Paul Smith and Calvary’s Alt Right
This group represents a third split…they loathe Brian Brodersen and think the Calvary Chapel Association too “liberal” in terms of CC orthodoxy.
One of the speakers was the brother of CC founder Chuck Smith, 87 year old Paul Smith,…and he shouldn’t have been.
After a rambling introduction he announced that his topic would be “the value of volition and sovereignty”.
Somehow, this led to a tearful remembrance of his brothers death.
What followed was a strange compilation of various stories, but the real topic was the character assassination of Brian Brodersen.
That, is why he was invited in my opinion…to recite once again his version of how Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa came to be pastored by Brian Brodersen and the conspiracy theories Smith and others have concocted around it.
He started with a disputed story…that he was fired from CCOF (Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship) due to the machinations of Roger Wing and Brodersen.
My sources at the time told a completely different story, even before Paul Smith was fired.
Chuck Smith came to understand that any policing of the ranks of Calvary Chapel pastors created legal liability for Costa Mesa and he was tired of paying for other peoples mistakes.
He wanted his brother to stop any such policing of doctrine or practice and Paul Smith refused.
In the end, Chuck Smith was left with no options by his attorneys…he fired Paul and disbanded CCOF.
This had nothing to do with Brian Brodersen and everything to do with Paul Smith.
After resuming his talk, he takes a shot at Josh Turansky, who was in charge of content at calvarychapel.com.
Turansky is continuing his education at a seminary that Smith doesn’t approve of, thus the inference is that he must be putting sinister material on the website.
This is the familiar, but despicable, Calvary Chapel version of McCarthyism.
Smith has no idea what classes Turansky has taken, nor who his professors are, nor is there a shred of evidence that Turansky holds to anything outside standard CC doctrine.
It’s the old “guilt by association” card and it is both unbiblical and uncharitable to say the least.
Smith then goes on to quote a letter by George Bryson to Chuck Smith excoriating Calvinism and again inferring that Brodersen was supportive of Calvinism within the ranks of the movement.
I’ve yet to see a shred of evidence for this.
After more unrelated stories (often accompanied with tears) he again recites his version of the “contingency plan” that he and brother Chuck had composed for the succession of pastors at Calvary Chapel Costa mesa.
According to Paul Smith, Chuck Smith wanted to buy out Brodersen (which we reported at the time) and had a list of six to twelve men he had chosen to be considered for the leadership of the church and for the movement.
While it is entirely possible that Chuck Smith told his brother these things, some facts need to be dealt with.
My sources said at the time that Chuck became so weary of Paul’s crusade to railroad Brodersen that he asked him to go home.
The most important fact is that Chuck Smith never used the plan and refused to sign the severance papers (along with a check filled out for at least a million dollars) that would remove Brian Brodersen from CCCM.
Just as he had Jon Courson, Skip Heitzig, and Don McClure audition for the position at various times without anointing any of the three, he did not do anything to stop Brodersens succession.
The continuing nastiness of the Calvary Chapel split does nothing to change the reality of the present situation.
Brian Brodersen is now and will continue to be the pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
All the accusations and vitriol from these other corners is not going to change that.
He has gone his own way…not because of doctrinal differences,but because the toxic environment created by the leaders of the CCA and others made ministry difficult, and unity impossible.
The split has happened and all the continuing conflict accomplishes is to make any leadership irrelevant to the rank and file who are doing what they did before the split and continue to do today.
It also sets a terrible example of conflict resolution…for both pastors and lay people.
Paul Smith is being used (willingly, perhaps) to try to spread half truths and division instead of being able to celebrate and share a life full of ministry.
It needs to stop…but my guess is that those using him place more value on creating strife than doing ministry…
This article was compiled from both Smith’s solo talk and the panel discussion at the conference…