Calvary Chapel Splits

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623 Responses

  1. Reuben says:



  2. Paige says:

    No surprises there…… sheesh. The question is, who cares?

  3. Julie Anne says:

    Does this split have anything to do with doctrinal differences (i.e., Calvinism) among the ranks?

  4. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    To a degree.
    Bryson is a CC traditionalist and saw things moving away from the “distinctives”.
    I think he has a lot of company…but time will tell.
    Calvinism is not that big of an issue in CC, despite all the sound and fury.
    Most CC pastors reject it out of hand.

  5. Anne says:

    Michael -This ought to wake up those who have come on this site, telling you that you were basically blowing smoke when you saw this coming down the pike. You’ve done an excellent job following – and predicting– the morphing of the CC movement for many years.

  6. Anne says:

    Paige – I care only because I have too many friends and family for whom this is going to cause not any little confusion & pain.

  7. Michael says:


    I appreciate that.
    We’ve tried to work hard to provide honest, fair,and factual coverage over the years.
    It will be interesting to see what plays out from here…

  8. RiBo says:

    Big deal. CC is a pimple on the buttocks of church history. Just another cult-like sect (at least the Bryson-type CC’s).

    Good riddance for the CC “Association”, it removes a bit of the stink.

  9. DavidM says:

    Not at all surprised, knowing George. I just don’t think that very many would actually “follow” him, but I could be wrong.

  10. RiBo says:

    I wonder if Grenier will sign on with Bryson or stay in the CC Association.

    I’m sure the CC Association hopes he does.

    Heck CCA might get lucky and lose several of the worst to the Bryson Kremlin. Maybe the Mexican Mafia will join him too.

  11. RiBo says:

    I’m guessing this would be a bad time to bring up a discussion on the “trinity”

  12. Michael says:


    I think Georges’ concerns are shared by many…whether they want to follow George is a separate issue.

  13. OK, I will be the one who has to ask – does George Bryson pastor a CC church?

  14. Michael,
    What needs to become clear to anyone in a Calvary Chapel is it was, is, and always will be about who is pastor and who are the people that pastor will admire, invite to preach, do conferences and such. What that pastor says, goes within this church model, and if that pastor is wise he will have a board who holds him accountable so they and he don’t become cultish.

    Yeah, I’m thinking the answer would be, “no trinity on this thread” 😉

  15. Will Jacob Prasch and Jackie Alnor be part of George’s new movement?
    Will this group be part of the John Higgins crew?

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Where is the evidence that this is so?

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Ribo in response to your pimple on church history, many of us could say the same for Augustine and Calvin.

  18. Michael says:


    The “evidence” is in a copywrited email that was sent out to association members…of which I now have numerous copies. 🙂
    Due to copywrite restrictions I can’t publish it…and that’s why they copywrited it.

  19. Michael says:


    If you truly think that Augustine and Calvin were insignificant to church history…then you know very little about church history.

  20. Michael says:


    He didn’t pastor a church, but he was affiliated for his missions organization.

  21. Michael says:


    Prasch isn’t CC, he just makes a lot of money there.
    As to who will join up, I can’t speculate on that at the moment.

  22. Jean says:

    Michael, what are the “distinctives” you refer to in comment 4? I’m not familiar with CC.

  23. Michael says:


    The “distinctives” are the foundational doctrines that Chuck Smith founded the movement on.
    You can read them here:

  24. thanks Michael – I always thought of him as a para church and speaker at large type of guy.

  25. RiBo says:

    “Due to copywrite restrictions I can’t publish it…and that’s why they copywrited it.”

    Send it to me, I’ll publish it.

  26. RiBo says:

    You can then link my site and you’ll be safe.

  27. Michael says:


    To a degree that’s true.
    There are reports that I can’t absolutely verify at this point that say that George had some special dispensations from Chuck as well.

  28. Michael says:


    I’m actually requesting permission to publish it, we’ll see how that goes. 😉

  29. Jtk says:

    Somebody tell me when they’re baptizing hippies in the ocean again and I’ll be there!

  30. Michael says:

    All the hippies moved to Oregon…would love to send them back…

  31. Michael says:


    That was a tad over the top…and possibly actionable.
    Can’t go there…

  32. Learner says:


    Ok…you’re probably right. But the cowboy boots with khakis was good right?

  33. Michael says:

    That worked… 🙂

  34. Learner says:

    It’s about time CC starts kicking out Arminians…Pastor Chuck told all the Reformed guys to leave (remember don’t leave angry but leave). The calling card has always been the “balance”, that is if by balance you mean, “as long as you’re not a Calvinist”. It’s ok to be a flaming Arminian (think Raul Ries) but if you talk about sovereignty you’re black balled and sent packing.

  35. Michael says:

    If you toss George out because of theology, you better get busy tossing the 1000 more who agree with him.
    Bryson is classic Calvary to the core.
    This is a political move, not a theological one.

  36. RiBo says:

    What did Learner say that got deleted? LOL

    PM me 🙂

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    When the ‘father’ fails to tell his children who they are they decide on their own.

  38. Michael says:


    or they do what they saw the father do…

  39. RiBo says:

    Just proves what a cult of personality CC really was.

  40. When it went from, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” to, “Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!”, that’s when everything changed

  41. K. Griffiths says:

    The distinctives changed before Chuck went to heaven. I think it is sad most are reveling in this instead of being concerned about the health of the church.

  42. Michael says:

    K. Griffiths,

    Most of us here care deeply about the health of the church…but we may disagree on what healthy looks like.

  43. RiBo says:

    “I think it is sad most are reveling in this instead of being concerned about the health of the church.”

    It’s not a church body, Chuck told me in the meeting with his lawyer and Dave Rolph that they are all 100% independent and he had nothing to do with the other CC’s. They just have some sort of nebulous affiliation, kind of like being a dodger’s fan.

  44. It’s a good thing.. There are lots of streams in Calvary that have been loyal to Chuck, his vision, his influence… There are lots of guys with huge vision in CC. They will form their little circles, regroup, re-emphasize their particulars and disciple the globe… It has always been a bunch of cowboys, Look out world, here we come, with renewed, vision, vigor, and multiplied groups. Remember in Stars Wars, the quote, “Strike me down and I will only become more powerful?” Chuck’s promotion to heaven is the beginning of anew era of hundreds of guys going for it. You can’t stop it now!

  45. Michael says:


    Haven’t seen you here in ages… thanks for sharing your perspective with us.

  46. RiBo says:

    How can Chuck be in heaven? Isn’t his body still in the ground this moment? Did the resurrection happen and I didn’t get the memo?

  47. RiBo says:

    I’m pretty sure the church fathers considered Mortalism to be heretical. If Chuck is in heaven right now that is heresy and not officially orthodox, just sayin LOL

  48. Michael says:


    Take it elsewhere.
    This thread is not about your theological speculations.

  49. RiBo says:

    It’s not speculations. It’s church history and established church law in the RCC, EO and even your dude Calvin seems to say it’s heretical (I think).

  50. RiBo says:

    But, I’ll let it drop. I forgot that you’re the only one that can correct doctrine/theology LOL.

  51. RiBo says:

    Me personally, I don’t know who is right. For all I know the devil could be poking Chuck in the butt with a pitchfork right now or Chuck could have just ceased consciousness and is done or he could be sitting on a cloud playing a harp in a hawaiian shirt. Who knows.

  52. Steve Wright says:

    I am curious how many pastors are going with George, if any.

    Churches have left CC before, including one of our good friends here at PhxP. But it does not warrant such a letter.

    I received all of George’s emails in past months, but have not heard from him or anyone else asking me to join some new movement. Nor have I heard any discussion at any of the local pastor meetings I have recently attended. Sort of hard to really call it a split until multiple churches actually…split.

    Frankly, the new CCA has had zero influence on our CC, or the CCs in the area. Not sure who (or why) anyone would want to leave just because of its existence.

  53. Anne says:

    I am 60 years old. I have known George Bryson, John Higgins and others like minded as they, since I was 16. Can’t really say “know” that long I guess, as the time I actually lived under the same roofs as them, back in the mis-glorified early days of the Jesus movement, have been separated by a good amount of time and space. But our paths continued to cross, by different degrees of separation throughout the decades. As one who has committed myself to healing, forgiveness etc, I try to lay the spectres of ghosts they represent to rest. It has been a lot of hard work. Sometimes just seeing their pictures or hearing their names trigger stuff I long since hoped was buried and dead. That they still impact not only their own families, and past congregations but unsuspecting new believers who out of their newfound love want to serve God and think that following these self-appointed moses figures will expedite the process, fills me with actual horror. Some who read this may accuse me of hyperbole. I only wish that were the case. These men have left and will continue to leave a lot of bodies under the bus.

    On the other hand I have been encouraged by seeing a return to ministries at CCCM that were disbanded when money and other resources were being redirected to fighting radio station court battles etc. Check it out. Helps ministries in so many areas have been restored and new ones created. And hardliners cut from a cloth I cannot fathom are offended. I mean really OFFENDED! Bryson, Higgins and others of their ilk treat the ministry as their kingdom to lord over, not yet realizing the kingdom lies not in what is acquired but rather in what is given away.

    Sitting in a heap of rags & ashes, yet happy with a heart full of gratitude,
    Anne, originally Grieved from PP early days.


  54. You guys don’t know what splits in a denomination are – come hang around Lutherans. 🙂

  55. Anne says:

    Steve – they may not “ask” you to join them but I guarantee you that the message they will send from their pulpits and what they will indoctrinate even more strongly to those they con into leadership with them will “understand” any one who doesn’t join them is lacking spiritually and possibly verging on apostate. Hell, JH in subtle and not so subtle taught that about CS decades ago. Part of me can say “f**k them, what ever delusional power trip they are on is no matter to me. But then I remember what an effect it had on me in my youth, my ignorance of all things spiritual/historical/emotional and I despise the fact their MOA continues.

  56. Nonnie says:

    Anne, thank you for sharing your perspective. I like what Joe P. shared as well.

    I can only see the Bryson/Prasch group as being a bunch of guys that will focus on how wrong everyone else is.

  57. brian says:

    Personally I think Pastor Smith is in heaven, but I am a universalist which makes me a heretic in their eyes. Sort of ironic. Interesting.

  58. kevin henesy says:

    As A Calvary Chapel Pastor I was kind of amazed by the discussion but not! The Lord brought me to the Fellowship over 25 years ago. I am thankful for the strong emphasis of the Word of God. I am glad to be part of this Fellowship and yet the bottom line has been and shall always be Jesus!!!! Not names, not doctrines, not men from church history but Jesus. I am a simple guy who takes Heb.12:2 to heart, and so I look to Jesus who alone began this work in my life and will finish it one day when I stand before Him! And as I do that, I will by God’s grace, take with me as many people as I can as I move toward Heaven!!!

  59. Bob says:

    Here’s my take. I really don’t know Bryson and his group at all, but this isn’t about doctrines as they may think. CC is about marketing and the past Charisma of Chuck Smith. Unlike the long ago split of the Wimber and his faction Bryson to me can’t pull it off. Wimber had charisma Bryson does not (at least to me).

    The dove and the name are huge. They sound and appear very safe and traditional and that’s what this is about, marketing. Bryson will appear at first to have some strength but in the long run they will just fade into obscurity while the Dove soars high.

  60. This is all inside baseball stuff – it means absolutely nothing outside of CC. Even if Bryson took 200 with him, what does it mean? 99% of the people sitting in a remaining CC church the next Sunday will have no idea anything happened.

  61. David Sloane says:

    The last time that I spoke with pastor Chuck Smith was a few years back. God had me give him a prophecy. It was on a Sunday morning. I believe God wanted me say to him, “Chuck, you will see the full extent of your Calvary Chapel family with your own eyes.”

    My heart was beating fast as I delivered the message to him in the presence of the self appointed entourage that had gathered around him. Some approving and others perhaps not.

    A few years after that he went on tour with the 60’s Christian band “Love Song” to visit all of the Calvary Chapels. So I guess the message was correct. Oden Fong confirmed the message a day or so after I had given it to Chuck.

    Today is a sad day and a joyous day for me, and I know for a lot of others.

    That Calvary Chapel family is now falling apart so Chuck actually did get to see the full extent of it…before it crumbled as we are now starting to see.

  62. Mark says:

    Anne are your currently attending a Calvary chapel ? If not I’d hesitate to speculate on what Bryson or the few that follow him will b reaching. Despite the description this is not a church split. This is one old timer with little relevance in the current CC taking his ball and going home. Few will follow because by doing so they lose the dove and all the name recognition and attractiveness that brings. ( pause here for vitriolic reaction from RiBo

  63. When the Lutherans split in 1974 – that was a split with substance. It was a battle for the Bible and almost a fight to the death. It caused Harold Lindsell to write his famous book

    The Lutheran split is the only split in history where the minority conservative side prevailed and the majority liberal had to leave. 45 of the 50 professors at the seminary were let go. More than half the churches left and everyone knew why.

    This thing at CC is a personality squabble at best – George and his 10 will leave and no one will know anything happened.

  64. Kevin,
    If you, by the power of influence the people who follow you have bestowed upon you, will ignore all the accolades, will focus solely on Jesus and call others to do so, and live that humbly and lovingly, then you will be a person that I will hold in esteem as being a person after God’s own heart.

    May that be your daily meditation… Faithfulness to Jesus and those He puts in your path

    …and really good coffee when you need it most 😉

  65. Bob says:

    A friend of min who was a SBC Pastor said their “church growth” plans was a church split.

  66. Chile says:

    I agree that those outside of CC will barely notice any changes to CC, if at all, because CC is too insular. The general impression many have noted throughout the years seems to be that there’s a culture within CC that thinks they are superior to other churches/association/denoms/groups. This attitude does not promote love, unity, or humility; and it moves people to distance themselves once their eyes are opened. Those who will notice will most likely be those who exited through the revolving doors, hoping that CC will either grow up or dwindle in order to do less damage.

  67. Chile says:

    Bob, I attended a large CC that often described from the pulpit of how those who had left their church went on to start other works. Though the leaving was not amicable, the CC mega pastor claimed the fruit of multiplying, proudly. Those who left, did not see it as a Paul/Barnabas situation as the pastor claimed. They say they fled something unhealthy and damaging.

  68. everstudy says:

    I wonder what will happen with my old CC (CC Cypress).

  69. Michael says:


    You’re a hoot.
    You get an official email announcing a split, then you say it’s not a split.
    You may end up being accidentally correct, because this is starting to smell like one big lie to me…it’s looking more like a public execution of a political enemy than the birth of a new movement.

  70. Oh No says:

    Mark lives in denial. I had 2 CC pastors tell me 10 years ago that when Pastor Chuck died division would happen.

  71. RiBo says:

    Mark said, “Few will follow because by doing so they lose the dove and all the name recognition and attractiveness that brings.”

    Actually, this is the point of the attorneys who sued Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and there will be other attorneys who sue again once some of the recent victims (think Cardelli, Olague, etc) come of age.

    Thanks! I agree. CC is not 100% independent as Chuck Smith stated. There is liability b/c of the strong brand recognition etc and CCCM owns those rights.

  72. RiBo says:

    It’s called Implied Agency or Implied Authority

    Doesn’t mean the attorneys who sue CC again will win, but they are going to sue.

    It is accurate observations from CC guys like Mark about the true nature of Calvary Chapel that will help.

  73. RiBo says:

    …another example filed away in the archive and ready to send 😉

  74. RiBo says:

    Mark, it would be great if you could expand on that comment, b/c I agree with you.

    Calvary Chapel is very much alive and very much a cohesive strong entity and being “affiliated” and signing that contract/agreement and then getting the legal rights to use the Dove logo and name Calvary Chapel given to the pastor through the authority of CCCM is powerful.

    In what ways can you describe how important that is, having the Dove logo and name Calvary Chapel and use of those things to your local church?

    If you didn’t have those things, do you think your church would suffer loss of attendance and loss of funds?

  75. Steve Wright says:

    it’s looking more like a public execution of a political enemy than the birth of a new movement.
    That sort of statement reduces credibility in my opinion. Especially if people could read the actual letter alongside it.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    And you need to reign in RiBo from going down this well-worn path once more. A path I discussed ad naseum and RiBo himself even wrote on his own blog after the court agreed with what I had said “Steve was correct”

    Now he’s going to assert legal stuff that is false and has already lost in court BEFORE the new CCA even was formed.

    I know nobody reads or hardly visits his blog anymore (including RiBo) but if there is going to be profitable discussion at THIS blog about this issue, (and I hope there can be) then he needs to be stopped.

    Your choice.

  77. Michael says:


    You’re entitled to your opinion, but what I’m being told is that parts of that letter are pure fiction.

  78. RiBo says:

    Mark, do you think there’s an assumption on the part of attendees of your Calvary Chapel that CCCM has some authority over your franchise?

    Do the rank-and-file at your CC think that b/c the name is the same and there is the same logo and your CC makes public claims that they are underneath CCCM/Chuck brand, that there is a connection to CCCM?

  79. RiBo says:

    Steve, one court.

    I know for fact that more lawsuits are coming in the coming years.

    One lower court does not a settled issue make.

  80. RiBo says:

    Actually CC Abuse, even with my regular sabbaticals, is in the Top 100 Christian blogs using the same metrics used to judge such.

    As usual, Steve Wrong strikes again LOL

  81. RiBo says:

    Actually CC Abuse just passed Mark Driscolls blog on the list LOL.

    I think I’ll start writing more again so we can get even more readers. We’re just behind James Macdonald, he’s next to pass.

    Thanks for the motivation Steve!!! 🙂

  82. RiBo says:

    CC Abuse is currently #78.

    PhxP is currently #47.

    But Michael writes daily. I write about 1/10 as much.

  83. RiBo says:

    In fact, I write more on Michael’s blog than mine, and Michael’s numbers keep going up.

  84. RiBo says:

    Steve, I wish you and Mark would start calling me fat and out of shape so I’d go to the gym more. You’d make a great personal trainer if that pastor gig doesn’t work out.

  85. Michael says:


    Our numbers went up dramatically when we all assumed you had left.
    40,000 spots.
    People came back and discussions flourished.
    You are not the reason this blog does well.

  86. Nonnie says:

    Thank you for clarifying that Michael. However I am sure Ribo has an answer that will contradict you.

  87. RiBo says:

    The numbers have gone up. They’ve gone up when I’ve been participating and when I haven’t. They’ve gone down when I wasn’t participating and they’ve gone down when I have.

    I’ve tracked it.

    There is no direct correlation statistically that shows my participation results exclusively in up or down numbers. That is a fact. You can be dishonest and claim otherwise, but you don’t have date to support the claim (though I appeal to blog analytic data, you would appeal to participation from regulars, in that sense I agree with you).

  88. RiBo says:

    Nonny, people should contradict when something is a falsehood especially when it can be corroborated by quantifiable data. But that is the way of the Christian* like Ken Ham’s earth is 6,000 years old (boy did Bill Nye nicely show Ham to be a that even Pat Robertson of 700 club was embarrassed and said Ham should go away and shut up LOL)

  89. Summer says:

    Chile, it sounds like you went to the same church I did…..that is exactly what happened. When some left it was made to look like a Paul/Barnabas situation, when some left it was made to look like God was leading them elsewhere….I guess that’s true…except ‘god’ gave them a choice which really wasn’t a choice at all, the choice being–do what I say or leave.

    Anne, I won’t accuse you of hyperbole, I know it’s true. I experienced 30 years of that, just a different location, I’m still amazed and deeply saddened that it continues to this day.

  90. RiBo says:

    It’s not going to change. The only thing that will change the f-sticks like Grenier is when he croaks from a heart attack.

    All you can do is warn folks and tell the other side of the stories that CC keeps hush hush so as to protect the “We’re specially anointed!” mythology and trick you into thinking they are something other than men who are not that bright, not that holy and full of themselves.

  91. covered says:

    Michael, can you tell us what parts of the email may be fiction? I struggle with the idea that Bryson has any credibility left with those CC pastor’s who seek Jesus ahead of the dove.

  92. Michael says:


    I find it odd that they first tried to toss him out then all of a sudden he’s the founder of new split.
    I don’t think may will follow George, but many share some of his concerns.

  93. RiBo says:

    Well, at least Pat Robertson is more intellectually honest than Calvary Chapel* (the claim “Calvary Chapel” is not to imply a cohesive denomination with responsibility and liability, all Calvary Chapels are 100% independent, some rules and restrictions apply, read the prospectus and the fine print)

    “Controversial televangelist Pat Robertson chimed in on Tuesday’s debate between creationist Ken Ham and evolutionist Bill Nye “The Science Guy” by asking the Answers in Genesis founding president and CEO to stop making a mockery of Christians.

    “Let’s be real, let’s not make a joke of ourselves,” Robertson said on his show, “The 700 Club.”

    Robertson said that Ham was using faulty data from Bishop Ussher, an Irish Christian, who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. To make his claims, Ussher calculated the date of creation, based on his knowledge of the Bible, the ancient Persian, Greek and Roman civilizations, astronomy, ancient calendars and chronology.

    The televangelist said that science had since refuted Ussher’s claims.

    “The dating of Bishop Ussher just doesn’t comport with anything that is found in science and you can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there,” said Robertson.

    “Anyone who is in the oil business knows he’s drilling down, 2 miles, 3 miles underground, you’re coming into all these layers that were laid down by the dinosaurs,” said Robertson. “And we have skeletons of dinosaurs that go back like 65 million years. And to say that it all came around 6 thousand years ago is nonsense.””

    Why does Calvary Chapel continue to give money to and support a liar like Ken Ham?

    Liars support liars and their lies.

    Dishonesty is the CC way. Chuck Smith? Big big big fat liar. “I have never gotten involved in the business of other Calvary Chapels” and he said it with a poker face, as if it was as true as gravity.

  94. Michael – even though the email may be copy written, as a journalist you can quot parts of it, even large parts if you give proper attribution to the source.

  95. RiBo says:

    MLD is right for once.

    Fair Use doctrine.

  96. Shaun Sells says:

    I don’t know all the data, but I do know your readership goes down by one every time Alex begins his strings of rants.

  97. Michael says:


    The only problem with that is that you get accused of leaving out things and the discussion goes to hell again.

  98. Andy says:

    No split has happened at all, unless and until two or more churches remove their dove and change their name. Until that happens to at least two, then no split has occurred. And I’m being very permissive by saying just two. In the minds of most, a split is at least 30% taking a hike in another direction. So the title of this blog post is very misleading.

  99. RiBo says:

    “So the title of this blog post is very misleading.”

    To be intellectually honest, I agree. That is a dishonest headline.

  100. covered says:

    Andy is that found in scripture because I’m not finding that in the Bible.

  101. Andy says:

    covered, what exactly are you looking for in the Bible, from my post? The idea of church splits within a denomination, aren’t in the Bible at all. It’s become a culture of churches, kind of thing, post-canon. To say that “Calvary Chapel Splits”, isn’t in the Bible. To say what percentage of churches leaving, constitutes a split, also isn’t in the Bible. Especially since at the moment, the number of Calvary Chapels “splitting”, is zero.

  102. Michael says:

    So the CCA announces a split and I’m dishonest for reporting what they said?
    You bet.

  103. covered says:

    So Andy, you are an expert on post canon church culture? It seems that your expertise is in drinking kool aid.

  104. Andy says:

    “So the CCA announces a split and I’m dishonest for reporting what they said?”

    Well since only the special elite have seen the announcement, then we non-elite can’t say whether the word “split” was used at all. You said, “split”. CCA isn’t making it public, either because only the special elite should be privy (according to them), or because they are afraid of a public discussion about the matter, and would rather certain pastors just “go away quietly”.

    And if not one church has changed their name, then that can’t really be called a split.

  105. Andy says:

    “So Andy, you are an expert on post canon church culture? It seems that your expertise is in drinking kool aid.”

    I’m not sure what point you are trying to make anyway, so I’m just going to let this go, with you.

  106. Mark says:

    Somehow the rest of my earlier post was deleted. I wrote that Bryson’s action will have no impact on the tens of thousands who attend local CCs and have never heard of Bryson or aCCCM. These folks attend CC for the verse by verse teaching of the Word, contemporary worship and lack of focus on money, collections, find raising etc. And they know they can stop by ANC visit any CC across the world and be comfortable experiencing pretty much the same thing. Michael I will concede that your intel was right this time regarding Bryson but I still say there is no CC SPLIT.

  107. covered says:

    My point is Andy, whether the split happens with Bryson or with someone else, there will be a split. To defend the idea that all is good in CCland is like putting your head in the sand. There are good CC pastor’s that are considering dumping the dove as we speak and to deny it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen now or soon.

  108. Andrew says:

    I’m not sure I am following this. If Bryson is the one calling for the split, why is he the one changing the name? Or is it really the other way around where he is the minority and others are telling him to leave and remove his dove and CC name?

  109. RiBo says:

    I think there could be some split, but so far, CC Association looks as big and cohesive as the previous CCOF iteration.

  110. Andy says:

    covered, thank you for finally making your point, and avoiding the silly and hackneyed Kool Aid rhetoric (I prefer Capri Sun anyway).

    I never said that all is well in CC-Land. All I said was that there is no split, so the blog post is misleading. If a person happens along the post and doesn’t have the time (or energy) to plow through the finer details, then they will walk away from it thinking there is some dramatic upheaval occurring, which is not actually occurring at all. The number of churches splitting right now, is zero.

  111. covered says:

    RiBo, I think it’s like jumping into a cold lake. Some want to jump in but want to wait for other’s to join them. Whether it’s Bryson or another, it’s a matter of when not if. The next scandal or perceived scandal will trigger a split. The glue (CS), is no longer there to give the impression all is well.

  112. Michael says:

    Is this describing a split or not?

    “2. The name “Calvary Chapel” is a copyrighted name and is only used by permission. Therefore if a pastor, church or ministry decides to change their affiliation away from the Calvary Chapel Association they must also agree to rename themselves. This is needed in order to prevent possible confusion.
    3. Thus, we request that any of the churches that choose to identify with George’s group let us know that you are changing your name and affiliation. And to all of you, we truly pray that the Lord continues to guide and bless you.
    For those of you who have been a part of Calvary Chapel for many years, you are aware that we have had some of the churches leave and affiliate with other groups (such as the Vineyard). And through the years many have maintained their affiliation with those groups, but some have asked to return and we have welcomed them back. So if any of you choose to go with George, in love let’s pray God’s best for one another. And if any change their mind later, the door will remain open to renewed association.”

  113. RiBo says:

    Seems Steve Wright disagrees with you Michael and I assume he has the same email.

    There’s a difference between “might split” and “has split”

  114. covered says:

    All is good Andy. I do believe however that like RiBo, Michael posts what he believes to be true and therefore “misleading” is in no way his intention.

  115. Michael – who signed the email?

  116. Anne says:

    Uh, hello. This is not THE split, or the first splintering. More than one or two CC’s have already hung up the dove, left the association, at varying rates even before CS’s passing over issues that have been highlighted via this blog. To say there is no split is ignorant at best. Or denial at the very least. My view, FWIW, is that combined with pastors choosing independently to disassociate, this is part of a trend that will increase of more franchises being “invited” to lay down their doves.

  117. Nonnie says:

    Re: 112….that sounds very gracious to me.

    However, one thing I don’t understand. If CC is a copywrite name, then why did CS tell Ribo that he couldn’t do anything about B Grenier by taking away the CC name, because it was all independent, etc) ?? ( If I have that story straight and that is what happened) Am I misunderstanding that whole story?

  118. Andy says:

    “Is this describing a split or not?”


    It is the very noteworthy circumstances for a potential split, that is, if any churches actually leave. But it’s not a split until any do. Your title seems very sensationalistic until any exodus actually occurs.

  119. Michael says:


    21 members of the board.

  120. Michael says:


    I agree.

  121. Andrew says:

    Michael, can you tell us who the 21 members are?

  122. Michael says:


    I could, but since you know far more than I do, you should have this at your fingertips.

  123. Andy says:

    Andy and Andrew are two different people. Just so the slam from Michael on me, doesn’t fall on Andrew 🙂

  124. Andrew says:

    Michael, don’t get Andy and Andrew mixed up. We are not the same person.

  125. Michael says:

    The signatories;

    Don McClure, Skip Heitzig, Damian Kyle, Brian Brodersen, Wayne Taylor, Ricky Ryan, Raul Ries, Joe Focht, Bob Coy, Bob Caldwell, Jack Hibbs, David Rosales, Malcolm Wild, Jeff Johnson, Bill Stonebraker, Tom Stipe, David Guzik, Ray Bentley, Lloyd Pulley, Sandy Adams and Mike MacIntosh

  126. Andy says:

    The interesting question will be, will “The Dark Side of Calvinism” by George Bryson be available in the CCCM bookstore or at Calvary Distribution anymore? The forward was written by Pastor Chuck Smith himself, where Pastor Chuck wrote a SCATHING exposure of calvinism. I would imagine that book will be no longer carried, even though the founder of the church supported it 100%.

    Calvary Chapel really already looks like the rest of the blob of Christendom, no different or distinctive compared to any other major church system out there. The same books are for sale on Calvary Distribution that you can get at any Family Christian Stores etc etc ad nauseum.

    So I will have to agree with Anne, that those pastors that disagreed with Calvary Chapel’s direction, were probably quietly and slowly exiting the door over the last decade or so, virtually unnoticed. No major “split” will come, probably, in the likes of a split where dozens of churches announce in public their “re-grand opening” as something else.

  127. Xenia says:

    Is this correct? CCA sends out private emails to CC pastors and some of these pastors are passing this email on to Michael? Does this sound honorable to anyone here?

    Are these men cowards, too timid to speak out so they are hiding behind Michael? At the very least, they lack loyalty. In my experience with snitches, they can’t be trusted at all, with anything. If these quislings are the source of all the behind-the-scene info, I would not trust them.

  128. Michael says:


    The point being missed or denied is that Chuck Smith agreed with Bryson about a lot of things.
    The myth being propagated that Smith was a proponent of the CCA is just that…a myth.

  129. Michael says:


    The “no talk” rule is so deeply engrained in this culture that the only way information gets around is via leaks.
    It’s wrong, but that’s the culture.

  130. Andy says:

    “The point being missed or denied is that Chuck Smith agreed with Bryson about a lot of things. The myth being propagated that Smith was a proponent of the CCA is just that…a myth.”

    Thank you for conceding these points. They are both true points. And then the right conclusion that few in CC will want to face, is that the 21 pastors that signed are, ironically, in contradiction to what was Pastor Chuck’s viewpoint on these matters.

  131. Michael says:


    At #130, we finally agree on something.

  132. I had to look up the word “quislings” 🙂

    I have always agreed with Xenia’s point. If they complain, why not complain publicly? If you are afraid you might lose what you have – perhaps you should be grateful to the bosses that you have it, as it must be valuable to you.

    Michael – the person who sent this to you – your best guess is he coming or going?

  133. Andy says:

    “At #130, we finally agree on something”

    Yes, and that’s why I wanted to make it clear, I was never saying that “all is well in CC-Land”. I never said that. Look at that list of 21 pastors. Only Greg Laurie is missing in terms of name recognition in CC (and undoubtedly he is in full agreement with them and what they said as well).

    All of them in contradiction to their “Pastor Chuck”.

    The fact that all those with name recognition are on “that” side, means there will be no noticeable split. That was my point, because, a few yokels in a small CC in a small town leaving CC? That won’t make news with anybody.

  134. Anne says:

    Andy -“No major “split” will come, probably, in the likes of a split where dozens of churches announce in public their “re-grand opening” as something else.” I disagree but also am hyper aware, that my opinions of what will happen will only be verified or disproved as time marches on.

  135. Andrew says:

    Is the “No talk” rule because they don’t want to have the appearance as gossipers or is it that they have something to hide? If everything was out in the open and transparent there would not be any guessing or “gossip” and they wouldn’t be hiding anything. Sounds like a win/win for everyone. So I am hoping that the CC pastors on this blog would come forward and just make this stuff public. What is the big deal? I think people have a right to know. Besides, if every CC is 100% independent as the mantra goes, then then there really should be nothing to lose by making this stuff open to all.

  136. Andy says:

    “Is the “No talk” rule because they don’t want to have the appearance as gossipers or is it that they have something to hide?”

    I believe the real reason for the shroud of silence and forced compliance/agreement with handed down decisions, is because you don’t want to feel the stinging wrath of being the troublemaking persona non grata at the pastor’s conference. But that is just my opinion.

  137. Michael says:


    I have about a dozen of these…:-)
    I don’t know anyone who is going as that group thinks I’m the devil incarnated.
    I have my doubts at this writing if Bryson actually is heading up an exodus or if this was a great way to silence him.
    There are some very unhappy campers out there, however…

  138. Michael says:


    It’s a complicated doctrine and not unique to CC.
    If you speak out of place or turn, you are thought to have violated the family in some way…

  139. Well, perhaps it will be put on the agenda at the SPC in June. 😉

  140. Anne says:

    Church splits may go “unnoticed” by outsiders, but those in the trenches and pews,(individuals, families, friendships) notice and are affected in sometimes painful,life altering ways. Though interconnected – the institutional changes and the individual changes that occur are two different animals.

  141. Xenia says:

    Well, my advice to any CC pastor or attendee here…. be careful who you talk to because you have informers in your number.

  142. One mark of a true Lutheran is that you are always bitching and moaning about the Synod … publicly

  143. Andrew says:

    Michael, you make CC sound like the mafia. lol. Maybe that was intentional. 🙂

  144. Anne says:

    Xenia – one person’s informer is another’s whistleblower 😉

    I found it ironic that the statement some found as gracious, I automatically translated in my head as: Leave and don’t let the door hit you in the ass. We will pray for you and those who go with you – that you might eventually realize the error of your ways. And if that ever happens, we will be glad you came to your senses and let you come back. I’ve sat through too many “leadership meetings” where the private and public ‘explanation and responses to situations were as different as night and day. I confess it has left me a bit jaded.

  145. Xenia says:

    Is CC not allowed to maintain what they consider to be doctrinal purity?

  146. Andy says:

    “Leave and don’t let the door hit you in the ass”

    That’s what it sounded like to me too. As in, “WE are running this show now, so, if you’re going to make waves, don’t. Just go away, and WE will be so merciful on you as to take you back if you repent”

  147. Ixtlan says:

    Very true, one person’s informer is another person’s whistle-blower. The question has to be asked: how much confidentiality should a church organization have, and more importantly, for what purpose? If we are doing things above board, there really should be no issue regarding disclosure.

  148. Michael says:


    The doctrinal purist in this case is Bryson…and it earned him a boot.

  149. Michael says:


    Your #144 nailed it.

  150. Xenia says:

    I know of a few situations in my old CC (that I really had no business knowing about, I now realize) where people in ministry disappeared with the explanation “God sent them off to start a new work.” Turns out, there was quite a bit of behind scenes hostility which was none of my business. In retrospect, I thought the response I was given was quite gracious and generous. Instead of listing their faults they left us all with a good opinion of them. Unless they were pedophiles or similar, I don’t need to keep a record of their wrongs.

    I think that is in the Bible somewhere….

  151. Andy says:

    “Is CC not allowed to maintain what they consider to be doctrinal purity?”

    Ironically, no. Not permitted, apparently.

    And that was one of the main points that George Bryson always made. If a person that didn’t agree at all with the Reformed positions decided to become “Acts 29” or “SGM”, they would likely be informed that they can’t join.

    It just makes sense.

  152. Frosted Flake says:

    Damien Kyle resigned from the CCA board. Greg Laurie never joined it. All a sign of the future in my opinion. The truth is that Chuck Smith did not make provision for leadership after his death and the result, as expected, is political chaos. The “counsel” is largely made up “60 somethings” with enough emotional baggage to fill a passenger train. ‘just another brick in the wall’…………..

  153. Xenia says:

    # 148 touche’

    But I don’t think he got the boot for his theology, as you said. It was for being disruptive.

  154. Nonnie says:

    Well, what are they suppose to say? “Oh, please stay, raise a stink and cause discord if you don’t like the way things are going with CCA leadership.”

    I thought that acknowledging that some people are upset and then allowing for the possibility that they may be leaving, but one day may want to return…well, I call that gracious. It is something that happened in the past with Vineyard and Calvinism breaks, and some guys returning….. so it could very well happen again.

    Everyone knows there was a power struggle as CS was dying and Brodersen came out on top.(there surely are guys that are not happy about that) So now it’s just a matter for each individual pastor and if he wants to stay with that group or move out with another. I still say it was a gracious statement.

  155. Andy says:

    Nonnie, the deeper point is that, Chuck Smith didn’t want CCA to exist. That was structure that, it is my understanding, he didn’t believe in it. There’s a group of guys sitting in a little CCA room making decisions about this and that.

    The better solution would be for CCA to just dissolve and disappear, and let everyone be what they want to be.

  156. Xenia says:

    I know of a case where a whole parish of disruptive Orthodox clergy got kicked out, locked out of the church building and defrocked. It was for being disruptive (and believe me, they were.) It was the right thing to do. Of course, that note of dismissal wasn’t nearly as gracious as the one CCA wrote.

  157. Michael says:

    Here’s what I have said both publicly and privately.
    These matters should be openly discussed at the SPC and in front of all concerned.
    That would eliminate all the blogging and leaks and let the rank and file have real input.
    Problem solved.

  158. Michael says:


    Did Kyle resign over this or his health issues?

  159. Andrew says:

    “Damien Kyle resigned from the CCA board.”

    Really? I thought he was a signature on the email?

  160. Steve Wright says:

    A couple points are desperately in order.

    1) There is nothing wrong with someone sharing the news (or even showing someone the email) that George left the movement. That is not gossip. Once someone sends you a letter it is yours. Copyrighting is only an issue for other reasons but certainly not telling someone about the news you received. All the CC pastors who contacted Michael with the news did nothing wrong – and yeah, I was one of them. “Hey, Michael. Did you hear about Bryson”

    2) HOWEVER, there is something VERY wrong with ANYBODY that is part of CC and “behind the scenes” who is saying the letter is fiction and thereby making a statement about all the brothers who signed their name to that letter. To such a person(s) – I am a nobody pastor who has logged his 20+ years in the movement and it is deplorable for you to not man-up and put your name with your charge. To work through Michael on THIS issue here is not whistle-blowing or any such thing. Honesty is a hallmark of Christianity and to accuse dozens of the most well known leaders in CC of ‘writing fiction’ is a put-up or shut-up moment. To use Michael to express your own dissatisfaction while remaining a hypocrite to that leadership is beneath Christ. Repent of it. (Anyone with a problem with that opinion knows how to reach me. I’m not in hiding)

    3) The letter WAS gracious and very Christlike. Frankly, it made me proud to be associated with the new CCA. If the problem some have with CCA is seeing other Christians as the brothers they are, then there is no reason to see the letter as anything but sincere – A well wishing to other brothers and hope we all serve the Lord and are blessed. I know some of you only imagine the worst, darkest things about Calvary, and I can’t change that.

    4) In fact, CCA is actually informing people that George is moving on – for as I said, there has not been a wide, concentrated effort to recruit CCs to this “new” movement. Almost none of us would even know it is happening. So yeah, CCA is saying clearly if you are a disgruntled, you have a chance to go connect with George in his new thing. That is keeping with the voluntary association of likeminded pastors that Calvary is all about. That is also what makes this different from when a random pastor here or there has decided to move on. We don’t get letters from CCA

    5) And yes, it IS gracious for the letter to include the fact that “We wish you well if you choose to leave, and if it does not work out we will take you back” – Again, love believes all things and if one intends to read everything through a cynical, “they are lying” attitude then nobody can convince you otherwise but it sure is not spiritually healthy for your soul.

  161. Andrew says:


    I am not calling anyone a liar, but I find it hard to believe 21 separate Moses Model pastors agreed on anything. Not sure who personally sent the email out but did they actually check with each of the 21 pastor panel individually on whether they agreed with this or not and give them a vote? Wouldn’t that be amazing to actually using a voting process? This kind of limited democracy goes against the Moses principal which is a new one for CC.

  162. Anne says:

    Steve – again I confess, my experience has left me jaded. I wish I had not heard conversations where out of one side of the mouth comes, “we understand. We will pray for you” to have the other side of the mouth say ” that deceived, troublingmaking heretic. Glad we won’t have to deal with that jacka** anymore. Maybe we should pray for the destruction of their flesh, ministry, family, (fill in the blank) that their eyes will be opened and they’ll get back in line. That’s the only way they’ll set foot on this campus again.” Sadly, there were dark things happening while I was there and darker was of dealing with them. I don’t wish to always remain this cynical. I look forward to the day when the grace you and Xenia see in the handling of such matters seems real to me. Right now, I trust most CC or authoritarian pastors (not all) as much as most (not all) politicians.


  163. Babylon's Dread says:

    I wonder what it has been in the DNA of CC that has generated so many stories of abuse and dark dealings. Somehow I think the Moses Model is only the veneer of the problem and to address that is treating the external and missing the point in vital ways. As I have heard about CCs and their problems it involves moral failure, abuse of power, self-centeredness, protectionism and a variety of cover-ups. Someone should take a closer look, do a serious study and see what comes into view under the microscope.

    This would likely take first, eyes that have NO vested interest, something like a skilled outsider. Second, it would take a mature and un-jaded heart to avoid cynicism and generalization. Third, it would require a passionate kingdom minded soul, someone who desperately wants to help rather than to recriminate. In my own city I watched people be discarded like spare parts without recourse and usually without a blimp on the radar of external results. People would come and go and the institution would thrive.

    That did not cease until the big rapture/return of the leader and the subsequent migration of a vast army to Sagebrush Church. Still the old house revived as soon as the old regime proved to overcome the mortal wound to the head. This last paragraph proves my unfitness for the task I describe. But something is deeply amiss and it will result in the partitioning of the kingdom before anyone can set order.

  164. Michael says:


    I don’t think this is unique to CC…I think it has to do with independence and separation from real accountability and you’ll find such in many places.

  165. Josh Hamrick says:

    I know I’m kind of an old drum on this, but in which group of churches is nothing seriously amiss? I mean, i think BD is simply describing human nature.

  166. Babylon's Dread says:


    I agree to a point. Other groups in the past have become healthy denominations after the passing of the leader and not been so full of obvious casualties. There has always struck me something odd about a fellowship of churches with a leader who his regarded as Papa but with so little evidence of serious fathering to that fellowship.

    It also strikes me as odd that the Vineyard was spawned in the early days and their leader completely eschewed the moniker of “Papa.” When I speak about him as a father the visceral recoil is almost violent. John Wimber seems to have avoided fatherhood like a plague. There is more to say but I am working it through in my mind.

  167. Babylon's Dread says:

    I may well be describing human nature, which is sad in the kingdom of God, but this blog and others have ascribed the big beast as being the Moses Model. All I am doing is saying there must have been more. I may also be saying that denominational structures while, flawed and equally human, nevertheless may be a bit less prone to the kind of church abuse that has repeatedly been addressed here for years.

    I think there is something worth finding, something salutary. It may be inaccessible to a contemporary era. I hope not.

  168. Michael says:


    In other groups, the founder made provision for his eventual departure.
    Despite what is out there publicly, Chuck Smith never liked the idea of the CCA, nor did he make any provision for any kind of succession.
    I have believed for a long time that he wanted the “movement’ to die with him…and there may have been some wisdom in that.
    I don’t know…

  169. Josh Hamrick says:

    Ah, about the Moses Model, Got ya, BD. I think you are right about that. The authoritarian structure does seem to be more a symptom than a cause.

  170. Michael says:


    I’ve seen the exact same dynamics in the SBC, IFB, etc…I can’t document it, but I think the IFB may have more issues than any group on the planet.

  171. Josh Hamrick says:

    What about Wimber? That seems to be a good parallel. Hasn’t The Vineyard lost all relevance since his death?

  172. Michael says:


    It’s still out there, but diminished.

  173. Michael says:

    Here is what Calvary does well and why I believe it”s successful.
    It’s focused on the Word.
    The Word preached, well or badly, will do it’s work.

  174. Josh Hamrick says:

    In fairness, the IFB is another bird all together. They truly are independent. No affiliation, no cooperation, etc. But yeah, SBC, Presbys, UMC, Catholics…everybody has had their share of abuse, seemingly regardless of the system in place. It IS human nature, and , as BD pointed out, it is a shame that it shows up so often in the Kingdom of God.

    That was my thought about Wimber: Maybe CC will be the same. Not the individual healthy churches, but as a movement maybe it WAS about Chuck. Maybe…it was a good work for a period of time, and now that Chuck is gone the movement will be dimished as well.

  175. Anne says:

    The word preached, but poorly exampled by those preaching, does its “work” too 😉

  176. tbro says:

    @128 Michael, you wrote: The myth being propagated that Smith was a proponent of the CCA is just that…a myth.

    I sat in a room last June w Pastor Chuck and the CCA and he was asked, point blank, as to whether or not this grouping of men was something he was in favor of and was promoting or just tolerating. He stood and gave the leadership, its mission and purpose, his full blessing and said that he was in full agreement and harmony with CCA. Pastor Chuck was a strong proponent of CCA. He said he was excited to see this leadership team form and was looking forward to what the Spirit would do. I can’t think of a stronger endorsement of CCA by Chuck.

    I would want to know if the one reporting the myth of Chuck’s being a proponent of CCA was in that meeting or did Chuck change his mind in a way that I am not privy to.

  177. “The Word preached, well or badly, will do it’s work.”

  178. Cindy says:

    Anne, really appreciate your input.

  179. Mark says:

    Michael let’s be transparent here. Everyone who signed the letter were hand picked by Chuck To be part of the regional leadership he established in his final years. They also all are doctrinally pure as far as the CC distinctives. George Bryson left CC. Big deal. Nothing more than that. As I aid earlier 1500 CCs worldwide serving over million people. This impacts none of them.

  180. Andy says:

    “Chuck Smith never liked the idea of the CCA, nor did he make any provision for any kind of succession”

    This is the most true statement of any.

    Few to none of “Calvary Chapel pastors” want to admit this truth. But it is TRUE.

    Listen to Chuck for yourself. He repeats a lot of the same applications through his Bible teaching, in different parts of the Bible. This is my rough paraphrase of what Chuck Smith would often put into his teaching:

    “What happens when they say in that day, ‘well what do we say about how Chuck did it?’. And the answer I want them to say is, FORGET ABOUT HIM.”

    Chuck didn’t want CCA.

  181. Dude says:

    Calvary Chapels foundation stone is Chuck Smiths rapturology.C C was supposed to be temporal.Pastor Chuck believed this with all of his heart.He saw no need to be to organized.He saw no need to plan for the future……the Lord
    is going to call us home any second now.
    Your theology will dictate your worldview on every aspect of your life and ministry……Dudes rant for the day.

  182. Steve Wright says:

    It’s not “just” the Word, as crucial as that is. Mark already nailed it:
    These folks attend CC for the verse by verse teaching of the Word, contemporary worship and lack of focus on money, collections, find raising etc. And they know they can stop by ANC visit any CC across the world and be comfortable experiencing pretty much the same thing
    I’ve put on the tie, sat through the attendance contests push, saw an offering taken every time the doors were open, not to mention a good tithing illustration just about each message, saw the randomness in preaching not knowing what we were going to be looking at from week to week……all in my non-Calvary past.

    I put up with it because I knew who I was in Christ then, was on my way to the chaplaincy and Iraq anyway (so I thought), and was having the chance to make a difference there in the lives of young people where I could just ignore the junk and be a pastor/teacher. But it was oil and water and when we got to the point where the pastor called a meeting and said that if anyone was going to serve there we would all have to tithe (I was paying my way through seminary – we were giving but certainly not 10% and did not feel one bit of guilt about it) and actually promote the attendance contests and such my wife and I said “Back to Calvary we go”

  183. Michael says:


    Before I answer, let me make something clear.
    I don’t wake up in the morning and just decide to make some stuff up about CC and print it.
    I have to have multiple sources to protect both the sources and myself…as every time I write all hell comes down on my head.
    So, what I have to say in response to you has multiple sources and has been verified over and over again for over a year.
    Chuck Smith was basically pushed into endorsing this and privately was not at all happy about the situation.
    I could go on but that’s what I will say at this point.

  184. Michael says:


    You can believe what ever you want…but time is going to bring you much grief.
    I do not say that with any joy whatsoever.

  185. DavidM says:

    Anne, given the names you mentioned regarding your past, you and I may have crossed paths many times back in the day (“70’s). If so, I understand all too well your skepticism about the Bryson-led . . . well, whatever it is; split, division?

  186. tbro says:

    @183 Thanks, Michael – I can only testify to what I hear (not hearsay). If there were cross-currents influencing Chuck’s thinking and statements that others testify to – I don’t know how to respond to that. To respond to someone earlier – CCA is not about succession, but administration. If it’s more than that, I’m not aware of it. As a N. Cal. CCA regional member, all I have ever been involved w is assisting pastors who want to affiliate w CC and helping CC church planters in the affiliation process.

  187. covered says:

    tbro, we all agree that hind sight is 20/20 but isn’t it odd that so little direction was given by Chuck to the other pastor’s as to how leadership should continue in his absence? It seems to me that leaving many questions unanswered is telling as to how he wanted this to continue. Chuck was gentle as dove and wise as a serpent and it sure doesn’t look like his biggest priority was the health of the dove.

  188. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, the problem is that all of us have Chuck’s letter dated July 12, 2012, That letter could not be a stronger endorsement from Chuck about the new CCA.

    Now, I do believe what you wrote in your 183 – about sources and such. I do believe you have neither the desire nor take any pleasure to make up bad stuff about Calvary. If I did not think that, I would have no relationship with you whatsoever – and yet I consider you a friend and I know you have helped me personally as well as our particular Calvary Chapel in direct and valuable ways. And I will always be grateful for that help, especially as most of my CC brothers stayed on the sidelines. I’m a loyal guy.

    So what gets me about your sources is this. Explain that July letter. What are the possible explanations? That Chuck didn’t even write it? That someone put the proverbial gun to his head to write it. Surely you recognize it sounds kind of silly to talk about Chuck being “forced” to do anything – (this is Chuck Smith after all) and he certainly could have offered a much more muted and half-hearted commentary on the new CCA.

    Instead he voiced a full throated approval.

    And this is where I say that if in fact there are sources within CC that apparently know all sorts of sinister inside baseball about the forming of CCA – they are cowards. If for no reason then the fact that almost all CC pastors do love Chuck and his blessing is important. So if he really did not, and somebody out there claims to know the “real story” well then just having the Phoenix Preacher toss that out is weak and below the standard of Christ.

  189. Steve Wright says:

    t isn’t it odd that so little direction was given by Chuck to the other pastor’s as to how leadership should continue in his absence?
    Covered you should seek the letter I mention. “so little direction” could not be further from the truth.

    Now, I am not privy to the issues of the particular Calvary in Costa Mesa where Brian is not the pastor. Or issues of asset ownership and such.

    But the movement and CCA, is an entirely different thing than any issues in Costa Mesa.

  190. Steve Wright says:

    Brian is NOW the pastor it should read… bad.

  191. Michael says:


    If CCA is only about administration…on what basis did they attempt to throw out Bryson before this letter?
    What are the requirements for compliance now?
    Brysons theology was classic Calvary to the core… is disagreement now grounds for disaffiliation?

  192. Michael,
    I have a question because, as is easy to do with me, I am confused. Did the email say that there was a split, going to be a split or any mention using the word split … or was that your interpretation that Bryson was going to leave to start his own work.

    And one other thing – did it use the words “to start his own movement?

    I think if the email said Bryson is leaving to start his own work – is quite different than it saying “we are having a split, George Bryson is leaving to start his own movement and if any of you …”

    Can you quote the introduction to the email that probably said what was going on?

  193. Mark says:

    Michael u don’t know me if u think these CC top dog issues will ever bring me grief. Sorry u feel that way but my local CC will not be impacted one bit by any of this nonsense. and neither will the rank of file throughout the world. We don’t care. Not something that should be brought up at a SPC or talked about from the pulpit. CC isn’t going anywhere. Nothing is changing

  194. Michael says:


    I don’t want to get too far into this…but no, I don’t believe that Chuck Smith wrote that letter or the one a few months later following it.

    Now, as my phone and every other media I use has been on fire all day…I will tell you that I believe that insiders should stand up and tell the truth about these matters and I’ve been saying that to my friends since 7:30 this morning.

    I’m getting tired of taking a beating and more importantly, I believe that not doing so at this juncture will eventually call some good mens integrity into question.

    At this point, I can’t say a whole lot more…

  195. Michael says:


    “George has notified the CCA council that he does not want to be part of CCA, but plans to lead his own group.”

    The back story here is that they already tried to toss him before this “notification”.
    Bryson will not answer my email, but I have my doubts about the veracity of that sentence as well…

  196. Michael says:

    I do love my cat, though… 😉

  197. tbro says:

    @191 I was not privy to the Bryson decision and the deliberations that led to it.

  198. filbertz says:

    apparently Bryson is convinced CC has static rather than dynamic qualities, that the distinctiveness of that organization can be captured in a method or statement, then insist on its pure practice. In that case, it would be a mistake to refer to it as a ‘movement’ or allow for any genesis, progress, fermentation, or maturity to occur. One should insist on the raw, virgin form and accept the inherent short-comings as divinely inspired.

  199. Michael says:


    Would it change anything if they allowed a Calvinist…or multiple Calvinists…into your fellowship of pastors?

  200. Babylon's Dread says:

    A word about Vineyard and John Wimber,

    I am currently researching the Vineyard and have some thoughts. The Vineyard movement departed from John Wimber’s emphasis pretty quickly. Now saying that I just mean from his emphasis on “doing the stuff” as a characterization of the ministry of signs and wonders. Last year they voted in a leader who carries the original DNA to a greater degree than the past Director. In addition Carol seems to be gathering some of the old horses back into the stable. She is restoring some of the fallen leaders. Vineyard was bad at restoration but they were pretty good at excommunication. The last year has been about calling back into the fold some of those who were gone.

    There are signs of life. We will see if they can recapture their voice. John was often quoted as believing they should perhaps not perpetuate. Though I want to be careful about that. He was as suspicious of continuity as Chuck seems to have been.

  201. Steve Wright says:

    I will tell you that I believe that insiders should stand up and tell the truth about these matters and I’ve been saying that to my friends since 7:30 this morning.
    Good for you, Michael. We are in agreement then

  202. Shaun Sells says:

    Michael, I was at the SPC this year where Pastor Chuck made it clear that he endorsed the CCA – his words from his mouth.

  203. J Ranch says:

    The Moriel Ministry headed by Jacob Prasch is a US IRS 5013c with legally required audited accounts filed as public documents under federal non profit organization laws. It is also a UK Registered charity in Great Britain likewise with legally documented annual accounts as required under British law. These records confirm that Jacob Prasch is unsalaried and accepts no royalties for his books or recorded materials. The largest portion of their budget goes to children’s missions in the Third World to take care of sick and impoverished babies and small children in very poor countries. Moreover, Jacob Prasch on his film clip regarding Calvary Chapel makes it clear that he does not personally agree with the ‘Moses Principle’ of a monarchial pastor and because he is not pre- tribulational many Calvary Chapels will not ever invite him . Michael’s demonstrably false charges of Jacob Prasch getting a lot of money from Calvary Chapels prove categorically that Michael is a bearer of false witness.

    Nonnie moreover is plainly speaking absolute nonsense. Jacob Prasch lives in England. He has never even met George Bryson nor ever once spoken with him nor had any e mail or other correspondence with him. They do not even personally know eachother.

    We know Jacob Prasch personally and we are involved with his ministry in the USA and in Africa and it is our testimony that these malicious remarks are completely unfounded.

  204. Michael says:


    I know what he said…and I know what else he said.
    Believe what you will.

  205. Michael says:

    J Ranch,

    Are you denying that Prasch speaks at Calvary Chapels?
    The video he made was in lieu of speaking at a conference…in a Calvary Chapel.

  206. the dove was behind Prasch almost the entire video 🙂

  207. J Ranch – how do you know if Prasch knows Bryson? My wife and I have been married 45 yrs and I don’t know everyone she knows or who she has communicated with.

    If I were you, I would just say “I hope they don’t know each other.”

  208. Andy says:

    “Brysons theology was classic Calvary to the core… is disagreement now grounds for disaffiliation?”

    Yes, and Chuck Smith wrote things in 100% support of Bryson’s statements of theology on doctrine and Calvary Chapel practice.

    That’s why I can’t agree with what Steve Wright is saying at all.

    So either Chuck Smith gave an “endorsement” of CCA out of family and fellowship pressure, or Chuck Smith really fully supported CCA and therefore truly spent years talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    It was blunt, in your face, stated that a Calvinist pastor was not welcome pastoring a Calvary Chapel, for years. What is the beef between CCA and Bryson, if both sides are holding to this policy? Is CCA planning to change the policy? Or is it because Bryson doesn’t want Piper/Driscoll/etc materials on tables at conferences? Or do they consider Bryson just too “pushy” for CCA? Chuck Smith obviously never tried to get Bryson to go away. Just the opposite. So what’s going on? What is the real meat and potatoes that caused all of this?

    Bottom line, one basic question, what direction does CCA want to go, that caused all of this?

  209. Michael says:


    You ask pretty good questions…

  210. Perhaps Bryson got a better offer somewhere else … with a signing bonus.

    If Bryson stayed with CC out of loyalty to Chuck and not thinks everyone left are idiots – why is that cause for split and not just time for a new chapter in his life and ministry? I think that is viable.

    I think there may be too much conspiracy theory going on here.

  211. Michael says:


    I don’t know how long it will take…but the truth will come out someday and I will be vindicated.

  212. Andy says:

    “I think there may be too much conspiracy theory going on here.”

    You would never have said that, if you had ever read the articles on Bryson’s website, where he is making it clear that “forces” within CC want to go “Reformed friendly” in a way that Chuck Smith never wanted.

  213. I am not challenging you or your take on it – and / or what you have heard.

    But in the end, Bryson means nothing to CC .. never really has. He is a guy with a large email data base – that’s it.

  214. Andy says:

    Michael, I for one believe you will be vindicated on this matter.

  215. Steve Wright says:

    Andy, I received and read every letter from George. I found myself in agreement with most of what he wrote (the exception being his concern for what might be in a Calvary bookstore or similar trivialities) – but even as one in agreement with most of what he wrote, I did not see anywhere, nor have I been instructed, nor have I seen discussed in meetings with other CC pastors ANYTHING that sounded like CCA was not in fact going to “stay the course”

    The new CCA is going to be a 100% improvement when it comes to pastors replacing pastors at existing Calvary Chapels.100% improvement.

  216. RiBo says:

    “The new CCA is going to be a 100% improvement when it comes to pastors replacing pastors at existing Calvary Chapels.100% improvement.”

    Personnel HR agency. CCA is going to be involved in personnel changes at Calvary Chapels. Good to know.

  217. Andy says:

    Steve, time will tell. I believe that MIchael is right, that the winds are shifting in CC in general. But I don’t agree with him that it will cause a split. Most CC pastors sound exactly like you, as in, “Nothing is changing, nothing to see here, everything is just getting better!” I’ve heard the lines time and again.

    Nevertheless, I agree with Michael, that changes are a’comin…

    Michael and I are quite far from one another when it comes to theology, but, Michael has been very fair when it comes to asserting the right for CC to believe what it wants to believe.

    And it seems to me now, that CCA will move things in a direction that wouldn’t have happened even just 10 years ago. That is why I believe that you are totally wrong.

    But as I said, time will tell.

  218. Michael says:

    My educated guess based on extensive interviews…CCA won’t exist by the end of the year.
    I have to prepare a bible study now…

  219. Oh No says:

    It seems rare that pastors replace other pastors at cc churches. They stay there till they die or retire.

  220. Michael says:


    I think part of that failure to see what we see is because the reality is that the CCA could collapse tomorrow with little effect on most guys.

  221. RiBo says:

    Personally, I hope CCA sticks around and assumes responsibility for the Franchisee pastors who wave the CC flag and bear the licensed name and logos and hock the wares of the CC Brand.

    That way when the sex abuse victims of CC come of age, the attorneys will have a whole bunch of guys on the CCA Board to sue.

  222. Andy says:

    “They stay there till they die or retire”

    Even in CC, there are pastors out there that quit, or have a moral failure, or decide to take up ministry elsewhere. It happens.

  223. Andy says:

    “I think part of that failure to see what we see is because the reality is that the CCA could collapse tomorrow with little effect on most guys”

    True, because once you get the “approval” of affiliation from CCA (which usually takes about 6 months of getting to know the regional guys), you can really just vanish from fellowship/conferences/etc, and nobody will notice or care.

  224. RiBo says:

    Calvary Chapel is not nearly out of the woods. They simply dodged a bullet in the lower court in Idaho…but more cases are coming.

    CC is a Franchisor and the CC Pastor is an “independent” Franchisee. It’s something that will be tested in the coming years, assuming there is a Calvary Chapel entity that is still entering into contracts/agreements with Franchisees to use the license name and logo and claim a connection to Mothership etc.

    “Franchisor Liability Based on Agency Relationships
    Courts have extended the principles of vicarious liability to franchisors, over the objections of franchisors that extending liability is inappropriate, since franchisees are usually independent entities. An individual injured at a franchise location or as a result of the products or services provided, may, under certain circumstances, bring an action against the franchisor as well as the franchisee.

    For example, a franchisee of Arby’s Inc. in Wisconsin hired a work release inmate (i.e., an inmate granted the right to work outside the prison). The inmate walked off the job and crossed the street to a Wal-Mart, where he waited for, then shot, his former girlfriend and her fiancé before committing suicide. The fiancé died and the woman survived, suffering severe impairment as a result of her injuries. Arby’s was sued along with the franchisee.

    The 2004 Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion in the case surveys various state cases on imposing franchisor liability based on franchisee agency. The court concluded that, in general, a franchisor may be held vicariously liable for the tortuous conduct of its franchisee (in this case, negligence in hiring and supervising the inmate) only if the franchisor has control or a right of control over the daily operation of the specific aspect of the franchisee’s business alleged to have caused the harm. After examining the franchise agreement, the Court concluded that Arby’s had little or no control over hiring and supervising, and therefore could not be held vicariously liable. Similarly, a 2000 New York court decision refused to extend liability to Dunkin’ Donuts when a franchisee employee was severely injured in a robbery, as the franchisor did not control the security at the franchise location.

    An Oregon case, however, held that McDonald’s could be held liable for damages that resulted when a sapphire was found in a “Big Mac” at a franchisee restaurant. Similarly, a federal court in Illinois certified a class action by males against the restaurant franchisor Hooters Inc., as well its franchisees, for sexual discrimination in refusing to hire male employees. The court found that Hooters Inc. controlled the chain’s “core concept” of females waiting tables wearing cut-offs, tank tops, and orange jogging shorts, and thus could be held vicariously liable.

    Apparent Agency as a Basis for Franchisor Liability
    The existence of an agency relationship, however, is not the only basis courts have used to impose liability on franchisors. In some states liability based on “apparent” or “implied” agency has been allowed. Agency liability focuses on the actual relationship, while apparent authority examines what the victim “reasonably believed” based upon circumstances, such as the actions of the franchisor and franchisee.

    Under this theory, the franchisor is prohibited (“estopped”) from denying the agency relationship and the authority of the franchisee to act for the franchisor because of its conduct. Factors necessary to establish apparent authority differ among states, but may include:
    The franchisor represented to others that the franchisee was acting on its behalf, or the franchisor consented to, or knowingly acquiesced to, a franchisee’s exercise of authority.
    A third party reasonably relied on the representation or had a good faith belief that the franchisee had the right to exercise authority for the franchisor.
    As a result of the reliance, the victim acted and was damaged.
    In a 1993 case, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a victim of medical malpractice to sue a hospital for the actions of an emergency room doctor, whom the hospital claimed was an “independent contractor.” The court found factors indicating the hospital had held the doctor out as its employee, hence “apparent agency” applied. In a later case, a patron of a McDonald’s restaurant slipped on water or ice in the bathroom. The court allowed the case to be dismissed, but affirmed that a plaintiff may sue the franchisor where reliance on apparent agency can be shown.”

    Steve may have won round one in Idaho, but that isn’t the end of the matter (as I am privy to stuff coming in the coming years as I’ve sent info on to those requesting it who contacted me, now that’s news!)

  225. “CC is a Franchisor and the CC Pastor is an “independent” Franchisee”

    Can you have that kind of relationship if no money has been exchanged?

  226. Steve Wright says:

    You guys need to advise the rest of the unwashed masses what ‘changes’ are coming. Michael is correct that the CCA has basically zero impact on local churches or pastors.

    So what is the change, and again, why will it matter? Inquiring minds want to know.

    The issue of CCA is affiliation, and very little more if any. How does a new guy become a CC pastor. The process that started out simple had become massively complex over the years by everyon’e admission (and I was right in the middle of it) and now a new simpler way, based in the importance of local fellowship among pastors has been reaffirmed.

    The independence of the local church is maintained and affirmed.

    If you have information that the independence of the local church is about to be washed away by some higher-ups somewhere, then yeah, that would be a huge deal. Is that about to happen. Yes or no?

    If no, then this is all noise in my opinion. And apparently the opinion of most of the CC pastors so far willing to post something in this thread.

  227. RiBo says:

    “Can you have that kind of relationship if no money has been exchanged?”

    It’s a challenge for the attorneys, but it is fact that CC mothership makes money due to the sales of books, merchandise, promoting the radio station, soliciting donations for CC mothership causes, DVD’s, conferences etc.

    So, yes, attorneys think there is a case that can be made.

  228. RiBo says:

    MLD, CCOF collected monies, CCA has a budget as well. Where does that money come from?

  229. Steve Wright says:

    Steve may have won round one in Idaho
    To be clear to the many new readers of this thread, since RiBo can’t be trusted to tell the truth….I was not involved in any litigation in Idaho. I did not “win” anything in any court.

    I just told RiBo he did not know what he was talking about, and justice prevailed and I was shown correct.

    Michael, you might want to think about removing posts from RiBo that imply falsehood against the people of this community. Especially about something as serious as litigation.

  230. Andy says:

    “If you have information that the independence of the local church is about to be washed away by some higher-ups somewhere, then yeah, that would be a huge deal”

    Affiliation is the primary function of CCA, by your description. So, what would that say about CC, if CCA decided at some point, that Reformed pastors can pastor CC’s. Just for the sake of argument.

    And since CC does have certain names that are and have been quite prominent within CC (and most of those guys are in CCA leadership), then things they say and do, do affect CC’s in general, by issue of public perception.

    I guess you wouldn’t care about all of that, if you’re just going to agree with everything they say anyway.

  231. Andy says:

    One of the things overlooked here is, that being in fellowship with CC in the past, was based on the premise of being in fellowship with CCCM, and to be honest about it, fellowship with Chuck Smith. A pastor agreed with Chuck Smith, and decided to be CC.

    With Chuck Smith passing, now, who sits in that seat? CCA?

  232. RB,
    II used o be in the franchising business and I don’t see how you have that kind of relationship without the money.

    As for the book sales, I am sure that each CC buys the books from Word for Today – which is a separate entity from CCA / CCOF and then resell the merchandise.

    I think the relationship is much more like the Arby’s example that you showed – CCA has no say in the hiring and firing – all they can do is pre approve – but have no say in the HR area.

    That would be like going back and suing a seminary for the bad acts of a pastor – because, if they had not graduated that person, he would never have gotten into the pulpit and been able to rape those women.

  233. RiBo says:

    I don’t know that the coming lawsuits will win, just that I’ve been contacted and sent info and there is a chance they could win and establish a connection to bigger pockets.

    Steve didn’t think the Idaho lawsuit would win, and he was right on that one…but saying that settles the matter is naive and/or dishonest.

  234. RiBo says:

    MLD, I agree that it’s a challenge as illustrated by the loss of the suit in Idaho. I am not saying they’ll win, just that I’ve sent info and some attorneys are going to take some more shots at it in different states.

  235. “a chance they could win and establish a connection to bigger pockets.”

    So it’s not about right or wrong and it is not about whether CCCM or CCA are responsible – it’s just about the bigger pockets, the money.

    RB, you lead an immoral group if that is what you are advocating.

  236. Steve Wright says:

    Andy, we’ll have to pick it up later. I would like to respond to your 230 but obviously can’t at this time.

    Michael should never preannounce when he is going to be away from the blog…

  237. RiBo says:

    MLD, satisfied or should I post the emails LOL

    Steve would not want me to post the emails, they are not very flattering.

  238. Andy says:

    Steve, actually the 232 is even more important. When there was just Chuck Smith to “check” in regards to clear-cut and unchanging beliefs and practices, then it was easy. It was, yes, I agree with Chuck Smith. Or it was, no, I don’t agree with Chuck Smith.

    But when there’s a committee of guys, and a debate about Reformed issues which would have been put to death by Chuck Smith in the heydays, then it’s harder to say yes, or no. Because you can’t really say what will happen. As much as you want to push the idea that the status quo is on the table, you don’t really know that for sure.

  239. I am sorry, I seem to have stumbled on the “Attack Steve Wright Blog” by mistake.
    Oh wait, that seems to be the running theme here for every thread lately.

  240. RiBo says:

    MLD, it’s how the legal system works and since CC lies and claims no responsibility and won’t make needed reforms like mandatory child protections, open finances and mediation etc. for beefs with pastors, then CC leaves the doors open for attorneys to sue on behalf of child abuse victims.

    I just send the info and facts. It’s the attorneys jobs to sue on behalf of a client/victim and the court’s job to say if it flies or not.

    I find it a very Just Cause to fight for child abuse victims in the “church”

  241. RiBo says:

    I know it wasn’t an email, it was a post for one of Steve’s congregants.

    I have emails, but I’ve been asked not to share those. But who knows, I’m kind of a “loose cannon”

  242. RiBo says:

    MLD, LOL 🙂

    I’ll give you this, you are funny once in awhile.

  243. RiBo says:

    When Michael gets back, I’ll probably be banned 🙂

  244. RiBo says:

    So you guys know, he doesn’t put up with me, he lays into me something fierce in private. I’m just incorrigible and not reformable in terms of complying and playing by the blog rules.

    He’ll ban me and I’ll pick out stuff and address it on my blog.

  245. erunner says:

    This is flat out pathetic.

  246. the guy in the corner says:

    If Steve said the things MLD and RiBo said he wouldn’t be Steve I was gonna say he’d be banned but though better of it.

  247. the guy in the corner says:

    Enabler: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.

  248. Andy says:

    “So, let’s move on and roast George Bryson”

    And Martin Luther 🙂

  249. RiBo says:

    “And Martin Luther”

    Yes, the father of Naziism! “On Jews and their Lies! Burn down the synagogues!”–Martin Luther.

  250. RiBo says:

    MLD, I don’t have daddy issues, I faced those demons long ago and I’m no victim, I’m a fighter.

    I just think Calvary Chapel is a bad construct that promotes child abuse physical and sexual by its practices, it’s lack of accountability, its toleration of bad pastors and its lack of rules in the Calvary Chapel contract to be a legit CC.

    But, I think what you said was funny and I don’t take it personally.

    The guys with real daddy issues are the 60-something-year-old ex-hippie CC pastors who lost their daddy-deity Chuck Smith.

  251. Mark says:

    Michael u asked if if would matter if they allowed a Calvinist or multiple Calvinists into the fellowship? It wouldn’t matters one bit in my neck of the woods since my pastor and every CC pastor that I’ve ever heard speak on the east coast regarding Calvinism has dismissed it for its shortcomings. Remember chuck smith never called Calvinism heresy and always considered it a secondary issue. I sincerely doubt many Calvinists would want to fellowship with 1000 s of pastors who openly teach against Calvin’s erroneous theology.

  252. Michael says:

    I’ve tried to remove the most offensive comments.
    I have my hands full with life at the moment, so it’s the best I can do right now.

  253. Filbertz says:

    some children should never be given crayons…they connect all manner of dots carelessly with little regard for the bigger picture.

  254. Babylon's Dread says:

    I don’t think Romans 9 answers any questions about Calvinism. Paul wasn’t writing about free will and divine sovereignty he was writing about Israel’s covenant history and redemption. and another

  255. the guy in the corner says:

    Good point Fil,
    You don’t clean up the walls for the brat; you take away the crayons.

  256. berean says:

    Has anyone thought it a good idea to look at George’s letter to the pastors? It appears to be what prompted the CCA letter. It is general letter that was sent to anyone asking for it.

  257. Nonnie says:

    In reference to J Ranch, I can see how my pairing of Bryson/Prasch didin’t truly express what I was meaning and I apologize that it looked they they were working together.

    What I meant to say was that of Mr. Bryson has written letters and internet postings saying he doesn’t like the direction that CC is taking. Mr Prasch has done likewise on the internet and as recently as Jan. 2014 where I believe he was speaking from a CC and speaking to the CC Movement, expressing that he was not happy with the direction of CC now.

    That was what I meant in my pairing of them, but I can see how that was misunderstood.

  258. brian says:

    I had one of those long posts, I just hope all this works out for the congregations involved, that they get input in the process, I hope best practices are adopted in church governance to protect children, adults, etc. I hope Christ is glorified in it all. That is my prayer for all churches.

  259. Andrew says:

    So does this mean George’s web site will have to change its name to something other than calvarychapeltheology?

  260. puzzletop says:

    It’s been quite a spell since I’ve visited the blog but after reading all the comments I find two bloggers quite “interesting”. This RiBO fellow sure thinks a lot of himself. What an ass. Then the Steve Wright just plain makes me laugh. He’s the stereotype of the concerned CC member that with many words tries to justify the CC fraternity club. What a hoot. Michael, keep up the great work of ferreting out these fleas. It’s good to see your in your true form.

    The Puzzletop

  261. Bob Sweat says:

    Puzz!!! Good to hear from you!

  262. Bob says:

    OK I have what to some may seem as a dumb question, but here goes anyway.

    If Calvary Chapels are all “Independent” churches,
    If there are zero tithing fees, either to or from CCA,
    If the Dove is really a symbol of the Holy Spirit and can’t be copyrighted,
    If the name Calvary and Chapel are so generic they are really public domain,

    Why can’t I just go to the corner and start my on “Calvery of ______ Chapel,” put up a Dove symbol and take advantage of the marketing that has gone on before me?

    I hope you all get the real question behind the question.

    Of course I could also steal the “Trinity” form the Lutherans (as in “Trinity Lutheran…”) and then call it “Trinity Calvary Chapel of ___” and have the best of both.

    Sometimes I think the picture is getting a bit fuzzy on what’s this is all about.


    Romans 9-11 are about the promises of God and His Sovereignty is a part of that description.

  263. Steve Wright says:

    puzzletop – I’ve been called lots of things on this board, and yes, CC apologist is one of them..

    However “stereotype CC guy” sure is a new one. Maybe you should read more often. 😉

  264. Bob,
    2 things you do not understand
    1.) “If the name Calvary and Chapel are so generic they are really public domain,”
    Well the word Star and the word Bucks are generic words in the public domain – try putting them together on your coffee shop and see what happens.

    2.) “If the Dove is really a symbol of the Holy Spirit and can’t be copyrighted,” It’s that particular design of a dove that is in question. Go look on an animal website and see if you see any pictures of doves that look like that.

    If these were indeed generic and in the public domain, they would not have received copyrights and trademarks.

    Why would anyone want to copy someone else’s work? This is the issue with the disgruntles – they know they can’t make it on their own – they still need to suck at the , well, I’ll say breast for those sensitive one’s out there. They are chickens, cowards, sub human beings.

  265. Shaun Sells says:

    Bob, many Calvarys have started with the name Calvary Fellowship, or Calvary Church before they were affiliated so they can get the Calvary name without being in violation of the Calvary Chapel copyright. Slight changes to the name could easily be done on the other side as well. Drop the “Chapel” from your name, and you seem to be in the clear.

    As you have pointed out, no money has changed hands so there is no concern there. We don’t even get a sticker to put in our window like the BBB offers. Not even a plaque like the Chamber of Commerce. We even have to buy our own dove!

  266. Steve Wright says:

    I was going to ask Bob if he left any room for…you know…the Lord… in that hypothetical church plant idea.

    The Lord to bless, to bring the people, to add to the church daily….given the subterfuge

  267. Andrew says:

    Why would anyone want to copy someone else’s work?

    Well for starters, Chuck Smith said that the success of Calvary Chapel was due to the work of the Lord. If that is the case, I would think everybody would want to be part of it. However to copy right the Lord’s work is another matter altogether.

  268. Babylon's Dread says:


    I agree that Romans 9-11 is about the promises of God. I also agree that it describes God’s sovereign work. What I deny is that Paul is working with our questions about how free will and divine sovereignty can be understood. I also deny that election in that passage has anything to do with election to an eternal destiny.

    I have little interest in the old Calvinist-Arminian arm wrestling. Primarily because those constructs are largely imposed on texts that do not have those particular questions in view. In Romans 6-8 Paul develops a redefinition of what it means to be the people of YHVH based on Messiah and the Spirit. By the time his definition is crystalized it becomes obvious that the covenant people are largely excluded from the covenant family. Thus Paul goes from euphoria in Chpt 8 to near despair at the beginning of 9 because his people after the flesh have been excluded from inheriting the promises that were theirs.

    In Romans 9 Paul begins a discussion of how God’s promises have not failed because his promises never included ALL of the physical offspring of Abraham. We read Romans 9 as if it was written to us in the abstract rather than reading it as it was written to whom it was written. God’s covenant plan for Israel always intended to reduce Israel to a remnant and from that remnant to bring forth a shoot from Jesse’s tree. A savior who would bring Abraham’s blessing to all. Election is about how God through the ONE saved the many. Election was always about the means of inclusion not exclusion.

    But this thread is about the inclusion or exclusion of those who may fly the dove or not. It just happens that George Bryson, whom I do not know and who does not represent my view, is a flashpoint over the matter of Calvin. Thus my little hijack. OUT

  269. Copy the Lord’s work – not Calvary Chapel’s work … unless you think that the Lord has only worked through CC.

    The point is, if you have your act together and you are guided by the spirit and you want to leave CC – why fight to keep any CC stuff?

    On the other hand, if you are a disgruntle and you stay because of the CC stuff – then you have no business being a pastor.

  270. Andrew says:


    I think you are on to something. Many CC folks can’t separate the Lord’s work from CC’s work. They seem to always talk about being the group that doesn’t have all the EXTRA denominational baggage and are just pure Christians nothing more or nothing less. The more these folks recognize that they carry around a bunch of of EXTRA stuff just like any other DENOMINATION does, the better off they are in my estimation.

  271. I wonder what would be considered “denominational” baggage
    As Lutherans, my church is in a voluntary association with the LCMS. We can actually come and go as we please – take our building with us (i do know that some denominations own the buildings).

    But as a denomination we share seminaries and publishing houses.

    Perhaps the “baggage” is being ties together in Human Relief, missions and worldwide projects … something independent churches have unloaded their baggage.

  272. Bob says:


    Wow, you know of all the times I have read your posts that single one is the most revealing of your biblical knowledge and thought yet. I’m not much for those who claim to “hear from God” as in “God told me” and other such strange fire. But when a person clearly speaks from the scriptures without defending some sort of doctrine(s) my ears perk up.

    That is the best word yet on this thread, thanks!

  273. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thanks Bob,

  274. Bob says:

    Steve and MLD:

    I wish I was fishing right now for some sweet tasting rainbow trout because if they would take the bait as easily as you two I would be in fish heaven. BTW I took my grandson to Cabella’s and they have this wonderful tank full of the biggest trout I have ever laid my eyes on…

    You don’t get it at all. These people are fighting over the ridiculous, a piece of the glorious CC prize and in a sense they are building towers for their own name. Additionally I believe you have to agree that CC has provided several things to up and coming pastors the least of which marketing recognition.

    Why do you think people build big and grand church buildings? There certainly aren’t any scriptures instructing people to do so (no don’t go and throw the descriptions of building the Tabernacle in the wilderness at me because that isn’t the context). Besides it being a tradition handed down over centuries of Christianity it says something loud and clear.

    So where’s the room for God in all this? Steve it certainly isn’t in the name Calvary Chapel. That’s simply a marketing tool no different than Coke. When you step in the door of a CC people expect certain things like the “simple teaching…” But like Coke will the future CCs be the original recipe?

    I would hope when a person decides to start a CC they aren’t doing it for marketing reasons alone. I would only do it to be recognized with their doctrines and theology and would stand for those purposes.

    BTW the “dove” is only copyrighted in one way. I have seen it used with slight twists and it is generic enough to be used by any church if they actually want. Additionally it was used by Maranatha Music with minor differences as its logo (many of whom were part of the early CC group). But this is just splitting hairs and not part of my point.

  275. “Why do you think people build big and grand church buildings? There certainly aren’t any scriptures instructing people to do so ”

    Question – is that how you judge what to do or not … if there is a direct reference in the scriptures?

  276. Bob says:


    “Question – is that how you judge what to do or not … if there is a direct reference in the scriptures?”

    Come on now that is either a rhetorical question or you are doing a “MLD” and baiting me.


    BTW Why did the people traditionally build big and grand churches in Europe with all those gargoyles hanging down form them? I think there was a thread about this sometime ago.

    Oh I think you personally do use direct reference from scriptures quite often. Hmmmm could this be a “MLD?”

    Just poking at you, so thanks for being good about it!

  277. Andrew says:


    Denomination baggage? What did you mean by “CC stuff”?

    Denominational baggage may not be the right term but its usually EXTRA stuff. Many CC people claim there is no EXTRA stuff but they go strictly by the Bible.

    The EXTRA stuff is usually about the history, culture, creeds, government and confessions of a church group. CC has their own history (albeit short ~1960), culture (Jesus movement, hippie drug, etc..), creeds (distinctives, rapture mentality), government (Moses Model, CCOF now CCA) and confessions (Statement of faith and philosophy of ministry).

    But I guess the EXTRA stuff could also be the numerous lawsuits, abuse claims, negative blogs, etc.. that are specific to CC. My point is that CC is no different than a denomination in respect to the EXTRA stuff and it would behoove CC leadership to recognize that they are more of a denomination than a non denomination and its not just about the Bible which many people are under the impression that it is.

  278. Anne says:

    #274 & #277 – Well, stated, gentlemen!

  279. Bob says:

    I really have only one comment about CC and it has been repeated over and over again here on PP. The “Moses model.”

    Since the reason I won’t step into a CC building today are those simple three words I often wonder how many young (or old) men have become CC pastors because of this single “distinctive?”

    Also when Moses was about to die he wrote a prophet would come who was like him, could these men be fighting over who the new “Moses” or prophet will be in the organization?

    Just a couple of thoughts. I recognize that almost if not everything I do has ego and self preservation tied into it in some way. Why do I think I have something to say?

    In the long run the only significance i have is to do what Moses taught, and Jesus affirmed, to the people of Israel in Deut 6, every day morning to evening, “Hear O Bob (a person who tends to contend with God), the Lord God is one, Love the Lord God with… teach this to your sons and grandsons!

    He is blessed and Jesus is the Name above all names!

  280. Bob Sweat says:

    While some would say that I see the glass half empty, when I think of Moses, I am reminded how striking the rock forbid his entry into the Promise Land, and the continued excuses he made when God called him to lead the people. Those two things overshadow his leadership qualities. But that’s just me, old negative Bob.

    I prefer the Jesus Model, “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant…..” That’s the leadership quality I seek to follow!

  281. Steve Wright says:

    As Michael himself has written many times, the “Moses Model” is a poor name but in practice it is little different than the church government found throughout much of evangelicalism today. That non-Calvary I spoke of ministering at yesterday was more Moses Model than our CC that is for sure.

    Now, with the new CCA – the words “Moses Model” is no more. The haters are going to say “Oh but the DNA is there etc etc” but if anyone cares about reform, then all the people who despite the term and idea behind “Moses Model” should be applauding. I am sure it is one of the reasons some of the old-guard are upset.

    But they don’t applaud. They don’t get encouraged by reform.

    I’m going to be speaking to some “pastors in training” in the near future – and am going to lay out the things that I hope they will remember to enact at their future churches and to ask about at their present churches.

    One of those is to have something, in writing, that explains how you, the Senior Pastor, can be removed for abuse or other moral failings.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  282. Babylon's Dread says:

    This is just the old “set man” principle.

    Nothing wrong with the Model really if the man is a man of God. Nothing works if the called one is twisted.

  283. the guy in the corner says:

    Well folks, thanks for dredging up some old memories.

    Years I spent inside Chuck’s circus tent
    digging holes and pouring wet cement
    knowing not there could be no dissent
    at Calvary.

    Crowds were thick and concerts there were free.
    Fellowship was not applied to me.
    There my soul went on a carnal spree
    at Calvary.

    By God’s Word I called my elder out.
    Then I trembled when he kicked me out.
    Till I ran to God without one doubt
    from Calvary.

    Crowds were thick and concerts there were free.
    Fellowship was not applied to me.
    There my soul went on a carnal spree
    at Calvary.

    Then I called on God who I depend.
    Then I found he was my closest friend.
    Then I knew that I was not condemned
    at Calvary!

    Crowds were thick and concerts there were free.
    Fellowship was not applied to me.
    There my soul went on a carnal spree
    at Calvary.

    Oh, the love that made my soul aware.
    Oh, the grace that drew me out of there.
    I can praise and serve God anywhere
    but Calvary!

  284. #283 song would go well sung to “Mr Natural”

  285. Andrew says:

    The haters are not those that oppose the Modes Model. In fact, it may be those that insist on it, tolerate it and defend it.

  286. When someone says that they will not go to a Moses Model church – what does that mean? I have people tell me they would go to my church because the pastor wears a robe.

    So? Many varieties to choose from.

  287. Andrew says:

    When someone says that they will not go to a Moses Model church – what does that mean?

    I’ll go, but just won’t get too much involved. No accountability for the top dog is a big red flag for me. More than that though is the reality that this pastor some how thinks they are better than the congregation and the board of elders to have this model in place to begin with. The arrogance is beyond description at times and is quite sad.

  288. Michael says:

    These conversations rarely get to real issues.
    The term “Moses Model” was an abysmally wretched piece of theology constructed to defend the senior pastor model of church government.
    Take away that inane moniker and the model is found across denominational lines all over America.
    You can’t legislate ecclesiology in this country and any form of church government is only going to be as good as all those in the local church that participate in it.

    “The Moses Model” and “The Calvary Chapel Distinctives” were purposefully eliminated from the new CC…not to hide them, but to make them a thing of the past.

  289. Andrew says:

    Michael I believe you, but I also look at the CCA 21 pastor panel. It seems all of them were in fact, taught, mentored and affiliated with Chuck Smith who authored the “distinctives” and taught from that philosophy his entire life. I suppose all 21 one of them now have decided to abandon these teachings from their mentor papa Chuck but I really haven’t seen any of them distance themselves from him or his teachings. I wish they would publicly come right out and say what you are saying but I just haven’t heard that.

  290. Bob Sweat says:

    “The Moses Model” and “The Calvary Chapel Distinctives” were purposefully eliminated from the new CC…not to hide them, but to make them a thing of the past.


  291. Michael says:


    There are some classic MM pastors on the board.
    There are also some who have real elder boards and real accountability built in.
    Most of the real change in CC hasn’t been at that level, but a the grass roots level.
    Those 21 actually agree on very little, thus the tensions I’ve described repeatedly.
    That’s why when anyone starts howling about “what CC should do” I lose it…there really isn’t anyone who can speak for CC and if you get more than five of these guys in a room, someone will walk out.
    Now, the senior pastor model is the easiest model to abuse in my opinion…but it also is the most prevalent one in the country.

  292. Michael says:

    I will agree with Steve about one other thing…the fact that those two doctrines are being buried is a huge step forward in reform.
    There will be those that fight that tooth and nail, but their day is passing.

  293. Andrew says:

    I just went to the CCA web site. It does look like there is only 20 now. I guess Damian Kyle did step down.

  294. Michael says:


    There may be more resignations in the wings…

  295. Andrew says:

    Well I definitely saw a reference to the “distinctives” on the CCA web site. If you download the “how to start a Calvary Chapel Christian school” posted on their web site, it is part of the recommended reading list.

  296. Michael says:


    It’s pretty buried and it’s in an older article.
    The distinctives previously would have been front and center as the statement of faith.

  297. Steve Wright says:

    More than that though is the reality that this pastor some how thinks they are better than the congregation and the board of elders to have this model in place to begin with.
    Andrew…if you really believe this is true about all 1500 or so of us, including the ones who are friends with Michael (whether they post here or not)….if you think this is A) What was taught to us all and B) The reason we all affiliated and continue to stay in CC

    Then there really can’t be any discussion…can there?

    (You even used the expression “the reality is” – Reality is not the same as subjective opinion and attempt to discern the motivation of heart of over 1500 other men…but again, if you think you have that power…it sort of ends the discussion)

  298. Andrew says:

    This is all Moses Model. Right on CC web site.


    “Does the Senior Pastor support and want a Christian school as a part of the ministry?
    If the Senior Pastor is not absolutely supportive of the idea, then the school will
    not succeed. Having a school must be a part of God’s distinct call given to your Senior Pastor because a new school will experience growth pains /challenges financial, etc.) as it becomes established.”


    What about the congregation? Do they get a say whether they want a school as part of the church? Apparently not…

  299. Please, no one get upset about this. This is just a bit of fun.

    But, the way some people say they found the “distinctives” makes it sound like they were poking around in some dusty library and found a copy of Lovecraft’s Necronomicon. 😉

  300. Michael says:


    I don’t like the SP model at all…but you would find the exact same statement on 1000 Baptist sites as well.
    This is not congregationalism and it’s folly to expect it to be.

  301. Andrew says:


    I am not talking about the 1500 CCs. I know some are excellent churches. You are the one that called opposers of the Moses Model haters. I don’t know how you run your church and I won’t judge you. As far as I am aware you are not on the 20 panel member of the CCA that seems to be the governing body of CC in charge of affiliations.. I will see what they say about affiliation, Moses Model, etc..and take what you say with a grain of salt. I don’t hate anybody, but I do oppose the Moses Model that has hurt so many.

  302. Andrew says:


    If you go to the CCA web site and look at the ministry section with the picture that looks like its straight out of the Truman Show, its kind of obvious the mentality of these folks. That is all I am saying. Its not hard to find.

  303. Andrew says:


    I agree it is folly to expect congregational involvement in CC. I’m not expecting that from these folks. I just hope people will understand that not much has changed with CC with the new improved CC and I don’t think reform is possible without repentance. You can’t market God like He is some kind of commodity for sale.

  304. Michael says:


    Some things are changing and have been for a few years.
    Some things, to be blunt, couldn’t be changed until Chuck died.
    You still have a lot of old school people in places of influence…but their day is passing.
    Now, if you expect the SP model of ministry to go away in CC or in any other denomination…that aint gonna happen.
    What I am seeing are more and more of these churches adopting constitutions that allow the pastor to be canned…and that’s a big step forward.

  305. Steve Wright says:

    You are the one that called opposers of the Moses Model haters
    I most certainly did not. Read the post again.

    I said that those who oppose the Moses Model and have spoken against it for awhile should applaud the reform taking place…a reform Michael confirmed (Thanks Michael)

    The haters are going to blow it off as meaningless and continue to talk bad no matter what positive things take place going forward. THAT’s a hater (in my usage)

    Now that we have cleared up my post 🙂 Is there anything in what you wrote about “thinking they are better than everyone” you want to clear up?? 🙂

  306. Just interested says:

    Damian Kyle passed on a while back. FYI

  307. Michael says:

    Just Interested,

    You need to tell Kyle that he’s dead… as of yesterday he wasn’t aware of that and it should be of interest to him.

  308. erunner says:

    A number of years ago as CC was the focal point of conversation here I posted that I thought and hoped that whatever changes were necessary would take place one pastor at a time and one church at a time.

    By stating ‘one pastor’ I was not inferring any kind of spotlight being placed on the senior pastor. I just figured for change to take place the pastor would need to be a central part of that.

    I don’t care what denomination or type of government a church has in place there is going to be men in positions of authority who will desire the praises of men more than pleasing God. But you know this already.

    Pastors are going to mess up. They’re going to say the wrong thing. They’re going to be misunderstood. They’re going to lose their temper. They’re going to offend people. They’re human.

    I always think about David and how he is described as a man after God’s heart. It confused me as God’s men were supposed to be perfect. They are those equipping us so we grow into disciples and be about our Father’s business. I thought they were above reproach and that mindset hurt me a lot.

    I don’t look for the perfect leader any more. I look for that man who is humble enough to know it’s not his show. A man that will be teachable and able to confess his errors when they occur. A man who esteems others better than himself. A man who let’s those in his care know how thrilled he is when one of those people goes and visits a shut in or takes a meal to someone who is without means. A person who is fighting to keep their child out of the clutches of the evil one.

    As these people are validated and accepted for who they are and where they are they will make a difference whether we see it or not.

    I’m sorry there are so many who do not represent God as they should and whose failings are explained away. It hurts so many.

    Yet I know there are so many others in all sorts of settings doing it right. I want to know God better and to love Him more and to please Him with my life. The best shot I have for that is in the company of other believers. I desire good things for CC. I desire good things for all of us. I want to have a heart after God. God bless you guys.

  309. the guy in the corner says:

    My pastors are like you describe- humble, serving God by serving others. Godly men. I really love and appreciate them.

  310. erunner says:

    the guy…. I’m happy for you and I hope you flourish. It’s so good to read what you shared. Thank you.

  311. brian says:

    Pastor Steve or anyone I think one of the hardest things I had/have to deal with when I was in the Evangelical “american” (no offense) stream of dispensationalism first in the brethren movement into more non denom / one x calvary church. Dispensationalism / pre trip rapture / left behind view of reality has caused me great frustration. No one will ever convince me that back in the early 80’s when I first “accepted Christ” ™ was poured into my brain. Some would come out and say that some of the non dispensational folks are weak, compromising “christians” to they are not “saved” and will become part of “one world” religion and serve the anti Christ, Of course, on its face, that is utterly ridiculous and complete nonsense. But I first believed this right down to my very soul, I was stupid, still am, so I blame me for that. Since I have taken a buyer beware approach to the Christian faith it has been better.

    But Pastor Smith did predict the end of the world, the return of Jesus a few times, if not an exact date like Mr. Camping (I was sorry for his loss and truly feel for him even though I hated what he said and did it is sad to see one go through what he did). I mean so many ministries made bank on end time hype. I find it manipulative and dangerous, besides some of these end time movies out of the late 70’s and early 80’s produced some of the funniest youtube clip scenes that rival MST3K and Atomic Cafe and that is very hard to do. I will admit to one thing, and it is a personal weakness and moral failing on my part, and I mean that. It killed a part of me when they did not come true, and after the dozen or so Jesus will return marketing campaigns, I just grew bitter and jaded. As these leaders grow older and they come to realize that Jesus is not on their timetable I think people get disillusioned.

    Offered to help give some perspective to why I am as nutty as I am. I do think it was my responsibility as an Adult to have done more study before I jumped into the dispensational pool. But, as a Christian, it just got so tiring being in a constant crisis mode.

  312. Anne says:

    brian – I try to blame my gullibility on the naivete of youth, back in those days. If you think it was laid on thick in the late 70’s/early 80’s, you’d be flabbergasted by the schtick in the late 60’s/early 70’s! May you grow more each day in being as gentle with yourself as you are with others.

  313. brian says:

    Actually Anne my brother was involved in it to some degree in the late 60’s/early 70’s, He did not make it out of the early 70’s neither did many of his friends. I was young but I do remember some of it, I started getting involved in the early 1970’s, but I remember watching some of the late night tv ministries as young as when I was 8, with agreement from my mom and dad later on about how I was as a kid. I spent alot of time piecing back together. When I became a “Christian” one of my major issues is I struggled with my brother and most of his friends that had died, some rather horrid deaths going to hell. I would get up late / early as a kid and watch Garner Ted Armstrong and literally get the hell scared into me. It was one of the reasons I did not want to go to confession in my Catholic Catechism Class. When it came time for my first communion. I refused to go to confession I left my first communion. I dont know if I was chased, that is what my mom said, but I cant remember it that clearly.

    It did have a profound impact on me, it should not have but it did. My brothers told me to just make stuff up in confession but I did not have that spiritual maturity. You ask me not to be hard on myself, I am, always, as it keeps me in check. I have a martyr complex so I need to be. The doctor that did my skin graff told my mom that was a possibility. My not sleeping stems from nightmares from so many years ago when I was burned. I did milk it for sympathy in some instances but it was when I cried out to God in that burn ward I had hell dreams time after time after time after time after time ……. after time. Not to long later I lost some kids in my class that were killed in a tragic accident, while still in elementary school, the other kids on the burn unit I was on did not survive, my brother died, while I was walking back from school I saw an ambulance outside the house when one of my brother’s friends committed suicide. As a teen anger having witnessed another attempted suicide actually seeing it, then all the drug related deaths of other friends of my siblings it really put the kibosh on me. It should not have, I get that. But it defined me as a person and I have been trying to unload all this and so much more for so many years.

    You know from day one I loved Jesus, always, He was it for me, even back in the days I was hiding in the closet as a kid thinking he was coming back and I was not ready. It was because He seemed so powerful and loving. I never got the doctrinal stuff to much because much of it seems like, well utter nonsense, but I love/loved Him. Just a thought after my mom put me out by diving on me I was put in a bathtub and my eldest brother, who did pass not to long after, was telling me the story of the three bears as I sat in the bathtub watching my burned skin float to the top of the bathtub. I will never forget that, it is seared into my soul. Not the oh poor me but the love my brother showed me, the love my mother showed me, the doctors the nurses etc. I know this type of tripe can make a person gag, but this is as honest as I can be. I think this, next to my working with people with disabilities has defined me, my theology and my screwed up world view. Please I dont want pity it makes me sick, but after so many years of my ranting I figured I owed you folks some type of explanation as to why I am such a nutcase. this is a bit of the tip of the iceberg we all have them as I know many of you have suffered much more and have handled it much better.

  314. Apologia77 says:

    The importance of this development is not in which camps have formed and how big they are. It is that the camps have formed at all, when quite clearly a massive amount of deception and subterfuge is at the root of all of it. Weather George Bryson is a big and influential name, weather he will have followers or not is absolutely beside the point. It isn’t WHO he is but WHAT he represents. And this issue defines watersheds that are leaving an awful lot of Calvary guys exceedingly unhappy.

    Hopefully Michael can back some of this up. It is a FACT that Chuck Smith gave the appearance of public endorsement of the CCA. It is also a FACT that Chuck Smith – not secretly – made direct statements in writing, verbally, and in conversation, in which he opposed everything that the CCA has come to represent. It is a FACT that Chuck Smith opposed the drift toward Calvinism and Ecumenism that George spoke out against. It is also a FACT that Chuck Smith refused to denounce or distance himself from those Pastors and leaders in CC – Brodersen included – who were busy endorsing, promoting or passively tolerating what Chuck was known, for decades, to consistently oppose. The examples are numerous, and the most important question is why and how Chuck got forced into a position where so much impetus existed for him to no longer act and speak on his own principles and values, and why another agenda with significant political power attached seemed to be inevitably rising and be irrepressible and unstoppable.

    It doesn’t matter what doctrinal position you take, procalvin or anticalvin, proecumenism or antiecumenism. What matters is this. We all recongnise and respect that humans, Christian or otherwise, form tribes naturally based on the safety of being in agreement on certain principles that make us tick. This is called ‘acting on conscience.’ Affiliation to CC was based, historically, on that principle. Pastors found safety in Chuck’s common position with them, and as Chuck latterly acknowledged in letters to George Bryson, the affiliation, the fellowship, was based on Pastors being ‘friends’ based on those common principles. Whether anyone thinks them to be unnecessarily picky, error-riddled, or pointless is irelevent. They existed and frankly every single one of those pastors has the right to exist in that tribe, just as this CCA letter invites them to do. The problem is this… The CCA letter is not inviting those who want to CHANGE what CC has been historically into some new direction to leave, as was the case with Vineyard. The importance in all of this is that CC Pastors are being invited to leave CC BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED WHAT CHUCK BELIEVED. That’s a watershed moment. And whether all CC pastors agree with George, or even like George is beside the point. Human beings of all persuasions are inclined toward sympathy for those who take the same intellectual stand as you do.

    When someone, or some group comes along and changed – without a vote, without democracy – the constitution of an accepted historical association built on people and their intellectual and philosophical associations and agreements, that in itself is evidence of nothing less than a conspiracy against the group as a whole. It is the hallmark of agenda. The fact that Chuck Smith stated in writing as FACT that no CC pastor should have authority over any other church than his own, that his understanding of the affiliation was that Pastors who agreed with him and wanted to be in fellowship on that common ground could happily do so and those who disagreed with him and wanted fellowship based on another set of principles should ‘not go away mad, just go away’, the fact that it is clear that Chuck’s blessing of the CCA was one in which he presumed they were all on the same historical and philosophical page as him, and in turn he stated publicly that he was 100% agreed with George Bryson, suggesting that he presumed that his CCA members were also 100% agreed and suggesting that he thought that if they were NOT 100% agreed they should go and do their own thing for the sake of their own philosophical honesty… This is s very important day indeed.

    Who has changed it? Why have they changed it? When did they consult their fellow pastors on whether it should be changed? Why does this behaviour insinuate that Chuck’s values and ideas are as unwelcome as George Brysons?

    Are CC pastors happy having that kind of change take their camp by force, agitated by a few men who have spent years flirting with a controversial ‘regional authority’ model that Chuck was uneasy about. Are they happy having their church name which predates patents and copyrights dictated by those who are looking to make business out of it?

  315. the guy in the corner says:

    This is more than you’ve opened up before. I don’t think anyone could suffer more than a burned person. I’ve been told that for someone to be saved they have to be prayed for. I never knew anyone who prayed for me but I remember how I used to get sick and in my pain I would cry out to God to help me. I would tell him I’m sorry for anything bad did to make me sick. That’s the one prayer God always answers. Maybe that’s what happened to you. All the times you cried out to God he heard you. By the way, I used to make thing up too when I went to confession.

  316. Steve Wright says:

    everything that the CCA has come to represent.
    What is that. Specifically? It is a legitimate question because, I have not the slightest indication of anything they personally have done to our church or the churches in our area. If you know something, please share. I read everyone of George’s emails and his concerns were not rooted in actual actions yet, but in concern for a hypothetical future that may or may not come to pass. Meanwhile, an affiliation process must continue and the idea is that this simplifies the process and goes back to making it one built on relationships and like-minded fellowship.

    Under the old CCOF, when I replaced the former pastor in 2008 I had to go through all the CCOF hoops as if I was a total stranger.

    1) Despite (at that time) 15 years in CC, 8 at Costa Mesa
    2) Graduating from Costa Mesa School of Ministry over a decade prior
    3) Being legally ordained as a pastor by the Costa Mesa Board NINE years earlier.
    4) Securing an MDiv from a well-known dispensational seminary
    and most importantly
    5) The unified agreement at the time of the church, its leadership, and the former pastor that I should be the next Senior Pastor

    So, while pastoring fulltime, working fulltime as well since I took no salary at the start, I also had to read numerous books, write papers on basic issues like The Trinity and the Premill position and spend hours and hours to prove my merit to CCOF (even as I knew two of the leaders there personally) I would have had to listen to every Chuck tape from Gen-Rev if I had not already done so through School of Ministry. As it was I still had to write book reports on several books I had already read, and some I was forced to read.

    Under the new CCA, our church would be able to choose its successor, sign off on the recommendation and take it to the local regional pastors with whom we have relationship and they would likewise.signoff.

    Now, I guess theoretically they could say ‘no’ and thereby be exercising ‘control’ over our church – but so could CCOF have done too. You tell me which one sounds better and which one gives more autonomy to the local church versus having an ecclesiastical power-granting center.

  317. guy in the corner says:

    Do you think these types of conversations occured after John Wesley died?

  318. Apologia77’s comment is quite common amongst those who do not know what they are talking about. What you see playing out between Bryson and CCA is something you see played out in the business and sports world all the time.

    New ownership / management comes in and a determination is made that certain parties either cannot work together or have separate goals. Why would this be any different?

    The parting of the ways can be initiated from either side – “we can’t work together.”

    So again, tell me why this is an issue?

  319. guy in the corner says:

    It looks like you had a good education. How does your education compare to the average CC pastor? I mean, is you amount of education the same as most CC pastors? How many years of study/college does is a CC pastor required to do before pastoring?

  320. Apologia77 says:

    Steve Wright…

    What you’re describing is the mechanics. It’s the ‘how’ you join and how the mechanics affect you.

    I think the issue being discussed here is the ‘what’ you are joining and the ‘why.’ the ‘how’ can apply to any belief or philosophy. It could continue to apply to CC even if CC became a buddhist movement by covert authoritarian manipulation.

    When 21 names sign off on changing the nature and character of a nearly 2000 strong body of leaders in a tribal association away from history and commonly accepted understanding without taking a single vote, and that ‘councils’ proclaimed authority in going so is its own authority and vwhatever copyright or patent it has been able to belatedly secure and litigate for, that’s not a issue f administrative mechanism, its a watershed of climate change proportion.

    The fact that it doesn’t affect you now, or that you agree with it, or benefit from it, doesn’t change the fact that it monumentally affects anyone who falls foul of it or feels strongly about it and it sets precedents which raise serious question about the ethics of forcing change by authoritarian means arising from the private agenda of a non-transptarent interest group upon a democratic association. Peoplbe treated that way tend to feel aggrieved. Neither naivety or idealism will get you closer to understanding why, or recognising the dangers of setting precedents for setting precedents in that way.

  321. Guy in the corner,
    What type of church do you go to and what is their educational requirements before they can become a pastor?

    Mine requires 4 yrs post graduate work at a seminary before you can be a pastor of any kind – assistant, associate or senior.

  322. guy in the corner says:

    It’s as independent non-denom church. One of my pastors graduated from Wheaton, one from Moody, one from Liberty, and one from Dallas. Maybe some others.

  323. Apologia77 says:

    MLD, no need to be rude. I know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m choosing to view the issue from an ecclesiasticalperspective. I don’t choose to view church as a corporation and thereby dismiss the politics as predictable machinations. 99% of cc pastors do not view themselves as area managers of an authoritarian corporation. Most are attempting to act out some philosophical, moral and ethical higher principle. Cynically, you’re right at the most objective level. So then some of those pastors are now reeling from finding out that the constitution on which they associated has been changed by people they didn’t vote for, who they always thought they could trust to think and act the same way, because the agreement which formed the basis for association was presumed to be an unchangeable foundation which was defining. Most humans are accustomed to the principle in an organising group that those who want newness and change leave and start something new, rather than iintellectually and politically evicting the faithful. That’s why this is going to be more than just the ripples of a pebble in a lake.

  324. guy…
    The question is, if they wanted to, could a person pastor in your church without the formal training?

  325. guy in the corner says:

    No, they couldn’t.

  326. guy – very good, that’s the way it should be.

  327. guy in the corner says:

    There’s a more important test. What is their fruit? As important as doctrine. Our current senior pastor has been with us for 6 or 7 years. The first thing he did from the pulpit was to get on his knees and formally apologize to the church for the sin(s) of some former leaders. And their sin(s) were nothing compared to what I hear about CC.

  328. Apologia77.
    “Most humans are accustomed to the principle in an organising group that those who want newness and change leave and start something new, rather than iintellectually and politically evicting the faithful.”

    I think this is where you and Michael have mis read the situation. 90% of CCs changed many years ago – some of the old dinosaurs failed to recognize the change or refuse to change with the program.

    So now with Chuck gone, the leadership is formally recognizing the change that has been occurring over the past 20 yrs. and are currently imbedded in the system.

    Very few CC pastors have held Bryson’s views over the past 10 yrs … only the more vocal.

  329. tbro says:

    Apo…77 @ 323 you write: So then some of those pastors are now reeling from finding out that the constitution on which they associated has been changed …

    What, specifically, has been changed in the Calvary ‘constitution’?

    Blessings –
    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  330. guy in the corner says:

    I wonder what Brigham Young said when Joseph Smith was shot and killed.

  331. guy in the corner says:

    “Time to reorganize.” see ya later

  332. I don’t think he was there so I doubt he said anything at the time.

  333. Michael says:

    Apologia 77,

    Based on my information, I can affirm some things you said.
    First, let me deal with how Bryson’s removal is being framed.
    They quietly tried to boot him earlier without any reference to him wanting to start a new movement.
    I have seen NO evidence personally that he intended to do so.
    So, in my opinion at this writing, the reason given for the split is false and this was simply a public execution of a political opponent.
    I am neither a friend of, nor a fan of, Bryson, but truth is truth.

    “It is a FACT that Chuck Smith gave the appearance of public endorsement of the CCA. It is also a FACT that Chuck Smith – not secretly – made direct statements in writing, verbally, and in conversation, in which he opposed everything that the CCA has come to represent. It is a FACT that Chuck Smith opposed the drift toward Calvinism and Ecumenism that George spoke out against. It is also a FACT that Chuck Smith refused to denounce or distance himself from those Pastors and leaders in CC – Brodersen included – who were busy endorsing, promoting or passively tolerating what Chuck was known, for decades, to consistently oppose.”

    Those are indeed, facts.
    The other fact that no one wants to acknowledge is that Chuck Smith was legendary for talking out of both sides of his mouth, depending on who was in front of him.

    “The importance in all of this is that CC Pastors are being invited to leave CC BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED WHAT CHUCK BELIEVED.”

    Not necessarily.
    I think George was booted for being a vocal pain in the ass.
    I don’t see this as a rejection of traditional CC doctrines, but as a broadening of what doctrines are acceptable and opening the tent to fellowship with others outside the traditions.
    It is ecumenical and I see that as a very positive thing.
    Your mileage may vary.

    MLD said,

    “Very few CC pastors have held Bryson’s views over the past 10 yrs … only the more vocal”
    I don’t believe that…I think the majority are still traditionalists.

    Here’s the reality.
    There was no real succession plan from the founder and there was a war over all the “assets” almost to the moment of his death.
    Because there is no mechanism for input from the rank and file and congregations, that void was filled by those with name recognition and assumed authority.

    Now, some in that authority structure want to create permanent jobs for themselves.

    At this writing, the pendulum has swung Apologia 77”s way and the traditionalists are biting back.
    We’ll see where that pendulum stops…

  334. Apologia77 says:


    I’ve been around CC for over 35 years. In that time I’ve only ever encountered and been drawn to people who would be generally regarded as compatible with Bryson. Amongst that group those in the movement who were straining to have broader definition were regarded as wanderlusting itchy-footers who would make themselves happier by leaving and make those who weren’t voting for change happier in their absence.

    So now all we’ve established is that for 35 years there has always been two camps. And anyone who knew Chuck knew that he wasn’t one to beg the dissatisfied to stay, and to compromise his stand in order to broaden the scope of the movement. If nothing else he stood on conviction. Chuck, to his death, maintained a simplistic incredulity that anyone who didn’t agree with generally where the ‘founding fathers’ stood in the movement would even want to trade on association with him. He kind of couldn’t believe that godly people would sell out and compromise integrity so easily. He wasn’t cynical enough.

    So there are the two camps. You can talk about not knowing anyone in one of them. I can talk about not really findingone-ness with the other. And all of us could do that subjectively. But without a census neither side, nor the observer, knows how many of each there are. I kid you not, both camps believe sincerely that the nmber of those across the divide is an insignificant minority. Both sides percieved they had strength in numbers, but the numbers were never tested. Instead, controversially, a very different perspective has managed to gain traction in high places and has effectively, perhaps by stealth, pulled a coup. For pastors on both sides this is an unethical turn of events and a very cynical declaration of Chuck’s death. Almost Shakespearean.

    But the numbers in the camps don’t matter much either, because CC did not start out so vaguely and ambiguously as a divided tribe. Love or loathe it, Chuck defined CC. And foundationally the understanding of CC was that those definitions, laid in Chuck’s ministry, were the basis for associating. What idiot would seek association with an undefined group? Or overlook the distinctives of a group known widely for what they were not, as much as what they were? Chuck gave the highest endorsement, right or wrong, of Bryson and Hunt’s treatise on Calvinism. Foundationally so. Fundamentally so. Accepted and widely known. I cringe at the hypocrisy involved in holding the opposite view, pretending to be an integrated member of the affiliation. To hang Bryson for being faithful to Chuck’s position is to hang Chuck. Its to say ‘all of you guys have been wrong, and you’ ve been living in a lie, within a charade, behind a facade for years, of our making’. The sincerity of the faithful has been betrayed by the insincerity of the unfaithful. That will always guarantee controversy.

  335. I think you may be confusing terms – traditionalists vs hardliners
    I think Greg Laurie is a traditionalist – you will not confuse his church for anything else but a CC – but he has been open to and allowed for change. Bryson and his ilk are hardliners who want nothing changed.

    But even the hardliners are not honest about change. Rare is the CC that still holds After Glows every Sunday night (heck, you rarely see the CC Sunday night service any longer) – nor do you see the altar call at every service as was the case in the 70s and 80s.

    I actually see this as a battle between the traditionalists and the hardliners.

  336. And we must remember the Calvinism debate used to be a neutral position – remember they coined the phrase that they were Calminians.

    So, which side holds to that old “traditional” position? Is that a Bryson position – because Chuck wrote the book.

  337. Michael says:


    You have a point to a degree.
    As I see it there are three basic camps.
    The hardliners like Bryson.
    The traditionalists like Greg who as you say, are very open to new ways of doing things while holding the same “distinctives”
    The larger group who don’t completely fit in either of the other two.

  338. Michael says:


    I don’t think Bryson was booted for representing Chuck’s doctrines.
    He was booted for being a hell raiser and threatening the power structure that provides certain people with an income.
    Unfortunately, after years of sound and fury, Bryson is now retreating instead of speaking clearly to what has transpired.
    So…it’s on him now.

  339. Michael,
    That is my point – this is between traditionalist and hardliners. Your “larger group” I don’t think is even involved and are oblivious to the Bryson move … as it does not affect them at all … they are the group (the larger group) that i spoke of earlier who stopped listening to Bryson years ago.

    If they (the larger group) still listen to Bryson they wouldn’t be in a “none of the above” grouping. These are the old farts fighting amongst themselves.

  340. Michael says:

    By the way…in the interests of fairness, I emailed George and offered him a platform to respond.
    He has yet to answer back.

  341. Michael says:


    I don’t think any of these groups lack numbers.
    When this last email came out saying that the CCA was going to speak to new “core values” a lot of guys woke up….because they believed those things have been defined for forty years.

  342. Anne says:

    Michael @ 337. Indeed.

  343. Babylon's Dread says:

    Isn’t it fascinating that church organizations now split over “core values” as opposed to doctrine. When Vineyard USA disfellowshipped TACV they did so saying merely that what was happening in Toronto was “not Vineyard.” Form and style become as important as essence. Marketing packaging becomes as substantial as truth. We break fellowship over tone. I thank God the church no longer has the power of the sword for conformity.

  344. Michael says:


    This is fascinating on many levels historically…I don’t think we’re anywhere near seeing the final product.

  345. Apologia77 says:


    Can I add…

    I don’t agree that the ‘dinosaurs’…

    I’ll pause there. I don’t like that term. It’s disrespectful. Newer and more modern doesn’t mean improved or superior. It just feeds the myth that modernism inevitably brings improvement. And it is unbiblical.

    Using pejoritive like that contributes to the problem. It implies that the church needs to – and must – inevitably update and modernise and follow whatever drift the prevailing leaders settle upon… I don’t agree that it MUST. I agree that it probably will. And I believe that the defining line between the two is a matter of conscience and integrity, and a dose of bravery too, which I admire. After all, ours is a faith in which God, and the Word of God, is timeless and unaffected by culture or the zeitgeist.

    Did the ‘dinosaurs’ miss the winds of change? Or did they resist them? It doesn’t seem to me that democracy is ruling this week, nor is Biblical wisdom, common sense or an ethical approach to Christian life. The rules have been changed. The game has been changed mid-play. If this was democracy, we’d take a vote. We haven’t seen a vote. All we’ve seen is a whole lot of generalising on each side, and then a shameless expression of authoritarianism which attempts to overwrite tradition and history with a penstroke. To say that something came before, and that the something is now overthrown and overruled and has been inverted is to say that what came before was wrong, and what comes now is a correction. That’s revisionism.

    “years ago” they refused to change with the program? Sorry, but the program, love it or loathe it, was Chuck. He set the program. He was setting the program until he died. He didn’t change the program. People who Calvary Chapel Movement as a whole DID NOT give authority to, DID NOT check credential on, and DO NOT have any influence over changed the program. The controversy now is over whether it was right for them to do so, in the way that they did it, and where it all goes from there. The ‘program’ couldn’t go ahead while Chuck was alive. It hit a brick wall. That’s telling about the nature of the program. Very telling. Almost Shakespearean. The speed with which lines in the sand have been drawn against people who were the most like Chuck in their faithfulness to ‘distinctives.’ You should have heard the lies that went round about Roger Oakland and Paul Smith to explain how their expunging from the new order was a coup de grace… You might not like Roger OR Paul any more than you like Bryson… but there’s only one reason why a ruling system would need to lie, character assassinate, hatchet-job, or conspire against a stalwart of an old guard… Regime change which could or would be opposed, and which might not be deemed as being ‘for the better.’ If you have no fear, you have nothing to hide. If you have the consensus, you don’t need the night of the long knives.

    90% of CC’s have changed in the last…? Have they? Really? You can quantify that? Because none of the CC’s I’ve known in all that time have changed significantly at all. In fact, one of the hallmarks of the passivity with which the majority of CC pastors receive news like this, and word of the political machinations, is that they all perceive that nothing has changed… FOR THEM. They’re doing what they do, in the way that they do it, no one can make them do any different, and they’ll minister till they drop.

    You can make statistics out of all kinds of things, and imply consensus. Ask CC pastors to vote on finding an issue to divide CC and they’ll vote for peace. But ask them specifically if they’ll sign their names to renouncing all the pillars and distinctives that Chuck stood for which marked the separation between CC and the rest of Christendom, and I’ll bet you might be surprised with the result. I don’t think it will be anything like 90%

  346. Anne says:

    “I thank God the church no longer has the power of the sword for conformity.” I do as well, BD!

  347. Anne says:

    I really appreciate your input here, Apologia77. Thank you.

  348. Apologia77 says:


    Re 338.

    Believe me, I know.

    I know what its ‘really’ about.

    What I’m interested in is whether the rest of the CC tribe will take exception – as they should – to what the ruling powers SAY that its about, when quite clearly what they SAY is fundamentally at odds with not only the CC that the majority have known for 40 years or more, and when even the purported new ‘all embracing, all tolerant’ CC which stops at nothing to promote unity across the aisles is also not in evidence…

  349. Michael says:


    So much here…some of it not accurate.

    “You should have heard the lies that went round about Roger Oakland and Paul Smith to explain how their expunging from the new order was a coup de grace…”

    The only ones I heard lying about this were Paul and Roger.
    Roger got his panties in a wad over a misunderstanding over office space, blasted Chuck and then wondered why he was persona non grata.
    Paul Smith got booted the first time around for refusing to comply with the legal direction that CCCM wanted to go to remove liability for what happened in other churches.
    The myth that they were expunged for standing up for traditional doctrine is a crock.

  350. Michael says:

    “What I’m interested in is whether the rest of the CC tribe will take exception – as they should – to what the ruling powers SAY that its about, when quite clearly what they SAY is fundamentally at odds with not only the CC that the majority have known for 40 years or more, and when even the purported new ‘all embracing, all tolerant’ CC which stops at nothing to promote unity across the aisles is also not in evidence…”

    Doubtful…the no talk rule and the giving up of authority to one or a few is too engrained in this culture.
    More doubtful now that someone got ran out on a rail for questioning…

  351. Anne says:

    “The myth that they were expunged for standing up for traditional doctrine is a crock.”
    I suspect that doctrinally purity is much less a motivating factor in many of the schisms throughout history. Just a convenient, one size fits all label to justify, to conceal, to maintain the cohesiveness of the flock/movement/nation etc.

  352. Steve Wright says:

    Both Tim Brown and I have asked Apologia77 for specific examples of changes that have already taken place. I have yet to read an answer to that. It is a sincere question. Hey, maybe I am in the dark and the stage has been set for some massive coup of the movement in some non-Calvary direction that the vast majority of Calvary guys like me would find reprehensible.

    But I have not SEEN any evidence to that. I read all of George’s emails – his concerns included such things as CC bookstores having reformed authors. He wrote that repeatedly. (My Hodge commentary on Romans by the way was bought in the Costa Mesa bookstore when I was a young believer in the early 90s).

    The other concerns were hypothetical “what if” scenarios.

    I would simply add that it would be far healthier and of great benefit if those with “35 years in Calvary Chapel” would put their name to this discussion….and not in a private email but here..on the board…in the thread. Frankly, I can’t fathom the need for anonymity in a discussion concerning our shared and beloved CC movement.

    To that end, Michael, I hope George will share here too, taking you up on your offer.

  353. tbro says:

    Apo…77 You wrote: controversially, a very different perspective has managed to gain traction in high places and has effectively, perhaps by stealth, pulled a coup. For pastors on both sides this is an unethical turn of events and a very cynical declaration of Chuck’s death. Almost Shakespearean.

    I’ve been around CC for 29 years as a pastor – I have no idea what you’re talking about here. Can you flesh this out for me? What perspective has managed to gain traction in high places which serves as an unethical turn of events? Also, you have yet to respond to my earlier question about what, specifically, has changed in the Calvary ‘constitution.’

    Blessings –
    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  354. Michael says:

    I hope Apologia77 speaks for himself, but I’ll throw something out here.
    What the ‘hardliners” are opposed to is an attitude, rather than something that has been codified.
    This group is very opposed to ecumenicism and seeing Rick Warren involved in any way with the movement is an offense.
    Same with Mark Driscoll or other Calvinistic type leaders.
    They see a devaluation of the pretrib rapture doctrine and object to that as well.
    Any interference with a church on the local level is an abomination to them.
    They see a change of attitude more than a codified set of new doctrines.

  355. Apologia77,
    They are dinosaurs – as am I in my industry. But these are inconsistent dinosaurs.

    I asked earlier – are they standing up for the 40 yr old Afterglows? – are they standing up for the mandatory altar call at every service? Are the supporting the old “we are Calminians”

    Just what are they standing up for? The are dinosaurs who don’t know where their next meal will come from and they know they will be extinct shortly.

    Sitting with Rick Warren does not lessen one’s doctrines or resolve. Rick Warren’s grandkids go to our Lutheran pre school – he comes on our campus – neither side has been infected. We are not less LUtheran and he is not less Baptist.

  356. Michael says:


    You miss the importance of eschatology here.
    My guess, (and I’m willing to be corrected) is that Apo77 believes that Warren is an apostate and forerunner of Anti-Christ.

  357. Steve Wright says:

    They see a devaluation of the pretrib rapture doctrine and object to that as well.
    Look…getting away from Rapturitis is very healthy. Read Anne and Brian’s posts above.

    As a pastor I want to also prepare people that America is likely to go through some devastating times…you know…like most of the Body of Christ throughout most of the world throughout most of 2000 years of Church History – including our present world and day.

    Now…on the other hand, if there ever came a day where CC abandons our eschatological position, then yeah, I’m the first out the door too – along with likely the majority of the movement. If anyone wants to talk about our DNA, our eschatology is a big part of that.

    But is that really a concern or a focus on CCA? Allowing amills into the movement?

    So depending on how one defines “devaluation” – it is either good or bad.

  358. Michael says:


    I don’t think it’s going to be a question of abandonment, but of inclusion…that other eschatological positions will be accepted.
    Chucks biggest fear was that the movement wouldn’t focus on the Rapture after his death…and I think thats already happening and it’s for the better.

  359. tbro says:

    @354 Thanks for the clarity, Michael –

    If the ‘hardliners’ are criticizing the current l’ship of CC of a change of ‘attitude’ there would be the need to establish that the ‘hardline’ was the attitude of CC as a movement and that this ‘hardline’ has been moved away from. A few thoughts along this line –

    It was never codified that CC will not associate w Calvinists, Seekers, PoMos, charismaniacs, etc. A hard doctrinal line was/is in place, but a doctrinal line doesn’t always translate into a hard attitudinal line nor a hard associational line. Many CCs have participated in Graham Crusades and city-wide evangelical outreaches, etc.

    A second line of thought is purely anecdotal – and these have to be counted, not weighed. All the guys I know share in an evangelical ecumenical attitude in terms of city wide cooperation – whether it be the local NAE, or a looser organization of churches. I was VP and then President of our local NAE some years back and greatly benefited from fellowship w all types. Many of my CC pastor friends are involved w NAE type ministerial associations in their cities and are blessed by brothers not of our ‘tribe’.

    I think there was (and I no longer discern it among the CC pastors I associate with) an elitist attitude – but this doesn’t necessarily translate into an insular orbit. If it is the elitist attitude that has been shed and this has allowed a greater association w the larger body of Christ without erasing our doctrinal lines, I can only welcome this.

    Some would argue that greater association w the larger body of Christ, appreciation for their resources, and participation in their ministries will only lead to a dilution of CC distinctives. This hasn’t proven true for hundreds of pastors over the course of a few decades. And if their doctrinal lines are redrawn and they understand Scripture and ministry differently now, they can always join the tribe they are attracted to even as we have men making application to CC to join our tribe as their journey has led them to adjust doctrine and ministry philosophy.

  360. Michael says:


    Depends on where you are…Jon Courson has always refused to join with any local ministerial association or project.
    CC has been very insular in some places.

  361. Steve Wright says:

    If it is the elitist attitude that has been shed and this has allowed a greater association w the larger body of Christ without erasing our doctrinal lines, I can only welcome this.
    Amen brother Tim.

  362. tbro says:

    @360 Fair enough – and I’ll take your word on that.

    Yet please note that this is not a codified CC position. Nor is Jon’s position the position of all CC. Again, mine was argumentation from testimony – anecdotal – to be counted, not weighed. Your post only highlights that it CC is not a monolith – what is true here is not true there and what is said of this fellowship can’t w intellectual integrity be said of that fellowship. Since CC isd not monolithic, broad brushing is not very helpful – to be honest, not just here but elsewhere, too, some have thrown away their paint brush and color the movement w rollers. Some have even dispensed w rollers and have pulled out the sprayer.

  363. Steve Wright says:

    Next to our church is a small park where the homeless gather. Some folks from our church has a presence there bringing food and the word to those there. Other churches in the area come on other days of the week and do the same. Our church could not have the presence there that multiple churches are able to have. There is coordination and cooperation in not stepping on each other’s toes and arranging the days of the week for us all….but there is no coordination or steering committee to direct what messages are preached etc.

    It’s the local church(es) at the grassroots level meeting the needs of the local community.

    I would love to see the CC pastor, by name, object to this sort of thing as too ecumenical or syncretistic.

    And my entire CC life I have watched multiple Calvarys work closely with The Jesus film which is part of Campus Crusade.

  364. Michael says:

    You guys are missing the ecumenical point.
    Go back and watch the Prasch video.
    He is speaking loud and clear for this group.

  365. Steve Wright says:

    Go back and watch the Prasch video.
    No. And you can’t make me! 🙂

    Once was enough….

  366. covered says:

    There has been much dialogue on this thread that I hope folks see as helpful. For what it’s worth, a fairly well known pastor in the mid west called me yesterday and shared that, “CC is experiencing it’s first split since Chuck died”. I believe that this is how the letter is being viewed by many. If this isn’t the first sign of a split, then I hope that the 21 signers help clarify what it really is. For me, I think that MLD and Michael have a better understanding of this situation and have provided more accurate information than those who received the letter.

  367. covered says:

    That’s funny Steve. I think that Prasch would make a great spokesperson for all things CC 🙂

  368. Michael says:


    There has been a ton of misinformation on both sides.
    My problem, (as I don’t have a dog in this hunt) is that no ecclesiastical organization should be ran this way.
    The lack of transparency and the political machinations are an affront to the faith.
    Unfortunately, this isn’t unique to CC either…

  369. Nonnie says:

    Michael’s 364….Yes!! Exactly. Prasch may not be officially associated with CC or Bryson, but he sure did make a point of telling them how wrong he believes the new direction CC may be taking is.

  370. Michael says:

    I might as well throw this out too.
    I know a bunch of CC guys, most of which nobody has ever heard of.
    I could put those guys in a room and come out two hours later with mandatory child protection, real accountability by laws, a template for affiliation and church planting, a doctrinal statement, and all the while keeping the autonomy of the local church.
    The problem is…that no one on the top of the food chain will listen…and thus, you end up with all this strife.

  371. “I know a bunch of CC guys, most of which nobody has ever heard of.
    I could put those guys in a room and come out two hours later with mandatory child protection, real accountability by laws, a template for affiliation and church planting, a doctrinal statement, and all the while keeping the autonomy of the local church”

    …and the reason they don’t is because without the official recognition and “association” with the Calvary Chapel brand, the dove logo and the CCA men who are signatories and on the current website there is the distinct possibility that each of those pastors will lose their livelihood, which also shows that all the theoretical mumbo jumbo is worthless without each church simply putting them in place.

    Whatever happened to relying SOLELY on Jesus?

    What did Jesus’ little brother, James like to say, “Show me your faith BY your works”?

  372. Michael says:


    The guys I know already have all of the above…I was speaking to a template for the whole group.

  373. If any of those men who no one has heard of would man up, and tell their people what they propose, why they want to do it and listen to the people’s feedback they would have a vital 21st century church which is progressive in the right ways, regardless of the verse by verse commentary that each pastor delivers.

    We need to pray for a holy boldness that these “no body” men will find welling up from the Holy Spirit inspiring them to risk all to do the right thing. I’m sure there could be a few hundred verses from both old & new testament which could be applied as a framework for each church’s constitution and it would be a glorious declaration of what and why it must be done to safeguard those in each of those churches

  374. well, then bravo for those bold men who have been obedient to the Holy Spirit and their own consciences!

    The change comes one person at a time and if those who hold power within the Calvary Chapel movement are found to be perpetuating the abuses then there will be a season of pruning from Jesus Himself.

    May they who hold power realize that they are not flipping off “the world” but rather Jesus Himself, and may they come to their senses.

    …and may you continue speaking out boldly, Michael.

  375. Michael,
    Perhaps you could email each, get permission to recognize them publicly, and do a simple sidebar called “The Honor Roll” listing

    Calvary Chapel of City1
    Calvary Chapel of City2
    Calvary Chapel of City3

    I, for one, would be honored to point anyone who visits here, especially newcomers, to those churches as positive examples.

  376. Michael says:


    You have FB mail…I need a software suggestion.

  377. Public recognition of those who are honorable is a subtle and powerful pressure on those who resist joining the civilized

  378. Michael says:


    Steve and Shaun both are in that group…

  379. Check your mail.

  380. Charter members of “The Honor Roll”

    Way to go Steve Wright & Shaun Sells!

  381. Andrew says:

    I actually see this as a battle between the traditionalists and the hardliners.

    Actually, This is politics and at most posturing as an ideological battle. Politicians switch sides when its adventageous to their own survival. I have seen it numberous times when a politican will switch from a ruplican to a demoncrat or vice versa if it helps them get re-elected. Even some of the most hardliner conservative fundamentalist non ecumenical pastors become extremely progressive liberal ecumenical pastors when thier power is threatened or can be enhanced with strategic associations. Chuck Smith to me was a sales man. Salesmen like politicians speak from both sides of their mouth. There really is no difference between a traditionalist and a hardliner in CC. However there is a super glue that holds all the CC churches together and that is their common legacy (Chuck Smith), their common name (Calvary Chapel) and their common logo (the Dove). This super glue is starting to break with the death of Chuck Smith but the common name and common logo is what is left. Many mistake these with the power of the Holy Spirit because they see the tremendous influence it has. To those elite 20 member pastors in the ruling class of CCA, I just encourage you to just let it all go. Let it all go to pot if you have to. Who cares if the devil takes over the name and symbol? If this is God’s movement, let Him take take care of it. Just get out of the way and dismantle yourselves and dissolve this CCA just like the CCOF was disolved and forget thinking you have any kind of power. Give it away just as Jesus told the rich young ruler to give all his possesions away and come follow Him.

  382. RiBo says:

    Michael said, ” might as well throw this out too.
    I know a bunch of CC guys, most of which nobody has ever heard of.
    I could put those guys in a room and come out two hours later with mandatory child protection, real accountability by laws, a template for affiliation and church planting, a doctrinal statement, and all the while keeping the autonomy of the local church.
    The problem is…that no one on the top of the food chain will listen…and thus, you end up with all this strife.”

    Then they should break off and do their own Calvary Chapel thing if they have character and are principled.

  383. Andrew,
    ” If this is God’s movement, let Him take take care of it.”

    And why do you discount that CCA is not God’s intervention and his best way of conducting CC worship and business affairs?

    What is it about the mind of God that you know that you can say definitely that this is not a God movement.? Why would you suggest they dismantle what God may have built?

  384. RiBo says:

    At some point the guys who stay in, knowing these things should be in place but aren’t and knowing that CC’s are popping up without them, sharing their Brand and Name…it becomes their responsibility in part b/c they endorse the bad practice whether they acknowledge it or not.

    This is what makes me as or more disgusted than the bad guys doing bad…the supposed good guys who support the status quo and claim there’s nothing they can do…when in the next breath the same guys make all sorts of noise about politics, social issues, other issues they have no affiliation/association to.

    It’s partly what has been very educational in learning what is true about religion and the church and as much proves the fallacy of organized religion as any of the abuses.

  385. Michael says:


    Character is shown by installing these changes in the churches they pastor.
    If this thread and this situation has shown anything yet again, it’s that the rank and file have no say in crafting policy group wide.

  386. RiBo says:

    “Character is shown by installing these changes in the churches they pastor.”

    Nope, they endorse the bad brand by providing support to the Brand and Name through their participation even though they know many other CC’s aren’t required to have in place nor do they have in place proper checks and balances.

    They know there are no rules in place to wave the same name and logo, they know other CC’s have bad practices, yet they give their endorsement by participating under the umbrella and in the next breath, “we’re independent and different!”…well, many leave a good CC for a bad one (Stupar’s to Visalia is a good example) and no one knows any better until it’s too late.

    You can recite the mantra over and over that they have no responsibility and aren’t doing anything wrong by supporting the status quo, but it doesn’t make it so.

    They’re out for themselves and they don’t want to do anything that would rock the boat b/c they need the butts and the money. That’s the truth and even Steve has admitted it would hurt his numbers if he split.

  387. RiBo says:

    If I was in a Pawn Shop association that had no rules and I knew the other Pawn Shops of the same name were getting away with all sorts of nonsense and cheating people etc…yet I stayed in the Association and claimed, “well I’m different! I’m not screwing folks like the pawn shop in the next town with my same name”….

    …would it be good character of me to not lobby the Association to tidy things up? Would it be good character of me to stay in the Association after they didn’t fix things? To stay Associated with all the other bad shops that were screwing people?

    Nope, it’d be poor character…especially since the reason the so-called good guys don’t leave is b/c they are afraid of losing people and money (which Steve admitted to).

  388. Michael says:


    I know of many (including Steve) who are working for those changes.
    They are working from inside the group, which is where any real change will come from.
    I would much prefer they stay in and keep trying then to abandon it all to people of lessor character.

  389. RiBo,
    Perhaps this is an opportunity for those who have stepped up with reforms to be shining examples for others who are still “processing”?

    My experience of Starbucks is generally good, oftentimes astoundingly excellent.
    And then, there was the one in Massachusetts which had an employee who insisted that he ::could not:: and ::would not: sell me a chocolate croissant unless I allowed him to heat it. The new marketing of those pastries say, “delicious warm!” but this gent insisted that his management wouldn’t allow one to be sold un-warmed because it would be experienced less than what it was supposed to be… yeah, I actually had this conversation with a Starbucks drive through guy, go figure. I also told him to fuggedabouddit and drove on to the next Starbucks, which is hard to find in the land of Dunkin Donuts, but at least I avoided him possibly spitting into my cuppa.

    Point is, when someone who isn’t doing a brand justice, eventually the brand must innovate or die, regardless of the occasional twits who are blind to process improvement or training.

    Calvary Chapel MUST innovate or die, and those who stepped up and put the safeguards in place are shaming the ones who have not or will not.

  390. Michael,
    You mentioned above that if you had the guys in the room….and several others have called for…

    Why would anyone put mandatory child protections in their By Laws?

    I am in charge of my church’s Constitution and By Laws and we don’t have any of that in there – it doesn’t belong in the By Laws

    We don’t have a “How to fire the pastor” section either.

  391. Michael says:


    The LCMS doesn’t require background checks for ministry and child care workers?

  392. …and then there’s that pesky priest pedophile thing in the RCC.

    …and I’m sure RiBo has some article links from his site which show the problems within Calvary Chapel churches.

    Point is, culturally in 2014, persons who are visiting a church with their minor children want to be sure there isn’t hanky-panky going on and to be able to know the church organization has safeguards or has at least even thought about the issues which are often hushed “in The Name of The Lord”

  393. “The person who supposedly counseled me told me if I reported (another fundamentalist Christian) to the police, I was damaging the cause of Christ, and I would be responsible for the abuser going to hell,”


    Thank you Bob Jones University and the greater unbranded subculture of shame

  394. Apologia77 says:


    Succinctly and objetively portrayed in most cases.

    Regards Paul Smith and Roger Oakland I was not referring to whose hissy fit got reported accurately or not. On both those men I have heard both personally and from reliable first hand source that in ‘safe’ pastoral circles in small regional settings agents within (read as publicly seen as hand in glove, paid and privileged by Costa Mesa as a ‘yes man’) the clique identified with Chuck’ s heir expressly ran both men into the ground publicly as delusional, senile, mentally ill. And that, in my own ears, went round as vile gossip and became a source of ungracious humour particularly among some of the ‘new school’ young bucks.

    Why lie? Why bear false witness? Why not be honest and say ‘we disagree’, explain why, and ask people to judge for themselves.

    There are some things that are open to interpretation, some that are six of one and two threes of another. But to disrespect, personally malign, misrepresent and to do so in the name of being a ‘progressive for god’ is wrong.

    Pastors have it on record (and Paul Smith and Chuck were both made aware) of a conference (two I think) at which members of the CCA and the heir spoke and believing they were in a ‘safe’ crowd, unleashed on Bryson and ranted about their frustration at Chuck’s inertia and desire to ‘modernise’ and put their own stamp on an old church like CCCM and then did not take graciously to being pulled up and corrected for their attitude and slander. The tapes of that session were disappeared. The witnesses were not.

    Whether you agree on the doctrinal or philosophical distinctives or not, or like the people or not, I feel that church leaders engaging in foul politics, deceit or slander are untrustworthy. Agree or not, I have nothing but respect for ‘hardliners’ who can state their position, back it up with a clear and biblically legitimate line of reason, and demonstrate with integrity and sincerity that they are committed to it, especially when the fundamental historical position is on their side. At least Bryson invites a discussion. At least Paul and Roger invited people to read their points. The others, however, thinly spiritualise vagueprinciples laced with insinuations and illusions of spiritual maturity while privately seething, flying into rages and performing hatchet jobs.

    In certain corners – and i’m sure youve heard this before – being CC stopped being about commonality with Chuck and agreement for a kind of doctrinal and stylistic homogenisation across fellow churches and it did so a long time ago. Instead the agreement and the homogeneity became the trick by which to stay in the name club. And in those corners being CC was defined by how much homage was paid to the one who claimed to speak with Chuck’s voice, either directly or through his regional point men. Chuck earned his respect. His heir has demanded it. And as insignificant as it may be, damage has been caused to those who refused to play the game that way.

    Even Kay publicly disagreed with Chuck’s choice of heir, and questioned his reasoning for it.

  395. Michael says:


    Kay hasn’t been able to make those kinds of observations in years.
    She is quite ill.
    I think we need to draw a distinction between leading CCCM and leading the movement as a whole.
    I don’t see Brodersen as trying to lead the movement, and from everything I’ve been told from both sides of the issue, he’s done well at CCCM and Cheryl’s women’s ministry is foundational there.

  396. Michael says:


    Would you have been happier with Heitzig?

  397. “The LCMS doesn’t require background checks for ministry and child care workers?”

    I don’t think there are any day to day rules handed down by the synod.

    But we have discussed before how rules / laws do not prevent crimes.

    If we do background checks it is not because we have it written in our by laws but because we put it in our Employee Handbook.

  398. Apologia77 says:

    Tbro @362.

    I see it this way. Unless you can convince Christendom that nominalism is the only way to have unity, you’re always going to have a problem to solve. At the very least those who believe you can’t separate doctrines out and relegate them to decreased significance will fight to the deathwith those who believe naming the name is the only key issue to secure unity. A house divided cannot stand. Now its a crude analogy, but when I walk into any global franchise I expect uniformity. I know the values consumers seek – consistency, commonality, predictability. I don’t expect to walk into In N’ Out and be told ‘what were you expecting… We don’ t serve meat!’ No sane organisation would present itself as a brand which prides itself on its randomness across its branches.
    You’ ve asked me to clarify my observations based on what’s been ‘codified.’ Indulge me this. Let me tell you about some things that are not codified. My relationship with my family is not codified. Yet based on years of experience I expect it, and find it, consistent and safe and satisfying. My relationship with my wife in turn is only formalised in codification, but my understanding of our commonalities and differences is based on experience and I never find that our relationship is based on having a minimum of commonality which somehow makes up, or fosters tolerance for a wealth of difference. When I share vacation or pastimes with friends it isn’t codified that we can cooperate but presumed based on experithence that we aren’t going to be falling out and estranged in pursuit of the illusion of unity. If my friends tell me they hate our common pastimes and abhor my perspectives and opinions after years of pretending otherwise, deceiving me because they wanted something I had to offer, I’d be devestated. My wife? That would be even worse. My family too? I’d be suicidal. Betrayed, stupid, disappointed, trust destroyed, alone. That’s how I’d feel. No codification to debate or quantise a degree of divergence or change. But a broken relationship.
    I think that’s how a lot of pastors feel.
    The ‘new breed’ have been unfaithful. The compromise, betrayal or ‘moving on’ is theirs. But this episode demonstrates starkly that they not only want to liberalise their own part in the relationship, and want to be free of uncodified (and some codified) commitments, they still want the family home and are happy to invite their faithful, unchanged brothers to get out and go live elsewhere. Like a dysfunctional family they want to claim an inheritance of their father’s estate which their father’s will clearly stated he wanted to leave to the older, more mature, faithful sons. Everything about this hinges on the issues of faithfulness and unfaithfulness, integrity and no integrity, maturity and no maturity, decency and no decency, selfish ambition and greater good. I’ve seen every evidence Biblically that all those concepts belong in Scriptural vocabulary. I’ve perceived that the words ‘modernisation’, ‘liberalisation’, ‘marketing’ or relevance do not.

  399. Apologia77 says:


    Kay was very well indeed in the early to mid nineties and in fine form at Twin Peaks conferences.