Rumor Patrol Here With The Facts

You may also like...

269 Responses

  1. Dee says:

    Thank you Reuban for clarifying that the not all Calvary Chapels are not the same. I do believe the discussion started from the ongoing blog that many have been reaing about an issue with a church that was only a Calvary Chapel for a time and seperated themselves. I am thankful that you do not feel that way about our home and foundation.

    Reuben
    FEBRUARY 28, 2013 @ 5:30 PM
    Thanks for your courage, Tina. You have no idea how common your story is. You are not alone. This is one of the reasons why Alex has had to be so forceful in bringing all of Calvary Chapel into this. The system breeds tyrants and sociopaths. It protects them. I wish I could tell you the story of how Calvary Chapel nearly ruined me. I served as a youth pastor for 12 years. An associate pastor for 2. I served in worship ministry for 10. You would be hard pressed to find me in a Calvary Chapel again. I am a heretic to those whom I taught, and an outcast because I stood up against one well known pastor in the CC movement.
    You have my prayer and support. Alex knows how to get you in touch with my wife and I, if you would like to talk.

  2. Chile says:

    Reuben, I can’t remember when, where, or what you said, just that you said something in the negative about a former church of yours, which you did not name. I wondered if you were referring to Nederland CC or not. That may be where the confusion came in. You must have been referring to another church.

  3. Chile says:

    Oh, I see Dee knows the context.

  4. As Reuben points out, not all Calvary Chapels are bad. Just because you carry the brand name doesn’t mean you’ve automatically become a moniocal maglomaniac looking to control, and devour. There are many, averaged sized CC’s you never hear about who work diligently to serve the intended meaning of the text, as well as have a high degree moral integrity before the peope they shepherd. Pastors who have built into their polity, a system of checks and balances to protect them from becomming too powerful. And pastors who though not Calvinists, understand the sovereignty of God and rather than argue agist it for declare it as evil, are content to live within, what we believe to be a divine tension. There are those who fly the dove who are looking for the return of Christ but put more emphais on serving the community, Feeding the poor, and working ith churches with different beliefs, than this years prophecy update. The lesson from Reuben is when you think CC don’t automatically throw us all under the bus

  5. Bob Sweat says:

    Steve,
    I agree!

  6. Reuben says:

    Dee, based on my comments to Tina, you are 100% justified in your concern. For that, I apologize sincerely. I was a defender of all things Calvary because I basically had one frame of reference. When I got out in the world, I quickly realized that the common complaints against CC were largely true. The entity as a whole, in my mind is corrupt, breeds ordaining loose cannons, and looks the other way at huge moral failings. I can’t apologize for believing that, however, Doug, Shaun, Michael, Richie, all of whom are CC pastors, are some of the finest men I have ever known. I lumped them in with everyone else, and for that I am truly sorry. I wish they would drop the dove, but they are esteemed brothers anyway.

  7. I think this little rumor just got a new audience!

  8. Alex says:

    Agreed, from what I can tell, Ron Arbaugh is solid, takes very little money from his CC Franchise, helps the poor a lot, isn’t a jerk, actually gets out of the ivory tower and answers questions from peons, etc.

    He had the recent issue with a guy who got busted for child porn who worked with youth at his church, he answered questions and does have some good things in place to vet people. I think he will handle this recent incident well and has probably already notified Calvary Chapel Association or whatever the new entity is..and hopefully CC will warn all the other CC’s about this perp so he doesn’t resurface at another CC when he’s out of the pokey.

    Shaun Sells is another seemingly good one. He is very transparent and has some great things in his by-laws/structure of his franchise. Hard to do much better than he’s done. Shaun’s pretty much forfeited his Moses’ness.

    Hopkins, I assume you are similar to Arbaugh and Sells. You seem to be in that similar heart or you probably wouldn’t be commenting here (still).

    Steve Wright is another, though we’ve had our run-ins, I think he does things well at his franchise. He has some good things in place, helps the Duncans, doesn’t take very much money out of his CC, lives partly on other biz income, is a bit pretentious and thin-skinned, IMO, but probably more on the blog than with his folks there (I hope).

    Now, am I any better than any of these guys? Not even close, but I don’t claim to be Qualified or specially anointed. I am who I am.

    I still think it would be great if the CC’s that are smaller and like-minded and transparent and not “Moses” jerks would get together and separate from the terrible pastors/franchisees that stain the Movement and the Brand.

    it is still ridiculous, and speaks loudly to many, that the Group is so silent and so monolithic when it comes to apologizing for the Brand and the bad pastors in its Camp, despite 1 Corinthians 5:12 and so many other verses and examples in Scripture.

  9. Chile says:

    Steve, I’m wanting to believe you. But I’ve combed through nearly 200 CC’s, just asking the obvious questions about accountability and some questions about the culture and I have yet to find one that doesn’t have at least a good chunk of the dangers associated with the Moses Model.

    I keep hearing a few CC pastors say we are not all bad, but I haven’t seen the evidence, yet.

    I think the systemic issues have to be grasped and acknowledged before most can hear someone say they think they know good CC’s.

  10. Chile says:

    For the record, I’ve not contacted the people Alex mentioned. I’d also ask a few more questions than Alex indicated.

  11. Alex says:

    I think the first litmus test is transparency of the finances.

    If a CC or any church can’t do that…wow, big red flag.

    We’ll be discussing that issue on God Discussion this Friday night. Ironically, there is a big push to get Churches into the same level as other non-profits where they have to report all the financial info.

    God has a funny way of making stuff that should be happening already…happen. Sometimes using outside means to do so, when “His” supposed people don’t listen…

  12. Alex says:

    The church will not change on its own (largely). Change will come via lawsuits and legislation, sadly. But, change will come…

  13. Chile
    It may be the reason you haven’t seen them is because most of the better organized and focused CC’s generally fly beneath the radar. If they even attend the SPC They are nothing more than a butt in the seat; a face to acknowledge but look past as others seek to bettr posture themselves. They carry the brand name because it gives people a frame of reference in what to expect from a CC but don’t necessarily get involved in the politics of CC.

    I’ve had one, maybe two email conversations with Syeve Wright. I know who Shaun Sells is and agree he is a very good leader and an example of the kind of CC I am describing, but I have no clue who Ron Arbaugh is or even Bob Grenier. I dont run in those circles.

    I’d love to take the time to tell you what peope like Walden, me, Middleton, Sells and others are doing. It would take to much time. But I think, or hope, you all would be plesantly suprised. Maybe that could be a thread that could be posted. Rather than always looking at what CC is doing wrong or badly, take a little time to look at what some are doing that is right and positive.

  14. Chile says:

    Steve H.,

    I would welcome a conversation with you to be able to ask some of the questions that concern me most. I’m not really interested in all that you all are doing, because in any organization that can be puffed up and misrepresented easily. I figure if the main issues are taken care of the rest will work itself out according to the context of people you serve. I focus on the structure and culture of how issues are dealt with.

    I don’t compare one church, ministry or org to another by their deeds. It’s not comparing apples to apples. Some deeds are vain ambitions feeding the marketing tool of the church or the ego of the leader. Other deeds are sincere attempts to love our neighbor. I’ll never know the difference unless I’ve been in that place for long time.

  15. Aponemo Time says:

    While there are many issues with CC, I can say that a) the CC I attend (which is in the LA metro area) is very good, and the pastor truly has a passion for Christ. He is very aware of the dangers of cult of personality – he has said many times that if you go to a church because of the pastor who is there, you are going for the wrong reason. And b) I know Steve Hopkins and used to attend his church, and can also say that he and his church are one of the good ones. I don’t agree with everything that comes out of CC Costa Mesa, but overall my experience with 2 out of the three CC’s I’ve been a part of has been positive. Both Steve and my current pastor have always been approachable and willing to answer questions without making you feel like some errant schoolboy who’s out of line.

  16. Chile says:

    Some context with me:

    Let’s just say I’m “involved with missionaries,” since I’m not supposed to divulge too much publicly. One cannot tell by casual observation whether or not a missionary is doing what they are there to do or not.

    One can look very busy, have a great resume, and a list of achievements, while the other missionaries around them know they are hindering the real work which must be done without fanfare or great reports to be sent home. In another situation, it may look like a missionary is being lazy to the untrained eye. Yet, that missionary may be doing exactly what is needed to better understand the language and culture, and walk very carefully into their new environment.

    This is why I am less concerned about what a church is “doing.” I need to get a better picture of their heart, which is most visible by how they treat the hurt, the disgruntled, and the abused.

  17. Chile says:

    @15 Aponemo,

    I know several on here say they like their CC pastor of choice; but that doesn’t answer the real questions. I used to like my 3 CC pastors, until the issues came up and the negatives of the Moses Model kicked in.

    My pastor would say he was accountable. He threw out a few ways in which he felt he was accountable and it sounded convincing so long as you just rolled with the sound of his words. But what I did not know was that he had to agree to be held accountable, seek out the man to whom he was “accountable”, and willingly confess his sins. I also did know that his accountability CC pastor had already walked out of 2 CC’s because they didn’t like his propensity for the ladies and he didn’t want to be hampered by the churches pressure to repent and show the change by his actions.

    My pastor would say he never saw the finances and implied all sorts of financial accountability as if he had nothing to do with the finances, when in fact he saw it all and was the only one controlling all the finances.

    My pastor would go to great lengths to give the impression that he just wanted everyone to do as God led them, but he controlled very tightly who was allowed to participate.

    I will spare you my many more examples and suffice it to say that what was said and impressions made often turned out to be the opposite of what was true. So as an attender, much looked great, including the 3 CC pastors. As an involved person who was in the direct line of specific issues, I learned the other side of the story and it was vastly different.

    This is why it doesn’t sway me to hear people say they like their pastor or a ministry. I need to know the structure and culture to even begin to have a little clue of what it’s like. But there are a few questions that can unearth CC issues fairly quickly.

  18. Chile says:

    Last comment … Steve H @13,

    I would say that the majority of the nearly 200 CC’s I’ve looked into over the years do fly under the radar. I learned in the IFB’s that while the big churches and schools were the hub of what was being taught and exampled, the little churches seemed to do one of two things:

    1. Tried hard to implement the culture and rules excessively to try and get it right.
    2. Or, they had more maturity and common sense which kept some of the culture in check. But it was the threads of the bad culture that still made it’s way into the “good” church; observing that was one of the best ways to monitor the systemic nature of the problems.

  19. Ixtlan says:

    @18 well said. It is the threads of bad culture that make it’s way into an other wise seemingly good church or good pastor. Some of the names mentioned may in fact be doing good works. They may be good men, they may not be. Some of that is determined within the mind of the beholder. Human personalities, included the corporate level are complex beings. For every person who lauds the praises of a particular pastor, no doubt there are also those who would critcize sharply. Just because one man says another is good, doesn’t necessarily make it so. By what criteria do we evaluate? How well do we really know someone?

  20. Chile
    Well, I can tell my comments are not going to get much traction with you. :-). Your perspective has been shaped by your negative experience. Can’t argue with that. So, I can’t blame you for distrusting me when I say there are several good CC pastors. While your suspicions ( I am ashamed to say) about CC may be true in some cases, I am suggesting that rather than lump all of who bear the brand CC in to one dung pile that you and others, evaluate each one individually. You may never walk into a CC again and that is your prerogative but your opinion of some of us may change.

  21. Alex says:

    Steve H, are your finances open? What do your by-laws say? That would be very telling.

    I am happy to post a section on CC Abuse that shows all the “Good” CC’s and their by-laws that try and protect kids, that have open finances to be “above reproach” and that have some sort of mediation like Shaun Sells has…

    That would be a great way for you and the others to accomplish your goal of changing opinions.

    Heck, I know you guys don’t like me, I don’t care about whose site it’s on, put it on PhxP.

  22. Chile says:

    Thanks, Ixtian.

    I would add that I merely want to look at the structure and culture for specific issues that can be measured, to a meaningful degree. This in no way means that the church is healthy, because health is something that ebbs and flows, just that the structure and culture are not set up to protect the strong and control the weak in the org.

    I don’t believe any organization is 100% healthy nor 100% unhealthy. It’s alive and changing all the time because it breathes. At any given season it is tilting one way or the other and sometimes it’s the the last straw that turns the tide. I take that as part of life and part of the design.

    From Paul’s admonitions in Acts for the Elders to protect the sheep to the directives in Timothy and more on how to deal with issues, I take it that it’s our job to be aware of the issues as they arise and ask for wisdom in how to deal with them well. It’s part of the calling of a Christian in loving others. So I look to see if the church functions in a way that limits leaders and empowers the people.

    Yes, we can screw up anything, but no need to tilting in the wrong direction to begin with.

  23. Chile says:

    Alex @ 21,

    I’d add that there is written into the by-laws a recourse for those who feel they have been wrongly accused by leadership.

  24. Alex says:

    Heck, better yet, lobby the Calvary Chapel Association to include it on the official CalvaryChapel.com website where people can find CC’s their area etc.

    Have a section where people can review by-laws, whether or not the particular CC franchise has child protections in place, whether or not finances are open or hidden, etc.

    Like a CCSP said at the last Conference, “If you’ve got nothing to hide….you’ve got nothing to hide” Amen?

  25. Alex says:

    Chile, Shaun Sells CC franchise has that in his by-laws (I think). Shaun? You there? Is that true? Mediation provision for a CC-‘ite with a beef at your CC?

  26. Chile says:

    Re: Steve @ 20,

    If all I can get is just saying that there are “good” CC’s out there, then no, that’s not enough for me. I do think it’s valid and responsible of me to ask about accountability, transparency in finances, not having all the decision making power concentrated in one person, recourse for those who think they were falsely accused, and a lack of servanthood being about serving the pastor’s needs.

    I would hope, Steve H., that you would not mind the questions and even value the honest questions.

    I have combed through countless (nearly 200) CC’s. I run into many all over who do or have attended CC’s nationally and internationally. The stories are way too similar. I don’t really think that every single one is bad … but I still don’t have real info on a good one. And by “good” I mean the 1st paragraph stuff is in good shape.

  27. I must admit, sometimes this CC stuff sounds like the Inquisition.

  28. If a pastor is accountable to his congregation, that is plenty. If he is not, no outside help is gonna matter.

  29. Correction: This continual questioning of CC pastors sounds like the Inquisition.

  30. @27 – True that. I always detect a bit of arrogance from those who think they know how a church should be run. I’ve also learned that pastors are the worst scum of the earth.

  31. Chile says:

    Aww, there’s a huge difference between knowing how a church should be run and knowing what structures cause systemic problems.

    Even the world gets it that you can’t concentrate power in one person without meaningful checks and balances and it not corrupt the org. That’s not arrogance, rather common sense.

    The “continual questioning of CC pastors …”:

    I would say I am continually trying to find a good CC structured church. I would also say that rarely does any CC pastor want to answer these questions.

    Do I bother you that when I’m told there are good ones that I ask?

  32. Shaun Sells says:

    We have a provision for mediation from an outside source when the pastor is involved in a dispute. The mediator has already agreed to mediate should the need arise and his decision is final (including discipline and removal of the pastor). The idea is that the issue would be first handled locally by the elders, but if one party doesn’t feel the conclusion was fair/Biblical they can ask for mediation. I pushed for peacemakers to be the mediator, but I was out voted by the board and instead a local pastor who is retired and running a free counseling ministry is our mediator. He is not a Calvary pastor.

    I hope we never need it.

    We have a public file in the office that includes the by-laws, board minutes, annual budget, and monthly balance sheet and profit and loss reports. We advertise this monthly in the bulletin and all our newcomers packets contain an info sheet that mentions this file; the info sheet is linked on our website, but outdated because we are redesigning the website. You do have to be local to view the public file and you have to come during office hours.

    In addition all our pastors, staff, elders, sunday school teachers, deacons, and board members has a current background check that is rerun every three years.

    FYI Alex – we don’t consider ourselves a franchise, we are an independent church. I as a pastor am in fellowship with other Calvary Chapel pastors and stay fairly true to the distinctives. If I am out of the picture, the church remains, but the Calvary affiliation is gone. I know this for a fact, because it has happened in our church once before. The affiliated senior pastor left and we were immediately removed from the Calvary list. When I became the pastor, I agreed to the distinctives and we were put back on the list. It is an affiliation of like-minded pastors, that is what I agreed to when I joined. Chuck Smith can make suggestions, he could probably even remove me from the list, but he has no power over Calvary Chapel Cheyenne. He didn’t hire me and he can’t fire me.

  33. Chile says:

    Alex @ 25, I think Shaun said he had an outside org that comes in when there is a need for an attender to have recourse. I do love that!

  34. I don’t know that anything I could say or provide as information would ever be able to survive scrutinization. But I can tell you, I would and have sent copies of our by laws to pastors and churches who have adopted at least in part, portions of them especially when it comes to our system of checks and balances. We have a board of elders who determine, shape, and carry out the vision of CC Salem and a board of directors comprised of both men and women, who draft and adopt policy (BTW we have some pretty strong policies on the protection of our children) and hold us accountable in the accomplishing of our mission and see to it that our money is spent in accomplishing the mission.

    Our books are regularly scrutinized by our board of directors and open to anyone who attends our church here. I have an administrator who does our budget and it is approved by our board every year. Our mission is clearly stated on our web page. We have been responsible with our funds but don’t have an extravagant budget any way. You’d be surprised at how small it is.

    We have targeted our neighborhood as our main mission field and have 4 (at present) after school soccer programs on 4 campuses targeting at risk kids. We have teamed up with the Methodist church on this side of town in that effort and are training other churches to do the same thing. We also have ESoL programs, A community garden made up of Hispanics and Ukrainians (64 sites).We have partnered with several other churches in town and have taken the lead in a program called Feed Salem. So we work with other churches.

    We have a modest budget, a modest staff, who take modest but sufficient salaries and an administrator empowered to cut most fat. Every penny I spend is scrutinized and as you hopefully see, spent in accomplishing our mission. I think We have a very responsible organization here.

    There is more I can say…and maybe I can at a later date. But if CCSalem, or Me personally were to be audited, I think we would be found to be found spiritually, morally, and financially responsible. But without actually seeing what we do here, I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it. ..or not…BI am not tooting my own horn just showing, hopefully, if in a small way that there are some CC’s that have checks on the pastor and the ministry. And there are many others out there that do a better job than me.

  35. Shaun Sells and CC Cheyenne are a good example of a responsibly run church

  36. It all begins with the integrity of the leadership and there are few strictures you can put on that…but you can build some safeguards

  37. Chile,
    Post the name, address and web site for your church. I want to do some snooping… but I will bet you won’t.

  38. Shaun Sells says:

    I would point out that some of the things you see reflected in our by-laws and accountability are the result of reading here from Michael, Alex, Duncan, and others.

  39. Chile says:

    I’m impressed, Steve H.! This is the FIRST time I’ve gotten this much response from a CC pastor, ever! I appreciate this more than you know.

    I’d ask a few clarifying questions to make sure that the picture you paint is close enough to how it actually works. This is not an inquisition, I just found out the hard way that it always requires more info to even have an idea in the ball park of what reality is.

    When you say your books are open to your members, I would want to know if you proactively send them a yearly update? If not, what is your reasoning? If people have to request to see it, how is that handled? I know many require you come in during business hours (when most are working) and only on specific dates, IF the overseeing person is in, and they don’t tell you that over the phone. So in one church here that requires that, of their 3 or 4 thousand attendees, only approximately 10-20 people in a year could see the books, if the office cooperates. See why I’m asking? It’s just an honest question.

    I would want to look at just how the elders are empowered by reading the by-laws, but your statement, alone, is far above what I’ve heard at ANY CC I’ve looked into.

    Steve H., thank you! You don’t have to, but if you’d consider sending me a copy of your by-laws so I can confirm these things, it will help in my narrative. I would not cease with the systemic lingo, because I’ve seen enough to know there are systemic issues; however, it would allow me to add a clause of an exception that is reasonable and important. If I could add more and more exceptions, that would help even more.

  40. Chile says:

    MLD, why do you cop such an attitude when I have legitimate questions? What’s your angle? You pop up as if CC pastors need to be defended by you. But I’m not attacking anyone, I’m asking legitimate questions that no pastor should fear to answer. Pastor’s should be teaching their people to be wise and ask such questions. I’m in the middle of a productive conversation with Steve H. and you throw in a molotov cocktail. Why? Why are you so bothered by my opinions and questions?

    The church we are members of is completely open and anyone can look into anything they want. I don’t set up my church as perfect or tout it as the way to model other churches, but they have the measurable things in order: finances, checks and balances, kids safety, recourse, etc… It’s good enough. Some think it’s been great for the majority of 65 years, I think it’s church, so it has to ebb and flow.

    I’ve mentioned their name on this blog before. I’d tell it to you, cause there’s nothing to hide, except you broke your word you gave to me in private email so I’m just gonna sit back while you fish for it.

  41. Chile says:

    MLD, declare here on PhxP how much money you’ve made from CC pastors sending you customers? Declare your real interest.

  42. Alex says:

    My church has open finances and membership as well. They do it to be above board and to have no appearance of impropriety and to be “above reproach”…I think it’s completely biblical and healthy and a great way to change the opinions of people who are skeptical.

    Why hide the finances? Why hide the by-laws etc?

  43. I did not break any confidence about you from our discussions. You may email me if you wish to discuss it, but I have been very careful. In fact you broke the rule by even stating here that we have had private emails.

    Now, aside from that, you can talk about the openess about your church – but how am I to know unless I am allowed to investigate and test your words? You have no intention of going to Steve H’s church – so why ask him the questions?

  44. Chile,
    “MLD, declare here on PhxP how much money you’ve made from CC pastors sending you customers? Declare your real interest.”

    Not a one even knows where I work. 🙂 Good try to deflect that you will not even answer the same questions you ask others.

  45. Steve H.,
    I see your answers weren’t enough and the Inquisition continues. More answers are needed and full openness is called for…LOL. Sorry, but this is all getting a bit ridiculous.

  46. Chile says:

    Yes we do know where you work.

    Yes you did break your word and I’ll email you later about it.

    I did not break any confidence since it was on here that we said we’d email offline, silly. 😉

    If I was in charge of a church, that others were affiliated with and had questions, I’d welcome any and all inquiries. To not do so would be unreasonable considering the point of the job.

    If I were trying to tell others that there are good guys in my association/denom, then it would be very appropriate to give the name and contact info so you could ask away. If I’m not trying to tell you anything about my church, and I’m not in charge, then the inquiry has no meaning.

    MLD, you are smarter than this. Why do you play this game and ask silly questions that are divergent from the point of the conversation as if it is helping the CC pastors? It doesn’t help them and it doesn’t make anyone look good. Just let me ask the questions that the CC pastors set-up by saying there are good ones. Steve H and I can have an adult conversation here without whining, and pejorative comments. How about you and I do the same?

  47. Chile says:

    Derek, that’s not fair. It’s reasonable to ask these questions. It’s not an attack. I’d like to know beyond just the words that things are in place because I’ve been told that so many times, only to find out the by-laws said no such thing and even accessing the by-laws was not allowed.

    I’m excited about what Steve H. has said. I’d like to confirm it, otherwise I can’t repeat it as anything other than hearsay. Why is that a problem to you?

    I’m speaking in an appropriate manner, I’m speaking respectfully and asking legitimate questions. Do you not want me to find out if there is a CC church with a good structure and culture that I can praise God for and tell others?

  48. Chile says:

    MLD, I’ve got a current email problem. After I talk with tech support I’ll write you.

  49. You made the claim of openness about your church – let me check it out. Don’t hide behind the secrecy.

    Your line of questioning is abusive. Wait, some one said it we ran into abuse on the blog we should type ABUSE – so I am.

    ABUSE

  50. Shaun Sells says:

    Chile –

    The concern I would have giving you bylaws is that you are an anonymous figure online. It makes no sense to give you more than what I have in my above comments, particularly #32. You have no connection to Calvary Chapel Cheyenne and I have no desire to win some online popularity contest with an anonymous online commentor on a blog. I would suggest that Steve avoid doing so as well.

  51. a question for chili says:

    Chili, why do you care what happens in another church if you have found a church you like that satisfies your requirements? It is not your business what happens in 2,000 CC’s across the country. Should you ever decide to return to a CC, then it would be your business what happens in THAT CC. You are continually questioning CC pastors. But worse than that is that they are not your pastor. I am sure you have more important things to do with your time–things that actually affect your life.

  52. Chile, why do you need to confirm it is my question? Are you seeking membership in Steve H’s church? No, more than likely it is just so you can make other CC’s look bad even if they aren’t because they don’t answer your every question.
    Reuben, it is things like this that make people think you are talking about your home church. I have never heard you actually mention your home church before today, but I sure thought the CC you came from must be terrible. Your discussions on church polity reinforced this idea, because we learn church polity from the church we go to. It is my bad that I thought that without direct evidence, I just implied it in my brain. Sorry, about that Reuben.
    This constant downgrading of all things CC makes those here who were never CC think that CC must be terrible through and through, top to bottom. The nature of some on here of questioning CC pastors like they are guilty of all the sins of CC is just ridiculous, give the guys who actually come here to interact a break and a little grace.
    Not talking about Reuben on that last, I have already seen him talk well of those in CC who interact here.

  53. erunner says:

    Quit hiding behind the moniker Chile! 🙂

  54. Anne says:

    Interesting advice Shaun. One of the churches I’ve considered joining provides financial, church structure info , by laws etc upon request to all inquirers, usually prospective members. Quarterly financial reports available to all – members and non. What is the rationale for hesitancy/secrecy regarding that info? Other churches I’ve considered also make such info easily available upon request. I know how much leadership and staff are paid, outstanding debts, contributions received, what percentage is redistributed to shelters, services to the poor, missions as well as how divided amongst choir, children’s ministry, benevolent, ongoing staff training etc, etc. Completely open on every hand. I must admit that it raises a red flag for me when even the better of the CCs seem quite protective of that information. I won’t even consider giving an offering in a church I’m visiting w/o knowing what’s what after my experiences at CCCM.

  55. Chili
    I mean no disrespect and I am sure you are inquiring but you are an unknown person to me so I am a bit reluctant to send you my bylaws. Nothing to hide. Just being cautious. Concerning our finances, no, I dont send out yearly or regular reports but people can come anytime and view them any time if they want. We are a modest church in every way and we’ve neber goven cause for suspicion morally, ethically or financially so most aren’t that concerned about monthly reports. I dont think a single member of the board of directors, and 9 pf them thT serve for two year periods,, would be considered ” yes” people

  56. Chile says:

    Shaun,

    I guess I don’t understand why by-laws are secretive in any way. There may be a reason to do so that I’m just unaware of. If I knew why, maybe I’d understand the secrecy. It’s not a ploy on my part to pry where I should not. My church of nearly 4,000 hands them out to anyone who wants a copy. It’s no big deal. The finances are handed out quarterly as well as a year-end review. Anyone can get a copy.

    My motivation is this: I’m trying to remain open to the idea of some CC pastors being “good guys w/ good structures and cultures.” You can understand my reasonable hesitation to believe something someone just tells me in words when I’ve looked into so many and found their words to not be accurate, and many by a long shot.

    If you all keep telling us not to lump all the CC pastors into one group, then I need something concrete to go on. If I can’t get it, then the best I can do is say some say they are good, and I like the stuff they at least said, but they won’t let me read their by-laws to see if it’s true.

    I would like to think that if you all are on the up and up, but you can understand that words alone are not sufficient.

    I’m trying here, I’m really trying … please help me instead of making it harder on me to get answers to legitimate questions. If I can’t get them, then I have enough info to make broad statements about the move as a whole without any caveats.

  57. Anne says:

    I think churches,especially if incorporated, like other non-profits should be required to file 990’s which are available for all to see. The reasoning for lack of transparency in this area completely eludes me.

  58. Chile says:

    Steve, thank you for your response. I believe you when you say you mean no disrespect and it could be that I do not understand the nature of bylaws and why all the secrecy. I don’t understand how anyone viewing them could be of any problem. I know churches that publish their bylaws online. So you can understand my confusion here. I’ll remain open and ask around about wisdom on handling by-laws and what the issues involved could potentially be.

    I hope you do see my conundrum.

    I could skip this part and not even try, I have done a great deal of due diligence over a long period of time, so I could stop here make final conclusions and Christianity Today would be satisfied with an article. I was just leaving the door open for your sakes.

  59. Shaun Sells says:

    Seriously Anne? Did you read my comments at #32.

    All the information you would be requesting is available here at the church – we have no membership so all you have to do is be in Cheyenne to get the info.

  60. And bazing! The Grand Inquisitor is revealed. Guess it wasn’t such a safe place after all. Was that like a threat?

  61. Anne says:

    My sincere apologies, Shaun. Please forgive. I skimmed too quickly. I commend your approach. Seriously 🙂

  62. Chile, perhaps before you write you expose to CT you would be open enough to give me the name, address and website to your church so that i too can get a copy of your by laws and financials.

    I noticed that you have not posted them here – what are you hiding? Why are you covering for your pastor?

  63. Chile says:

    Re: @ 51

    Yes, I do have reason to look into this at great length. But even without divulging too much, it should be fair for any Christian to ask these questions. CC association has influenced much of Evangelical behavior, and there are many lines of ills that are pointing back to roots in CC. This is a huge American Christian Cultural issue that is also affecting mission work around the world.

    Lots of this stuff has to be worked through and understood carefully, not hysterically. Seminaries and Bible Colleges are looking into meaningful reasoned understanding of how the ways of CC have infiltrated so many groups and why there is a significant change in the thinking and actions of students. Many believe the root is the CC effect. But they are refering to it as the “Juvenialization of Christians.”

    The verifiable examples of bad behavior and structure in CC’s is more than I can process. The good examples, the answers to the boiled down bottom-line telling questions, is what many of us can’t get. We get words … I like him …I was blessed … but nothing concrete. I keep running into secrecy, a need to protect the CC, it’s none of your business, etc…

    I think because I was wrongfully thrown out of a CC, the pastor who threw me out even admitted it, makes all this my business, as well.

    So between affected missionaries, Bible College and Seminary student issues, journalistic inquiries, and a colliding of several important national issues concerning church leader accountability and secrecy, these questions become reasonable to be asked by someone simply because they are a Christian.

    Add to that my experiences, the worse experiences of my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and then those many I’ve met who’ve had serious issues beyond all of us … I think it is well within reason for me to ask questions. And I was asking reasonable ones and setting it up for CC pastors to show me they are an exception.

  64. Chile says:

    MLD, don’t make me repeat myself. You can feel free to look for it if you want, I’ve already named it on this website before.

    Again, I’m not running the church, nor am I touting it as one for others to follow. So I’m not hiding anything.

  65. Chile says:

    Just to be clear, I’m not writing something for Christianity Today.

  66. Reuben says:

    Derek Thornton @52,

    You are right. People who do not have much history with me would be oblivious to the fact that I have had a very positive CC experience. The last PhxP, that was taken off line for other reasons, had my review of my home church. I managed to save it quite some time ago, and posted it on my own blog, which I don’t even use. Here it is…

    http://reubenmills.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/celebrating-a-faithful-man/

    With that said, I also had bad CC experience. A number of the CC guys who post here are friends with the pastor of my bad experiences. I knew most all of them from a blog I used to author and moderate at, The Simpleminded Preacher.

    There are a number of reasons why I don’t go all out with my story, one of them is the fact that I have a load of respect for the pastors that interact here. Shaun Sells and Steve Hopkins being probably the most prominent, even though I consider Steve to be a genuine KJV donkey, I believe his heart is right, and he is always in a place of questioning/pushing the envelope.

    I hope that helps some. I will not associate with CC as an entity unless it brings about some radical change. The system is corrupt. One minute, Chuck has nothing to do with anybody, the next he is telling Reformed folk to hit the road. He lies when he says he has nothing to do with the Calvary Chapel movement as a whole. He simply removes responsibility when he is faced with allegations that incriminate his buddies. Change will not happen unless by force. Alex has been most instrumental in laying the groundwork for that.

    However, Calvary Chapel of Nederland will always be my home church. They are so far removed from 99% of the trash that happens in the corporate CC world. I doubt the senior pastor still even owns so much as a computer. Whatever they call themselves, I call them family.

  67. Shaun Sells says:

    “so I could stop here make final conclusions and Christianity Today would be satisfied with an article.”

    This is the kind of stuff that makes me nervous. Unnamed blog commentor Chile asks questions of pastors, then those things get put in an article by Christianity Today? Chile, if you are doing an article for Christianity Today, interview people like a real reporter. Don’t troll websites and trick people into getting the information you want.

  68. Shaun Sells says:

    oops, just saw #65.

  69. Chile says:

    No threat at all Derek. Why would you view that as one? Churches should not be afraid of scrutiny, if there was some.

    I’m aware of some Christian educational institutions asking a lot of questions. They see issues and want to understand better the changes they see.

    The journalistic crowd has been tracking CC and the verifiable trail of info for a long time. I’m not doing that. CT can read here all they want, they don’t need anyone’s help to read here or on any of the other blogs.

    But now there’s the Prestonwood fiasco, along with the 2 (or is it 3?) pastor’s who’ve sued people for speaking out about them and lost; then there is the plethora of child sexual abuse allegations (churches, Penn State, and the coming horrific missionary boarding school sexual abuse stories and prevented investigations, etc…) which focuses on the problem of the secrecy in orgs., and yada, yada, yada, … it’s all coming together as one story with boiled down issues that create places where abuse can be born, protected and thrive.

  70. Chile says:

    Shaun, my point was that I have enough info from my due diligence that no one, not even a journalistic org would say my story was one sided and and not enough info.

    YET, I still try to get the concrete on the “good” though I’ve never been able to actually get it. What I got in conversation from Steve H was the best I’ve ever gotten, but in reality, it’s still words, so I guess I’d have to go be an attender at his church before I could find out if his words are real, cause then I’d get to see the by-laws.

    There is no disrespect meant here, just dealing with facts. If you all put yourself in my shoes for a moment, you might see how it seems too hard to even find out a little. Yet, it would be unwise for someone to walk in blind, when they know better from a life of experience.

  71. Shaun Sells says:

    “I guess I don’t understand why by-laws are secretive in any way.”
    – I don’t consider them secretive. I consider them local. They govern our local church and are available to anyone locally who wants to look at them. No secrets.

  72. “I could skip this part and not even try, I have done a great deal of due diligence over a long period of time, so I could stop here make final conclusions and Christianity Today would be satisfied with an article. I was just leaving the door open for your sakes.”

    Sorry, this has gone from ridiculous to just plain WTH. I sure wouldn’t trust you anymore. In fact I think this may be the last interaction I have with you. I think Shauns #67 was right, no matter how you preface it in later replies.
    ___________
    Reuben, that was a powerful story. He sounds like a great guy!

  73. Chile says:

    Okay, I hear you on the local. But when you know that CC has a real image issue, due to some bad stuff that many people you are in association with have done, would you consider it a security risk to send an anonymous person (Well, Michael has my info and the org I work with which I told him he could verify if he wanted,) to give them hope of someone in CC actually making verifiable needed changes to the Moses Model?

  74. Shaun Sells says:

    #70 – Chile, I have life experience as well.

    I have been told on this blog that things myself and other pastors post here may be used in future litigation against Calvary Chapel. I post here at my own detriment. There is no plus side in me posting here, I gain nothing. I could just go away and let you guys have it, but I believe even the voice of dissent is valuable so I come here knowing I am going to be accused every couple of weeks of being a ravenous wolf.

  75. Chile says:

    Derek,

    Why do you say you would not trust me? Anyone can read here. I already clarified I’m not working for CT. And didn’t they already mention PhxP in past articles on Skip, so that shows they have read here before. We know they have been contacted about a lot more since then and that with the colliding of stories at present in Evangelical world I would imagine someone from CT has peaked in here, not to mention any other group who thinks there is a story. But I’m not sure just what they would pick up from the banter, but they won’t find any verifiable evidence here. We just have words. They’d have to go a step further and contact someone for a reason.

    Derek, am I offending you? It is not my intention and I’m not quite sure why you are upset?

  76. Steve Wright says:

    (from above) If I was in charge of a church, that others were affiliated with and had questions, I’d welcome any and all inquiries. To not do so would be unreasonable considering the point of the job.
    ————————————————-
    This is a huge error in the understanding of affiliation within CC. A point I have made repeatedly for close to five years, well before Chile began to post. A point Shaun Sells made as recently as this thread that apparently fell on deaf ears.

    We are in fact all independent churches. Chile demands power that even Chuck Smith does not have and nobody at the old CCOF ever expressed. What always seems to be misunderstood is that our independence means the guys some of you despise so much can’t come in and control our churches, even as you expect us to go and make waves in theirs. My job is to pastor the flock the Lord brings our way. I’m open and accountable to THEM. I really do not care if annonymous posters believe I am open and accountable to them or not – nor if my openness and accountability somehow matches their personal standard.

    (from above) If I were trying to tell others that there are good guys in my association/denom, then it would be very appropriate to give the name and contact info so you could ask away
    ————————————————
    Despite being called an ‘apologist’ by a small few, my purpose here is to make friends with the Body of Christ and (when this was still actively being pursued by Michael) to help Michael in the goal he was seeking here, to establish a community that broke down any walls between pastor and congregant. To heal. To minister, as well as discuss.

    And part of that was to encourage others by sharing how we run things at our church, so those with bad experiences would know they were not wrong to voice their disapproval. Many pastors, including CC guys, were pointed here and as Shaun mentioned, made changes at their churches. Being called a “good guy” was the consensus of those interacting with such men over the years. As the saying goes, respect is earned over time.

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to refer CC pastors here and tell them to listen to Nomans, Nancy, London, Dusty, BrianD, and so many others that have mostly disappeared from active sharing. That ministry is over – and I have told Michael I mourn that loss. Maybe it will rise again.

    Ron Arbaugh was mentioned positively earlier. Yet, I saw how Ron was poorly treated by some posters on another blog when he tried to engage and explain the positive things he was doing at his church. And this is a guy willing and wanting to participate!!

    Maybe, instead of love believing all things and seeking a community where one is a friend until they prove otherwise, we should all demand background checks on each other. Maybe before being allowed to talk about their Christian experiences they should have to prove arrest records, cable pay per view bills, marriage and divorce history and so forth.

    No, that would be pretty chilling wouldn’t it. And yet, just look at this thread.

    And as an aside, so there is no confusion based on Reuben’s post about several CC pastors ‘posting here’ that are friends of his former pastor, for the record that would not include me. Frankly, given the dearth of pastoral participation compared to prior years, I’m not sure who they would be. But just so no wrong assumptions are made.

  77. Chile says:

    Shaun @74,

    If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to hide. I can’t imagine why not post here, so long as you don’t lie. I imagine you are not lying so there’s no issue. Blogs are not really dangerous for anyone unless we reveal we broke the law or something.

    I’ve not heard anyone call you a ravenous wolf, but you are in association with some and I would hope that you would understand the need to show your love, compassion, patience, and transparency to those whom others have eaten alive, out of love for your neighbor/brother in Christ. I don’t live all that far from you. And when I buy Reuben a beer, you can come too. If I’m rich that day, I’ll buy one for you, too!

    I picture the wounded as in the Good Samaritan story. Though the wounded are not in your family, church, or direct physical vicinity, I think those who’ve been wounded, or offended by the free-for-all woundings that have taken place, that you would not pass by on the other side of the computer and just offer us that you know some CC pastors are good. Instead, my idealistic response I wish for is that all CC pastors would see the wounded anywhere they run into them as people to be Christ to. … above and far beyond defending the brand.

    There are many bad stories from the AG churches, yet an AG pastor came to me when we were kicked out of our church and were reeling. He put salve on the wounds, cared for us, had patience and freely answered the questions about his church so I could see if he backed up what he said. It was all there and verifiable. His attitude of care for the wounded was memorable! As a result, I always tell the exception I know in the AG church when bad stories come up, AFTER I first minister to their wounds. I would see the same for CC if the attitude of first caring for the wounded was evident, the patience was palatable, the answers forthcoming, and then the exceptions named. Wow! The good news would spread. People get excited about love!

  78. Hey Steve,
    Since Chile exposed our relationship, you are lagging behind in sending me clients. I bust my butt here all day long defending you and I get no leads. What’s up? 😉

  79. Reuben @ your 66. You’ll get no argumen from me that I am a kjv donkey!!!

  80. Chile says:

    Thanks, again, Steve H. for your conversation with me. I do appreciate your time and answers and grant you that there may be something I don’t understand about the nature of people reading one’s by-laws and will look into that.

  81. Shaun Sells says:

    Chile –

    You assume much and know little about me and are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    If you want to see my bylaws stop by and read them. That is the same offer I give everyone.

  82. Shaun Sells says:

    Rather than posting all our bylaws, here is the section you are seemingly so concerned with:

    3. Disciplinary investigation. Upon a majority vote by both the Board of Directors and majority vote of the Elders to initiate a Disciplinary Investigation, an independent third party arbitrator will be contacted and engaged to perform the disciplinary investigation. This third party arbitrator will be selected by a majority of the Board of Directors as a standing third party arbitrator, and the Board will select this person or firm in advance of any allegations against the Senior Pastor. If this standing pre-selected third party arbitrator is unwilling or unable to perform the disciplinary investigation after allegations have been made, then a majority of the Board of Directors will select an alternate third party arbitrator to perform the disciplinary investigation. The third party arbitrator shall be reimbursed for travel, food and lodging (if required), communication and other expenses reasonably incurred in conducting the disciplinary investigation. At such time as the third party arbitrator convenes the Disciplinary Investigation, all evidence concerning the allegations against the Senior Pastor shall be presented by the Board of Directors and the Elders; the Senior Pastor may also present his case; and the third party arbitrator may also conduct such other independent investigation as it deems necessary. After considering all of the evidence that it deems appropriate, the independent arbitrator shall determine whether or not the allegations against the Senior Pastor are substantiated and, if so, what discipline or plan of restoration, including removal, is warranted. The independent arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding on the Senior Pastor and the Board of Directors and Elders. In the event that the independent arbitrator finds the allegations against the Senior Pastor to be unsubstantiated, then the Senior Pastor shall have the right to request the resignation of the Board of Directors and any Elders and reconstitute the Board of Directors and reappoint Elders.

  83. mrtundraman says:

    “The concern I would have giving you bylaws is that you are an anonymous figure online.”

    I don’t understand that response at all. I assume that you filed the By-Laws with your state and thus they are in the public record. Maybe I’ve got this wrong, but the Secretary of State of your state should have them as available records (I assume there’d be some fees with getting copies, etc).

    If that’s the case, what’s the problem with giving them out? The whole idea of accountability is that it would stand scrutiny even from an “anonymous figure on-line”.

  84. erunner says:

    Chile, The CC pastors who post here answer to God for the lives they lead and the decisions they make. Not you or anyone else.

    Lately it seems all I’m reading here are about the evils of CC. I thought this blog had chosen to go in another direction?? God forbid that good things are happening in many CC’s. I think that would disappoint some people.

    If you feel so free to ask all these questions then you need to at least identify yourself, name your church, and explain exactly why it is you are here. The pastors who post here don’t owe you squat.

  85. erunner says:

    mrtundraman, have you apologized or asked forgiveness from Michael for everything you have posted about him all over the WWW to make him look as bad as humanly possible? I’d really like to know.

  86. mrtundraman says:

    I have found a number of CC bylaws on-line with a simple google search. Many of them (for good or bad) are “out there”. The each show information such as whether or not the church has membership (some actually do have membership on paper), how the pastor can be removed (many have no process or very little effective process or even require unanimous agreement to remove the pastor). It would be an interesting study to do a comparison.

    The best result of such a survey with be to have a “best practices” model from CCA which says certain minimums need to be in a place to be a CC. Same for an ethics statement…

  87. Reuben says:

    Folks, I vouch for Shaun. Personally. I am an author and moderator on this blog. Don’t know if that means squat to any of you, but I still vouch for Sells.

    Still wish he would drop the dove… 😛

  88. mrtundraman says:

    Reuben, Shaun probably is one of the good ones out there. I’ve known some folks that it took me years of knowing them closely to realize that they were not one of the good ones so I don’t want to come to a conclusion but I see no reason that someone wouldn’t disclose openly a church’s by-laws and even finances (to a certain level). I’ve been to churches where they have those things on the “gospel tract” table on the way out of the church. At least I knew how the church worked.

  89. Chile says:

    Thanks, Tundra. That’s what I thought. I know other churches have them online. Can’t think of any reason why not to be open about them.

  90. mrtundraman says:

    I think the argument given that he’s not accountable to you says a lot.

  91. Reuben says:

    mrtundraman, I get it, and I can, because I have been on both sides of the fence. Like you, I knew some spectacular folks in CC, or at least I thought I did. I would now like to see them resign as pastor, and flip burgers for a living.

    We have both seen way too many stories. We wish we could forget some of them. We have seen first hand the pain. We have become jaded.

    Yet, because of one pastor that I had years ago, who has proven after 25 years of ministry to be the real deal, I hold out hope.

    My hope was confirmed yet again, having my first official church business meeting as an elected official of our Anglican Church. The priest asked me for guidelines and priorities in a number of areas. He was there to take my experience and put it into shoe leather. That is mind blowing.

  92. Chile, tell me where I can go online to get your churches by laws please.

  93. Chile says:

    Shaun said,
    “Chile –You assume much and know little about me and are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    If you want to see my bylaws stop by and read them. That is the same offer I give everyone.”

    Are you upset with me? How did I talk out of both sides of my mouth? Do my questions of trying to find out the good bother you?

    When it comes to these by-laws I just don’t understand why they are so local, or private? The harder it is for one to look at how a non-profit is run the more questions it raises, like “Why?” Shaun, I have no ill towards you, and give you benefit of doubt, but it’s reasonable for me to have these legit questions. I just wish they were met with grace and understanding.

  94. The Inquisition is always a team sport too!

  95. mrtundraman says:

    The fact is, if a CC pastor puts them up for anyone to see then critics like myself will slice and dice them. I guess they figure if they don’t put them up then we will drop the matter and move along to something else. After all, how many new people who show up at a Calvary Chapel (or any other church for that matter) and want to know how it works behind the curtain? Don’t most people really just go to church for warm fuzzies and good feelings?

  96. Chile says:

    Oh, forgot the part about my not knowing much about you, Shaun. That’s correct, I don’t. That’s why when people say you are good, I’d like to ask the questions I know to ask to get an idea. I’d just like to find any CC pastor who does the basics like Steve H was describing and have a little confirmation that it wasn’t just words.

    Otherwise, it’s like that old Saturday Night Live skit in the 70’s where the guy would say, “I’m a nice guy! Just ask me?”

    I didn’t understand what your point was by telling me I don’t know you? I didn’t follow.

    If my being open to looking to find CC pastors who have successfully resisted the systemic issues in CC associated with the Moses Model structure is received as a negative action on my part, then I’ll stop here. But don’t expect me to be silent when someone says, “We’re not all bad, don’t lump us together.”

  97. mrtundraman says:

    Chuck Smith used to say that the books at CCCM are all open. All you needed to do was make it past Pastor Romaine – who everyone around him was afraid of. If you got past Romaine who asked you to prove you were a tither, for example, you could supposedly see the books. In all the years, I’ve never met a single person who bothered. Yet they could keep up the pretense of being “open”.

    Having books available 8-5 is like my local hardware store which is also open 8-5. Too bad I leave for work at 7:45 and never get home by 5. Having a balance sheet on the back table for anyone to take is what impresses me.

  98. Chile says:

    Derek, I’ve been operating alone for hours, trying to find out some good info. Those responding to me were more than one, even though I was trying to pursue a conversation with Steve H.

    If there was a team it was everyone else against me.

    I appreciate Tundra adding valuable information that is connected to the topic at hand.

    Do you not want me, or anyone else, to ask these questions? Do you think that I have no right to know? Do you think anyone has a right to inquire?

  99. Chile says:

    MLD, what church am I a pastor of? Do you have concerns for the association of churches I’m in?

    Truth is, I don’t care why you want to see them. I’ll dig them up and post them. I think they are good enough.

  100. mrtundraman says:

    I was part of a denomination with a published “yearbook” which listed income/expenses for all 1000 or so churches. It was distributed to all the pastors in the denomination but available in the pastor’s study if someone wanted to understand the finances of a particular church. Each church had a budget which was voted on by the members of that local church. The church I was at had a 60,000 a year budget which covered everything including the pastor’s 28,000 a year salary. Not exactly rolling in dough, but I think that’s how most churches in this country are.

  101. Alex says:

    Derek said, “This continual questioning of CC pastors sounds like the Inquisition.”

    LOL, I don’t think so, I think it’s understandable in light of the mountains of people I hear from on my blog who have been hurt by CC pastors. That some of the few CC pastors who will actually interact with the unwashed heathen are questioned a lot is probably a normal human response to the Stone Walling that occurs at many abusive CC’s.

    Josh the Baptist says, “True that. I always detect a bit of arrogance from those who think they know how a church should be run. I’ve also learned that pastors are the worst scum of the earth.”

    The arrogance you detect is not specific to how a church should be run and not specific to pastors. The arrogance you detect is because I am so wonderful, super smart, always right and incredibly good looking 🙂 😆 <— That's called a joke, but some of it is irony and some of it is sarcasm, mixed with a touch of self-deprication.

  102. Chile says:

    I agree w/ your 98, Tundra!

    We walk out with our financials and can leave them in the restaurant if we want. I actually asked if they have any issues with people wanting to see the finances. They said people rarely ask because they have them handed to them. But when questions come up one can walk in and get answers. If they don’t like the answers there are elders you can talk with and recourse if you think there is a real issue. At least, that’s what the stories from the last 65+ years have said. There are some families with 4 generations in that church, no revolving door. They feel safe in how the finances have been handled and how the issues have been rectified in the past.

    The place still isn’t perfect and is being influenced by Evangelicalism at large, negatively, I think. But still good enough and ways to correct wrongs.

  103. Reuben says:

    Having a balance sheet on the back table for anyone to take is what impresses me.

    Every month, for as many years as I attended CCNed, the church accountant, who was also my shop teacher at school, would post the church income/expense reports on the bulletin board in the foyer of the church. When I was paid $200 a month as the youth pastor there, even that expense was listed. I figured it was normative at the time.

  104. Alex says:

    I think most of the rich CC pastors don’t make their finances public b/c they will be exposed for making a lot of money and receiving a ton of perks, while paying their staff sometimes poverty level wages, while the CCSP’s family and friends get paid well. I’ve got examples of many of these CC situations, too many to ignore and not call something that is common if they are a medium to big name in the System.

  105. Reuben says:

    105 is truth. I have known of way too many slave wage laborers in the church, all pastored by big name guys who throw their wives on the payroll to make an extra $70,000 – $100,000 a year.

  106. Chile says:

    Erunner said, “Chile, The CC pastors who post here answer to God for the lives they lead and the decisions they make. Not you or anyone else.”

    I wasn’t asking the men to answer to me. They asked us not to lump all CC pastors together. I ask questions so I can verify at a basic level if they are running their churches with a all power and no accountability. Reasonable questions. If they don’t want me to lump then I need some info so I know who not to lump. It’s healthy and not mean-spirited. I was looking for the good. I liked what Steve H. said. I hope I can find out his words are backed.

    Erunner said, “Lately it seems all I’m reading here are about the evils of CC.”

    I was not asking about evils, I was asking about good. Turns out its not so easy to get info on the good.

    Erunner said, “If you feel so free to ask all these questions then you need to at least identify yourself, name your church, and explain exactly why it is you are here.”

    Why, Erunner?

    Erunner said, “The pastors who post here don’t owe you squat.”

    Why do my questions looking for the good bother you? I don’t think anyone on here “owes” me anything more than we all owe each other as brothers in Christ. Leaders of any church owe transparency. As a brother in Christ, why do you speak to me in this condescending way, Erunner? I’m having a respectful adult conversation with reasonable questions.

    Erunner, if someone were to throw you out of a church and then when you asked questions to see if others run their church the same way they responded by telling you they don’t owe you squat, do you think that would be loving attitude? Is that how we are to treat each other?

    Is the new rule that I’m not supposed to ask questions because it will upset people?

  107. Chile says:

    Re: Alex and Reuben,

    Two of my CC pastors are very rich. The last was different. We all believed we were too small and too broke. We sacrificed and worked hard. Then we found out he was really living large and had his hand in the till to very large numbers. So I’ve been burnt and look even at the little broke churches to see if the money is being siphoned off. It only takes a few deep pocket folks who don’t advertise.

  108. Chile says:

    Reuben, love your 104!

  109. Shaun Sells says:

    Chile –

    we gave you the answers you want and you told us you can’t trust us.

    I posted what we do in #32, you said you give me the benefit of the doubt, but won’t believe me until I post my bylaws. I posted in #83 the section from my bylaws you were concerned with, and you say you believe me but want to know why I am so secretive about my bylaws. You can’t both believe me and not believe me – that is talking out of both sides of your mouth. Every question is answered and yet it is not good enough, we need more, more, more.

    I wear size 38 jeans – somedays they are too tight.
    I like hoodies because they feel like pj’s.
    I am sarcastic.
    As a Senior Pastor I have never removed anyone from our fellowship.
    I think people who won’t post under there names online shouldn’t call others secretive.

    I am not angry with you, I am trying to reason with you, but I am finding you unreasonable. So, I am out.

  110. Alex says:

    Shaun, you need to lose some weight bro. 🙂

  111. Fly on a Wall says:

    Steve Wright:

    I take your comment to partially be aimed at me and I apologize. You’re right, I would never be able to withstand the scrutiny that we (PxP in general) put upon CC Pastors. But I’ve also stood up for you, saying we shouldn’t attack you, because your church is not known to do the things we cry so loudly about.

    But to defend myself and Alex and a few other here who criticize you so loudly:

    1. You’re from CCCM, you’re a product of the mothership. Are Shaun Sells and Steve Hopkins? I daresay they don’t even know how CCCM operates? (correct me if I’m wrong) Yet, you blindly stand by them, even when you know what we say is true.

    2. Your lukewarm reception of Alex, Chile, and anyone else who had a problem with CC. You never, ever agree or empathize with their complaints. You make apologies for CCCM. (but I never knew about pending litigation against CC as a whole, is this a gag order of sorts)? Sometimes your comments are so ludicrous, I have thought to myself, this guy is either a plant or a PR man. I can’t remember the details, but someone brought a issue about CCCM’s finances, and you praised how their Bible College classes are cheap.

  112. Chile says:

    Re: Shaun, sorry, I think I get where you are coming from. I think it was more a matter of too many to respond to at once that I didn’t respond to yours with more care.

    I meant to say that I really appreciate your posting that portion of your by-laws. I’ve read that before and love it! It gives me great hope.

    I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to ask if you all don’t want us to lump. I like the section of by-laws that confirms a good from you!!! I’d love to see the others.

    I am not saying I don’t trust you. I just don’t take anyone’s word just cause they said it. I take their word and then look for the proof to back it up. You gave me one proof and it’s great! Thank you.

    I made comments about by-laws being secretive in general, especially when people are afraid of an unknown person looking at them; and I wondered why you felt yours were so “local.” Reasonable for me to wonder why. Those comments were made after Tundra said their are copies with the State Attorney General so it seems they are public documents. That’s not being disrespectful or unreasonable, it does puzzle me. Can you see it from my perspective?

    The only “more” I asked for was something to back up your words, which the only thing I can think of is the by-laws. That is not more, more, more …

  113. Fly on a Wall says:

    In Calvary Chapel’s defense, I didn’t have a bad personal experience at my CC either. Actually, It was there that I matured as a Christian and became pretty darn good at Bible Jeopardy.

    HOWEVER, I cannot stand by the CCCM and the movement in general when there are so many things wrong with their church model and their lack of accountability. AND being so intimately involved at my local CC, I have seen firsthand how these things can creep into a church that uses the Moses’ model and wreak havoc. So, at the cost of permanently burning bridges, I have stood up against the mothership, and sided with victims, in hopes that true healing can be achieved.

    This did not happen overnight. This was something God has laid upon my heart and has been revealed through prayer.

  114. mrtundraman says:

    Shaun – looking at CC Cheyenne’s website… Good things I see… The site shows who is on the Board. I really like that.

    Overlap between deacons and Board of Director (not sure but that seems OK). Deacons… all pictures of men with three female names but no pictures. Not sure what that means… Deacons selected by “church leadership” – again something I don’t understand given the prototype in Acts ch 6 where the original deacons were chosen by the church.

    The New Testament example for choosing deacons is – “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”

    Elders “appointed by the pastors and elders” – not sure I understand that at all either.

    My conclusion is that it’s hard to be part of CC and avoid the good ol’ boys club mentality.

  115. Alex says:

    Fly said, “…and became pretty darn good at Bible Jeopardy.”

    LOL! That’s a coffee spitter… 😆

  116. Reuben says:

    CC sure can teach you to quote scripture. Not so sure about teaching you what any of those scriptures mean.

    😛

    I kid because I care…

  117. Reuben says:

    When did we get animated laugh smileys?

  118. Reuben says:

    Or did my internet only just now start working right?

  119. I have been to your website. The Inquisition doesn’t agree with your church polity and now we must put you to the rack until you confess! Answer our questions!

    Do y’all realize how ridiculous this looks?

  120. Chile says:

    I don’t know but I need some animation right now. Whew … why is it so hard to ask questions when pursuing good info? Why am I expected to just take someone’s word? Who does that?

    Thanks guys!

  121. mrtundraman says:

    I guess a board of directors is a legally required thing in a non-profit but it’s important in CC to not dilute it too heavily since that means you have the potential to lose control. That’s why Chuck, for instance, puts his son Jeffrey and two of his grandchildren as the three sole board of directors of his radio empire. That’s also why some CC’s put the pastor, his wife and other cronies on the board.

    Deacons and elders are Biblical but at CC you better pick them yourself and not let anyone in the church be a part of the choice since you again run the chance of losing power.

    I am not sure how/why elders are different than a board of directors in the church. Doesn’t make sense to have two separate groups unless you are trying to keep the Board small.

  122. Chile says:

    Derek, why are you bothered by this? Tundra was just noting what he read and how he saw it. It wasn’t a slam, it was what happens on here every day, differing opinions.

  123. Curious use of words here today.
    Chile referred to people who were wounded by the CC pastors / churches.they have come in contact with.
    Alex just referred to the many who are hurt by the pastors / churches they have come in contact with.

    But 2 weeks ago when I said that I was sorry that Chile was broken by the pastors / churches she had come in contact with I got in trouble and was called abusive. Why is that?

  124. Chile says:

    MLD, you know why. I’m not playing in your sand box tonight.

  125. Jim Jr. stalks Alex with question after question. Chile stalks CC pastors with question after question. I don’t see much difference. Today Chile I see the Jim Jr. side of you….the side that likes to dominate and demand. Your hatred of CC is doing bad things to you and turning you into the same thing you denounce. That is all on this thread for me…y’all can keep massaging each others egos here with how right you are and i won’t interrupt anymore.

  126. Reuben says:

    Chile,

    I have broke bread with Shaun and his family. He is one of the few that did not turn their backs against me when I betrayed the almighty Chad-o. I knew Shaun before Chad. I knew him when his church was way bigger than most people would have even imagined, and he humbly slipped past all the “big guys” at the conferences. We have a mega-church pastor here who does not act like one, does not conduct his church like one, and is in my view an honest guy. I know Shaun. Again, I know that carries little weight when being discussed with jaded individuals such as you and I, but again, Shaun is a good guy. I have never seen anything to the contrary.

    Like he said, he wrote his bylaws based on discussions here at the PhxP. As one of the few who took seriously the claims, and planned accordingly, he needs to be cut a little slack.

  127. I don’t know why – but that’s OK, I don’t need to know. Just thought I would ask? As I said, a curious use of words.

  128. mrtundraman says:

    Shaun is held up here as one of the “good guys”. He’s got an Internet site for his church which hints at how the church polity works. It’s fair game to ask if having the leaders selected by the leaders solely or by the people as well is in agreement with the New Testament model or not.

    I guess in Shaun’s defense he could go the CC way and say that they are free to make it up as they go along and that new wine needs new wineskins, but for some of us we’d rather see it a bit less new and a bit more like the NT church.

    I would challenge Shaun and any other CC pastors to prayerfully take a look at Acts 6 to see how decisions about leadership should be done in the church.

    Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. ”

    Look to the New Testament, not Moses for your model.

  129. Chile says:

    Ok, MLD, then our apology was not an apology.

  130. Sigh…..I gain nothing by pisting here. Without a doubt there are problems within any church organzation and CC. But broad brush statements and insinuations against a CC church and pastor just because of they wear the band just isn’t correct. My hope in being transparent was simply to say many, as Shaun Sells said earlier, including myself have made significant changes as a result of problems revealed here on Phxp. I appreciate the openness of several of you here to that but for those who want to throw me, and Shaun, or Steve W, or any other CC pastor who posts here under the bus as a sacrificial lamb for all CC’s sins, I guess that is your perogative.

    If any of you are in the Salem, Oregon area, stop in, look at our books, the bylaws and we talk. I’ll even buy lunch

  131. Reuben says:

    Steve, you can buy me lunch any day, but it would require an additional shot or two of the strong stuff… because you are so ugly!

    Plus there is that whole Rick Warren connection.

    Folks, Steve sounds just like Rick. There is something in that for the ODMs, I am sure…

  132. Reuben says:

    Do you still use that sonic stomp?

  133. “Ok, MLD, then our apology was not an apology.”

    I didn’t say that – I am just wondering why you were hurt by being identified as one broken by the church – but you have no problem calling others wounded.

    Perhaps you need to watch this video from Lutheran scholar Rod Rosenbladt The Gospel for those Broken by the Church

    Lutherans have no aversion to using the word broken.

    http://faithcapo.org/component/vimeos/?id=44&task=view

  134. Chile says:

    Derek, I am not stalking with demeaning and abusive remarks with an intent to wound. I find it offensive for you to insinuate that I have.

    I was not trying to dominate but there were a lot of people talking to me at once. I happened to try to answer most. But we volleyed back and forth like normal conversation.

    My questions were simple, few, and within reason. We spent a lot of time talking about why I’d ask, why I wouldn’t just accept words and why I felt a need to see something to back it up? My asking to see the by-laws was innocent and reasonable. I had no clue they would not feel comfortable with me looking at them. I had no idea it would make people upset.

    But to say I demanded, dominated and asked for more, more, more is not what I did.

    I think it’s hard for some reason for people to stick to what’s actually written and not jump on the wagon when someone reads something assuming it’s a negative and then reacting emotionally. When in fact, it was not negative, no angry negative driving force, just a few real legitimate questions. It just shouldn’t be this hard.

    Thank you, again, Steve H. for having an adult conversation with me. And thank you again, Shaun for sharing that one point from your by-laws. I really appreciate those answers.

  135. erunner says:

    mrtundraman, Have you apologized or sought forgiveness from Michael for trashing him all over the WWW? Now when I went and posted on Alex’s blog you found me very quickly and misrepresented me with such ease.

    Seems you’re the foundation that Michael and Alex have built on and you have been unfairly persecuted through the years. At least that’s how you spun it on Alex’s blog. Some of us know better.

  136. mrtundraman says:

    For someone to say that they have turned around and are no longer walking in the wrong direction is not to say that they have arrived at the right destination yet.

    It is good to be transparent and it’s even better to be striving to be like the NT model for church. Or at least admit that that’s the right path to be on and working on getting there.

    To say “look at me” and then when people look to say “there are problems with any organization” doesn’t work for me. It is undignified for a pastor to play the victims card.

    The problem with CC has never been a lack of “good guys”. Most everyone in CC is a “good guy”. The problem has always been that they’ve built a system which relies on people being “good guys”. Chuck may well be a great guy, but he’s leaving his world to people who are not good guys. That should be enough evidence to anyone that a system built on good guys is fatally flawed.

  137. Chile says:

    Steve H. said, ” But broad brush statements and insinuations against a CC church and pastor just because of they wear the band just isn’t correct. ”

    This is exactly why I was asking my few questions, making a real effort, so that I can make the exceptions. I just need a little verifiable info, I love the words you gave which give me hope. I can’t use just words alone, but it’s a start. If you don’t want your by-laws viewed by the public, then I just have to accept that … but then I don’t a have verifiable exception.

    I put out an effort here. I wish I’d get credit for trying. Without effort I was inundated with the bad, and I could have reasonably quit there, but instead I’ve continued to ask about the good that I can know.

  138. Michael says:

    “The problem with CC has never been a lack of “good guys”. Most everyone in CC is a “good guy”. The problem has always been that they’ve built a system which relies on people being “good guys”. Chuck may well be a great guy, but he’s leaving his world to people who are not good guys. That should be enough evidence to anyone that a system built on good guys is fatally flawed.”

    I have to say that sums up the issue quite well.

  139. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    MTM and I have lived at enmity long enough.
    My hope is that everyone who posts here will do so with respect and grace for one another.
    I have never taken away from his place as a pioneer in this field…though we have had very different methodologies.
    Perhaps I am being idealistic and foolish…or maybe we’ll all learn to live together despite our differences.

  140. mrtundraman says:

    We Arminians could learn a thing or two from the Calvinists in this regard. They get “total depravity” but we still keep thinking people are good.

  141. mrtundraman says:

    My #142 was aimed at Michael’s #140 not his #141 but it may apply there too 🙂

  142. Steve Wright says:

    To Fly on the Wall,

    A couple quick clarifications. First, I wasn’t thinking of you when I posted earlier (though your apology is appreciated, but not needed).

    Yes, I am from Costa Mesa. I also left Costa Mesa and the CC movement to independently pursue mission work. I then was an independent pastor (no affiliation with CC or anyone). I then was a member of a Baptist church. I then was about to affiliate with a (non-CC) evangelical organization that would enable me to join military chaplaincy, which I had been preparing for in seminary for years.

    Left the Baptist church to plug my family into a local CC. Then a funny thing happened on the way to Iraq – I got called to pastor that CC by their Board which is still the Board today. As is all the staff I “inherited”

    Alex and I go back over three years and to say I have casually dismissed him and his concerns is something all the regulars here that have been around for those 3+ years would disagree with – most notably our blog owner.

    Peace.

  143. Reuben says:

    Chuck is not a good guy. He has had way too much bad stuff slid across his desk over the years, and he has turned back way too many of those things. He denies responsibility when it could cost his buddies their job or reputation. He claims responsibility when someone crosses his doctrinal lines. He makes CCOF of no value when they have to address pandemic problems that would tarnish the name of CC, but he has no problem defrocking Calvinists.

    That replicated throughout the system. The bad guys begat bad guys. Chuck, then, who by the way has nothing to do with anything, spread the nothingness of responsibility (or lack thereof) out to whole lists of guys who have no responsibility over anything. Some of which are known by me at least to be very very very bad.

    One of the guys on those lists of non-responsibility is Shaun Sells. I have no idea how he wound up there, because he is a good guy.

    Back to my Evan Williams. Goodnight.

  144. mrtundraman says:

    I could never have pulled off a long term community like Michael has formed here. I would have pulled the pin and tossed the grenade too many times along the way. I have to hand this accomplishment to Michael. Although we do have “different methodologies” I can see that Michael has keep a heart for the hurting as a key part of what he has done here over the years.

  145. Steve Wright says:

    I know a few local CC pastors and a couple others that are not local but have a connection to School of Ministry with me.

    I have “met” through this website more CC pastors than the total represented by the above sentence.

    Almost none of them still post here.

  146. Reuben
    Hey…I have to do a shot of the good stuff just to shave in the morning. The orst part of it all is at my age I aint gtting any prettier. I do use the stomp. Best and simplest solution to my sound issues. Turned my fiddle player and worship leader on to it. They purchased one too

    Playing lots of gigs in small taverns, coffee shops and wine bars.. Dont know if I told you but I own two Avalon (lowden) guitars now. Both belonged to Roby Duke. Last year I bought a maple backed Martin. Haven’t been a Martin fan for years but this one spunds like a cross between a Taylor and D35. I was made in 1987. I saw it on the show room floor, strummed it, came bach 3 minutes later and it was still humming so I bought it. Playing thru a Strawberry Blonde and a Genz Benz. Not many gadgets. Like a pure acoustic sound

  147. Reuben says:

    I can see that Michael has keep a heart for the hurting as a key part of what he has done here over the years.

    I would not be here today if it were not for the heart for the hurting Michael had for me. And I am proud to see you two old cusses being admirable to each other. Let it be an example to all of us.

  148. mrtundraman says:

    I am interested in the CC’s current removal of Calvinists. It was one of the big issues in “the day” so I am surprised it’s raised it’s head again. If I remember correctly, it was personally impacting on Michael himself. Can Michael (or someone else) give more details? Or is the story still too emerging?

    I agree with Michael in that I can’t see what a Calvinist would find attractive about CC, but I can see how a CC person might find Calvinism attractive. They probably got tired of the anti-intellectualism and want to be challenged mentally. Calvinism provides the mental exercise which is frequently missing from Arminianism.

  149. Ixtlan says:

    @131

    You gain nothing? What were you hoping for? Perhaps your posts were not for your own gain as much as they were for someone else to read, even if they did not comment.

    @140

    Great observation. This “good guy/bad guy” dichotomy is over sold and really detracts from the real issue of a flawed system that has been promoted way beyond any reasonable ability to meet promoted expectations.

  150. Well consider me a “bad guy” with a good accountability system around him and a staff, administrator, board, and elder who look to me for leadership but will not tolerate me manipulating, controlling or abusing my position!

  151. Chile says:

    Tundra said, “I can see that Michael has keep a heart for the hurting as a key part of what he has done here over the years.”

    Thanks, Michael! This attitude, alone, is love for your neighbor. It covers over so much, opens so many doors, and makes so many wrongs melt away. It makes the inevitable pain in life bearable. Thank you, as I know this idealistic effort has cost you much.

  152. Reuben says:

    Outstanding!

    I have made disciples of sonic stomp. My life is complete!

    We have to save you from that Martin affliction though… 😛 Although a maple backed Martin sounds really intriguing, I am sure it is comparatively bright sounding compared to most nasal Martins…

  153. Ixtlan says:

    Got the news today that one of my providers lost her 16 month old son. The sense of sadness that I have over this is surprising me. I hope this little boy is in the presence of God tonight.

  154. R
    Yeah, I wasnt looking to buy a guitar much less a Martin. Owned three in my life, a D28, D18, and D35. They sounded great with new strings…for about 20 mins. But then they got thuddy. I think you’d like this one. Its bright, even, and has a good personality. Its a J-65 M. Sounds especially good in DADGAD.

  155. Alex says:

    I have a sick Paul Reed Smith in pawn right now. Have seen some pretty sweet guitars come through. I can’t play a lick, but I know what they’re worth 🙂

  156. erunner says:

    Michael, I understand what you’re saying in your #141. Time will tell.

  157. Michael and MTM, you guys do my heart good!

  158. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    That would be an unbearable pain…praying for you as you will carry part of this load.

  159. Michael says:

    MTM,

    It didn’t affect me as I didn’t head for Geneva until I was already kicked out of CC.
    The issue today is that many see that Chuck isn’t long for this mortal plane and want to establish clearly that “the distinctives” will guide the “movement” after he’s gone.
    Thus, they are using his imprimatur to try to root out any Calvinistas in the movement.

    The reality is that the whole mess will splinter into factions the day after the very long memorial service…if it waits that long.

  160. Michael says:

    and thank you for your kind words as well…

  161. MTM,
    “We Arminians could learn a thing or two from the Calvinists in this regard. They get “total depravity” but we still keep thinking people are good.”

    What kind of theological ignorance is that? – Arminians don’t think people are good.

  162. Alex says:

    I think someone updated an End Times Prophecy Chart after seeing Michael and MTM getting along today… 🙂

  163. Nonnie says:

    Steve H., Shaun, and Steve W. I’ve always respected you from your past posts here, but today you have been exemplary in how you have responded with such grace and been so forthcoming with information. Frankly, I was offended by the way some were treating you, but I’m thankful for how you persevered and continued to answer with such patience and grace. This thread today is evidence of the pastor’s heart in you 3 men. Bless you.

  164. Chile says:

    Nonnie, are you referring to me when you say you were offended? If so, would you please tell me how I should go about asking these needful questions so I can know the good of which they speak?

  165. Chile,
    “how I should go about asking these needful questions”

    They aren’t needful if you have asked 20 times – in normal circles we call those “bullying” tactics.

    You owe me an email to explain your vile accusations. I re read everyone of our previous email conversations and I see none of your privacy concerns I breached.

  166. Chili
    Alway nice to hear the grave of Nonnie. Thanks for your concern for us. For the record, I was not put off by any of your comments. Sound like you are at least open to the reality that there are some responsible, Calvary Chapel churches and pastors out there whose congregations haven ‘t drunk the Kool-aid. If I or any other CC pastor can help you or anyone else move forward in this area we open to that. This being a blog, There are some obvious limitations.

    I am not a regular here but I can read and post occassionally. If there is some tension but the goal is understanding, I I can handle that and will continue to dialogue. But if the conversation becomes argumentative and I become the sacrifical lamb for all CC’s sins, my posture will change.

    The dialogue here has brought some things to light in some of our minds and a few have made some significant changes in governance while still remaining true to the CC goal of teaching scriptures. Thought thru all these years of “stuff” some of you would like to know that there has been some positive that has come out of wll this

  167. Chile says:

    I put out a sincere effort yesterday.

    I was trying to have an adult conversation and ask a few questions, just a few important ones. Steve H. responded wonderfully and Shaun also stepped up and gave me some answers for which I was very appreciative!

    I did ask if it was possible for me to see their by-laws, because it would solidify their words. Words, alone, are not enough for one to know. It’s not a lack of trust, it’s simply wise to see it in writing.

    As Tundra pointed out, these are actually public documents and many churches have no issue with them being available for anyone who wants to see them. I was confused and wondered if I was missing some info that would make it wise to be more protective of who sees that document, but Tundra’s input dispelled that notion.

    I was not disrespectful or demanding, simply asking questions and wanting to understand.

    I was not dominating, as accused, I was merely answering the many people who were interacting.

    Out of the blue, it seemed to me, a few joined the conversation and seemed very upset that I would dare ask questions, or dare to ask to see the by-laws. This appeared to escalate negative emotions.

    I remain confused as to why others did not think this was not a great opportunity for some CC pastors to shine? This was another chance for them to display their changes to their system they put in place to be wise and avert potential problems down the road. Something I (and many others) would have benefited from.

    I think Steve H. and Shaun made a good effort (especially Shaun’s willingness to show me one section of his by-laws to confirm one of his changes,) but my desire to see the rest of what they said in their By-laws was not something they wished to do. It appeared they think that allowing me to see what they have in writing presents more potential harm than good that can come from showing their changes in the rest of the by-laws.

    Again, my questions were sincere and my effort was with good intentions.

    Yet, I was interpreted as being:

    Dominating
    Demanding
    Offensive
    Abusive
    Stalker
    Not trusting

    Why?

  168. “Why?”

    Because you were. I am sure that all of those traits are a part of you and is the reason you keep getting kicked out of churches or churches are on the look out for you.

    Sit down and give a look inside and see if you have not been crazed by this quest.

  169. Chile,
    Why?
    Because this place has more of its share of hard headed, cranky, opinionated old (and not so old) men who want their thoughts heard in such a way that they expect the impact to be just like the Emmaus road epiphany. 😉

    …which is why it’s so addictive, like being surrounded by lovable drunk uncles, drunk on theology.

    BBE Sonic Stomp = amazing!

  170. Chile says:

    Steve H. said,

    “If there is some tension but the goal is understanding, I I can handle that and will continue to dialogue. But if the conversation becomes argumentative and I become the sacrifical lamb for all CC’s sins, my posture will change.”

    What I found interesting was that I did not think there was tension while I was engaged with you and Shaun, not until others chimed with their negative responses to my even asking. It made me wonder if they were falsely attributing to me some sort of witch hunt?

    Steve H. I appreciate your dialogue. I may not understand why you choose not to share your by-laws publicly, but I do not disparage you for it. I trust you understand I’m still at square one till I can see some verification, though I’m still encouraged by the hope that what you say is how you have it secured by your by-laws.

    Thank you, again, for the dialogue.

  171. Nonnie says:

    Chile, I don’t doubt you are sincere. I was not referring to just you. It was the general “tone” of basically the same questions being repeatedly asked, when these pastors took time to answer, but some folks just kept pushing and pushing.

    The thing is, I believe that because they are pastors who truly care for folks and want to see the best for them, that they DID take the time to try and answer your questions truthfully, patiently, and graciously. Had they not cared for God’s people, they could have told you to just shove off and not replied. I think that they way they treated you and others on this thread spoke volumes as to their care and integrity. I certainly hope you caught that.

    Now, saying all that, I don’t want to put you off posting here or asking questions. You have every right to. I hope you and I are “OK.” I have enjoyed your postings over the months.

    I hope you have found a church where you are loved and cared for, where grace abounds and God’s good word is proclaimed. I wish you all the best.

  172. Michael says:

    Chile,

    Anybody who has seen and experienced the things that you have would be a damn fool not to ask the questions you’re asking.
    My perception was that you were looking for reasons to think better of CC and you were wise enough to want to see the proof.
    Having said that, such openness can lead to discomfiture among those in the dock, so to speak.
    I’m not sure but I think I reviewed Shauns by laws privately and they are the real deal…I haven’t seen Steve Hopkins, but I suspect they are as well.

  173. Chile says:

    G said,

    “Because this place has more of its share of hard headed, cranky, opinionated old (and not so old) men who want their thoughts heard in such a way that they expect the impact to be just like the Emmaus road epiphany. ”

    What I found interesting was that Steve H. and Shaun were not upset sharing their ideas, it was Derek, Josh, Erunner & MLD, who chimed in with their displeasure at our dialogue. They were not presenting any ideas of their own. What is this dynamic?

    I truly would have thought, that this would have been the moment that they all would have applauded in that the stage was set for “good” to be drawn out into the light for all to see. Instead, I was accused as if my intentions and actions were evil.

    Shaun did think I was “unreasonable” to ask if I could see the By-laws, so I could see the changes are real and not just rely on words, which I don’t understand; but we were not argumentative or demanding.

  174. Chile says:

    Thank you, Michael!

  175. This is a real LOL moment.

    Chile, if you were having such a “nice” talk with the pastors, why did you threaten them that you were going to write an article for Christianity today to expose their secrecy and cover up?

  176. ( |o )====:::

    Thanks Uncle G 🙂

  177. Chile says:

    I asked,
    “how I should go about asking these needful questions”

    MLD said, “They aren’t needful if you have asked 20 times – in normal circles we call those “bullying” tactics.”

    I did not ask 20 times. I asked once and Steve H. and Shaun were in process of answering.

    MLD said, “You owe me an email to explain your vile accusations. I re read everyone of our previous email conversations and I see none of your privacy concerns I breached.”

    My email is not fixed yet. You’ll have to wait.

    MLD said, ““Why?” Because you were. I am sure that all of those traits are a part of you and is the reason you keep getting kicked out of churches or churches are on the look out for you.

    I was kicked out of one church. The pastor admitted I did nothing wrong but that he had to protect another leader who had an habitual sin issue that I knew about. He was then forcefully pried out of that church over a legal technicality after he was found in serious habitual sin, himself. He kicked out many of us who tried to deal with the issues appropriately. MLD, please stop making things up about me. The slander is wrong I urge you for your sake to check your heart.

    MLD said, “Sit down and give a look inside and see if you have not been crazed by this quest.”

    I was not on a quest. It came to me, fell in my lap. In my work I meet lots of people, and there came a tipping point when it seemed the numbers of CC abused were in my sphere at alarming rates. My personal experience gave me some understanding, and then I just made it a habit to ask the basic questions of the wounded and the pleased of CC as I ran into them. At some point I looked at the map and realized I was covering a large amount of territory without even trying. The systemic nature of the issues interested me. At first, it was to understand the issues and then later, to understand the issues in the greater context of Evangelicalism, especially as it pertains to international missions. Missionaries were having issues with CC in various ways but didn’t understand the dynamic they were dealing with. At that point, I had to approach it from an overarching view.

    Your comments, MLD, are so over top and caustic that I do not understand your venom? You know I was in no way abusive yesterday.

    I’m wondering if you are actually JimWho? You both have the same style.

  178. Chile says:

    MLD said, “Chile, if you were having such a “nice” talk with the pastors, why did you threaten them that you were going to write an article for Christianity today to expose their secrecy and cover up?”

    Why are you lying, MLD? I did no such thing.

  179. Chile says:

    MLD, Michael understands what I was doing. Why don’t you?

  180. “I could skip this part and not even try, I have done a great deal of due diligence over a long period of time, so I could stop here make final conclusions and Christianity Today would be satisfied with an article. I was just leaving the door open for your sakes.” QUOTE from Chile @ #58

  181. Josh Hamrick says:

    First of all, I am not CC, never seen a CC, only heard of CC when I stated coming to this place. I get burnt out on the CC stuff. I admit that up front. So, if there’s a bunch of CC talk ( pretty much all that has gone on here lately) I might get a little grumpy.

    Second – I believe in church government from the ground up. The local church is the highest form of church government. I do not believe in denominational structures or hierarchies, and think history shows them to be more abusive than individual local churches. Basically, i would say a pastor SHOULD be accountable to his congregation. If he is not, then he is out of line, and no amount of blog badgering is going to make him right. If he is doing right by his congregation, then I don’t see why he should answer to you, me, or anyone else.

  182. Chile says:

    @65 Chile says:
    March 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm
    Just to be clear, I’m not writing something for Christianity Today.

    My point was that after awhile one can have enough info, that they don’t have to research anything. Even a respected magazine would not expect more info to prove there’s an issue. May have been poorly worded, but it was not malicious and I did clarify.

  183. Alex says:

    Thanks for sharing that Michael. If folks knew the extent of Chile’s situation, they would extend more grace, I believe that about Steve H, Shaun S., Josh and even MLD.

    Guys, if you walked even a few yards in Chile’s moccasins and knew what this person knew and experienced what this person has experienced in Calvary Chapel, it would blow even your salty minds. The stuff is that bad…

  184. Chile says:

    Josh, just for the sake of clarity …

    I was not “blog badgering.” When Steve H. said he didn’t want all CC pastors lumped in together, I thought that was a great opportunity to finally hear the good stuff. I heard some and was hoping to get some proof to back it up, which would seriously thrill me.

    I wasn’t asking either pastor to “answer to me.” They ask me not to lump so I ask for proof, so I can comply. That is me putting out a good faith effort.

  185. Alex says:

    I think the CC pastors here, while human, if they are called, Qualified and if “special anointing” is real…can hack it and try and help.

    I couldn’t, but I don’t claim a calling nor do I claim to be Qualified nor do I claim a special anointing. I claim to be a sinful jerk who is unqualified, but a sinful jerk who is unqualified who has a pretty good idea about Right and Wrong and know hypocrisy and injustice when I see it.

  186. Josh Hamrick says:

    To paraphrase chile – forgive me for not taking his word for it. he is free to post all the evidence of how he has been wronged in the past.

  187. Josh Hamrick says:

    They are the same sinful jerk that you are Alex. Don’t expect more from anyone. We are all the priesthood, we all have the same qualifications.

  188. I need to get to work, but let me saI know what Chile has gone through (she has told me in several emails) and what she knows – BUT, that does not give her any special privilege to turn around and brutalize others who have had absolutely nothing to do with her situation.

    This is no different than if she were an abused wife and now all other husbands have to PROVE to her that they are not abusive. Husbands cannot just say “I don’t abuse my wife” but have to come up with the documentation.

    This is insane.

  189. Alex says:

    Josh said, “They are the same sinful jerk that you are Alex. Don’t expect more from anyone. We are all the priesthood, we all have the same qualifications.”

    Yup 😉

  190. Anytime, uncle MLD! =)

    …and stop hoggin’ the Syrah

  191. Nonnie says:

    Chile, I certainly had no intention of hurting you and I apologise if I did. I was trying to graciously comment on what I observed in the thread and more than anything, wanted to commend those 3 pastors for taking the time to answer repeated questions. I did think the line of questioning that was repeated and when answered, more information was demanded…well I thought it was off-putting, that is why I said something. But more than the negative, I was trying to point out that I thought those 3 pastors acted in a very caring manner toward you. I felt that their actions on this thread spoke a great deal as to their pastoral integrity.

    I am sorry you have been hurt so badly (from what Michael and Alex have recently stated). I certainly don’t want to be one who would hurt you further. I hope you will forgive me, if I rubbed salt in an old wound. As I said earlier, I sincerely hope you are now surrounded by a loving church family, full of grace and truth.

  192. Reuben says:

    I second Alex’s #185. I have spoken with Chile about stuff. I know some of the people Chile has dealt with. I get the skepticism. You would too.

  193. Chile says:

    Thanks, Alex!

    It took awhile, a few years, but I worked through so much. As you know, triggers can resurface emotions, and I have little patience for abusive manipulative behavior towards anyone. Outside of the triggers, I have been fine, but once a trigger is pulled, I call it like I see it … evil. I do expect anyone who calls themselves a Christian for longer than 15 minutes (at least beyond basic beginnings,) to have compassion and make an effort to understand those who’ve been seriously wronged by anyone, especially the church; whether they are an attender or a pastor. Love for our neighbor is essential if we are to love God.

    I’ve stopped by PhxP (and other blogs) out of curiosity, out of my desire to better understand and articulate some of the universal issues, in hopes of applying what I’ve learned to other venues. So far the applications have been very helpful. My mission agency communicated they value highly this understanding and how it helps us going forward. While I’m not the most articulate, most succinct, or have the most focused understanding of the issues, I have still learned much and been given opportunities to help others understand as they process or as they try to gain wisdom from mistakes made.

    As some of you know, the next portion of the “Christian Spring” (Lawsuit: JullieAnne, Alex, SGM, Prestonwood Baptist, etc…) will be the atrocities that happened at missionary boarding schools years ago, where the mission agencies are allegedly interfering with the investigations currently. The head of Compassion International was abused at one of those boarding schools. This issues were never dealt with openly and many children were destroyed as a result. I went to college with many who suffered at the hands of those pedophiles who were free to roam, never be questioned, always taken at their word as trust was a requirement. As a result of the colliding of all these issues, I hope to see a greater understanding of what is a good system in which to provide needed checks and balances to keep evil in check, or at least much harder to hide and thrive.

    Somehow I got the idea that this was the place to both better understand the problems as well as some of the solutions some have come up with. I have found it to be a very hard place to interact. The dynamic here is not one I understand. The lack of compassion on the part of some surprises me. Those who are uncomfortable with openness confuse me. And then the outright abusive trigger pulling attacks, slander, bullying, and attempts to change the direction of healthy dialogue … with silence or encouragement as a response from some … is … I have no words it’s so bad.

    I tried. I really put in a good faith effort. I could continue, when my time permits, but when JimWho and MLD actively look for triggers to pull, and I’m left alone while others pass by on the other side of their computers (or they join in the beatings,) then it ceases to be productive for me.

  194. Ixtlan says:

    I found it interesting that last night I mentioned that I had found out about the death of a young child and no one except Michael took the time to respond. I didn’t go into any real details, but it was a rather traumatic experience. What was apparently more important for all of you was your own selfish agendas, and it was more important to assert your position than to take a moment and weep with those who weep. You demonstrated that you really know nothing about kingdom justice.

    James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

    Funny, that verse doesn’t say anything about the Moses model or how tight your by-laws are…..

  195. Chile says:

    Nonnie said,

    “I did think the line of questioning that was repeated and when answered, more information was demanded…well I thought it was off-putting,”

    Nonnie, I did not demand or barrage them with questions. But in any normal conversation one needs clarification. That should not be seen as “off-putting.” I had a respectful conversation going, and it was wise for me to ask for how they define their terms. I made a case for the need for clarification by describing how calling finances “open” has very different definitions.

    I understand you have a desire to encourage the pastors. I just ask that you don’t do so at the expense of others, such as myself, who did not behave inappropriately … though others who chimed in did.

  196. Chile says:

    Ixtlan,

    I apologize. I agree. I also appreciate greatly your compassion for this family.

    I did not read your post because I was inundated with responding to so many at one time. I was engrossed in my dialogue with the others.

    I grieve for that family and my heart goes out to you, lxtlan.

  197. Josh Hamrick says:

    2 points Chile – Several people have found your conduct to be rude. Why are all of us wrong, and you are right?

    part 2 – Sounds like what you are looking for is an echo chamber. I’ve never known this place to be one of those. We disagree all the time, but we love each and other and grow through it.

  198. Josh Hamrick says:

    lxtian – I apologize also. I was offline at the time, and missed it until just now. That is horrible news. I can’t even imagine.

  199. Chile says:

    MLD, I did not tell you but an itsy bitsy part of my story. I gave you a name I have used, but not my identity. And stop referring to me as a “she.” Please stop antagonizing me. I’ve done nothing to you and you can let me and the pastors talk on our own, at will. They are big boys, they don’t need your help. I’m not being abusive with them. They can handle themselves quite well.

    Pastors, would you please ask MLD to stop “defending” you due to the venomous nature of his comments towards me? I believe we can have appropriate adult conversations, but if I were to behave inappropriately, I invite Michael, and other level headed posters to correct me, freely…

  200. Chile says:

    Josh,

    How was my behavior rude?

  201. covered says:

    Ixtlan, words can never express the depth of pain that a parent feels when one of their children dies. We hate the thought. Sometimes we even ignore the idea because it hurts too much to even think about it. I’m sorry that I didn’t respond until now. Please know that my heart goes out to the family and to you. You are in a unique place as a child of God and I hope that you have an opportunity to share God’s love even in this horrible situation. The only one not hurt by this tragedy is the child. We know that there’s a place waiting for us that is our real home. I will pray for the family and for you Ixtlan.

  202. Chile says:

    Josh,

    I was asking the pastors to please tell me their good changes so I could know of and be glad for them being the exceptions to what I’ve known. How is that an echo chamber?

  203. Josh Hamrick says:

    nevermind. You’re good.

  204. Chile,
    I have never defended a single pastor here – I ONLY point to ABUSE being heaped on them unjustly and individually.. Except for one here, I have no idea what the others do.

    Listen to the little voices you hear here.

  205. Chile says:

    Michael, did I come across as rude?

    If I did come across that way, do I have different standard of behavior than some of the others who post?

  206. Chile says:

    MLD, please show me where I was abusive.

  207. I’m done. You can point out abuse in others with just the wave of your hand, but you do not see it in yourself. Your badgering is abusive, but others here want to treat you as a queen so continue on.

  208. Shaun Sells says:

    I don’t have much time today, but I think there are several layers to yesterdays blog wars:

    1. Sometimes while responding, as we type other comments are showing up. I found myself saying things yesterday, that someone had already said or answered. Because the same things are being asked by several people it can feel like badgering.

    2. Emotions are not clear on a blog. I was not angry yesterday, but I believe the impression from others was that I was upset.

    3. Backgrounds are unknown. I don’t know anything about Chile – frankly that weirds me out a little. No name, no context, no relationship. It’s like talking to the unknown comic from the gong show – if he doesn’t creep you out something isn’t wired right.

    4. My background here is also unknown by Chile. I started reading and then posting here many years ago, before I was a senior pastor! I have been called every name in the book simply because I was a calvary guy. I believe I have proven myself here over the years, but I forget that not everyone was here to see how I have interacted in the past.

    5. Because there are many voices on a blog, we forget who we are really interacting with. Chile keeps saying we have set ourselves up as the good guys, when in reality I never said anything of the sort. Way back at #25 Alex asked me if we had mediation, so I was simply answering his question. I did not realize I was walking into an investigative discussion.

    I know that Chile does not agree with me, but I still believe I am only accountable to my local congregation, the government, and God. I feel no sense of duty to prove myself as a “good guy” to anonymous people online. I believe mrtundraman is incorrect when he says my bylaws are already public because it is filed with the state. To be sure, I went online to see what my state filing says, and sure enough there are no public documents held by the state online, just basic information about our yearly filings: http://tinyurl.com/9wspv37

    Now, everybody, and that includes you MLD Josh Alex and Chile, be nice to each other.

    lxtian – I did not see your #155 last night. The loss of a child is shocking, and I am sorry that information got lost in the fray last night. Please accept my apology.

  209. Josh Hamrick says:

    Don’t tell me what to do 🙂

  210. Chile says:

    Shaun, I agree that it’s the nature of blogging that responses get overlapped and that can get confusing at times. But I felt that you, Steve H. and I were having a respectable conversation. I did not think that either you, Steve H., or myself were angry at all. Others seemed to chime in who were upset at our exchange as if I were doing something bad to you and maybe upsetting you two. If neither of you were showing signs of discomfort at our dialogue, I was really confused as to why the others would?

    I did not say that you and Steve H. set yourselves up as “good guys,” I was responding to Steve H’s plea that people don’t lump all CC pastors together (whom he called “good” and “bad”.) I said I was looking for the good changes that you both have made. Thought this would be a win/win for all of us. It was not an “investigative discussion.”

    You said you know I disagree with you. I don’t even know if I disagree with you or not? I don’t have enough info on you to know that. You do know I don’t agree with a Moses Model church structure, so that may be why you say that; but I do know it has been said repeatedly that you’ve made changes so I had no firm idea of how much MM you kept and how much you changed?

    I don’t think anyone can prove being a “good” guy, it’s not something I ask of you or anyone. Thanks, again, for the dialogue yesterday.

  211. Shaun Sells says:

    Is that your real name Josh? I need to see your birth certificate!

    😉

  212. Shaun Sells says:

    Have a blessed day Chile.

  213. Chile says:

    Note:

    Neither Steve H. nor Shaun thought I was rude or abusive. The three of us were fine with our conversation.

    Those who have accused me of being rude and abusive, have provided no examples.

    The blog owner stated he understood what I was doing and didn’t say I was out of line.

  214. Chile says:

    Thanks, Shaun! You too.

  215. Nonnie says:

    I was trying to see things from different perspectives, but I guess there is only one way to see it for some people. Ok then. I’m out.

  216. Anne says:

    Oh, ixtian! I am so sorry your post got overlooked in the fray. What very sad news. Sometimes it seems the prayer thread a good place to post these sorrows. Sometimes that’s the only place I and maybe others check in after it gets too hot in the kitchen of other threads 🙁

  217. Alex says:

    Shaun said, ” I have been called every name in the book simply because I was a calvary guy.”

    I can think of a few I haven’t called you yet 🙂

    The “good guy” stuff was started by the Consensus of the PP Community and used to contrast the CC pastors who seem to be trying to do things differently and who interact on here with the unwashed heathen. I agree that Shaun doesn’t promote himself as a “good guy”.

    Shaun said, “Now, everybody, and that includes you MLD Josh Alex and Chile, be nice to each other.”

    Yes, my lord. 🙂

    On a serious note, agreeing with the others regarding lxlan’s situation, terribly tragic and sad.

  218. mrtundraman says:

    I wonder if those who push the “priesthood of believers” know where the idea comes from? Perhaps they think it’s found in the New Testament and that’s why they offer it as proof that priests are no longer needed under the New Covenant? That seems to be the way that the phrase is used, as in “We don’t need…” and “We are all the priesthood…”

    If they dig hard they will learn that it’s not a New Testament concept at all, but a quote from Exod. ch 19:

    vv 5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    So, far from proving that there’s no longer a need for a priesthood (or the NT equivalent) it is a quote from the OT system where there were priests. The point was that the priests were not like the pagan priests, completely set apart from the people, but that all people had access to God. And it was as true under the Old Covenant-Israel (or at least it was to have been as true) as it is under the New Covenant-The Church.

  219. mrtundraman says:

    My comments above are based on the statement earlier “We are all the priesthood, we all have the same qualifications.”

    As I read the book,

    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; ”

    We don’t all have the same gifts because the Spirit doesn’t work the same in/for everyone.

    See 1 Cor 12 for the evidence.

    Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

  220. mrtundraman says:

    “The local church is the highest form of church government.”

    If the local church was the highest form of church government then how could Paul warn another church that when he came it would be with rebuke?

    “[And] lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and [that] I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.”

    If the local church was the highest form of church government then why did the local church in Antioch tell Paul to go to Jerusalem to settle a local matter?

    “When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.”

    At the very least Paul the Apostle was above the local church government and could settle matters in other churches but still went to Jerusalem to settle bigger questions.

    “I do not believe in denominational structures or hierarchies, and think history shows them to be more abusive than individual local churches.”

    If anything history is probably mixed on that. Jim Jones and Jonestown was independent, wasn’t it?

    I guess I don’t buy the idea that accountability to a larger group is a bad thing. One man shows have a very disastrous history.

  221. WOWZER – I agree with mrtundraman on 222, 223, 224. 🙂

  222. Alex says:

    The frozen one comes with the a-game. Good points to consider.

  223. Reuben says:

    Same here, Tundra nails it.

  224. MTM,
    Regarding the priesthood of all believers, wouldn’t the irreducible minimum, therefore, be that each and every believer has a priesthood position with God, having access, being able to intercede for someone standing before them or far far away, and that priesthood also means an ambassadorship, representing God, as we understand God, to anyone and everyone in our path?

    I mean, this is how I try to live, how I see myself, my calling, my position in Jesus. It sort of allows me to step up in any given situation and serve, even if there isn’t a paid professional or an ordained whatchamacallit from the Vatican or Costa Mesa or whichever centrality of power, I can simply act, risk and freely “be Jesus’ hands” when they are needed.

    By the way, glad you’re here in this community! =)

  225. 1. The priest hood of believers IS ABSOLUTELY a NT concept. I can’t belive you guys are jumping in to agree with that. Start with the torn veil. What does that mean? The proof-tecxt I would use would be 1 Peter 2:9.

    2. In answer to #223 – Those are different gifts, not different qualifications. We are all called to holiness, wehther we are pastors or used car salesmen.

    3. Tundra uses Paul as proof that there is higher form of church govt. Tell me guys, who is the “Paul” for our times?

    ? Oh, that’s right, it’s still Paul and the inspired letters he wrote to local churches.

  226. So, I’d like to thank MTM, MLD, Alex and Reuben for letting me be right all by myself this morning 🙂

  227. Josh – I think Tundra’s point, if you go back and read 222, is that it is not a NT concept like it was never heard before. He made the point that what was said i ! peter came from the OT.

    So, the argument is against those who say the “we NT people have this new relationship with God because we are now the priests. Not true, it was there in the OT also.

  228. “If they dig hard they will learn that it’s not a New Testament concept at all,”

    The torn veil disagrees.

    Jesus is our High Priest. Period.

  229. Josh, I had this same conversation with someone offline last night. We disagreed also. 🙂

    But look, if an OT teaching is brought forward and continued into the NT is it a “NT teaching?” I look at NT teachings as those basically new to the people, more of a break away from the old covenant.

    “Jesus is our High Priest. Period.” I don’t get your point here, Doug’s argument wasn’t about Jesus being the High Priest – it was all the little people claiming they are priests and each is just as qualified and called as a pastor – which is hogwash.

  230. 1. You’ve had to reinterpret Doug’s argument twice now. He was wrong.

    2. ” it was all the little people claiming they are priests and each is just as qualified and called as a pastor ”

    And now you’ve changed my argument. Ok, this is useless.

  231. Josh – #2 was my take on Doug’s argument.for showing that the 1 Peter was not a NT idea – it was a long held belief in the OT.

    You totally missed the context of his statement.

    “” it was all the little people claiming they are priests and each is just as qualified and called as a pastor ”
    People say this because they think that 1 Peter gives them a new status that comes with the NT.

    Doug is just say “hold on buckeroo – this is OT stuff and you have no new standing.

  232. Then Doug is wrong, or there was no purpose for Jesus.

  233. Perhaps Doug’s wording was just horrible.

    So, I’ll ask you. What is the significance (if any) of the torn veil?

  234. “What is the significance (if any) of the torn veil?”

    Well I think that the torn veil was to show that God does not live in the Temple.

    But let me ask – what is the priesthood Peter is talking about? Obviously the OT passage quoted and the 1 Peter passage had nothing to do with priestly temple duties.

  235. But hey, we are getting off topic – we aren’t here to discuss these things – we are here to beat up on CC and CC pastors.

  236. Oh yeah. Didn’t Reuben say some awful things about his old CC? 🙂

  237. mrtundraman says:

    “1. The priest hood of believers IS ABSOLUTELY a NT concept. I can’t believe you guys are jumping in to agree with that. Start with the torn veil. What does that mean? The proof-text I would use would be 1 Peter 2:9.”

    If the priesthood of believers is only a NT concept, then how do you read Exod. Ch 19 V 6?

    Exod 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    Israel was also a kingdom of priests…

  238. mrtundraman says:

    There has been a priesthood of believers as long as there has been believers even before the NT days.

  239. mrtundraman says:

    “I believe mrtundraman is incorrect when he says my bylaws are already public because it is filed with the state. To be sure, I went online to see what my state filing says, and sure enough there are no public documents held by the state online, just basic information about our yearly filings: ”

    From the website http://www.ehow.com/how_7551169_bylaws.html

    “Call the secretary of state’s office. Some states require organizations to file their bylaws with the secretary of state. These filings are public record, and you can request and receive them for a nominal fee.”

    Anyway, I still don’t understand the reluctance to share your by-laws since Michael has affirmed that they are solid. The reasons given have been pretty flimsy. I would think that there would be other churches that would be interested in following your lead.

    As for me, I am still curious about why your church has deacons selected by the leadership rather than following the example from Acts. Is it because you have no membership (another odd CC distinctive)? Basically, that doesn’t pass my own “smell test”.

  240. “not a New Testament concept at all”
    vs.
    “If the priesthood of believers is only a NT concept,”

    Everybody see the difference there? Glad to see Tundra corrected himself.

  241. mrtundraman says:

    From the same #222 (with parenthesis added for further clarification):

    “So, far from proving that there’s no longer a need for a priesthood (or the NT equivalent) it [the NT passage about the priesthood of believers] is a quote [a passage found in the NT which refers to an OT passage] from the OT system where there were priests. ”

    I suppose I could have been clearer although MLD and others understood. I wasn’t saying that the idea wasn’t found anywhere in the NT, but that it didn’t originate in the NT.

    The idea of the priesthood of believers originated in the Old Testament and it referred to Israel. In the New Testament the Priesthood of believers refers to the church.

    My point was really simple, but seems to have been missed.

    In the OT having a nation of priests did not preclude having priests.

    In the NT having a priesthood of believers doesn’t preclude having leaders either.

    Incidentally, the OT priesthood wasn’t particularly hierarchical. Priests with a high priest. Pretty darn flat.

    What I am reacting against is the idea that “now we have a priesthood of believers and no need for hierarchy”. There has always been a priesthood of believers, hence the argument that “we now have a priesthood of believers” is irrelevant to what form the church takes.

  242. Papias says:

    Last I remember of MTM, he was attending an Orthodox church?

    It is good to see him again. 🙂

  243. Ok, well, all of that does make a difference. A conversation between to protestants is going to have certain assumptions that won’t be there pre-reformation. If that is the case, then yes, Tundra and I disagree on the priesthood, and that is OK.

  244. Shaun Sells says:

    MTM’s persistent questions is why pastors don’t like to post information. That being said, I already started this conversation, so I might as well follow it through.

    I called the Secretary of State’s office for Wyoming and asked if they had a public copy of my by-laws.They said no, and that they don’t require a copy of our by-laws. If we were to send them a copy they would sent them back. They don’t consider that public information.

    If someone from another church wanted my by-laws as the example I would be very hesitant for two reasons. First, I am not as confident in our by-laws as others are. I would like to see a few things changed, but I can’t make those changes I would need the board of directors to agree with those changes (because they get a vote). However, if they were specific as to what areas they wanted to see I would send what we have and what changed I would like to see made as a suggestion.

    Concerning deacons/deaconess –
    #1 – Our current website is not a great place to get information, our volunteer stopped updating it a long time ago, and we are now paying someone to build us a new one. It does not reflect what we are doing accurately.

    #2 – We currently have 14 elders and 26 deacons/deaconess. What we do is when a need arises we ask them if they have anybody in mind that fits the qualifications. If they do we then proceed to follow up with their ideas. If they do not, we ask the congregation. In the past six years we have asked the congregation on two different occasions.

    #3 – The reason it says leadership selects deacons is even if we do a congregational putting forth of names, those names are vetted by the elders to see if they meet the Biblical requirements before we lay hands on them. We have had situations where the congregation has chosen people who do not meet the qualifications (i.e. drug use, adultery, etc.) but it is not well known. So, before we lay hands on them we ask their spouse if they feel they are qualified and the elders if they are know of any obvious disqualifications.

  245. Alex says:

    Shaun, you are under no obligation to answer the questions, you can easily choose to be just like most of the other CCSP’s and the IFBC and SGM etc and ignore the folks who ask questions.

    I don’t understand the irritation sometimes. If you agree with most of your fellow Affiliated CCSP’s and think those who ask questions have no business in your Business…then just tell MTM to pound sand and talk about something else.

    My guess is, you aren’t like the other guys and you do care, so then answer the questions, not b/c it’s an Inquisition about “you” personally…but b/c it shows a rare Positive Example that should be emulated in your Tribe.

  246. Jim Jr. says:

    “My guess is, you aren’t like the other guys and you do care, so then answer the questions,”
    “I don’t understand the irritation sometimes”
    If you could step outside of your own shoes for just a moment, I’m sure you WOULD understand the irritation. But that would require you to display empathy.

  247. Alex says:

    I have plenty of empathy, my empathy is for the thousands who have been hurt by the CC and similar Constructs in the IFBC, SGM etc. I have piles and piles of first-person testimonies of such terrible abuse, much spiritual, some cover-ups of financial abuses, sexual abuses, child abuse etc.

    If the role of “pastor” is truly something special and “called out” and “Qualified” and “above” the rest of the unwashed heathen sheep…then I think the “pastors” can be reasonably expected to be more like Jesus than the rest of us schmucks and to ‘forgive 70 times 7″ and be “servant of all” and “turn the other cheek” etc etc.

    Or, then, the argument goes to: Priesthood of the Believers and the “pastors” are not special at all and just as sinful and just as thin-skinned and the Qualifications really mean nothing etc and they are just like the rest of the sheep and shouldn’t be put in positions of “authority” and shouldn’t be revered etc as some special “prophet” from God.

    I dunno. I think Priesthood of the Believers is probably correct, but MTM lays out a good argument to the contrary.

    If a guy like Shaun and others are truly “special”…are truly “anointed” etc…then I think it’s reasonable to expect them to be “different” and to be more gracious and more like Jesus than the rest of us, no?

  248. Maybe some of the hesitancy pastors have in sharing information like this is because if some one is looking for fault they will always find it. We aren’t perfect and as Shaun so graciously and courageously admitted we aren’t as secure in our bylaws as we’d like.

    But many of us are doing the best we can to serve the Lord and the body of people we have been entrusted. Even the best pastor, which none of us would ever claim to be, makes mistakes that hurt people. Most don’t intend to but when you have a group of people with needs and and differing opinions about how a church or pastor should function, it happens

    I am not excusing those pastors whose single intent is to build a large efficient piece of religious machinery. I am speaking on behalf of those pastors who lead a congregation while seeking the Lord’s direction in decisions whose intent is constantly called into question.

    I am not saying that I am one of the good guys! But as No human being is mass produced the same, no two CC pastor who flies the dove are the same as another.

  249. Jim Jr. says:

    “then I think the “pastors” can be reasonably expected to be more like Jesus than the rest of us schmucks”
    Herein lies a problem. Jesus didn’t have separate expectations for separate classes of followers.
    Shaun has a responsibility to be clear with those in his sphere, and that is all. He has more important things to do than be led around by a nosering at the hands of contrarians with agendas.
    Would you feel responsible for providing very specific answers to questions about your pawn shop practices put to you by someone in another state?

  250. Alex says:

    Steve H, valid push-back IMO and certainly a valid opinion. I get those concerns and there is certainly a balance somewhere in this mess.

  251. Alex says:

    Jim Jr. said, ‘Would you feel responsible for providing very specific answers to questions about your pawn shop practices put to you by someone in another state?”

    Pawn shops are not in the bible. Pawn shop owner is not a “Leadership Position” listed in Scripture. I am not given a set of Qualifications, nor am I given “authority” or perceived authority in the Church, nor does the bible command me to “judge those inside the pawn shop” nor does it command me to “warn others” of “wolves” who are pawn shop owners etc etc etc.

    What do you make of these verses? You seem to say that it is “no ones business” what goes on in “other” churches…are we not all “one Body”? etc?

    Seems there’s a Contradiction in the bible then…you seem to be asserting that we are all separate? No connection?

    “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

    “As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

    “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

    “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

    One Body, one Body, one Body…etc.

    Yet, “you have no business in MY business!” etc.

  252. Shaun Sells says:

    Someone please show the question I didn’t answer.

    All questions asked have been answered.

    I make no claims to being better, I am trying to be reasonable and helpful.

    Even healthy skin gets irritated if you pick at it long enough.

  253. mrtundraman says:

    “Are you Catholic?”

    Josh, No, I’m not Catholic. I did attend an Orthodox Church for some time but was too Protestant to fit in well. I guess I’d say I’m a Protestant through and through.

    “Tundra and I disagree on the priesthood,”

    We disagree because we approach the Scriptures in a different way when it comes to whether or not there is authority in church leadership.

    I look in the New Testament and see Evangelists, Pastors, Prophets, Teachers, Apostles, Bishops, Deacons and plenty of other offices as enabled by the gifts of the Spirit.

  254. mrtundraman says:

    “Someone please show the question I didn’t answer.”

    I guess you did sorta answer my question “As for me, I am still curious about why your church has deacons selected by the leadership rather than following the example from Acts. Is it because you have no membership (another odd CC distinctive)?”

    The answer as I read it was when the people of the church were left alone to select they did a poor job of it not knowing inside information so they need your help to pick someone who is qualified. I’m still not sure if you have membership and if not what role that plays in the ability/inability to have the people more involved.

    I don’t see that as a valid reason to do something other than what Acts did, but maybe the answer is that the community in Acts knew each other more closely and would have been better at picking deacons.

    From another poster “But many of us are doing the best we can”

    I really hate that phrase. I don’t think that anyone actually does the best they can. Most of the time we do much less than our best. But maybe that’s just my pet peeve.

  255. mrtundraman says:

    Shaun, I guess the bottom line is that at least for selecting deacons you don’t believe that the example of Acts is normative nor prescriptive. I wonder where you pick your church government model from then?

    Is it just an amalgamation of “what was there when you got there” and “what you’ve been able to change” without the “things that you would change if the board would let you make those changes”? Doesn’t feel all that intentional to me, but I’ve been in a similar situation in my life so maybe I understand. Can’t die on all hills.

  256. mrtundraman says:

    “Shaun has a responsibility to be clear with those in his sphere, and that is all.”

    And participation here puts us into his “sphere”.

  257. No matter how much information a CC pastor gives, it will never be enough for the sharks here.

    I can guarantee that if any of them posted their by laws or budgets, that the CC haters would take it apart line by line no matter what it said.

    Everyone here who keeps challenging these guys do it for the same purpose that Alex publicly stated a couple of years ago (and I don’t think he has ever retracted it) “to use against them.”

    I am still waiting for Chile to post the the by laws as promised along with the church web site so I can investigate. But, in anti CC land, the gate swings only one way.

  258. MTM.
    “I don’t see that as a valid reason to do something other than what Acts did,”

    Do you really see that a prescriptive, laying down the NT rules how to choose deacons, and not, even with the most remote of possibilities that it was just a description of what the apostles did in that particular time?

  259. Perhaps the only way to settle a church or doctrinal dispute is to actually go to the city of Jerusalem and hold a church council?

  260. Even more to the point is that if a pastor is asked to help with something, the only biblical response would be ““It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to …” (fill in the blank)

  261. mrtundraman says:

    “Perhaps the only way to settle a church or doctrinal dispute is to actually go to the city of Jerusalem and hold a church council?”

    Or go to the Patriarch…

  262. mrtundraman says:

    “Do you really see that a prescriptive”

    If it’s not prescriptive at the very least it is indicative of a mindset where the people have some role in selecting leadership, not a role that is found in Calvary Chapel normally.

    The Apostles could have set a difference precedence. They could have made the selection themselves and told the people who they picked, but they turned to the people and let them select the deacons. Seems like a generally good principle to me.

    But I do see such things as more than descriptive. I trust that the Spirit guided the church perhaps even more in those early days.

  263. mrtundraman says:

    “Perhaps the only way to settle a church or doctrinal dispute is to actually go to the city of Jerusalem and hold a church council?”

    Church councils are good things. We need the sort of unity in the church which would allow them to be held again. I’d like to see any number of things declared by a council, pro-life as an example. But we have too many schismatics for that to happen.

  264. mrtundraman says:

    “Even more to the point is that if a pastor is asked to help with something, the only biblical response would be ““It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to …” (fill in the blank)”

    A better argument could be made that they allowed the people to choose for a particular reason in this case. The particular reason in this case was that the Gentile widows felt they were getting short changed and that the Jewish widows were getting preferred treatment. By allowing the congregation to make the choice they were dealing with the charge of favoritism. If the choice had come down from the Jewish Apostles then the charge could have been made that there was more favoritism in the old boy’s network that caused the perceived problem in the first [lace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.