The Calvary Chapel Split: An Update

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159 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    No comments yet on this one? Must be CCA drama fatigue.

    Michael, when you report internal division of what’s left of the CCA council, is that referring to just the individuals not signing but still listed as being on the CCA council by their website, or does it include even some of those who have signed on to these letters? And what of all the regional leaders/representatives who aren’t part of the “top” leadership council. Do they have any say in anything or come into play with anything here?

  2. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    I have severe CC drama fatigue…trying to keep up has been exhausting.

    To protect my sources I’ll just say again that there is conflict among the remaining members of the council and lots of pressure being applied to some by both sides.

    The “regional” guys only exist at the pleasure of the CCA.

    Make your own application… 🙂

  3. Paige says:

    While not unexpected, it’s a bummer and terrible witness…. Good for Brian to stay out of the melee ….
    Ego, power, position, assets…. all huge pits we need to struggle to stay out of.

    ‘refusal to associate with outsiders they feel are a threat to that culture.”

    What? I suppose that’s in ref to the verse about ‘have no association with those outside” 1 Cor 5:11. WHATEVER… as Paul said ‘you’d have to go out of this world”….

  4. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Michael. I give you the respect that you tell us what you can.

    Exhausted from tracking down all the drama? Maybe you should go refresh yourself by practicing some of that mystic contemplative stuff you’re so infamous for. 🙂

  5. victorious says:

    “Tomorrow, I’ll address some of the ignored victims of this mess…”

    Thank you . The saints are the inheritance of Christ. Their mistreatment either through neglect , abuse or objectification is what simultaneously breaks Christ’s heart and chaps His hide as it should for all of us to the degree we have had either present or past or potential future involvement in any Calvary overseen type of fellowship ; formal or informal.

  6. mk says:

    “One fairly prominent pastor has already been threatened by the CCA that if he continues to associate with someone they do not like he will be kicked out…”

    Huge red flag of cultish behavior by this group. The polarizing us-verses-them mentality. This pastor ought to run and and get as far away from those manipulating controllers as possible. Problem is, it’s a complex set of emotions one experiences and difficult leaving those behind that one has become friends with and genuinely cares about, etc.

    So tired of hearing another story like this one. CCA’s aren’t the only ones with this problem. Seems all too common lately, at least in my corner of the world. 🙁

  7. JM says:

    Kudos, Victorious–you have hit upon what is most important and what is often most left out of all of this–the victims. I also look forward to that being addressed.

  8. JustAChristian says:

    Anybody notice that Pastor Gerson Hernandez of CCCM is listed on the CCA website as an Orange County team leader. With a link to CCCM’s website where, that’s right, Broderson is head pastor.

    Did they just lift the directory and contact information from the old without proofing it? Sounds about right.

  9. JustAChristian says:

    Also. Where’s Greg Laurie in all this? Arguably the most visible and nationally relevant of the bunch. Is he distancing himself? Would he do his Newport-Mesa neighbor Brian like that?

    Or could it be that he’s running a large fairly independent, some would say successful, ministry. Because when you’re working, you generally don’t have time for this kind of BS.

  10. Jeff Rodrigues says:

    A concern that I have in this big mess is that if this split forces certain pastors to no longer work with each other due to having to take sides, it will trickle down to the point that it will cause certain churches to no longer work with each other in various outreaches such as men’s retreats, women’s retreats, men’s conferences, women’s conferences, etc. I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to this, particularly in my area.

  11. EricL says:

    They delete CCCM but still give a special place to the Bible college, which is a CCCM property and lists Brodersen as its president. That bone must catch in their throat, but you can’t erase a school as easily as you can a link on a directory.

    How long until some of those satellite campuses split off to form their own, CCA approved Bible college? I imagine there will be lots of turmoil when the next semester starts in 2017.

  12. Michael says:


    A lot of your peers have the same concern…

  13. Michael says:


    Those are very good questions…

  14. Steve Wright says:

    EricL, I teach at the Bible College. There are mostly Calvary people in my class and very few of them come from Costa Mesa. Many are out of state.

    Keep in mind we are talking about dorms, cafeteria, recreational facilities, administration rooms, library, student hang outs (i.e. coffee shop) – there is a lot more to a college environment than opening up a few classrooms during the week not being used by the children’s ministry and finding some teachers.

    Name me an individual solo church that is going to make that sort of investment in money (and other resources, especially time) just so they can be the CCA approved alternative to Murrieta.

  15. Kevin H says:

    “Update: Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa is no longer listed by the CCA as an affiliated church.”

    And alternatively, CC Philly has been removed from the church locator listing on They must have already officially requested out. As far as I can tell, all the other CC’s local to the area still show up in the locator.

  16. EricL says:

    Steve, I agree with you. As you well know, the Murrieta Hot Springs campus took many decades to develop into what it is now.

    How will the CCA justify disassociating with CCCM and yet still approve of the Bible College for their up-and-comers?

    The school might be tempted to add a new mandatory class, the Brian Tapes. Now that would give the CCA gang real heartburn. 🙂

  17. David H says:

    I’m long removed from CC. Fours years, I believe. I’ve watched from a distance, and can’t say I miss it.

    I was a “hard core” Calvaryite. We spent many years in one. Calvary Chapel Men’s Conferences, retreats, music, etc. For years, I realized that I was in the wrong place, but we clung to it. Just go to the CC down the road, for a taste of something different.

    I will say there was something redemptive when I began back in 1995, but it seemed to disappear when the varnish wore off. I could no longer adhere to the idea that we believed, and did whatever the senior pastor said. I can’t remember the name of the little book that one of our pastors gave me when I was leading a home study, but it told under leaders not to question the head honcho.

    When our head honcho appointed an inherently unqualified man to lead the home studies, I quit – right then and there. I was called by the head honcho, and informed that I had a demon.

    I wouldn’t say this as a generalization about all CCs, fore I know Steve Wright, is a good one. But the Calvary I attended for 15 years became very cultic – trying to control all aspects of the folks that attended. “We know what’s good for you, and if you don’t think so, then your apostate, and backslidden.”

    And, now, after a few years of searching, we’ve found a safe place to be. A Christian home, as it were.

    No more “Chicken Little Christianity” for me.

  18. Duane Arnold says:

    Looking at this from a bit more of an historical perspective… I remember that John Wesley once said, “If the Methodists leave the Church of England, God will leave the Methodists.” Now, here’s one of the great “what ifs” of modern Church history. What if the Methodist had remained as an active movement in the Church of England? In the US, what if the Methodists had been a conservative conscience for the liberal tendencies of the Episcopal Church?

    We always tend to move toward “our own” Church, fellowship, community. It seems to me that Brian and CCCM has taken the high road in this situation. He has not asked for anyone to walk in “lock step” with his approach. If one could get past the personalities, the “cult of Chuck”, the supposed “distinctives” and take a longer view, one would see the tragedy that is being played out. Of course, that would require a bit of maturity and the willingness of some of those involved saying, “Golly, we might be wrong…” I’m not sure that is going to happen.

  19. Michael says:


    Thank you for that…I’ve been looking for historical parallels.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    Duane, one thing I have often said about Calvary Chapel over the last 7 or 8 years here at the blog is that I am a Puritan, not a Pilgrim, as to the movement. 🙂

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I suggest it get put to a vote at the next SPC. How bad could it be? Wouldn’t be any more contentious that Trump & HRC.

    Better yet, have it discussed in the churches – have the individual CC churches vote and send their pastor off to the SPC with instructions how to vote on the first ballot.

    Winner takes all.

  22. BrianD says:

    KWVE purge?

  23. Michael says:


    There’s been a shuffling of the KWVE radio lineup…some thought it was Brian cleaning house…it’s more like Brian cleaning up. 🙂

  24. BrianD says:

    Huh. I checked their programming schedule and Randall’s still listed along with some of the CCA guys.

  25. Michael says:

    The changes don’t happen for a while…all will be done by Jan 1.

  26. BrianD says:

    OK. So they are changing formats, then?

  27. Michael says:

    No, just changing who has programs on the station.

  28. Erunner says:

    This is tough to try and absorb. Fatigue pretty much describes it. Many believe even sharing the information you do is tantamount to discord and division so I imagine the typical CC attendee is totally unaware of what’s going on.

    If memory serves Don McClure used to post here. I’d invite him and others in step with him to drop by and dialogue. We should all hope for reconciliation or meeting halfway but this is not building anyone up and will possibly harm a lot of people.

  29. Michael says:

    The odds are the same for seeing McClure post here and Bigfoot post here…

  30. Chris Long says:

    The CCA letters are obviously full of an awful lot of spin. But I’m not sure that Brian staying silent is the right approach.

    What really bothers me about this whole thing is that none of them are giving any specifics. If there’s serious enough problems that the CCA feels they need to split or that Brodersen feels he needed to resign from the CCA, then it seems to me they owe it to people to spell out exactly what those concerns are. For something so serious, I would expect CCA to provide a list of their concerns – to actually SHOW what they have a problem with. All these letters basically come down to is lots of spin to say “we are the head honcho’s that Chuck endorsed and what we say goes and Brian’s not doing what Chuck would have wanted.”

    With a list of specific concerns, Brodersen could then re-butt each of those points as he saw fit in his own letter. Then all the pastors could in an informed way make up their own mind.

    So far all that I’ve officially seen from the CCA and Brodersen (I’m not counting Westerland since that still only seems to give a partial account) is generalized where the CCA implies there’s major doctrinal issues and Brodersen says it’s all methodical. Both sides seem to be leaving it to unofficial word-of-mouth behind-the-scenes gossip talk to fully figure out what all the actual issues and concerns are (though at least Westerland’s letter gives some hints). That’s not right.

    If you’re going to go so far as to smear someone and declare that the problems are severe enough to split over, I would expect them to be “in the light” and fully state those issues and why they feel this way and then Brian could address as he saw fit and pastors and their congregants would then have the info they need. When the CCA doesn’t do this, in my opinion it by default just makes them look like this whole thing ISN’T really about Brian but about power and control (which has been inferred by others to be the case and their letters seem to also showcase).

    It may not be Brian’s style to respond to the CCA letter, and I honestly do admire that on one-hand, but I’m also not sure that it’s really fair to the 1700 pastors and all their congregants that get caught up in this. It might not have been necessary if the CCA hadn’t really upped the rhetoric but this latest letter basically is telling people they need to choose their side. And that letter makes it SEEM that THEY are the official spokespeople for “Calvary Chapel” and holding to what Chuck wanted, and they obviously feel that’s an effective letter to sway lots of CC pastors. Brian staying silent, while to some might be seen as taking the “high road”, to plenty of others it could also be seen as him basically “being guilty”. After all, how many times when dealing with pastoral or ministry scandals have we observed that the guilty just try to cover it up and try to not fully address and try to keep things hidden?

    I don’t for one second think that’s what Brian is doing, but all I’m saying is it could come across that way to some. I can appreciate Brian’s seeming position in not wanting to create strife and to be gracious and “above the fray”, but the CCA is obviously not feeling the same way. And I’m not sure it does himself or many of the other CC pastors out there any favors by staying silent or only talking in broad generalities. There’s clearly a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff and none of that is being talked about directly by anyone and that just leads to people playing “telephone” to share info (and we all know how well the “telephone” game works right? How the info gets changed and modified as passed from person to person?).

    I expect that if the CCA has serious enough issues with Brodersen that they feel such a divisive split is in order and that they can attack Brian then they better “put up” and fully provide a full and complete list of those concerns. Otherwise all they are doing is just slandering him without any proof as far as I can see. And Brian for his part, might want to re-consider not responding. I find myself hoping that all those pastors receiving the CCA letter are also coming here to get some balance on the other side. But that’s not really what should be needed (no offense) – the CCA should clearly fully state their position and concerns and Brian should fully state his (he can still be gracious) and then others can make up their minds direct from that info from the sources themselves. I’m sick of church and ministry stuff being in the darkness. Light is a good thing…

  31. Michael says:


    Good post.
    It will never happen that way,but I agree with the heart of the matter.

    What remains unsaid is how simple a matter this is.

    A group has tried to bury Brodersen for years and has basically put him through hell backwards.
    He finally decided he had enough and split the movement rather than go through more years of hell.

    That’s what happened…and it’s really that simple.

  32. Michael says:

    The problem telling that kind of truth is that it blows the “noble lie” to hell that all of these guys are devout servants of Christ just following Jesus.

  33. Chris Long says:

    Also, just a thought that I hope Brian and CCCM are thinking about: I know that in Copyright law if you don’t defend your copyright, it can be seen as giving up your right to that copyright. I assume it’s the same with trademarks.

    CCCM may legally “own” the name “Calvary Chapel” and the dove, but if a group comes along (the CCA in this case) and says that “no, you’re not Calvary Chapel, we are” but then CCCM stays largely silent or doesn’t actively defend, that may legally open themselves up to problems. Brian may not want to actively defend from a moral or Christian perspective, but from a legal one, he might need to. I don’t know – but I hope they are looking into that and weighing all that.

  34. Chris Long says:

    Michael @ 32: Yep, you nailed it I think. That’s why much ministry/church stuff often has a thick veil of lack of transparency. It’s a terrible witness though. I have much more respect for the pastor that’s open and honest and admits to their shortcomings and failures than the one that just paints the picture they want you to see.

  35. Col46 says:

    Chris – I see your point but I know in my own personal experience when going thru a time of being wrongly accused and shunned that the Lord lovingly said, ‘I’ll take care of this, you keep silent’. Perhaps BB is just letting the Lord be his defender.

  36. Steve Wright says:

    Brian staying silent, while to some might be seen as taking the “high road”, to plenty of others it could also be seen as him basically “being guilty”. After all, how many times when dealing with pastoral or ministry scandals have we observed that the guilty just try to cover it up and try to not fully address and try to keep things hidden?
    That’s the problem, Chris. In times of conflict if one in leadership chooses to stay silent out of love and a desire to not tarnish the reputation of someone in sin, letting that person continue to shout to the world, then yeah, some people may assume the worst…may assume guilt.

    That’s why all that really matters is what Jesus thinks.

    We can defend ourselves, or let the Lord be our defense.

    Greatest pastoral lesson I have ever learned.

  37. Steve Wright says:

    Col46 is more succinct. 🙂

  38. stephen says:

    “CCA Drama Fatigue,” indeed.

    I suspect Focht and Sandy Adams will try to make an “east Coast Murietta” alongside with McClure. Maybe John Randall now as well.

    Those 4 churches alone could probably raise enough money for it. Put enough pressure on CCA members to send college students to the “CCA sanctioned” campus would things get rolling…

    Lol…I love the idea of “Brian Tapes,” to replace the “Chuck Tapes,”. Rofl!

    And I wouldn’t be too concerned with BB letting the copyrights slip by him…there is no way the Board of CCCM would let that happen.

  39. Chris Long says:

    Col46 @ 35 and Steve @ 36:

    Agreed to some degree, and I’ve actually had to learn that one myself some over the years. Sometimes you just need to give it to the Lord.

    But human nature is human nature. And MANY will just believe things based on what they’re told. The CCA letters are counting on this obviously as they make all sorts of claims that they obviously are just expecting people to believe without any additional thought.

    But when there’s 1700 pastors and untold loads of congregants affected, and considering human nature being what it is, I’m just not sure that just “leaving it to the Lord” without any real comment is the right approach.

    I think that Brian could fully address and give his perspective in honesty and transparency and THEN “give it to the Lord”. After he states the facts from his end, then he can commit to Jesus and let the chips fall where they may and not worry further about trying to defend himself. But he hasn’t really answered anything as far as I can see and that just breeds uncertainty and speculation.

    But maybe he’s doing as he should – I could be wrong on this.

  40. Corby says:

    One thing is for sure, the CCA website is finally getting some traffic. 😉

  41. Chris Long says:

    stephen @ 38: “And I wouldn’t be too concerned with BB letting the copyrights slip by him…there is no way the Board of CCCM would let that happen.”

    You’re assuming that the board realizes the potential legal ramifications of not actively defending their trademarks. They may very well not. I’m not a lawyer and don’t know trademark law but I do know that in copyright law, many people aren’t aware of the fact that if they don’t actively defend their copyrights, they can potentially lose them.

    Hopefully CCCM has good legal counsel that’s skilled in this kind of law and is advising them so they can at least weigh all that to come to informed decisions in concert with talking to Jesus.

  42. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Trademarks do not require defending. They are vested interests. I would venture to say that a vast majority of those pastors using the Calvary Chapel tradename do so under a sublicense granted to them under their affiliation agreement. But since (i) the licensor to the licensee is CCCM to CCOF; and CCOF sublicensed to the affiliate pastor/church, the license can not only be revoked, but with CCOF not in legal existence, it is likely revoked in fact. I doubt that CCA had an assignment agreement with CCOF as to the affiliation agreements since CCA is also no,longer in existence and doubt if Don knew as much to obtain such an assignment. An analogy would be like WalMart. That tradename and its many variants (e.g. AlMart as used in Alma, CO) is stolen by many, but I suspect WalMart strategy issu s cease and desist and related legal actions not to all of them, but to those who truly stand to confuse the public and thereby can actually cause WalMart damage.

    CCA might desire to look for a new name if it comes to that.

    Now as to the dove, despite its trademark being owned by CCCM, it is arguable that since licenses were not issued by CCCM for its use, that it is now public domain.

    Class is dismissed.

  43. Jeff Rodrigues says:

    Chris, I’m on the same page with you regarding the concern that neither side has stated exactly what the specifics are that led to Brian Brodersen leaving the CCA. We could speculate whatever those issues are, but unless we’re told by either Brodersen, the CCA or both, we’re in the dark regarding this. And I believe that the longer that this information isn’t given, the worse this situation regarding the split is going to become. For any Calvary Chapel pastor to be encouraged to take a side, and to not be told what the specifics are that led to the split, I personally believe that this is unfair and inappropriate.

  44. Michael says:

    Thank you, Prof. Sheckstein. 🙂

  45. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    P.s.Chuck grossly underpaid his law “good. Legal counsel” and after assigning to him responsibilities that would kill a horse and not protecting him from “hiss..the snake,” he quit. If Brian has replaced him, he better be a Jew.

  46. Michael says:

    Jeff Rodrigues,

    Do you really expect Brodersen to come out and say that McClure is a (bleep) who hasn’t stopped trying to torment me for years?

    Somehow, I don’t see that happening…though it would amuse me beyond measure.

  47. Chris Long says:

    Jeff Sheckstein @ 42: Thank you so much for that good clarification! That’s very helpful!!

    Jeff Rodriguez @ 43: You said what I was trying to say in a whole lot less words. 🙂 🙂 Being succinct is not my strong suit. And yeah, the longer things are kept in the dark, I believe the worse things will be and there are any number of examples we could look to even with modern ministry scandals and so forth where this dynamic has been proven out over and over again.

  48. stephen says:

    Considering how many lawsuits filed against them for TWFT and all that…I’m fairly sure they have good legal counsel.

  49. Chris Long says:

    Michael @ 46: Well, there’s a gracious way to say it. Calling him a “bleep” probably isn’t that way. 😉 But you know what? If McClure really has been tormenting him for years now, then yeah, I think it might not be such a terrible idea for Brian to state facts (in as gracious way as he can) to provide clear examples of this and state such. At least it provides a clearer picture to those who are really only largely being presented with a one-sided narrative right now. But, you’re right, I imagine the chance of this happening is next to nothing…

    As much as I value you and this site and what you do, it shouldn’t fall on people like you to even say things like that about McClure and offer some form of defense for Brian. This is what bothers me about this whole thing. Although I’ve come to generally trust your insight on all these matters based on you talking to all your sources, I’d much rather be hearing direct from the CCA and Brodersen/CCCM as to their clear positions and what’s really going on. But they’re not doing that, which just leads to everyone else to have to try to put all the pieces together. And no doubt some of those pieces are wrong…

  50. Linnea says:

    If this doesn’t smack of “the world” I don’t know what does. Jesus would overturn their tables in the temple, I think. In my estimation, all this posturing gives unsaved folks a reason to not associate with the church and misrepresents the God they claim to profess. It is no different than the shenanigans that go on in politics and corporations. They (CCA) should be ashamed.

  51. Steve Wright says:

    Actually, I have been quite informed of what Brian’s transgressions are supposed to have been. And seen the words ripped out of context, and noted Carl’s commentary etc. We’ve talked a lot about that the last couple of weeks in these threads (well, at least I have. 🙂 )

    I think Brian has responded more than enough…he has not stayed silent at all.

    In fact, every time Brian speaks, the CCA has to respond to what he says. So at some point, just like any internet squabble, someone has to be the bigger man and let the other have the last word.

    Now, for those listening, I already shared what is at the heart of this matter. And that is people who have never had anyone but Chuck have authority to tell them, no, have been told, no.

  52. Chris Long says:

    Steve @ 51: I’ve also followed all these threads and read Carl’s comments and listened to the clips with Brian posted and I’m aware of some of the allegations and agree that from what I’ve seen it all looks to have been stuff taken out of context.

    But my only point is that the CCA did NOT spell out these things. Nor did Brian himself offer any specific defense or address any of those things. In fact, he didn’t even really acknowledge the charges – instead just calling them differences in methodology. That to me is NOT “responding more than enough”. Nothing’s been clear and all has been based on assumptions. If the CCA has a beef with Brian, they need to state clearly what that beef is in very clear and direct terms with proof to back it up. If Brian has a beef with the CCA, then IMHO he needs to state clearly with proof to back it up. People shouldn’t have to come to a site like this and read through half a dozen threads and comments to even get a semi-picture of what’s really going on. That’s my point.

    Somewhat unrelated, but while I’ve got your ear Steve, while I’ve never been to your church, you’re the kind of guy I very much respect and I always enjoy reading your thoughts and insight. 🙂

  53. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks, Chris. I do hear you about the “talking around the edges”. I think the first letter was pretty clear (the one that lead to Brian’s resignation letter).

    Since Chuck’s passing there may be pastors who have thought about some of our values, such as expository teaching, and no longer hold to the Calvary Chapel approach. There may be pastors who no longer embrace our leadership style, or our view of the Lord’s soon appearing and our emphasis on preaching about the rapture of the church, or our view of male leadership and the New Testament’s prohibition of women teaching men,

    Sprinkle that heavily with the “going emergent” charge added by some outside CCA and you have it.

    Brian in turn wrote “Our common bond, apart from our relationship with Jesus, was Pastor Chuck. When the Lord took him home, we all agreed that we would try to work together and collectively lead the ministry of Calvary Chapel. After three years of attempting to do that, we find ourselves, at least from my point of view, at an impasse. We are not agreed on the direction that the ministry is to go. Some want to, in my opinion, dwell in the past. Some want to move ahead into the future, being thankful for our past but not bound to it or feeling a need to continually revisit it. Doctrinally we are all in agreement with a few minor differences on a few secondary issues. No one has, in any way, deviated from historic biblical doctrine, or from what might be called Calvary’s core values or from what we know as the Calvary Distinctives. Our areas of disagreement are NOT theological or doctrinal; they are more methodological and practical, yet they are real disagreements. These disagreements have not only hindered us from moving forward in the work of the kingdom of Christ, they have created confusion, contention, and some division within the body of Christ.”

    So…..the thing is the division is all coming from one side, and that side’s (cough) evidence of the charges against Brian are, in my not so humble opinion, ludicrous to the point of dishonesty. I’ve been sent the links that supposedly prove the charge. Like I said, ludicrous to the point of dishonesty.

    How long does one continue to get poked before moving out of poking range??

    Did anyone think someone as committed to church planting and missions, like Brian, would stop doing so after resigning from the CCA? If so, that was quite mistaken.

    CCA has now discovered you can’t unring a bell (or unpoke a poke 🙂 )

  54. Jeff Rodrigues says:

    To my point of specifics, if the “methodological and practical” disagreements led to Brian Brodersen departing from the CCA, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Brodersen and/or the CCA to point out more specifically what they are. After all, this has gotten to the point where Calvary Chapel pastors are now being encouraged to take a side. And again, I think it’s unfair and inappropriate for these pastors to be asked to do this if more specifics aren’t given regarding these disagreements.

  55. Steve Wright says:

    , I think it’s unfair and inappropriate for these pastors to be asked to do this if more specifics aren’t given regarding these disagreements.
    I agree, Jeff. This latest CCA letter broke new ground. and I believe once we are being asked to take action then we should have more information. That is why I wrote the CCA today asking for some.

  56. Michael says:

    To be crystal clear…Brian has expressly said that no one has to choose.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    To be crystal clear…Brian has expressly said that no one has to choose.
    I knew I shouldn’t have edited that out of my #55 🙂

  58. Steve Wright says:

    Here is one, expressed charge. A direct quote from the clip that is being circulated.

    Brian Brodersen herein tells CC pastors to avoid teaching the Old Testament, Bible prophecy, end-times and the pre-trib rapture.

    Now, how do you reason with such dishonesty? That is most definitely not what Brian says in that clip, but that is how they CHOOSE to see it. Carl Westerlund steps in to explain what is actually happening in Costa Mesa. Brian didn’t say it, isn’t doing it…does not matter.

    They have a narrative, and they are going to run with it.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think most CC pastors have probably made up their minds. Let’s just call the question.

  60. surfer51 says:

    “We can defend ourselves, or let the Lord be our defense.”

    You know Steve, the more I read your stuff the more I love you brother.

    Your a great shepherd in the faith in my eyes.

    A hidden gem in the Calvary Chapel camp for sure!

  61. Chris Long says:

    Steve @ 53/55/58,

    “This latest CCA letter broke new ground. and I believe once we are being asked to take action then we should have more information. That is why I wrote the CCA today asking for some.”

    Right on Steve. I hope all CC pastors are being as diligent and not just believing everything they’re being told by some.

    From my vantage point, it seemed that the whole “heresy-hunting” CC subculture really spiked in the 2000’s and those that went gung-ho that route began to start seeing all sorts of “emergent” people everywhere they looked. And it’s that subset that probably is very prone to seeing Brian’s statements through that type of lens. It’s sad.

    I haven’t been back to CCCM since Brian took over so I don’t know what kind of changes have been there, but clearly there have been a number of methodological changes which probably would rankle those used to doing things a certain way for decades. I did go to their Good Friday service at the OC fairgrounds and it was VERY different from anything I had seen come out of CCCM before, and it was also one of the best Good Friday services I’ve ever been to. It was a beautiful Jesus-centered service focused not solely on his death but on the total picture – it ended with pure joy-centered worship celebrating what his death and rising again has meant for us. It also had really clever and cool visuals (video screens, etc.) and lighting. It just didn’t feel “really old” like some of CCCM’s stuff in the past has felt to me. As a guy in my 30’s I really thought it was much better and clear to me that CCCM was trying to explore new avenues and appeal to younger people as well. That makes perfect sense given what I’ve seen Brian say about the “graying heads” as he looked around the congregation. I remember thinking at the time, “Wow, this has got to ruffling some feathers though…” This is just one small thing. But stylistic changes on KWVE (i.e. the music has gotten a lot more modern) and probably a zillion others is probably a lot of change for the “old guard” and my guess is it’s just easy for some of them to assume he’s gone off the rails and gone “emergent”. My guess is that Brian is probably right that it IS probably really all or mostly all about methodology, but the CCA and ODM’s seem to think it’s really all about doctrine – they think he’s leaving all the emphasis’ of Calvary Chapel’s and Chuck and taking away all the distinctives of CC and thus they really think he’s in a different boat than they are. And then some throw around labels like emergent and ecumenical to describe him assuming his theology to be off.

    Maybe, for instance, Brian does want to de-emphasize the constant harping on the rapture even if he does believe it and preach it. In some CC’s that constant harping and prophecy stuff HAS been a “distinctive”. But there’s always been quite a bit of variation in CC on some of these things and I don’t understand why there can’t be some wiggle room for Brian under the same framework just as there always has been.

    I haven’t seen anything yet that clearly leads me to believe that a split needed to happen. It looks to me like a bunch of petty nonsense from people following their own egos and pride rather than the leading of Jesus. But that’s not a knock on Brian. Indeed, if you are constantly being poked, there might come a time when you just say “Ok, this isn’t working…” as you say.

  62. surfer51 says:


    Thanks for your fresh perspective.

    I am twice your age and then some, so need to hear from those that are decades under me.

    Us old dudes tend to get stiff and inflexible in our ways.

    You have a reasonable way of looking at things for sure.

    Blessed are the Peacemakers

  63. Chris Long says:

    surfer51 @ 61: 🙂 I think, unless I’m mistaken, pretty much everyone else on this site has a few decades on me! 😉

    The whole reason I started reading PP back in 2009 is because I have a ministry/pastoral-type calling and that scared the daylights out of me – I didn’t/don’t want to end up like so many that have ended up having moral failures or in some way bringing disrepute to the name of Jesus. I consider it a a very high calling with much responsibility and it sobers me.

    It also has long driven me nuts about all the fakeness in Christianity and ministries sweeping things under the rug. There’s so much hypocrisy and nonsense and honestly I believe that is a core reason why my generation and younger are leaving the Church in droves. They see it as irrelevant, and worse, as people that just are “full of it” and pretenders. My generation is really disgusted with it all and see right through it! Also my generation perceives the Church as just spewing a bunch of hate – we are known more for what we’re against than what we’re for – we are NOT known for our love. Stories like this where a segment of the Body is once again dividing over seemingly absolutely ridiculous nonsense just reinforces the narrative that we as Christians don’t practice what we preach, and once again the name of Jesus takes a blow.

    Several years ago I was going to a fairly large CC where when I wanted to get involved serving, I was subjected to ridiculous interrogation and was also told by the asst. pastor that the sr. pastor was like the “CEO” with the clear implication the church was his business. It was all very “controlling” and drove me nuts. That was around the same time I was reading here about a lot of “swept under the rug” CC stuff and reading about a lot of systemic issues with controlling pastors. For my own sake and calling, I’ve really been trying to wrestle with what is an appropriate model for churches and ministries regarding accountability, etc. Reading many views and discussions on this here over the years has given great food for thought.

    I don’t post very often, mostly because as this post once again proves, I tend to naturally be very wordy and that takes time – I’m not very good at the short blurb back-and-forth that a blog site like this really calls for. And I normally just don’t have strong enough opinions to care enough to invest the time to post. But I enjoy reading and feel like over the years I’ve gotten to somewhat know many of the regular posters like yourself. There’s prob a lot like me that mostly just lurk in the background.

    Blessings to you brother! We can all learn from each other. Us younger guys can learn a lot from those older that have experience and been wrestling with things for a long time, and the older guys can learn a lot from the younger too. Kudos for you recognizing that. Honestly, typically the old guys do tend to just out-of-hand dismiss the younger. I think it was Steve somewhere in a semi-recent post in another thread talking about how in CC even he and Brian Brodersen and those in their age bracket (50’s-60’s I think) are not and have never really been respected by the “Old Guard”!! We can ALL learn from each other and respect each other. As someone that started an online ministry at age 17 and now is in mid-30’s I have respect for those younger than me in ministry too. We’re all the Body and Jesus can use us all! 🙂

  64. Chris Long says:

    Also, I think Brodersen’s on the right track with trying to appeal to the younger crowd some. I’ve never been one to think that a church should do that at the exclusion of the older (this is what far too often happens when long-time churches try to revamp to reach the younger), but I can say as a younger person (tho believer for 21+ years) that the “old feel” of CCCM was NOT SUSTAINABLE in the long-term as the older generation dies off and Brian I think is wise to recognize that and make changes. Even the way Brian dresses – when I saw his look in the video on the site for CCGN at
    I thought “Wow, this dude is in his 60’s but he’s dressing modern.” I don’t know why he’s doing that, but things like that can maybe make him seem a bit more relatable to the younger generation. Those type of things probably also subtly piss off some of the Old Guard. I say kudos to Brian for reaching out and being forward-thinking. 🙂

  65. Richard Lopez says:

    So very sad to see Brian deviating from the Distinctives and bringing division in.
    I think most knew this would happen but hearing Brian on Pastors Perspective becoming so soft and impotent in his answers to listeners questions is heartbreaking. In glad Don Stewart has not backed off from the power of the Word.

  66. Papias says:

    Richard – How has Brian deviated from the Distinctives? Can you provide specific examples?

    Are any of his answers to listeners questions unbiblical? Or are they just not the answers you expect from a CC pastor?

  67. Bob Sweat says:

    Most of the CC pastors I have known are very critical of Catholics because of their emphasis on the Sacraments. Now it appears as though the Distinctives have become their Sacraments.

    As far as Brian bringing division? Read the letter from CCA and tell me who is creating division. .

  68. covered says:

    Hi Richard, welcome to the PP if this is your first time here. May I suggest that you research some of the “activities” of your man Stewart regarding marriage that whole fidelity thing that the Bible talks about before we anoint him…

  69. Michael says:

    I think we have proved through both the articles and the comments that Brodersen has not deviated from CC theology.

    Bringing up Don Stewart as a paragon of virtue is both amusing and disgusting…

  70. stephen says:

    Funny thing about the “Disctinctives,” is that everyone uses the “Distinctives” book as a reference point, when in fact, this book is a heavily edited transcript of a bunch of classes at CCcM school of Ministry taught by Pastor Chuck.

    hey talk about the “Moses Model” but don’t realize that Chuck smith actually relied heavily on his Board and when they said “no,” he heeded their words instead of doing his own thing.

  71. Jerod Hatch" says:

    Chris Long,

    As far as dress and relatability, the panel which Brian was on at the NWPC, discussing youth, made the point that the younger generations thought it was silly to expect people to listen to someone because his dress code is lax. I think the younger gen would like to see a bit of honesty in that regard. If we’re getting up there in years we shouldn’t fight the appearance of it.

  72. Steve Wright says:

    Re #70 – Those “distinctive” classes were taught when I was a student at School of Ministry (along with a couple other posters and readers of this blog).

  73. Stephen says:

    Steve @#72,

    Ok, so you already knew that. Or are you saying that I’m incorrect? 😉

    (Btw:. I am an SoM grad also.)

  74. Papias says:

    Those Friday SOM classes with Chuck and David Hocking were fun when I was there.

    It was always interesting to see visitors show up and then walk out with PC. It their time to get Chucks attention.

    Just for those who don’t know – the SoM was for planting CC’s, not to earn any type of Bible degree. So learning the Distinctives was part of learning why CC was different than other churches. The Distinctives were barely written down much less codified.

    When I filled out the paperwork to affilaite with CCOF and my view on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit didn’t exactly align with the Distinctives(even though they were not spelled out clearly there – “some call it baptism.. some call it filling pg32), I was questioned, “Then why do you want to become a CC?” So in some ways the Distinctives can take on a higher value then just watching Chuck speak about Love.

    CCA – Chapter 10 in Distinctives…. talks about you.

  75. Jerod Hatch" says:

    Calvary Distinctives

    *covers a cough*
    “wholecounselofGod!” Ahem. Excuse me.

    BB, 2/1/2016, Christianity Today
    “So this is one of the Calvary Chapel distinctives: teaching through the whole Bible.

    I realize not everyone goes about this in the same way…But all in all, most Calvary Chapel churches are going through the entire Bible in some way or another.”

    FFW to NWPC
    “Here’s my point.   I think you can preach the whole counsel of God without teaching all 66 books of the Bible  ”

    VS Chuck’s Calvary Chapel Distinctives

    “But, for the most part, we seek to follow the example of Isaiah who
    said, “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line
    upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little;” (Isaiah 28:13). These verses are
    describing the people’s reaction to Isaiah’s style of teaching.
    They were making fun of his method, but it was an effective method. They were complaining
    about him, mockingly saying that he ought go back and teach the kindergartners because his
    teaching was “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
    They said these words in derision. Yet, it’s so important to take the people through the Word, line
    upon line, precept by precept. When we do, we are delivering to them the whole counsel of God.”

    Richard Lopez is right.

  76. Michael says:


    Steve Wright has demonstrated conclusively that Brian hasn’t changed from the style set up by Chuck Smith.
    He has done so with evidence from Smith’s own teachings.

    You are simply acting as an accuser of the brethren…and your own lack of theological acumen has been on display for sometime on another thread.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    I was agreeing with you Stephen…. 🙂

    Papias remembers as I do, the extra crowd we would have when Chuck was speaking.

    I would add that, having also earned an MDiv and thus able to compare the two, that Carl was every bit as knowledgeable in the word as several of my seminary professors and some of the classes and assignments we had in SoM were every much the equal or greater as some of the classes for my MDiv. And the SoM requirements beyond the classroom were far greater than the MDiv.

    It was a solid learning opportunity – and cost next to nothing.

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve – Papias,
    “Papias remembers as I do, the extra crowd we would have when Chuck was speaking.”

    Much like when Koufax or Fernando used to pitch – an extra 20,000 in the seats 🙂

  79. Jeff Sheckstein says:


    Your comment regarding Chuck relying heavily on his Board, etc. gave me the best laugh I’ve had in weeks.

  80. Steve Wright says:

    I’m not as old as you MLD 🙂 to remember Koufax beyond the history books….but we had season tickets in 1981, 8th grade for me, right in the wheelhouse of all baseball all the time and I remember Fernando-mania quite well.

    In fact, I was at Game 3 of the 1981 World Series, (the first in LA after losing the opening 2 in New York)

    I have never been at a more rowdy, intense, game for the full 9 innings as that one was. Fernando must have had a 200 pitch count! Lasorda kept leaving him in.

    One of my greatest memories ever in watching live sports.

  81. Stephen says:


    Glad you got a good laugh out of it, but it’s not my statement. It came up during discussions with faculty at SoM. 😉

  82. Jerod Hatch" says:


    I recall your counsel on one of those threads… I am just an insignificant pebble in this pond of yours (remember), not even a thought. What am I to you? You respond to me only to hurt. These are quotes. That’s all. Respond to the quote. If you won’t refute it or fix it, what is your point?

  83. Steve Wright says:

    OK…147 pitches apparently. Complete game. 9 hits, 7 walks, 4 earned runs.

  84. Michael says:


    You’re relatively new here so let me introduce you properly to Brother Sheckstein…he’s the former counsel to Chuck Smith.
    He knows all too well how much Smith didn’t rely on his board…

  85. Michael says:


    Steve has shot your theory to hell…you can deal with it honestly or keep accusing.

    It doesn’t change what the truth is.

  86. Papias says:

    MLD, I don’t know about 20k… but the rooms (double room upstairs at CCCM and then the big room at the Logos building) were racked and stacked.

    The only way you got a seat was to be there at 0700 for Hockings class and stayed for Chucks at 0900.

    My concern is to see how the Distinctives are taking on a life of there own and missing the point of chapter 10.

    The best teachers of the Word teach all sides of the whole counsel of God. If you teach all 66 Books but emphasize one side without mentioning the other side(or setting up the strawman), what’s the point? You might as well teach topically.

    As a test, take Phil 2:12-13 and see if your pastor spends more time with verse 12 or 13 or balances it out.

  87. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Well, I doubt the faculty sat in on board meetings, much less were involved to any degree with Chuck’s decision making with the Board, and more particularly without the Board’s advance knowledge. Investments valued over $1MIL or assets sold valued over $1MIL rarely had Board approval. If that doesn’t bulk up his living according to the Moses Model, I don’t know what else does

  88. Jerod Hatch" says:


    You said you’ve never failed to respond directly, but here you are trolling – on your own thread no less. Steve says actions are louder than words, but here are the words. Words are action, especially when repeated or contradicted, and especially as a pastor. You ought to know that, you run a blog.

  89. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve Wright,
    Pitchers today are sissies – even Kershaw.
    I remember this game ()didn’t see it but I was in high school

    16 inning complete games on both sides – Marichal threw 227 pitches and Warren Spahn tossed 201 – and he was 42 yrs old. – Yikes, he was 265 yrs younger than me.

  90. Michael says:


    I have no idea what the hell you just said.
    Do not accuse me of trolling or your ass will be in the spam filter before you can say “Brodersen is a heretic’.
    Steve Wright has demonstrated on these pages that the accusations about Brodersen are untrue in regard to what he preaches.
    Brodersen has clarified both in word and in action that he has not moved from CC standards.


  91. Jerod Hatch" says:

    How – cultish of you. Color me surprised at your inability.

    Spam filter in 3…



  92. Anon says:


    Who’s the one trolling?

  93. Michael says:


    You completely fit the definition of a troll.
    You have one view to spew and you want to create strife on a site.
    You have failed to answer anything forthrightly while still demanding to be heard .

    I’m sure there’s room for you on “emergent watch”….

  94. Stephen says:

    Michael, thanks for the clarification. Seems like there are a number of people here who know the “inner history” better than I suspected.

    Jeff:. Apologies if it sounded like I was trying to discredit u or the like.

  95. Michael says:


    We have been blessed to have some very knowledgable people join us over the years…lots of great voices to learn from.
    We’re glad you’re here and participating…

  96. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Stephen. Did not take it that way. While I was counsel to the church on occasion for eleven years, Chuck liked and used me more for my business and admin gifts, so I would be involved in most major transactions and legal matters, such a getting KWVE up on Santiago Peak, etc. Welcome

  97. Chris Long says:

    Jerod @ 71 and 75:

    Not sure if you’re “still here” per Michael – you do indeed come off as one trolling.

    But to answer you regarding the dresscode thing: I agree the younger crowd in general really values authenticity. This is actually a main reason why younger people are disgusted with the church – because they aren’t finding a whole lot of that… But when it comes to dresscode, there is just a practical thing certain clothes can make one seem older or less so. Brian’s clothes as espoused in some of those videos shows he’s trying for a look to make him a little less “old appearing” and I don’t think that’s a problem. I can tell you for me personally as a guy in my 30’s even that while I certainly can and do listen to pastors regardless of dress there is a difference in “feel” when a guy is in a suit or in more laid back clothes and sometimes the former is a better choice and sometimes the latter is a better choice depending on the type of “feel” you’re going for. So I don’t fault Brian for that one bit.

    Regarding your words you quoted of BB regarding the “whole counsel” – I will address that for you. This is the problem with the ODM’s and so forth – they take every word and read into it so much – everything is 100% black-and-white with them and they look for any little thing that they think seems to deviate from their “line” and then when they think they’ve found that, they accuse said person of being a heretic. I’m hoping that’s not you too…

    Specifically regarding what Brian said (I’m assuming that quote you posted was even accurate), I don’t have a problem with it and I’m a guy that has always valued teaching through the Bible. I take what he said to mean that one can teach the ideas and points without necessarily reading every single word because that still “covers those words”. If you know your Bible, there ARE some parts particularly in some of the OT prophetic books or Numbers/Leviticus that I think one could summarize and still legitimately be teaching in line with the idea of the “whole counsel of God”. And my strong guess is that that’s all he meant by that. Yet even in that, that seems to just be a thought of his and not something he actually does because he apparently per Carl Westerlund and others is still completely teaching through every book of the Bible. As for the Distinctives, I would have you note that in the quote you posted that it says that “But, FOR THE MOST PART, we seek to follow the example of Isaiah” (emphasis added). I don’t see any contradiction between this and what Brian said in his quote. Even Chuck apparently conceded that “maybe not always do we need to go through 100% every single word” and yet that’s the standard that you and some others want to apply. Clearly Brian highly values the Word and teaching through it and to read into his comments that he somehow is devaluing the Word of God is just ludicrous. But that’s what the ODM’s are doing (it’s the kind of nonsense they always do) and what you appear to be doing – I’d encourage you to re-evaluate…

    I am not personal friends with Brodersen and consider myself fairly objective in this thing and I haven’t seen one credible piece of evidence yet to back anything that the CCA is doing. And all that I have seen leads me to the clear conclusion so far that the CCA is the one doing all the dividing over nothing worth dividing over…

  98. Michael says:

    Well said Chris.

    As to Jerrod…as Luka sleeps with the fishes, Jerrod swims with the spam. 🙂

  99. David H says:


    “Leave the gun, take the Cannoli.”

  100. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    “I don’t care how many daigo guinea WOP greaseball goombahs come out of the woodwork! [Tom: I’m German-Irish] Well let me tell you something, my Kraut Mick friend! I’m gonna make so much trouble for you, you won’t know what hit you!”

  101. Chris Long says:


    lol. Well, he did basically ask for it. It’s one thing to post an opposing view and to post quotes they think are backing that view. It’s another to accuse the OWNER of the site they are posting on to be “trolling”. That’s where the line got crossed in my book. I’m an optimist so hoping Jerod will have a change in heart, come to see the error of his ways, and get in contact with you to repent and make amends.

  102. Xenia says:

    It’s a weird state of affairs when a group thinks less of another group for not preaching verse by verse through the book of Numbers.

    Talk about vain traditions of men!

  103. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I was looking through the Distinctives and I find it odd that anything about Jesus Christ doesn’t show up until the 8th item – 8 of 13 – that’s 2nd division in the baseball standings.

    In the Lutheran Distinctives – the Augsburg Confession the first 4 of 28 are
    1.) God
    2.) Original Sin
    3.) Jesus Christ
    4.) Justification

  104. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Great point MLD. It’s so compelling to me that maybe I ought to “convert,” so to speak. Are Lutherans OK with whacked out Jews.

  105. Shecky,
    They have me. The original Lutheran Yid

  106. Steve Wright says:

    MLD is spreading manure again and needs to stick to baseball in this thread.

    A quick review does show that Chuck praises the multiple churches that God has raised up for the wide variety of people that He has created.

    So yeah, we sure won’t read that in any Lutheran literature.

    (here is the reference I cite – from the preface of the booklet. You could not get any earlier in a book talking about characteristics of Christian churches, not expressing a statement of faith)

    In the same way, wanting all men to be able to relate to Him, God created a wide variety of churches. Some churches appeal to those who are very emotional in their nature while others appeal to a more staid and formal personality. God, desiring to reach and bless all kinds of people, seems to enjoy having a wide variety of churches so that everybody’s needs might be met, from the highly emotional to the very formal, and all those in between. Each of us has a part to play in God’s plan, but we all need to know where we fit in this wide spectrum.

    (and I guess this was not clear to MLD in the Introduction.)

    ” There are few more vital qualities a pastor can have than commitment to the Lordship
    of Jesus Christ.”

    Lots of people are reading these threads, MLD.

  107. Come now Steve – Jesus gets honorable mention in the introduction and places 8th in the Table of Contents.

  108. stephen says:

    Does anyone know who runs the Calvary Chapel Facebook page? Whoever it is has taken the brown acid and has publicly announced they are going with CCA.

    (Sorry for the “acid” reference…it just seemed appropriate.

  109. Corby says:

    Are you talking about this page? I don’t see that reference.

  110. Stephen says:

    Wait why is the link broken?

    I wish I could show a screenshot.

    It’s “Avatar” (I guess) is the dove on a “cloudy” background. Only black and white pic.

  111. Stephen says:

    I wish I could edit my posts…and sorry about misspelling your name, Corby.

    I looked into their “about” and it states it’s “not an offical Calvary Chapel site run by Calvary Chapel, just a place of fellowship,” etc etc etc.

    They even claimed that the Bible college is through the CCA (due to the link they have on their site).

    I did them all a favor and post links to both the history of CCBC and it’s current roster of leadership. 😉

    It would appear it’s @calvarychapelpage

  112. Corby says:

    Stephen, I don’t know who owns that Facebook page, but it describes itself as NOT being the official CC page but rather a page for people from CCs all around the world to fellowship.

    So it is in no way official, but clearly it is run. Y a CCA sympathizer.

  113. Stephen says:

    Yes, my deepest apologies for any confusion.

  114. Corby says:

    I’ve just been informed by a source that that page is run by CC St Petersburg, so that explains that.

    And don’t worry about my name spelling. Too a week to teach my phone not to use Corny. Yet it is very appropriate…

  115. Stephen says:

    That does explain that. And the sheeple continue to believe whatever is said instead of actually researching things…

    Thanks for digging into it Corby.

  116. Steve Wright says:

    that page is run by CC St Petersburg
    Also the host of next year’s meeting called by the Council, where the speakers will be the Council, to “clarify what makes us a Calvary Chapel”

  117. stephen says:

    Well, looks like I’m kicked out from that FB page, lol.

    And all my posts are deleted, too.

    NOT surprised.

  118. Disillusioned says:

    Funny story about clothes. The pastor at the CC we attended went to a SPC a few years ago and came back and basically threw out his old wardrobe of suit and tie every Sunday and replaced it with groovy Hawaiian shirts and new glasses. The new look was as sudden as his decision to replace me as worship leader for — wait for it — “someone younger up front.”

  119. imthebeggar says:

    This just hit me yesterday and Michael hinted at it:

    So what about the letter. It could say “I Chuck, give CCCM to the CCA and all its assets, power and control.” It could even be notarized that Chuck did indeed sign it. So what. From a legal perspective it means nothing. The CCA has no legal power. Now, it has rhetorical power for those who want to believe the narrative, but there is no power in the letter (even my made up version) that forces Brian to turn over control. This is not how one properly bestows power, nor is this method even in any of the organizations by-laws.

    The truth of the matter is, if Chuck really did intend the CCA to have the power they claim, he would have gone through the legal and proper procedures of transferring said power, but he didn’t, so debating the letter is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what Chuck intended, it matters what Chuck did, and he didn’t transfer power in any proper or legal way.

    Christians who are supposed to take the Bible simply and literally, are forgetting Paul’s admonition:
    1 Corinthians 14:40
    “But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.”

    A single letter is proper moral, legal, and practical justification for such power and control? This is orderly?

  120. Disillusioned says:

    Scratching and clawing for power that belongs to Jesus.
    I mean, isn’t He the one who has the final say?

    The CCA letters are riddled with the hypocrisy and misguided thinking that we encountered at the CC we attended.
    We also experienced the “separate yourself from those who disagree with you” attitude. People were told to choose friendship with us or CC, much like this letter.
    Yep, pretty standard issue all right.

  121. Bob says:
    Chucks brother met with Chuck everyday before Chuck died and told him he wanted Broderson to go – maybe chuck was intentionally neglected as his wife claims

  122. Truth Lover says:

    Disillusioned, I’m sorry to hear of the bummer things you’ve experienced at your previous church and being replaced by a younger worship leader. Ouch, that hurts! I can relate. I’m also a worship leader and old. I’ve heard stories of others being replaced too. But let me just say: sometimes it’s justified. Yes, the Church today is guilty of ageism. It worships “youth”. But then again, sometimes us older folks just do things in an old fashioned way and are no longer current. Especially when it comes to the music in the Church. Next to preaching; the worship music is the second most important aspect that defines a church these days. And the Pastor has every right to define his church and pass the baton on to the youth IF NEEDED. It’s all about balance. Some churches have the wrong motive and insensitively replace the old with the young for the sake of numbers and attracting the youth, and sometimes put them in prominent places that should be for more seasoned saints. That is unbiblical. But at the same time, all of us must remember our positions in a church are not guaranteed or forever. We do not have seniority. We should not feel entitled because we’ve been there a long time. I know it’s a hard thing to accept. But we must see God in it. Things change.
    Let me encourage you to push yourself to be more cutting edge in your music approach. Sometimes it’s just a simple change in how you use your singing vibrato (traditional vs. contemporary) or having a good mix of newer songs in with the older ones. Here’s a helpful link:

    Please don’t let the devil turn your heart away from the Church for whom Christ died and LOVES even though she is full of faults and sins. Seek out another church home if necessary where you can respect the leadership. I hope this helps. Blessings to you~

  123. Truth Lover says:

    Bob, Regardless of what ANYONE else says, CCCM’s own board ratified Brian as the new pastor period. I heard Chuck say on K-WAVE that Brian was going to be his successor. If Chuck felt otherwise, it’s his own fault that he didn’t do something about it long before he got sick. It’s the devil’s work to try to divide at this point. And you can tell by the video, that Brian had been under a lot of spiritual warfare before the ratification.

  124. covered says:

    Bob, not sure if you are aware but Paul’s rhetoric shot down his credibility years ago. He is very much a non factor in anything related to CC other than to occasionally stir up strife with the Smith family.

  125. Michael says:

    That video is Jeff Smith’s fantasy and Paul Smith’s shame. A crock…

  126. Jeff Rodrigues says:
    November 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm
    Chris, I’m on the same page with you regarding the concern that neither side has stated exactly what the specifics are that led to Brian Brodersen leaving the CCA. We could speculate whatever those issues are, but unless we’re told by either Brodersen, the CCA or both, we’re in the dark regarding this. And I believe that the longer that this information isn’t given, the worse this situation regarding the split is going to become. For any Calvary Chapel pastor to be encouraged to take a side, and to not be told what the specifics are that led to the split, I personally believe that this is unfair and inappropriate.

    I TOTALLY AGREE with you Jeff Rodriques. And Michael…can you please explain your credentials to be able “to speak” for Brian Brodersen. Brother, I know that sounded rude, but truly it wasn’t meant to be rude. I just hear you defending Brian throughout these posts (and maybe you have good evidence to bee able to do that) and would like to know your relationship to him and your position within Calvary Chapel.


    Pastor Robert Trohon
    La Via-The Way (Calvary Chapel)
    Managua, Nicaragua
    Facebook: Robert Trohon

  127. Michael says:


    You will not find a place anywhere on this blog where I purport to “speak” for Brian Brodersen.
    I have no relationship with him.

    I do have extensive and deep sources all over the CC landscape that have allowed me to speak to these issues with clarity and truth for fifteen years.
    They have allowed me to not only cover the current debacle,but predict it and cover it for years up to the present moment.

    I always have “good” evidence…

  128. Michael…(RE: Comment #128)
    You say there is NO Place in this blog where you speak for Brian Brodersen, yet you “quote” hearsay from others who purport to know or speak for Brian Brodersen. Not a good practice, and definitely NOT allowed in a court of law (because it is gossip).

    Example: YOU SAID at the top of this blog: “So…as of this morning, this is what I’m hearing. Don’t expect a response from Brian Brodersen (BB) to the last Calvary Chapel Association screed. He’s not interested in an ongoing internet food fight.
    It’s not his style, nor his heart, to engage in strife.”

    Your “GOOD” evidence, as you say, is not evidence at all. In this case, it is hearsay and/or gossip. You are not quoting Brian directly, and give no reference to the people where your info came from. Not a good practice for a reputable blog, Michael.

    Just saying.

    Pastor Robert Trohon
    La Via-The Way (Calvary Chapel)
    Managua, Nicaragua

  129. Michael says:

    My record speaks for itself.
    If you find it disreputable than shake the dust from your feet…you are done lecturing me about things you know not.

  130. I can see you are moderating my comments Michael, unless that is a glitch.

    If it is not a glitch, then it shows me this is not a free and unbiased blog.

    God bless you.

    Robert Trohon

  131. Michael says:

    I’m not at home at the moment.
    You will receive my final response when I arrive.

  132. I will try one last time to post.

    Michael..(Re: Comment #130)
    I shall not shake the dust, as I am NOT coming to you with the Gospel of Christ, and I don’t see you rejecting that.

    If you wish to BAN me, that is your privilege, as you are the owner of this blog.
    Sometimes the truth hurts Michael, and all I have spoken to you is TRUTH. But my words are not meant to hurt, they are meant to enlighten.

    Proverbios 12, verse 1……Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
    But he who hates correction is stupid.

    If you allow me, I will continue to listen to SOME of your commentators, but not your comments. Because, from some of THEM I can learn and be enlightened, but NOT from you. Sorry.

    Proverbios 14, versiculo 7 Go from the presence of a foolish man,
    When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.

    Pastor Robert Trohon
    La Via-The Way (Calvary Chapel)
    Managua, Nicaragua

  133. Stephen says:

    In a previous blog, Michael stated that he’s not deleting comments but that it’s something on the back end. Not him.

  134. dusty says:

    Michael is not stupid nor does he hate correction. You know nothing of michael.

    There has been a glitch in the system that Michael posted about. So assuming he is moderating you makes sound petty.

  135. dusty says:

    Many here posters and readers alike have learned a lot of good about God and His Son and Spirit over the many years.

  136. Steve Wright says:

    Robert, as a CC pastor (posting by name) with 23 years in CC and 8 years on this blog, I would encourage you to temper yourself a little. Way too much “ready, fire, aim” going on.

  137. dusty says:

    Thank you steve!

    Though you forgot to name your curch and location. …per his rules. Lol.

  138. John 20:29 says:

    yesterday as i was getting my haircut the stylist was speaking about her daughter – what a great person she was, but she was too quick to voice criticisms… her mom wanted so much for her to keep her criticisms to herself and learn by observing without mouthing off…

    everyone here (almost everyone) will speak up when the doctrines seem unsound and we all learn,even if the disagreement hangs in the air; but those like the hair stylist’s daughter tend to try to correct what they’ve perceived to be the sins of some targeted commenter or poster – they take aim, fire and go away feeling they’ve done their duty – they haven’t and they are the poorer for their too hasty conclusions, i think

    i’ve lurked or commented here for more years than i can recall and no one has changed or clouded my view of the Faith – evangelical and somewhat fundie to the core and so i shall remain 🙂

  139. To pastor Steve Wright RE comment #139

    Actually Steve, your comments are some of the ones I held in high esteem, if I am not mistaken. (Sorry, but don’t have the time to go back and read them all to verify whether my thought is correct). But I do believe your name stands out to me as a rational, fair commentator, and part of the reason I have continued to read this blog. I still stand by what I said about Yackity Yack….too much unsubstantiated material here, and too much bitterness. My “attack” was on the attitude of many, NOT all.

    And it is time for CCA to clarify some things, in my opinion. There is just too much generalization and not enough specifics for us, as pastors, to make a rational well-thought-out decision about this “Split.” That is why I am standing back, without making an emotional judgement, until I get more PROVEN evidence.

    By the way…(and Dusty should like this)..where is your Calvary Chapel, if you feel like saying?

    Robert Trohon
    La Via-The Way (Calvary Chapel)
    Managua, Nicaragua

  140. dusty says:

    Robert Trohon, you should check this thread…..

  141. Michael says:


    It is to everyones benefit that due to health issues I must deal with you with more restraint than I would prefer.
    There’s no point in having a stroke in the cat food aisle of Wal Mart because you make me angry.
    My cats wouldn’t get fed.
    You have used every cliche accusation brought against me and our blog.
    My favorites are calling the place a “hate site” and our readers as “bitter”.
    Much amusement broke forth…
    Here’s what you will have to come to grips with eventually.
    My record is very good.
    It’s very good because my information comes from sources that are either directly involved or close to those who are.
    It comes from your leaders.
    We work long and hard to get it right.
    You can discount it, call it what you want,…but we will still be here and we will will still be reporting information that you won’t read anywhere else.

    Everyone here is on level ground.
    Titles don’t matter here.
    I only pull rank when I have to.

    That’s how things are, you can deal with it or you can leave.

  142. Roberto says:

    @covered thanks just catching up after leaving CC 11 years ago – shunned as a cult might good grief but after struggle God pulled me through! I didnt know anything at all about Chucks brother paul – his testimony is interesting to me… trying to understand what happened…

  143. dusty says:

    Well done Michael! Not a hint of anger in your tone.

    I’m angry though. Yet another pastor that comes here thinking he knows us and we are all liers.

  144. Michael says:

    Thanks, Dusty,
    I’m ticked but I remember when they called us “forty whiners” and we wouldn’t last another year.

    That was over a decade ago.

    We’ll keep doing what we do…all of us together.

    Blessings, little sister.

    I’m off till Monday.

  145. dusty says:

    40 whiners. Haha yes i remember that one. Lol.

    I dont care what anyone thinks! This is a holy place where learning and healing are found. Just so happens sone band aids get ripped off and some carpets get ripped up to expose the problems. Comes with life.

    Take care of yourself big brother. God’s blessings for you as well

  146. To Dusty RE; Comment #143

    Dusty wrote to me the following: Robert Trohon, you should check this thread…..

    I checked it Dusty, and I did read the comments. Thank you for referencing it.

    Beautiful love, beautiful compassion, beautiful sharing, and beautiful fellowship. All of God.

    Blessings sister.

    Robert Trohon
    La Via-The Way (Calvary Chapel)
    Managua, Nicaragua

  147. Kevin H says:


    I haven’t been on this blog much the past couple days so I may not have caught all the drama of your postings and the responses from others.

    With that said, let me say that what I have seen, the way you are coming on here and seemingly trying to set everyone straight about their “gossip” and “bad attitudes” in a holier than thou fashion just is not going to fly. You apparently know very little of Michael and this blog and the people here. If you took the time to know us first, I believe you would become quite embarrassed for the way you have spoken to and of us.

    You want to know what Calvary Chapels we attend? Well, I attend Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia. Yes, the one pastored by Joe Focht, one of the main leaders of CCA leading the charge to cause this split within Calvary Chapel. And I can tell you that every single one of my experiences of what Michael has reported has shown itself to be true by what I see and hear from the pulpit. Let me give you one example:

    A couple months back, I heard an attack from the pulpit on “those in the church who say prophecy isn’t important”. A couple weeks later Michael reports on the beginnings of an aggressive move by some in the CCA against Brodersen, using some things Brodersen had said at a recent conference as ammunition. One of those things was that he said that some in CC should think about toning down the overemphasis on the Rapture. And lo and behold Brodersen’s comments had come less than two weeks before I heard the attack on those who were saying prophecy isn’t important. It was then real easy to put two and two together as to who the attack was against. This is far from the first time this type of scenario has occurred where Michael reported on some of the backroom politics in CC and I was then able to easily pick out something I had recently heard in a sermon which matches right up with it.

    And the shame in all of this is Michael ends up being the conduit in all of this to report the truth of what is going on because the CC top leadership culture has always been to keep things shaded and to keep everyone else in the dark and to control what information they can get. Rather than being up front and honest. Thus you get attacks from the pulpit telling their congregants how terrible these other pastors are who “say prophecy isn’t important.” Efforts to spin and control the thoughts and attitudes of your congregation in order to gain whatever advantage you may need. Meanwhile, Michael reports on the dark honest truths and he gets excoriated by men like you who think they know better.

    Let me tell you, you don’t know better. If you had been around here for years, you would have seen that Michael’s record of reporting truth has been proven time after time. His reporting wouldn’t be necessary if top CC leadership had a culture of being open and honest. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. And so Michael reports to bring light to situations so that people (including CC pastors) can know the truth and just maybe some may learn how to do things better in their churches by learning from examples of how not to do things. Meanwhile, many have gathered here, both past and present, who have suffered abuse under these systems of doing things wrong. If you want anybody here to respect what you have to say, please reconsider your approach.

  148. To Kevin H. (Reply to comment #150)

    Kevin, You are humorous.

    You say you are a member of CC Philidelphia, pastored by Focht, and then you attack him with the following statement: “Yes,I am a member of the Calvary Chapel pastored by Joe Focht, one of the main leaders of CCA leading the charge to cause this split within Calvary Chapel.”

    #1 point: If you aren’t in unity with Joe Focht, why, in God’s name, are you still there? Find another church.

    #2 point: Who are you to accuse Joe Focht of “Causing the Split”? Brian split, not Focht, and as far as I can see, no one “forced” Brian to quit.

    Then you say the following: “A couple months back, I heard an attack from the pulpit on “those in the church who say prophecy isn’t important”.

    #3 point: I assume you mean Focht again. I wasn’t there, but if Pastor Joe was correcting and exhorting people for saying prophesy wasn’t important, BRAVO for Focht.

    Then you said the following: “because the CC top leadership culture has always been to keep things shaded and to keep everyone else in the dark and to control what information they can get. Rather than being up front and honest.”

    #4 point: If that is how you feel, Kevin, then just leave. Your discontent is probably not helping things there.

    And this is the funniest comment of all by you: “And so Michael reports to bring light to situations so that people (including CC pastors) can know the truth and just maybe some may learn how to do things better in their churches by learning from examples of how not to do things.”

    #5 point: If this is the purpose of the blog, then good luck; you will need it. And the funny part is that Michael was exhorting me the other day that I shouldn’t be telling others how to comment here, on this blog. (even though my comment was about bitter attitudes of the commentators, not so much their content). And here you are saying “The great Michael” has the answers to fix these so’called misled, unaware-of-truth pastors and leaders of Calvary Chapel, and Michael can teach them how “to do thing better.”…and how to “Not do certain things.”

    Are you really serious about all of that Kevin? Re-read your comments and take an honest look at what you are saying. My goodness, you guys are really funny, sad but funny.

    And just to be clear on my position concerning the “SPLIT>” I have not taken sides. I am a member of both the CCA and the CCGN.

    Pastor Robert Trohon
    La Via-The Way (Calvary Chapel)
    Managua, Nicaragua

  149. Michael says:


    Facts are not your specialty.
    As I have documented for over three years Joe Focht and don McClure have been behind this strife and are primarily responsible for the split.
    Kevin has found me to be a reliable reporter, as have hundreds of your peers.
    Kevin is also aware that I am not a “great” person, but I am a reliable reporter.
    We receive many inquiries daily from CC pastors and we strive to inform them the best we can.
    Finally, you will not mock my friends and co-laborers on this blog among whom Kevin is prominent.
    You are that deadly combination of ignorance and assurance that attacks what it doesn’t know, nor can see, but does it with great confidence.
    That is your last and only warning

  150. covered says:

    I recall a few years ago responding as part of a disaster relief team to a tornado that did quite a bit of extensive damage in Oklahoma. We used a CC in Oklahoma as our base of operations. There were probably 8 different churches represented in the relief efforts within the first week. Six of the responding churches were CC’s from Texas, LA, OK, Tennessee & CA. While hanging out and talking one night, we were discussing an ongoing issue with CC and I asked where these guys got their information. Everyone said, “the same place we all do, from the PP”. Don’t come here questioning the source because like it or not, Michael has always been credible even to those who don’t like him. You have guts coming here and calling the shots as if you have something to add when so far you seem like an arrogant, pompous ass Robert.

  151. Kevin H says:


    I see you have no reconsideration for how you are choosing to carry yourself here. Therefore this will be my last reply until if and when you choose to show understanding and respect to the community here. It is not worth my time otherwise.

    Again, I do attend CC Philly. It is not my first choice of churches but I attend for the consideration of others. I will not expound further, most especially since you show no concern for understanding my situation, only to give condescending mandates. There are good things about the church and I have spoken about them here before but I will also speak matter of factly about things that are done wrongly as they relate directly to discussions here. You may choose to see them as an attack. I do not believe speaking honestly about factual circumstances constitutes an “attack”.

    I do not put Michael on a pedestal. He is a good man, not without flaws. However, his reporting and concerns for abuse in the church has proven to be impeccable over many years. Rather than taking the time to try to learn and see these things, you only see a man and blog community to “set straight”.

    And yes I am quite serious about the things I have spoken here. You should be glad that I’m not the type of person to place people on pedestals, otherwise to be spoken to in the manner you have to me personally and to this blog community as a whole could be deeply disturbing coming from a man who is supposed to represent God by virtue of their position.

  152. To Kevin H. RE: Comment #154

    Kevin, since I have vowed NEVER to write to GREAT MICHAEL anymore, (can’t reason with fools), I will address this to you.

    90% of the people on this blog are, in my opinion, immature and self-righteous, as well as bitter and hateful towards Calvary Chapel.

    I actually hope this insults you enough for Mr. Michael to BAN ME from this false blog FOREVER (I hope, I hope, I hope) because it is actually wasting too much of my time,….. although it is too much FUN for me to drop it by my own free will.

    Michael has warned me (OHHHH Scary) if I insult one of his minions again, I will have had my final and last warning (which is a bit of redundant writing…final=last).

    Sooooooooo, all you Phoenix fans (well, not all…but most), I hope Michael is a man of his word, as he so humbly claims. Farewell and Adios. (oops ..redundancy).

  153. covered says:

    Wow Robert, you are a bigger ass than I thought! I wonder how long you will last as a pastor.

  154. Michael says:

    Robert swims in the spam filter now…

  155. Steve Wright says:

    Guys like Robert can, in just one weekend, set back anything positive guys like me have spent years in effort on this blog working towards.

  156. Michael says:


    We won’t let that happen.
    He did hit some old wounds that made some of us react…but I remember when we’d get hundreds of comments like that in a week.
    Times have changed.
    We don’t get that anymore.

    I get those on Facebook now… 🙂

  157. Kevin H says:

    Robert has demonstrated for us some pretty bad and obnoxious behavior by a pastor. I know nothing about him or his church, but going only by the snapshot he has given us here, I would guess that he is in a position with little or no accountability at the church he “leads”, as is allowable within the Calvary Chapel system. He represents what so many here abhor about Calvary Chapel.

    Steve’s fears are understandable about men like Robert setting back years worth of positive work on this blog. I have had my differences with Steve, but he has recognized many of the pitfalls that entrap pastors, especially in a system like CC which allows for more freedom and potential power and control by the pastor, and works to avoid them. He in many ways represents those in CC that do care about accountability and openness and not lording it over others.

    Hopefully, we can recognize that men like Robert do not represent CC as a whole. And hopefully whatever fallout there is from this whole split, it causes more from within CC to recognize those pitfalls and that they work diligently to guard against them.

  158. Paul says:

    I hate it for the congregants in the aftermath that had nothing to do with it. But I’m quite happy that this theologically anemic movement fell apart. Wouldve been better if it had happened sooner.

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