The Calvary Chapel Chronicles: Prelude
Whether anyone likes it or not, something real happened in the late sixties and onward in Southern California and across the nation.
To be more accurate, God did something real in those days… something the church calls revival.
Most church growth today is transfer growth, those who are already Christians changing churches.
Not so during the “Jesus Movement”…the Holy Spirit was converting masses of marginalized young people and packing out places like Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
How do we know that this supernatural movement was actually real?
The fruit has remained…thousands of those hippies are now older saints still worshipping the risen Christ.
The second thing we need to recognize is that God used flawed, sinful, men to accomplish what I believe was the last real revival in American history.
He never has anything else to work with…
What God did and how He did it was inexplicable… indeed when those involved attempted to explain and control the inexplicable, God started moving toward the door.
Chuck Smith had been a bi vocational minister mired in mediocrity, Lonnie Frisbee was a bisexual who converted while on drugs, and the musicians who provided the crowds and soundtrack for the movement were largely from the newly converted.
Many of those who were sent out from the mothership to start new churches were also recent converts with barely a modicum of theological training or ecclesiastical insight.
Still, many of them flourished.
This messy , sometimes chaotic time produced thousands of new converts…and also left behind a lot of wounded saints.
We would be dishonest and dishonoring to God not to acknowledge both.
Tomorrow we will begin to explore the DNA of the Calvary Chapel movement.
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