Things I Think

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67 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    8. Social media can make you feel awkward for not being angry or afraid…

    My personal rule: Don’t get involved in others’ internet wars.

    I don’t have to get involved in the argument. I don’t have to take sides. I don’t even have to care.

    There’s lot of things I do care about; that’s where I’ll put my energies.

  2. Nonnie says:

    Something I learned on the internet and now tell myself, when I am tempted to get involved in “internet wars” :

    “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

  3. Em says:

    except for sporadic recommendations and links – i completely avoid all blog sites except this one – i like feeling disconnected, i guess 😆
    all my internet time is spent taking advantage of its riches of research material that in the past i would have been too lazy or unmotivated to dig up

    just listened to the first presentation on this post’s link… looking forward to the rest later – thank you, Michael

  4. Having disengaged and now a lurker, much of my internet experience is akin to watching chimpanzees flinging poo at each other

  5. Alex says:

    Actually, the irony is that nothing has really changed much in terms of human nature and political/doctrinal/philosophical wars etc….it’s just found a new medium of exchange in the internet.

  6. Alex says:

    I’m a absolutely fascinated with the Calvary Chapel James Flanders adultery, child born out of wedlock and Murder…and that it took me this long to discover the issue.

    Talk about Calvary Chapel’s Cult Powers and ability to not discuss Sins in their Camp while blasting the evil gays who want to get married ad nauseum.

    The Calvary Chapel Bible is missing a lot of passages…first and foremost is 1 Corinthians 5:12: t isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

    Not one little peep from any Calvary Chapel pulpits about all the Child Molesters, Adulterers, Murderers, Child Abuser, Spousal Abusers, Crooks, Liars, Greedy Rich and Gluttons in their own Pastorate….just “God is judging ‘Merica b/c of gay marriage!”

    May God bring his judgment against their house and may Karma fall upon them when they least expect it.

  7. Xenia says:

    Not one little peep from any Calvary Chapel pulpits about all the Child Molesters, Adulterers, <<<<

    The Sunday morning homily should not be about these things. It is about the Gospel message. The pulpit is not a Reddit thread.

    I am not sure what you are wanting here, Alex. Since CC lacks central authority, what could be accomplished by an individual pastor? He could leave the CC confederation of churches in protest but you yourself attend a CC and admire your pastor, even though he has not left the confederation of CC's in protest. He has had frank conversations with you; maybe that's all you can hope for, a little honesty in personal interaction where the pastor says "Yeah, I know there's problems and that's why we do things differently here at our church."

  8. Xenia says:

    For the kind of accountability that most here seem to want it would require a hierarchy that most of you here would reject.

  9. Xenia says:

    Hearken back to the free and easy days of the Jesus Movement, where new non-denom churches popped up like toadstools after an April rainstorm. The pastor hears straight from the Holy Spirit without the interference from a [vain tradition of man created] denominational hierarchy. The pastor is as free as he wants to be. The people are agog at the freshness and freedom of it all, believing, quite falsely, that they are imitating the Early Christians. When the pastor becomes a monster, who is there to correct him? Who is there to send him back to the monastery for 20 years of prayer and fasting? Who has the authority to kick the bum out? Only the members of his church who by now have been taught that he is pretty much infallible and untouchable.

    However, I don’t think most pastors, even the sons of the Jesus Movement, are monsters.

  10. Alex says:

    X, then why so many commentaries from the Calvary Chapel pulpits about the “outsiders” like the gays marrying?

    Are you suggesting that Calvary Chapel should shut up about others…especially since they don’t say a peep about their own scoundrels in their Pastorate?

  11. Kevin H says:

    Xenia,

    I agree that the pulpit shouldn’t be a Reddit thread. And that the lack of a central authority in CC really limits the potential effect an individual pastor can have on other churches or the movement as a whole. However, I can see Alex’s frustration though in at least for those who do choose to make it a “Reddit thread” as such and call out the sins that are in the news headlines, they would be better served to focus on the sins of their own tribe and family as opposed to those “outside” their tribe and family.

  12. Alex says:

    “owever, I don’t think most pastors, even the sons of the Jesus Movement, are monsters.”

    I don’t think “most” are monsters…but certainly a significant percentage of them…a much higher percentage than the general population…which is telling.

  13. Alex says:

    There are certainly enough of the “monsters” as you describe them X…that there should be a repudiation of Chuck Smith’s Moses Model and “Specially Anointed” bullcrap.

  14. Xenia says:

    I think a preacher is obligated to point out what is sinful, especially if there is confusion in the congregation or in the culture. Child molestation, as well as homosexuality, are both sins.

    I would certainly agree with you that harping on homosexuality week after week when half the people in the room are divorced is problematic.

  15. Xenia says:

    I agree, Kevin.

  16. Xenia says:

    I think, Alex, that if you give a person unlimited authority their worst qualities might manifest.

    Or their best qualities.

  17. Anne says:

    And Xenia nails it again with her #9.

    The “monsters” may be a small percentage of the whole. Yet, the same problem arises that we see in some police departments, the military, govt, education and businesses. Loyalty to the brotherhood of pastors or in blue or the brand can trump loyalty to those they have sworn to protect and serve. Whether it is to protect one’s reputation or livelyhood, it is a contributing factor to patterns of abuse & evil. The big irony is that the pastors and their peers claim, if not special anointing, at the very least the indwelling of God’s spirit to lead and correct.

  18. Michael says:

    Update on the Flanders story.
    I’m being told by reliable sources that the scoundrel was disaffiliated in 2009 and the church has not been a CC since then.
    These events happened in 2011 and the devil had been defrocked two years previously.

  19. Anne says:

    Michael -thanks for your diligence in trying to get to the facts. One of the reasons I trust your work. Wonder why podcasts have been left on calvary chapel podcasts website and still there? Just slow to update? http://www.calvarychapelpodcasting.com/calvaryemeraldcoast

  20. richard says:

    Jim Flanders sermons are listed on calvary chapel podcast until 1/22/2012 and subsequent sermons by the current pastors until 2013. why would they be listed if they weren’t part of the mother church ?

  21. Michael says:

    I don’t know who runs calvary chapel podcasting…but I do know that he was disaffiliated and the church nor him is on the CCA official list.

  22. Michael says:

    Looks like CC S. Maui runs the site as a “ministry” to other pastors… my guess is that those podcasts disappear.

  23. Michael says:

    Point being that this church has nothing to do with any affiliation or disaffiliation process, nor do they represent anyone othr than themselves.

    If I hear more I’ll post as able.

  24. richard says:

    so maui was 4 years late in getting the word that CCEC became CEC in 2009? I wonder when CCA removed CCEC from their site ? 2009? 2013? I hate to say it, but it appears as some are attempting to protect the brand of CC.

  25. Alex says:

    So, Calvary Chapel DOES have the power to Defrock it’s “official” Pastors…

    Chuck Smith is a confirmed LIAR…and unrepentant liars don’t go to heaven, correct?

  26. Michael says:

    richard,

    When you run a site like this credibility is everything.
    I already had my integrity challenged by a CC guy who has since left.
    When we get facts, we report them as we can.
    I was under the same impression Alex was…but it seems that they split in 2009.
    I’m not protecting anything but our ability to tell the next story.

  27. Michael says:

    disaffiliate equals defrock.
    They did Brian Michaels before this.

  28. Alex says:

    Why do Calvary Chapel folks not have a problem with Chuck Smith lying to my face and then lying from his CCCM pulpit?

    God “hates” Liars…and Liars are an “Abomination” to him…according to the bible.

    Yet, the evil gays are destroying ‘merica according to the Chuck-ites…but Chuck Smith dying in the sin of Lying…well, he’s in heaven for sure!

    Really convenient theology.

  29. Xenia says:

    disaffiliate equals defrock.
    They did Brian Michaels before this.<<<

    Who is "they?"

    It seems at times there is a "they" that can defrock ministers yet we often hear there is no "they" that can do anything?

    I find this confusing.

  30. Alex says:

    How do you know for sure “Calvary” Emerald Coast is NOT an “Official” Calvary Chapel?

    What is the proof? What makes you an “official” Calvary Chapel?

  31. Alex says:

    Michael, did Chuck Smith die a liar?

  32. Alex says:

    X said, “I find this confusing.”

    Agreed. but it’s worse than that…it’s intentional Lying to people and to the public.

    Calvary Chapel’s Core is an intentional Lie…and Chuck Smith died perpetuating and promoting that Lie to the grave.

  33. Alex says:

    If the “bible” is true as Calvary Chapel professes…and if the “bible” is to be taken literally and “simply”…then by their own mouths, Chuck Smith is in hell b/c he died in a Lie, a BIG lie that he did not repent from even when confronted before his death.

  34. Alex says:

    “Calvary Chapel Emerald Coast” with James Flanders as CEO/Pastor

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Fort-Walton-Beach/james-flanders/61882659.aspx

  35. Dave says:

    Wow – there must be some serious life lessons behind numbers 4, 7, and 9. I’m glad you are listing these areas as part of a genuine Christian life.

  36. Anne says:

    #31 No one can know the answer to that question, Alex. What may or may not transpire in a person’s heart as they near death, yet then lack time to make amends, is unknowable to any degree of certainty. Renders your question beyond rhetorical. Sadly, though, the record of his past is clear – he was guilty of lying by acts of comission and omission several times. Sadly so are most of us.

  37. Alex says:

    Good to see that someone linked the article appearing on CC Abuse to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Dept. Facebook page.

    The word is spreading like wildfire that Calvary Chapel is a DANGEROUS organization. You can’t trust it.

    Calvary Chapel Pastors in recent years have now been arrested for:

    Child Molestation, Statutory Rape, Domestic Violence, Prostitution Solicitation, Financial Fraud and now Murder.

    …and that’s just the many who have gotten caught…there are many more who have simply avoided prosecution b/c of the Cult dynamic that protects their Pastors/Leaders.

  38. Michael says:

    I have to be brief because I’m late already.

    What we know is that Flanders was once a CC pastor.
    What I’ve been told is that his affiliation ended in 2009.
    I don’t know when the church did a name change.
    I do know the brand is a draw in Florida.

    Xenia,

    CCOF used to discipline and disaffiliate pastors.
    They disbanded that because the lawsuits were costing a fortune and Chuck Smith wanted no more liability.

    Alex,

    As far as I know Smith died a sinner saved by grace.
    That doesn’t negate what has happened to you and your family.

    I’m out.

  39. Alex says:

    Michael said, “As far as I know Smith died a sinner saved by grace.”

    Same for Lonnie Frisbee? Even though he died a homosexual?

  40. dusry says:

    Hi family hope you are well (hugs)

  41. Em says:

    the roots of this organization have had a reputation for some shady characters in leadership going all the way back to the 1920s – yet, they survive – it’s not a question of the organization being held accountable to clean house as it’s demonstrable that they can’t (won’t if you prefer)

    if i was determined to expose a bad pastor or many of them… i think that i’d have a bigger impact going after the bad guys by name and ignore the organization in this case… there are so many God fearing and God loving good guys that the trees that should be targeted get lost in the forest

    dunno – just sayin

  42. Em says:

    did i just feel a dusty hug? think i did

  43. dusry says:

    Hehehe hi em 🙂

  44. Alex says:

    That’s a fact that’s hard to get around for Calvary Chapel (and other evangelicals). It blows their whole mythology-theology away.

    A practicing homosexual “can’t” be truly saved…but a practicing Liar can?

  45. Alex says:

    …same goes for all the practicing Gluttons and practicing Divorcees (Don Stewart) etc.

  46. Alex says:

    Like I’ve noted, the real Doctrine of CC is extremely Liberal.

    You can pretty much do whatever you want and believe whatever you want…they are essentially Universalists when push comes to shove and where the rubber meets the road.

    OK, I agree.

  47. Babylon's Dread says:

    I hope some discussion will foment over this new brand of Zionism

  48. Xenia says:

    Alex, CC believes in hell and they believe people who are not Christians will go there. They are not universalists at all.

  49. pastor guru says:

    As usual there are many sheep confused, hurt and wounded… (Oka. Sheriff’s FB)

    This hurts on so many levels. He was a pastor, a mentor, a thinker, shaper of who I am. One of the good ones, you know? To have to question whether this is true is BEYOND a hard pill to swallow. Because if I question whether this is true, I have to question 6 years of my teenagehood spent in and around his ministry, which did a lot of people a LOT of good. The ministry was about loving people without design or condition. Just love. (Why does that word seem weird to say right now?)

    If this story is true, I feel like I need to stop trusting people’s intentions. Or just stop trusting people altogether.

    For the sake of ALL people involved in this and on the outside, I wish I could separate the lines of history in order to uncomplicated the feelings that I know many people share. There’s Pastor James and then there’s James Flanders. Apparently, they’re not the same person, even though history now has them written as such.

    I guess the people who (seemingly) share grace abundantly are the ones who know they need it the most.

    Sad day for many. But closure is closure. And closure is good, even if there are more questions than answers for those of us who feel betrayed.

    RB

  50. brian says:

    “God “hates” Liars…and Liars are an “Abomination” to him…according to the bible.” From personal experience in the real world Alex it depends on if the “Lie” helps the apologetic if God hates it or not. As for CS he died in an upper management role within the corporation, it is impossible for him to go to hell.

  51. Alex says:

    GOOD, there is renewed interest in the Calvary Chapel cult dynamic.

    The Flanders murdering his mistress he knocked up is getting attention and folks are asking how this didn’t get more attention and then they are seeing all the other terrible things going on in Calvary Chapel and how EASILY Calvary Chapel flies under the radar and sweeps this stuff under the rug.

    The Liars like Steve Wright are very good at perpetuating the lie. One Calvary Chapel cult follower on the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Dept. thread parroted the mantra that Steve Wright often perpetuates: “Remember that Calvary Chapel consists of over 1,000 churches and that one man choosing to commit a crime does not mean the other 1,000 or so pastors/churches/etc. are guilty.”

    Bullspit.

    That’s what guys like Steve propagate, but it isn’t true. There are MANY of these so-called “Specially Anointed” that have been arrested for Child Molestation, Domestic Violence, Financial Fraud, Statutory Rape, Prostitution Solicitation and the list goes on and on.

    …and those are just the many CC Pastors who have gotten caught. There are three times as many who get away with it (but I have the reports and allegations).

    As a percentage, it’s actually an abnormally high rate of psychos. The CC cult dynamic attracts these types.

  52. Alex says:

    brian said, “As for CS he died in an upper management role within the corporation, it is impossible for him to go to hell.”

    Agreed and I know where you are coming from with that point.

    Like me, I know you are not sure “God” chooses to nuke everyone in hell forever…your critique is of the Apologetic and the Corporation.

    The Apologetic tells us all that a Lonnie Frisbee “practicing” the “abomination” of homosexuality is barred from heaven and certainly in hell.

    The same Apologetic confirms that Chuck Smith took a Big Lie to his grave “We don’t defrock pastors in Calvary Chapel! We’re all INDEPENDENT! I have exercised no responsibility with any of them!”

    …yet a practicing Liar (which is an “abomination”)….gets Grace for sure!

    CC’s whole construct and Theology (as practiced) is a Lie. God “hates” Liars….so according to their own Apologetic…what then?

    Circular…and they will demonstrate their True Belief in Universalism…MAXIMUM Grace for their ongoing sins they practice and don’t nearly repent from…but “HELL!” for the gays and everyone else outside their walls.

    The exact opposite of 1 Corinthians 5:12…

  53. Alex says:

    X said, “Alex, CC believes in hell and they believe people who are not Christians will go there. They are not universalists at all.”

    I word only.

    In Practice and in Example…their true Doctrine is Universalism.

    This is demonstrated by the fact they profess that you go to hell if you die in “sin”…which means you keep practicing the particular sin. CC says that homosexuals who don’t stop having gay sex are going to hell. Yet, Chuck Smith never stopped lying and didn’t repent of his Big Lie…yet they are sure there is Grace for Chuck and that he is in heaven today.

    That is CC’s True Doctrine…a Doctrine of “Grace covers all” Universalism.

  54. Em says:

    Pastor Dread, i do too…

  55. Andrew says:

    Reading through lightly some of these posts, it seems obvious to me that CC is very elusive. No one knows for sure who is in, who is out, and who makes the decision who is an official CC and who is not and has been disfellowshiped. Also who is allowed to speak at their pastors conferences from outside the CC fold. These are friends of CC but don’t identify as a CC. Apparently CC has no central authority but they appear to have regional authority based on Chuck’s wishes before he died but does anyone in the group even need to honor that and how does this regional authority maintain itself in the furture? Can the CCA elect replacement members? My guess is that Chuck Smith just kicked the can down the road (like most politicians) hoping the rapture would happen within the next generation. I understand Alex’s frustration because a lot of these guys freely choose to speak at each other’s pastor’s conferences yet then wash their hands clean of any responsibilities these pastors may have in their own regions. There is a great degree of hypocrisy with this even if they can squirm out of any legal trouble.

  56. Andrew says:

    “Alex, CC believes in hell and they believe people who are not Christians will go there. They are not universalists at all.”

    Xenia, on paper the affiliated pastors may confess that but I question what most non member members believe. I take this from my own experience attending a CC. But you will never be able to verify this since CC has no membership and there is no unbiased polling data that I know of that is trustworthy to capture the beliefs of these non member attenders that make up CC.

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    I started watching the message about zionism..

    So far he only laid a historical foundation that claims that zionism is found outside of dispensationalism.

    That’s not news… So I have to finish to see if he has anything to offer….

  58. Xenia says:

    From my experience, pretty much the only people CC pastors believe go to hell are Roman Catholics.

  59. Xenia says:

    (not all CC pastors, of course)

  60. Em says:

    i watched the first presentation on Zionism yesterday… ‘course i amened most of it (he made the point that Martin Luther eventually came around to seeing that the Jews were still in an unfinished part of God’s plan… at least, that’s what i heard) 🙂
    trouble is my short term memory… this a.m. i listened to the Anglican presentation and, of course, with a British viewpoint, it was both Church and State…
    if i can’t sleep tonight, i’ll do a marathon for my own benefit, but since i am not a theologian of any stripe, i sure wish that those who come here could find the time to listen and discuss

    CC is topic one, but it’s making me dizzy

  61. Michael says:

    Alex,

    From everything I’ve been told Frisbee died a sinner saved by grace.
    He and Chuck have probably had some interesting conversations by now.

    I do know many good and decent men who pastor in CC…and the claim that the majority of the 1500 are that is probably true.

    What we are seeing is that this model of ministry (check out the Baptist crime roll) attracts and protects scoundrels.

    As long as people don’t care about ecclesiology or theology as long as the show is good, this will continue.

  62. pstrmike says:

    I was surprise that Zionism among non-dispensationalists got so little traction. I posted some questions on another blog regarding this, and I got little to no response there too. Someone wake up dread!

    1. Not all non-dispensationalists are anti-Semites.

    2. Other groups also recognize biblical prophecy that speaks of a future in the land for Israel. If you’ve read much covenant theology, you would recognize that is a big deal.

    3. I am encouraged by those who are willing to take a hard look at their systematic theology and ask difficult questions, recognizing that the Bible is final authority.

    a. There is such a thing as respectful disagreement of the authorized version of theology. We should glean a thing or two from that concept instead of the default of “showing someone the door”.

    b. Even founders of movements are not infallible and it is important to receive the good things they have taught and exercise the freedom to challenge those things that are not airtight theologically.

    4. We should see these groups as allies in our work of justice for Israel. They are the one nation in the Middle East that respects human rights and they should be encouraged to continue to do so.

    5. Hopefully, this will encourage better discourse between dispensationalist and no-dispensationalists. Too many of the rank and file foot soldiers of dispensationalism have a rather truncated, narrow view of Israel that has been fostered by a flawed hermeneutic and incomplete exegesis/exposition of Scripture.

    6. In contrast to #4, it is also important to recognize that Israel today consists of an unregenerate nation, that their policies are not always correct, and we should not cower in expressing our protests when they go off the rails.

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