Greg Laurie Joins SBC, “In Fellowship” With CC: Updated

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192 Responses

  1. Josh the Baptist says:



    Can I vote? 🙂

    Kidding. Didn’t James Mcdonald claim he was joining us a couple of years ago?

  2. David says:

    Wait, did the Orthodox already take their quota of fleeing Calvary Chapel celebrities this year?

  3. em... again says:

    HOT DAWG !!!

  4. Babylon's Dread says:

    Good to see Lonnie’s converts land safely.

  5. Xenia says:

    Wait, did the Orthodox already take their quota of fleeing Calvary Chapel celebrities this year?<<<

    Who did we get?

  6. Randy says:

    How exciting. ?

  7. Scooter Jones says:

    Once a Baptist, always a Baptist.

  8. EricL says:

    Is this a “pox on both your houses” kind of move? He leaves both CCA and CGN, eh? Funny thing is, I think the church’s legal name is not Harvest Christian Fellowship, but Calvary Chapel of Riverside. I guess it’s time for some legal name changing, if they haven’t done so already.

    This will cause ripples throughout SoCal. I wonder how it will affect Harvest attendance and support by all those die-hard CC veterans.

  9. Michael says:

    EricL has discerned the matter…

  10. Randy says:

    By the way, you don’t join the SBC. You contribute money which means your church is in cooperation with other identified SBC churches. There is no hierarchical connection, at least not yet.

  11. Michael says:


    Thank you for that clarification.
    I didn’t know what this entailed…

  12. pstrmike says:

    I’ve considered returning to the SBC. I don’t know if this will encourage or discourage my decision.

    I wonder if they will vote to receive his “letter” * and accept his baptism as coming from a church of “like faith and doctrine.”

    *SBC speak for accepting the transferance of membership from one church to another.

  13. Kevin H says:

    Must of been that scathing review on the PP a few weeks back that has led him to such drastic change. 😉

  14. pstrmike says:

    Perhaps Josh the Baptist or Randy (McWh?) could shed some more light on this. Does the SBC require churches to have membership? Do they still stress their idea of a “legitimate baptism” by a church of like faith and message?

  15. EricL says:

    Well, I guess the endorsed school will now switch from Calvary Bible College to California Baptist University- that will save on commute time for most Harvest attenders, since CBU is only a few miles away, although tuition costs will go up…

  16. dusty says:

    Josh you are funny! Lol

  17. EricL says:

    Oh my, pstmike’s comment about legitimate baptism brings back the terrible charges that were set against the SBC church I belonged to 30 years ago. They were accused of “alien immersion” and “open communion” by other churches in the local SBC conference (that would be same association that Harvest would be joining). The charges didn’t stick, but all of that was a confusing thing to me, a new convert at the time.

    I’m sure all those old-time fundies are gone now, but they were hot about keeping the SBC pure back in those days.

  18. dusty says:

    Xenia you are too funny!

    You all are on a roll today !

  19. JM says:

    What has been Laurie’s relationship with Brodersen? Does Laurie abandoning ship imply a “no confidence” vote at Brian who replaced Greg’s beloved Chuck? Will Brian lose prestige or other value without being associated with the crusades anymore? Is this an admission by Laurie that CC in any form is essentially dead? Lots of questions. Like an iceberg–there’s a lot under the surface here. I believe, like EricL, that there will be interesting ripples. Probably a lot of CC pastors who hid behind “group think” and never thought for themselves, will look like deer in the headlights now.

  20. JM says:

    Dusty, I have been remiss at saying a proper, “Hello”, to you on other threads. I still remember your kind offer of prayer. Hope you are well.

  21. Open24Hours says:

    They can leave arguments about Chuck for arguments about tongues.

  22. Sheri says:

    Isn’t Saddleback part of the SBC as well?
    Greg and Rick have been chummy for years so this is not really a surprise,is it?

  23. dusty says:

    Hi jm! I am well thank you. How are you doing?

  24. OCDan says:

    Have to chime about the comment above regarding accepting baptism.

    Isn’t this the very thing that Pastor Duane wrote about earlier today? Here we go, people here may not be worried, but if one is a believer, he/she/child is a believer. Good Lord, conventions and denoms worried about who baptized who and when and where.

    I think if some believers were transported back, they would tell the Eunich his baptism doesn’t count becuase it wasn’t part of whatever tribe.

    Whatever, Laurie changes denominations. Proves to me there is more than just the Glory of God going on and no I am not judging him, I just think what was the point? Just go independent then.

  25. dusty says:

    Jm you are still on our prayer list.

  26. JM says:

    Dusty, I am well. Thank you. It is truly a comfort to hear I am being prayed for. Surely we live in complicated times and I do not mind saying that I need it. May God bless you in some special way for your noble commitment. 🙂

  27. Michael says:


    I’ll be answering the questions @19 as we go…

  28. London says:

    Meanwhile, the WH announced today that jerry Falwell Jr is one of 15 university presidents appointed to the country’s Education Task Force.
    I’m much more concerned and upset by that than where Greg Laurie ends up. Although, I think he’s probably aligning more with the right wing Evangeligals than the more liberal southern CA folks.

  29. London says:


  30. dusty says:

    Michael, i appreciate you and all you put into PP and all you do for us!

  31. He does do a lot with the pastor at Prestonwood Baptist in Texas. Jack Graham, is it?

  32. Dave Rolph says:

    I doubt if Greg is so much leaving Calvary Chapel as he is acknowledging his great appreciation for the SBC people who have supported him and Harvest. Obviously Greg is a huge fan of Billy Graham and Billy has always encouraged Greg in his evangelistic efforts. Other Baptists have really encouraged and supported Greg over the years as well so acknowledging his appreciation for that support seems like a natural thing to do. I don’t care whether someone takes him off a list or not (and I hope they don’t) but Greg Laurie will always be Calvary Chapel. I know he’ll continue to do what he feels God calling him to do and no organization will supersede that.

  33. Anne says:

    Good timing before all the sins of the father and who knew what, when begins being speculated among other things.

    Good move for better accountability and when time comes transfer of leadership too in many ways. I’m sure the SBS will appreciate the extra financial support.

    I read your mis-spell above, London, as evanlegalcal & thought it was intentional at first. I have an ungracious heart too often 🙁

  34. Greg Glory says:

    Good Riddance!

  35. G N says:

    Dave Rolph is right on. Thanks Dave! PEOPLE, THIS IS HOW RUMORS START. Let’s set this straight now. Greg is no leaving CC. He was simply invited to join SBC in their evangelistic efforts, in Dallas TX. period. The SBC is not inviting Greg to join them as in “join a church” it is simply a ” join me for lunch date” as in teach a session,,, Hope this settles and stops the high school rumors in their tracks. Report truth not error.

  36. Descended says:

    Oh well
    “It’s just a jump to the left…”

    Ohhhh, Rocky

  37. JM says:

    Thank you, Michael #27. I will happily stay tuned.

    I do not know how much notice Laurie gave to the CC’s who work with him on his crusades. However, if the notice was short or dropped like a bomb, I have a suspicion about the reaction of some whom I have had occasion to observe in the past. There remain many “true adherents” to Harvest who could be seriously thrown about or even immobilized by this.

    Dave Ralph #32, While your observation may be valid–it may not qualify as an explanation. Many CC’s have supported Greg with their substance for many, many years, just as you say the SBC has. Unfortunately, Calvary Chapel and its associates have a reputation for euphemizing and covering up what is really going on. I do not say this is necessarily a cover up. I do say that, with their history, it is reasonable to wonder if there is more.

    GN, perhaps you are right, but your account is slightly different than #32. I say again, CC and its associates have earned the scrutiny through its modus operandi. Time will bear you out.

  38. Jtk says:


  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    People who heard Greg speak at the SBC today think that he and Harvest have joined our convention. Everyone is talking about it.

    pastormike – Randy and I always end up disagreeing slightly on how the SBC works. I think it is a generational difference, and as varied as the SBC, it is possible we are both right in our own context….that said, my take:

    No, the SBC does not require churches to have membership. The question of Legitimate Baptisms would come down to what individual churches would choose to accept. My experience has been that most churches will accept evangelical, believer’s baptism.
    The accountability would usually come from the local association, and I am sure that if other SBC churches in the association understand that Greg believes in Charismatic gifts, it will cause some problems.

    That said, Greg is famous, and we’ll do anything for famous people.

  40. Dave Rolph says:


    I don’t fault you for thinking like that. We have all been lied to enough to be skeptical. But I know Greg and believe that he simply cares about getting the Gospel out to people who are lost. I am fairly certain that his motivation is the Gospel, and that he doesn’t care about choosing sides in a pissing contest. And let’s face it. If evangelism is your heart and passion, the Southern Baptists are kind of an obvious partner. (I’m just glad he didn’t become an Anglican, Orthodox or Catholic. Just kidding!)

  41. covered says:

    It has been quite amusing as of late how the CC haters are always looking for the scam. Thanks Dave for your input.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I like Dave Rolf’s take on this. Greg is concerned for the lost so He turned to the SBC. 😉

  43. Captain Kevin says:

    In this case, I don’t think joining the one necessarily means leaving the other.

  44. JM says:

    Dave Ralph, #40.

    Thank you for your comments and thank you for understanding. Boy do I hear you about that “pissing contest”! Get out the Fabreze! I also have no problem with SBC, or Greg’s decision to work more closely with them, no matter in what capacity. If this will facilitate the calling he says he has, then he certainly has a right to do so. I cannot help maintain, however, that, because of his high profile, this will affect many in the CC community who are already a little wobbly-kneed. Time will tell. Good quip at the end. 🙂

  45. Ms. ODM says:

    Greg is probably just expanding — he’s very ambitious – wants to fill Billy Graham’s shoes. If he cared for souls he wouldn’t have prostituted himself with the likes of TBN.

  46. Randy says:

    Josh the Baptist, it’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of the operating documents of the SBC. The only requirements for cooperating with the SBC is that a. church give a minimum of $250.00 to the cooperative program and they do not support homosexuality as a practice. Seems like there was one other issue passed recently. Churches are supposed to subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message but that does not become an issue unless an individual from a church is asked to serve on a committee, board, or commission, or become an employee of an SBC entity, especially teaching in one of the seminaries. Of course exceptions are made for celebrity pastors. State conventions tend to have more push back on churches but it is the local associations which overwatches a church’s theology. Having said all of that, Southern Baptists are so confused about doctrine that almost anything goes. Since the SBC is in severe decline, they will take just about anyone who is “evangelistic.”

  47. JM says:


    My disgust at TBN also knows no bounds, especially in light of the sick practices that were confirmed in the wake of the rape cover up trial of Jan’s granddaughter. Ms ODM you have a point.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    See, even when Randy agrees with me 100%, he still disagrees with me 🙂

  49. Donn says:

    In 2016, Greg Laurie spoke at the 2016 SBC pastor’s conference.

    In 2015, “Pastor James MacDonald announced at the SBC Pastors’ Conference in Columbus, Ohio, that Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago had made the commitment to become a cooperating church with the SBC.”

    Note how that is phrased. “A cooperating church”. Harvest Bible Chapel, to this day, is not an SBC church. However, they were a diamond level sponsor of this years’ SBC pastor’s conference.

    There’s also this: “NAMB evangelism Crossover and Greg Laurie’s Harvest America join forces for three days of learning, sharing and serving in Arizona’s “Valley of the Sun” on June 9, 10 and 11″, and that’s from this year.

    Could it be that Harvest Christian Fellowship is simply becoming a “cooperating” church?

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    As I continue to look around, I’m wondering if Danny Akin spoke out of turn earlier today?

  51. Michael says:


    I saw numerous tweets all saying the same thing from people that were there. I’m getting bunches of denials from CC people.

  52. Randy Davis says:

    A cooperating church is what it means to be an SBC church. That is the language used. Each church a local, autonomous church that cooperates with other churches in the SBC. The SBC is technically not a denomination.

  53. Michael says:

    I’m also seeing people saying terrible things about me… 🙂

  54. Randy Davis says:

    By the way I know nothing about Greg Laurie becoming southern Baptist. Is he a Calvinist?

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael, everyone I follow that is at the Convention said the same thing. Something he said apparently made a lot of people think that. Again, he may be, it just seems to have gone a little quiet.

  56. Donn says:

    Randy, why is Harvest Bible Chapel not listed as an SBC church anywhere?

    And nowhere have I read that Greg Laurie is becoming a partnering church. That was me asking the question. Thanks for clarifying. Everything out there about this that I have seen only mentions HCF partening on the missions side of thing with the SBC.

    I, too, have looked at tweets from people who were there, including the ones from the guys on the same panel that Greg Laurie spoke on. No mention of it at all. In fact, the guy who originally mentioned it was asked for verification, and though he has tweeted a bunch since then, none of it has been about Greg Laurie becoming SBC. Plenty of stuff about NMB and HCF partnering on missions, but that’s it.

    Again, him speaking there is nothing new, and neither is him partnering with SBC churches, and a bunch of others, leading up to and for Harvest Crusades. It he’s formalizing it, good for him (and good for them, I would imagine).

    Until there’s further proof (if the only source is twitter, that’s concerning…where’s the mention of it on the blogs recapping the conference, or even the SBC website dedicated to the conference?), I think we just need to wait. We don’t need to be talking about the fallout of what something means if we don’t even know if that something happened or not.

  57. Michael says:


    No, he’s semi-Pelagian… 🙂

  58. Michael says:


    I just updated this with a bunch of the tweets I saw…talked with a friend who was there and he said the same thing.
    Evidently, it was also on the CC pastors list server this morning…

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How did the attendees vote about joining SBC? Wow, that’s a real LOL. 😉

  60. pstrmike says:

    here’s a quote from MacDonald in SBC Life, September 2015.

    “In our desire to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth and our sense of the way God honors broader partnerships,” he said, “and the fact, frankly, that we’ve been treated like family here [at the Pastors’ Conference] for more than a decade, I’m just thrilled and truly honestly humbled to announce that the board of our church, Harvest Bible Chapel, voted unanimously about a month ago for us to join the Southern Baptist Convention.”

  61. Josh the Baptist says:

    Thanks for doing that Michael, I saw a lot of the same thing…and then nothing. Thought maybe I went crazy 🙂

  62. Michael says:


    Thank you for backing me up…big time.

  63. Michael says:


    Thank you…more clarity.

  64. Donn says:


    I get that. That’s what he told them. But they are not SBC. They are not listed as SBC on their website, nor on MacDonald’s website.

    I get why he would not actually become SBC, since all of their church plants, of which there are dozens, are connected to his church. He could not just bring his church in without bringing all of them. And, unlike the SBC, it costs to be a Harvest Bible Fellowship church.


    Thanks for the further confirmation. Kind of weird the last guy would welcome him to (which is an available domain name, not one that belongs to the SBC).

  65. pstrmike says:


    OK , McDonald is quoted that Harvest has become SBC but that doesn’t mean they are SBC? Really? LoL. ?Were you Southern Baptist in your past?

  66. Randy Davis says:

    The SBC is meeting this week I think. So if he and his members were seated as messengers ( not delegates) then his church would not be only any list. I asked about Calvinism because Danny Akin is a big Calvinist. I could see why he is appealing. He is evangelistic, he is dispensational and many SBCers are dispensational. SBC folk are empresses by mega churches and celebrity pastors. Many have some roots in the Jesus Movement. The average Baptist is not too keen on theology so they would not know the difference. The fact that the word Bible is in the name of the church makes it cool to many. Back when I was in college many thought that the Bible church movement associated with Dallas seminary was a baptist movement because of similar polity and the name Bible in the name of the churches. If they baptize by immersion then they will be accepted as a Baptist.

  67. Donn says:

    No, pstrmike, I was not.

    Look it up for yourself. His family of churches, nor his individual church (if he was going to bring just his into the fold with its several campuses) are not mentioned anywhere as being SBC other than a 2 year old quote.

    As Josh the Baptist, who I believe is SBC, said in the first comment on this thread, “Didn’t James Mcdonald claim he was joining us a couple of years ago?”.

  68. Randy Davis says:

    I’m a retired SBC pastor and I have been through many phases of the SBC. I have been blackballed three times since 1973. One was because I made my home church pastor mad. When I was in seminary I was accused of being a liberal and then accused of being a closet fundamentalist. I have been accused of being an Arminian and a Calvinist, and all sorts of other stuff. I’m kind of a black sheep I guess. My point is I have never been able to figure my “denomination” out. So this discussion does not surprise me.

  69. Donn says:


    So first we are told that it is very simple to become SBC, just $250 and hold to no homosexuality, and that “there is no hierarchical connection”, then we’re told that there’s messengers and delegates. That kind of sounds hierarchical.

  70. Donn says:


    Ok, I follow. SBC, like every other denomination, no matter how loosely affiliated, still a work in progress.

  71. Randy Davis says:

    No delegates. The SBC exists for one week out of the year. The executive committee runs thing they rest of the year and trustees run the schools and agencies. Each church are entitled to send messengers based on their size of the amount of money they give. Each messengers represents himself under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and does not technically represent their church–but practically speaking they do represent the church or more specific what their pastorvthinks. This process was established over 100 years ago or more, the exact date escapes me. The messengers of a church can be challenged and removed if someone can show just cause. It use to be that charismatic behavior was one such cause but I don think it matters much anymore.

    I know it sounds complicated. It’s not really. There is no church examination or clergy examination. Once upon a time there was considerable uniformity among southern baptists but not anymore.

  72. Donn says:

    Thanks for all that, Randy.

    pstrmike, you referenced earlier James MacDonald’s quote to the SBC on June 15, 2015.

    Here’s what he told his own church eight days later.

    “In recent weeks the leadership from the SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) has met with and discussed the possible partnership between our two ministries.”

    “In summary, we might report that it was an critical time and event to demonstrate our willingness to embrace the larger team of like-minded church planters, see the Lord’s provision for our increased efforts through the support of groups like the NAMB and to further communicate our heart and availability in and among the “go to” options readily known for effective church planting among the evangelical ministry community”

    Those are both quotes from here:

    And here’s one that, to me, shows why MacDonald believed that his group’s presence at the SBC convention was to bolster his Harvest Bible Fellowship, not the other way around.

    “In fact as we shared the HBF history and vision, we met hundreds of men interested in hearing more, or already excited about planting, and simply needing rails to run on—people to partner with.”

  73. Randy Davis says:

    Oh and each church decides how much they will participate in SBC causes and how much money they will give. The SBC cannot issue any demands on local churches. SBC churches generally cooperate with state conventions. But they are MEMBERS of local associations where they have to meet theological and ecclesiastical standards. I have substantially written the membership process for our association. And I participated in removing a church for the cause, the pastor’s moral failure (he had an affair with a woman under his counsel, she ended up in a mental hospital) and the church refused to discipline him. Issues like that are handled on the associational level. Unfortunately your church does not have to be a member of an association in order to cooperate with the SBC.

    The SBC meets starting tomorrow, so if this thing is true it will be news tomorrow along with all the protesters that will show iup. Usually the Westboro baptist church is one of them. And some gay rights group is supposed to be there. Not sure who else.

  74. brian says:

    Mr. Falwell Jr will be part of a group that will not reduce Federal Monies to education but directs where those federal dollars go. To private for-profit schools. This is about the only thing that matters and should ever matter. Money.

  75. pstrmike says:

    You are so funny. Randy tried to explain this to you from #52 and following. Perhaps you should consider that different goups might have different meanings to word than what you or I may have. If you haven’t already, read the article I posted a link to in SBC Life. It was obvious how they intrepeted MacDonald’s comments.

  76. Donn says:

    Again, pstrmike, I have read it. Have you read what I linked to? What he told his own church?

    Have you given any proof that Harvest Bible Chaprl is SBC? Or even attached at the state level of the SBC?

    With all due respect to Randy, there’s no way a church movement of thousands of people and dozens of churches gets attached to the SBC in any way without the SBC making a big deal out of it. MacDonald and his group are way bigger than Greg Laurie. I am just asking for proof, that’s all. Not a quote that I can easily counter with a later quote, both from the same man.

    And when an SBC guy on here seems to mention that MacDonald only claimed that, not actually did It, I choose not to ignore it.

    Michael has shown that it appears HCF is part of SBC now. I am just asking for the same burden of proof for James MacDonald and his group.

  77. Michael says:

    My guess is after this uproar tonight things will get very spun tomorrow…

  78. Donn says:

    Ok, I found a mention of it, but only the Elgin location, which is neither their main location nor where James MacDonald preaches live from on Sundays. I also found quite a lot of chatter about HBC not being allowed in because they are not congregational in structure. Is that a requirement, Randy? I tjink the SBC churches near me are elder led, but congregational vote.

  79. Josh the Baptist says:

    Congregational is not a requirement. It is probably the majority, but not at all a requirement. There could have been a problem because a few years ago Macdonald said that congregational polity was from Hell.

  80. Randy Davis says:

    Some baptist churches now have a ruling elder structure. As Josh said, there are no requirements on the SBC level but polity is one of the issues that could be objected to when they seat the messengers.

    I don’t see why he would want to a part of the SBC. There would be no advantage for him. He already has fame and glory, recognition, etc. the SBC would offer him nothing.

  81. Donn says:

    Haha, Josh the Baptist, I forgot he had said that!

    Randy, his own quotes make me think his Harvest Bible Fellowship would be a good landing place for SBC planters. As I mentioned earlier, to be an HBF church, you must financially support HBC. I am very familiar with this due to attending Harvest University twice and considering affiliation a few years ago. As much as JM drew me in, the financial peace, and ultimately his ever increasing desire for status turned me off.

  82. Steve says:

    Dave Rolph @ 32,
    Maybe its just me but what I find fascinating about these comments is that the overwhelming comments here are about Greg Laurie and not about Harvest Christian Fellowship and how this effects the congregation. In contrast, in most Calvary Chapels the pastor is the church in more ways than one so many folks won’t make the distinction. But what is interesting here is that the entire congregation is joining the SBC and not just the pastor. To me this is significant and to me seems as an act of humility on Greg Laurie’s part to submit to this process. So the comments that Greg Laurie is still a Calvary Chapel guy seems irrelevant, because what is ultimately more significant is that the church congregation is not CC and is now aligned with SBC. I’m very happy for the Harvest Christian Fellowship congregation which is the big winner.

  83. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jason Powell, evangelism pastor for Greg Laurie, has confirmed this.

  84. Tim says:

    If it is true then you will see it at:

  85. Tim says:

    If it is true then we will probably see it posted at:

  86. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    That must mean that they completed the tabulation of the congregational vote.
    Now wait until the Harvest pewsters find out that NOW they really can’t drink! 😉

  87. Josh the Baptist says:

    If it’s not true Jason Powell is bout to get fired.

  88. Steve says:

    Is it true that SBC pewster’s can’t drink?

  89. Josh the Baptist says:

    2nd comment is the confirmation from Powell.

  90. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve – They can drink if they want to. The vast majority of SBC pastors will preach against it. If you were to apply to work at a seminary or something, you’d have to sign a conduct form that includes abstaining from alcohol.

  91. Steve says:

    Thanks Josh, sounds exactly the same as CC stance. Trying to figure out MLD comment.

  92. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Perhaps it is different than when I was SBC 1983-1996 (and I was a SoCal Baptist) – but you didn’t say to anyone in the church – “hey, let’s go get a drink.”

  93. Josh the Baptist says:

    Still true for the vast majority of SBC.

  94. Donn says:

    This is from sbctoday following the previous allowance of Harvest BibBible Chapel, a church where not congregational in structure.

    “In 1994, the Convention voted in favor of a resolution that began, “WHEREAS, As a people of God committed to congregational polity….”[8] Is this still true? Currently, the Southern Baptist Convention has allowed affiliation by churches which clearly do not practice any form of congregational governance.”

    Randy or Josh the Baptist, has this changed? The article quoted above was from early 2016, so I am assuming it had not changed from 1994-2016.

  95. dusty says:

    Good morning PP . Have a happy day!

  96. Josh the Baptist says:

    Donn, still true. A resolution is a statement of majority belief, in no way a binding document.

    There is nothing in the Baptist Faith and Message about polity.

  97. Kevin H says:

    Not sure if the Baptist church referred to in this article is SBC or not, but maybe this will clear up the drinking issue. 🙂

  98. Donn says:

    That’s interesting, Josh.

    This guy, same article as before, wrote:

    The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 upholds congregational governance: “Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes.”A “democratic” process must include the ability for the general church membership to vote; otherwise, the process cannot be described as “democratic”.

    Not sure if this is just some rogue guy, but he is writing on a main sbc website.

    It just makes me wonder if the SBC is taking these guys like McDonald because of who they already are, not because they’re actually SBC the way they are run.

  99. Josh the Baptist says:

    Donn, sbctoday is in no way affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It is simply a blog where some guys share opinions.

    That is his interpretation of that one line from BFM 2000. An elder board could vote, and that would be democratic, etc…all that to say the SBC has never had an official polity, though congregational is far and away the most used.

  100. Michael says:

    Jason Powell has confirmed this multiple times now on Twitter.

    Will I get an apology from any of the CC people who ripped me all night?

    I still expect this to get spun in such a way that it’s both true and not true…

  101. Josh the Baptist says:

    As far as the resolution, this is the defintion from

    A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed. Resolutions are passed during the annual Convention meeting.

  102. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It seems much like the free agent draft – Chris Berman announces “with the first pick in the draft, the Orthodox chose Hank H and with the 2nd pick the SBC took Greg Laurie.
    The Lutherans passed as they chose to develop from their own farm system.” 😉

  103. Michael says:

    MLD…that was funny… 🙂


  104. pstrmike says:

    @78 is this what you are talking about? Believe it now?

    @92 the SBC church I grew up in wouldn’t allow drinking, dancing, or attending Calvary Chapel, so my friends and I did all three 😉

    Probably when hell freezes over, but then again, the Eagles eventually toured together again.

    It was helpful to have Josh and Randy contribute in explaining Southern Baptist polity which is also a reflection of the culture and values of a church organization that has existed for over 170 years. Different cultures can think in some different categories which can be accompanied with different terminology; such as what “cooperating” means.

    Now as for me and my house, I’d rather get back to this thread:

  105. Michael says:

    “Greg Laurie, founding pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, has announced that Harvest Christian Fellowship will join the Southern Baptist Convention:

    Nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus told his disciples to take the good news of the gospel to the entire world. I believe we are the first generation that can actually accomplish that task. Because of today’s technology, we have more opportunities for global evangelism that any generation before us and to accomplish this we must renew our emphasis on evangelism as never before. Most importantly, we must unify our efforts. We must learn to walk in common purpose and common vision. I believe the need is urgent and the time is now.

    On June 12, I announced that Harvest Christian Fellowship would be joining the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Harvest is an independent congregation that will continue fellowship with the Calvary Chapel family of churches as well, and this decision does not change our theology, philosophy of ministry or our history. It merely extends the reach of our fellowship within the Christian world at a time when the vision and mission of Harvest remains—as it has been for 42 years—focused on the teaching of God’s Word and the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Long ago, I came to realize I am called by God to simply do two primary things: to teach God’s word and to preach the gospel. This is the calling of the Lord on my life. Other than my personal walk with the Lord, and loving my wife and family, this is my only focus. My passion is to reach as many people as possible with the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until my final breath. One of the reasons why we proclaimed 2017 “The Year of Good News” is because I intend on even further amplifying my focus on gospel proclamation. It’s also why Harvest Crusades, with the assistance of the Southern Baptist Convention, organized the Harvest America 2017 crusade on June 11 at the University of Phoenix stadium. It’s why we’ll do it all again next year in Dallas on June 10, 2018.

    We need a national revival as much as at any time in our nation’s history. We must pray for it, work toward it and do everything possible to prepare the ground for it. We must preach and pray until it comes. This is why we’ve chosen to extend a hand of fellowship to the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest protestant denomination of churches. We’ve chosen to partner in total, unrelenting pursuit of our nation’s next great awakening.

    I know the effect of the revival we seek firsthand because I came to Christ during the last great American revival, often referred to as the “Jesus Movement.” That revival emanated primarily from Calvary Chapel in Southern California, and I learned to preach the gospel and to teach God’s word myself within the Calvary Chapel movement under the example of Pastor Chuck Smith. Since that time, I’ve invested my life in the Calvary fellowship of churches while working with countless Christians from nearly every other denomination. I’ll continue to do just that, and I also look forward to continuing to build bridges between our communities. It has also been my privilege to be friends with Evangelist Billy Graham (himself a Southern Baptist) for many years, and from him I learned how to preach the gospel.

    I believe that the time is right to reach across the church and to lock hands in total support of the rapid advance of the gospel in our nation and in our world. I believe this decision is a powerful step in that direction. I appreciate the SBC’s focus on evangelism as well as their outreach in missions and relief ministries that touch our world every day in a significant way.

    I look forward to partnering with them and all believers who have a passion for evangelism. The need in our country and the world is so great. “

  106. Michael says:

    Of course, despite this statement, it’s all just a rumor and gossip and I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.
    I just woke up yesterday morning and decided to make some crap up.
    Right, Calvary?

  107. Josh the Baptist says:

    I guess we found a way to increase our Baptism numbers! 🙂

  108. Josh the Baptist says:

    Now he says he’s going to be both SBC and CC, which is a bit of a stretch, but we’ll see.

  109. Xenia says:

    I guess the question is this: Can a church be a member of both Calvary Chapel and the Southern Baptists at the same time? The problematic word is “member.” Since both groups have, to a degree, ambiguous definitions of “member” I expect confusion will ensue.

  110. Corby says:

    Wow. Can’t believe I missed this yesterday.

    1) Do we know if Greg is actually leaving CGN, or just multi-affiliating? Important distinctions.
    2) Seems to me Greg is his own guy. Why would he join anything at all if, in fact, he is taking down the dove, or wheat? If he wanted he could start his own chain of churches with Lusko-like young guys (shudder).
    3) If people on Twitter are at all using a tone that is like, “We got Greg!” like he is a notch in a belt or trophy to display, that’s kid of sad. Not because of Greg, but because its just an immature mindset. Kind of like people upset about losing a big gun.
    4) I don’t know if the SBC is full-on or partial cessationist, either way seems like it would be a problem, doesn’t it? Greg teaches typical CC gifts are for today stuff.

    In any case, after the CCA split, this seems kind of like a non-event int a way, just one of the many dominoes falling, at least from an observers perspective. I’m sure people on the inside of it, like members who are CC first above all things, are freaked out.

    As a member of a CC I went through a similar experience when it merged with another church in town. We had building but no people, they had people but no building. It was supposed to be a “marriage.” Now that church isn’t really CC at all and the more hard core CC people left in the first few weeks of the merge.

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    Tim – Micheal posted that 20 minutes ago. What is false about it, and which site should be avoied? Charisma? Or this site…which you didn’t avoid.

  112. Corby says:

    I guess I got my answer to my #1 while I was typing it!

  113. Michael says:


    Because the press release says that Laurie will still be “in communion” with CC, the CC people will talk about how I’m a gossip and a fraud without integrity.

  114. Xenia says:

    What does “in communion” mean?

    All this is so vague.

    Worse than trying to sort out who in in communion with who in the Ukrainian lands…..

  115. Josh the Baptist says:

    Didn’t the CCA guys say you have to choose a side? They gonna be OK with Greg being SBC and CCA? Not a chance.

    Broderson’s group seems much looser in affiliation, so I’d assume he can stay on their website as long as he wants.

    Corby – your # 4 – per : “There is no official SBC view or stance on the issue. If you polled SBC churches across the nation on the topic of “charismatic” practices you would likely find a variety of perspectives. Probably most believe that the “gift of tongues” as described in the Bible ceased upon the completion of the Bible. Some may view speaking in tongues as a spiritual gift given to some Christians enabling them to communicate the Gospel to foreign cultures in a language the speaker had not known previously. A very small minority might accept what is commonly practiced today in charismatic churches as valid.”

    That being said, missionaries that we send have to sign a form that says they DO NOT speak in tongues, not even in a private prayer language.

  116. Michael says:

    Here’s the reality.
    Laurie was already “in fellowship” with both the SBC and CC.
    He made a conscious decision to join up with the SBC in some “formal’ fashion.
    He didn’t have to do anything, but he did something.
    The something he did makes a lot of people in the SBC think he’s one of them now…

    Xenia is right…these words are so nebulous that they mean whatever the user wants them to mean at the time.

  117. Kevin H says:

    It looks like the actual phrase used is “continue fellowship” as opposed to “in communion”, but it’s essentially communicating the same.

    Part of the difficulty would seem to be that it’s not clearly obvious what makes a pastor or church an official “Calvary Chapel” in the first place outside of being listed in a database by CCA or CCGN.

    So when Greg says that he will “continue fellowship” with the Calvary Chapel family and churches, does that mean that nothing has changed in regards to his or his church’s “official” standing within Calvary Chapel or as a Calvary Chapel affiliate?

    If he is remaining a Calvary Chapel affiliate while also joining the SBC, that would seem to be a first. Kind of an awkward thing to understand. If anything, I would think the CCGN would be more open to such an arrangement than would be the CCA.

  118. Jeff Rodrigues says:

    On the CCA issue relating to Greg Laurie’s alliance with SBC, I know that Don McClure has been good friends with Greg Laurie. In Fact, McClure briefly served at Harvest Christian Fellowship after leaving Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in I think 2004. So we’ll find out if Harvest remains in the CCA database.

  119. Josh the Baptist says:

    “On June 12, I announced that Harvest Christian Fellowship would be joining the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).”

    Seems pretty clear.

  120. Michael says:

    It was suggested that I change the headline and I’ve done so…

  121. Kevin H says:

    So in any sense from an SBC standpoint, would Laurie now need to drop any official affiliation of being a Calvary Chapel as he joins the SBC?

  122. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “What does “in communion” mean? ”

    The LCMS is not in communion with some other Lutheran groups — and we know what it means. I always figured CC and SBC were in communion with ALL other Christian groups.

    Josh, is the SBC not in communion with any other Christian group?
    KevinH – is CC not in communion with any other Christian group?

  123. Steve says:

    Maybe CC and SBC are doing some kind of corporate merger. CC is like a chameleon anyway. Not sure if the SBC will tolerate it. Even CCA will be willing to adapt because their leadership’s primary motivation seems to be for power and influence. They wouldn’t want to be left behind in the largest marketing evangelical potential in America would they?

  124. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have no clue what “in communion” would formally mean to the SBC. If it means do we accept their baptism and cooperate with them on all levels…that would come down to other trinitarian, Believer’s Baptism by immersion…and maybe a couple of other standards.

  125. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Maybe CC and SBC are doing some kind of corporate merger.”


  126. Babylon's Dread says:

    Membership in SBC is primarily a voluntary and fiduciary arrangement. When I “went charismatic” and planted a church I asked the local leader whether I could plant a charismatic SBC church. He suggested not. Then I asked if they would take my money if I gave it. He reckoned so. The money would have made me a member. The charismata would have limited my privileges but my membership would be accepted and I would have voting rights in the denominational structures.

    SBC is an odd duck… it is very open and yet somewhat authoritarian. The governance is by common consent rather than fiat.

    Phoenix Preacher and many others here have changed affiliations. It basically means we are sorting ourselves out as to who we really are.

  127. Babylon's Dread says:

    I have long known that CC was more Baptist than charismatic. They simply became baptists with more updated music. As for polity large SBC churches are functionally Moses model.

  128. Michael says:


    The question before the house is whether this is a change in affiliation…

  129. JM says:

    Frankly, I cannot help but wonder if the language is intended to be nebulous. Since we are dealing with people who are not above being PC, they were probably deluded into thinking they could avoid controversy, and–God Forbid!–stating any kind of truth. I’m sorry, but I went to a few CC’s who put a happy face on their splits by calling them “spin offs”. The poor plebes actually believed it. After a few go rounds–we got used to rolling our eyes and moving on.

    Additionally, after doing only a perfunctory search to determine the state of the SBC, their recent history is far from pristine. Based upon respect for God’s Word and the great responsibility it puts upon His servants (pastors, etc.)–both CC and SBC fail in effectively cleaning their own houses. Based upon that this writer does not accept it as a “move up” or any kind of improvement. I will even go further. It’s likely a political move. I’ve seen too much.

    When it comes to CC , I think of a saying that has been attributed to Twain, “Don’t pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining.”

    Kudos to you, Michael, for pursuing the truth in this matter.

  130. Josh the Baptist says:

    Greg says that his church joined the SBC. The real question this brings up in a post-Chuck world is “What in the world is CC affiliation?”

  131. Steve says:

    In my humble opinion, the concept of “affiliation” has morphed its emphasis from doctrinal distinctives to collaborative marketing networks. CC with Chuck Smith was possible one of the first pioneers of this change in meaning.

  132. Kevin H says:

    My guess would be that Greg is planning to remain an official Calvary Chapel affiliate (i.e. he’s not going to request that either the CCA or CCGN remove him from their databases) while also officially being within the SBC (whatever that affiliation or membership would be called) until if and when circumstances would force him to act differently. As much as he can or wants, he will maintain the relationships he already has in Calvary Chapel and will potentially extend to more relationships within the SBC.

    But that’s purely just speculation on my part. I’ve got no “sources”.

  133. Kevin H says:

    So the Christianity Today article says Laurie will “remain affiliated” with Calvary Chapel while joining the SBC.

    If Brian Brodersen had tried to do the same, the CCA would have cried all kinds of fouls for not remaining true to the distinctives. But will they react at all to Laurie? I know that every time I have heard Joe Focht refer to Laurie, it has been in a fond fashion. So will the power of established relationship trump the politics of supposed distinctive-adherence in this case?

  134. Duane Arnold says:

    #134 Michael

    Why does this sound like, “The divorce was really amicable, and I’m still good friends with my ex-wife…”

  135. Josh the Baptist says:

    The Christianity Today article pretty well covers the intrigue of this whole thing, for those who weren’t getting it. I am very interested in where this is going.

  136. Steve says:

    Yep, I believe you are on to something kevin. Its not about distinctives. ts purely about relationship and power. Similar to what you see in our political system today.

  137. Duane Arnold says:

    I read through the press release, and could not but notice the repeated “our country”, “nation”, etc. – Linked with his recent visit to the White House, it seems he is looking more toward a conservative political take on evangelism… Could be wrong.

  138. Josh the Baptist says:

    You could be right Duane, but CC has always been known to be pretty conservative, right?

  139. Josh the Baptist says:

    Tim, scan back up to # 105 – Micheal was all over it.

  140. Babylon's Dread says:


    Of course it is a change. To affiliate with Baptist you have to actually intentionally support them. However, I am not surprised that it is not a real departure from CC, at least not yet. My guess is that Laurie’s evangelistic impulse has enough in common with SBC that they will take him in. CC is loose enough that they will not censure Laurie at this point. Free associating groups might coalesce more and more.

  141. Duane Arnold says:

    #140 Josh

    Conservative, especially in the last two decades. A friend of mine says this makes sense for Laurie. He’s affiliated himself with the pastors from large SBC churches in the South who are very pro Trump, radically right wing and with access to the corridors of government in this administration.

  142. Michael says:

    Duane is on to something here…

  143. Josh the Baptist says:

    BD – What about when the CC’s find out that a large portion of SBC, including most of the national leaders, are Calvinist? That should cause a stir, right?

  144. pstrmike says:

    I think you might be right Duane, as it looks like Laurie is aligning himself with the conservative branch of evangelicalism. I would wonder if the growing trend in justice, reconciliation and privilege among the more moderate within the church might have also influenced what appears might be a rather tenuous ecclesiastical relationship. It is one thing to do outreach together, another to say we are like minded in the things that constructs our being in the same denomination.

  145. JM says:


  146. Josh the Baptist says:

    So yall are telling me Greg is joining the SBC to hang out with the guys I am ashamed are SBC? 🙂

  147. Duane Arnold says:

    #147 Mike

    There’s much we can’t say, because we don’t know. But what we can say is:
    1. This isn’t about theology.
    2. This isn’t about polity.
    3. This isn’t about being “in communion” with another body.
    4. This isn’t about money (so far as HBC is concerned).

    So, Laurie is already at the White House with the Faith Advisory Council. This current move gives him “respectability” within certain circles and gives him increased access to Heritage Foundation, and allied groups and institutions.

    It seems to be about external appearances and possible affiliations. Just a guess…

  148. Kevin H says:

    There are obviously at lot of similarities between SBC and Calvary Chapel, but there are some differences such as:

    – SBC is largely cessationist, Calvary Chapel is not
    – SBC is largely congregational (although maybe not as much in their large churches as has been previously mentioned in this thread, or did I see that in a Facebook discussion?), Calvary Chapel is obviously governed by the pastor
    – SBC has a lot of Calvinists, including many among the national leaders, Calvary Chapel does not

    Many of these differences with those within SBC violate the Calvary Chapel “distinctives”.

    The more I think about it, the more I think this will truly be a test of the CCA to see how truly dedicated they are to the “distinctives” and their supposed vision of how Calvary Chapels are supposed to be. Or do they pick their battles based more on how much they like or don’t like a person to begin with.

  149. Josh the Baptist says:

    Like I said earlier, what does CC affiliation even mean? We will see, and it is terribly interesting. Not in a gossipy way, but in a future of a movement kind of way.

  150. Michael says:

    Thankfully, none of these questions will have to be answered because we know I just made it all up… 🙂

    The reality here is no one will challenge Greg very loudly or very effectively because he’s Greg Laurie.

    The CC people will ignore the fact that he intentionally aligned with someone else and the SBC will ignore the fact that he’s only halfway Baptist.

    It’s all for the cause of Christ, you know…

  151. Kevin H says:

    So Michael, Greg will get a pass from the CCA?

    There won’t be any crusade against “those who align themselves with Calvinists, Congregationalists, and Cessationists? 🙂

  152. Steve says:

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that CCA is all about cult of personality. The closer you are to power the more they invite you in for affiliation. Its all about power. The mentality of my Dad is bigger than your Dad kind of talk.

  153. Michael says:


    You may hear some grumbling from the fringe, but this has been spun to make everyone happy…just like I said it would be last night.

    I will be shocked if anything “official” comes down…

  154. Josh the Baptist says:

    If this doesn’t bother them, they should REALLY apologize to Broderson.

  155. Kevin H says:

    Steve – I do think power has a lot to do with it.

    Josh – They like Laurie but didn’t like Brodersen. Plus Laurie is more well known and has more universal influence than Brodersen. Their actions regarding the Laurie and Brodersen situations will speak volumes as to where their commitments lie.

  156. JM says:

    Duane, #136

    Too funny!

  157. Xenia says:

    … but this has been spun to make everyone happy…<<<<

    Well, let them be happy!

    If the goal is to spread the Gospel to the lost, let them unite and get to work. Maybe we should be rejoicing that people are uniting rather than splitting up.

  158. Randy Davis says:

    About 90% of Baptist drink and so do many pastors, usually the younger ones. More traditional church do not want their pastors to drink. They usually gossip about about drinking pastors over cocktails.

  159. Randy Davis says:

    I’m behind reading and answering as I go along. Josh, right after David Platt took over the International Missions Board, the trustees descended the tongues and prayer language requirements. Anything goes now.

  160. Michael says:

    Randy, if you get a minute, I’d love you to chime in on Duane’s “Rebuild The Church” article…

  161. Josh the Baptist says:

    @ 162 – Oh randy, I did not know that. I know it had been debated for quite a while.

  162. Randy Davis says:

    #149 Josh, yes is the answer to you question.

  163. Josh the Baptist says:

    To Xenia’s 160 – I am happy with it. Or ambivalent anyway.

    It’s just interesting. Like when Hank H. said he was Orthodox but hadn’t changed his beliefs at all. You just scratch your head. Lot of layers to this one.

  164. Corby says:

    Randy @ 161 – hilarious.

    Don’t know if its been said yet, but what Greg is doing is very much in line with what Brian has been saying about CGN, having the freedom to connect with those outside the CC tribe. CCA would have a problem with it. CGN wouldn’t in this case.

  165. CrucifiED says:

    This statement from Laurie is kind of weird. If I as a CC pastor had taught the doctrines that the SBC confesses, I would have been told to adjust my thinking or move on. So do they not care about these differences anymore or are they overlooking it for the bigger names?

  166. Steve Wright says:

    A decade ago, while in seminary, I had one adjunct professor who came to teach one class – Church Planting. He was Southern Baptist with a capital S and B. He was also quite active in the inner workings of the group and he told us that everything he taught us was to be understood through the filter of the SBC. Not that he insisted it was the only way, but it was the way he knew, and thus he taught.

    One of the students, who sat next to me all year, near the end of the class in discussion said “Steve, you’re a Baptist, come on.” I said, no, I’m CC. And I referenced my (our) take on the gifts.

    The professor overheard and chimed in and said the SBC no longer had an issue with that when it came to affiliation with them. (These guys were recruiting me, so to speak).

    In any event, this was a decade ago and a look at the SBC “Faith and Message” shows no discussion of things which your average CC would find troubling. Sure, one can read into some of the lines what you might want, but you aren’t going to find any direct contradictions between CC and the SBC “Faith and Message” (in large part because the SBC remains somewhat general in vague on many of the topics where there could be differences, while being dogmatic in the topics where there is agreement)

    Corby @167 is right. This is exactly what the new CGN is about, with the difference being that everyone assumed all sorts of non-CC churches were going to affiliate with CGN first (like your average local Baptist church) and hadn’t thought that this transfer could flow in both directions with CCs joining other allegiances.

  167. Descended says:

    Both houses are dying institutions, numerically and doctrinally, so it makes sense they should try to hold one another up. I don’t know why this matters all that much to anyone who is ecumenical. It’s certainly one of the lesser moves Laurie has made (TBN, RCC). There’s no real change for Laurie or SBC. This is the political means of aligning yourself with others you kind-of, or barely, agree with in order to usher in God’s Kingdom now, to bring heaven to earth…

    Because y’know, God needs our help with that.

    First CGN, then the repeal of the Johnson order, now the Calvary Rock star who straddles CGN and CCA is launching into SBC. Not saying it’s a conspiracy, but it certainly isn’t an accident.

    Just another small step toward a collectivist theology. Waiting on some Super Apostles to fly in on Red, White, and Blue Letter edition Bibles.

    I find it interesting that Laurie makes no room for “the Lord willing” in his press statement.

  168. Descended says:

    “Not saying it’s a conspiracy, but it certainly isn’t an accident.”

    It’s just herding sheep.

  169. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This really sounds like a business deal, not so much like a business merger, but more like medieval kings marrying off their kids to each other to seal the deal. Any Laurie kids marrying any Jeffress kids on the horizon?

  170. Xenia says:

    … Like when Hank H. said he was Orthodox but hadn’t changed his beliefs at all. <<<<

    Josh, I thought about that, too.

    Although in this case, the doctrines of CC and the Baptists are pretty close, excepting the charismatic stuff.

  171. Kevin H says:

    If Greg’s move to join the SBC is truly primarily about uniting with other Christians for the furtherance of the gospel, than I think it’s great. If there are other motives such as maneuvering to gain more political influence or other suspect intentions, then I think it not so great.

    As for the Calvary Chapel aspect of it all, this would seem to be kosher if not even encouraged within the CGN. As for CCA, however, this would seem to contradict their initiatives to keep things more “pure” as to the distinctives and how they believe Calvary Chapel pastors and churches are to be. Yes, there may not be any “official” SBC doctrines that contradict Calvary Chapel beliefs, but there are plenty of pastors and churches within the SBC, including many of their leaders, who hold beliefs that are contradictory to Calvary Chapel (Calvinism, cessationism, church polity, etc.). And there may be some persuasion or even coercion to adhere to these contradictory beliefs that in some cases are held to by the majority of the SBC. At the very least, there would seem to be an expectation to support these other pastors and churches with contradictory beliefs as they are all now in one big family. For a CC pastor to intentionally align themselves with such a group would very much seem to go against how the CCA expects a CC pastor to conduct themselves. The CCA has displayed more concern about associations outside of CC (e.g. Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, Calvinists, those who don’t teach verse by verse, those who don’t value Israel like they think they should, pastors who drink, etc., etc.) than has the CGN.

    We will see how the CCA treats Laurie versus how they treated Brodersen.

  172. joann says:


  173. Steve says:

    Curious, does anyone else have sponsored Greg Laurie ads showing up all the time on their Facebook feeds? Somewhat amusing since I’m not connected in anyway with him on Facebook. I don’t even have that many CC friends and probably no SBC friends. Seems like he must be spending a lot of money on these sponsored ads. Is this the best way to do evangelism?

  174. Maroonie says:

    I think that the proper way of understanding this new emphasis is to consider how both CGN and CAA would interpret this. That is to say, stuff like this does not occur without reason or without meaning in the CC movement. I would argue that this has enormous meaning where things are always hidden within the Calvary Chapel movement and a positive meaning for anyone from CC that is blissfully unaware of the rift.

    If I am correct on that intuition, this would be a brilliant strategic move by Greg to put pressure on both sides to move past the argument, as it (1) pokes the worst of us and (2) encourages the better of us. It also (3) opens up more doors for the presentation of the gospel (or at least is perceived to do so) and (4) it secures Greg Laurie’s brand will rise out of the mess, and the oncoming tragic diminishing of the movement.

    It is, therefore, a win-win-win-win for Laurie.

    I think that this is the reason that Brian rushed forth to show support, and in my reckoning, his swift positive reaction is telling, as it affords him the higher ground when contrasting how the more legalistically minded CAA groups (rather, pastors) will react, or shall I say, coldly not react.

  175. Kevin H says:


    Where was this that Brodersen was quick to show support with a positive reaction to Laurie’s joining with the SBC? It would be interesting to see.

  176. Michael says:

    Kevin, it’s the tweet I posted in the body of the article.

    This has nothing , and I mean nothing, to do with CC.

    Greg Laurie does what is best for Greg Laurie and he doesn’t ask anyone in CC what they think, nor does he care what they think.

    He removed himself from the battle of the little tyrants a long time ago.

    This fits with Brian’s vision for his group and I wouldn’t be surprised if Greg makes an appearance at his conference next week.

  177. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Michael. I missed the tweet in the body of the article. I know you changed around the content a couple times as the story developed and I must have missed when Brodersen’s tweet got added in.

    I still think it will be interesting to see what, if any, public reaction CCA has to Laurie after seeing how they treated Brodersen for what they deemed to be improper things for a CC pastor to say or do. (While fully expecting them to treat Laurie differently because they seemingly don’t hold the same animosity toward Laurie as they do Brodersen.)

  178. Michael says:

    Greg was supposed to be on the original CCA board.

    His board said something to the effect of “hell, no”.

    You’re not going to hear a peep from those boys…because they know Greg won’t care and he’s bigger than all of them put together on his own.

    They only pick at people they think they can bury…

  179. Kevin H says:

    And if their response is crickets, it will speak volumes to the integrity of their commitment to make sure that CC “Stays the Course”.

  180. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    I find it harder and harder to find any CC guys who give a rip what either side thinks…they are just going on with what they do.

  181. JM says:

    I think you are likely correct, Michael. The few conversations I have had with Calvaryophiles since this story broke is that they just want to get on with things.

    Sadly, I am not aware of either side (of the leaders) talking reform in the sense of congregational abuse. This continues to be an issue close to this writers heart. Both sides will continue to decay from the inside out if they think it is only about doctrine or nonessential points of contention. I would venture a guess that God will not be the friend of any faction that continues to ignore that rather large elephant that is still in the room. They have sheep spread about on the hills that suffered at their hands and God is not deaf to their cries. I submit that this would apply to any entity that has the affrontery to think they represent God and yet ignore good practice with the least of their people. I still think most of the maneuvering inside of CC that we continue to see is about what’s good for these guys and not necessarily what’s good for the people they purport to serve. Therefore, I am not impressed or terribly hopeful. To spare the body this “pissing match” (called as such by Dave Rolph), CC in all its factious forms should dissolve and re-form into these separate groups. If they don’t, the acrimony will continue to drive people away. I’m not a Laurie fan, but he may actually be on the right track by moving away from a deeply distressed and disjoint association.

  182. Michael says:

    There is no talk of reform,nor will there ever be any talk of reform,because few believe any reform is necessary and if it is, it must come from the individual fellowship.

    I’m catching hell because I originally titled this piece “Greg Laurie Leaves CC”…but the reality is that Laurie felt it good to align with someone else…while still placating the other group.

    I think this speaks to the percieved future relevance of CC…

  183. JM says:

    Michael, #185,

    I avoid Facebook and certain other social media, so did not know quite what happened to you. It’s amazing that you keep going in the face of it all. Hope your truth has silenced the whiners. 🙂

    To give you credit, you wrote similarly on the chances of reform in an older thread. I do not doubt you, nor do I not hold my breath for such a thing. However, I have no compunction against voicing the fact that their history on that score reveals an ugly pattern. Further, without an acknowledgement that this sordid record exists, no one can be presumed unreasonable if they should pointedly ask a leader if it has been repented of. Without a clearly stated decrial and separation from the practices of the system that fostered the abuse, I stand upon my continued and deep mistrust of the name(CC) and those that choose to associate with it. They earn it by their cowardly silence. If they disagree with the heirarchal system that robs congregants of Biblical recourse (Moses Model), treat congregants like lesser saints by withholding the truth of their pastor’s disqualification through adultery, and other sundry misdeeds, what is holding them back? They have a voice and a conscience (and, since they are all male, other accoutrements which seem to be commonly touted) , so the equipment is there for them to speak up! We talk of congregants being all too willing to be part of “groupthink”. What does the silence of these “men” say about their level of courage–let alone their priorities.

    Laurie deserves whatever he gets because he is playing both sides. I have little use for a man who won’t declare himself because hes trying to placate a bunch of insecure people.

    It is likely that this will all be moot very soon. It seems we see the same future of irrelevance.

  184. jonnyB says:

    “Throughout Calvary Chapel’s growth, Smith has remained opposed to forming a denomination. He says it promotes the power hungry instead of the spiritual.”

    Donald E. Miller, a University of Southern California sociologist of religion and author of Reinventing American Protestantism, a history of Calvary Chapel, the Vineyard, and Hope Chapel.

  185. JM says:

    #187, JonnyB

    I truly hope your comment is meant “tongue in cheek” or as biting satire because the evidence speaks of different fruit by many protege that used Chuck’s Moses Model as an excuse for their immorality and abuse of the sheep. If “power” was not that important to these men, Chuck would have stepped down when he was disqualified for the sake of the Body of Christ or the men who knew would not have been a part of the cover up. They all put themselves above the Word of God and, no matter how you euphemism it–it was about power–and how to keep it. Apparently, Mr. Miller was not a thorough researcher. Either that, or he inhaled.

  186. jonnyB says:

    M @ 179

    I don’t think so.


    Brian had called Greg up on a Friday night and told him that he was fired and the he was taking over his Monday night study at CCCM.

    Greg and wife were shocked by this sudden and totally unexpected dismissal.

    The Monday night study declined after Brian took it over.

    Greg has since started a Harvest magnet location in Irvine CA.

  187. Surfer51 says:

    Way back on Monday, October 28, 2013 I wrote this prophetically as it were about Greg Laurie.

     “On any given day one could see Chuck picking up cigarette buttes on the Calvary Chapel property. Young guys like Greg Laurie, took to doing the same because it was what Chuck was modeling by example. They wanted to please Chuck. 

    Must have worked…Greg is where he wanted to be, where he belongs in the Lord. I think that even though Brian B is at the helm of Calvary Chapel now, it is Greg that people will be drawn to. Not that Brian cares about such things. It is just my observation. Greg’s now the “Moses” of the movement as far as I can discern.  I honestly expect to see the anointing upon Greg to increase in these last days.  I think it is going to astound him when he realizes it himself. Greg is not the type of man to seek such things for his own sake. I knew him when we were young men, he is sincere, what you see is an evangelist~teacher…”

    I find it interesting that in Greg’s recent public statement that he released he calls him self an evangelist teacher.

    Even though he has pastored Harvest for so many years he did not mention pastor as being his calling.

    Some would agree with his omission.

    Greg has not been called to be a pastor, even though he has functioned as such at Harvest.

    It just has not been his true calling.

    He doesn’t even mention pastor in his public statement.

    *”Long ago, I came to realize I am called by God to simply do two primary things: to teach God’s word and to preach the gospel. This is the calling of the Lord on my life. Other than my personal walk with the Lord, and loving my wife and family, this is my only focus. My passion is to reach as many people as possible with the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until my final breath”*

    The Evangelist is needed by the whole Body of Christ for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12)

    The Greek word for“evangelist”means“one who announces the Good News”.

    Since the “Evangelist” is meant to ‘Go Out’ and lead ‘Unsaved’ people to the Lord, common sense will tell us that he/she should ‘Go’ outside the Church to “Preach” because there are more ‘Unsaved people’ outside the Church rather than inside. (Romans 15:20-21)

    The person that God has “Called” into the Office of an “Evangelist” is one that has a great love for people and he/she wants to see as many of them get Saved as the Lord leads them to. This is because the Lord has given him/her an “Evangelistic Heart”, which in turn makes them want to ‘Go Out’ and lead as many people to the Lord as possible. (Proverbs 11:30 14:25)

    Once the people get ‘Saved’ however, the “Evangelist” will usually move on because the Lord has not given him/her a desire to stay and take care of, or disciple the people. This is because the Lord has not given the “Evangelist” a ‘Pastor’s Heart’. It is the Pastor’s desire and responsibility to stay and take care of, and to disciple the people.

    Another problem that is occurring in today’s Churches is that some Pastors are trying to be full time Pastors and full time “Evangelists” at the same time. The two Offices are actually contrary to each other, because the Pastor is “Called” to ‘Stay In’ and Shepherd his flock, and the “Evangelist” is “Called” to ‘Go Out’ and get people Saved. (Numbers 27:16-17)

    The Bible states that when Jesus ascended into Heaven, He (Jesus) gave (bestowed, granted, or delivered) the “Doma Gifts” including the Office of the “Evangelist” unto certain human beings.

    Eph 4:11 And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists…

    In my mind Greg is a modern day type of Moses calling people out from captivity of Satan to the light of the Gospel message.

    Calling people to become adopted by God as His people.

    He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will… Ephesians 1:5

    Greg’s decision of recent days, in my opinion, is an extension of influence and ministry of his calling as an evangelist.

    And yes he will have reached his primary goal of taking the baton from Billy Graham to continue running his race in the Lord.

    Billy Graham is a great example of a true “Evangelist” that always “Preached” the simple “Gospel”.

    He “Preached” to thousands of people all over the world for many years. He never veered off of his message of Salvation, Repentance and the Kingdom of God.

    No matter who he talked with, whether Kings, Queens, Presidents, talk show hosts, or whosoever, he always shared the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ with all simplicity and humility! (2 Corinthians 11:3)

    This I can attest Greg Laurie has done his entire walk with the Lord.

    It is very exciting to have watched Greg over these many years since I first saw him accept Christ as his Lord and Savior.

    Neither he nor I could have imagined what God had in store for his life when we were still in high school.

    But I will say he was evangelistic from day one of his Christian experience.

    I know this because we both hit the southern California beaches together, evangelizing back in the days of our youth from the base of our Bible book store in Newport Beach.

    Another gift in the Lord that Greg exemplified was teacher of the Word.

    He was constantly getting revelation about scripture and going into “teaching mode” every time he got a chance.

    We were such young baby Christians that none of us realized Greg was walking in his calling in the Lord.

    Now so many years later we see the outworking of Greg’s calling.

    So to me it is a logical move he has been inspired to make in the direction he is to go.

    In these dark days a light is going to shine across the land as the Gospel message is presented through the ministry of evangelist.

    Most Christians today have heard of what is known as the ‘Great Commission’. This ‘Great Commission’ is what Jesus spoke about to His Disciples in the Book of Mark. It is a “Call” of God for Christians to ‘Go’ into all the world and “Preach” the “Gospel” to every creature (or to all of Creation)! (Mark 16:15)

    In the Book of Luke, Jesus also stated that we should “Preach” ‘Repentance’ and ‘Remission’ (which means freedom, pardon, deliverance and forgiveness) of Sins in His Name to the people of all Nations. (Luke 24:47)

    The ‘Great Commission’ therefore means that all of us in the “Body of Christ” are “Called” to help share the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ with the rest of the world.

    This includes sharing His Salvation Message with our families, friends, neighbors, fellow-workers, classmates and anyone else that the Holy Spirit leads us to. It also means that we as the “Body of Christ” should feel the need to help in some way to be a part of some type of “Evangelistic” Work.

    To support Greg in Evangelist effort is a way to participate in evangelism in this our time.

  188. Steve says:

    I would imagine that Chuck Smith was probably largely responsible for Greg Laurie’s success in the early days with giving him a huge platform and pumping him up as the next Billy Graham. I certainly remember Joe Focht doing this at the regional level many years ago. With this in mind, the die hard CCA traditionalist Chuck Smith proteges I’m sure are seriously conflicted. I hope that is a good thing and will cause serious long overdue repentance on their part but I’m not holding my breath. It appears their arrogance is so deeply seated that they are completely blinded to it. I doubt, however they will ever distance themselves from Laurie. It’s the American evangelical DNA to get behind the most powerful and influential evangelical voices in America. What this does mean is that CCA is becoming completely irrelevant at this point which may be a hard pill for these traditionalist to swallow. It sure will be interesting to see what happens.

  189. JM says:

    #190, Steve

    You see much of what I see. Interestingly, it isn’t always what people do–it’s what they will not do that can reveal the heart. They will rely on the “big name” (Laurie) because they see him as the only (or best for them?) game in town. What happened to their faith in a God who created the universe? Does He not have the resources to bring praise from the stones? There are always choices. There have always been choices that CC pastors and their collective “Association” could make, no matter which “camp” they are presently in. Many simply continue the CC policy that allows them to hide behind “group think” and not “own” their lack of backbone. Whatever happens they have no one to blame but themselves. They have shot themselves in the foot too many times by their passive assent. A pastor will stand before a holy God some day –by himself. Let’s see how good “group think” works then. I’ll make popcorn.

    Sadly, many congregants seem content to blindly follow what is, in some cases, mediocrity, so it feeds all of this and means it will continue.

    Some meaty and insightful comments, Steve. Thanks.

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