People have been asking why I don’t do Calvary Chapel stories very often anymore.
The main reason is I find it hard to care about an organization that argues endlessly over whether one can have a beer and says nothing about one of their pastors allegedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to sue his son and a charity they endorsed continues to scam millions from the people of God.
They aren’t really worth talking about.
However, sometimes there is something interesting from a historical stand point from watching the decline of a religious institution.
This may be one of those times.
The power struggle at the top of the non denominational denomination continues as it has since the death of founder Chuck Smith.
Before Smith died, traditionalists tried all they knew to do to wrest Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa from Brian Brodersen.
They failed, but that hasn’t stopped them from periodically giving it the old college try again.
Last night some members of the Calvary Chapel Association sent out a letter to the affiliates that was a poorly hidden broadside against Brodersen and yet another attempt to either provoke him to resign or inflame enough of the affiliates to drive him out.
It was a pure power play disguised as an attempt to create unity and clarify doctrine…doctrine that they want affiliates to believe Brodersen has abandoned.
The ammunition for this assault was provided by Brodersen at a pastors conference in Washington where he dared to be rational about some Calvary Chapel Distinctives.
He questioned the virtue of teaching through the Old Testament “verse by verse”… a position that would be affirmed by anyone who has endured the torture of sitting through or teaching a verse by verse exposition of the books of Numbers and Leviticus.
It’s also a position that would have been affirmed by Chuck Smith who often taught these OT books in chunks rather than verses.
The traditionalists and their loud supporters are trying to make this appear as if Brodersen has abandoned expositional teaching…which is both a lie and nonsense.
The big gun used to shoot at Brodersen was that he advised that some among them need to tone down the Rapture drumbeat.
This is again, a sane and rational position, but he may as well have advised the gathered men to preach wearing a bra.
Brodersen hasn’t abandoned the standard CC teaching on eschatology (or much else) at all…but it’s being spun as if he has.
It’s dishonest and wicked, but facts and virtue have never stood in the way of lust for power.
The traditionalists have set the date for a “international pastors conference” in Florida next year, as far away from Costa Mesa as you can get.
The agenda is allegedly to clarify the “core values” of Calvary Chapel…which in reality haven’t been questioned as much as expanded by Brodersen and his younger cohorts all over the globe.
The real agenda is to set the Distinctives in stone and attempt to divorce the greater movement from Brian Brodersen and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
The real agenda is as it has always been, to centralize power among a few self appointed leaders and to squash anyone who may choose to think for themselves.
The only real “unity” in the leadership of this group is the unity of the Philadelphia coalition to usurp Brian Brodersen from the movement altogether.
Good luck boys…he owns the name and nothing you can do can change the fact that he’s the flagship pastor…whether you choose to salute as that flag goes by or not.
Way to go big brother! You tell them!
They got what they wanted and deserved!
Boooo to CC!
There are some good churches and pastors involved so this isn’t a blanket condemnation of the group.
Still, it’s a shame that so little attention is given to abuse and so much to secondary issues.
Nothing to be sorry for…there is much that has never been answered for and it elicits negative responses, as it should.
The funny thing is, if the rapture is and has always been your big calling card – why would you ask someone else to tone it down?
Could you image a Lutheran getting a directive not to speak too much about baptism and the Lord’s Supper?
In CC theology, over all the years I know of the one and only thing you must teach as a CC pastor is the rapture. Brodersen just may be on a suicide mission.
shows how much you know about CC there mld…………
You are correct – you need to teach the full pre trib, pre mil shtick.
other than that, CC guys are allowed to leave out all kinds of Bible parts. 😉
#5- not to start another rapture discussion, but
… either MLD or i will be in for a big surprise … but a happy one either way, i trust … 🙂
here the Church is bogged down in the “how” of it … shouldn’t we concentrate on redemption? … course we can argue the “how” of that, too, i guess … sigh
reinforcing your ignorance……………
It would be a lovely thing if Calvary Chapel would drop the “Rapture” talk. It is such an ocular parasite draining the strength and vision from church bodies nation wide.
Someone infected with this plaque can be standing in a Christ-centered homeschool co-op bursting with bouncing, bible-believing babies, but not be cheered by it whatsoever.
To them, every newspaper (or now-days internet) story is a cause for wide eyes and shallow breathing all while muttering “We are outta here”.
Their grand children are discovering God’s wonderful world, Nevertheless they can’t wait to escape.
The common thread is this epidemic, which seems to effect the Jesus People generation, is their having been influenced by Chuck Smith in early life.
And when you try to tell them that Papa Chuck might have missed orthodoxy on some eschatological point, they look at you with a look that says, “Yep, another sign of the times. In the last days mockers will come.”
As they stride away, you’ll notice slight hops from time to time; almost as if they were trying to get a jump on that sky-ward wave that will surf them into heaven. They certainly don’t think there’s anything worth doing down here.
So, yes. I’d love it if the Rapture drumbeat was instead the sound of that infernal intellectual infestation being drummed out of town.
We’ve enjoyed the very small and friendly CC that we’ve attended for the last year. I haven’t heard one mention of the Last Times or Rapture, and as far as I can tell, the pastor is sounding more Reformed every week. We’re thankful to have found the church.
Heidi, that’s a great post.
“We are outta here”.
What you said about being oblivious to all the joy and beauty in the world and instead of being filled with gratitude, acting as if they are being so tortured that they can only, as you say, mutter “We are outta here.” What must God think. He has placed us in a time and place where we Christians live like princes and some show no thankfulness, just a desire to get out.
Every now and then I encounter people from my old world. I am kind of a bubbly person and I am always dismayed when they try to burst my bubble with a litany of the evils of the world and warn me not to be too happy because we are gonna be raptured outta here.
What a depressing way to live one’s life. Lord have mercy.
I could be missing something, but I didn’t see the letter as a power grab. What is there to grab after all? Costa Mesa owns the name, the Bible Colleges, and the properties. One group wants to tighten the reins, the other wants to loosen the reins, and life goes on. I’ll still be teaching at my pulpit on Sunday…unless the rapture comes first of course ?
This is my first comment in a blog post about Calvary Chapel because I have no dog in this fight, i.e. I have no experience with Calvary Chapel, but I see that many do. I wasn’t aware that end times rapture theory held such a place within this particular strain of Christianity. As I observe and have to listen to one of my co-worker’s blatherings about Israel, the election, any calamity, and what-not, I am more inclined to echo Heidi Smith’s above post in number 10.
I know that we are to look forward to his second coming, but some people have seemed to make a game out of it.
Paige, I’m glad you found a happy place.
Xenia (12)..amen! I tire so quickly of the “we’re outta here/everything’s gonna burn anyway” talk.
Boundless Blog for young singles had a great post about enjoying life and the gifts God has given us:
From my time at CC the two main issues that must never be questioned were pre-trib pre-mil rapture and a literal 6-day creation that took place about 6000 years ago. If you didn’t believe these two things you were not considered to be Bible-believing Christian. If a church didn’t teach these things, they were not Bible-believing churches.
In my cc only cc was a real Christian Church
If you did anything outside the umbrella of cc you were devided in spirit or not saved
It’s the end of an era. The old guard is fast fading into the sunset. They long for the good old days when Papa Chuck was as revered and obeyed as Chairman Mao was in a bygone China. But it will never be again. I think Brodersen is a shrewd politician and will not be removed from power, he’s too savy for that.
Still though, I think the whole imbroglio is straight out of the book of Ecclesiastes.
So I guess it wasn’t coincidence when I heard condemnation from the pulpit a couple weeks back of “those in church who say prophecy isn’t important.”
Probably not… 🙂
Brodersen is the least savvy, least political person I’ve seen in CC…
The timing of your CC reporting is often uncanny in my then being able to recall some thing (or things) I had recently heard from the pulpit which match up very well with the subject matter you reported on.
Kevin, I am curious as to where you stand on this story? Do you feel as though JF is making a move to take over?
For those who got the letter,… it makes claims that there is unity, but actually, when you understand what is being said, it proclaims that there is not true unity and misquotes a verse about division in the church based on following individual pastors. Ironic.
I don’t really stand anywhere on the issue as really the only knowledge I have on the inside politics of CC is what Michael reports here. I have no connections to the inner workings or inside conversations of the leadership at my church. And if I were to guess, I would say 99% of the attendees of the congregation have no idea about what the issues are within CC because there is never specific mention of them from the pulpit. But a large majority of the congregation do know that there are pastors “who don’t think prophecy is important” and pastors “who drink and bow their knee to the idol of cultural relevancy” and that all Calvary Chapels “should be like McDonald’s – you should know what to expect when you walk in one” and that we should be “Spirit Led, not Purpose Driven” and so on and so on. Most just don’t know that often times these references are in regards to the inner power struggle of Calvary Chapel politics.
So all I can say is that the congregation has been conditioned for if and when a move is ever made.
Now you know who driving the bus…….
Dan from Georgia,
” I wasn’t aware that end times rapture theory held such a place within this particular strain of Christianity. ”
It’s not just a prominent place – when you peel away a little it is the only place where a CC stands. Every CC pastor has experience leading his congregation through a year end prophecy update and traveling around from one prophecy conference to another.
Every CC pastor can give the teaching on the last days using all of the same timelines and bench marks – all know all of the end times players and who they represent.
A CC pastor is totally incapable of doing the same in giving a teaching on justification. Think of this – Luther said justification is the backbone that all of the christian faith stands on and I would be greatly surprised (I know the answer is no) if CC ever held a justification seminar / conference.
Every CC pastor…
You should start attending a CC again, then you might be able to speak into what is going on with “every CC pastor” with fresh data. Its a bigger world than SoCal.
That would be like me saying “every Lutheran pastor”. Believe me, I know better.
Xenia, you said,
“from my time at CC the two main issues that must never be questioned…pre-trib pre-mil rapture…literal 6-day creation…about 6000 years ago. If you didn’t believe these…you were not considered to be Bible-believing Christian.”
I’m sorry this was your experience (along w/ others).
Sadly, this is what happens when the glorious message of the gospel gets reduced and/or supplanted by non-essential/secondary teachings.
…and that phrase “Bible-believing Christian”…is one that first century disciples would have been entirely unfamiliar with…yet, it gets peddled in today’s evangelical circles as the measuring stick, determining “who’s in and who’s out”.
Fortunately there are CC’s that focus their energy on promoting the gospel first and foremost.
“…Every CC pastor has experience leading his congregation through a year end prophecy update and traveling around from one prophecy conference to another.”
LOL…keep doing your research brutha…you’ll get your facts straight in time… 😉
pstmike & Bryan,
So you are saying that in your history of as a CC pastor that you have Never been a part of a year end prophecy update or an end times conference??? Give me a break.
pstmike – “That would be like me saying “every Lutheran pastor”. – go ahead with my permission – accuse every Lutheran pastor of teaching Justification first, foremost and every divine service … I am up to that challenge 😉
MLD, nope, not what I am saying…in years past I’ve been to many said, “prophecy conferences” (which…as a funny side, ”prophecy conferences” in CC circles and Vineyard/Charismatic circles don’t mean the same thing 😉 ).
What I am saying is, *NOT*, “Every CC pastor has experience leading his congregation through a year end prophecy update and traveling around from one prophecy conference to another.”
A more accurate way your original statement could’ve been made would be to say something like:
or, “a lot”,
or even, “in my personal experience, all”,
that’s all… 😉
Does anyone know if Jon Courson still gives a prophesy update at the end of each year? I know people from Northern California who would drive 300+ miles every year to attend.
In reading your writing and posts, it appears that you have some issues with CC. Why do you still attend JF’s church? If you rather message me Facebook, that would be fine.
I always appreciate when Stupar drops by!
Thanks Bob… 🙂
To Bryan & pstmike I will walk back my comment some.
I am really comparing;
“Every CC pastor can give the teaching on the last days using all of the same timelines and bench marks – all know all of the end times players and who they represent. (this is whether they have presided over one or not – they could whip one together with the same detail of those who give them)
Compared to; “A CC pastor is totally incapable of doing the same in giving a teaching on justification.” (as witnessed by the void of any weekend long Justification conferences in CC – and also by looking at CC written Word for the Day catalogues of the number of end times books vs CC written books on the Doctrine of Justification )
but I do know we had 5 end times conferences this past year here in SoCal that I know of – and 3 I can remember the locations – CCCM, CC Tustin (when they opened their new facility) and CC Chino Hills. – but I will concede, not all. 🙂
thanks (I think 😉 )
“I do know we had 5 end times conferences this past year here in SoCal”
…I’m not at all shocked/surprised. 😉
I attend CC for familial considerations. That is actually why I started attending in the first place. And, yes, I do have some misgivings about the way some things are done. Since some of those issues come up in discussion at times at this site, I will sometimes interject my thoughts and experiences because I think current first-hand experiences add some value to the discussion. At the same time, there are also good things about my CC (which I have also expressed at times here – probably just not as often as the discussion here usually is more concerned with troubling issues) and I have never come across anything heretical or significantly abusive (I use the qualifier “significantly” because some may see many things being abusive to at least some degree – even such as the spill over of insider politics into sermons as I described further up in the thread.) And so, my familial considerations have outweighed whatever qualms I may have.
Can’t help but thinking that CC wants to set everything in stone, like the denominations so many of the members came out. And, then they could use that well worn excuse of “we’ve always done it this way”.
I am actually in favor of a church’s theology being set in stone. After all, truth is truth and doesn’t change. You just have to be sure you have got the truth.
You have never heard “we have always done it this way” until you get involved with an Orthodox parish. “Always” means “for the past 2000 years.”
The key there would be admitting that they are a denomination and having the same standards as every other denomination…
…and that phrase “Bible-believing Christian”…is one that first century disciples would have been entirely unfamiliar with…<<<
To be fair, I know of many CC guys who do not ride the prophecy horse and a couple who could write dissertations on justification…
I found this very sad. I think it is because I want to remember what was good, what made all of us in the early days feel alive. I must say, however, this is a repeated story throughout Church History. It happens when “movements” become “institutions” with all the power politics that attend such a change. I’m reminded that by the end of his life, Francis of Assisi abandoned the Franciscan order he had founded and retreated to his hermitage because the Order had become an institution… something Francis no longer recognized. The joy and wonder of the early days had died under the weight of the institution…
I wonder if that is the natural result of the aging of a movement or if there are similar actions that always lead to this conclusion…
My two cents. Why does CC get dissected to pieces about their theology and beliefs, their unity or as you say, “lack thereof” and other minutia? (i.e. emphasis on pre-trib et al) It appears this thread is not in favor of diversity within the Body of Christ. CC is different. Deal with it. CC is not a denomination. Okay. Get over it. Apparently, CC is struggling after the death of it’s founder. Got it. When was the last time you actually prayed for them? Asked God to help them and bless them? “Calvary Chapel is dysfunctional because it has so many diverse churches within it’s own set of standards”. So you say. Your opinions here today will change all of that I am sure.
This is what I was talking about way up. There are things you must believe to be a Christian – but there is nothing you must believe or teach as a CC pastor. The fact that they refuse to write them down and be specific – to the point where they have a should have a ‘rule’ book that says; “THIS is what you must believe about the Trinity to be in line with CC teaching” – no, in lieu it is just some obscure belief ‘in the trinity’.
But in looking over the teaching of end times – you pick up the catalogue of CC books and they will tell you specifically (and as I said they all follow the same timeline, grid and list of players) – this is the only thing set in stone.
As to anyone who can write a dissertation on Justification, isn’t it funny that no one has chosen to do so within the organization.
I am impressed – I couldn’t spell that 🙂
You’ll be pleased to know that a second part to my article is now up for your edification.
As with part 2, well said.
I think movements eventually (and I think, unfortunately) desire some degree of “respectability” and permanence as they age. Additionally, leaders tend towards wanting some degree of control, unless they are exceptional. Francis was an exception. That being said, how many of us would like to have a Francis of Assisi in our congregation! Bringing in poor people, seeing him begging on the street, preaching in the town square, exhorting the birds to “sing to God’s glory”, etc.
Similarly, we glory in the early days of CCCM, but how many of us would know what to do with the strange personalities that emerged… When you institutionalize the movement, you tend to get rid of the “rough edges”. The problem is, it is often the rough edges that gave the movement life…
So who is in the “Philadelphia Coalition,” exactly?
I met with my academic advisor 2 weeks ago to discuss my dissertation. I was asked if I could/would write something for the CC movement. I responded, “no, the powers to be don’t care about my topic, and I do not have a seat at their table”.
Good for you pstmike. You are right it would have been a wasted effort.
The Philadelphia group is led by Joe Focht and Don McClure and those who are more traditional in their views of CC theology.
Been lurking a long while as life has gone a number of directions. I haven’t been a CC pastor for two years now, not because of anything going on in the movement, but because of a career change.
That said, I will toss a few things out on this one as I subscribe to Brian’s podcast and communicate now and then with some guys on his staff.
I never took my church through an end-times review. I never hosted a prophecy conference. When eschatology was relevant to the passage being taught, I taught CC eschatology. So I guess I bucked MLD assertion. I guess that doesn’t make me a “real” CC which is at the heart of this whole mess.
The problem isn’t with rapture theology, per se, the problem is what people do with it. People who are escapist, fear-mongering, “we’re outta here” types do not represent what rapture theology is about. Any tradition has idiots that do dumb things with the tradition that drive people away from it. There are idiot Calvinists, idiot Arminians, idiot Orthodox, idiot Baptists, who mutate good things into bad things. But that doesn’t make the thing itself bad. Among other things, the rapture is first and foremost about hope, not fear. It’s about God’s faithfulness, not politics. Not trying to start a debate, just point out that every barrel has bad, stupid apples. But that doesn’t make all apples bad.
I’m curios, to those who did receive this CCA letter, is it signed by all of the CCA guys? Because I have a hard time believing that some of them would be so down on Brian as some of them are buddies with him. Many are not buddies, I’m well aware. Just curious.
Personally, I love what Brian is teaching and doing at Costa Mesa, at least that which I’m aware of. I think the example he is setting and what he’s teaching from the pulpit is the best of what’s out there for the future and direction of CC.
The CC purists need to watch the end of “A Venture In Faith” which you know they still have on VHS, and get a reminder of what was said 20+ years ago about the future of CC. If they were in charge, it would be turning into the worst version of what was speculated then as a negative outcome. Its become the love of a monument and a man, not a movement. I was just reminded of this quote from Francis Chan when he spoke at Brooklyn Tabernacle once.
I think a lot of these traditionalist guys have their own relationship with Jesus, but that relationship, and how they do ministry, all goes through a “Chuck” filter. They are relating to Jesus through Chuck’s style of relating to Jesus. They are planning and doing ministry through Chuck’s tastes and preferences. Calvary Distinctives becomes Doctrines and Covenants, and I know that at least one contributor to that book very much regrets it even existing.
For my part, I still love the best of what was CC and I strove (strived?) to embody it in my ministry. I would again were I to pastor a CC church again which is up to the Lord. All of that being said, fighting to maintain a movement is contradictory to the result being a movement. I think that’s why you don’t really see Brian and other “CC futurists” fighting back. If you fight to define something, as the traditionalists are doing, it is no longer a natural, organic, Spirit-led thing. Its a man-defined monument upon which good men are thrown and broken, under which otherwise good men are squashed.
I say let them take the name CC, and “we” come up with a new one. Who cares what history says. We should care more about faithfulness to God than upholding a brand. Even if the traditionalists “won the day” and claimed the name and flew the dove exclusively, claimed that others left like Vineyard left and they are the true remnant, so what? Let them build their own kingdom. The rest of us can build God’s.
well said, Corby.
Here you are Corby
Joe Focht, Jeff Johnson, Lloyd Pulley, David Guzik, Sandy Adams, Bill Stonebraker, David Rosales, Don McClure, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, Malcolm Wild, Damian Kyle, Wayne Taylor, Jack Hibbs
Thanks, Jeff. Now the question(s) for me becomes, what does the letter actually say? Did each CCA member read it before it was sent, and was it sent out with the text that they read and approved? I honestly don’t know if Michael’s interpretation is right or wrong and it if makes the assertions he says it does.
I’m not calling Michael into question or accusing him of anything. Its just that when letters intended for specific people are discussed online, and not everyone who cares to comment on it can/has read it, its speculation at best as to what’s really going on, and what the intentions of the individuals involved are. At least two of those names, I would be surprised if they took a public opposition to Brian, at least in this manner. Not impossible, but it would surprise me.
Hey Corby – good seeing you here again – it’s been a while. God’s blessing on your new venture.
The fact that we and the CC leadership are even talking of this ‘bold’ move on Brodersen’s part, makes my point exactly – the signature and trademark of CC has always been end times, if not exclusively at least a grand majority.
Now as one who thinks that rapture theology is total hooey (and I am surprised to hear you call it that as most of us use the term in derision) – but it does shade the CC way of reading the entire OT – it makes for poor hermenuetics as CC, ingrained in rapture theology, highlighted by the notion of a future ethnic, geographical state of Israel requires the NT to be read in the light of the OT.
So, even if the new guys win out and “tone down” the end times stuff, it still lurks in the shadows and pollutes the reading of the scriptures. My opinion? you have to go all in or get out and change your hermenuetics.
That’s the thought from my captain’s chair. 😉
I can send a copy to you. Michael has my email. My under standing was that the letter was authored by a person at CCA, not Don. One would have to assume the signatories read and approved its content before its transmission. Michael’s interpretation was spot on. Every pastor who has contacted me tom it the same way as Michael.
Michael – post the letter. You posted Bob Grenier’s court documents a couple of weeks ago – this letter seems of less consequence.
Tom = took. Can’t wait to ditch Apple for my Surface Pro Xmas gift.
I’m not calling rapture theology hooey. Far from it. I’m calling those who take it to an illogical extreme hooey. I absolutely believe in, how you say, a “future ethnic, geographical state of Israel requires the NT to be read in the light of the OT.” I still believe that’s the proper hermeneutic. But one does not need to go to the crazy extremes with it, it terms of making it foundational to a church/movement culture, looking for Israel under every rock, the mark of the beast in every new technology, and voting based on a candidates policy towards national Israel.
What I’m advocating for is separating the unfortunate “Left Behind” culture that has been built of around the theology, from the theology itself. But this thread isn’t for the discussion of the theology itself, just what many people are doing with it.
Sheck is still tuned in…much respect my friend.
This has McClures fingerprints all over it…my understanding is that about half the council was present and some left before this jewel was finished and signed…
So revisiting one of Michael’s first thoughts in this article, this is a group of men who choose to do nothing when one of their own fellow pastors spends hundreds of thousands of church funds to sue his own son (A son along with other sons that he allegedly, and seemingly very believably, committed much abuse against). Two of the men signing this letter were even on Bob Grenier’s board while the rest I’m sure are quite aware of the situation. But the man they reportedly choose to make a move against is the one whose “crime” is saying that Pastor Chuck may have overemphasized the Rapture and that we could learn from that example and try to tone it down. Yeah….. that’s a great focus of priorities and responsibilities.
Kevin…I’m so damn glad you’re here…well said.
Wayne Taylor signed it? I find it odd as he seemed to agree with Brian on the recording of the panel discussion.
We all find that odd…
Subject: Letter to the movement
Date: October 31, 2016 at 6:19:44 PM PDT
Dear Calvary Chapel Pastors,
Recently, a group of the Calvary Chapel Association Council members gathered together in the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania for a few days to seek the Lord, worship, and ask Him for direction as to the Calvary Family. Our time was truly blessed with a great unity, a rich sense of the Lord’s presence, a fresh sense of direction, and a peace together like we have not experienced in years. There were a number of issues that we discussed that we want to pass on to the movement.
2. As we discussed our foundation and core values as a family of churches we realized that along the way, through the years, there have been those that have decided that their values were different, and they have gone on with another group such as the Pentecostals, or Acts 29, or Gospel Coalition, or Vineyard, or Hillsong, and that is truly fine. All these ministry families have their core values just as we do, and Pastor Chuck often simply looked at these situations as an opportunity for churches to find their most comfortable environment.
3. Since Chuck’s passing there may be pastors who have thought about some of our values, such as expository teaching, and no longer hold to the Calvary Chapel approach. There may be pastors who no longer embrace our leadership style, or our view of the Lord’s soon appearing and our emphasis on preaching about the rapture of the church, or our view of male leadership and the New Testament’s prohibition of women teaching men, or the errors associated with prosperity theology, or our need for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts being for today, or any other core values that we have held. 1 Corinthians 1:12 reads, “See that you all speak the same thing.” One of the great blessings of our family has always been a likemindedness toward our distinctives. When someone goes to a Calvary Chapel affiliate church there are things they go looking for. Just as when someone goes to a Pentecostal church, or a Hillsong church, or an Acts 29 church, or a Lutheran church. We completely respect their family’s philosophy of ministry, and we also love ours.
4. For the past three years, the Council has taken the time to seek the Lord together and try to move forward in unity. As individual pastors we have spoken in support of our core values, but we now feel the need for the Council members to speak with one voice. As our signatures to this letter attest, we are steadfastly committed to our roots, and want to clear up any confusion caused by those who have questioned the Calvary Chapel doctrine and philosophy of ministry statements.
5. To further speak to these issues we have scheduled an International Senior Pastors and Wives Conference, November 6-8, 2017 at Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg, Florida. The conference speakers will be the members of the Council and we want to reaffirm our core values, seek the Lord for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us, and look forward to His coming. As the ministry of Calvary Chapel has grown to over 1600 affiliate churches around the world, we realize that there are many second, third, and fourth generation ministries that have joined our family, and we need to clarify what makes us Calvary Chapel. Above all, we are seeking the Lord to give us what we so deeply need and desire, a fresh filling of His Spirit.
Our Conference will focus on:
Our Sure Foundation (Remembering our DNA)
Our Fresh Expectancy (Desiring His Outpouring)
Our Glorious Hope (Looking For Him)
So, please hold the November dates and we will be getting back to you with all the information regarding the conference.
6. We also need to clear up any confusion regarding calvarychapelassociation.com and calvarychapel.com. These are completely different websites and are on different servers. Any matters that relate to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa should be referred to calvarychapel.com. Any matters having to do with the movement as a whole, or church information changes and affiliation matters need to contact The Calvary Chapel Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been overhauling the CCA website and will be adding a library of information, monthly messages from the Council members, adding a Calvary Chapel Pastors’ Wives page, adding messages from Pastors Conferences, as well as expanding the existing pages.
Please be in genuine prayer for us. We have a treasured heritage, a sure foundation, a solid family, and so much more.
Yours in Christ,
Joe Focht, Jeff Johnson, Lloyd Pulley, David Guzik, Sandy Adams, Bill Stonebraker, David Rosales, Don McClure, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, Malcolm Wild, Damian Kyle, Wayne Taylor, Jack Hibbs
Just curious…why did the letter jump to point 2? Was there no point 1?
There is another level of discourse to this. This is not only a shot against Brodersen, but also (intentionally or unwittingly) a shot at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, the church and its congregants. It is effectively saying to that church, “you who founded Calvary Chapel are no longer considered a part of it.” The irony is that about half of the letter’s signatories would have either been in bankruptcy or undergone financial difficulties has not Chuck afforded them the opportunity to borrow money from the church, which monies came principally from tithes and gifts from the church attendees.
Either those “men of God” assumed no one would see it this way, or that those CCCM attendees would support them in their efforts to try and oust Brian as if the congregants desired that outcome (which is a total joke). Or they were just inconsiderate and thoughtless. Leaving aside the financial side, maybe they should consider the resources and personnel working at CCCM, that received their pay checks for said congregants gifts and tithes, that Chuck “lent” and committed to most of those signatories through the years to assist those signatories in their time of need.
Just thought I’d share a perspective that hasn’t been raised yet.
Michael, I still lurk. My best to you, Trey and the cats. If this gets any more ridiculous, I just might bring some stories and facts to the discussion, the bulk of which are not protected by attorney-client privilege, which are plenty damning to some of the parties involved and would bring any reasonable person to the question “what the heck are they doing as leaders s of Calvary Chapel?” I desire not to do so and have not done so out of respect to Chuck and the overarching belief that it is grace that should be offered to us all, Brian, the signatories, etc., not accusations and division. Lastly, I have to wonder which of the “regional” leaders at CCA actually called Brian or even bothered to sit down with him to work this through this like adults in the real world do. But then again, most of them are not leaders in the truest sense, but bible teachers. One does not go with the other as we have seen and know.
Lastly, I Have to question the frequent use of the word “movement” in “The Letter.” I thought that was what God does on man’s heart, not a term to be coopted by men about a work of God. Last time I heard that word used so frequenty as in that letter was when I lived in a drug cult, processor to the Jimmy Jones cult.
Go SDSU Aztecs.
My guess is one of those stories might be about a 10 million dollar loan that Chuck made for someone to buy radio stations from his son…and the megachurch that CCCM might still have a lien on…
Actually I didn’t have that one in mind. P.s. Didn’t Minnesota like Norv? Heck, we in S D sure did…NOT
I loved Norv…really good guy.
Zimmer choked up about him leaving.
It’s for the best…he couldn’t fix that horrible o line…
Norv. Shotgun draw or shotgun handoff…long and any down. Good night.
Thanks for posting the letter. I can definitely see how a lot can be read into it. It’s one of those letters where even the majority of pastors in the movement would not pick up on the suggested inferences and discern all of that. I’m not saying the inferences are right or wrong. They could very well be right. But, unless a CC pastor is tuned in to the CC gossip lines, and there are many, most would be clueless. It reads like a perfectly reasonable letter.
Having said that, my own personal takes are these.
• I don’t see any overt shots at Brian. Maybe there are overt and covert ones, I don’t know. What I do see is a glaring absence of Brian, and that makes perfect sense. I was in CC when CCA was created. It’s stated purpose, among other things, was to take the leadership role of the movement away from one church and one man. Since Chuck died, it appears as that has happened in practice. Brian isn’t the figurehead of CC. Costa Mesa is no longer HQ. People may look to him and there as those things, and I don’t know if that’s the role Brian is taking on himself or not, but with CCA planning an international conference way over in Florida, and apparently no Brian or CCCM involved, it looks like CCA have taken the reigns.
• In light of what I just said, what I’m about to say seems contradictory. I find the discussion of the difference between the websites to be a power grab. If you go to calvarychapel.com the content and links are verrrry much aimed at the movement, members of all CCs, with frequent contributions from CC people around the globe. Its very much the home/hub of CC culture, for now. Church locator, conferences, Bible colleges, missions, it’s all that for the movement and its members. Contributions by CCA council members as well. It is not just Costa Mesa as the letter indicated. They have their own specific church website with its own church specific information. Having said that, it looks like cc.com is more about the culture, and cca.com is more about the organization. They don’t need to compete nor be mutually exclusive. They could play well together if they wanted to.
Whenever I revisit this topic in my pea brain, I can’t help but hear Paul’s words about biting and devouring one another. Makes me wish that the traditionalists, as Paul said, would just cut themselves off. All the posturing is just super sad.
OK, I’m out. Thanks for the touch base.
I think the division, if there is indeed one, was inevitable and could even a healthy thing. Those that want to hang onto the old ways can stay with CCA. Those who want to change while keeping the DNA of CC can go with calvarychapel.com. It’s a way of separating the wheat from the chaff.
I have been a CC pastor for 20 years and never received the letter.
I have been a CC pastor for decades. I have never:
Been to an “end times/prophecy” conference.
Presented a year-end “prophecy update”. When I was a staff pastor I was required to attend the New Year’s Eve prophecy update event. I remember thinking that I will never subject people to such nonsense. Stay home and celebrate the New Year with family and friends.
I am amazed at just how many pastors have simply regurgitated Chuck’s last days teachings without any critical thought, without questioning any of it.
Im in the same boat as you. I have never attended a prophecy conference nor given a yearly prophecy update. That’s not to say I don’t look for and anticipate and teach the Lord’s soon return but I don’t feel comfortable taking the headlines in the news and saying “See, this is what the bible talked about”.It could be…but I cant say for sure. Rather than have people sitting in their seats adjusting their prophecy calendars, I have wanted instead, for folks to be laboring for the kingdom when He returns.
What I find so very sad and sobering is the sentimental mindset of these old men. Their depth of care for the children of God; the household of faith, the temple of the Holy Spirit is no greater than a pharmacy tech who tries to offer the “balanced” mix of vitamins to customers that he has called up on his software.
Yet this mix of vitamins are the doctrinal distinctives they want to fight over, repackage and re commoditize and remarket through uodated distribution systems .
I need to keep processing this through the gift of mourning and grieving or I would go nuts or become addicted to bitterness .
Praise God we gave a joyful Savior who also mourns and grieves as well.
It was once promoted with vigor that Calvary Chapels had the best loved sheep.
Really, knock off the old hippie complaining and competitive edge and just love. Love with your life.
The first paragraph of that letter is so manipulative. IT basically says “We ascended Mount Sinai to talk to God. Here is what He says”.
Re: Wayne Taylor
There was a similar situation in the UK several years ago over some decisions/moves Brian made and people be pushed to takie sides. We know a seasoned pastor, full of grace and wisdom, that is a gracious leader and peacemaker within the CC movement here. He could see both sides of the situation, and encouraged the men in Christ, rather than the personality divisions or “core values.”. We were so blessed to be under his leadership and see his example during that time.
Perhaps, like our friend, Taylor is a peacemaker and will be a voice of reason.
“Critical thinking”… “Questioning”… That’s the key to all of this. It does not demean another person nor does it count another person to be without value if you apply critical thinking to what they say and ask appropriate questions. I once was involved with a church where the pastor came out of an “old time” A of G tradition. When I visited his church, and occasionally preached, it did not mean that I bought into all that he said or even practiced. I admired him for who and what he was, not for everything he said or did… There is a difference between admiration and imitation…
No Josh, not Mt. Sinai. It clearly says the Pocono mountains. Stop mixing up your mountains. 😉
And I’ve been to the Poconos many times. Very nice. But I’ve never seen Moses there. 😉
I must say in reading the letter that I would be terrified if my pastor told me he went anywhere other than to his Bible to seek and hear from God.
Dangerous group. The 2 sides are only arguing over whose head has more clearly made up God’s mind.
Sinai was the Poconos of the Old Testament. They had bingo and great prices of dinner buffets.
@ 89 – “Praise God we gave a joyful Savior who also mourns and grieves as well.”