My Take On the Brodersen Resignation

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31 Responses

  1. Stephen says:

    It is a class act, as far as I am concerned!

  2. ( |o )====::: says:

    Agreed with you, Stephen, a total class act!

    This is the first wonderful news about CCCM I’ve read in years!

  3. I read the letter a couple of hours ago. I felt it was well articulated. I don’t know much about BB, but felt he wrote with a lot of grace and clarity.

  4. TombstoneBlues says:

    I was in the CC system for about 15 years. I left it because of the common concerns, Moses Model leadership being the main reason as it affords too much lack of accountability for the pastors, many of them young. I also had other issues.
    As much as I disagree with the CC system, it is what it is. There are many who like it just as it is, the old guard traditional CC. So if there is to be a split then let there be a split. Those who want to reform it into something new and “fresh”…maybe they should consider the Lord might be calling them to start a new vision. If that being the case why should they seek to hold onto any CC affiliation or even the name. Why continue to fly under the dove banner of CC if you feel the “group” is stifling what you perceive a new work the Holy Spirit may be wanting you to do a work with and be leading you in.

  5. JD says:

    Leaders gonna lead.

  6. Captain Kevin says:

    Well done, Pastor Brian!! Somebody pass me a beer!

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Captain Kevin – don’t forget to vote for weed tomorrow there in AZ . I already did here in CA. Then we can encourage each other to ‘not Bogart that joint my friend.’ – as they do in some churches.

  8. EricL says:

    What is Calvary Chapel? Is it the Association or is it CC Costa Mesa?

    Chuck, as I understand it, left all the assets in the church’s name: the conference center, the schools, the radio stations and programs, the website domain, and the very brand. Chuck could have insisted on placing all these assets into the association’s hands, but he didn’t. So how can CCA continue to be truly “Calvary Chapel”, when the mother church with all of its belongings has moved on? That would be like calling yourself a “Saddleback church” or a “Willow Creek church” without any kind of association with the mother church that is the brand.

    Churches called “Calvary Chapel so-and-so” are all over SoCal. It will be interesting to see how many of them will now change their name, even if they keep to both associations.

    Will CCA allow dual membership? Your move, Don McClure and the Philly gang. Will you show as much grace toward the new CCGN? Or will you call it a renegade movement and claim to be the only true CC movement? Get too tough, and Brodersen may pull back rights to the name and remove the time slots for your radio programs.

    Just my meandering thoughts this morning. I truly hope it all works out to the greater benefit of the Kingdom and that this will invigorate these local churches and not harm them.

  9. Dave says:

    It would have been helpful to provide a web link to read the actual message. I have never been a CC member but have been interesting in what is happening ever since the early days of Maranatha Music.

    Thanks – Dave

  10. Dave says:

    My bad – I see that you already provided the letter in another post !

  11. covered says:

    MLD, isn’t Kevin in Philly? Isn’t that where the new CC Pope resides?

  12. Kevin H says:

    Covered,

    You’re mixing up your Kevins. The Captain resides in Arizona (although I’ve always wondered where you can captain a boat in Arizona). I’m here in Philly.

  13. EricL says:

    Maybe Captain Kevin is the captain of a land yacht

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_sailing

  14. covered says:

    My bad Kevin H. It seems according to my wife, I get many things mixed up…

  15. Cindy says:

    Wow … you are so far off base on BB. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing. Won’t be checking into this site anymore … your discernment is non-existent.

  16. Michael says:

    Cindy,

    Accusations require evidence.
    You have none.
    Don’t let the door hit you where the dog bit you…

  17. Xenia says:

    Golly! BB’s theology is identical within 99.99999 percent of the standard CC line and yet you dismiss him as a wolf? Good grief, who do you think is going to be in heaven? Maybe a few dozen people who agree with you 100%?

  18. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Xenia and Michael:

    Please pause for a moment and consider that Cindy may have something there. When I was attending Calvary Chapel Vista and walking in front of church along East Vista Way, I personally saw Brian kick a sweet looking seventy plus year old Italian lady to the curb. Then he turned and while passing me as he headed into the church building said, “she deserved it. God bless you.”

  19. Michael says:

    Sheck,

    He threw an old lady out of the church?
    Is there a back story?

  20. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    The back story is that was when I first knew I wanted to be like him and go into ministry. I also once saw Brian kill a trout he caught while fishing with him, and, my Lord, eat it. Gees.

  21. Michael says:

    You’re killing me…. 🙂

  22. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Michael:

    For me the good news in all this is that I decided to once again descend into the abyss of the ODM websites. Their take is that like a jockey at Del Mar (“where the turf meets the surf”), they picture him riding Calvary Chapel Global to the RCC and into the hands of the anti-Christ. I’m certain it will require an E ticket at Disneyland.

  23. Michael says:

    Thankfully, they got that warning out before any other trout died in service of the Pope…

  24. Dennis says:

    No opinion about BB. Seems to be a decent guy from what I’ve seen from a distance. My opinion is any CC that continues to cite past success as justification for the Moses Model and how they operate while ignoring the damaged people churning out the back end of the “movement” is living on borrowed time. Any CC’s that are willing to examine themselves, make modifications and be open to the possibility that church history didn’t begin in 1965, have a shot at continuing to be relevant. Seems like the BB wing is in the best position to do that from what I can see.

  25. Chris Long says:

    I read that letter from the CCA last week and thought “Wow, this definitely does look to be heading towards a split of some sort.” I found the letter to be as Michael described it – it was a pretty clear shot across the bow at Brodersen.

    I just didn’t expect it would publicly escalate this quickly – though it’s been building for a long time. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens from here and I too wonder about some of the things EricL brought up.

    Regarding the disagreement itself, I don’t know any of them on a personal level, but BB has always struck me as level-headed, thoughtful, and open to the Spirit as far as not getting mired in tradition. I’m not a huge personal fan of his preaching style, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything where I thought he was actually theologically different from anything else CC. What I have heard him talk about is more stylistic stuff – stuff like where you place your emphasis, how you do church, etc. For instance, several years ago discussing the whole “emergent church” thing that was becoming a huge whipping boy in CC, I heard him more-or-less say that while he doesn’t agree with changing core theology (i.e. saying there’s no hell, etc.), he is open to re-evaluating things like lighting/service structure and that he did see some potential value in some so-called “emergent” ideas. That’s the kind of stuff that no doubt just really caused big upset to all those that had jumped on the “discernment” bandwagon where attacking Rick Warren and “emergent” churches and looking for wolfs in sheep clothing at every turn were the norm.

    The truth is this split didn’t really start with BB and really isn’t about him. He’s just the convenient target. The split started with all the massive ratcheting up of the “discernment” stuff by certain people in the 2000’s. A lot of the Calvary culture got influenced by that and bought it all the way. But there were also plenty who didn’t – and obviously BB is in the latter group. BB is right that it does ultimately come down to style, not theology on core Biblical truths or even adherence to the distinctives.

    BB clearly doesn’t want to be an attack dog attacking other groups or ministries (i.e. Warren), nor does he want to put all his emphasis on the rapture (though he believes it and preaches it), and he’s obviously willing to look at any number of things to see how to be most effective to this current generation. I say kudos to him. Maybe he’s wrong on some points or some of his thinking in certain areas (who isn’t?), but I do know that the resignation letter speaks volumes about the man. He could have really come out swinging or trying to really defend himself, but he didn’t. Nor did he beat around the bush or do a passive-aggressive thing like the CCA letter seemed to do. Brian’s letter has a strong undercurrent of trying to maintain as much peace as possible going forward and makes clear that that’s what he wants and that he really wants to keep this from a “choosing sides” scenario. The CCA letter, by contrast, to me had an undercurrent of bitterness and division. It will be interesting to see their response. This could all go rather amicably or it could get really ugly. As for me, I’m just going to pray for them all.

  26. JM says:

    Calvary Chapel was started with the spiritually unclean influences of Paul Cain (alcoholic who dabbled in sodomy and channeled demonic power), Kathryn Kuhlman (fornicator who channeled demonic power) and Lonnie Frisbee (homosexual who had familiar spirits). From the very beginning those associations should have caused mature Christian to ask questions, not to mention, “test the spirits”. Where were the mature Christians? Considering the lack of the fruit of self-control (sexual immorality of all kinds), lack of discernment over testimonies of future pastors that found Jesus in an altered, drug-induced state where “angels of light” often frequent it would not be unjustified to ask if there was another spirit at work in the midst of things. It would surely appear, that, despite all the rhetoric about fidelity to Scripture, “good feelings” won over due diligence. Again, no one was “testing the spirits” as they should have. It does not mean that God, the Holy Spirit, did not come down and touch some people. God’s nature is to be good and faithful no matter what our failures might be. The fact that some did receive a touch by the Holy Spirit was not a sign of approval to all things Calvary Chapel, as was falsely assumed. Rather it would have been a sign of God’s eternal goodness and His readiness to bless His people–period. Because the holy and the profane were allowed to mix in the beginning, it has taken time for the fruit of each “spirit” to show up. But it has. Now we are seeing what kinds of seeds were really sown and, in some cases—in whom. It was mostly a work of the flesh.

    Unfortunately, all of the spiritual rot that should have been apparent in the beginning wasn’t enough for dense elders to advise that Calvary Chapel clean its “spiritual house”. What if they did they try? Pope Chuck had that covered. The Moses Model allowed him to completely ignore even Scriptural admonitions! For some reason, Frisbee was not formally shown the door until after the hypocritical Chuck had already committed adultery. And, the elusive aura of good feelings just kept rolling on and producing more indoctrinated, feeling-addicted, mindless followers. When Chuck Smith committed adultery in the late 70’s his ministry as a pastor should have been over because he could no longer meet the Biblical requirements. But, NO! It was the greatly idolized Chuck Smith, so it was allowed! Again, the Moses Model was his out! He held himself above Scripture–even defying it when it was clear that he was disqualified from continuing on as a pastor. Such disobedience by a very public, professed Christian leader is not blessed by God and cannot end well. To justify his own behavior, he allowed his sin of perversion (for that is what all sexual sin outside of marriage really is) to be the leaven it was and it gave license to his “illdren of the faith” to also commit all kinds of abuse and debauchery so he would not have to deal with his own sin. God gave Chuck one last chance to correct this unbiblical practice by allowing the case of David Hocking’s infidelity to be brought into the light. What did Chuck do? He certainly did not repent of lying about his own sin. Instead, he entrenched himself in his deviant leadership model and cemented the delusion that a pastor’s sin of immorality was not the sin the Bible calls it when he bypassed the restoration process of Hocking’s church. Chuck was “God’s anointed” and surely he knew better than God and the Bible. He placed both himself and David Hocking above God’s s Word. It is very dangerous for a person calling himself a “teacher of God’s Word” to do something like this. It is also dangerous for others who call themselves, “teachers of God’s Word” to go along with this. Those that did go along with this agreed and enabled and became as guilty as Chuck. Wasn’t one of the original temptations by Satan in the Garden of Eden was, “Did God really say…”?

    What did Chuck’s sin of pride and disobedience (and the equally offensive sins of the sycophants who went along with it) leave us with? A partial accounting would yield: rampant immorality among even its senior pastors, which also opened the door to the same sins proliferating in the rest of the CC body ; men with personality disorders gaining pastorates and “lording” their power over congregants; pastors under the “anointed”, Moses Model rationalizing abuse (including child abuse) as they build their own Chuck-clone empires; pastors, through sanctioned stealth, essentially robbing their congregants of their offering money without any accounting; confusion over orthodoxy; lost knowledge and experience of the true Holy spirit producing fleshly solutions to spiritual problems (failure); fearful pastors who do not have the courage to take their people out of this atrocity (sick man-pleasers); people broken under this system who are being largely ignored and left vulnerable to be taken in by even more abusive systems; and, lastly, but not least–people leaving the faith altogether. I hope the enablers are happy!

    To summarize the rot: we have a system that should have ended or been spiritually “cleaned out” almost 50 years ago; a system that was allowed to continue roughly another 10 years after the foundation of spiritual uncleanness until the head idol, Chuck, committed the immoral act that should have disqualified him and stopped the lying disease that was CC from spreading; A system that, only a few years later allowed Chuck to date-set in regards to the rapture and get off without a scratch, though it ruined many lives; a system that continued even another 10 years until adultery in the pulpit was, again, canonized by Saint Chuck in the David Hocking debacle; a system that did not warn about, or later rebuke the false technical prophet, Chuck Missler over the Y2K flap that seemed to earn Missler a pretty penny. And on and on one could go. Behind the scenes, I have been voicing protests at all of this for over 37 years to no avail. There is this delusive veil that pervades in regard to CC that cannot be broken through unless people are willing to see the awfulness for themselves and call the sins what they are. I find the inability of some to do so is tied to their idolatry of Chuck (can’t see through the Santa Claus façade), their own complicity in what happened (admitting that they were duped or willfully blinded themselves to get what they wanted) and/or their commission of some of these same, serious sins. For some, to deal with all of this would mean to admit to their own duplicities and sin and they might lose pastorates or other positions of prominence. To openly admit that these things occurred and are the frighteningly serious, awful sins of disobedience and debauchery that they are would end up indicting many because of the light that would shine back upon them.

    The sins of the entity that is Calvary Chapel run too deep and too wide to fix. It is impotent because important, foundational issues were never dealt with and it appears that there is still no will to deal with them. I perceive at least two main factions that are trying to deal with this mess. One sees Chuck as a good pastor who had to put up with the incursion of false teaching. This may be partially true. However, it is not completely true because Chuck was not a good pastor. A good pastor would not have lied to help himself and hurt others the way he did. They are idolaters. The other faction sees Calvary Chapel as having become irrelevant and wants bring change to appeal to a broader, even younger base. However, in so doing, they have gone too far and brought in horrors like the Whosoevers. Why would anyone have to tell spiritual leaders that God does not need the help of satanic symbol bearers to further the Gospel. Buzzer sound. This is blasphemy.

    With the history related above, it is this writer’s strongly held opinion that all of this fighting is over a corpse. CC has been dead for a very long time and to continue to fight over the name of this corpse is counterproductive. Step away from the decay. Further, and unfortunately, as some of us continue to lob projectile commentary at each other, the body of Christ will be ill served and the outside will have more reason to look at us with disdain. The only thing that really remains of Calvary Chapel is its worldly shell and all that money. If the people who control all that money REALLY wanted to do the right thing, they would disband, seek out all the people who have been defrauded by the abusive Moses Model system and give them some kind of recompense. No matter what side a pastor is on in this—he should take the name off to show he does not agree with the aberrant Moses Model, decry the abuses and seek those that are wandering on the hills and uncared for. Unfortunately, abuse is the legacy of CC and pastors who were silent before need to find their man parts and take responsibility for it now. Where are you, men of God? Help!

  27. Chris Long says:

    Hi JM – I don’t want to minimize any personal experiences you may have had with CC, but my, your take is quite a cynical one painting CC with a very broad brush saying things like “CC has been dead for a very long time”. My experience, and this “split” is proving out, is that not all CC’s are alike. I’ve been to some very LIFE-GIVING and transforming things at CC, including what I considered one of the better Good Friday services I’d ever been to put on by CCCM this year. I applaud those that are willing to look at ways to change or improve upon things, which some in CC are looking at doing.

  28. Hannah says:

    JM

    Only noticed this post due to the junk posts that haven’t been deleted yet.

    What a profound synopsis.

    So many I know still adoringly attend CC.
    I would like to print this in case I need to hand it out to someone.

    Since no one knows about CS’s infidelity, I am sure no one would believe it.
    How does anyone know this? Was it admitted to leadership with him at the time?

  29. JM says:

    Hannah

    Always good to see your posts.

    The Paul Cain part of my story has been mildly challenged, because even though there is a video of Cain saying in his own words how he worked with Chuck Smith as well as another account of Cain being present for at least one ocean baptism, some still won’t accept it. I just want to be sure that is known.

    In regards to CS’s infidelity, I figured it out using inductive reasoning. I could regale people with a long story recounting the constant flow of immorality in the CC’s I attended and the deliberate ignorance or abetting of such by leadership and CS sycophants. I will shorten it. Back in the 70’s, some of CC’s practices were so bad they ruined the life of one of my family members who was sexually innocent until they attended a CC. The constant stream of exposure to graphic “Christian” testimonies about sleeping with everything but the family dog took its toll. It was just the way folks rolled back then because the more graphic the testimony the more you could look like a miracle and make CC look good because they had a hand in your extreme conversion. Then there was that fleshly 15 minutes or more of fame for the one with the “testimony”. Why did Coy get so far–or others just like him? They loved “miraculous” testimonies! They played into their agenda! Too bad they never checked to see if these people were truly regenerate.

    The first formal CC I went to had a pastor who had undealt with issues (as so many pastors did back then) and he saw no problem in the inordinate amount of marriages he presided over because the parties had fornicated until pregnancy. The last straw for me was years later in the way the Hocking affair was handled. I was then at what I thought was another, better CC and the pastor of this one didn’t even have the decency to object or be appalled that sin was being called something else and that a pastor’s “gifts” were being exalted over obedience to God’s Word and His holiness. (I once confronted this pastor and told him that other pastors who were not dealing with their unclean sexual pasts were destined to fall again and that they needed to repent or God would expose them. That was in 1991! The Hocking incident was a few months later in 1992!) I was so sick at heart, I could barely function. This was huge and was completely ignored! I knew without question that the Hocking incident was the proof of my suspicion that the immorality came from the top down. You don’t get good at anything unless you have practiced it. To do what Chuck Smith did publicly and have no crisis of conscience with it meant that some part had already been seared through the practice of covering for a pastor’s sexual sin. The fact that most other pastors inside of CC went along with the unscriptural way Chuck handled the situation meant that their idolatry had also been institutionalized and, by default, the attending blindness. There was no getting through that veil. I kept my conviction in my heart for many years until I did a search as part of some new research I was doing and landed at Alex’s site last year. What brought me there was the post about, not only Chuck’s infidelity, but the timeframe as well. Everything began to make more sense with the timeframe I now had. Not only that, he gave names of people who could verify the story. They were members of Chuck’s own family. I will not repeat their names because I have been told not to because there are now questions about other items on the old CCA site. I hope credibility on this issue will not be a casualty. Nonetheless, CS’s infidelity has been attested to many times on this blog as well. Recently, I even challenged a discernment blog to check the story with the senior calvary chapel pastors and they were unable to refute it. I find that telling. I also challenged them to find out who in their circle of discernment ministries knew of this and kept it hidden. I know there are some. I also know that there is one man who should have known because he was on the CCCM board and the board of Berean Call for many, many years. It appears that there is rot in many places that is yet to be exposed.

    It seems next to impossible for people to accept the truth about this entity. Hannah–you said something very profound on another post about people not seeing things until they are out. I would build on that and say that, even if they come out–they must come all the way out. Through God’s mercies, Lot was taken out of Sodom, but –it appears that Sodom wasn’t taken out of Lot. The influences were still there enough for him to commit incest. I don’t care if he was drunk. If he wasn’t influenced by Sodom–he wouldn’t have rationalized getting drunk in the first place. It’s all so sick. Jesus even said that if someone were to rise from the dead, some will still not believe. Why? Because God in the flesh was standing right in front of them and they didn’t even recognize Him! That’s scary. People see what they want to see and most don’t want to see the awful truth about CC–even the ones who say they have come out and are telling others to beware. They are like the person with a piece of toilet paper that trails behind because it is stuck to the bottom of the shoe. They will never notice it unless they make the conscience effort to turn around long enough to inspect the shoe. Even then, they have to make the decision to pull off the paper or let it stay. Some see the paper, but are too lazy to pull it off their shoe so it still follows them everywhere. It may not bother them, but others can see it and it makes them look silly. Just pull it off. So stupid.

    I would go ahead and give the people of which you spoke the information. Even if they do not believe it, it will make them responsible for it and they will not be able to claim innocence later. Like a cult, they may see you as a follower of the devil trying to tear down God’s work (or similar). They have an answer for everything. Your posts tell me that you are aware and prepared and know the lies of the enemy. The pushback can be pretty awful though. I pray God will strengthen you and protect you if that occurs. I pray also that it will go in someone’s brain and hit a sore spot that won’t go away until they verify the truth for themself.

  30. sz says:

    Sadly, it is true that CS committed adultery. One of my mil’s best friends worked in the office at the time and saw the fall out first hand.

  31. Joseph Hawkins says:

    I attended a Calvary chapel church that is no longer around in the Springfield MA. area for about 2 years from 2002 to 2004 when I was in my early 20s. I come from a Jewish background on my mother’s side and as a teenager living in VA. I got involved in Christianity through an IFB church which with my issues that later got diagnosed as Asperger’s syndrome I was kicked out but later started attending a church of the brethren and was baptized by them before moving to western MA. I was very active in this small CC. I got very close to the pastor. He had me read the psalm every Sunday and got me involved in prayer ministry and as the janitor and church librarian and usher. I would serve communion as well and I counted the money in the agape box and had a key to it. At first I loved the church. I began to read the Bible more than I ever had and I listened to chuck smith and other CC preachers all the time but the abuses soon began to manifest themselves. My pastor was very controlling and demanded ppl think and do as he wanted. No room for any disagreement. As I began to read the Bible I began to see issues with the Bible and Christianity which really discouraged me a lot. Plus being on SSDI and taking psych meds for my condition was frowned upon. As I got more into my 20s I began to desire female companionship more and more but it was denied to me because I can’t be a traditional male provider. Finally one night in desperation I reached out to my pastor and in tears begged him for help. He responded by putting his finger up to my head and asking me if somebody put a gun to my head and told me to deny Christ or they would shoot me what would I do? I told him I honestly probably would deny Christ. He then yelled at me demanding me keys and kicked me out of the church. I’ve since lost my faith and haven’t practiced Christianity in 18 years

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