Loose Ends

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56 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    This is a painful read. Michael this stuff has exploded.

  2. Jim says:

    Sorta kills the “anonymous” meme.

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    These charges just being brought into the public square?

  4. Michael says:

    BD,

    Sorry, had to run out for a bit.
    These charges were presented to the (sham) board earlier.
    The only way to inform the congregation and public was to print them.

  5. Just A Sheep says:

    I’m no Driscoll fan, but seriously.
    Everyone knew he had a potty mouth. That has been well documented.
    Everyone knew that he could be prickly and a ‘bully”. Just listen to a message.
    Those the things that made him “Christian famous”

    I mean Michael has been known to be the same.
    I’m not saying aren’t issues but this is crazy.

    But find 21 former employees who were let go to say that he is what we all know he is.
    The concerned attacks on MD is staggering.
    The church is no better than its host anymore.
    How is this any different than our culture loving and then hating Brittney Spears or any other darling to goat American culture story? Oh wait, but we are forgiven. Watching this makes me sad. All around .

  6. Jean says:

    Nice picture of MD. Where do you find those gems? 🙂

  7. Neo says:

    Lol, Jean

  8. Michael says:

    These charges don’t include the plagiarism and the mis appropriation of funds.
    The first time I decided to bully someone in my church would be the last time I was a part of the church…they would find a new church immediately.
    As it should be.

  9. papiaslogia says:

    “In May 2013, Dave Kraft submitted similar formal charges. To our knowledge, the witnesses who were at that time prepared to be interviewed during the investigation of those charges were never interviewed.” – From the “Statement of Formal Charges and Issues’

    Methinks we will see a repeat of performance of MH – they won’t investigate unless giving decreases dramatically.

    “We have selected more recent examples to challenge a prevalent impression that while Pastor Mark may have sinned in these ways in the distant past, he has been a changed man in more recent years. To the contrary, we know of recent evidence that strongly indicates disqualifying patterns having continued into recent times. Dave Kraft’s formal charges were submitted in May 2013.”

    Good point to mention: Its not just that MD was a jerk in the past and that he’s better now – he may have mellowed with age – but just a bit. And some of the examples… probably should not be printed here. I’m no prude, but….

    And I think this sums up MD’s attitude in a nutshell…

    “During a creative meeting with the Executive Elders Mark explained the brand of Mars Hill. He said that the brand of Mars Hill is a man standing in the pulpit with a large heavy bible in his hand. He also said that many things will change at Mars Hill, but one thing will never change: “it’s me in the pulpit holding a bible.””

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Just A Sheep

    When you run over people with the bus you should be sure they are dead. The living cry out for justice. Silence in the face of abuse is complicity. I am sad to see this and to read this. Everyone has critics and indeed everyone has hurt someone who can justly accuse us. No one should get sick when abused people speak up. The sickness is when the intimidation silences the suffering.

    A tree is known by its fruit.

  11. papiaslogia says:

    I would love to see that “affiliation agreement” of Wayne Taylors. 😉

  12. Michael says:

    papiaslogia,

    It’s nothing more than the statement of faith with a clause that allows disfellowshipping for certain offenses, which are mainly unspecified and subjective.

    To be disfellowshipped simply means that your name is no longer included in the CC database.

    That’s it.
    Big deal.

    It’s nothing of interest…

  13. papiaslogia says:

    “It’s nothing more than the statement of faith with a clause that allows disfellowshipping for certain offenses, which are mainly unspecified and subjective.”

    Can you post that clause with the offenses? Curious what can get someone kicked out of the CC movement, since some scoundrels are still there.

    You know, besides going “Calvinist”. :0

  14. Michael says:

    papiaslogia,

    Let me be crystal clear.
    The only “discipline” is being taken out of the database.
    Period.
    The document isn’t binding,nor will it be.
    There is no way to be kicked out of the “movement” because the “movement” only exists in the minds of the affiliates.
    The CCA is a shambles and has been as I’ve previously reported.
    It is a shell corp with absolutely no authority over anything but a database.

  15. London says:

    I’m with Just a Sheep.
    They already knew he was abrasive and aggressive. Why all of a sudden is it bullying?
    Did they speak up when it was happening, or are they just now all suddenly brave?

    I can’t stand MD, never could, but none of what they are saying about him is surprising. I he’s staying true to his character, which at some point, these same people admired or they would have long ago left that church.

  16. Mark says:

    One thing I noticed in the charges was widespread use of the term “slander”. In order for something to be slander it must be “…an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed.” There is no implication that these slanders were lies- or that they damaged anyone’s reputation. Sounds like they were just stupid things that a mature man, let alone a pastor, should never say. Alot of what are in these charges are they types of “abuse” that 20 years ago we’d say was just a jerk being a jerk but now we call it bullying. We need to grow some “b++ls” and get over it. Having said that- this guy has no business leading a flock. He needs to focus on his own walk with the Lord and not be directing others in their walk.

  17. Mark says:

    Surprised this guy never got punched out for the stupid stuff he’s said!

  18. Mark says:

    Michael- I think you are painting the CCA with a very broad brush. If someone wants to start a CC they contact CCA. They are provided with the Distinctives. An evaluation is made as to whether they might be “encroaching” on another CC close by.CCA provides feedback to the applying pastor. Of course the pastor may ignore the feedback and, as you point out, fly the dove irregardless of what CCA says. Not sure why a guy would want to do that- makes no sense to affiliate with a group that doesnt want you- also doesnt seem to be a very Christian or honest or ethical thing to do.

  19. Michael says:

    Mark,

    You’re wrong.
    Affiliation is supposed to go through the regionals,not the CCA.
    The distinctives are region by region.
    In reality there are no enforceable requirements.

  20. papiaslogia says:

    Mark – The point is that someone COULD call themselves a CC and fly the dove and there’s not a thing another CC or CCA could do about it. They could have a totally different leadership structure and be open about their financials and have child protections in place, and call themselves a CC.

    The CC brand would mean nothing at that point.

  21. Michael says:

    There is enough diversity in the ranks now that it means little…

  22. Mark says:

    Michael. I’m confused. You said the letter was from regional -which is the regional CCA rep. Pastor applies to regional CCA. There is no National CCA with affiliation authority. I’m not sure what the point is that you’re trying to make. In any event there’s no need to treat me so rudely. I feel like I’m being bullied !

  23. Mark says:

    P there are plenty of CCs with open financials and child protections. That has nothing to do with the brand. What is your point?

  24. Mark says:

    Michael why do u insist on such broad brush statements ? Do u honestly believe the CC dove means nothing? Across 1500+ churches it means nothing? C’mon

  25. Mark says:

    Let me clarify before I get attacked. “Means little “

  26. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I’m well aware that you are confused.
    I have forgotten more about this process than you actually know.
    I actually know regionals and members of the national CCA.
    I actually ask questions and get answers.
    The template of the letter left open the possibility that this was part of a national rollout.
    It did not specify that t was regional, for new affiliates, or a re application for existing affiliates.
    When the regional approves an affiliation, it is passed on to the national, where the name is supposed to be added to the database.
    That process hasn’t always worked that way, to much confusion and controversy.
    In reality, if an affiliated CC ordains another person and sends them out to plant a CC, there is absolutely nothing to stop that person from flying the dove and calling himself a CC, no matter if the regional or national group approves or not.

  27. Michael says:

    Mark,

    In your CC world there may be lots of commonality.
    In the broader CC world there is a lot of diversity and that will be evident soon enough.

  28. DavidM says:

    Mark, to many CC pastors, the dove means much. To me and many other CC pastors, it is utterly irrelevant.

  29. brian says:

    Mr. Driscoll’s potential downfall will come because of two situations some type of sexual scandal which is sort of a big deal because it messes up the brand. But the big huge sin that would get anyone the boot out of the corporation is if the revenue stream begins to dry up. That is happening and it wont be forgiven ever.

  30. victorious says:

    Scripture calls for three credible witnesses in order for an accusation to be heard and properly addressed and acted upon. 21 = 7×3 . I would say we have a complete and credible witness. Coming from former pastors, these men also have a significant voice seeing that they also share in the leadership decisions of this church ; albeit indirectly due the fact they are former pastors.

    Oh, and some of their charges addressing Driscolls violations are indeed sexual in nature, even though they do not include the act if adultery.

  31. SJ says:

    Regarding declining tithes at MH, maybe they have it coverd by canceling a 2 mill. dollar Jesus festival.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2014/08/19/a-big-planned-mars-hill-jesus-festival-disappears-without-a-trace/#25601101=0

  32. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    DavidM,
    We should meet sometime.

    Mark,
    Calvary Chapel is in a time of transition and there are different opinions of the direction that the movement should go and what are considered essentials for affiliation/fellowship. With these various opinions in mind, I think there needs to be the freedom for everyone to fellowship with those whom they find a common vision with. That’s another way of saying we should grant all of us the freedom to go the direction we feel to be the Lord’s leading and agree to disagree amicably with those whom we find differences too distinct to continue on the same path.

  33. Mark says:

    David M – if you find the dove utterly irrelevant why seek affiliation ? Just be independent. Seems disingenuous to seek benefits from an org but have no interest in conforming to the orgs standards.
    Pastor Laurie- I have no idea what you are trying to say. Are u saying CCs that want non-conform should b free to leave? Or that they should b free to stay?

  34. Oh No says:

    “Seems disingenuous to seek benefits from an org but have no interest in conforming to the orgs standards.”

    Short of pastor conferences, please explain what benefits. CC is not a denomination, I say that because their are benefits from being part of a denomination, such as insurance, retirement, etc.

  35. Corby says:

    I get it. I get what all of the frustration is about concerning the affiliation stuff, the accountability issues which can lead to abuse issues, I get it. But I think a missing piece of the conversation puzzle, and I’m sure I will get slammed for this, is this; it seems to me that the affiliation process is about operating in the ideal, about how we as a movement would like to operate, which is relationship-based, and not legal contract based.

    I forget who said it, but the idea that the movement only exists in their minds is somewhat accurate, and I don’t think thats a negative thing to say or think. The emphasis on LEGAL accountability and LEGAL consequences vs this agreement process, is, to me, the affiliation version of the CC progressives vs the Bryson/Paul Smith camp. There is somewhat of a parallel there. CC could have turned into a legalistic, reformed witch-hunt, agree with George’s screwed up statement of faith system, and I would operate under fear of saying something that could be taken the wrong way. It puts the pastors focus on the next level above him, instead of the flock he is over which is where the real sense of responsibility should come from.

    Trying to promote or enforce or create a legally binding affiliation process amongst a group of people who think, feel, and believe the same way doesn’t make any sense. If its in a person’s heart to do something, regardless of the legal consequences, making more laws and rules doesn’t fix the problem. It’s a heart problem. As has been said before, here and elsewhere, accountability only goes so far as a person is submitted to others in relationship. (This is the root of the Driscoll mess, no relationship or personal accountability it would seem.).

    Where then should accountability come from? Let’s start big picture and zoom in. A CC pastor should want to do the right thing and be an upright person at all times. That’s the assumption. That being said, because he has a set of beliefs that matches what CC holds, the relationship is based on similar interest, similar direction, two people walking in the same direction in one accord. That’s the pastor/church-to-movement connection. If there is ever a change of view or direction, that relationship should be severed by one side or the other.

    At the individual church level, the pastor should be in relationship with his elders/spiritual leaders in the church. Band of brothers type of relationship. Accountability here should be a no brainer. THIS IS THE LEVEL at which pastoral/church discipline should take place, not the affiliation level. This is why CCs are considered autonomous churches that are in relationship with one another. If a pastor screws up, it isn’t the role of the movement to step in and do something, its the role of the elders first and foremost. It’s on them, not the CCA. My elders can fire me, if I remember our bylaws correctly. Now, this doesn’t stop a guy from having a bunch of “yes” men, or a group of men who are all in cahoots together. If that’s the case then its the job of the church to vote with their feet, as Michael has pointed out regarding Mars Hill. If the people don’t leave, then its on them.

    As this discussion has progressed over the years, be it about CC or other church disasters, I think we have been focusing on the wrong thing, or the wrong level. Structures and systems have their place. They are needed. But in the end it comes down to submitting to one another out of love. I think I read that somewhere. If that isn’t in a pastor’s, or a board’s, or a church body’s DNA, then the systems won’t work anyway. I am accountable to my wife and kids as a husband and father because I love them and they love me and I don’t want to do anything to hurt them, though I have the potential to do so. I am accountable to my elders and my church as brothers and a shepherd because I love them and they love me and I don’t want to do anything to hurt them, though I have the potential to do so. Those are the two places where I find my identity. I don’t, nor should anyone, find my identity in my affiliation with CC (or any movement/denomination). When it comes to CC, I am accountable to them as I would be to co-workers who love what we do and love where we work. As soon as I don’t like the job or the people I should move on (and believe me I almost have a few times!). As soon as I’m not doing my job right or not getting along with others I should be fired from the movement.

    I have always felt that Oden Fong said it best on the A Venture of Faith video concerning affiliation. If we find ourselves going the same direction, then lets go together. That’s it. That’s affiliation. That’s a fellowship of churches. When we all go together it s a movement. Everything else should be on the individual church board and body level. I think CCA should only be in control of a database, not because I don’t want accountability, but because I do want it in the right place. If anything, in addition to doctrinal agreement, it would be good if CCA looked to see if a church had some kind of mechanism (not prescribe one) for the discipline of a pastor in the local church, and point out that it’s on the local church to deal with stuff, not CCA, but CCA will drop affiliation at their own discretion.

    Sorry for the length, it’s been bugging me a while. It’s not perfect, but it’s where I’m at.

  36. Oh No says:

    “At the individual church level, the pastor should be in relationship with his elders/spiritual leaders in the church. Band of brothers type of relationship. Accountability here should be a no brainer. THIS IS THE LEVEL at which pastoral/church discipline should take place, not the affiliation level.”

    Band of Brothers is a good name for a “hand picked” board. I’ve seen “hand picked” brothers be replaced as soon as they disagree! No accountability there!

  37. Steve Wright says:

    Watch out for those denominational retirement benefits… 🙂

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_17066631

    Four retired Lutheran pastors are suing their former employer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, alleging that the church guaranteed lifetime annuity payments that it later decided to “drastically reduce.”

    In a letter sent to plan participants in September 2009, John Kapanke, the president and CEO of the ELCA Board of Pensions, said the guaranteed annuity payments would be cut by 9 percent on Jan. 1, 2010, with additional decreases coming in 2011 and 2012.

    (Good word, Corby)

  38. Corby says:

    Oh No, I realize that, and I pointed that out. Which is why, hopefully, a church body can see that and vote with their feet. No system of accountability is perfect. There is no such thing. My point is that, and I think I can make a case for this, Biblically accountability should begin at the local church level. I think there is too much emphasis on making the CCA as an organization the agent of accountability for errant pastors.

  39. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    well said Corby.

    Mark, see Corby’s 2nd to last paragraph. What I am saying is that Calvary Chapel stands for a church movement that grew out of the Jesus Movement. Some have stayed in that arena, others have ventured out. Let’s all agree to disagree in areas where we cannot feel led to compromise, let’s gravitate toward those of like minds, and let’s all keep the respective names of our independent churches and not be forced or feel compelled to change our identity (name) within our local community. This isn’t a fast food franchise, it is the house of the Living God, and we need to remain fluid with the move of His Spirit. There are several types of Baptists, there can also be several types of Calvary Chapels, because from my experience, there already are.

  40. Michael says:

    “This isn’t a fast food franchise, it is the house of the Living God, and we need to remain fluid with the move of His Spirit. There are several types of Baptists, there can also be several types of Calvary Chapels, because from my experience, there already are.”

    I like that…

  41. But the Baptists do distinguish themselves from each other as do Lutherans.

    My question to Corby is what if a CC ceased following implied CC doctrine and say actually adopted full on Lutheran doctrine and practice BUT the pastor still wanted to be a CC affiliate, to continue to be a part of the movement and the fellowship – does CCA not have a say?

  42. Corby says:

    Sorry MLD if that wasn’t clear. CCA does have a say. That’s what I meant toward the end of my tome when I said, “If anything, in addition to doctrinal agreement,” To me, such a church would no longer be walking in the same way as CCA and should disfellowship in favor of fellowship with a new tribe.

  43. Corby says:

    And more specifically, that’s what I meant when I was saying, “When it comes to CC, I am accountable to them as I would be to co-workers who love what we do and love where we work. As soon as I don’t like the job or the people I should move on (and believe me I almost have a few times!). As soon as I’m not doing my job right or not getting along with others I should be fired from the movement.”

  44. Michael says:

    Here’s the problem.
    The CCA itself doesn’t walk together.
    There is diversity there…to the point of division.
    The “movement” is in process…and my guess is that when the process is finished nothing will look as it does today…or as it did 10 years ago.

  45. Corby says:

    #44 – Agreed, from where I sit. Myself and others thought we would see much more of this division at the SPC this year. We saw the results of some of it (certain speakers being uninvited to speak), but it didn’t play out as much as it could have. Which means there is either hope, or they were just playing well together. The speed of this process will depend on how strongly any given side wants to push. I don’t imagine people like Brian or Greg are going to push first.

    If George and Paul were to plant a flag and ask the faithful to rally around them, for they are the Real Calvary Chapel (RCC? no, that’s Roman Catholic Church to which the rest of us are on the road), I don’t think Brian or Greg would even push then, except to push the door open and say guys are welcome to leave if they want.

    If that actually happened that would leave the less subtle division in the CCA which you bring up, which I honestly don’t know what would happen there if people were to push one another. It’s the same old speculation I suppose. No one wants to see division, but no one wants to see the subtle dis-unity which results in the ambiguity we see either. Time will tell.

  46. Mark says:

    along with others I should be fired from the movement.”
    CC has been described as a loose affiliation of like minded brothers called by God to share
    the Gospel. I like that too.

  47. Mark says:

    Corby- you said it very well. Better than its ever been said before on this site.

  48. Mark says:

    Im having problems posting. Sorry

  49. Corby says:

    Thanks, Mark.

  50. Bob Sweat says:

    “No system of accountability is perfect.”

    Agreed! I just have a problem with those who continue to throw that excuse out while not doing anything to make it better. It really troubles me that in many cases all one can do is vote with their feet. This is especially difficult for those who have invested years of their time and money, only to have to leave friends and start all over somewhere else. I have witnessed this too many times in the last 10 years.

    Corby, that is not aimed at you, I appreciate much of what you have said!

  51. papiaslogia says:

    Notice: If your CC has true elders and open financial accountability, this comment does not apply to you.

    There’s a problem I see with affiliation in the CC world: some or most of it based on inter-pastoral relationships. Pastors who do not have true elders affiliating with other like minded pastors simply perpetuate the myth of a “movement”. What you have is a group of leaders who have the same view of leadership that MD has(‘many things will change at Mars Hill, but one thing will never change: “it’s me in the pulpit holding a bible.”’) , but maybe on a smaller scale.

    If its just pastors who get together and say “we are doing ministry with each other”, then I would hazard a suggestion that not much “ministry” is actually going on.

  52. The funny part is that no one even knows if the masses even want any of the CCA leadership – it doesn’t matter which camp. There has never been a discussion.

    Between now and next SPC each faction should put up their slate of who they think should run CCA and at the SPC …have a vote. Issue solved.

  53. DavidM says:

    Mark
    “David M – if you find the dove utterly irrelevant why seek affiliation ? Just be independent. Seems disingenuous to seek benefits from an org but have no interest in conforming to the orgs standards.”

    I am not seeking affiliation. I have been affiliated for many decades. I have been there for over 40 years, and the dove has never meant anything to me. It isn’t about the dove, not at all (at least for me).

  54. Q says:

    DavidM,

    If you take down the dove (brand) CCers moving to your area, and others, will not come. At least that is my experience. The dove (brand) attracts them. That is when they find out all CC’s are not the same and sometimes get disenfranchised.

    Revolving door syndrome. Or vote with your feet.

  55. tbro says:

    Good word, Corby. You articulated the accountability aspects of CC affiliation very well. And whether CC is in transition or not – that’s largely a moot point when it comes to the issue at hand. There are operational principles at work that serve to guide the movement. If they are retooled in the future – so be it – they will become governing principles at that time. But all the talk of what CC may/will become is largely irrelevant in the current government of the movement.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  56. Andrew says:

    My thoughts on CC:

    CC is just a club with spiritual overtones that has a loose affiliation with other pastors based on relationships that is codified in a database of who is in and who is out. It has some branding as a franchise with a dove logo and name and many times acts as an advertising consumer based agency to bring modern American style Christianity to the masses. Only the senior pastor makes it in to this elite central database usually based on his teaching ability and charismatic personality. Also, the non-leadership attendees of CC are many times fooled into thinking they too are part of the larger CC movement based on their relationships with others in the church and leadership. But since most attendees are not on the membership roles or on the local board of the church or recorded in a central database, attendees can often fall through the cracks by careless leadership that will add or remove at will at their own personal discretion who they want from their local database or email distribution lists. To me this is a lopsided unhealthy structure of church that keeps the masses (donor units) in complete darkness and those in the elite club making all the decisions. Since CC was founded by Chuck Smith, his thoughts on church style and the Moses Model leadership seem to be ingrained into the infrastructure and I believe someday will be the downfall of the movement as a whole.

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