Loose Ends

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143 Responses

  1. Paigemom says:

    About the ‘warm douglas fir’, you might consider buying a good quality pure essential oil of Balsam Fir Needle or Cedar (at the co-op). I have most of the ‘woods’ essential oils… LOVE them…. the aroma of wood gives strength to my heart…

    Glad you had some time away from screens outside in the beautiful SoO mountains…

    As we search for a new church, I find myself missing certain aspects of CCs…. we might go visit a local one. Missing verse by verse…. missing simplicity and faith..

    Just finished reading “Hurtling Towards Oblivion” ….a book I heard about on Dr James Dobson’s radio program on the subject of futurism and the inevitable socio-economic crashes ahead. Interesting…. my other summer reading is the Ball Canning Guide 🙂

    Blesings to all… and most happy and healthy birthday to dear Erunner.

  2. Anita says:

    Speaking of “Harbinger,” has anyone read the book? I have a friend who forced it on me. Hmmmmmmm?

  3. Michael says:

    Paigemom,

    I’m hoping the smell of the firs will keep me sane until I can go back…I’ll find those oils…

  4. Anita says:

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, E! You are a blessing!

  5. Michael says:

    I was going to read it so I could review it…but what I’ve read is so ridiculous I refuse to spend the money.

  6. Anita/Nonnie says:

    Michael, (your number 5) I don’t blame you.

  7. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    The bottom line is exegesis.
    You simply cannot take a scripture out of it’s context and create “prophecy” out of whole cloth.
    Well, you can, but you’ll be an idiot…or a suddenly wealthy “author” selling snake oil to biblical illiterates.

  8. Bob Sweat says:

    “E” Put the “O” in BuenO Park! Have a blessed day “E”!

  9. Crowned1 says:

    “The only distinctives in the statement of faith are the ‘pretrib rapture’…”

    It’s unfortunate that one has to believe in something that isn’t in the bible, in order to properly assemble with a portion of the body of Christ. It is also very telling.

    When I first began to espouse that I didn’t believe in the rapture (only the 2nd public coming of Christ) I was ostracized from CC. Mind you, I was a laymen, but my “friends” that I used to assemble with couldn’t stomach that I thought Darby’s conclusions were incorrect.

    I was basically told that ‘even though you were raised here since birth its best that you leave now so you can find a church that believes what you do’. So I did, and once I moved on my former Christian “friends” did not want to associate with me anymore.

    I had performed the ultimate sin, you see, the rejection of ‘the brand’.

  10. Crowned1 says:

    P.S. Happy Birthday E!!! Many blessings to you and yours and I hope you have a fantastic day!

  11. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    My guess would be that it will disappear within a few years as well.
    I think that doctrine has almost run it’s course…and from a historical perspective I think that’s fascinating.

  12. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 11

    I agree

  13. Xenia says:

    I don’t usually read Brueggemann’s prayers. They are not intended for my ears, they are intended for God’s ears. They are different from the printed prayers you find in a prayer book because they are very personal between Brueggemann and the Lord.

    Happy birthday erunner! You are one of my favorite PhxPeeps!

    If CC wants to believe in the doctrine of the Rapure, God bless ’em. At least they are expecting the very-soon return of Christ, an attitude we all should adopt.

  14. DH says:

    I still believe in the rapture…… please explain why I shouldn’t. Thanks

  15. Xenia says:

    Rapturism could very well disappear. You know that before WW I, most of the mainline denominations were post millennialists, that is, they expected the world to get better and better as the Gospel message penetrated all hearts, everywhere. The two world wars, especially WW I, knocked the wind out of the sails of post millenialism.

    Likewise, as the fig tree generaltional stuff looks increasingly unlikely, and baby boomers look back over the decades-long list of earthquake-war-political “signs,” the adrenalin high wears out eventually. It can’t be the end of the world every day. Cynicism sets in.

  16. Ixtlan says:

    The pre-trib rapture view is something that many hold on to as tightly as anything else in scripture. Much of it is a focus on escapism that some have taken to the extreme in justifiying their own lack of responsible living. I am surprised how such “Spirit filled” believers can become quite separatist when someone disagrees with their eschatology. But then again, they do not have a corner on that market.

    I have always been uncomfortable that the pre-tribulational position was virtually unknown until the early-mid 1800’s. I feel the same about the a-mil position that is 400 years removed from the birth of the church. The early fathers were for the most part pre-millenial.

    While I lean toward a pre-trib position, the timing of the return of Christ is not plainly spelled out in scripture. Neither post, nor mid, nor pre, nor a-mil can defend their position well without 1. bending the scriptures 2. ignoring other passages that appear to contradict their view 3. use circular reasoning or allorgory. I am convinced of the pre-mil position, and beyond that , I am not sure.

  17. Michael says:

    DH,

    Lets be a little more precise.
    I believe in the Rapture”… I believe it’s the same thing as the Second Coming.
    What I reject is the “pre tribulation” Rapture…and the reason I do so is that I believe it’s not supported by Scripture.
    Eschatology is a complex subject…and I believe most of the historical views have something to bring to the table.

  18. Crowned1 says:

    DH @ 14 2 Thessalonians

    “1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God”

    I cannot argue with the Word of God. You can find a whole lot of esoteric symbolism in Revelation if you wish, to “justify” a rapture, but it’s in black and white right there as to when the Lord will come again.

  19. Fusco says:

    Happy birthday to Erunner!
    Paigemom, I know a CC in your area who would love to have you 😉

    As to the future of CC, it is in God’s hands. Given the number of people at the last SPC (which included assistants), CC will continue to be what we have been. It is as vibrant as ever, although maturing in the ways that movements do. When you have more than 150 new churches planted in a year, it’s quite obvious that CC is the one of the largest (if not the largest) church planting outfit in the US. All without being in the forefront.

  20. Xenia says:

    The early fathers were for the most part pre-millenial.<<<

    They were historical pre-millennialists which is not the same as dispensationalist millennialism. It is basically the same as the amillennenial view except that after the Lord’s return, there is a 1000-year Millennium.

  21. Xenia says:

    Hello Mr. Fusco! Are you making any progress on that box of books?

  22. Fusco says:

    Xenia – Those books have been a blessing. There is still one I have yet to read.
    But I graduated (of sorts) to the Philokalia, The Way of the Pilgrim and books on liturgy. It is all very beautiful to me! Thanks for stoking the fire.

  23. Xenia says:

    What’s on your summer reading list?<<<

    My stack of books for the summer is like Mt. Everest.

    One thing that's happening is that some of the women at my church are writing novels, which are self-published. These former citizens of the USSR have embraced entrepreneurial capitalism with a vengeance! So I gotta read all their books which are memoirs or murder mysteries. They are a load of fun!

  24. DH says:

    I come from a CC before I moved to the northwest. So you might understand my question about the “rapture”. As you know how the teaching in CC is. Pre trib is how I have understood it. Been under that teaching since ’76.

    Crowned @18 are you saying this reads at vs 3 that this man of lawlessness will be revealed first?

    I know that this is a complex subject Michael. I am not looking to justify a pre trib rapture, I just want to know the truth about it. I understand how CC teaches it. I would like to know what others believe about this.

    I have to do some errands so I will be back later. Thanks for you time and understanding .

  25. Crowned1 says:

    DH @ 24 “Crowned @18 are you saying this reads at vs 3 that this man of lawlessness will be revealed first?”

    Yes. I believe the Bible means exactly what it says. I do not believe there is any esoteric symbolism that explains away that passage.

    You could also consult Matt 24, specifically beginning in verse 4. Jesus Himself gives a specific account of His 2nd coming that does not mention a secret rapture event.

    The pre-trib rapture, imo, is an ‘itchy ears’ doctrine that is not supported by scripture. Blessings.

    And as for if you meet a pastor that tells you its the truth? My answer is “prove it” using scripture. It is impossible to do, you have to use interpretations, subjectivity…and worse…”secret meanings” of scripture.

  26. erunner says:

    Thank you for the birthday wishes. They mean a lot.

  27. Michael says:

    DH,

    I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes.
    My position is pre wrath…which says that the Second Coming is sometime in the latter half of the seventieth week.
    The Bible nowhere says that the entire seven years is “The Great Tribulation”.
    It actually is clear the this event starts at the midpoint of the seventieth week, after the Anti-Christ is revealed.
    Put Rev 6 and Matt 24 side by side…I believe they are parallel passages that give you the chronology of the last seven years.

    http://prewrathrapture.com has more info.

    The big missing piece to me is that the rapture is the beginning of the end of God’s work in re establishing His kingdom and making all things new again…and we are participating in that process even now.

  28. Ixtlan says:

    Xenia,
    read carefully and try not to put words in my mouth.

    I did not say dispensationalism, nor did I say historical….

    therefore:

    The early fathers were for the most part pre-millenial

    out for the day

  29. Michael says:

    The other huge piece missing from most modern eschatology’s is how political a book the Revelation is…if I had the time I would love to teach a series on what a beast empire looks like…and how we are either becoming one or have arrived at being one already.

  30. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 29 “we are either becoming one or have arrived at being one already.”

    I agree. I’d even suggest that we are leading the beast empire (or at least are the police force of it). Where’s Dave Hunt, I have some revisions for his book.

  31. Crowned1 says:

    Just found out that Dave Hunt has gone home to be with the Lord. So while we can no longer revise his works, he now knows the full truth outside the realm of theory. I look forward to this day as well.

  32. Fusco says:

    So agree Michael re: Revelation

    The book of Revelation is way deeper than any school of theological interpretation gives it credit for.

    In many ways, I am wondering if the proper interpretative principle is a hybrid of the preterits, symbolic & futurist approaches with the necessary honor paid to the apocalyptic literary genre & the plethora of Biblical symbolism in the inspired text.

    Revelation may be the most riveting when seen and digested from a multi-perspectival and transdisciplinary approach

  33. Michael says:

    Fusco,

    Your #32 nails it.
    The idea that it’s about the church escaping after four chapters and the rest is filler for the Jews and unbelievers is just a grand exercise in missing the point…and points.

  34. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    I would go so far as too suggest that the main them of the book is how to have hope whilst living under and with the beasts…not escaping from them.
    How should the church live in an anti-Christ world?

  35. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 34 – “How should the church live in an anti-Christ world?”

    As ‘lights’ before men, so they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. Until the last light is snuffed out from this world.

    Pointing people to Christ and His Word…taking up our cross daily. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

  36. CrucifiED says:

    I think we should all be more open minded to hearing all perspectives on eschatology. I have always been a pre-trib, pre-mill believer and taught this perspective as a CC pastor. Now that I have left CC and started attending the Lutheran church I am trying to better understand amillennialism. Here are some of my thoughts so far.

    1) Many scriptures I was taught refer to the rapture, are actually about the 2nd coming.

    2) Dispensationalists are too quick to demonize those who believe in amillennialism and replacement theology.

    3) Dispensationalist don’t fully understand amillennialism and replacement theology.

    4) Amillennialists are also too quick to demonize dispensationalists and are just as bad at understanding and explaining dispensational, pre-trib and pre-mill positions.

    5) Instead of giving solid reasons why the dispensationalist are wrong and they are right, amillennialists blow off the argument by declaring pre-trib believers are escapists and followers of a crazy charismatic lady from 200 years ago, even though there have been other theologians and church fathers (admittedly few) who hinted at having similar beliefs.

    6) Just as the whole church doesn’t want their identity to be formed by a few insane Christians who do and say stupid, unloving things, those who believe in the pre-trib rapture should not have to be labeled escapists because of a few Christians who act like one. I have never met an escapist pre-trib believer, only those who are out working hard for the kingdom in anticipation of this event.

    7) Many fault pre-trib believers as focusing too much on the coming tribulation and anti-christ but I don’t see it being any different for amillennialists who believe the anti-christ is going to show up before Jesus comes for His church.

    I’m going to be painfully honest here and admit that the thought of learning that I’ve been wrong and the amillennialists are right makes me incredibly sad and I don’t know how to reconcile these emotions. Every Lutheran and Calvinist doctrine I have learned lately has brought great joy to my life except this subject. It makes me more fearful than hopeful. Any advise on how to sort through my emotions here is gladly welcome.

  37. Michael says:

    CrucifiED,

    What about it makes you fearful?
    Good observations, by the way!

  38. London says:

    Fusco!
    ‘Sup?

  39. Steve Wright says:

    Not sure what you mean by the only distinctives in the statement of faith. The statement of faith is quite extensive, but at the same time focused almost exclusively on those things that unite us as Christians. http://calvarychapelassociation.com/general-information/statement-of-faith/

    One problem with the word ‘distinctives’ I always had is that it sounds like CC was speaking of things UNIQUE to them, which they aren’t. The rapture certainly is not simply a CC issue. (Insert scholar after scholar’s names here 🙂 )

    As far as the short little paragraphs that define the philosophy of ministry, there are 12. One of which, I think to our credit and growth, is to specifically speak to “Integrity and Morality in Leadership”

    People who ask for changes should applaud. Cynics that scoff will continue to do so.

    And one other thing…Happy Birthday, E-Runner!

  40. Crowned1 says:

    Crucified @ 36 “I’m going to be painfully honest here and admit that the thought of learning that I’ve been wrong and the amillennialists are right makes me incredibly sad and I don’t know how to reconcile these emotions.”

    Leave them at the Cross dear sibling. I was raised in CC and spoon fed ‘rapture’ since birth.

    It is a challenge to realize “I wasn’t told the truth for 20 years”…yes. But, it also showed me that my ‘faith’ was in man’s doctrines…instead of solely in Jesus Christ, and His Word. I had commit idolatry without even knowing it.

    You can choose to be discouraged, as I was, or you can use the event to strengthen your faith where ‘you personally’ draw closer to the Lord by consuming His Word in copious amounts. Blessings to you.

  41. Crowned1 says:

    Steve @ 39 ‘As far as the short little paragraphs that define the philosophy of ministry, there are 12. One of which, I think to our credit and growth, is to specifically speak to “Integrity and Morality in Leadership”

    The Bible already provides all the ‘distinctives’ every pastor needs to live by. No group-think or “one-ness” is required on morality…because God already set the bar. Why men need to write down new sets of rules for each other (suggesting the Bible isn’t enough) is beyond me.

    The pride of ‘what we stand for’, ‘what the brand stands for’, etc. etc. should not be allowed in the Christian church. It is a breeding ground for idolatry and one of the main reasons why cover-ups occur (to protect brand & image integrity).

  42. Fusco says:

    #38 – London!!!! Sup wit u sista?

  43. CrucifiED says:

    Crowned1, thanks for your encouragement although I think I gave the wrong impression. I have gone through what you are describing as I’ve tried to sort through everything I’ve believed for 40 years in comparison to where I am now…and still am some days.

    Although, what I was really trying to say is that the subject of amillennialism is a depressing one compared to my dispensational, pre-trib, pre-mill views. Of course, I want the truth to prevail in my heart but am finding my heart having a hard time accepting the subject as it would erase much of the hope I’ve had before created by this position.

    Every reformation subject has erased the fear and doubt I had before due to my arminian and charismatic beliefs except this one…this one is hard for me to accept. Although, I am reading as much as I can to understand it if for no other reason than to fully understand it.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    You know that expression, “Not a dime’s worth of difference”

    Well…there may be a dime’s worth but I doubt there is a quarter’s worth of difference between the pre-wrath and pre-trib rapture positions. 🙂

  45. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    It’s not that simple.
    We all believe that we are correct in our biblical interpretation…and there is much debate over almost all of those interpretations.
    I think it’s excellent and necessary to write down what your particular tradition believes about the cardinal doctrines and what the ethical expectations are for your ministers.

  46. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I believe there are very significant differences between the two.

    Most significantly,one believes that the church will be taken out before the final manifestation of the anti-Christ and the other believes that we will live under his rule for a season.
    That is huge…I believe that the pretrib church is going to be greatly discouraged and disheartened when events unfold that they believed they would escape.

  47. Crowned1 says:

    Crucified @ 43

    I see what you are saying. The encouragement I would offer is to do your best to refocus your blessed hope (that you may have previously had with the pre-trib, pre-mill views, as I did) to the cross.

    Christ’s conquering of death is much more joyous than our escaping death here on earth! It is finished!

    I used to think “wow, if we actually see the anti-Christ that would be scary times”…but then I realized…the worst possible thing that could happen to me, is I would go to heaven earlier.

    What satan means for evil (I will take your life) God means for good (time to come home).

    “If you do not bow down and worship me, we will label you a terrorist and kill you!” And?

  48. Steve Wright says:

    Significant, sure amongst us of relative likemind…compared to what the amill folks believe…not so much.

    (I’m listening to Cooper’s lengthy video and agree with most everything he says…of course he is a Dallas grad 🙂 )

  49. Michael says:

    I have far more quarrel with pretribulationism than with amill…

  50. Crowned1 says:

    Michael @ 45

    I have no issues with broadcasting biblical interpretation (as long as it is advertised as opinion and one of many).

    I’m speaking more from a morality standpoint…where a brand or image is personified and attributed morality traits (often flawless ones). What inevitably happens, is to maintain the flawless image, dirt ‘must’ be swept under a rug.

    So for example, CC says “we are pre-trib”…great, no issues with that. CC says “we stand for morality, integrity, etc.” HUGE issues with this. CC is an inanimate object, it logically cannot ‘stand’ for anything.

    But when you attribute ‘real’ traits to something that ‘isn’t real’…the only way to preserve the image is to hide that which would be counter to the image’s created persona.

    One of the best ways to deter scandal in any church is to not ‘brand it’ nor idolize over it. The ‘symbol’ will prevent the work of the Lord from being accomplished in some circumstances.

  51. DH says:

    Crucified @ 36 “I’m going to be painfully honest here and admit that the thought of learning that I’ve been wrong and the amillennialists are right makes me incredibly sad and I don’t know how to reconcile these emotions.”

    Crowned1 @40 ” It is a challenge to realize “I wasn’t told the truth for 20 years”…yes. But, it also showed me that my ‘faith’ was in man’s doctrines…instead of solely in Jesus Christ, and His Word.”

    These are exactly the feelings that I have experienced after a long time friend of mine called and started explaining to me that he didn’t agree with the rapture and that more or less he was now reformed. I said “what the heck is that ? After looking in to it, I was kinda set back and wondered what else I believed needed looking into. Well I must say that it has been a process, but it has been a refreshing process that has challenged everything I was taught. My fault for not questioning things.

    So thank you all for your insights and now i have more studying to do.
    Thanks Michael and everyone else.

  52. Michael says:

    Crowned1,

    I think we should make clear what our ethical standards are and be biblical in those standards.
    However, we should also be very clear as to how we will enforce those standards…without a mechanism to address those who break them, all we have are words.

  53. Michael says:

    DH,

    Fusco was right on when he spoke of a multi-perspectival approach to the Revelation.
    I’ve profited from everyone from John Walvoord to N.T. Wright…though Wright has been much more helpful. 🙂

  54. Andrew says:

    “Not sure what you mean by the only distinctives in the statement of faith. The statement of faith is quite extensive, but at the same time focused almost exclusively on those things that unite us as Christians. http://calvarychapelassociation.com/general-information/statement-of-faith/

    I thought the “distinctives” or some variation would be incorporated in the affiliation agreement when given permission to use the CC logo and dove symbol under agreement. I don’t see anything regarding an affiliation agreement on the CCA website. Something makes this group of churches “distinct” other than the statement of faith.

  55. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, can I assume the prewrath website you linked to lines up pretty well with your beliefs?

    If so, (and recognizing that what constitutes “amill” is a pretty big umbrella)….

    The moment you agree that Israel has some sort of a future, that a literal 1000 year millennium is still future, that a new temple will be built, a man known as the antichrist will kill God’s people for not taking the mark, that the 70th week of Daniel is still future…you are much, MUCH closer to me and the other pretribbers than to any of the amill brothers and sisters I have seen post here.

    Again, we are talking doctrine only here. Not how that doctrine might be applied, preached, used to manipulate etc.

    Where does the amill see relevance on this chart? I see where you and I are represented.

    http://www.prewrathrapture.com/images/chart09.php

  56. Andrew says:

    What Steve says:
    “One problem with the word ‘distinctives’ I always had is that it sounds like CC was speaking of things UNIQUE to them, which they aren’t.”

    What Chuck Smith says in Distinctives preface:

    “What is it that makes Calvary Chapel different from other Bible-believing, evangelical
    churches? It’s always good to have a grasp of the unique work that God has done in our
    fellowship.”

  57. Michael says:

    Steve,
    My eschatology is still in progress past what I believe I see clearly about the timing of His parousia.
    When the amills speak of Christ being the fulfillment of all the prophetic scriptures and that the church is in some fashion “the new Israel” I say amen.
    By the same token I see that there is going to be some sort of dealing with Israel of old as well.
    The new temple makes no sense to me…the millennial kingdom,not much more…but I see it in Scripture.
    I’m not sure that the “new temple” isn’t symbolic…
    I’m still exploring…as I’ve said before there’s a lot more “both/and” than “either/or”.

  58. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    CCA is affiliating churches…without either the “Distinctives” or the “Moses Model”.
    This is why there is conflict within the organization…

  59. Andrew says:

    “What is it that makes Calvary Chapel different from other Bible-believing, evangelical
    churches? It’s always good to have a grasp of the UNIQUE work that God has done in our
    fellowship. If Calvary Chapel is exactly like the church across the street it would be better to simply merge the two. But, if there are distinctives that make us different, then we have a UNIQUE and special place in the plan of God. Certainly there are churches that share many of our beliefs and practices. We’re not renegades. But God has done a wonderful work of balance in the Calvary Chapel movement that does make us different in many areas.”

    So who speaks for the distinctives? Steve or Chuck?

  60. Steve Wright says:

    Fair enough, Michael. I would say that Cooper’s view is pretty fixed though. So I thought by aligning with his view on the website, it was where you were at.

    I understand ‘work in progress’ too. 🙂

    (And I’m big on the both/and perspective when it comes to prophecy – it is allowed)

  61. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    The CCA is going to be the body after Chuck is gone.
    They purposefully left those behind…it’s progress.
    It will also be what causes the first split in CC after the founder is gone.
    Those who want to keep both will form their own association…that’s my prophecy. 🙂

  62. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’m more old school pre wrath… 🙂
    I learned it from Rosenthal and Van Kampen…Cooper goes off on too many rabbit trails for me.
    That site has a lot of stuff from Alan Kurshner on it which is very valuable, though.

  63. Michael says:

    Steve,

    The other major difference is the doctrine of imminence.
    I don’t believe the Rapture is “imminent ” in that there are no more signs to be seen before it.
    I believe the anti-Christ must come first…

  64. Andrew says:

    “The CCA is going to be the body after Chuck is gone”

    What body? The body of Christ? That includes ALL Christians not just CC Christians. If CC doesn’t have any distinctives my prophecy is every other church with similar statement of faith as CC will create one to differentiate themselves from CC.

  65. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    This isn’t that complicated.
    CCA will be the “governing” body of CC.
    I never hinted that they were the entire “Body of Christ” …that’s ridiculous.

  66. Michael says:

    I’m off to pick up Trey…

  67. Patrick says:

    My eschatology is simple: “He(Jesus) will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead.”

    I’m not really concerned when, He hasn’t told me to be(and besides I could have my personal meeting with Him sooner than I think).

    He has however told me to love and serve my neighbor through my vocation and to live as a justified yet sinful man repenting daily or hourly as needed, plunging the old Adam back under the waters of baptism. But oh how he likes to tread water! 🙂

  68. CrucifiED says:

    “What about it makes you fearful?”

    If I’m understanding amill correctly, the worst part of tribulation is yet to come and we can expect the false messiah to appear and persecute the church along with everyone else which is more fearful to believe than to believe the church will be taken away before then.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean I’m starting to live in ungodly fear, it just feels like a much darker scenario to believe in because all of the events surrounding those times are quite scary and it’s a more depressing idea for me to believe.

    I guess I’m still trying to sort out if amill teaches God will somehow protect the church from persecution through this time since God will not pour out His wrath on her or if they believe it will be once again like what the church suffered in the beginning under past anti-christ types of characters in Rome.

    And by the way Michael, I am very much in agreement with your opinion stated earlier that we all need to be more open to everyone’s perspectives. I’m starting to get amill but I also completely agree with what you had to point out in post #57.

  69. CrucifiED says:

    “I see what you are saying. The encouragement I would offer is to do your best to refocus your blessed hope (that you may have previously had with the pre-trib, pre-mill views, as I did) to the cross.”

    What a great answer Crowned1! This is what I’ve been learning about everything as a Lutheran and their wonderful theology of the cross.

    That was all very good stuff you had to share.

  70. Dave says:

    What about the mark of the lamb mentioned in the next few verses, how does one take that ? LOL

    The problem is Revelation is apocalyptic literature, and its not interpreted the same as historical narrative or wisdom literature. If you read it as you would read psalms you’ll miss its meaning just as if you read the NY Times the same way as a play, you’ll miss the meaning. I think its interesting those who are so excited about a supposed 1,000 year reign interpretation. Does he continue to reign after 1,000 years ?

  71. Andrew says:

    “This isn’t that complicated.
    CCA will be the “governing” body of CC.
    I never hinted that they were the entire “Body of Christ” …that’s ridiculous”

    Just asking for clarification. Without distinctives it appears the CC churches would just merge with the church down the street as Chuck Smith mentioned. So my question still stands what does the affiliation agreement say in it either written or verbal? Without affiliation what will CCA be governing?

  72. Andy says:

    When you have more than 150 new churches planted in a year, it’s quite obvious that CC is the one of the largest (if not the largest) church planting outfit in the US. All without being in the forefront.

    True. Without being at the forefront. At the forefront in my area is, there’s a “new church” popping up every 12 seconds (at least it feels that way). All the new churches are “reformed/new calvinist/emergent” to varying degrees. And what they all have in common is, most of them are gone or absorbed into each other pretty quickly.

    But there goes CC still chugging along, not in the spotlight, but getting the Word of God in people’s hearts.

  73. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I haven’t seen an affiliation agreement since they were created.

  74. Steve Wright says:

    Certainly there are churches that share many of our beliefs and practices. We’re not renegades. But God has done a wonderful work of balance in the Calvary Chapel movement that does make us different in many areas
    ———————————————————
    Andrew, read what you copied again. The first sentence of Chuck agrees totally with my point expressed earlier, but I certainly agree with the last sentence as well.

    The issue to me is the blend – not any one characteristic as SOLELY unique to CC. We have no traits SOLELY unique to us. Is CC a lot like Baptists, yeah except most Baptists are more formal in dress, music, and also tend to not just discount but criticize some of the Spiritual gifts. At the same time, CC is a lot like other churches…except where we aren’t.

    And no two CCs are exactly the same. We are all independent, yet sharing a similar doctrine and similar philosophy of ministry – both expressed at the CCA website Michael links to above.

    And you really should understand that when you (and others) talk about “agreements” – if you asked me to show you my affiliation “agreement” there is nothing I could possibly show you, except maybe the “congratulations” letter I was once sent in response to my request to affiliate. There is no contract, no agreement, no written, binding piece of paper of whatever name. Maybe others have one. I sure don’t.

    (In the past I have tried to educate on these basic points to little avail – as there are critics who insist they know more about being a CC pastor on these issues than the CC pastors do. I trust though, Andrew, that is not the case with you)

  75. “When you have more than 150 new churches planted in a year, it’s quite obvious that CC is the one of the largest (if not the largest) church planting outfit in the US. All without being in the forefront.”

    Just for perspective…the SBC planted 929 churches in North America last year, and thousands more overseas. And, we are a denomination in major decline.

    CC is a tiny blip. A fine blip, but a small one. I really do think there is a CC bubble out there where some of you are just clueless as to what is going on around you.

  76. Xenia says:

    Ixtlan, I did read carefully and I did not put any words in your mouth. I just offered some extra information.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, my seminary DEFINITELY had more Baptists than CC students. Not even close. Most of those guys were, or went on to be, pastors.

  78. I must admit this has been a fascinating read so far.
    Patrick I pretty much have that simple eschatology from your #67.
    I think of all the eschatology one should know, that sums it up.

  79. Fusco says:

    Josh,

    “sorry that we are clueless” – Having worked very closely with the SBC and having many friends within the denom, their counting is always unique. Networks of house churches count as individual churches. Plus some of my friends in the SBC would say that they close as many churches as they open in a year.

    So it is all in perspective.
    CC is one of the largest church planting outfits in the USA.
    Don’t let your issues with CC shape what it actually is.

    1500 churches in 40 years, growing at 10% a year is hardly a blip on the 21st century North American church scene.

    it’s not the only thing, or even the best thing, but it sure ain’t nothing either

  80. Sure Steve, and that obviously doesn’t make us better or more correct…just bigger. I guess it’s also a bit of a warning about judging things by numbers. We had thousands of new church plants worldwide last year, but nobody in their right mind would tell you we are a healthy convention.

    Am i being faithful to God? That’s really the only judgement that matters. Drawing a big crowd is no more a sign of God’s blessing as drawing a small crowd. Entertainment draws crowds very well, without the Holy Spirit.

  81. 929 planted / 300+ that failed.

    I didn’t mean to offend you Fusco. I have no problem AT ALL with Calvary Chapel. I think you guys are great. You are just small. I don’t see that as a bad thing at all.

    I don’t think it’s neccesary to accuse the SBC of dishonesty to make CC look better either. You are just a mush smaller denomination. I can’t believe you find that offensive.

  82. I’ve read tons of articles over the last few years about the decline, and I really don’t think it can be turned around. Here are the factors I see that can’t be changed:

    1.We are too big. You just can’t grow forever. At some point you reach a point of saturation. I think we are there. Look, if you have one church, and plant one more, that’s 100% growth. If you have 45,000 churches, growth is much slower.

    2. Our culture has shifted against us in a fundamental way. We don’t look cool, and I’m not talking about music a dress. We have plenty of churches that are up to date in those areas. I’m talking about homosexuality. People think we hate gays, because that is how the argument has shifted. No one wants to join a hate group.

    3. Every few years we lose a big group of Southern Baptists to in family disagreements. Inerrancy, charismatics, Calvinism…we like to fight.

  83. Also Fusco, the NAMB report from last weeks SBC presented a plan to plant 15,000 churches in the next ten years. CC is small. Nobody on this side of the country even knows about it. That’s why I say its like a bubble. You are all involved in CC life, so it’s like the only thing to you.
    I think you guys are awesome, and if I were leaving an SBC church the fact that you are much smaller wouldn’t hinder me from joining CC for a second.

  84. Andrew says:

    Andrew, read what you copied again. The first sentence of Chuck agrees totally with my point expressed earlier, but I certainly agree with the last sentence as well.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Ok, Here you go.

    What Steve says:
    “One problem with the word ‘distinctives’ I always had is that it sounds like CC was speaking of things UNIQUE to them, which they aren’t.”

    What Chuck Smith says in Distinctives preface:

    “What is it that makes Calvary Chapel different from other Bible-believing, evangelical
    churches? It’s always good to have a grasp of the unique work that God has done in our
    fellowship.”

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Steve, You speak like a politician and not a pastor. I still like you though, because its humorous how silly you sound.

  85. Andy says:

    “I really do think there is a CC bubble out there where some of you are just clueless as to what is going on around you.”

    I rebelled against that bubble for awhile, and then I found, it was far better to be in that bubble, than to have to constantly fight the stink I found outside. Just my personal viewpoint. That bubble afforded me the opportunity to just preach Jesus and His Word and leave it at that, and at the end of the day, I’m happy with that.

    “SBC presented a plan to plant 15,000 churches in the next ten years.”

    I hope they plant 15,000,000 churches in 1 year. But it won’t change the fact that only CC gave me the grounding in the Word of God that I needed, and the forum to do the same for others.

  86. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, You speak like a politician and not a pastor. I still like you though, because its humorous how silly you sound.
    ——————————————–
    Andrew, I am trying to be gracious and discuss with you – and this keeps being your responses.

    You can quote someone in part, without the full words, and make someone say what you want. I spoke in one context, Chuck spoke in a larger context, a context to which I agree.

    There is something unique about CC in the larger sense. That is what I believe. That is what Chuck believes.

    Chuck also wrote “Certainly there are churches that share many of our beliefs and practices. We’re not renegades.” – to which I also agree.

    There is nothing unique about “causal atmosphere” or “pretrib eschatology” or “expositional teaching” or “spiritual gifts” and so forth when looked at one-by-one. Many other churches share some of these characteristics. But as I said, what is unique in my opinion is when it all blends together.

    And even as a blend, I’m not saying you can’t find a church like a CC in doctrine and practice, that is actually not a CC. But you won’t find a fairly large affiliation of such likeminded pastors and churches that is just like CC.

    Not better..not worse…just unique in its own way.

  87. brian says:

    I am extremely upset at myself after reading the charities non profit orgs. I worked for a few, always for free, stupid on me number one. I knew the leaders of these groups almost always raked in massive cash, good on them, but it always bothered me to even ask for money so I usually paid for my “ministries” out of pocket double stupid on me.

    I went into a profession that does the same thing the lazy bad mean eggs always do better, as it should be then the ones who work hard and be honest. goodness I loath that part of my personality.

    And yes I am jealous and envious of those people and the money they make. I could do great things with that kind of bank.

  88. Fusco says:

    Josh,

    I am not comparing the SBC to Calvary. The SBC is 150 years old with 37k churches. I love what the SBC does.

    So I am not offended at all.
    Nor am I in a CC bubble.

  89. Scott says:

    There is Douglas Fir cologne out there. Just do a web search 😉

  90. I did.
    Just goes to show Scott, never assume something can’t exist, google it.

  91. All good then, Fusco. Obviously I don’t know you very well, so i won’t make any judgments. i was just responding to the one sentence, and nothing else. You’ve always seemed like a very cool guy when you’ve posted, and like I said, I am all for Calvary Chapel.

  92. Scott says:

    Derek, except that I didn’t use Google. I’m using https://duckduckgo.com/ these days 😉

  93. I haven’t read all the comments, but I have 2 of my own.
    1.) what’s the big deal about having distinctives. A Lutheran church, it’s pastors and the membership to sign off that they agree with and will “believe, teach and confess” such distinctives. It’s called The Book of Concord 🙂

    2.) Amil is a poor term for our position – it implies “no” millennium – which is not the case. The position is more of a realized millennium – Jesus ascended into heaven and reigns in his eternal kingdom right now.

  94. #94 Probably smart.

  95. Scott says:

    MLD, yep, it’s pretty disturbing what is coming to light these days.

  96. Scott says:

    I mean Derek, sorry about that 😉

  97. No prob, yeah….saw an interesting quote about that from Edward Snowden’s interview yesterday.

    “The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.” ~Edward Snowden

    America is starting to resemble something I never thought to ever see here. Michael’s beast empire may have a good starting foundation.

  98. Lutheran says:

    ‘People think we hate gays, because that is how the argument has shifted. No one wants to join a hate group.’

    Well, I think the roots go back to the Religious Right and “culture wars.” It was a Baptist, Jerry Falwell, who started the RR and started railing against “immorality” (funny how selectively that was defined).

    In every war, there are winners and losers. If you’re gonna be stupid enough to label it as such, people will think you actually mean what you say.

    Evangelicals who hitched their star to that wagon are gonna be on the defensive for many years to come, IMHO. But don’t just blame the big, bad, “immoral” culture.

    Look in the mirror, too. It’s a hell of a lot easier to lob moral grenades — that doesn’t cost anything really — than come alongside others with compassion and kindness.

  99. brian says:

    “pretribulationism” if marketed correctly is quite profitable and can create a long term revenue stream. Which is utterly fantastic, think Hal Lindsey, another person I am extremely jealous of. The only measure of truth “28 million copies had sold by 1990”. He still makes bank on his shtick.

  100. Lutheran @ 100 – certainly a lot of truth to that. some of the perception may be accurate, and that part we can change over time.

    What we can’t control is the cultural shift that has taken place in our country. I’ve certainly seen a huge change in my lifetime.

  101. Hey, a quick aside.
    Has anyone looked at the visitor count lately? I have never seen it that high. It isn’t broke is it?

  102. Oh, I forgot while reading through the comments. Happy birthday E!

  103. Michael says:

    It’s not broke…but that is weird.

  104. Our internet has been acting weird all night and FB was down earlier. I wonder if there is some general internet attack going on?

  105. Michael says:

    My first thought was an attack, but they seem to be legit ip addresses.
    Google does some strange things and you end up with lots of search hits…we’ll see if it holds steady.

  106. Aponemo Time says:

    “If they really wanted to defend traditional marriage they would defrock everyone who left their wives while in the ministry…”

    If the church really wanted to defend traditional (Biblical) marriage, it would invest heavily within its body to make marriages healthy. Instead, the church would rather invest larges amounts of money and time in fighting same-sex marriage.

    As with all aspects of fellowship (IMO), it’s the close, interpersonal interactions between small groups of people that are heavily invested in each other that will bring about change. Not standing on a pulpit from afar stating what is right or wrong.

    Discipleship, mentoring, correcting, encouraging. Men discipling men, women discipling women, couple discipling couples – it’s a simple model that I rarely if ever see in the organized evangelical church.

    Currently (IMO again), the church is fighting for a hill that we long ago abandoned. We’d do far better to show the world how to do Biblical marriage, day in and day out, then to simply say “One man, one woman”.

    This battle is lost, and has been for a long time. The war can still be one – but it won’t be won with words decrying the other groups position or lifestyle. It will be won by living out the Biblical definition.

    I now return you to your regular eschalotogical discussions 🙂

  107. Steve Wright says:

    Your PCA article no doubt is pulling some numbers…my guess

  108. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, did you utilize your SEO plug ins? That will lead to much more search hits and drive more traffic.

  109. Michael says:

    Aponemo Time,

    Well said, and good to see you again. 🙂

  110. Michael says:

    I suspect it’s an SEO spike.
    Looks good on the counter, but it’s not real participation.
    We’ve had a lot of bots combing the site since I put up the archives.

  111. Andrew says:

    “And even as a blend, I’m not saying you can’t find a church like a CC in doctrine and practice, that is actually not a CC. But you won’t find a fairly large affiliation of such likeminded pastors and churches that is just like CC.

    Not better..not worse…just unique in its own way.”

    What do you mean just like CC. Every CC is completely independent and autonomous so when you speak of the CC collective there appears to be something unique about it. But you cannot define it any more because you are saying the “distinctives” are no more. So what is it that makes it UNIQUE other than the personalities that comprise it? This is constantly changing too. So I’m confused.

  112. everstudy says:

    @ #46 “That is huge…I believe that the pretrib church is going to be greatly discouraged and disheartened when events unfold that they believed they would escape.”

    I think this is why we need to be educated in theology, looking at all points of view, even if one disagrees with them. I’m undecided in my in eschatology, I know and understand most of the viewpoints, but I’ll wait to see which one actually happens before picking a position.

  113. Steve Wright says:

    . But you cannot define it any more because you are saying the “distinctives” are no more.
    ———————————————————-
    There are two lengthy reads on the new website about statement of faith and philosophy of ministry.

  114. Andrew says:

    “There are two lengthy reads on the new website about statement of faith and philosophy of ministry”

    So Steve, are you telling me that the statement of faith and philosophy of ministry are the UNIQUE factors that make CC a CC and affiliation is dependent on adhering to this exactly as written?

  115. Andrew – I don’t get your constant badgering.

    What document makes your church unique to being what it is? or are you guys just baptists but don’t like the name?

  116. Andrew says:

    “What document makes your church unique to being what it is? or are you guys just baptists but don’t like the name?”

    I don’t go to a Baptist church and not affiliated with any denomination. There is no governing body such as CCA or a conference such as SBC in the church I attend. I would say I go to an Independent church.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    CCA is not a “governing body” Andrew. I think part of the reason for some of your posts is a simple confusion about certain basics….like when you were talking about “affiliation” agreements” earlier.

    Sometimes, pastors actually LEAVE their denominations to become CC pastors because they realize they align more with CC that their old place. The philosophy of ministry and doctrinal statements help identify such an alignment, but this isn’t about checking boxes on a checklist.

    Likewise, sometimes CC pastors leave CC (to either a different denomination, affiliation, of no affiliation at all). We’ve even had articles on this blog about such folks.

    It’s all good. In encouraging folks who might want to be new CC pastors, a similar encouragement is given to those who might finds their beliefs or ministry philosophy changing to depart too.

  118. Andrew says:

    “CCA is not a “governing body” Andrew. I think part of the reason for some of your posts is a simple confusion about certain basics….like when you were talking about “affiliation” agreements” earlier.”

    Really?, Michael said it was when we were talking about “the body” when Chuck passes.

  119. Andrew says:

    Steve, please look at Michael’s post at 65.

    “Andrew,

    This isn’t that complicated.
    CCA will be the “governing” body of CC”.

  120. Andrew says:

    Steve, I agree with Michael. This is not that complicated and CCA will be the “governing” body of CC. But where you are coming from is more than confusing.

  121. Steve Wright says:

    Michael can express for himself how he was using the term. I will disagree with Michael if he means it as I saw you use the term above.

    There is no “governing body” there are groups of pastors arranged regionally for the purpose of fellowship.

    Fellowship of like-minded pastors has always been an emphasis within CC.

    Independent churches does not mean “lone wolf” status – the SBC is much the same way. A convention of independent churches.

  122. Steve Wright says:

    And before someone jumps on the comparison, all it was meant to be is a broad comparison. There are obviously differences in organization in the SBC and CC

  123. Andrew says:

    “There is no “governing body” there are groups of pastors arranged regionally for the purpose of fellowship.

    Fellowship of like-minded pastors has always been an emphasis within CC”

    It appears this is only referring to pastors and not congregants in general. What about the fellowship of like-minded congregants?

  124. Steve Wright says:

    CCA speaks to the pastor affiliation. It allows the congregants to find a local CC church in their area (after first checking out if they too are in basic alignment to what CC is about) –

    and then if those congregants plug into a CC, they will find plenty of opportunity for fellowship with like-minded congregants – both in that local church as well as amongst various opportunities when CCs band together for an event of some sort.

  125. Steve is correct. In an org like the SBC, and I’m assuming CC, the local church is the highest form of church government. The Baptist Faith and message is the statement that we unite around, but even then the local churches decide how that will be used. Most churches would not make you affirm the BF&M before joining.

    I’m guessing CC is much the same. They align for the purpose of sharing ministry goals that are larger than a local church can do on its own, but are self governed from one local church to another.

    I think its a good setup.

  126. Steve Wright says:

    Thank you, Josh. Let me give a good example.

    A CC in our area is much larger than ours. Because of the fellowship among pastors I know the brother who is the pastor there and he is a great guy who does a great job. Because of their size they can have something like a Saturday conference on child trafficking – he lets me know, I let our people know of this opportunity to become educated and involved in a serious area. We could not have the sort of conference he had, because we are not that size.

    Likewise, they have a school. We don’t. Some people who go to our church send their kids to his school. These are just two obvious examples amongst many that could be cited.

    These are the sorts of things that people just don’t get as major reasons why, though we zealously guard our church independence, we don’t want to be a bunch of isolated loners out there.

    It is good for the pastors, good for the people, good for the needs of the world, and good for the Body of Christ.

  127. Andrew says:

    Josh,
    Curious, when you say that the local church is the highest form of church government, would it be unusual for Board members be on multiple local church boards in the SBC? This is a very common practice in CC for pastors of big churches to be on each others local boards. Just curious if this was a similar practice in SBC?

  128. Steve Wright says:

    This is a very common practice in CC for pastors of big churches to be on each others local boards.
    ———————————————
    Common practice? It is an internet meme that there are lots and lots of churches that have entire Boards filled with nothing but their buddy pastors, with no local representation.

    Andrew, I believe you are simply repeating what you have read elsewhere. Do you have personal knowledge of the makeup of lots of CC Boards? How can you say “common practice”?

    Don’t let one or two particular churches (where indeed this may be the case) be the poster-boys for all you think the 1500 or so other churches happen to be doing.

    Now to be clear, if exploded in size to a mega-church, I think it would be quite wise to have one or two outside pastors for a time, especially with similar experience with their own mega-churches, to add their wisdom. Even a church not so large could benefit from an outside voice or two. I served on a Board of a modest-sized church for a couple years so as to add another pastor’s experience, but that Board had several of its own members filling the other Board positions.

    In my opinion, when this occurs, any outsiders should be a minority of the Board with the bulk of the Board being the local leadership. But I really don’t see how anyone can think it is some huge problem to have one or two (depending on the total size of the Board) outsiders on a church Board to give their experiences as otherwise neutral parties.

    If we needed to, I can think of a lot of people on this blog that would be fine additions to our Board. And if I was planting a new church that had very few members to start, I have no doubt I would ask a few of you here to help out for at least the first year or two until the new church had more local members.

  129. For the most part in SBC, the churches don’t have board members. We are probably 90% congregational, in that the members make the decisions of the church.
    I know a few of the mega guys in SBC – Furtick, Perry Noble…and they are all “mentors” to one another. So that’s probably similar.

  130. Andrew says:

    “Now to be clear, if exploded in size to a mega-church, I think it would be quite wise to have one or two outside pastors for a time, especially with similar experience with their own mega-churches, to add their wisdom. Even a church not so large could benefit from an outside voice or two.”

    I don’t need to read anything on the Internet but what you wrote here. What you consider wise, I consider foolish. Mega churches are the ones that seem to have the most problems. Tell me what is so wise about an out of town board member making decisions on behalf of the sheep that he doesn’t even know the sheep at all. This is just wrong. BTW, can a woman be on the church board in CC. I am not talking about an elder but a board member with voting rights?

  131. covered says:

    Andrew,

    Prior to 2010, all of my church “life” was with CC. When we planted a church and the process began to take shape in the area of leadership, there were 2 CC pastor’s who we trusted very much to help counsel with many decisions. We are not a CC but know that these men are gifted and they put Jesus ahead of the dove. Not only that but they helped with our bi-laws and I can tell you that we have much more accountability than any CC I ever attended.

    We are a small church under 100 and we have 4 Board Members who attend our church regularly and a pastor who lives 90 miles away and serves as a Board Member. This Board Member has planted several churches and is an accountant besides. The information we get from him is very valuable and never once has anyone from our congregation had a problem with an outside pastor being a Board Member. My own pastor is a CC pastor.

    Godly people realize that it’s about God and not a dove or any other brand. To assume that “Christ like” decisions can’t be made by others outside of our church is naive. The counsel we get from outsiders is a huge blessing.

  132. Andrew says:

    “We are a small church under 100 and we have 4 Board Members who attend our church regularly and a pastor who lives 90 miles away and serves as a Board Member. This Board Member has planted several churches and is an accountant besides. The information we get from him is very valuable and never once has anyone from our congregation had a problem with an outside pastor being a Board Member. My own pastor is a CC pastor. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Covered, I don’t really have a problem with this. First, it appears that it is fully disclosed who is on the board in your church. This is great! This is not readily transparent in some huge mega churches. Second, you are a small church less than 100. My previous CC church pastor considered a church with less than 200 people as a “failed” church.. So Kudos that you consider my ex CC pastors words as complete hogwash. Third, 90 miles away is what some people drive to get to church. This is not that far and it sounds like this guy probably knows a lot of the sheep there.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    “Godly people realize that it’s about God and not a dove or any other brand. To assume that “Christ like” decisions can’t be made by others outside of our church is naive. The counsel we get from outsiders is a huge blessing.”
    _______________________________________________________________________

    I agree with you that getting counsel from outsiders is wise and can be a blessings. I also agree that “Christ like” decisions can be made by others outside of our church. But I think it is very naive to think that non-board members that are faithful attendees of the church cannot make “Christ like” decisions as well. But my experience with the large CC churches is that the congregation and individuals have NO voice in the church, yet a non-disclosed board member who does not know the sheep and lives 3000 miles away can make decisions affecting a very large group of people. My concern probably lies more with mega churches than the board member thing since many mega church pastors don’t even know who their sheep are. I think this is a very serious issue but it seems the larger the church gets in CC the more influence from the CC upstream governing body of CCA gets involved and the less independent they become. It is what it is, but to say the local church is the highest form of church governance in CC as Josh suggested and Steve agreed with is just plain absurd. And when I speak of CC, I am speaking of CCA and not the small Mom and Pop operations out there that are probably doing a fantastic job.

  133. Andrew,
    You asked Steve last night – “BTW, can a woman be on the church board in CC. I am not talking about an elder but a board member with voting rights?”

    You asked the right guy – as Steve does have a woman as a board member – and if I remember correctly, his board members are listed and pictured on his web site for all to know who they are.

  134. Andrew says:

    Interesting. But I don’t even see Steve on the Board or for that matter any of the pastors listed. And if I recall I thought Steve said he was on the board. Is this the same board as the church board cause I only see 3 listed on the board of which none are listed as pastors?

  135. Andrew says:

    My bad, I see Steve is listed as president of the board and it looks like there are two pastors that are advisers to the board. My apologies.

  136. Seriously says:

    Andrew –This is a very common practice in CC for pastors of big churches to be on each others local boards.
    ———————————————
    Steve –Common practice? It is an internet meme that there are lots and lots of churches that have entire Boards filled with nothing but their buddy pastors, with no local representation.

    Andrew, I believe you are simply repeating what you have read elsewhere. Do you have personal knowledge of the makeup of lots of CC Boards? How can you say “common practice”?

    Don’t let one or two particular churches (where indeed this may be the case) be the poster-boys for all you think the 1500 or so other churches happen to be doing.

    Seriously — I can name over 10 Calvary Chapels in one area that have boards made up of other CC pastor buddies, in some cases childhood friends from Jesus days -the guys who set the patterns for the others to follow- and zero locals. I know of one exception and they put in a patsy from inside the church as a response to a bad situation. It’s for show. I know of other CC’s through other people in other areas who claim the same is true for them. It’s enough of a consistency that I doubt the veracity of Steve’s pushback.

  137. covered says:

    Andrew,

    The church that I pastor is the smallest church that I have ever attended. Every church I ever attended prior to this church was a CC. Many decisions that Board Members make have to do with finances, building projects, my salary, budgets etc. It is valuable to have people with knowledge of these issues to assist in making sure that every detail is covered (no pun intended) 🙂

    Sometimes the outside Board Members see things and are aware of potential issues that others miss because they are too close to a particular situation.

    I guess that I just don’t see a “danger” in having outsiders as Board Members.

  138. Andrew says:

    Covered, I respect your opinion and as I stated Mega churches are my big concern. I see what happened with the CC in Albuquerque, NM. I definitely see danger with this.

  139. Andrew says:

    “It is valuable to have people with knowledge of these issues to assist in making sure that every detail is covered (no pun intended) :)”

    Did you mean to say “covered up”? 🙂 The lack of transparency in some of these large CCs is absolutely mind blowing.

  140. Seriously says:

    Having friends on the board creates a scenario where loyalty to a friendship is a higher priority than dealing with the issues well and with objectivity … which is the point of having a board to begin with, objectivity. Insiders are needed who actually know what’s going on.

  141. Andrew says:

    Yep, although board members and shepherds are not the same thing many times they over lap. Can’t imagine having a shepherd that is not “embedded” in with the flock. As a loose analogy it would be like an adoptive parent caring for their child remotely. Its absolutely ludicrous.

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