CCSPC Day 3

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  1. Another Voice says:

    I was going to post simply ‘no comment’ about an hour ago….but it looks like the forum community here is already saying that with its silence on the lineup.

    Someone send Benny Hinn’s jet to get Steve Hopkins for the afternoon session!

    🙂

  2. Michael says:

    I’d like to hear Bob Caldwell…and echo your no comment on the rest. 🙂

  3. Believe says:

    Biting my cyber-tongue.

  4. Believe says:

    Bob Caldwell appears to be a good guy. Went to CC Boise for awhile…but the “Pastor Bob” and the former drug dealer thing just hit too close to home.

    He appeared to be humble and approachable and sincere…his teaching was pretty much classic CC…which ministered to my spirit more than my reason…but that’s a good thing, IMO.

  5. jlo says:

    After reading this morning’s update on Mike Macons blog, my husband and I had a lively discussions. 🙂

  6. Corby says:

    Bob was great. Brian was especially great. I think he addressed a mindset within cc that has led to traditionalism and lovingly said “knock it off”. I think many here who have been critical of him would be surprised at what he had to say. For the first time in a long time I have more hope for CC after Brians talk. Now if some of these crusty guys would hear and do it…

  7. centorian says:

    Corby,
    Could you explain what you mean by traditionalism?

  8. mike macon says:

    Lively discussions are good.

  9. mike macon says:

    I agree with the Corbster. Even though I missed half of Brodersen’s session, what I heard I very much liked.

  10. Scott says:

    Have I missed anything important on this thread? 🙂

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    Apparently not, Uncle Scotty. In fact, it seems you’ve killed the thread! 🙂

  12. Scott says:

    What an honor! 🙂

  13. Bob Middleton says:

    I think Corby is right and I would say that if the trend continues Calvary Chapel is heading back to it’s “Big Tent” roots….What Brian had to say continues what I posted yesterday about the leadership turning 180 from where they were headed a few years ago.

  14. Steve Aspinall says:

    Be careful, Corby…

    Those ‘crusty guys’ are the ones who’ve continued traditions and distinctives so that you have a ‘movement’ to be a pastor in.

    They’re the ones who stood when Vineyard bounced off the walls, and the ones who stayed faithful to the Word (not ‘the Gospel’ but ‘The Word’) in every detail when others were saying ‘lets play with a little bit of this influence, and a little bit of that influence.’

    Naturally I have my own thoughts on what is happening in the movement, but I’d certainly like to see a little more respect from the younger generation to the ‘crusty guys’ of the older generation. It is, after all, Biblical to take counsel from your elders and not to be in such a rush to forsake their ways and do ‘new’ things. Sing a new song, if you like, but if those ‘crusty guys’ are faithfully pursuing the teaching of the Word, it never changes and neither do its instructions, doctrines, cautions. They are defending the flock as they are commanded to do (whether you think their defences are right or wrong) and are resisting novelties and not being tossed by every wave and ‘wind’ of doctrine, or chasing ‘spirit’ movements all over the place, they are the most stable ropes holding the ship to its anchor.

  15. Believe says:

    Steve A., this is Alex.

    There are three different authority structures within Christendom, according to J.I. Packer.

    1. The Church as the authority (Roman Catholic Church is an example).
    2. The Individual as authority (of which I’m assuming you believe is the Emergent position).
    3. The Bible as authority (which is I’m assuming the position of Calvary Chapel and your personal position).

    If you agree that the Bible is the authority…and if Calvary Chapel and the ‘crusty guys’ of Calvary Chapel profess the Bible as the authority…then the following Scripture should be followed correct?

    Matthew eighteen
    1 Timothy three (qualifications of a pastor)
    1 Timothy five (public rebuke of a pastor in sin)

    What should happen if some of these ‘crusty guys’ are currently in sin…and attempts have been made to confront the sin…yet they remain in sin…and lie about it (which is ongoing sin)…and cover the sin over?

    What should happen if “the” ‘crusty guy’…Pastor Chuck Smith…assuming he were aware of the allegations of serious ongoing sin of current ‘crusty guys’….and rather than follow the Scripture passages listed above…endorsed the behavior (my opinion) by rededicating the church of one of the ‘crusty guys’…and not publicly rebuking several others who are in sin?

  16. Believe says:

    Professing “correct” doctrine is one thing…is it not a denial of the doctrine one professes…to live out a life that is contrary to the doctrine?

    Is that false teaching by commission? False teaching by example?

    Do we only learn by the words of the ‘crusty guys’….or are we also taught by their example? Their actions?

  17. Believe says:

    Steve A…

    In Matthew 23

    Jesus tells us to obey the teaching of the Pharisees…so, is it safe to assume that means that what the Pharisees taught with their lips was sound doctrine?

    Then Jesus warns us to not do what the Pharisees actually do, because they practice what they preach…in other words, their actions are contrary to their doctrine…correct?

    Then Jesus lays into them pretty good with the Seven Woes…correct?

    My question is…does Character and following the Scripture…as well saying the words…matter as much as saying the words?

    Is one a False Teacher when their actions do not match their words? Jesus said to obey the teaching of the Pharisees yet Jesus called them snakes and condemned them to hell, because of their actions…did he not?

  18. Believe says:

    Steve A…or because of God’s grace in Salvation through Jesus Christ…does that remove the responsibility for these ‘crusty guys’ to “do” the words they are teaching?

    Or, since we are under grace after Salvation through Jesus Christ…is it OK for them to teach the words…as long as it is “correct” doctrine…but live in a manner contrary to Scripture…and in addition not follow 1 Timothy three and 1 Timothy five…due to grace?

  19. filbertz says:

    Steve A.,
    thanks for stopping in. your words of caution are in the interest of balance and respect and I appreciate that. On the other hand, perhaps the point that B. Broderson made regarding traditionalism resonated with the younger guys and they recognize the difference between methodology and content. They know and love the ‘brand’ but appreciate the fact that times are different and each generation wears the ‘brand’ just a bit differently. The so-called ‘crusty guys’ are focused on finishing strong, these guys are interested in running strong. They’re at a different part of the ministry course than the guys who are in the home stretch. Yes they can and should learn and be tutored, but in essentials, not transient methods. We all are expressing Christ to the world of 2010, not 1972. Can the ‘movement’ be flexible enough to meet the demands of a new generation or will it become obsolete?

  20. Steve Aspinall says:

    Alex (Believe)

    I trust that you will understand when I say that I will not engage where you’re taking my comments.

    I don’t mean that as a slight or a disrespect. You already know that I’ll engage you, appropriately.

    As they stand I intend my words to be taken exactly as they are written. If any one of us comes to the table and claims that we don’t have a prejudice in anything that we write, we are lying and I am certainly no exception and for that reason, at present, I’m asking questions objectively. You’d be right to think that I have certain positions, certain experiences, certain understandings of the broader issues which seem to be experiencing an intellectual upheaval in the Calvary Chapel movement.

    I’ve challenged an attitude. So far that’s all I’ve done. I’m trusting that by ‘crusty guys’ Corby is guilty of nothing more than an unhealthy and possibly unBiblical attitude which many others in Calvary Chapel are guilty of also, alongside newer generations in all kinds of Bible-teaching churches where tried and tested traditions, or distinctives are being constantly overturned in favour of greater liberalism, less convicted distinctness, as if doing so has virtue in its own right rather like rebellious teenagers saying ‘I won’t do what my parents did’ and then finding out twenty years later that the attitude leads to error, because nothing is new under the sun and the wisdom remains the same.

    Your interpretation of ‘crusty guys’ seems to include insinuations and allegations of ‘sin’. Those charges belong on their own, they have nothing to do with the concept of an older generation of traditionalists in a movement.

    I don’t know Centorian, but I know I’m interested in the answer that he posed too, because from where I sit in Calvary Chapel, the much despised ‘traditionalism’ includes an awful lot of tried and tested Biblicalism, and I’m interested in which bits of Biblical doctrine our new Calvary Chapel generation wants to throw out or de-emphasise.

    As I’ve said to you previously, you might be able to get a better grasp not only of your issues, but of mature Biblical doctrine, if you avoid the interchanging of some terminology. ‘False doctrine’ is not ‘hypocrisy’, it is not ‘sinful living.’ False doctrine is just that. Hypocrisy is just that. Sinful living is just that. The Bible addresses all of them.

    Neither is ‘heresy’ the same as ‘false doctrine’, the two are mutually exclusive, but often the latter leads directly to the former when it is compounded by tolerance over time.

  21. Captain Kevin says:

    Oh boy…

  22. Steve Aspinall says:

    Hey Filbertz,

    I understand what you’re saying. Obviously I say that in the objective sense. I understand what you mean, and what your reasoning is. And while I agree that you’re probably right that this is exactly what Brian and the ‘nu-gen’ are thinking, I believe that it is profoundly flawed and that they are in the process, in trying to ‘redeem’ or ‘extend the life’ of the movement, simply rebadging the same mistakes which have corrupted every church movement and every post-revival effort to ‘hang on to’ the glory.

    As a ‘traditionalist’ I have a great problem with the idea that yesterday is past and today is different.

    The Word says that God (all three persons) changes not, the same for all time, which means that Jesus, the Living Word, and the Word of God as we find it also change not. The history of the church, ironically, is one of the persistence of the fundamentalist, traditionalist, apostolic doctrinal model and its distinctives, including eschatology, rejecting false doctrine, guarding the flock from novelties and distractions and so on. Some people see the endurance of the church in the fact that the Bible has maintained position in certain traditions, from Catholicism to the Reformation and from the Reformation to movements right up to the present day, and that the present ‘incarnation’ of Christianity is the result of generation upon generation.

    I don’t agree.

    I think the church at large was as flaky in the Reformation as under Catholicism, as flaky under Methodism and the Baptist movement as the Reformation, and now as flaky in modern evangelicalism as in every other movement. We’re repeating the same mistakes.

    In the midst of all that chaos are little, quiet threads of genuine apolitical Biblical continuity found in small, isolated groups of believers who rejected the systems which sprang up around doctrinalists (Calvin and Arminius included) and the politicisation of church/state collusions, and the effects of generationalised denominationalisation. They didn’t see legacies which new generations inherited to continue, they saw profound, unchanging, inalienable, unwavering Biblical truth, and in viewing it they saw the world exactly as the Bible prophecies it – in which the ‘church’ is a large place full of deception, filled with false teachers and teetering on the edge of rejecting the foundational ‘faith first delivered’ and following Pied Pipers who appeal to their ‘itching ears’ – fighting against apostacy, just as the Bible tells us we should expect.

    In the years that I’ve been around Calvary Chapel, until relatively recently, that was exactly the ‘fundamentalist’ faith that Calvary Chapel claimed to embody – a faith that cannot be irrelevant, because it is timeless. It has to be timeless because it is the word of God, and the nature of false doctrine, for example, must be the same then, as it is now, and thus when I hear people decry, for example, the testing for false doctrine and novelty because ‘the times have changed’, it concerns me, because God hasn’t. We don’t follow the Zeitgeist. We follow the Holy Geist. Biblically speaking the changing of the times don’t make these aspects of the Word LESS relevant to us, they should be making them MORE relevant, because things are getting worse, spiritually, and the apostacy is upon us.

    It is the changing spirit of the times that has led generations to adopt error, denominations to flood and confuse the church, a Biblically predictable decrease in faithfulness and orthodoxy. Some see these changing times as a good thing, requiring something ‘new’ to deal with. I’m one of those ‘traditionalists’ – a crusty old guy – who thinks that we need what we had at first more than ever, and two thousand years of doctrinalists weaving their novelties and promoting their emphases hasn’t changed that.

    I’m also concerned that this ‘doctrinal’ renaissance is in danger of masking a very problematic political situation which is seeing the movement taken over – illegitimately – by individuals and groups that have not earned the respect of the majority nor gained their confidence and trust, but have taken for granted a ‘right’ to lead the movement based on nepotistic entitlement and the protection of investment.

    IMO.

  23. Steve Aspinall says:

    What’s up, Captain Kevin?

  24. Another Voice says:

    Hello Steve,

    You don’t know me and I don’t know you. If I read your words correctly you seem to imply that years in the movement, in and of themselves, demands respect – as opposed to whether those years in the movement have actually developed Christlike character and humility. Please tell me I am wrong.

    Three of the most respected men at this blogsite are Dave Rolph, Oden Fong, and John Duncan (there are others). I can guarantee you, though Corby speaks for himself, that such men were NOT meant by the term ‘crusty guys’ – there is a reason for that, and it has NOTHING to do with some imagined desire to teach false doctrine, gather those with itchy ears or any such thing.

    It is because they are humble servants of Christ and also understand what Calvary promoted when I first started – and that is the Christian church down the street (even the amill or reformed ones) are NOT the enemy.

    I’ve got my 20 years or so in the movement, and I have watched the movement change, and not for the better. I would note that Corby’s post was highly complimentary to certain pastors by name and complimetary to the movement and its future. (I don’t know Corby either, personally, so I’m not just sticking up for a friend)

    But I do know exactly what he meant by ‘crusty men’ – the sort of guy who says “Look, you’ve got 20 years but I got 40 years in this movement – so sit down, shut up and just listen to me while I tell you who you can and can’t stock in your bookstore.

  25. centorian says:

    So now that we all know what crusty means…. And traditionalism?….. nice drive by Corby….

    I have been very critical of certain older pastors of our movement, some that I would not walk across the street to listen to. While I am younger than most of them, I have been a Christian longer than many of them. I can understand the angst and concerns of the younger guys. We have handed the next generation a mixed bag of goods and some horrible examples have been permitted to continue. So if some of the young guys are being disrespectful, a good look in the mirror may be in order. Too bad that some are so far beyond that.

    That being said, a broad brushing disrespectful attitude and unmeasured remarks and statements are not helpful and Steve you are right in addressing Corby’s remarks. There has developed a polemic environment by some of the younger guys in claiming that the old guys have ruined the movement and they will be it’s savior. Their arrogance will be their undoing. I read some of these guys and I think that great theologian Roger Daltrey was right when he sang “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. I read some of what these young guys have to say and they sound so much like their predecessors.

    Who I feel sorry for are young men that I know like my sons who one day may take over another’s church and be subjected to the same short cited discourse that is currently being exposed

  26. Another Voice says:

    Centy – I want to know what a ‘doctrinalist’ is. Can you help me? 🙂

  27. Still waiting for Benny Hinn’s jet to fly me down to Murrietta. I read thru some of what Brian said. He seems to want to lead CC into CC 2.0. He makes some good and valid points. While a change maybe coming, it won’t really happen until the old guys truly step aside and take more of an assisting role in the movement. We’ll l know that has taken place when at the SPC, there are more younger guys up there speaking and we older guys listening are challenged by what they say. Until then the old guys are just making good point but just offering lip service.

    Having said that I am confident that more younger committed pastors with fresh ideas will emerge in the movement.

  28. Corby
    For the record I know there is no love loss for me…but from an old guy in CC…”Crusty” IMO was a fair and accurate term for many in the movement. It reflects and attitude rather than chronological age. As an old guy who wants to see CC properly equip and inspire it’s youth to follow Christ and take the gospel to their generation (Just as CC did 40 years ago) I didn’t take it as a statement of disrespect. Just an observation

  29. Bob Sweat says:

    Centy gets credit for the word for the day, “polemic”.

  30. centorian says:

    I fail to see where this thing has to be about age, but it appears to be these days. Steve, you made my point…… bring on the guys so they might save us….. that’s shortsighted

  31. Steve Aspinall says:

    Hi AnotherVoice,

    Yes, you’re wrong. I presume you’re making reference to the comment ‘In the years that I’ve been around the movement…’ They mean exactly what they say. They have nothing to do with ‘demanding respect.’ They pertain to establishing a frame of reference for being critical to change. They were an objective comment. Now, your deviation into questioning my character is hinting at personal judgement, not objectivity, and you’re not called or entitled to do that.

    I also think you misunderstood the questions being asked.

    This isn’t about which Calvary Chapel guys spend their time on PP, or indeed blogging. I’m sure those three guys are well respected here. That’s subjective. I’m sure they are well respected in some Calvary Chapel circles. I’m sure also, that they aren’t well respected in some Calvary Chapel circles either. That’s why they don’t speak ‘for the movement’ but for themselves. I don’t speak for a movement either, and though I’m certain that I’ll be despised in some Calvary circles, I know that I’m accepted and respected in others.We can all end up in a clique. Notwithstanding that, the issue, as I raised, is to what degree Calvary Chapel is being changed by ‘stealth’ or otherwise to undermine the values of many of the people who have contributed to making it the rich movement that it is. That’s all.

    I have no doubt that Corby wasn’t referring to them. And I’d point out that there are lots of humble servants of Christ who understand that Calvary Chapel’s distinctives are nothing whatsoever to do with the ‘Christian’ church down the street being the ‘enemy’ (a grotesque straw man argument) but rather that they are Calvary Chapel’s distinctives which make Calvary Chapel, erm, distinct from every other church down the street.

    Think fair-mindedly for a moment. There are pastors out there who are not a-mil, post-trib, Calvinist, charismatic, seeker-sensitive, Southern Baptist or any other movement, who joined with Calvary Chapel because those were all things that Calvary Chapel wasn’t either. There are many who have joined, harmonious with what Calvary was, but ecstatic about what Calvary wasn’t. To find a generational turnaround rejecting the Calvary Chapel distinctives and blowing the doors open to all the waves, movements and ideas that perfectly Godly, servant-like, Word-loving servants of Christ made conscious, rational, reasoned decisions to not claim doctrinal harmony with is something of a slap in the face. The raison d’etre for the scale of Calvary Chapel across the world is exactly and precisely those distinctives. Few would have affiliated without them, unless affiliation is, as it seems to be in some quarters, merely riding the coat-tails of a ‘legendary’ evangelical movement of the last forty years.

    There is a Biblical maturity in concluding that there are Christians that cannot agree on doctrine, and while that has no bearing on Salvation, it is a reason for accepting that there is a place for ‘compartments’, a space for distinction, and always has been. Church ‘unity’ movement is not Biblical doctrine, but man-made because it forcibly demands compromise of the values and convictions that believers hold dear, and unless I’m mistaken the Word is strong on telling us that failing to act rightly on something we believe to be true is sinful in itself. Compromise becomes the basis of grudge, grudge becomes resentment, resentment becomes bitterness, all things that we recognise – wisely – are minimised by being able to say ‘I can’t work with those guys, let them do what they want to do, and I’ll do what I feel I need to do also.’

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. The reason for a global ‘name’ like Calvary Chapel is so that each person who goes to a Calvary Chapel anywhere in the world knows what they’re getting. We’ve got guys in Calvary teaching mid-trib, ironically, because they fans of certain ‘discernment’ ministries which are mid-trib. But Calvary is pre-trib. So we end up with Calvary Bible teachers going to those churches, teaching a pre-trib eschatology, and finding out that a week later the leaders at the church taught the ‘undoing’ of the Calvary Pre-Trib position. We’ve got pastors who have helped people wounded by Calvinistic debate, who reject Calvinism. Yet we’ve now got pastors in Calvary Chapels who are promoting Calvinist theologians and neo-Calvinism. No one is saying that Calvinism is deadly error or that pre-trib is deadly error. But have some respect for the distinctives that have been agreed, and behave maturely. Think of the confusion to the sheep to find out that in their church ‘movement’ which they need to be able to trust, there are doctrinal diversities which will defy or contradict what they are taught in their home church. Calvary Chapel pastors cannot now safely send their congregation to other Calvary Chapel churches and know that they’ll get exactly the same diet, from the same influences, and won’t learn something that they’ll feel the need to ‘undo.’

    This shouldn’t be an experiment in socially engineering the church by inviting diversity in through the door so that the flock can have a smorgasbord of what they fancy. This is maturity, sensitivity, and order. If pastors aspire to be Acts 29, then go be Acts 29. But respect the pastors that don’t want to be Acts 29, and instead are Calvary Chapel.

    Maturity and respect – love – allow believers to form distinct ‘movement’ without interfering. You wouldn’t go join a men’s only tennis club and then scream and shout that they don’t allow women’s hockey. The sign over the door might be ‘unimportant’ in God’s scheme of things, but for the security of the sheep and the fellowship of the ministers, it is a very important issue indeed, the difference between comfort at ‘home’ and discomfort in a strange place.

    For me, and I apologise for going on, you present the nature of the problem very well in your last paragraph. You have the attitude of ‘shut up and turn over the keys, pops’ as the antithesis to ‘I’m wiser and more mature, I’ll tell you what you should do.’ The problem I have is this… Biblically, wisdom is a pretty time-honored thing. The old ways don’t change. What was a bad theological idea 100 years ago, Biblically speaking, is still a bad theological idea today. But here’s the point… at this moment the nu-gen of the movement is ‘reacting’ for the sake of reacting. You mentally ‘retire’ the old guys and object to their ‘arrogance’ for thinking they know better than you, but you don’t notice your profound arrogance in behaving like they don’t know better. It isn’t Biblical. And no one seems to be asking what their Biblical grounds for maintaining their distinctions are, because no one is being objective, reacting instead on emotionalism, fluffy notions of church unity, feelings, the doe-eyes of some poor doctrinalist who just got told that he wouldn’t be selling his books in a Calvary Chapel somewhere… That’s the wrong standard, the wrong criteria. Has anyone asked the question… ‘are the ‘old crusty traditionalists’ actually wrong?’ If they’re wrong now, then Biblically speaking they must have been wrong then, because God hasn’t changed. If God is telling you to do the opposite of what He told them to do, there’s a problem that needs checking before it goes too far.

    Nowhere in the word does it say ‘ignore what the Apostles say once you get a generation beyond them, and then just rediscover the doctrine for yourselves and make it up as you go along.’

    That concerns me. And it shows partiality, even in Corby’s post. Commendation for those who agree with your new philosophy. Disrespect for those who don’t. And no objective reasoning for why.

    I also kind of guessed that this is what Corby meant by ‘crusty guys’, but I was disturbed at the thought, because I’m disturbed by the implications. That’s why I asked for qualification.

  32. Another Voice says:

    Centy, I have sat through the ‘veterans’ whose every illustration was completely foreign to the majority of the hearers, because every illustration was a name-drop (when Franklin Graham and I were…) or a personal example of working side by side with Chuck, or at best some account of a great missionary experience in the jungles of Peru.

    Now, I know these guys don’t preach that way to their congregations, but try to relate to the struggles of their flock. So why the double standard when supposedly the goal is to minister to the pastors gathered?

    Steve, your comment “…”Crusty” IMO was a fair and accurate term for many in the movement. It reflects and attitude rather than chronological age” is exactly how I saw it, as I think my comments reflected by mentioning some of the older guys who certainly are NOT crusty.

  33. Bob Sweat says:

    “That’s why they don’t speak ‘for the movement’ but for themselves. I don’t speak for a movement either……………………………..”

    Who does speak for the “movement”?

  34. Steve Aspinall says:

    Centorian,

    I see where you’re coming from, and I like the Daltrey reference.

    I wish the new guys, in imitating the old guys, actually imitated Biblical discerning, a devotion to anticipating attacks and protecting the flock from doctrinal error (we should be more on the ball of that ‘sign of the times’ than any of the others, because it actually has bearing on our ‘mission’ here as ministers), maturity brought with experience, faithfulness to the Word. Unfortunately the ‘imitators’, which are inevitable in a movement which creates its own mechanisms for replicating its ministry like a production line, have tended to imitate much of the swagger, the flippancy, the attitude, the demands and burdens of the older generation, almost like they just want the same lifestyle, or the same ‘professional’ Christianity which is such a luxury in the US.

  35. Steve Aspinall says:

    Bob Sweat,

    “Who does speak for the “movement”?”

    Isn’t that the million dollar question?

  36. Another Voice says:

    oh oh..2 Steves. I need to be more specific. My above post was to Hopkins.

    Steve Aspinall – Thanks for the clarification. I am glad you can say I was wrong. For clarification on my end, I am not judging you personally at all. How could I?

    I hope you see your judgement in a statement like “You have the attitude of ’shut up and turn over the keys, pops’ as the antithesis to ‘I’m wiser and more mature, I’ll tell you what you should do.’”

    I have no such thought. Like I said, I am hardly a ‘young guy’ – and nobody in the movement is probably physically old enough to be my ‘pops’ except Chuck.

    I don’t know anyone who has expressed a desire to blow up the distinctives – frankly, I wish we could get back to them. I know the movement is battling the emergents and the rest, and I join in the battle, But the movement is fighting other battles that we weren’t fighting years ago, You may call it a strawman argument if you like, but the vibe against other churches as being heretical, not just different, is strong today – and that heretical label is getting attached more and more to our brothers in Christ.

    Thank you for interacting with me, expecially given my choice for annonymity. God Bless you.

  37. Bob Sweat says:

    My time in CC has been short, and I have never served as a senior pastor, so I’ll let you experienced guys have at it.

    I did spend 30+ years in a denomination where I did serve as a senior pastor. I my younger days, I looked up to those who had been “in the trenches” for years. I gained from their experience and counsel. Eventually, I became one of them myself. I understand what Corby and Steve H. are saying, and don’t think either of them meant any disrespect. I also hear what AV is saying.

  38. centorian says:

    AV,
    yeah? and your point? that’s part of why I’m sitting in my office at home rather than in SoCal right now. I go to a conference to listen to men teach the Bible not expound on their experience. The last one I attended it seemd that only Chuck Smith and Mike MacIntosh were the only ones able to actually teach the scriptures. My point in #27 is I not seeing anything that’s being said or done that is anything significantly different. And these are things are some of my concerns, things I’m considering and praying about in light of my repsonsibility to raise up the young guys in my church.

    and to Steve H…. things won’t change until the younger guys have a great role in speaking at conferences?? oh my… so it’s really all about who we choice as our talking heads?

  39. Bob Sweat says:

    Well, Steve A., if no one knows who speaks for the “movement”, then there lies the problem with the “movement”.

  40. centorian says:

    STeve A,

    “Unfortunately the ‘imitators’, which are inevitable in a movement which creates its own mechanisms for replicating its ministry like a production line, have tended to imitate much of the swagger, the flippancy, the attitude, the demands and burdens of the older generation, almost like they just want the same lifestyle, or the same ‘professional’ Christianity which is such a luxury in the US.”

    exactly my point. you said it better. thanks . I wish it wasn’t so, and I hope it will change… Particularly when I have a few young men that will follow me to the ends of the earth if need be and other young guys with no knowledge of Calvary Chapel who have come into our midst. I need to be sure I am pointing them in the right direction and first of all that I’m heading there myself. I figure I have around 20-25 years left in ministry, I need to make the most of everyday.

  41. Steve Aspinall says:

    AV,

    “Centy, I have sat through the ‘veterans’ whose every illustration was completely foreign to the majority of the hearers, because every illustration was a name-drop (when Franklin Graham and I were…) or a personal example of working side by side with Chuck, or at best some account of a great missionary experience in the jungles of Peru.”

    Where I am, we’re a Calvary that is actually affiliated to the old values of affiliation, affiliated over a handshake with Chuck, kind of thing. But we’re blessed to have grown up as a church at a time when no one knew, nor cared, what Calvary Chapel was. The UK is still the same. No one knows, nor cares what Calvary Chapel is. When he came here Brian behaved like there was no Calvary Chapel unless it was a Calvary Chapel that he’d started, endorsed, or was sent out from the Bible College, and seemingly tried to wipe the board of the rest of us who’d been there decades longer, and there was an anticipation that massive investment and a profusion of Calvary Chapel Bible College students would turn ‘Calvary Chapel’ into the hot property of British Christendom.

    It is interesting to hear him, now, because he’s saying the opposite to the formula he used to deliver in the UK. They came to a post-Christian country and thought it needed Christianising, which didn’t work.

    So now in our fellowship there’s zero point namedropping anyone, because culturally unless you’re a Vineyard or a New Frontiers or a Hillsong or an Abundant Life (which are the dominant movements in the UK) no one knows who you’re talking about. There isn’t the culture of Christian radio and Christian TV for the average evangelical Christian to feed on. Praise God!

    Unfortunately, in the CC’s that are financially or historically tied to the ‘new guard’ at Costa Mesa it IS a case of namedropping, and frequent trips home to the mother ships, and so the native flock in those CC’s get used to the umbilical cord to the US being omnipresent, which has the effect of teaching ‘Calvary Chapel’ rather than Calvary Chapel simply being an association that means something to the Pastor.

    It is easy to get spoiled under a really good, self-less Bible teacher, and anticipate that all Calvary Chapel’s will be like that. I know pastors in the states who plan their personal diary around who’s speaking at the conference so that they can miss certain sessions because they just can’t relate to one guy or another.

    And being taught by ‘young guys’ can be great, if they have something fresh to say. I can see how being an ‘old guy’, sitting to listen to a ‘young guy’ tell you how to have success in your church, or how to be relevant in the new age, or parroting a message you know he heard on the 7000 series would be tiresome and nauseating. One of the dangers of having such regular conferences, in such a big movement, with so few ‘profile’ teachers using so many speakers for one event is that the ministry is conducted, by agenda, to ‘deliver’ something that a lot of the people might not need. I’ve been to conferences where year after year the small regional conference has been about teaching the ‘new recruits’ fresh from Bible college how not to give up after their first year, and trying to direct them to stay in the lines of the Calvary distinctives while being asked ‘how far can we wander into other church movements’. To the people there who’ve been through all that and cleared up their position, you might as well be dead than go to the conference and sit there in exasperation wondering if there’s going to be anything targeted at your maturity level. And CC has no shortage of professional ‘sermon writers’ who are as dry as a bone and over dependent on cracking jokes every fifty six seconds, or giving an illustration every eight minutes.

    It reminds me of a fishing trip I was once on…….

    Just kidding.

    Sometimes there’s too much ‘lifestyle’ or ‘personality’ injected into the teaching ministry, and you find even members of the flock struggle to find any relevance for what they’re being fed, or how they’re being fed it. That’s why its important to stick to the full counsel of the Word, I guess.

  42. Steve Aspinall says:

    Centorian,

    “Particularly when I have a few young men that will follow me to the ends of the earth if need be…”

    You mean you’ve found that map? I’ve been trying to get to the ends of the earth for an age. Can you fax it?

    Ooop. Is that showing a sign of age?

  43. Believe says:

    You can’t claim “free for all” when it comes to protecting CCCM’s assets via no pastoral accountability structure that protects the flock from rogue pastors (but rather protects all pastors from the flock)…and then claim “distinctives” and CC purity of message, etc…when it comes to everything else.

    When a “movement” prides itself in no standard…one cannot expect a standard…regarding accountability, doctrine, or otherwise.

    “Autonomous Islands” which is how many CC’s have been described when it comes to accountability standards…cannot in the next sentence be held to a strict standard in other areas. It is either to each his own…or it isn’t…am I wrong?

    Kempner got his Dove yanked for moral issues (sin)…yet others don’t get their Dove yanked for major sin.

    Some guys get their Dove yanked for doctrinal issues (I think)…while others don’t?

    There is a glaring inconsistency…in message, in conduct, in authority, in accountability…

    It really is ad hoc application of any standard.

    One of the main distinctives listed should be “chaos”…IMO.

  44. Another Voice says:

    Would to God there was no “swagger, or flippancy” in the older generation for the younger guys to imitate. Amen?

    I know my (our) first and foremost duty is faithfulness to the Lord and His example and will for my life. I check myself to see if I am modelling humble servanthood to the flock God entrusted to me. As you said Centy, some of the guys “under” us will follow us wherever we go…may it be a regular journey to the cross.

  45. Believe says:

    Business Analogy Alert:

    You can’t go to a McDonald’s in L.A. and then a McDonald’s in London…and expect things to have much consistency…without a Franchise Agreement.

  46. Centy

    My point in my statement is that when the younger guys are taking more time on the platform it will signal that there has been a changing of the guard.

    BTW, I am inspired by many in this new crop of youngsters! They are passionate; they are thinkers, more educated, and challenge the SOP. That is not a sign of disrespect to me. Rather is a sign of revival. Probably what bothers many is that they are more tolerant of those who believe differently than them. They have truly learned to disagree agreeably which some, I suspect, view as compromising.

    CC is a good organization, but much of it needs to change and that will come thru challenge. What is good will stand. What needs to go…needs to go

  47. Dusty says:

    Just read SteveA’s post…it doesn’t seem very nice 🙁

  48. Steve Aspinall says:

    Bob Sweat,

    “Well, Steve A., if no one knows who speaks for the “movement”, then there lies the problem with the “movement”.”

    I agree. Possibly from the opposite side of the same coin.

    I call it ‘indistinct sounds.’ There are people in CC who are recognised as being part of the traditional values of CC, the identity that a majority of affiliates recognise and respect. They’re the ones that many of the Calvaries ‘affiliated in’ so as to be alongside and part of the same movement.

    They recognise those people.

    But they don’t recognise the people who are currently claiming the authority, who others say ‘I can’t work with.’ They don’t recognise the authority of the people at CCCM of whom it is said ‘its like a mafia down there… jobs for the boys.’ They hear their voice, but apart from a bit of nepotism or some corporate control, the voice is strange.

    Consider recent events at ABQ. Criticism has abounded of churches dictated by boards populated with people who are friends with a lot of money at stake, decisions made not by pastors seeking Godly counsel, but by attorneys and business men and bureaucrats.

    Is that happening at CCCM? Is that happening to the entire movement? Is a board protecting its investments and gambling that if there’s going to be a bunch of disenchanted Calvaries, it might as well be the ones who they don’t have money invested with, or haven’t managed to convince to follow the new lead, rather than losing their base of influence or risking their investments by going back to tradition.

    I don’t know.

    When people go to Costa Mesa to talk to Chuck they expect to talk to Chuck, when they get intercepted and diverted away they wonder who the Sam Hill Roger Wing is… Been there, done it. Stupidly I followed Roger’s advice once. And was later told by Chuck ‘when I say come and see me, I mean come and see me.’ There are guys who think they’re talking to Chuck, and get agreement on something, but then CCCM does something different, and they get told ‘it’s the board.’ So who is running the ship? Chuck? The board? Brian? Roger? And if they lead the movement, do they have the support of the people who have made up the movement. If we aren’t a denomination, and just an association, then we need to function more like a democratic republic without tinpot dictators.

    IMHO FWIW.

  49. Bob Sweat says:

    Back to my comment #41. I’m not implying there is a problem, just responding to those of you who feel there is a problem.

    I’ve been on this blog for 4 years now, and I know the real names behind most of the monikers. I hear dissatisfaction with the CC movement all the time. But yet you remain. I have asked some of you personally about that. Loyalty, for most, seems to be the reason. I’m not being critical of that for one moment. I stayed in a denomination for over 30 that I disagreed with almost every distinctive. I did so because I excepted Christ while attending a church in the denomination and most all my Christian friends were past of it too. If it were not for a divorce, I would probably be still serving as a pastor in that denomination. But now that I have been away, I would never go back. Having rambled on with all of that, I guess my question is, is loyalty enough?

  50. centorian says:

    Steve H…… I’ll defer to Daltrey again and call you.

  51. WE do a pastors retreat here in Oregon every March. We select a topic and assign passages to different speakers. They are limited to 30 mins and then we as a group talk about it. We intentionally choose a mixture of guys to speak; some older and some younger. I appreciate the tempered wisdom from the older and while the younger pastor of a church of 75-100 speak, though he may not have a lot to say to me who has been in the pulpit for 20 years, I sit and smile because he inspires me to a passion for Christ that is sometimes distant from me. The young guys have lots to teach us old “crusty” farts…if we’ll let them

  52. Dusty says:

    Steve A it seems to me that you think being taught the ‘doc. error’ of post trib, mid. trib. is sooooo very much worse than the abuse that is happening. 🙁 You are incorrectly thinking that if a man teaches the same way you do that he is safe to send people to…this is so NOT true…you could very well be sending people right to the wolf’s plate.

  53. Steve A

    “Consider recent events at ABQ. Criticism has abounded of churches dictated by boards populated with people who are friends with a lot of money at stake, decisions made not by pastors seeking Godly counsel, but by attorneys and business men and bureaucrats.

    Is that happening at CCCM? –didn’t that exact thing happen with the CSN thing with Chuck and Kessler? Honest question..if you are suggesting that sort of thing doesn’t happen at Costa Mesa

  54. Bob Sweat says:

    Steve A

    Thank you for #50.

  55. Another Voice says:

    Steve A. I second it. Thanks for your #50

  56. Dusty says:

    Also, I am not impressed and greatly aggravated with your flowery covered insults to my friends.

  57. Michael says:

    I just updated the newest article…why after all these years do we still have no discussion over moral and fiscal accountability in the movement?

    Why are there strict theological and methodological standards and none for character?

    It’s on the new thread…

  58. Dusty

    I hope I am one of those “friends” you mentioned…but we’re OK with Steve A. His points make for good discussion on matters that need to be talked about

  59. Michael says:

    Steve A,

    When you talk about the need to listen to “discerning” ministries who are you speaking of?

  60. Dusty says:

    Steve H, you are one of those friends (without quotes)

    I understand ‘good discussion’ but I am still not ok with his comments….insults covered in perfume is still an insult.

  61. Bob Sweat says:

    After much thought, I am launching a new ODM. The website is: inoitallandifyoudisgreeyouaregoingtohell.com 🙂

  62. Dusty
    Yes they are but speaking just for myself, I m OK with it

  63. Dusty says:

    SteveH, I am ok with you being ok but I am not ok, ok? 😉

  64. Michael says:

    Bob,

    That is rich! 🙂

  65. centorian says:

    see what you started Corby!!! lol!!!

  66. Dusty says:

    Bella asked, “No one answered my question yet — who is in charge of Calvary Chapel? Where does the power lie?”

    Bella, lol is that a trick question? 😉

  67. Bob Sweat says:

    Dusty,

    I’m ok with you being ok about Steve being ok, but I’m not ok with you not being ok. Ok?

  68. Dusty says:

    Bob, so you want me to be ok about what I am not ok with?

  69. jlo says:

    The “infamous” board.

  70. Bob Sweat says:

    Dusty

    No, I just want you to be ok. 🙂

  71. Another Voice says:

    You refer to the infamous picnic episode

  72. Michael says:

    Legally, each CC is autonomous and there is no one entity named “Calvary Chapel”.

  73. Michael says:

    So, the answer to the question is “no one” because such an entity does not actually exist.

  74. Believe says:

    Creating a false impression is a lie…and hiding behind that lie continually when the heat is on…is recurring ongoing sin that requires repentance.

  75. Dusty says:

    thanks Bob…don’t know how you guys did not get angry with his…with what he said.maybe I am in mama bear mode,-don’t mess with my boys. 😉

  76. Michael says:

    Holly,

    The dove can be yanked for violating the affiliation agreement.

    That is at best a symbolic gesture, as the pastor can continue as before with a new name.

    There are no standards in the affiliation agreement for moral or fiscal accountability that I know of.

    The point to not having a single entity is that no central entity is liable in a civil or criminal manner for what happens outside their fellowship.

    In other words, Chuck can’t be sued for what happens in ABQ or Wisconsin or Oregon.

  77. centorian says:

    I blame my board for everything….. 8)

  78. jlo says:

    “I blame my board for everything…”

    Where can I get a board 🙂

  79. Michael says:

    jlo,

    Find me one too! 🙂

    I’m Holly’s board… 😉

  80. Bob Sweat says:

    I’m bored right now. 😯

  81. centorian says:

    Bob,
    I suppose that’s the board’s fault, too?

  82. Steve Aspinall says:

    Steve Hopkins…

    “they are thinkers, more educated”

    Did you intend that to be a good thing?

    Who do they think more than? Who are they more ‘educated’ than? Does their ‘education’ have Biblical accreditation?

    I ask because they seem to use that as a frequent justification for why they deserve to have Pastoral ministries. And I’ve not found that in the Bible yet. Perhaps I’m not educated enough for it.

    Madison,

    I can understand your frustration. I wonder, though, especially in recent years, if it really is ‘Chuck’ that’s doing stuff and blaming the board, or if its the board doing stuff, letting Chuck look like he’s doing it, and then the board just dodges the responsibility or sends in Roger Wing to be the hatchet man?

    Once upon a time there WAS a mechanism by which things got resolved to some degree. I remember an instance in a Calvary Chapel where a worship leader and an elder organised an unholy split, and part of it was over the elder’s hatred of the Calvary Chapel model of church leadership. The church heard that the splitters who took half the church were going to start up a Calvary Chapel affiliate three miles down the road co-sponsored by another Calvary. So the pastor made a call to CCOF, and spoke to one Oden Fong, who assured the Pastor that for the sake of integrity and the harmony of the movement, the split group would not be allowed to affiliate under those circumstances. So they didn’t. They took a name as close to Calvary Chapel as they could, waited a few months, absorbed themselves into the ‘other’ Calvary that had courted the split behind closed doors (politics!) and within a couple of years Oden was no longer at CCOF, the ‘Brian’ era had started, business at CCCM was being run to a new ‘expansionist’ agenda rather than a ‘sympathetic affiliation’ concept, and the two principle splitters were adopted by the ‘new’ regime and rocketed to ‘top’ positions in the larger CC Europe movement, much to the distress of the churches they destroyed and to the surprise of the Pastor who had been told that the Calvary Chapel model was wrong.

    Those men are still ‘internationally regarded’ today in some form or another.

    And I’m pretty sure that those are all things that Chuck himself would not do, endorse or bless, but rather that the people to whom he has bestowed responsibility do on their own agendas, and Chuck does what Chuck always does. He trusts God to sort things out. He has a lot of grace that way.

    The recollection of those events remind me that there’s another source of issue that has crept into Calvary Chapel… dishonesty.

    We find again and again that Pastors have joined the movement, they know the distinctives, they know where we stand on issues. They don’t agree with them. They have other ideas. Sorry, but that’s dishonest. It shows a lack of character. It shows that you’ll be a chameleon, in order to obtain some perceived benefit, and you subjectively devalue honesty in regard to certain particulars and in disrespect of others who DO value it, effectively committing fraud.

    The elder who hated Calvary Chapel model didn’t change his mind. He got wind of a job, provided by his association with his co-rebel who had already been a life long ‘want to get my way to Costa Mesa and be a professional SoCal style Calvary Chapel pastor’ agenda and had already gotten his job…. So he faked his harmony with Calvary, wrote fifteen years of his ‘Christian’ life out of his biography, stopped talking about the church and the pastor where he met his wife and got married, stopped talking about the fact that he’d concluded he was a Calvinist and didn’t see any need for evangelism, and went to take a job in Calvary Chapel at a place where young people were training for evangelism, amongst other things. A chameleon.

    When his former pastor protested to the ‘new’ regime he was dismissed out of hand, told that the CC guys knew what was best, and was accused of just being bitter. Nothing to do with decency or honesty or integrity. Oddly, successive oversight pastors for both of those guys had trouble with both of those guys taking authority. CC’s answer? Eventually give them both a pastorate, so they become the authority figure, and hope that the people they teach turn out OK.

    The churches are independent… but does the movement actually appear independent? It produces its own pastors, it teaches its own ‘system’, and that’s fine as long as someone is prepared to maintain some moral and spiritual accountability instead of washing hands.

    For me that marked a regime change… Oden’s response was the right one. ‘These things won’t be done on a basis of wrongful behaviour.’ For the new ‘regime’ the important factor was, it seems, having some more people in key places that were endebted to those who had given them their job. Or someone made some friends and wanted to give them something to do. Either way, moral accountability and decency didn’t mean very much. Oden’s approach seemed to represent the fact that we were one movement, needing harmony, and needing to do rightly. The other approach was of unaccountability and disregard.

    Sad. And fifteen years on, it still hurts the people in two fellowships.

    Ironically, a lower grade agitant in the same split, who also disagreed with Calvary model of leadership, managed to inject himself into another ‘pivotal’ Calvary Chapel church in Europe, again in spite of the warnings of the man’s former pastor. He too was a ‘friend’ of the former elder and worship leader and he too wrote over that chapter in his history. Ironically, his ‘new’ pastor had been one of the Brian crew who had helped elevate the two splitters to prominent heights, and of course Brian didn’t hold the pastor issuing the warning in very high regard. No surprise, then, that this guy ALSO tried to lead a rebellion at his ‘new’ Calvary Chapel, having been given worship leader ministry, and effective ‘eldership.’

    So, you see, when I hear the ‘new generation’ say ‘the old generation needs to get over itself and its values and traditions, and stop telling us how to do things’ I just remember that the new generation isn’t as smart and omniscient as it thinks it is, and like children, by all means we can learn not to stick ourt hand in the fire by trial and error, but we can also benefit no end from the advice of those who’ve gone before.

  83. Captain Kevin says:

    Hi Dusty (Mama Bear)! 🙂

  84. filbertz says:

    education doesn’t equip a person to know, but to think.

  85. Steve Aspinall says:

    Hi Michael,

    “When you talk about the need to listen to “discerning” ministries who are you speaking of?”

    None in particular, to be honest.

    My beef with what I call ‘anti-discernment’ is a beef with the principle.

    For me the idea of rejecting warnings and advice BECAUSE they are warnings and advice which some perceive – erroneously I believe – to be ‘unloving’ or ‘hateful’ just does two things… it switches off to a fundamental and necessary Biblically mandated principle of truth and in turn it produces a vitriolic effect where the irrational responses of those with a philosophical objection to the ‘discernment ministry’ in question actually end up losing any perceived moral high ground because they veer erratically off into subjective accusations and personal attacks rather than focusing objectively on issues of doctrine, and end up becoming abusive.

    The act of discerning, or kritikos, can be profoundly subjective when it is taken in isolation from the Word, but – sometimes unfortunately- many of the so-called ‘ODM’s’ are far more capable of scoring points in Biblical logic and analysis than their detractors.

    I’ve appreciated the work of Lighthouse Trails. I’m not their disciple, I’m not their devoted follower, I don’t have their RSS newsfeed pinging my iPhone every ten minutes. I’ve heard a lot of abuse in a lot of places aimed their way which has made accusations of lying, impropriety, defamed personal character and even used abusive and violent speech. Yet I’ve never seen them deal with anything other than dignity and restraint, nor have I seen any material evidence to support the charges of lying, impropriety and so on. The fact that they may, or may not be wrong in their conclusions does not negate the fact that what they attempt to do is with the greater good of the flock in mind, with Biblical faithfulness and integrity in mind, and others would do well to conduct their ministries with similar devotion to integrity.

    I enjoy Dave Hunt.

    I enjoy reading and talking to Jackie Alnor.

    I like Roger Oakland.

    I can enjoy some Chuck Missler from time to time.

    Those guys all touch on the issue of apostacy in the church and the need for discernment which I personally believe is about the most important doctrinal issue that we face in establishing a healthy body which learns well, devotes itself to the truth, keeps itself pure, and finishes well having been equipped to stand for the integrity of the whole counsel of God.

    I honestly don’t have many names beyond that, because I’m not a follower, I’m a dipper. When an issue comes up that rings my own warning bells, or I hear doctrines that concern me, then I go researching: I go to the Word, I go online, believe it or not I sometimes even come here, and yes, I consult the resources of some of the named guys.

    I also, controversially, appreciate some of the ministry of Jacob Prasch. I am not a follower, a ‘Praschite’, I’m not his disciple and I can assure you that there have been few – even amongst celebrity ministers – who have been more badly burned, directly and personally, by Jacob Prasch followers than I have. If their standards are right, and their accusations sound, I am in league with the devil and led souls to hell. All that stemmed from a stance Jacob took on an issue that, in fairness, many Christians took.

    I have to say this… I’m over my bitterness toward Jacob, and moreover I have never once tried to justify that what he said was wrong was actually right, nor ‘promoted’ it spiritually speaking, I had a business which fell foul of the puritanicalism of his followers over a commercial decision I made which turned out to be so utterly irrelevant spiritually speaking as to be beyond belief. Jacob did not coach his disciples to do what they did, and he rebuked them for doing what they did. I have the utmost respect for his devotion to doctrinal integrity and value his opinions on many things, sometimes I disagree with him and his conclusions and sometimes I cringe at his bursts of ungraciousness and sometimes how black and white some things are for him.

    I don’t agree with him firing a cannon in Gayle Erwin’s direction. I know both Jacob and Gayle. I’ve never asked Gayle the circumstances of his comments, but it would certainly not be withheld from him that I think he was unwise and discredited himself with what I imagine was a throwaway opportunity, ill-considered, and probably under-informed. I’ve worked in the publishing world, and I know that there’s a strong likelihood, for example, that certain manuscripts were sent to Gayle by his publisher, or on the recommendation of a friend with very limited background information which he skim-read probably believing the author was soundly and squarely on the same doctrinal page, and perhaps later regretted doing so, but you can’t take words back and you can end up being sued by a publisher for signing off on them and then recanting them, so on and so forth.
    Jacob, I believe, had a valid criticism but blasted Gayle with the same volley that was rightly aimed at the book and its author. And this illustrates, for me, the difference in some of the things we end up discussing.

    There’s the foolish act, the impulsive throwaway comment, the guilt by association, even the sin. Guys like Jacob take aim at all of them. Some of the persistent criticism is well-deserved and not repented of. Some of it is dealt with ungraciously. Grace can cover any of it and deal with it. False doctrine, however, is another issue. The Word doesn’t tell us to politely cough, point false doctrine out like we would a moral failure, and invite the perpetrator to just modify themselves and continue. It says that we are to discriminate, and cut it out. By taking a pulpit or writing a book we have no right to insist on being heard, there is no obligation on the sheep to hear, or indeed to restore such a minister. Instead the right is earned based on its faithfulness to the very Word that gives a mandate for teaching and for edification. False teaching can be repented and dealt with and forgiven, but without being repented and dealt with and recanted, it is unforgivable because it sells a lie as truth, which God has nothing to do with.

    I know some Pastors resent ‘discernment’ because they feel somehow that they’ve encountered ‘flock’ that have been wounded by it. I sometimes wonder if an objective investigation has ever been carried out, because in my experience the ‘wounded’ flock are usually the ones who were doing damage with false doctrine or sewed division in churches. And conversely I’ve found that a great many of the ‘casualties’ that I’ve encountered have been brought to our fellowship because they were, actually, ‘Calvary Chapel Distinctive’ type Christians who have been hurt by churches that insist on promoting things which are doctrinally questionable, dividing fellowships based on camps, teaching cultic ideas, promoting ‘new wave’ spiritualities which leave the flock uncomfortable, and having left or been cast out of churches, have actually been lovingly gathered up by discernment type ministers and directed to fellowships where they fit in. I’ve got a bunch in church at the moment who are lovely, not remotely fractious, and wonder where ‘Calvary Chapel’ has been all its life. I can tell you, though, that if Calvary Chapel – ours particularly – starts to teach the inspiration of Rob Bell, the obsessions of Piper or Driscoll, or begins to promote ‘new age’ spirituality or ecumenism, they’ll be wounded all over again.

    That’s why having a place like Calvary Chapel which maintains its distinctness from the questionable – or just plain ‘different’ – approach of other groups is a godsend for diversity and safety.

    And I know I’ve given you far more than you asked for. I hope that’s OK. It’s just my experience, and I’m sure others have other experiences.

    I’m convinced that having a bad experience with ‘discernment’ or even, as some put it ‘bad discernment’ isn’t a sound reason to cast discernment out at all. It is Biblically mandated, and my question is always whether the criticism in question has reasonable Biblical legs and a valid point. The only basis for rejecting it, or its minister, is if they are in error themselves. The rest is subjective. You can accuse them of not loving their brother, a minister who’s ministry they’ve called doctrinally questionable. But are they actually loving the Lord, the Word, and the flock at large enough to simply want to defend at all cost? It may be misguided, but can you really say that it is wrong? Don’t you (general, not specific) do the same thing when, in order to defend the right of believers to read what they want by who they want and to protect your friend, Minister X, by blasting shotgun holes in the critics?

  86. Steve Aspinall says:

    Filbertz,

    “education doesn’t equip a person to know, but to think.”

    Depends on the education 😉

  87. Steve Aspinall says:

    “The point to not having a single entity is that no central entity is liable in a civil or criminal manner for what happens outside their fellowship.

    In other words, Chuck can’t be sued for what happens in ABQ or Wisconsin or Oregon.”

    Correct.

    And also explains why, as a CC Pastor friend of mine once put it, there are now two omnipresent beings in Calvary Chapel… God, and Roger Wing.

  88. Steve Aspinall says:

    Bob…

    “After much thought, I am launching a new ODM. The website is: inoitallandifyoudisgreeyouaregoingtohell.com”

    For launch day can you run a competition to win an iPad?

  89. filbertz says:

    steve-A,
    granted,
    education in its best form teaches people to think.

    indoctrination in its best form destroys one’s ability to think.

  90. filbertz says:

    “For launch day can you run a competition to win an iPad?”

    Steve-A, now that was funny!

  91. Michael says:

    Steve,

    That’s a good response.

    My problem is that the sheer amount of historical and doctrinal nonsense poured out by these people is scary.
    The far greater sin in my mind is that they make accusations without allowing any response or dialog…that is beneath contempt when the results are split churches and confused Christians.

  92. Michael says:

    “And also explains why, as a CC Pastor friend of mine once put it, there are now two omnipresent beings in Calvary Chapel… God, and Roger Wing.”

    Now, thats funny… 🙂

    I hear Roger is in a bit of hot water himself…

  93. jlo says:

    Is it just me, or does Steve Aspinall remind anyone of TheTen?

  94. Bob Sweat says:

    jlo

    I believe they are one in the same. 😉

  95. Steve Aspinall says:

    Dusty,

    “Also, I am not impressed and greatly aggravated with your flowery covered insults to my friends.”

    I’m sorry you’re offended. I’m didn’t intend any offence, only objectivity.

    I wasn’t making disparaging remarks about any of the guys who are on here, simply stating the obvious. In CC, all of us can claim ‘I know such and such, and I know such and such, and they agree with me.’ Literally, we can. I know that my ‘who’s who’ of who I’ve been talking to this last week alone, on these very issues, would throw out names that some people would say ‘wow… that’s interesting’ and other names that people would say ‘I can’t stand that guy… no respect for him at all.’ That’s just how it is. Three names, albeit three names that I know, is just as arbitrary as any other three names of any other three Calvary Chapel pastors that a different bunch of people happen to know.

    That was my point.

    I’m not being nasty, honestly. Just objective.

    Dusty,,, just read another of yours…

    “Steve A it seems to me that you think being taught the ‘doc. error’ of post trib, mid. trib. is sooooo very much worse than the abuse that is happening.”

    Not at all, not remotely. You’re ‘reading into’ what I wrote and I think that what’s happening is that an issue that bothers you (moral accountability) is being read into an issue that bothers me (doctrinal error).

    Honestly, I don’t see the two as the same thing. They’re equal problems, but not the same problems. Put it this way… if a Pastor does something stupid, behaves badly and so on, that’s a moral blight on him which needs dealing with – sometimes very harshly. That’s a case by case basis. As some would say ‘we all do some stupid things.’ Those bad things might hurt people, they might upset people. But they’re not forcing people into doing bad things themselves or behaving incorrectly, and individuals have some kind of responsibility, as Betsie Ten Boom said before she was brutally ended by the Nazi regime, to recognise that only 10% about what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it.

    I’m not belittling the impact that those violations have, nor denying the responsibility of people who are in a position to deal with situations or to intervene. But the Word does have an approach for dealing with it, which involves the challenge process and the ‘justice’ that many seek, but which also places absolute emphasis on forgiving anyway, on moving on from bitterness, on leaving things with the Lord.

    On the subject of the teaching of false doctrine, we’re talking about effective liars speaking on behalf of God with authority teaching the flock something which is contradictory to God’s Word. This isn’t merely ‘sin’, it isn’t moral misdemeanour. it isn’t behavioural scandal. This is misrepresenting God, and it is the reason why the Word admonishes that ‘not many’ should seek to be pastors and teachers, because the responsibilities are huge and grave. The Bible supports the gravity of the notion that any person who stands up to teach on behalf of God and claiming the authority of Biblical Christian ministry, and teaches something to the flock which causes them to put their trust in something – particularly a false Christ – which cannot save their soul, their blood will be on the head of the person who taught them erroneously.

    God knows the power of the Word and so does Satan. A close imitation carries massive apparent authority. People who are trying to tune into the Word will easily believe and be led wherever the false teacher chooses to lead them, as long as the message is right-sounding. I believe that the New Testament is packed with this warning, and that far from expecting to see, in this age, big rallies and mass salvation and great church movements, we should be seeing massive apostacy. if we aren’t, we’re missing something or the bible is wrong. It talks about the insidiousness of the subtlest and most gravitous deceptions, and I don’t think it is kidding. This is why I weep whenever ‘discernment’ as an act (regardless of the ministries preaching it) is shunned and vilified either because of the actions of the so-called ODM’s where they act unnecessarily, or because of the philosophical rebellion of a generation that don’t like to be taught that running round in the candy store that they find themselves in so as to eat some of everything they find is not a good idea.

    You can’t trust in a false Christ or enter into disobedience or false belief by being the victim of some Pastor with a failed morality or even a politicised church with agendas. You can do those things if some doctrinalist taught you something that’s a work of convincing fiction.

    That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying that you can overlook one and not the other. Just that the Bible tells you to deal with one with a lot more grace and patience than the other, where it tells you to cast out, reject, and pay no more attention to false teachers.

    Some would point out that such is the power of God’s word that the right Word in the hands of the wrong man, even the most unfit, will not return void and can do good, but the wrong Word in the hands of seemingly the rightest man is destructive and dangerous, because it is the right Word which has the virtue, not the man – right or wrong.

  96. Believe says:

    Steve…I’m with you on a lot of what you’re writing today…but this statement is false:

    “You can’t trust in a false Christ or enter into disobedience or false belief by being the victim of some Pastor with a failed morality or even a politicised church with agendas. You can do those things if some doctrinalist taught you something that’s a work of convincing fiction.”

    You sit under a pastor your entire life who professes one thing on Sunday morning…and then physically abuses you and your brothers to the point of despair where you’d rather die than live another day under the intense darkness of abuse…to a point where you question “how can God be…if this man is ‘of God’ and does these things…and gets away with it?”

    If a pastor preaches to the consequences of sin…the doctrine of reaping and sowing…and preaches to obey God’s commands or you will reap what you sow…and preaches the qualifications of a pastor…and preaches proper church discipline…and exercises church discipline strictly on others…and then NONE OF IT applies to him…you tell me what that “teaches”…would it not cause one to disbelieve? Would it not cause one to doubt?

    When one watches from behind the scenes and sees the “Church as a Business”…and the corruption…but, the words are “correct”…what does that “teach”???

    It teaches that it’s all a bunch of BS and to look for Truth elsewhere…at least that is the severe temptation. It is as much or more a stumbling block as any false doctrine you can present.

    I believe that God Is…that Jesus Christ is the Messiah…and that Salvation is through Faith in Him…but not because of my step-dad and his “sound doctrine” that was negated (from a subjective human perspective) by how he lived.

  97. Michael says:

    “You can’t trust in a false Christ or enter into disobedience or false belief by being the victim of some Pastor with a failed morality or even a politicised church with agendas.”

    I couldn’t disagree more…

  98. Steve Aspinall says:

    jLo & Bob (that’s nearly the title of a film)

    You might be correct.

    The one thing I took away from this place the last time was the rebuke for hiding behind a screen name.

    There is a ‘fear’ that can develop in movements like Calvary Chapel thanks to its leadership struggles and cliques, and that is a fear of being treated with partiality (the definition of being judged) to be marginalised, made a laughing stock, becoming a by-word and so on when you’re not playing the same game as them the same way, which my friends and family and church have experienced extensively as ‘guilt by association’, and I didn’t want anyone to have opportunity to do that again simply because I spoke out on things that bothered me.

    Two things have changed. Firstly I was introduced to someone VERY close to the top of the Calvary Chapel tree who encouraged me to be heard without fear. Secondly I stopped feeling like a ‘child’ in the Calvary Chapel movement’s ministerial tradition, and started to embrace my own ministry, my own role, my experiences and my conviction for myself, to stand, as it were, as a man. If anyone takes my comments and uses them as reason to treat my family, friends or church any differently in this movement, they will be dealing directly with me, and silence will not be my strong point. 😉

    They can call in who they know, and I’ll call in who I know, and we’ll all have someone there that we know, and we can all get to know each other. I’m not ‘fraid… eek.

    I should add that I’m not CC because CC has been good to us (the words ‘probably wouldn’t notice if we lived or died’ actually spring to mind), or problem free, or perfect, or necessarily simple. Our church is CC because we love Pastor Chuck and because we believe that the original CC values, distinctives, traditions and the fellowship we’ve had with our friends in CC is exactly where we’re at. Like many ‘being CC’ is about being well treated by some great friends who share like-mindedness’ in the midst of a movement that seems, the more people stick their oar in at the top, to be increasingly divided and get further and further away from what it once was.

  99. Steve Aspinall says:

    Michael,

    “I couldn’t disagree more…”

    OK. But can you be more specific, specifically?

    And I don’t mean by way of ‘knock-on effect’, because we’re still responsible for how we respond even to corrupt pastors, hurtful situations and church politics. Are you actually talking about LEARNING something directly damaging which isn’t packaged like false doctrine? Or talking about when moral failure and false doctrine are combined?

  100. Michael says:

    The spiritual and emotional damage from abuse is immense.

    It teaches completely negative lessons about the church, about authority, and about God.

  101. London says:

    Scary as this sounds. I couldn’t agree more with Michael’s not being able to disagree more. 😯

  102. Steve Aspinall says:

    Steve H,

    “Is that happening at CCCM? –didn’t that exact thing happen with the CSN thing with Chuck and Kessler? Honest question..if you are suggesting that sort of thing doesn’t happen at Costa Mesa”

    No, I wasn’t suggesting it doesn’t happen at CCCM. Far from it. Quite the opposite. It could be the mother of all political controversies in CC.

    As for what happened with CSN and Chuck, my understanding is somewhat biased anyway, although lacking in very much detail.

    Ultimately the question everyone could be asking is ‘who’s on the board, where does the money trail go, does Chuck control the board, does the board control Chuck?’ Maybe even you could ask ‘is Chuck doing the best he can for as many as he can, simply being ‘Chuck’ and sticking to what he does best, while knowing that the movement will go on without him and probably tear itself apart, led by the board.

    I’ve heard not just of one, but many meetings involving the board and the usual suspects, in which Chuck has been present, squabbles have broken out, the meeting has gone political, God has not been being served, and Chuck has walked out declaring ‘why don’t you guys figure it out.’ I think anyone suggesting that all is well and harmonious between Chuck and the apparent ‘ruling party’ could be off-base. Its just that none of us understand why either Chuck has more grace and patience for it than the rest of us, or Chuck is unwilling to straighten things out, or Chuck is unable to straighten things out.

    I sometimes wonder if Chuck is actually just less committed to keeping the movement alive than the rest of us, if he perhaps thinks that its disintegration is inevitable, and he’s kind of letting the kids see if they can make something out of it like an inheritance, but doesn’t expect them to do much except squander the chance. He’s maybe standing back and looking to see if God does something with it, but isn’t convinced.

    That would explain seemingly contradictory reports on comments made around Chuck as to whether the heir apparent is actually the right man.

    There are so many jolts in certain directions only to go nowhere, and progress then regression, contradictory opinions, that it looks like one of those comedies of error that turns into a lamentable tragedy.

  103. Steve Aspinall says:

    “The spiritual and emotional damage from abuse is immense.

    It teaches completely negative lessons about the church, about authority, and about God.”

    I also couldn’t agree more. But it teaches them in a ‘different’ way. It’s the difference between the school of hard knocks (and subsequently how the individual deals with the experience – which IS a matter of personal choice) and school in which you surrender your trust to a teacher and learn as rote from what they tell you, actually acting under the authority of their instruction, absorbing directly as belief the things they say.

    The two are chalk and cheese.

    With the former, I agree, it is no less damaging, but we’re still accountable for how we deal with it. The Pastor might teach you that he can slap you around and burn you with cigarettes, but he isn’t teaching – without laying a finger on you – that God wants you to do that to others and the Word supports it.

    Can you undesrtand the difference I’m getting at?

  104. Steve Aspinall says:

    Actually, Michael, your words hit the nail on the head…

    The abuse does teach the wrong thing about church, authority and God.

    But the false doctrine teaches the wrong thing about church, authority and God and actively calls it truth and tells you that it is from God.

    The former is implicit, the latter explicit.

    And as I said before, I’m by no means excusing one over the other.

  105. filbertz says:

    steveA,
    I think I follow what you are saying, but would simply say, to follow your analogy, that the cheese that pastor presents always tastes like chalk.

  106. Michael says:

    “The Pastor might teach you that he can slap you around and burn you with cigarettes, but he isn’t teaching – without laying a finger on you – that God wants you to do that to others and the Word supports it.”

    He is teaching that somehow God supports such in certain circumstances….and that the perp finds nothing in the Word or in his spirit that says different.

  107. filbertz says:

    further, I would say that the person who submits to a teacher (and its inherant methodology) exercises choice, but not in the former, the so-called school of hard knocks. There, only with maturity, reflection, guidance, etc. does one discover they have control over their responses/reactions and are able to consciously choose a different course.

  108. Michael says:

    Furthermore…

    What you consider false doctrine could very well be the opinion of you and your sect…while others in the Body receive the same as truth.

    We all should agree on what abuse and moral failure is.

  109. SteveA

    ‘”“they are thinkers, more educated”

    Did you intend that to be a good thing?

    Who do they think more than? Who are they more ‘educated’ than? Does their ‘education’ have Biblical accreditation?

    I ask because they seem to use that as a frequent justification for why they deserve to have Pastoral ministries. And I’ve not found that in the Bible yet. Perhaps I’m not educated enough for it.”

    I don’t think you are making an argument against education. Filbertz is right when he said “the purpose of Education isn’t to know but to think”. When CC first formed they took the scriptures out of the hands of trained clergy and into the hands of surfers, mechanics, carpenter. I think that was a good thing. People, at the time CC was in it’s hey day, were looking for answers and the response was simple: Jesus is the answer.

    People would turn to Eastern Mystics (the Beatles!) and others looking for answers. People, like my wife came to CC and found what they were looking for in Christ.

    Today, Statistics show younger folks are more independent. And they don’t necessarily sense the spiritual void like we did/do. They ask questions.–tough ones and the mumbo jumbo answers of the past don’t necessarily work.

    So I am thankful for young evangelist who have learned to think critically–concerning the truth of what the bible says–and get out of the church and go into the pubs, the colleges, streets where the outsiders are and meet them on their level, and engage them in dialogue and thru it and share Christ.

    Most don’t like the talking head. They want to voice their opinion…the message is the same; the personal need for salvation is the same as it always was. The methoid of presenting the gospel and making disciples has changed. It’s more of a thinking person’s world now. And as we share and discuss the word, intellectually or otherwise, the HS interpenetrates the cold, hard; rebellious human heart with the truth about Jesus and the judgment to come.

    So I think education is good. Otherwise we are just parroting the information of some other thinker

  110. Steve Aspinall says:

    Alex,

    “You sit under a pastor your entire life who professes one thing on Sunday morning…and then physically abuses you and your brothers to the point of despair where you’d rather die than live another day under the intense darkness of abuse…to a point where you question “how can God be…if this man is ‘of God’ and does these things…and gets away with it?””

    I’ve said before and I’ll say again… I don’t know your circumstances, and I don’t want to know or need to know them. I’m deeply, deeply sorry that they cause you pain and I’m not giving a blanket defence of sweeping things under carpets.

    They are clearly of an endless complexity and I’d prefer not to be in the position where I have to make some kind of moral judgement on them in order to make a comment.

    All I can offer in explaining my statement is this…

    I’ve not suffered abuse at the hands of a pastor. But my Pastor, my dad, my friend, my family and by extension both myself and my church have suffered extensively at the hands of a fellow pastor who, because of issues of jealousy and megalomania (wanted to be a territorial controller) spread lies, rumours, insinuations and gossip directly and indirectly about us to the point that friends in the US would call us crying their hearts out because they were just in some CCCM based ‘social’ gathering and one pastor started repeating what this man had been saying to other pastors and they started to gossip about it and use it to make judgements, while our friends KNEW first hand rthat was was being said was a lie, and spoke up about it, but found themselves dismissed because the ‘other’ pastor had a big successful church and a big successful business and was very useful at the time in getting them in-roads to come into the coutnry and minister before there was a big CC ‘thang’ in our nation.

    There are still people, who we thought were dear friends, who no longer speak to us because of the lies that they believed.

    We had the same situation, as I mentioned earlier, when the ‘new regime’ in CC turned our church splitters, who were also extensive liars and in fact still live their lie by claiming that their ‘start’ in Calvary Chapel was with a church other than ours, into prominent ministers and then Pastors against our appeal for integrity.

    Now….

    We’ve been hurt, abused, lied about, ‘crucified’, made of no reputation, crushed, hollowed out, bruised, battered and hurting. And it has been great suffering and taken forever to get over properly, in fact, we still are sometimes wounded when we get reminders of it. But we have a choice to dealing with it, and Jesus makes all the difference. I’m sure we could ‘lose faith’ or be lost to disillusionment, or blame God, or some such thing. But we don’t. We have the choice. In many ways it is the easiest choice to make, because the truth stands for itself and God is faithful and just, kind and loving. In difficult times I’ve even found his grace and encouragement coming out of the mouthes of even atheists.

    We’ve had our choice. But there are people out there who aren’t even aware they have a choice of believing or not believing what they’ve heard, they were taught it with the appearance of authority and authenticity, and they calculated that the Word of a Calvary Chapel pastor was as good as gospel, and even now, they still believe lies and never stop to wonder if the thoughts they have whenever they remember hospitalities dished out by us, times spent together, or hear our names, whether they’ve done us justice or not. They believed because they trusted and they adopted what they heard and made critical judgements on it.

    I know someone else’s war wounds don’t make things any easier.

    For us, the lies reflect on the people who immaturely didn’t check what they heard, and they reflect on a man who is a liar and who will never be trusted again, unless he repents. He’ll be loved… but not liked, and certainly not trusted. They certainly don’t make us lose faith, in fact they strengthen it, because it is when you are wounded, lost and alone that the Lord can be most depended on, and prove Himself faithful.

    I’d ask you this.

    When your step-dad taught from the Word of God, forget whether he was a hypocrite or not for a moment, did it stop being true because he was being hypocritical?

    Do you think that it is inevitable that such corruption would make people think ‘its all BS’ or do you think that some might think ‘he’s a hypocrite?’

    I’m not trying to give you pithy or super-spiritual answers. I’ve cried, shouted, screamed ‘its not fait… why us’ and beat my own hands and forehead on the wall, not least as I watched my family who I admire, love and look up to, utterly demolished by so-called ‘friends’, devestated by disappointment and betrayal. I’m a PK, and I know what even ministry itself costs us and how it can shape us for our entire future in astounding and sometimes alarming ways. But we still have a choice.

    I hope you make the right ones always, the big ones and the baby steps. Jesus is faithful, He’s far too good to us, but I love Him for it….

  111. Steve Aspinall says:

    Michael,

    “He is teaching that somehow God supports such in certain circumstances….and that the perp finds nothing in the Word or in his spirit that says different.”

    Accepted. But noted that the argument calls for the premise of a non-specific, hypothetical perpetrator not only committing the sin or abuse, but then also theologising it to be ‘Biblical.’

    I’d also add that the pastor in sin is theoretically far more limited in the scope of the damage he can do. I’m sure you have examples, but I’m yet to hear of a church of 500 who were all abused by a Pastor, knew they were being abused, found themselvse incapable of doing anything about it, and suffered it until they lost all faith and departed the church. It is usually a smaller number.

    In the absence of specific sin I can only imagine the ‘biggies’, i.e. the ones that could get you put in prison too (fraud, sexual assault, physical abuse) and note that the assumption doesn’t do much credit to the innate sense of right and wrong God gave us to recognise that something – unless we’re spiritually entranced by false doctrine to begin with, in which case the false doctrine becomes the primary vice which makes the physical sin easier to perpetrate – is morally reprehensible regardless of whather the Pastor is doing it, and as is the case with pedophilia in the priesthood, the nature of the ‘secret’ is that the vast majortiy of the the people are in the dark to it, utterly unaware of their own abuse or exploitation, or anyone elses’.

    On the other hand, if a false teacher writes a book or broadcasts, and is heard by a couple of million people…….

    Or if he teaches a room full of pastors who go out and teach the same to rooms full of believers…

    But once again, I’m not giving a thumbs up to child abusers as long as they teach a good, sound slice of doctrine… it isn’t an issue in that regard.

    I would note, from the Word’s instruction, that I am entitled to make judgement calls (right or wrong) on my perception of false doctrine, and required to act on it – not persisting in something that I perceived to be sin. I am not, however, entitled to make moral judgement calls or bring accusations I can’t substantiate, or treat with partiality based on someone else’s moral judgement or terrible report.

  112. “I would note, from the Word’s instruction, that I am entitled to make judgement calls (right or wrong) on my perception of false doctrine, and required to act on it ”

    So you are a thinker! ha ha My guess is you have some criteria from which to make the judgment call that someone is a false teacher! It’s my guess to that you would say scripture is your authority to which I would respond what is your hermeneutic? See…thinking is a good thing!

  113. Steve Aspinall says:

    Steve H…

    There are differnces of experience to account for.

    Where I am, in a deeply post-Christian society, Christians are now acknowledging that for all the effort, money and novelty expended on trying to ‘target’ the Gospel to people, the fruit is simply not happening. Alpha Course boasts millions of attendees, but the churches are not filling, morality is still declining, nothing has changed. ‘Relevance’ is ‘irrelevant’ as believers begin to recognise that the Word is the absolute for all time and we find more people drawn to the ‘CC’ style teaching of the Word BECAUSE of its traditional, uncomplicated, unsophisticated, un-marketed pure, natural goodness, much like organic veg, or those products that now sell in recycleable brown cardboard packets instead of fancy boxes.

    Programs, for us, NEVER worked. not ours. Not CCCM’s. And not Brian’s when he came to the UK.

    Calvary UK pastors, even the Americans, are now no longer talking about their success and their programmes, but about how to stay faithful ministering the Word to the same five people year on year.

    Of the churches that I know which adopt some of the flakier church movements programmes, there’s no denying that they get attention, which is what they’re designed to do. I know of churches – small churches – that have dropped $80,000 in US investment in just four weeks of ‘church planting’, and yielded so little that they closed the ministry up within two more months and moved back home.

    Churches have tried the evolution debates and the creation debates, and get nothing.

    Fundamentally, they, like Paul, have tried Mars Hill, found it failed, had to repent of it, and went back to the stumbling block to the religious and the laughing stock to the smart. It is the only thing that ‘works’ for us and I say ‘works’ with great reserve. We teach it, and we find people come because other places are not teaching it, or because they’re teaching it with something superficial added to the mix but inseparable.

    This is the oddity, for us, of any change in the movement toward more ‘relevance’ led ministries…. we don’t need ‘relevance’ because we don’t believe anything is more relevant than the heavyweight teaching of the Word by guys with years of experience, the same guys that the ‘new generation’ would sweep away and ‘retire’ because they’re not relevant, replacing them with a relevant, trendy new generation who are already pulling in the source material from the same movements and doctrinalists that some of our congregation are trying to avoid, because of their lack of maturity, experience, and profound teaching, in the opinions of some.

    Such a sweeping change in the movement would also do no favours to the ‘younger’ generation who are happy to be a part of a new generation of ministry, but who don’t buy the idea of an ‘updated’ Christian ministry model, and are happy to call themselves traditionalists. I ain’t an old guy, but I’m by no means anything less than an ‘old crusty’ at heart, and I don’t see relevance having anything relevant to do with the matter. But there you go. You can always get ‘youth’ to chase new movements and new directions and the ida of something ‘fresh.’ But I think the sixties are proof that most of what they produced wasn’t actually for the greater good of anyone at all, instead yielding increased hedonism, decreased responsibility and increased generational detatchment resulting in increased disrespect and disillusionment as the younger generation realised that they produced worst mistakes than their parents, including some of the same ones.

    In the words of Paul Simon, ‘every generation throws a hero up the pop charts.’ But some of us are still listening to Elvis, or the Dead, and saying ‘they don’t make it like they used to.’ And they don’t 😉

  114. Steve Aspinall says:

    Steve H

    “you would say scripture is your authority to which I would respond what is your hermeneutic?”

    I take two hermeneutics twice daily with a small glass of water, and I have to have something to eat first, otherwise I get bad gas.

  115. Dusty says:

    Now I am boiling…grrrr

  116. Another Voice says:

    Steve A. – I’ve stepped aside from the conversations for the most part today. I have just been wrestling with how to properly address your 3:35. Proper words fail me. I don’t know whether to cry or scream – so I will do neither and simply encourage you to reread your post to see if this truly is your mindset, or maybe you would express it differently if you could. My focus would be:

    (I’d also add that the pastor in sin is theoretically far more limited in the scope of the damage he can do. I’m sure you have examples, but I’m yet to hear of a church of 500 who were all abused by a Pastor, knew they were being abused, found themselvse incapable of doing anything about it, and suffered it until they lost all faith and departed the church. It is usually a smaller number).

    (the assumption doesn’t do much credit to the innate sense of right and wrong God gave us to recognise that something – unless we’re spiritually entranced by false doctrine to begin with)

  117. Dusty says:

    SteveA, I read into your post just what you wrote…We are not BITTER. The ‘doc. errors’ you were talking about is not false doc…doc. that our salvation depends upon…men who teach pre, post, mid trib. are not lairs because they think it will happen on a different day than you do…God said no one knows the day…no one means NO ONE…you seems to essentially be saying that if a man does not agree with you on the trib time line that they are not a brother…

    Also…your invented doc. crisis is not more important than the wounds a leader inflicts upon the sheep…

  118. Dusty says:

    Hi Captain, how you feeling?

  119. Steve Aspinall says:

    Michael….

    “What you consider false doctrine could very well be the opinion of you and your sect…while others in the Body receive the same as truth.
    We all should agree on what abuse and moral failure is.”

    That’s a ‘how long is a piece of string.’

    We should all agree what abuse and moral failure is, and sometimes do. Some would argue that if we had all been obedient to begin with, we should also all agree what constitutes false doctrine, and been resisting it for two thousand years.

    We’ll disagree on a lot with regard your former point. Some in the ‘body’ will refer to the body as ‘body’ and reserve judgement, while others mean ‘Christendom.’ Although I think most in evangelical circles mean ‘the part of Christendom that we are harmonised with’, I tend to use the term in the ‘inevitable’ sense as in ‘the Bride of Christ that ends up being with Christ for eternity’ rather than the ‘many’ who call Him Lord and are told to depart, or the ‘many’ who fall away, or the ‘many’ who are deceived or….. I’m not a collectiviser when it comes to ‘the body’, I don’t like to kick people out, as it were, but I also don’t like to include them and presume we’re on the same page. For a Calvinist I liked John MacArthur’s recent ten minute summary of how discrimination in the church is lacking and causing problems, and that far too many are given the label, and being treated as ‘real deal believers’ and then ministry is tailored to them and we wonder why they don’t grow.

    If by ‘body’ you mean Christendom, then the Bible agrees. Just as you say, one group will identify false doctrine, and the rest of the church will give it a big thumbs up and say ‘goody!’ Of course, it could be the ‘many’ who are apostate or deceived who say ‘goody’, but it would still be Biblical nonetheless.

    For me, the ‘body’ will ultimately all agree on doctrine and on false doctrine, and will have been found resisting the latter, from the retrospective perspective, that perhaps their obedience makes them part of the body, rather than their inclusion in the body making them obedient.

    But that’s another theological argument that proves that you’re right in your conclusion, just perhaps on the wrong side of the inevitable coin flip 😉

    As for the latter, I still think it would be wooly. It easily gets into the territory of moral legalism.

    For the former, I just don’t believe it is as arbitrary as a tit for tat between equal groupings in ‘the body’, I think the truth speaks more clearly than that, and often alternative views on that subject are themselves the result of additional false doctrine or error. But then, I would, wouldn’t I? Because this argument can go on forever, when you’re dealing in hypotheticals and theoreticals rather than specifics.

  120. Dusty says:

    Steve A said, “I’m not being nasty, honestly. Just objective.”

    you may not have intended to be nasty, but you sure had a huge amount of insults in some of your posts….you are welcome to defend your movement to the death, but I will not be quiet while you speak ill of my brothers.

  121. London says:

    chalk and cheese, how long is a piece of string?

    Ah…now we’re talking in a way I understand :mrgreen:

  122. Steve Aspinall says:

    “SteveA, I read into your post just what you wrote…We are not BITTER. The ‘doc. errors’ you were talking about is not false doc…doc. that our salvation depends upon…men who teach pre, post, mid trib. are not lairs because they think it will happen on a different day than you do…”

    Sorry, but you ARE reading into my post far more than I wrote. You’re connecting multiple posts to each other, ignoring their context, and using them to draw conclusions about things I say hypothetically and non-specifically resulting in something specific that I have not actually said.

    I speak generally, most of the time. Can you point out to me where I said that you were bitter and in what context, and I’ll try to explain it.

    We also clearly disagree on the definition of ‘false doctrine.’ You seem to claim that doctrine can only be false if your salvation depends on it. That’s not my definition. In defining ‘false doctrine’ I defer to the Word, and define it as ‘anything which is the devising of men’s minds which is not explicitly stated in the Word, but which is taught as if it were Biblical doctrine.’

    Now, you’re confusing my discussion of ‘false doctrine’ (by the definition I use) with my comments about whether Calvary Chapel pastors were subscribing to Calvary Chapel distinctives. I most clearly did not refer to amil, pre, post or mid trib as ‘false doctrine’ nor say that the men teaching them are liars. Rather, I stated objectively that they are matters which Calvary Chapel has settled distinctives on which are a point of agreement, and that subscribing to Calvary Chapel movement while holding a view contrary to the distinctives is dishonest, and it is – just like entering a competition which says ‘you must be 21 or over’ and signing a box to confirm it, when in actual fact you’re 19.

    You are misrepresenting me, and evidence for this misrepresentation is found in the fact that others have discussed these comments with me without connecting the dots you do. Please stop it. I won’t go chasing phantom arguments.

    “God said no one knows the day…no one means NO ONE”

    And as far as I know, no one is trying to tell anyone what day it will be. That doesn’t preclude the fact that there is an academic theological eschatological debate over the general relationship chronologically speaking between the rapture and the time known as ‘tribulation’ based on other direct and explicit comments from God, typology and other assorted details which is fascinating in its own right.

    “you seems to essentially be saying that if a man does not agree with you on the trib time line that they are not a brother…”

    Don’t recall saying that. Can you show me where I said it?

    “Also…your invented doc. crisis is not more important than the wounds a leader inflicts upon the sheep…”

    Logical problem… My invented (hypothetical) issue of doctrinal fallacy is, according to you, less important than your invented (hypothetical) issue of wounds inflicted by a leader upon the sheep. Hypothetically speaking, you can’t possibly know that, because you don’t hypothetically know the hypothetical nature of my hypothetical doctrinal crisis, and haven’t been able to specifically clarify the hypothetical offence caused by your hypothetical leader on the hypothetical sheep. You also don’t know how many hypothetical people have read or listened to my hypothetical false doctrine, nor do I know how many hypothetical sheep are in your hypothetical church leader’s hypothetical field.

    Anyway, I’m hypothetically off to bed… I’ll look in on the morning to see if we’re making any more sense out of things.

    I certainly didn’t anticipate causing you so much offense, but I suspect I’m getting the raw end of something that has nothing to do with me, so I’ll just suck it up for now.

  123. Steve Aspinall says:

    Dusty,

    “you may not have intended to be nasty, but you sure had a huge amount of insults in some of your posts”

    Sorry, but I don’t buy that. Insults are in my posts if I intend them to be there. If I don’t intend them to be there, they’re not in there. I don’t recognise insults that other people choose to read in my posts.

    I’d also ask you to avoid taking offence on behalf of people who don’t, themselves, take offense.

    Frankly, it’s a little freaky how seriously you’re taking something that isn’t there, and chasing shadows.

    “you are welcome to defend your movement to the death, but I will not be quiet while you speak ill of my brothers.”

    Of that, I have no doubt.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to find a wall and beat my brains out against it.

  124. Dusty says:

    lol poor guy.

  125. Steve A
    For the record I am a CC pastor who is committed to teaching as best I can the intended meaning of scripture. That will never change for me and many of my CC compatriates. But you said “…we find more people drawn to the ‘CC’ style teaching of the Word BECAUSE of its traditional, uncomplicated, unsophisticated, un-marketed pure, natural goodness, much like organic veg, or those products that now sell in recycleable brown cardboard packets instead of fancy boxes.”

    Statistics would indicate you may be wrong in your assessment. Church in general is in decline. But in a culture where church growth is determined by goods ans services (consumers) Those committed to teaching the word are even more in decline. I know very few CC’s that are attracting new converts. In most (not all) cases, if they are not declining, the growth is due to transfer growth. Also, if you look across many congregations that are of any size, most represent an older demographic.

  126. Steve Aspinall says:

    Another Voice…

    I’ve reviewed, and I don’t see anything that I explicitly feel I need to reword.

    I’d also be careful about characterising what I said as ‘my attitude’ because it kind of denotes a deliberacy of ignorance or partiality that simply doesn’t exist in what I wrote. My comments are based on an interpretation and evaluation of Scripture pertaining to the issue of personal accountability, moral responsibility and forgiveness which, albeit by my own conclusions, lead me to believe that the ‘church’ has a greater mandate to police doctrine than to police moral issues and – more importantly – how the flock perceive moral issues relative to themselves.

    I do believe that tackling sin, or error, is something that needs to be done where it is clear (we can’t be ‘clear’ in this case, though, because we’re dealing in hypothetical generalisms) but also that it falls into the category of our judging sin (let him who is without sin… log in your own eye, speck in your brother’s) and so on.

    I’m hearing hints and allegations in these hypotheticals, and I’d have to say this…

    In the case of a moral issue, what are the charges? If we’re talking about child abuse, rape, murder, fraud, theft, pedophilia then we live in nations which function under civil and criminal prosecution. If is evidence, witnesses, then bring a charge. That’s where the matter is dealt with best. We’ve already seen what can happen when churches try to deal with justice ‘in-house’ because the victims don’t go to the police.

    To be blunt, you could come to me and tell me that Pastor Joe Bob is raping his secretary each and every day. If you’ve got evidence and witnesses, go to the police and I’ll stand and be shocked and disgusted alongside you. I cannot kick a man out of ministry for an allegation that you can’t prove and I am obliged, without evidence, to accept his word when he tells me that some crazy person with a grudge is spreading rumours about him. Having been on the receiving end (to my surprise) of totally false rumours about my personal life and having had a ‘stalker’ who was obsessed with getting me booted from ministry for my alleged moral corruption, I can tell you there’s little else that is as destructive as false rumour acted upon. The Word tells you how to deal with moral issues, and it does call for witnesses too. Otherwise it would be the people’s right to simply level charges anywhere and everywhere.

    Love it or loathe it, if you make charges that X is doing Y to Z, without evidence, without witnesses and especially if Z denies that X did Y to them, the church is like the law… we can’t do anything about it. You can hate it, you can feel you want justice, you can shout and scream about it, but you’ve got nothing except hearsay and I’d hope to God we’d all agree that not a single one of us want to be punished for anything that someone accuses us of but can’t prove.

    The New Testament is not a text filled with moral justice, retribution, exposing wickedness, saving the world or ending third world poverty. It is, however, a text – in my opinion – filled with instruction to forgive, instruction to trust to the Lord, instruction to follow a model of moral accountability which – I have to add – is designed in God’s wisdom to provide a little of what we might term ‘protection’ agasnt frivolous and false charges which again, all fall under the issue of personal moral accountability. We are not to bear false witness, and without evidence a witness cannot be deemed, as in a court of law, to be telling the truth.

    I maintain my view that the Word does not call us to police morality other than our own, but it does call us to police and protect against doctrine as an active policy. That’s God’s emphasis, not mine.

  127. Dusty says:

    bella, I guess I did

  128. Also concerning your humorous hermeneutic comment…yI don’t know if you know what I mean by the term but regardless if you can state it or not you have a hermeneutic–a guide or template to biblical interpretation.

    You can respond jokingly and that’s OK but It is an important issue because it’s not what the bibles says that’s important but what you and others think it says. And for that we need a hermeneutic.

    BTW we CC guys who say we teach the bible need to reevaluate of we truly do “Teach the bible”. You say we don’t give in to relevance but of the few CC pastors I listen to not that many teach the intended meaning of scripture. They import their ideas to a text and morph it to say what they want it to say which in many cases is about relevant issues like marriage, or family, or integrity or what ever.

    Point being just because we may go thru a passage vs by vs; chapter by chapter and comment doesn’t necessarily mean we are teaching the bible…we may be teaching from the bible but not the bible.

    It’s been a goal for me to challenge my CC brothers to get back to teaching the intended meaning of scripture. There’s been a subtle shift from exegesis toward relevance under the guise of vs by vs teaching

  129. Michael says:

    Holly,

    That wasn’t helpful.

    Roger Wing is the head of CCOF.

  130. Steve Aspinall says:

    “Statistics would indicate you may be wrong in your assessment. Church in general is in decline. But in a culture where church growth is determined by goods ans services (consumers) Those committed to teaching the word are even more in decline. I know very few CC’s that are attracting new converts. In most (not all) cases, if they are not declining, the growth is due to transfer growth. Also, if you look across many congregations that are of any size, most represent an older demographic.”

    I think you misunderstood me.

    I wasn’t saying that the church in my culture is growing. I was referring to my experience. My church sees more people in a year (five or six) who are drawn not because of our events, but because of our distinctives, and usually we find they’re either from another church which is either lacking serious Biblical study or dabbling in silliness, or they’re significantly ‘ex-church’ having given up on church either by being hurt or burned by dodgy doctrine.

    I’d agree with a declining church too. And an older one.

    I don’t see those as problems that get fixed by changing church mode, though. That’s all. Repackage anything and you’ll be virtually guaranteed a sales boost, just from curiosity, but if it actually yields nothing solid it was just frivolous investment and you’re giving people something they don’t want. People who don’t think they’re sick have no need of a doctor, and the sickness people are suffering from, unawares, is the same in any language, for all time, needing no packaging. The biggest draw to the church in the future will be catastrophe, sadly. The schools no longer teach the traditions, but write them out, the young don’t even have a frame of reference to remember ‘God’ these days. In our church model we use two means to try to attract attention without delving into ‘relevance.’ We pose questions about the times we live in, and we pose questions about our origin. And unbelievers usually laugh, spit and threaten their way around both.

    For us, our emphasis isn’t to be missionaries or evangelists. That comes as part of the natural course of healthy sheep living lives in the world. Our emphasis is to keep doing what we do to keep the sheep fed and equipped, because they’re the ones doing the work of sharing with the dying, praying for the sick, helping the needy and so on, as they meet them. That’s why we dodge novelties and why we reject the idea of what we’re in the middle of doing somehow needing a generational turnover.

    We are clearly not only in the middle of the prophecied rejection of God by the world, but also the apostacy in the church – and this is the aspect that concerns us the most, because it is the part in which we have been given active responsibility and have no excuse for. A Church of England minister went out on a limb a couple of years ago over here. He stated publicly, and nationally, that the problem in society was the fact that out of all those professing to be ‘Christian’, he estimated only 5% were the ‘real deal’ – born again and Bible believing. There were a lot of people shocked and even insulted and outraged, but the church attendance and the declining morality rate within and without church communities demonstrated his point. I think state churches inevitably have a much higher proportion of nominalism than more specific movements and denominations, but I’m not disinclined to agree with him in general. The Word says GREAT apostacy, MANY falling away, MANY false teachers, MANY false Christs, MANY false doctrines, MANY who say ‘Lord, Lord’ but deceive themselves, and FEW who prove ultimately to be the real deal.

    I realise that’s a controversial subject. I don’t know how else to explain its presence in the Word. God is not bound to terminology and linear concepts like we are, so I have no doubt that he doesn’t use humpty dumpty speak in order to express ideas which ultimately might turn out to be far less meaningful than first believed.

  131. Michael says:

    “We are clearly not only in the middle of the prophecied rejection of God by the world, but also the apostacy in the church – and this is the aspect that concerns us the most, because it is the part in which we have been given active responsibility and have no excuse for.”

    That is an absolutely unprovable hypothesis.

    I would contend that between 1860 and 1920 was a far more perilous time…which the church survived quite well.

    It is a massive rhetorical weapon with which to demonize those some disagree with.

    This is a golden age for biblical truth…never in history have so many riches been available to so many.

  132. Another Voice says:

    Steve A. – Here’s my 20 years, for what its worth..

    Many people I minister to have really been screwed up by people that otherwise should be trusted. Young ladies (or men for I have dealt with this in both sexes) who were molested for years, ran away from home, whored themselves out for money to survive (and often support their drug habit). People who currently are in abusive relationships and come to the church as a sanctuary in more than one sense of the word.

    Their ability to trust their “God-given” sense of right and wrong is severely handicapped. And this inability has nothing to do with being seduced by false doctrine first.

    Ask any chaplain who serves on the scenes of tragedy.The pastor (chaplain) represent GOD to these hurting people, when nobody else around them does.The power and responsibility in such cases is awesome. A LIFETIME of damage can be done in one visit – and sometimes has. I hope you tremble at the power you have as a pastor of the Lord. I sure do.

    I reject that abusing pastors are not a primary concern because they can’t get away with it in large numbers and because the hurting, abused and sometimes unsaved people are supposed to recognize their God-given sense of right and wrong..

    but Spirit-filled Christians can’t detect error???

    I teach my flock the Word and I find that they quickly come to me when they hear something that isn’t just right. I trust the Holy Spirit to keep them, and I will watch for wolves who enter MY flock – but I do not spend any energy worrying about the speakers lineup in a conference in New Mexico, or certainly about who might be on TV.

    False teaching damages lives, no question. How about as much focus on the Mormons, JWs, Muslims, and secular atheists as with the Leonard Sweets of the world then?

    Abuse in the pulpit is terribly serious and a special problem in many CCs. Let’s multitask. Let’s not be dismissive of the one for the sake of emphasis on fighting the other.

    My final word on this thread. If the “you know what” hits the fan, I would choose Dusty to be by my side before I would trust some of the men in our movement.

  133. Michael says:

    AV absolutely rocks… 🙂

    There’s a man I’ll listen to and submit to…that’s what a pastor looks like.

  134. centorian says:

    I loved Foereigner.

  135. London says:

    “The New Testament is not a text filled with moral justice, retribution, exposing wickedness, saving the world or ending third world poverty. It is, however, a text – in my opinion – filled with instruction to forgive, instruction to trust to the Lord, instruction to follow a model of moral accountability which – I have to add – is designed in God’s wisdom to provide a little of what we might term ‘protection’ agasnt frivolous and false charges which again, all fall under the issue of personal moral accountability. We are not to bear false witness, and without evidence a witness cannot be deemed, as in a court of law, to be telling the truth.”

    There are many christians across the world that would argue that the “model of ‘moral accountability'” God designed includes working for moral justice, exposing wickedness and ending third world justice in equal or greater measure than it does dealing with gossip and false witness.

  136. jlo says:

    Why do I feel like watching the movie Beetlejuice?

  137. centorian says:

    Steve A. your #124…
    so, Alpha courses didn’t produce much fruit?

  138. centorian says:

    jlo,
    perhaps the same reason I feel like cueing up Foreigner 4. (but I don’t have it, lol)

  139. jlo says:

    I think i have that album sitting on the top shelf of my closet…..

  140. jlo says:

    My bad, it’s Double Vision that I still have.

    MLD, I also have The Knacks my sharrona.

  141. centorian says:

    I remember sitting in a club in Buloxi watching these punkers doing the pogo to “Urgent”. Those locals didn’t know what to do with us Air Force guys.

  142. jlo says:

    So you were always outside of the box…

  143. centorian says:

    jlo,
    lol…. yeah, I get claustrophobia very easily. I had a friend tell me today I’m a mismatch for the community I’m serving in. He might be right. No time is that more evident when I meet with the ministerial association here…. 8)

  144. jlo says:

    I can relate.

  145. Captain Kevin says:

    Hi Dusty,
    As to how I’m feeling, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

  146. Dusty says:

    oh Captain, i’m so sorry you are still not feeling well. 🙁 how should we pray?

  147. By the length of posts and the tone as well as the fact he’s from England, I think Steve A is the guy who got the boot from simplemindedpreacher…if that’s him, we’re in for a long one!

  148. Steve Aspinall says:

    Michael,

    “That is an absolutely unprovable hypothesis.
    I would contend that between 1860 and 1920 was a far more perilous time…which the church survived quite well.
    It is a massive rhetorical weapon with which to demonize those some disagree with.
    This is a golden age for biblical truth…never in history have so many riches been available to so many.”

    Interesting. Disagree. But interesting.

    Never in history have so many people been able to so greatly enjoy such a rich variety of means to communicate with each other so quickly. Doesn’t change the fact that the majority of the world’s ‘communications’ are taken up with cold calls, cyberfraud, SPAM emails, and an endless stream of virus content, malware, and pornography pushers.

    Never in history have so many people been so free to read, hear and watch such a rich variety of informitive and entertaining content. Doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of it is vanity, nonsense, smut and filth.

    It isn’t about the fact that there’s never been such an opportune moment, its about what people want to do with that moment.

  149. Steve Aspinall says:

    “By the length of posts and the tone as well as the fact he’s from England, I think Steve A is the guy who got the boot from simplemindedpreacher…if that’s him, we’re in for a long one!”

    One and the same.

    But do me a favour.

    Instead of trying to read ‘tone’ into an email, just take it for what it says. Trying to take ‘tone’ out of it calls for judgement on my heart and my intent, and that’s not a call for you to make. I take you as I find you. Please can you do the same.

    And leave prejudices at the door.

    In some circles being ‘booted’ from SMP is tantamount to being sent to Siberia as a ruin of a minister.

    In other circles I’d be nominated for an award.

    We all accept and understand that there are cliques and groups all polarised around certain trains of thought.

    I’m sure that you’d rather not be referred to by negative connotations, and instead would rather be known as a servant of God, who did what he could, acted on his convictions, and maybe sometimes had something interesting or intelligent to say. If I say anything which is doctrinally false, by all means give me a nod.

  150. Steve Aspinall says:

    Centorian,

    “so, Alpha courses didn’t produce much fruit?”

    Like all matters of perspective, it depends on yours.

    If by ‘fruit’ you mean ‘people who think that Christianity isn’t as uncool as they first thought’ or ‘people who develop a superstition of churchianity but have no committment to study, growth, maturity or application of the Word’ then sure, it produced a massive amount of fruit.

    If by ‘fruit’ you mean ‘born again, repentant people who put their faith in the Lord Jesus, were morally regenerate and began robustly pursuing Biblical lives and lapping up teaching wherever they can’ then no, the fruit is nearly non-existent.

    Church of England extensively employed Alpha and continue to run it as much as a community rallying point that the congregation can continue to get behind, yet their numbers in the CofE are dwindling faster than ever, with some of the truly born again CofE ministers either ditching the program or pointing out that the program is an anemic attempt at luring new converts to the churches of men who are, themselves, not ‘born again’ and do not teach the Word as a passion.

    The course is devised by people with a reputation for flaky spirituality, who’ve chased many of the manifestations of false revival movements. It’s home church has been pivotal in ‘spreading’ the false revival movements of recent years.

    It has not filled churches. It has not caused notable moral regeneration. It has not yielded a new generation of ‘jesus people.’ Churches are still being closed down, mosques are still being built, Islam is still the fastest growing religion, Alpha Course ‘Christians’ are not demonstrating any kind of generational spiritual influence in their own families, which is contributing to the decline of ‘youth’ interest in churches. None of the fellowships that I’m in contact with (predominantly ‘Calvary’ type (not necessarily Calvary affiliate)) perceive that Alpha is just another tragic fad. A red herring.

    I’ll add a caveat – there is no doubt at all that *some* new believers have been birthed by Alpha. In the same way, there is no doubt at all that *some* new believers have been birthed by Wagnerite charismania, Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar. That is IN SPITE of the movement, not because of it, it is God being faithful to His Word, even in the mouth of asses.

    I’m not a utilitarian. I don’t believe the ends justify the means, in that sense, so I don’t believe that a tiny fruit from Alpha in any way mitigates the massive lies told about its success in order to support it, export it and keep it alive. And I wouldn’t trust Nicky Gumbel for theology. But that’s just me.

  151. Steve Aspinall says:

    London,

    “There are many christians across the world that would argue that the “model of ‘moral accountability’” God designed includes working for moral justice, exposing wickedness and ending third world justice in equal or greater measure than it does dealing with gossip and false witness.”

    I don’t dispute that. But I don’t take my authority from it either. There are all kinds of things that many ‘christians’ across the world would argue for, that I wouldn’t support in a million years.

  152. Believe says:

    AV…I have a lot of respect for you.

  153. Believe says:

    Steve A…glad you’re here. It would be good to have your help with the corruption issues. Not that doctrine shouldn’t be tested…I just hope you’ll see how the corruption does a ton of damage and is very easy to discern…it’s something we should all be able to agree on.

    I’m personally open that I could be wrong about my take on certain people’s doctrine.

    I have no doubt and it is very clear when I see corruption in the church that is unrepented of.

  154. Steve A
    “And leave prejudices at the door.”

    Already have. All I ask in return is that you respect the forum here. This is a place to “conversate” and not “dominate”. From what I’ve seen here albeit unintentionally, you sometimes demean other people’s views with your comments. You have strong opinions but as has already been observed, your opinions are not necessarily based on proper facts.

    This is a group that respects other people’s beliefs and we challenge and allow ourselves to be challenged. No one has all the answers; we are all learning from each other. We’ve learned too, to appreciate the differences. So all I ask is that you be mindful of that. Thanks

  155. Michael says:

    SteveA,

    The difference between our two unprovable hypotheses is that I wake up every morning excited to use the tools and share the resources and your camp uses your hypotheses to create division, suspicion, and judgment.

    You can’t prove that the “apostasy” is upon us and neither can your ODM brethren.

    The late 1800s birthed the JWs, the Mormons, and the explosion of German textual criticism that led to a rise in liberalism in the churches as never seen before.

    We are in far better shape, with much greater tools to promote truth and combat error.

  156. Steve Aspinall says:

    AV,

    Thanks for your comments. Food for thought.

    They warrant some responses.

    “Their ability to trust their “God-given” sense of right and wrong is severely handicapped. ”

    No dispute here. However, they are STILL morally accountable for themselves.

    I’m confused, really, as to why this has even become an ‘either/or.’ At what point were we discussing how abused people turn out because parents or relatives, husbands, children, wives or any other of the ‘most trusted people’ abused them in relation to how we deal with false doctrine in the church. What does one have to do with the other? Who said that you can’t deal with both at the same time as the situation arises? Not me.

    “A LIFETIME of damage can be done in one visit – and sometimes has. I hope you tremble at the power you have as a pastor of the Lord. I sure do.”

    Again, I have no argument here. Never have. I don’t recall saying this was an ‘either/or’ or that Pastors shouldn’t be great counsellors.

    “I reject that abusing pastors are not a primary concern because they can’t get away with it in large numbers and because the hurting, abused and sometimes unsaved people are supposed to recognize their God-given sense of right and wrong..”

    I didn’t say that it isn’t a “primary” concern. The purpose of having ‘primary’, ‘secondary’,’tertiary’ concerns is so that you can have a ranking of priority. Having half a dozen primary concerns wouldn’t make sense. I said that the Bible doesn’t address it as the primary cautionary mandate for believers in ministry in churches. Berean model is, however, the primary cautionary mandate.

    Also don’t make too much of a meal out of ‘God-given sense of right and wrong.’ I’m not talking about deep seated spirituality discerning undercurrents or mysteries. I’m talking about innate morality. Humanity knows, unless it is amoral or psychopathic, that rape, murder, stealing and such are all wrong. The place for those things to be dealt with is under law, because we have law for that purpose. It isn’t to rally a group of Christian ministers to storm a tower with burning torches and pitchforks because of some allegations. Accusations of criminal abuse are not matters for the body to discern, they’re matters for the police to investigate. Rape is not an issue for a Pastor to pick up and take to enthusiastic counselling, it is a matter for reporting and criminal charges to be brought first and foremost. You verify with fact, so that you can deal with objectivity. And then you see what happens.

    “but Spirit-filled Christians can’t detect error???”

    First, it takes a definition of ‘Christian.’ Second, I don’t presume that those we define as ‘Christians’ are all ‘spirit-filled’ Christians, and I don’t believe the Word does either. If they are, then what on earth are Pastor/Teachers needed for, and why do we hold so many meetings focused on responding to the Spirit or being filled with it.

    And for the rest, I think the state of Christendom at large is ample evidence of one of two things. Either those who many would claim are ‘Christians’ are not Christians, or those who many would claim are ‘Spirit-filled’ Christian are not ‘Spirit-filled’, because the evidence is that they certainly aren’t discerning. The top fifty in the average Christian bookstore is proof of that, in Europe if not in the US.

    “I teach my flock the Word and I find that they quickly come to me when they hear something that isn’t just right. I trust the Holy Spirit to keep them, and I will watch for wolves who enter MY flock – but I do not spend any energy worrying about the speakers lineup in a conference in New Mexico, or certainly about who might be on TV.”

    Great. That’s what we do here. But I thank God that when someone in the flock comes to me, or to the Senior Pastor and says ‘I’ve heard about this book’ or ‘there’s this teacher who’s doing the rounds… what do you think?’ that I can easily give myself a day, go do some research, and find a plethora of information from people who have already found out about these things because they DO have a passion and a burden to test everything they lay their hands on. Not all are called to be Pastor Teachers, nor Worship Leaders, just like not all are called to stand on the guard tower all night and watch for signs of trouble – both within and without the city walls. I can then take their information, I can hear their warning call, and I can test it for myself, take counsel in a multitude of views of people that I feel I have reason to trust and respect, discuss it with them, and then either defer to my judgement, or offer my own view of the situation.

    “False teaching damages lives, no question. How about as much focus on the Mormons, JWs, Muslims, and secular atheists as with the Leonard Sweets of the world then? ”

    Again, chalk and cheese. I’m not focused here on where the Bible talks about foreign gods. I’m not talking about heretical doctrine that is so obvious as to be difficult to miss. I’m talking about the emphasis the Word places on those who look authentic, those who fit in in the church and carry the appearance of authority, those who deceive. I’m not aware of any Christians at the moment, in my circles, who are in danger of being seduced by Islam, the Mormons, JW’s or becoming Secular Atheists, not least because our teaching includes references to the fallacy of all those things as standard. I have, however, been asked not only within my church, but by friends and associates in other churches for my view, in recent months, on problems caused by people who have developed an obsessive compulsion for Christian Hedonism, people who think that salvation in Christ allows them to sleep with whoever they want, people who think that their churches should have smutty seminars like Mars Hill, and people who want less Bible teaching and more cultural relevance. Islam, Mormonism, the JW’s and Atheism are problems I can address, but not problems I need to face, and the ministry of apologetic aimed in their direction is more about equipping Christians to comprehend the failings of those ideas and be able to talk to people who are in them with the hope of leading them out. Discerning false teachers in the church, however, is about anti-virus protection for Christians who are already plugged into the internet, clicking on all the different pages, who may or may not have some kind of firewall, or who may – God forbid – have a fake firewall, downloaded from a website, which is actually sucking more nasties into their computer with each passing minute.

    That’s why the Bible emphasises it. Spotting people who are totally different from us is one thing. Spotting people who are believed to be exactly the same as us is another altogether.

    “Abuse in the pulpit is terribly serious and a special problem in many CCs. Let’s multitask. ”

    Agreed. Multitasking still requires prioritisation, though, and circumstances change prioritisation. I can’t fly across the world to tackle allegations of ‘abuse in the pulpit’ in a CC somewhere, but I can publish a warning against the teachings that the churches down the road are pushing, or the books that the Christian friends of my flock are reading, or the conferences and seminars they’re being invited to. And sometimes I have to defend against the fact that someone in a CC has done something so dubious or dumb as to make it appear that the stand that we – and many others – have taken against erroneous doctrine or bad ideas is invalidated and has now become the new ‘normal.’

    “I would choose Dusty to be by my side before I would trust some of the men in our movement.”

    Sure. Jesus trusted Himself to no one but the Father. It can be a lonely place out there, and any single one of us could flake out when called upon to provide support or stand on a line. I know I’ve seen occasions where whole groups of guys in CC were all agreed that there was a problem with some thing or another, some person, and they all nominate their spokesperson, and as their spokesperson is about to get his head ripped off, and looks round for support, those guys are stood there whistling and looking at their feet. And afterward, they go right back to being in agreement that there’s a problem, but none have had the spine to stand up and be counted for it. And the spokesman quickly learns never to fall for that trick again.

    Sad but true.

  157. Believe says:

    “We are in far better shape, with much greater tools to promote truth and combat error.”

    And we have the ability as never before to enter into the public dialogue about matters like justice, morality, conscience…who we are, why we are here and give an answer for man’s most basic questions…

    We spend an awful lot of time inside the church hashing things out…and very little time in the marketplace of ideas…in the world…where we are supposed to be salt and light…hashing things out and pointing to Christ.

  158. centorian says:

    Steve A , thanks for you response on 169. I have heard other reports of the fruit of Alpha that were nebulus at best, which told me a whole lot. Of particular interest to me was the plight of the Church of England.

    Michael,
    Per our recent discussions, I would think that involvement with any denomination or movement encumbers it’s members to bear the burden of association. It seems like one only trades one burden for another in most cases unless they go independent and thereby bear the the entire weight of themselves alone.

  159. Steve Aspinall says:

    Michael,

    “The difference between our two unprovable hypotheses is that I wake up every morning excited to use the tools and share the resources and your camp uses your hypotheses to create division, suspicion, and judgment.”

    My camp? What camp is that?

    Once again you present unrelated antitheses. Do i not wake up every morning excited to use tools and share resources? Do I create division? I would argue that if I say something that you can divide with me over, I didn’t create the division, the division was already there, when it is a matter of what the Word says and whether we obey it particularly. it wasn’t created by me, because I’m not teaching a new doctrine. I just stumbled into it, because you already disagree with me ‘and my camp’, whatever that is.

    As for creating suspicion, division and judgment, its all subjective and all subject to hypocrisy. Be objective… The very existence of this forum is a testament to the selective tolerance of suspicion, division and judgement, all you’re saying is that your manifestation of it is the righteous one, and those who don’t agree have the unrighteous manifestation, right? If any of us, strictly speaking, were without partiality and cared about not gossiping, not rebuking, being unloving, shattering harmony, and leaving people to get on with the ministry they feel called to, not a single one of us could raise a comment save for a cry of repentance.

    We can all talk about ‘loving brothers’ and translate that into never questioning them, never challenging what they teach, never having suspicions about them, never being divided or aloof from them, but when it comes down to it we’ve all actually got a button that gets pushed which causes us to selectively ignore our moral high ground, and then justify why we do it.

    The question is – is identifying and dealing with false doctrine in the church unbiblical?

    I’ll speak objectively about false doctrine, and in one post you’ve actually judged me by referring negatively to ‘my camp’, while telling me that it is judgement and division that is the bad thing. Can you take this correction? It’s hypocrisy.

    Saying ‘your camp’ is division, created not by the Word in respect of sound doctrine or unsound doctrine, but based on your feelings and judged in fact on your holiness, the fact that YOU consider that you wake up on the morning with joy and productivity which is somehow of virtue to God, which in turn is judgement, when you negatively lump me into a ‘category’ by which you can express that I’m part of some kind of blight on Christendom.

    How about loving your brother? If I’m not your brother, by what Biblical standard of false doctrine or heresy am I not your brother?

    Play the game, by all means.

    “You can’t prove that the “apostasy” is upon us and neither can your ODM brethren.”

    I hate to state the obvious, but you can’t prove that it isn’t upon us either, and more importantly you haven’t yet proven that the so-called ‘ODM’ brethren (your brethren too, if you adhere to Biblical standards on who you define as ‘brother’ and if you Biblically refuse to show partiality) are not acting under the influence of the Word and are in error. You can tell me how you feel about it, and you can tell me how you personally interpret certain words, but you ignore far more doctrine than you enforce when you do, and you claim for yourself a moral high ground which does not play out in all your dealings with all the people you might have something to say about.

    I’d rather be in my position than yours, frankly, but again, that’s just based on interpretation and understanding. We differ. And supposedly you are ‘all about’ how we can differ, but still be brothers, still be civil, still be loving, and still be part of the same body.

    Or are you justified in kicking people out of ‘your’ church. What false doctrine are they guilty of?

    “The late 1800s birthed the JWs, the Mormons, and the explosion of German textual criticism that led to a rise in liberalism in the churches as never seen before. We are in far better shape, with much greater tools to promote truth and combat error.”

    I’m not one of the people that consider the JW’s or the Mormons to be ‘Christian’ cults, and never have been, so they’re as close to ‘false doctrine’ in the church, as far as I’m concerned, as Islam is.

    The explosion of German textual criticism in the 1800’s is irrelevant, especially when considered that the Reformation rode the coat tails of gnostic secularism in Europe for two centuries prior to that. We can all argue all day long about the culmination of influences that lead to apostacy and heresy. The more pertinent question is whether there is any evidence that all this amazing technology and dissemination that you’re claiming has somehow redressed the balance of apostacy has any discernible effect or is an illusion. I’d argue the latter. The predominant use of mass media communications in the world is not used to disseminate sound Biblical teaching, but disproportionate amounts of nonsense. I’m sure you’d claim that the ODM’s as you call them are an unholy blight on the use of the internet. Church attendance is falling, evolutionism is continuing in popularity, morality is declining, despair is mounting, atheism is making leaps and bounds on a generational basis, false doctrines are saturating the broad spectrum of Christendom….

    We have all the tools, yet all the evidence is that we’re failing, and oddly enough that ongoing failure is the exact same reason that the so-called ODM’s use to justify the ‘O’ part of their assigned acronym.

    Now, if you don’t see that failure, then fair enough. We are obviously much, much further apart in these ideas than I imagined. But I do see that failure, and I see all those things happening, and when I turn to my bible it tells me that I should expect them to happen as a sign of the times. So when they do, I feel that the point is made. Which is why as a believer and a minister I can happily say that I believe that there has never been a time in human history when discernment in the church has been more relevant than it is now.

    I’m not the only one who thinks it.

    But I know you disagree.

    So fair enough.

  160. Steve Aspinall says:

    Centorian,

    The CofE is everything you would expect from a nominalised ‘established’ church.

    There are good men still in it. Many have come out, though. The Gay Bishops, the Women Priests, the anti-creationism, the new age archbishop, the gnosticism, the lack of Biblical teaching, the effective corsets on the ministry are all stifling. Usually what you find is that a born again minister will produce an equally ‘alive’ church and in turn relate to other ‘alive’ churches. Sometimes they simply stay in the denomination because of building ownership, because of the funding for the ministry, and sometimes because they feel convicted to be a voice of division, calling for restoration of sound values and rejecting the nonsense. It is also a geographical thing too. There are still some good men in the African churches and in India. We’ve had a couple of very publicly upstanding guys recently, Michael Nasir-Ali, who turned down possible Archbishop candidacy because he’s going back to India to work in mission, and another man who’s in Oxford I think whose name I forget but he’s stood up against persecution of Christians, islamification, and was the guy who went on the public record and stated that of all those in the Church of England and the protestant church at large he believed that only 5% were actually born-again believers.

    You should have heard the ecumenists howl!

  161. Believe says:

    …my comment of “in the world” should have been more specific to “academia” and “humanism”…that is the segment we are weak in, IMO…and where we are losing major ground.

  162. Steve Aspinall says:

    “From what I’ve seen here albeit unintentionally, you sometimes demean other people’s views with your comments.”

    So I’m guilty of something that takes no intention on my part, but other people choose to interpret? Can’t we all be adults and learn how to deal with each other, instead of having to have an air of political correctness which we erroneously describe as ‘respect’ so as to neuter those who might be too different from us? If it is unintentional, I can’t do anything about it. Is there enough grace for it to be written off as a writing style or a personality quirk instead of grabbing it and turning it into a non-existent issue for the sake of contention?

    “You have strong opinions but as has already been observed, your opinions are not necessarily based on proper facts. ”

    Well, isn’t that a bit generalised? I have strong opinions but they might not ‘necessarily’ be based on facts? That’s like saying ‘there’s no place for an opinion if it could be wrong.’ Surely everyone here has strong opinions that might not be based on proper facts.

    OK… enough generalism. Lets be more specific… Which opinions are not based on proper facts, and then I can correct them.

    We are talking about facts, aren’t we? Or is it a case of someone else’s conjecture or intepretation doesn’t agree with my conjecture or interpretation? Have I stated something as fact which was not fact? I was pretty sure that I kept saying ‘in my opinion’, or ‘in my experience’ or ‘I have observed.’

    If there’s a charge, bring it. But I can’t do much about insinuations and interpretations.

    “This is a group that respects other people’s beliefs and we challenge and allow ourselves to be challenged.”

    Define ‘respects.’ If you can point out by example, then I’ll be able to imitate.

    “No one has all the answers; we are all learning from each other.”

    How am I preventing that noble aim from taking place, exactly?

  163. Michael says:

    “My camp? What camp is that?”

    The camp that believes that the “apostasy” is upon us and thus feels compelled to label brothers and sisters as participants in the same.

    “We can all talk about ‘loving brothers’ and translate that into never questioning them, never challenging what they teach, never having suspicions about them, never being divided or aloof from them, but when it comes down to it we’ve all actually got a button that gets pushed which causes us to selectively ignore our moral high ground, and then justify why we do it.”

    That isn’t how we translate that here. We actually think there is value in dialog with people and a Christian command to try to “think the best” of others, particularly when they answer accusations. It’s not sin to challenge or examine doctrine, it’s sin to refuse to interact with those we accuse.

    “I’ll speak objectively about false doctrine, and in one post you’ve actually judged me by referring negatively to ‘my camp’, while telling me that it is judgement and division that is the bad thing. Can you take this correction? It’s hypocrisy.”

    You haven’t even defined what makes a doctrine false and I’m not just referring to your exchanges here. I do believe that your camp brings division, judgment and false accusations against the brethren and I do believe it is a far greater danger to the church than anything you’re combatting. It appears after yesterday that the majority of those in your affiliation believe like wise…for which I am grateful to God.

    “I hate to state the obvious, but you can’t prove that it isn’t upon us either, and more importantly you haven’t yet proven that the so-called ‘ODM’ brethren (your brethren too, if you adhere to Biblical standards on who you define as ‘brother’ and if you Biblically refuse to show partiality) are not acting under the influence of the Word and are in error.”

    The burden of proof is on the accusers…

    I won’t comment on your historical analysis other than to say I find it completely in error.

  164. SteveA
    I don’t want to pick a fight with you…nor do I intend to qualify terms. All I am saying is the PP is more of an intellectual playground and not necessarily a battground. We challenge but respect other people’s opinions here (or are learning to). ISo f you are gonna play here just play nice. You obviously enjoy presenting your opinions and arguing your points. That’s Good! .But you seem to have a chip on your shoulder about a lot of things especially if one would disagree with you and it come thru your posts. I know you’ve asked me to but I can’t manage to escape the “tone” in your posts when you say things like “Can’t we all be adults and learn how to deal with each other, instead of having to have an air of political correctness which we erroneously describe as ‘respect’. Since when is it politically correct to be respectful?

    Also, I don’t have the time to engage in a lengthy dialogue with you…I check in once in a while..,post and run. Like many of the other pastors here we have folks needing prayer, sermons to prep, churches to run, and discipling to do.

    Please listen to the “tone” of this post!

  165. Michael
    FYI

    Steve A was on SMP for a while but after repeated admonitions to shorten his posts and not always be combative he got the boot. While I have no intent nor am I advocating moderating him, he’s gonna be a handful. It seems that the many of us here who have misinterpreted him are the ones in err.

    Too bad his good points are clouded by anger…again “when did it become politically correct to be respectful”?

    There’s just a lot of excess baggage in his comments.

  166. Bob Sweat says:

    I wonder if Reader’s Digest sells a condensed version of this thread? 😉

  167. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Steve A and I have tangled before here with the same result. 🙂

    Today is a new day…and I’m willing to walk a little farther and see if he might integrate into this community as the respectful opposition…cause he and I are diametrically opposed on enough to make it edifying for the community.

  168. Michael says:

    Bob,

    We’ve all grown verbose again! 🙂

  169. Another Voice says:

    “We can all talk about ‘loving brothers’ and translate that into never questioning them, never challenging what they teach, never having suspicions about them
    —————————————————————————
    The only translation of love I care about is found in 1 Cor 13.

    Every Calvary guy knows the philosophy of Calvary ministry at its core.

    Best loved, best fed sheep on earth.

    These TWO desires were never seen as being in conflict, or as having one superior to the other. There was no equivocation in the terms used, and thus no ambiguity.

    Chuck believed everything else would follow if the pastor kept this at the forefront. And Chuck was right.

  170. Steve Aspinall says:

    Steve Hopkins,

    You have made charges. I’ve asked you twice now to please do the Biblical thing and back them up.

    Instead you seem to choose to ‘judge’ me by divining my moods, by making claims that you can’t substantiate, by insinuating and prejudging, by holding what you regard as ‘misdemeanours’ against me and presenting them publicly so that others can make judgements too.

    You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. Yet you have done nothing but judge personally.

    Was there a specific reason why you couldn’t just deal objectively with what words were said, instead of delving into a field that you were not being invited to delve.

    Is that ‘respectful?’

    Do you think you’ve been respectful to me?

    In terms of moral high ground, have you done unto others as you would have them do unto you? Or done to others what you think they’ve done to others?

    You have no idea at all how much or how little ‘excess baggage’ is in my comments, because you don’t know me at all. Shame on you. You can’t tell whether I’m speaking objectively, out of experience, any more than I can tell if you are. Even if you were right, do you think that what you’ve done is a credit to the Body of Christ? Are you proud of it?

    If nothing else, any offence I caused was unintentional. If nothing else, I opened up and discussed ideas and concerns openly and objectively.

    What you did, you’ve done deliberately.

    By equivalents, if I’d come to your office to counsel with you and discuss a problem, you opened the office door and shouted out that some friends of yours didn’t like me either, you reminded me that your time was more valuable than mine, you psychoanalysed me and told me what I was thinking, and you rang round as many people as possible to tell them that I was a problem.

    Is that gracious?

    Is it Jesus?

    You should be embarrassed.

  171. Another Voice says:

    Steve A. – I’m going to step in for my brother Hopkins and suggest in the future you be careful what you ask for. I am also not going to get into this battle further as I have neither the time nor inclination to do so. I may check in later.

    My first post to you was #26 at 7:58 AM, where I asked you for clarification on something and then gave my opinions without involving you at all. (Anyone reading can check out the post as I will not paste the whole thing again)

    Your FIRST reply to me was #33 at 9:58. You clarified your point (for which I thanked you later) and went into a lengthy opinion that elaborated far more than what I had written. No big deal of course, except here is what was included in that first reply to me – someone you too don’t know – that shows what Hopkins was saying. It also is why I retired for a large part of the discussion yesterday.

    1) Now, your deviation into questioning my character is hinting at personal judgement, not objectivity, and you’re not called or entitled to do that.

    2) (a grotesque straw man argument)

    3) Think fair-mindedly for a moment.

    4) you present the nature of the problem very well in your last paragraph. You have the attitude of ’shut up and turn over the keys, pops’ as the antithesis to ‘I’m wiser and more mature, I’ll tell you what you should do.

    5) You mentally ‘retire’ the old guys and object to their ‘arrogance’ for thinking they know better than you, but you don’t notice your profound arrogance in behaving like they don’t know better

  172. Bob Sweat says:

    Thank you AV! We had this issue before a few months back when he posted as The Ten. Words, words. words, and more words! 😯

  173. Nonnie says:

    Although I can’t agree with everything Steve A. is saying and his “style.” I will say that he is spot on in what he is saying about the spiritual condition of the church in England.
    Trying to import a California CC church to England is just not happening. Steve truly does understand the pulse of the church here and what has been done in the CC’s that is greatly received in California but barely noticed in England.
    Pray for us here!

  174. Reuben says:

    Hey, Steve Ol’ Chap is back!

  175. Reuben says:

    Don’t worry Steve, I cant kick you off this blog…

    😛

  176. Boo says:

    Roger Wing does not have as much power as some assume. Sure, he is currently leading CCOF but is submitted to both Chuck and Brian, and is especially loyal to Chuck. He learned some lessons the hard way when he left CCCM and went to work with Skip. It was not long before he returned “home” with a new perspective.

    Chuck is in charge of CC. There is no doubt about that. There is no one with as much veto power. Brian can only say and do what Chuck will permit him to do.

    Regarding CCCM specifically, the board has historically been a lame duck board despite the explanations from years past that “the board has decided…” That was always Chuck washing his hands and shifting blame on the board so that he didn’t have to deal with the drama.

    The board in recent years has had a sense of empowerment and they’ve gone toe to toe with Chuck over various things. It has been a contentious and difficult relationship at times. Their relationship with Chuck is one of necessity. They have their good times and bad times and find a way to co-exist. There is a bit of an ebb and flow with the board as some have brown noses, others have more personal integrity and are willing to take difficult positions and do the right thing. It all depends who is currently on the board or who is sitting out for the year.

    By the way, where are the elders?

    Obviously I can’t speak for Corby, but to me, “crusty” has more to do with attitude than age. Instead of being offended at being referred to as “crusty”, the “crusty” guys should wake up and smell the coffee because their denomination is going down the drain. If the “crusty” guys want to take responsibility for the decline…then so be it.

    A good real life example of “crusty” is what we saw at last year’s conference with John Higgins publicly calling out Brodersen in the middle of an afterglow. This is a veteran CC pastor that should have known better than to pull such a juvenile move. A green-horn CC pastor could have explained to him what was wrong with that picture.

    For the Brodersen nay-sayers, let’s not forget that it was Chuck that brought Brian back from the UK. If you have a problem with Brian’s presence at CCCM and the thought of him taking over after Chuck is gone (which is not exactly a done deal), then you have a problem with Chuck.

    Chuck is not in good health and it is becoming very evident. It is very reminiscent of Billy Graham’s later years and the criticism he received for things he said in interviews on Larry King etc. We only need to look as far as the Pastor’s Perspective radio show for clear evidence of this. Chuck is getting “creative” with some of the responses. It’s sad really. He can’t recognize its time to hang up his cleats.

  177. pilgrimuk says:

    Sadly, it seems from a passer by’s point of view that there is so much Chuck-centric theology and ecclesiology in certain Calvary representatives that it just confifms where I as a now Calvinist Calvary pastor am headed….What a strange system indeed when one man has an inordinate amount of power and loyalty from people who at the same time seem very upset the system he created. It seems obvious to me to suggest that perhaps there is some Chuck-olotry, or Calvary-olotry. An idol is the thing that we worship and angers us the most. So much of Calvary seems to worship at the altar of ministry and be so angry after turning its pastors into high priests, without being willing to even begin thinking about real church discipline…..Looking for an answer…Can someone say plurality, ecclesiology and God-centred theology?

  178. Believe says:

    …Roger that (and not Roger Wing). 😉

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