Tuesday, April 23, 2013
These have been called the “Marks of the True Church” and there are various lists of those marks. Wikipedia has some of those lists for those who are interested.
One of the common marks is church discipline rightly administered. If you are in a church which doesn’t have church discipline, rightly administered (note I didn’t say perfectly administered) then you are not in a church.
Make your own application, CCites.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The man who was in charge of the Korean fellowship at our church is a medical doctor. He did not get any salary for his ministry to the Koreans. He makes his living as a pediatrician and an allergist. The Korean fellowship was growing quite large, so they said “We really need to get a board established for the Korean fellowship.” So, the man appointed board members and asked me to come to the service that I might lay hands on these men that he had chosen for his board, and I did.
The very same week that we laid hands on these men and prayed for them and appointed them as board members, they had a meeting and asked the pastor to resign. They said, “Either give up your medical practice or resign as the pastor. We feel that we need a full-time pastor and your medical practice is taking you from your ministry here.”
The man was devastated; he didn’t know what to do. So he asked me what I thought. I said, “Fire the board. God has called you to pastor that fellowship; the board didn’t call you to pastor it. Let them go.”- From The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel by Chuck Smith…
So we ordained them in one week and defrocked them the next.”
“I still dig the V by V teaching format, and think it can be highly effective. Got that from CC.”
I think that historical churches which operate from the Common Lectionary actually do a better job of going through the BIble thoroughly than the Calvary Chapel v by v model. They go through the entire Bible in three years. They cover all the chapters and they don;t allow for concentrations on pet peeves nearly as easily as the Calvary Chapel v by v model.
I personally heard Chuck Smith find anti-homosexual things in chapter after chapter in the Bible in spite of the fact that there were zero passages on that particular proclivity in any of the v by verses for the week.
“Purgatory is just an extension of a system of works. It is sad to see people have things that aren’t even remotely found in scripture like this ruin their lives.”
Matt. ch 5 v 26 and ch 18 v 34 – Jesus teaches us, “Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
“Protestants believe the Bible to be the sole authority for doctrine and practice, while in Catholicism it is the church, which interprets scripture and tradition to create dogma.”
I am sure formally that is the case, but practically I am not so sure.
I suspect just as many Protestants see their church’s teaching as the authority (particarly their pastor’s teaching) as Catholics. And I suspect that there are many Catholics who try to understand their church’s doctrines in the light of Scripture.
The Teaching Magisterium in the Catholic Church is both a blessing an a curse, as the Teaching Magisterium in the Protestant Church is.
Saturday, March 02, 2013
- If your pastor think’s he’s Moses, your church may be a Calvary Chapel…
- If your church won’t let you see the books, your church may be a Calvary Chapel…
- If your church has a handpicked board of “yes men”, your church may be a Calvary Chapel…
- If your church pretends to love the Bible, but mocks doctrine, your church may be a Calvary Chapel…
- If your church doesn’t believe in religious symbols, except a 1970′s wooden dove in the front, your church may be a Calvary Chapel…
- If the "What we teach (or believe)" on your church bulletin says "We believe the worship of God should be spiritual" but your church doesn't have people exercising the gifts of the spirit, your church may be a Calvary Chapel...
- If your church participates in Harvest Crusades, but doesn't do anything else locally with other churches, your church may be a Calvary Chapel...
- If your pastor doesn't teach the resurrection of the body, your church may be a Calvary Chapel...
- If your church bookstore has 20 tapes on the Anti-Christ and none on the Trinity, your church may be a Calvary Chapel...
- If your pastor claims to "teach simply through the Bible" but always seems to end up back on his pet peeves which aren't in the passages for the week, your church may be a Calvary Chapel...
Friday, March 01, 2013
It seems that for the last few decades people have tried to make Chuck out to be a great father of the faith in the United States. Yet we have the origin of CC well documented right down to him leaving a denomination because he could not comply with how they wanted the chairs arranged! When I read about that, his early beginnings make sense. If, while he was a subordinate, he could not even follow simple rules, then what type of a leader would we expect him to be? Interesting how back then he could leave a church over such a petty matter and not face shunning by them yet when people leave the CC fold over far more serious things that CC leaders have done wrong, they can expect to be blacklisted.
I truly believe that the human tendency to look for heroes and people to worship has led to people being incapable of seeing the full truth about CC’s beginnings. Then we have a tendency to mistake charisma with a move of the Holy Spirit. Charisma draws crowds. Celebrities have it and this is why people flock to see movies and concerts etc. But let someone say the name of God while possessing that type of charisma and we are convinced that they are the “great power of God”. This is nothing new. The same issues we face now, happened in the Bible as well. Acts 8 tells us of a man named Simon, a sorcerer, who the people looked up to because he astonished them with his sorceries. As Philip preached, Simon “believed” however when he saw the power of the Holy Spirit he wanted to purchase that power for his own personal use. He was rebuked sharply by Peter who pointed out that he was poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.
Fast forward to an organization like CC and how in their beginnings they harnessed whatever charisma, whatever spiritual power they could find to get people through the doors. As I said before I believe that our need to create and maintain heroes has people still calling this the “Spiritual Movement” or the “Jesus Movement” but was that really what it was? People may have been welcomed into an atmosphere that seemed to be focused on Jesus but were lives really changing as a result? Was there ever a time when what was happening behind closed doors wasn’t some dark, demonic reality, evidenced no doubt by things like child abuse and spousal abuse and drug abuse etc? Were any of the early CC converts really converted?
Every time I hear the name Lonnie Frisbee I am intrigued. I believe that Chuck was brilliant to figure out that he could use a charismatic, relatable young man to draw the crowds of hippies in and to make it look like those people were being drawn to worship Jesus instead of just being drawn to the charisma and atmosphere that Lonnie created with his presence. It was also brilliant to figure out that he would need to eventually discard Lonnie in order to fit in with the rest of the evangelical world and to create a facade of righteousness for CC. I submit that based on CC patterns, if Lonnie could have kept his sins hidden, he would have been allowed to continue with CC.
I do not believe that CC is concerned about who people really are in Christ, but just with how it all looks. As I listened again to the Youtube clip of Chuck speaking that seems so clear. It seems that even though he stated that the young blogger suffered abuse at the hands of his step-father, the entire clip is focused on how inconvenient everything about the young blogger’s claims are for Chuck. Everything seems centered on why the young blogger will be silenced by God because he is making life uncomfortable for Chuck as if God’s sole concern is keeping Chuck and CC leaders happy and as if God is completely unconcerned about what the young blogger went through at the hands of one of CC’s leaders.
This is why I keep on reminding everyone that we all need to draw close to God individually and truly dig into His Word so that we know who He is and are not deceived. CC is very able to deceive people who do not truly know the character of God as reflected in His Word. Even in that short clip you can hear people cheering in the background as Chuck boasts about having God on his side and what that could mean for the blogger. Why should people cheer about that considering that Chuck actually highlights the fact that the blogger was abused as a child? I had to pray while listening to this because quite frankly I had no idea which lord he was praying to that would take the side of an organization that refuses to address allegations of child abuse. Which dark “lord” would want things to be hidden in the darkness so that an organization can maintain a righteous front? How can it possibly ever be our Lord Jesus Christ when He is Light and brings light to darkness?
To anyone hero worshipping anyone within CC or anywhere else for that matter, please take your eyes off of men and turn them to Jesus…not anyone’s twisted version of Jesus but the Jesus of the Word who told the disciples in Matthew 18:6-7 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”
Then read or re-read Paul’s legal declaration about the abuse he and Alex and their family suffered and ask yourself if Jesus would truly support anyone who wants that type of thing to be kept hidden?
Monday, January 02, 2012
Sunday, November 14, 2010
A few years ago I attempted to edit the Calvary Chapel wikipedia entry and my edits were quickly removed by a CCite. I noticed that most of the points I brought forward at the time have since been reinserted albeit in most cases from sources other than mine.
If anyone doesn’t think CC acts in a cult-like manner, check the Talk page for the wikipedia entry. CCites (pastors I think) have been defending the page and boy do they make the whole “movement” look bad. Anyone considering CC would do well to see the arguments put forward on that page to defend CC.
Note the page stands as having a contested neutrality. That’s a flag itself.
Also, there are quite a few red herrings on the Wikipedia talk page for the CC entry. One is in the area of what constitutes a denomination. The only thing keeping CC from being a denomination is Chuck Smith’s unsupported claim that CC is not a denomination. If Smith woke up tomorrow and said “CC is a denomination” you’d have 1000 pastors saying that they are part of the CC denomination.
However, I think they like the franchise title even less so perhaps it would benefit them to embrace the “denomination” title. Bad arguments include my favorite one –
We are not a denomination because CCs are independent.
Bad argument since there are plenty of denominations where the local churches are independent – all Congregational and congregational churches are independent. IE, they are locally controlled.
Also, the CCites fail to define independent or if they do put it in terms of mandatory dollars sent to denominational HQ. Again, there are other denominations which do not have mandatory dollars sent to denominational HQ. What is the cash flow from local CCs to the mother ship? Nobody really knows. If CCCM lent money for the start-up then there’s cash flow back. Plus the mother ship is hardly a weak/poor church.
I propose an easy definition of denomination fitting with the internet age. If there’s a listing on some webpage of the local instances of the church, it’s a denomination.
Finally, CCs are not independent. They are bound together by Chuck Smith. He is the head of the denomination and his position cannot be questioned since it rests in his person. Their ordinations trace back to Chuck Smith. The dove flies because he says it can fly.
What keeps Smith from admitting CC is a denomination? He’s been printing that it’s not a denomination for a very long time. He may realize that CC won’t outlive him since he’s the central point of unity. Most importantly if he did admit it was a denomination he would be ultimately losing power. CCOF turned out to be a disaster since Smith can’t delegate power.
I think embracing the word “denomination” would help CCittes avoid the charge that CC is a personality cult centered around Chuck Smith. Note this personality cult problem is very old in Christianity. Paul addressed it:
1Cor 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Insert Chuck Smith in place of Cephas or Apollos and you get Paul’s point. We are not to set up churches around a person. That’s idolatry at it’s best and blasphemy.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Since I fully expect Dave Rolph will ignore the question…
Any pastor who claims that Chuck Smith is their pastor is in reality claiming that he is their bishop for their are no pastors in scripture over pastors, but rather Bishops over pastors. The main characteristic of a bishop is to rule well. Since Chuck claims to not rule and when he does rule he does it poorly, he is in fact NOT the pastor or Bishop of any CC pastor.
This brings up the question of ordination, and as it relates to this BLOG, the ordination of Bob Grenier. Was Bob ordained by Chuck Smith? If so, by what authority did he ordain Bob (and we know he ordained others such as the scoundrel Hank Hanegraaff)? The Apostles ordained and the Bishops/Overseers did as well. They did it by command of the Holy Spirit. By Chuck ordaining others, he is making either a Apostolic or Bishopric claim.
Now if Smith is the Bishop over the churches, then BIBLICALLY he shares responsibility for their actions and failure to discipline them is his abrogation of BIBLICAL responsibility.
The only conclusion is that Smith is either a corrupt Bishop over his flock (the CC pastors) or he’s not a Bishop at all over them. CCites, pick your poison. He is not ruling well (again, the BIBLICAL standard by which a bishop/overseer is judged).
Let’s try and stick with the Biblical texts as if they are prototypes for the church of how we should behave in the house of God, rather than suggestions we can follow or reject. I suggest we work on developing a strong BIBLICAL case (as outlined above) which lays specifically out the requirements for Bishop (the only position Smith could potentially claim) and prove our case that he needs to be publicly tried on those grounds and removed from his role, or redefined as NOT THE BISHOP.
I suggest we start here with the assumption that the Scriptures are PRESCRIPTIVE of how the church should operate rather than DESCRIPTIVE and limited to the first century situation. Here’s the starting text:
1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou ought to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
That was the purpose of 1 Timothy which is the banner passage of this page.
So, I pose this question to Chuck Smith, Dave Rolph or anyone who can answer from the CC organization.
Is or is not Chuck Smith the Bishop/Overseer of Calvary Chapel?
My opinion is that Chuck Smith is not the Bishop of Calvary Chapel. Then by what right does he ask men to associate with him? This is both sectarian (Scripturally like “some say they follow Paul, some say they follow Peter, others say they follow Jesus” and divisive because rather than being against divisions in the body as they claim (the body is already divided enough) it has become yet another division of the body. That alone is enough to declare affiliation UN-SCRIPTURAL.
I took a week off to think about all of this and do some business at the same time. I think the only right strategy is to strike at the head. Few will have the stomach to do this feeling more sympathy for an old man than for the people of the church. I think this is a misplaced loyalty and a form of favoritism (probably the main charge against CC/CS).
Chuck Smith in reality wants to control the franchise/trademark. The problem is that he can’t control whether someone names their church Calvary Chapel since there were other local churches with that name before CCCM. He can’t control the symbol (the dove) since it’s widely used before and outside of CCCM. The only thing Chuck can control is the list of affiliated churches (as seen on their website list). For potential attendees interested in the brand they can go to the official list and see if a local CC is on the list or not. Know that it is a brand name which is unprotected/unprotectable as well as one which has zero quality control over their product (hence in reality a useless branding).
In the end, all that Chuck Smith really controls is the list on a website of people who want to be listed on his website. Hence, he is not a Bishop but I think we need to keep asking the question of CCites. If Chuck is not the Bishop then by what SCRIPTURAL authority does he do any of these things?
As much as I want to appreciate Dave Rolph’s “investigation” I’ve got a fundamental issue with it. If he’s given a private complaint I think it’s appropriate to investigate privately. But Alex/Paul’s complaint is not private, it’s public and the only SCRIPTURAL method is a public investigation. Dave’s investigation is therefore moot other than to establish his own PRIVATE opinion – which should have been kept private rather than made public.
Which is the Biblical definition of gossip, by the way. That’s why these things are to be PUBLIC.
The standard is two or three witnesses are enough to merit a PUBLIC investigation. There are more than three witnesses in this case. The fact that CC does not do a PUBLIC investigation shows that rather than being a People of the Book, they are a law unto themselves.
Calvary Chapel has no sanctioned way to have a public investigation of charges even against a CCCM pastor, let alone one in an auto-cephalous congregation. Rather than having one Pope (Head) with ultimate authority (as in the Roman Church) they have 1400 Popes one over each auto-cephalous church (many headed).