allegedly (reported by a CCCM insider with intimate knowledge of legal dealings) purchased with CCCM monies.

    Who owns/controls the Radio assets? All those transmitters and FCC rights? It’s been estimated to be worth in the 10’s of millions of dollars if not $100 million plus.

  243. Alex says:

    AB said, “Control of CCCM’s financial assets will not be going to the Smith family as has been alleged in the past. That is error.”

    Is Penfold Communications and KRTM and all the radio transmitters and FCC rights for the lucrative radio assets considered “financial assets” of CCCM? Or, are they Jeff Smith’s assets?

  244. Alex says:

    Here are some of the “assets” under the Penfold Communications, Inc. umbrella…which I’m told is under the sole control of Jeff Smith and his family, are my sources wrong?

    http://streamingradioguide.com/licensee-list.php?sort=&licensee=PENFOLD+COMMUNICATIONS%2C+INC.&ownerid=4555&notfirst=1&showAM=on&showFM=on&showTV=on&showLP=on&showFX=on

    Who paid for these assets? Who provided the money for KRTM? I was told by a CCCM insider that CCCM paid the money to buy KRTM on a fire sale years ago…then I was told that CCCM later, in essence (according to this source) paid a huge amount of money to Penfold Communications for what was essentially stuff that CCCM had already paid for, which in the mind of my source was pretty scandalous.

  245. Alex says:

    Penfold Communications Inc.:

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/California/Santa-Ana/penfold-communications-inc/41086605.aspx

    Says Jeffery Smith and Toni Dunlap

    HERE’S A REALLY INTERESTING VISUAL that shows the connections between the different supposed CCCM corporations (unless it’s the family that owns and controls the stuff? Dunno, you tell me…):

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/California/Santa-Ana/jeffrey-w-smith/41086614.aspx

  246. Alex says:

    Two links, stuck in mod. Rather interesting visuals of the corporate connections and the officers etc.

  247. Alex says:

    AB, who owns Wal-Mart? One could say “well, it’s the Wal-Mart shareholders!”…or one could say it’s the Walton Family who calls the shots and owns most of the shares.

  248. mrtundraman says:

    Alex, I like what you have shown above since it puts pieces together. We are not sure if AB differentiates between CCCM as the motherchurch and CCCM as the ubercorp that controls the other corps.

    Unless someone can produce the new CCCM bylaws, I guess all we can do is wait and check Penfold’s 990s for 2012 when they get put up up. If they were changed “a while back” to make it so Smith family members are no longer in control of the assets of Penfold, etc, then the 990s will show it.

    I sincerely have great respect for AB since few would even bother to ask the question that he did. It might be considered disloyal to some to ask the questions about what happens after Chuck departs the scene. Hopefully he was told the truth.

    Some of the corporationwiki data is out of date since it shows Kestler and Smith controlling CSN together and I don’t think that’s happened in quite some time.

  249. Alex says:

    What’s the $457,004 “loan” to HFC in 2011? Who the heck is “HFC”?

  250. Alex says:

    2011 has Jeff Smith, Chad Smith and Vanessa Berry.

    Maybe that changes for 2012 like MTM guesses if AB has the right info.

    The “purchase” from CCCM is interesting. What did they purchase?

  251. House Of Cards
    Robert Plant

    Oh the rain is falling (blow blow down)
    And the wild wind roars (blow blow down)
    It’ll shake your windows (blow blow down)
    And rattle your doors (blow blow down)
    Ah blow down this house of cards
    Blow down this house of cards

    They’re washing the streets (blow blow down)
    With the blood of your kind (blow blow down)
    Ah look over your shoulder (blow blow down)
    They are right behind (blow blow down)
    Oh blow down this house of cards
    Blow down this house of cards

    The birds are wheeling (blow blow down)
    Up above your head (blow blow down)
    Ah your days are numbered (blow blow down)
    You’re as good as dead (blow blow down)
    Ah blow down this house of cards
    Blow down this house of cards

    This very fine house (blow blow down)
    Of great renown (blow blow down)
    It’s cracked and shaking (blow blow down)
    And a-tumbling down (blow blow down)
    Ah blow down this house of cards
    Blow down this house of cards
    Blow down this house of cards
    Oh blow down this house of cards

  252. Andrew says:

    mrtundraman @242,

    You seem to be implying that time has always existed. If it has always existed than it was not created and If it was not created than it is by definition part and parcel to who God is. There is creation and there is creator. I don’t see much else. I don’t believe God is “time”. “Time” seems to be something measurable and quantifiable and doesn’t appear to be consistent with an infinite God’s nature. I believe it is something God created outside of Himself. I believe God created time. However He could have created time long before the Genesis story. I look at the book of John, “where it says, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God”. This “in the beginning” seems to predate the Genesis “in the beginning” story. Maybe “time” was created here before the universe came to be. I could be way off here but we can only relate to God in a sequential time event way because we are trapped in time. I don’t believe God has these same limitations. Just because we can’t imagine or understand how this can be doesn’t discount the prospect of it being true.

  253. Frosted Flake says:

    And the next big thing is the explosion of Alex’s brain, in 3D. This is sad enough to make even me pray.

  254. mrtundraman says:

    Andrew, If you say that there was a time before time, then \you make my point. Why would time be inconsistent with God’s nature? Time is where relationship is shown and God is relational.

    Where does the Bible say that time was created? It’s a misunderstanding of science, or rather an affirmation of a materialistic universe that would argue that material is all there is and time is a consequence of material objects. If I create a vacuum is there no time on that vacuum? Of course there is.

    If you say “in the beginning predates” something than there was time before that time. Maybe time isn’t something we are trapped in but something that we share with God. Why is being in time a limit? Even if it were, there are limits to God.

    If we say darkness doesn’t abide in God is that a limit to God? I suppose that it is, but what’s wrong with God being limited. He can’t be evil. God can’t hate. God can’t do a lot of things.

    You did sidestep my point about the incarnation. God became man and is man for all time now. Was the Son always the God-Man? The second person of the Trinity existed from all eternity but not as the God-Man. That happened at a point in time. That’s the limitation of God in the Incarnation. He became a man for us and for all time.

  255. Andrew says:

    mrtundraman, There is a lot of mystery to everything regarding the incarnation. This is just as difficult to explain and understand as the trinity is. But I believe it on faith. You ask was the Son always the God-Man? Well in a philosophical sense Christ was, is and is to come. He is the alpha and omega. He was slain before the foundation of the world. From our perspective, we see things in a particular way. But with God, things are different I would imagine. A thousands years are like a day and day is like a thousands years. We can not assume God thinks as we do. We know his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are much higher than our thoughts. Now Jesus was also human. So in this regard, Jesus had limitations. He even said he did not know the day or hour of his return. But Jesus was also God who knows everything. This is very difficult to understand how this can be but I simple believe it has to do with this idea of time dimension. Hard to comprehend or understand but doesn’t at all shake my faith.

  256. Chile says:

    AB said,

    “As far as any evidence I have that Chuck was thorough in his investigation of the Grenier situation, I don’t offer any.

    My point was there is no evidence that he didn’t. But that has been the assumption here.

    So, we’re all just guessing! ”

    Actually, it is evidence that Chuck has not spoken with key players such as Paul, Geoff, and many of the others mentioned earlier, that no serious investigation could have taken place. That is not guessing or assuming.

    Besides, it doesn’t count if it’s not made public. At a bare minimum, the principles in this story should be shown the testimony/evidence. This has not happened. The secretive, opaque handling of controversies in back rooms doesn’t solve problems.

  257. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    It’s $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  258. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    If you know what to look for regardless of what they want you to think that they are about, you will be better equipped to see through all the smoke and mirrors.

    http://www.manipulative-people.com/manipulation-tactics-a-closer-look-part-2/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

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