The New Simonists

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273 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    I don’t have a problem with the mega churches at all. Only this issue struck me:

    “In the circle of pastors, it is rather unpopular to question the motives and ethics of our colleagues, particularly pastors whose ministries are widely known”

    That is a HUGE problem. There is a relentless wave of people that want to say, “you can’t criticize ministries”, “you can’t attack what God is blessing”, “how dare you speak against _______________”.

    What is the point of it? Groupthink is the point of it. You’re not allowed to go against the grain. You have to conform, come to consensus, agree with the masses.

    Prophetically it ends in the antichrist.

  2. Xenia says:

    R. Kent Hughes correctly described Simony as “spiritual power in order to promote himself, preaching to gain recognition or status, or serving with an eye to advancement in the church’s power structure”<<<<

    No, this is an incorrect definition of simony, which is the purchase of ecclesiastical office. The word "simony" is misused in this article.

  3. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think it’s an expansion of the definition that incorporates modern culture.

  4. Gary says:

    Michael,
    Your point #5- “I am not suggesting that each and every mega-church pastor is or even has the potential to be a modern day Simonist.”

    It is human nature to fall into temptation as much for Christians as anyone else. 2 examples:

    1. A very famous Christian singer/songwriter/recording artist divorces her husband, gives up the kids, and remarries a man much like herself. Why? Because she can.

    2. A very famous pastor who is also the leader of his denomination (one of the largest in the country) is divorced by his wife. He has always preached that a divorced man cannot be the leader of that denomination, or even a pastor, yet he refuses to step down. Why? Because he can.

    There’s got to be a verse somewhere in the bible that says “power corrupts”.

  5. D. Alan Hawkins says:

    Michael is this intentionally anonymous?

  6. Xenia says:

    Simony is the wrong sin being described in this article. Avarice, greed, ambition, vainglory- those are the proper words.

  7. J.U. says:

    Is there a connection between “mega-church” and “absolute power”?

    Then do the words of Abraham Lincoln about absolute power corrupting absolutely apply to celebrity pastors and churches with budges in the six and seven figure ranges?

    I’ve often wondered.

  8. J.U. says:

    Sorry. “budges” should be “budgets”.

  9. Alan Hawkins says:

    My thought is similar to Xenia’s. I do think this article answers a question that I have been dealing with in my mind. Why do we hate mega-church pastors? The underlying tone of exposing these giants in their sin is that some of us seem happy about it. Some of us seem to relish it as if we are somehow validated by their fall.

    As a pastor of a small church (relatively) I own some of those smoldering embers in my own heart but loath them.

  10. Andrew says:

    Why do we hate mega-church pastors?
    _____________________________________________________________________
    I think its the other way around, Why do mega-church pastors hate to have their “visions” questioned? Its kind of like, “Touch not God’s anointed, do my prophet no harm” language that is the real issue.

  11. D. Alan Hawkins says:

    Andrew answered my question 😉

  12. Michael says:

    Yes, it’s intentionally anonymous. I’m not the most popular guy in some circles…
    I’m out for a bit.

  13. I don’t think the issue is mega church at all. I think the problem is non denominational & independent.

    The founders of independent churches survey all of Christendom, all of ecclesiastical history and come to the conclusion … I at 25 yrs old can do it better.

    An independent church has no accountability outside of it’s own 4 walls – has no commitment to the greater body. Mega doesn’t matter – it could be a micro church and have these issues.

  14. a pastor says:

    “Simony” is misused here.

    I’m yet to find a Biblical verse that states that “power corrupts”. I find a major thread in the weave of Jesus’ teaching, as well as those of his disciples, that “power” in the church is properly exemplified by service and humility. So, the problem in my view is with the abuse of power and not the “power” itself. Paul wrote in Ephesians (and the author of Hebrews did likewise) that those given authority in the church are a gift to the church, for the church’s benefit. Again, it comes down to character. It comes down to Godly leadership that seek to exemplify Godly character and lead by an example of service. It doesn’t come down to whether someone has been given authority, but why they have been given authority– because of who they have proven themselves to be, and the obvious call of God on their life.

    The logic here seems skewed. It seems to equate mega-churches with impure motives and abuses of power. If that logic hold true, then small churches should be exempt from impure motives and abuses of power.

    I am torn and conflicted per the mega-church phenomenon. I believe that a pastor can better shepherd when he is with the flock, and knows them. But I can’t make the stretch that there shouldn’t be big churches, nor that a big church is indicative of greed, nor that a big church automatically becomes suspect. (I’m not saying that you are Michael.) I mean, the early church grew by 5000 people in one day, and the author seemed to glory in this!

    I fall back to the fact that the Bible gave much more care in describing the mandated character of a potential leader than the specific government structure, or the default size of a healthy church. Big or small, the character of a leader is to be judged and on display, with Godly accountability built in.

    Blessings…

  15. Andrew says:

    I think many of the mega churches are considered “seeker sensitive” which I think is the bigger problem than being independent. In some closed countries such as China, you can’t have a big denomination. They are all independent home churches. I don’t think we should be unjustly criticizing them. That is unfair with the persecution they are under.

  16. Gary says:

    I believe Jesus gave the model for church size when he fed the 5000. First he told his disciples “Feed them”. Then he told them to set the people in groups of 50. That would be 50 men or 50 families. That is a manageable group to feed.

  17. Andrew, I think we are talking about those churches that if you turned them over are stamped “Made in America”

    The Chinese churches may be independent not by choice but by necessity. Here is it strictly “I can do better.” and “I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.”

  18. Andrew says:

    MLD, Well I am glad you clarified “Made in America” because I agree with you on this but as you know the church is not confined to America. It is global.

  19. What I call, and I think it is what we are talking about, American Pop Evangelicalism is 100% American.

    Christianity is global.

  20. RiBo says:

    I think the use of simony is appropriate as the author, pretty clearly IMO, tweaks it to fit today’s context/culture and explains the nuance well.

    This article is really well done, IMO.

    Who wrote this? Someone from this community?

  21. RiBo says:

    Can I be prayed out of purgatory please? 🙂 I promise not to cuss.

  22. Papias says:

    Simony = megachurch pastors?

    I don’t agree that Simony should be equated with most or some megachurch pastors. The author is calling motives into view here, and I have no doubt that there MAY BE some who build megachurches to feed their egos, but unless they come out and say it, we can’t judge the motives of all by the abuses of some.

    Also, if I had to choose, I would rather have a pastor who is holy than is educated by Aristotle, Socrates, Plato… etc.

  23. Alan Hawkins says:

    The American mega=church has definitely gone global…

  24. Paigemom says:

    From my mini-experiences long ago, IMO growth took my ex by surprise. Popularity was a surprise and something he was not ‘practiced’ in, but it both ‘felt’ good ego-wise but also ‘felt like’ a ‘work of the Spirit’. People gave glory and praise to God, but were thankful to the messenger.

    On going groupie-like growth took on a life of it’s own. “Takes a crowd to draw a crowd”. It ‘seemed like’ a work of GOD, thus, not only OK, but very good, worth repeating.

    Year after year at CC pastor’s conferences, we were constantly surprised that the issue of growth was celebrated, but there were never (at that time, cannot speak for now) classes or information to equip leaders with tools to deal with growth.
    In fact, GROWTH was The Goal. It equaled a Move Of God. Thus, more was better and whatever it took to draw a crowd was ‘good’….. Over time, things just became more and more skewed, like a disease process in the body that starts with just a few sick cells.

  25. Michael says:

    a pastor,

    I think the writer made a clear statement.
    “I am not suggesting that each and every mega-church pastor is or even has the potential to be a modern day Simonist.”

  26. Michael says:

    Paigemom,

    Exactly.

  27. Andrew says:

    I believe Jesus gave the model for church size when he fed the 5000. First he told his disciples “Feed them”. Then he told them to set the people in groups of 50. That would be 50 men or 50 families. That is a manageable group to feed.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Gary, Jesus said whenever 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, there He is with us. The problem I have with CC is that they wouldn’t even consider that enough for a home fellowship let alone a church. Size matters big time to CC to be included in their elite status of churches. In fact you were denied affiliation status if you weren’t large enough and had the characteristics of a home fellowship. You will not find a small CC on the elite board of CCA.

  28. RiBo says:

    “In final analysis, the question becomes about who is able to rule? [13] Not all opportunities that present themselves are doors opened by God. God leads us along the path of virtuous, godly living, any deviation from that is not of Him. Education in areas such as ethics, justice, Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean (virtue vs. vice) [14], undergirded by biblical studies are “the most just claim” [15] for those who would lead. A good leader needs to understand that virtue entails our “emotional reactions, choices, values, desires, perceptions, attitudes, interests, expectations and sensibilities”. [16] Socrates recognized that the aim of education is the study of good, drawing the soul to an understanding of God.[17] Accountability structures are needed, particularly in large churches where the bulk of attendees have little contact or knowledge of the daily operations and infrastructure. These are imperative in safeguarding the heart of a pastor so that he can walk ethically and in godly virtue, and thereby fulfill his ministry well.”

    Might be the best analysis I’ve seen on the dynamic to date and it is encouraging to see the same conclusion many of us are coming to: Accountability, shared power…vitally necessary for both the pastor and the church.

  29. Xenia says:

    Simony was the medieval practice of bribing the Pope or an archbishop to secure an ecclesiastical position for oneself. Even in the Dante example of Pope Nicholas III the sin was buying and selling church offices.

    Most mega-pastors are self-made men. There was no bishop or Pope who was selling the office of Senior Pastor. Therefore, there was no simony.

    Simony may work in tandem with other sins of pride, but words have meanings and this word is being severely misused.

  30. Xenia,
    How about ‘pimping’ – does that work better? 😉

  31. Xenia says:

    The proper word for *some* mega-pastors is the Russian word “prelest.”

    Prelest (from Russian: прелесть, from Russian: лесть – cajolery; (charm, seduction), Greek: πλάνη – plani), also known as: spiritual delusion, spiritual deception, delusion, illusion, – according to Holy Fathers of Eastern Orthodox Church, a false spiritual state, a spiritual illness, “a wounding of human nature by falsehood” (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov).[1] The concept of prelest should not be confused with somatic mental illness of any kind; prelest is rather a spiritual illness,[2] an illness of the soul in its personal relation to God, an illness that originates from vainglory, pride and demonic suggestion and that is to be cured by humility and Holy Sacraments.

    -Wikipedia

  32. covered says:

    Great article and great discussion. I somehow missed that it was directed at CC’s. I’m not sure that was the author’s intent. I can throw CC’s under the bus with the best of them but not sure this is the thead to do that.

  33. Andrew says:

    Covered, Did you read the very first words of the article: ”
    “We continue our series of articles from great friends this week looking at the issues involved when well known pastors fall.”

    I guess we are supposed to just forget that Boy Coy from the largest Calvary Chapel in United States was the pastor who fell. I’m having a hard time doing that seeing that I just found out the news like a day ago.

  34. gomergirl says:

    My problem with mega churches and big churches in general, is that at some point, you lose the feeling of family and connectivity. The “pastor” doesn’t know you from Adam and neither do many of the people. It can make for a lonely existence with in a body of believers. Especially if one is predisposed to being an introvert. You might as well just sit home and watch streaming video. (that is what we normally do) If there is no cohesive bond, then it becomes nothing more than a good feeling-good time outing. Which IMHO defeats the whole purpose of fellowship and church.

  35. Dusty says:

    I like how Andrew put things in regard to the feeding of the 5000….that sounds more like a church I would like to be a part of.

  36. a pastor says:

    Michael, # 25 — I also stated that I didn’t think you (thinking you had written the article) were making that argument. I apologize if I didn’t make that clear.

  37. a pastor says:

    Dusty, I have friends with huge churches that divide them into small groups. 🙂

  38. Michael says:

    Just a clarification…

    This article was written before the Coy scandal and was looking at the church in general, not CC in particular.

  39. gomergirl,
    “You might as well just sit home and watch streaming video. (that is what we normally do)”

    May ask why you don’t join a small church in your area?

  40. a pastor says:

    PaigeMom:

    “Year after year at CC pastor’s conferences, we were constantly surprised that the issue of growth was celebrated, but there were never (at that time, cannot speak for now) classes or information to equip leaders with tools to deal with growth.
    In fact, GROWTH was The Goal. It equaled a Move Of God. Thus, more was better and whatever it took to draw a crowd was ‘good’….. Over time, things just became more and more skewed, like a disease process in the body that starts with just a few sick cells.”

    _________________

    I’m sorry to hear that you experience that. May I ask what area of the country you were in? I only ask because I have never experienced that in our regional conferences. In our region, the small church is celebrated since it, statistically, makes up the vast majority of CC churches.

    Blessings…

  41. The most fun I ever had at church was the 6 yrs we were members of a small SBC of about 100 people (maybe 60 showed up on Sunday mornings). It was kind of out in the country and it felt like the church in Little House on the Prairie.

  42. a pastor says:

    Edit: Experienced…

  43. a pastor says:

    MLD… I love small churches. I pastor one most happily! I somehow love and hate the idea of it growing. On one hand, I believe in its ministry and want its ministry to reach as many as possible. On the other, it would be hard to lose the intimacy and sense of authentic community that we all share.

  44. Q says:

    Many people would want to be around a large group of Christians growing in the Spirit and word with godly leadership and meaningful accountability.

    However this is often not the case.

    Many mega churches become mega because of a ‘corky’ personality or cult of personality. Others do it through business savvy and using the corporate business structure. Some mega churches have both a charismatic personality and business savvy structure with great marketing to bring people in.

    If you have a church of 5000 and 1/2 are not regenerate or carnal, because they came from slick marketing, and many of these end up in leadership and volunteer positions you hardly have a safe place.

    Having spoken to some of these people even after they being involved for a couple of years; I have heard comments from not knowing the gospel to how do you know Jesus is the only way.

    Add money, I mean big money, and no meaningful accountability and you will have problems.

  45. Big churches can provide a lot. Look, from reading some of the comments on the other threads, I learned that Coy grew his church so large because he wanted to get into the restaurant business. Didn’t someone say that they were ‘on staff’ at CCFTL working in the restaurant?

    I had never heard of a restaurant at church before – it must be a big restaurant, the guy said he worked on the line staff.

  46. Paigemom says:

    A pastor, #40, My former church is in Southern Oregon, the Ashland Christian Fellowship (still in operation w/o a trace of my/our 24 year history there) .
    We attended conferences in Costa Mesa and also regional conferences in Washington, north of Seattle at Warm Springs Camp.

    There were (in those days, 2000 and earlier) never any practical workshops or addressing operational practicalities or surviving ‘fame’. It was always ‘another Bible study” (with all the big names, including Pastor Chuck), end times stuff, illustrations, and reports on growth of the larger churches, etc….. I often felt like it was a time for the more eloquent teachers to show off their style….not all of them, but some. Again, I continually marveled at the lack of practical training.

  47. Dusty says:

    MLD, don’t know about gomergirl, but I don’t join a small church in my area, ‘cuz I am afraid (not a strong enough word) of getting hurt again. It still pains me to think about it.

  48. Paigemom says:

    MLD, my husband’s aunt lives in The Lutheran Home in Pennsylvania. My husband’s mom lives in a retirement community hosted by the Moravian Church too. Basically a church based community that includes several cafes and restaurants, a gym, pool, library, etc all under the auspices of the Lutheran Church or Moravian Church. Thus, even your own denomination has it’s own restaurants.

    Several churches that we’ve been to here have ‘cafes’ and coffee bars with elaborate commercial kitchens. Results in a lot of ‘fellowship’–folks hanging out before and after services.

  49. a pastor says:

    PaigeMom: I have literally never been to Costa Mesa. Not sure if that makes me a bad CC pastor or not. lol

    I go to our regional conferences and have many CC pastors in my life (in one degree or another) from all over the country. But I consider myself to pastor a very healthy, close-knit church that is a part of the greater body of Christ for all of our similarities and differences. CC is not the “ear mark” definition of our church, though it is a part of the description. I think some may be surprised to learn how common that is for CC churches– at least in our region.

    I say all that to say again that our region must have a different ‘flavor’ to it. I’m thankful for what CCs are like, for us at least.

    Sorry for your experiences. Blessings…

  50. Dusty says:

    Seems like a lot of overhead expense that could be going to the poor….just think of all the toothbrushes, bars of soap, socks, blankets, beds, …… needful things the poor could use if these mega churches really reached out….really….

  51. Andrew says:

    This article was written before the Coy scandal and was looking at the church in general, not CC in particular.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    You mean the article was written before the scandal hit the news wire? Because the article references the National Congregations Study (2006-2007) that was apparently after these moral failures began with Coy in 2005? Someone posted a 2005 date and wanted to check that if it was accurate?

  52. Paige, those are live in communities – of course they have services.

    But a restaurant – no, not a coffee house or a cafe – the guy said restaurant.

    How about a gas station and car wash 🙂

    Again, all I am pointing out is the get extras you get at a mega church.

  53. Dusty says:

    might be petty to most but that is why I left my last church….thousands of $$$ going toward postage…when I was trying to see how many hygiene kits I could put together for the poor in Detroit…we used our $ no tax write off…cuz we knew the needs of the people. we did this for years….taking whatever we could giving our own gloves and coats ‘cuz they had nothing….but then walking into a church with chandeliers and sigh……i” stop now , i think you get the picture.

  54. Q says:

    a pastor, maybe you already did, do you mind saying what region are you in?

  55. Paigemom says:

    A pastor, I do think there is a ‘difference’ in folks who “were there” in the early days of CCCM, and pastors & leaders who came out of ‘those days’… I have visited some local CCs here that are led by folks who don’t have a connection to CCCM, and from my view point, it’s not the same….. which, potentially, is neither a good or ‘bad’ thing.

    For MANY years of my life, I LOVED going to CCCM. It was like visiting my childhood home or something sacred. It’s taken a very long time to accept that something that started so beautifully got so messed up and that my devotion to that style of ministry ended up torching 24 years of my life history. Such is the nature of sin and the devil who ‘comes but to kill, steal and destroy”.

    I do find it interesting in the conversations of the last few days and even other times when discussing ‘fallen’ church leaders, that the concept of Spiritual Warfare isn’t mentioned much.
    For whatever reason, my ex was completely ‘taken over’ by ‘something’ otherworldly. There was clearly something very weird surrounding what happened to him. Sin, yes, Foolishness, yes. Carelessness, yes. Adulterous women, yes….. but SOMETHING unexplainable happened in our midst that I wonder about to this day.

  56. The Author says:

    Perhaps I should interject a bit here. I am conflicted, as I prefer to live in the shadows these days while still possessing some rather strong concerns about the state of church. And I apologize in advance, but my workload is such that I probably won’t be able to engage beyond this statement. I wrote this shortly before I heard the news about Bob Coy, and my focus was more toward Mars Hill than it was Calvary Chapel.

    I admit to extending the definition of Simony, adjusted to fit into today’s parameters and yet I did give a classical definition at the start. Words do have a way of evolving in their meaning and much more conventional than universal. There has to be a sense where ancient concepts are illustrated for today’s culture, and I thought R. Kent Hughes did a great job in doing so.

    Simony then, and now, did/does not occur in a vacuum, and to be so strictly black and white about the definition of the terms handicaps our ability to see through the limitations of the prose and grasp the image that I am crafting. The purchase price in for such success is our soul, not necessarily lost in damnation, but truncated in its growth and development. While I understand that interpretations vary, I have to think that Jesus was warning us about excessive ambition when He spoke the parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31,32). I know that mega churches are not going to go away, and that was not the purpose of this article. I wrote it as a word of caution, that those who find themselves engaged or called to such work do not lose themselves in the process. Thanks for all your feedback.

  57. On 2nd thought, we do have swings and sandboxes for the children – I guess we should have cafes etc for the amusement of the adults

  58. Nonnie says:

    Paige said, “For whatever reason, my ex was completely ‘taken over’ by ‘something’ otherworldly. There was clearly something very weird surrounding what happened to him. Sin, yes, Foolishness, yes. Carelessness, yes. Adulterous women, yes….. but SOMETHING unexplainable happened in our midst that I wonder about to this day.”

    That is really interesting. My friend, whose pastor husband fell and abandoned their family. A few years after the event, we were talking about it and she said something very similar.

  59. Andy says:

    “If you have a church of 5000 and 1/2 are not regenerate or carnal, because they came from slick marketing, and many of these end up in leadership and volunteer positions you hardly have a safe place”

    Gonna be an unpopular position, but just to go back to Coy for a minute, I’ve met so many people that were to his church, some that attended for years. They were the most Biblically illiterate of any that came from a CC background that I had come across, and the most I’d ever met that had “live-in” boyfriends and girlfriends from any CC background.

    It is possible to be enamored of a cult of personality, and not get much Bible out of it. CC FL facebook, when the story broke, talked about associate pastors stepping up, and a few people promptly said they wouldn’t be there until Coy is back.

  60. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    There is not a smidgen of proof that I have seen before today implicating Coy before this scandal.
    Just because someone leaves a comment on a blog doesn’t mean there are facts to support it.

  61. Xenia says:

    Hello Author,

    Hmm…..

    Well, I think the main difference between simony and what you see (I see it, too) of the typical mega-pastor is the “self-made-man” aspect. The simonist uses his greed to buy something that he knows he didn’t earn. The mega-church pastor (some of them) come to believe that all their success came to them as a sign of God’s favor upon them for doing such a great job, for being such a good teacher, for being so faithful, from hearing from God so clearly. (That’s what they [some] privately think, despite publicly giving God all the glory. [Some of them].) I think there are two different mindsets at work. Simony is the sin of the rich thinking they have special privileges, that they can buy their way into prominence. Mega-pastors [some of them] probably start out ok, get flattered (you are such a good teacher!), believe the flattery and it’s all downhill from there. They look at their huge campus full of sycophants (sometimes) and say to themselves “Look what God has done through me!.

  62. Dusty says:

    I think the 2005 reference was in regard to another CC scandal. All the defenders of the one in sin were/are the same as the defenders of this one.

  63. Paigemom says:

    Speaking of ‘the camp’, I must say that aside from the few here who admit being CC, I am rather amazed at the lack of acknowledging and/or comments regarding the Bob Coy story on any of the CC sites that I subscribe to….. not that there is that many.

  64. Jean says:

    “The danger in this is twofold. There is a danger to the flock that feeds on not only the weekly message but also the sub culture that is fueled by the pastor’s personality and vision.”

    Michael, I recently read (and I think it was from you) that if “he doesn’t know my name, he’s not my pastor.” I think the reverse is also problematic. Churches can become so large that the members do not really know their pastor. They only know what the publicity machine puts out. Sunday sermons, special events, books and social media can paint a wonderful and deceptive picture of a person.

    Members have a tendency to exalt the pastor when they measure faithfulness and virtue in American capitalistic terms. If the church is growing, God must be blessing this ministry. If other churches are shrinking, God must be judging that ministry. How can those views be countered?

  65. a pastor says:

    Q: I am somewhere in the SE United States. 🙂 We are loyal CC churches, but generally find that we must do ministry a bit differently than the W Coast CCs to minister to a different demographic. However, we still love and practice the ministry model, as we believe it is a Biblical model (tho not the only Biblical model). i.e. the Servant Leadership, verse by verse teaching, etc…

    Paigemom: I think it’s good that there is a bit of a disconnect between the generations of CC pastors. I, personally, don’t want a ministry model, or a church for that matter, that is built on personality(ies). I want a church and a movement that is seeking the power and direction of the Holy Spirit, is Biblically sound, loves the body, reaches their communities, matures believers, etc… If God wanted to Skip Heitzig to reach my city, He would have called Skip to do it. In other words, I don’t want cookie cutters across the globe. I want empowered churches with specific purpose taking over the world. 🙂

    As to the spiritual warfare aspect, I agree completely. It seems that my family life is one of constant spiritual warfare. It makes sense. Satan tried to sift Peter very early! I find that this realization, and this practice of seemingly almost constant attack, seems to have bound my family closer. My wife and I share ourselves in mutual prayer. My kids get the opportunities to see me at my best and pray for me at my worst– as well as see God move and work radically. We have opportunity to be ministered to by the body, instead of just ministering. We are forced to rely completely on HIM so often, which is a gift that we aren’t generally strong enough to ask for, but it’s a gift none-the-less.

    I often think of 2 Corinthians 1, where Paul describes being burdened even as unto death, but realizing that God did it so that he would trust completely in God and not in self. That describes much of my/our life. Jesus said “count the costs”, eh?

    Again. I’m burdened for your hurt and lost. May God restore all that you’ve lost and turn your tears to laughter.

    Blessings…

  66. PP Vet says:

    Moses was the shepherd (pastor) of Israel, and I think they were running over 10,000 on Sunday (or was it Saturday?).

    So per scripture, yes, one man can pastor a large group. End of discussion.

    However, I think they had cell group meetings or something. May have called them “Home Mobilization Teams”.

    We may never know.

  67. a pastor says:

    Can’t use Moses as an example. He abused his power by hitting a rock. Heck, he even burned people alive and had the ground swallow them up! :p

  68. Andrew says:

    Jean @64 wrote “How can those views be countered?”

    I believe its blogs like this that serve that purpose. Bigger is not better and the more ways we can creatively try to express that reality, the more I hope it will sink in. Sometimes outright confrontation is needed when quantity is somehow confused with quality.

  69. Jim says:

    a pastor,

    We’re in the same general neck of the woods. I attended the first CC in Florida for 7 years. I started attending soon after Malcolm arrived from CCCM.

    For the record, the only reason we left was because I felt the youth group was too large for my soon to be teens.

  70. Dusty says:

    Paige, now you know it is sinful and gossip to speak of such things as fallen pastors. 😉

  71. b pastor :) says:

    Forgetting about blessing and cursing ministries based on size, let me ask an honest question of those of you who have such strong feelings about big churches. I am CC in an area far from Costa Mesa and we can’t keep people from coming. Seriously, what would you have us do, lock the doors when I could no longer remember names? We do no marketing at all and are not interested in having a big church. We have also planed many churches from this one. I teach the Bible, I pray for their families, I do wedding, funerals, hospital visits–I am their pastor! Mine is the heart that breaks over their trials and pain. I also have a staff of 6 pastors who do likewise. We never view smaller churches as not being blessed by God and no one from our staff has been implicated in any sin or scandal. It seems to me like those of you who have written like this are the ones guilty of judging. How about just letting God do whatever He is going to do whether He decides a church should be small or large?

  72. erunner says:

    b pastor, Sounds like you’re doing a fine job from what you describe. All I would say is for you and those who serve with you to learn from the sad things we see and put safeguards and accountability in place.

  73. Dusty says:

    I second e-brother…safeguards….

  74. erunner says:

    Why thank you Dusty with a capital “D!”

  75. When Jesus preached, people thought the message was too hard, so they left. Jesus was either a terrible preacher or he liked the Micro Church.

  76. rachel says:

    funny, i was just discussing megachurches and big name pastors with my dad a few weeks ago, and it occurred to me for the first time that some of these guys could definitely be simonists. sad and disgusting.

  77. Dusty says:

    bpastor, not judging…just burned too many times. 🙁

  78. a pastor says:

    erunner, I would add to that every person on this blog should pray for pastors– of big churches and small. Trust me. They need it.

  79. a pastor says:

    When Peter preached 5000 people joined the church. By your logic MLD, he messed up.

  80. Dusty says:

    a pastor, we do pray for the pastors….big and small……all the time….

  81. If I were a pastor says:

    b pastor,

    No need to lock doors but I would want to have a formal membership to know how big my church really is.

  82. But those 5,000 were from all over the middle east world and went back home. They didn’t stay in one arena.

  83. If I were a pastor says:

    b pastor said ” I also have a staff of 6 pastors who do likewise”

    Do you personally have a staff of 6 pastors that report to you? Something seems wrong with that model.

  84. As I said early on – the issue is not Mega churches – but the idea of non denominational or independent churches.

    The “let me show you how it really should be done” crowd.

    As I said earlier “The founders of independent churches survey all of Christendom, all of ecclesiastical history and come to the conclusion … I at 25 yrs old can do it better.”

  85. Xenia, You made a very interesting statement in 61. I think you’re right.
    I plan on studying and meditating on it further. I’m starting with this scripture that I think helps identify the delicate idol/sycophant relationship, and what we should do about it.
    Col 3:5
    Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

  86. bpastor :) says:

    If I were a pastor: I have no need or desire to know how big my church is. Whoever shows up is who I want to minister to/with. Don’t understand how having staff pastors reporting to me doesn’t seem right.

  87. Andrew says:

    I at 25 yrs old can do it better.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Actually 30 is the magical age. My CC pastor used to say all the time that Jesus was 30 when he started his ministry and he would always compare himself with Jesus and say that He was 30 as well when he started his ministry. He would say, If you are over 40, basically you are too old to start in the ministry. Every time I hear this, I want to gag. Its total non sense.

  88. Xenia says:

    Michael S, yep.

    The true simonist knows he is sinning when he buys or sells an ecclesiastical position. It’s was a well-known sin in the Middle Ages. So even if he, like an adulterer, knows buying or selling an office is sin, he goes ahead and does it anyway. He has no illusions that he’s a virtuous man; he know exactly what he is and what he has done.

    Not so with *some* mega-pastors. They have been flattered and adored to such an extent that they actually believe they are virtuous people, real men of God. They are deluded.

    To summarize, the simonist knows he’s a bad guy whereas the mega-pastor* believes he’s a good guy.

    That’s why I keep harping on this.

    *some of them

  89. If I were a pastor says:

    Don’t understand how having staff pastors reporting to me doesn’t seem right.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Hmmm, well I don’t agree with it at all. Don’t see any scripture backing it up. I see the exact opposite. You would think the pastoral staff are there for the congregation and not the senior pastor. Seems pretty obvious to me. Gosh, lets see how this worked in CCFL. The staff that is supposed to report to Bob somehow fired him? Ok, if you say so. I don’t get that at all but maybe now the church there will act the way it supposed to and be there for the congregation.

  90. The Author says:

    Well, I couldn’t stay away.

    Xenia,
    I would agree with your #61, and I think we have similar views regarding the evangelical church. Rather than spend time disagreeing on word usage, I’d like to engage more about the substance of the problem that we both agree upon. Even the self-made man has to spend his capital, whether it be financial or spiritual. Nobody rides for free. While I am a big believer in grace, I think godliness comes at a price as well, and yet it is the best investment we can make. The calling of self denial is antithetical to self-promotion.

  91. a pastor says:

    MLD:
    __________________________________
    “As I said early on – the issue is not Mega churches – but the idea of non denominational or independent churches.

    The “let me show you how it really should be done” crowd.

    As I said earlier “The founders of independent churches survey all of Christendom, all of ecclesiastical history and come to the conclusion … I at 25 yrs old can do it better.””
    __________________________________

    — Interesting complaint from Martin Luther’s Disciple.

  92. bpastor :) says:

    if @89; are you seriously saying there is no Biblical warrant for structure within a church staff? Timothy didn’t report to Paul or Paul to his dending church of Anticoh or to the leaders in Jerusalem? Of course there must be structure. That is how they minister to the body. They are there for the people–that is the point of ministry. But that in no way precludes their responsibility to me as their pastor and leader. It is also fantasy to assume that Bob’s staff knew anything about his infideltiy or other problems. And it wasn’t his staff that fired him; it was his board acting in the manner they were supposed to in this case.

  93. bpastor :) says:

    oops… sending

  94. If I were a pastor says:

    That is the other confusing thing. The staff and board are interchanged all the time. Staff could include the restaurant workers in the church and the board can include many “out of towners” which are not even elders. They may be lawyers or accountants. Where is the biblical standard?

  95. a pastor says:

    bpastor, it is probably important to point out that Bob’s staff didn’t fire him. His board did. I would wager there is a distinct difference at CCFL.

  96. a pastor says:

    Sorry, b pastor, I missed that you’d covered that.

  97. apastor probably is under the impression that Luther struck out to form his own church – thinking he could do better than the Pope was doing.

    However, Luther was kicked out – excommunicated… and set up churches very similar to what he had left.

  98. a pastor says:

    I understand that, MLD. I just find it ironic that you have such complaints as non-denominational churches while being the disciple of the man who started the Protestant Reformation, and ended up starting a non-denomination– well, until it became a denomination.

    Your viewpoint seems to believe that God only wants to work under the denominations already established. If that were the case, then God would have stopped at Roman Catholicism. (And perhaps eastern Orthodox; oh my… Which one is the true church?)

    Your viewpoint doesn’t seem to consider that God may want to work through the Lutherans, the Methodists, independent churches…

    Your viewpoint also mistakenly thinks that independent churches are started because we believe God isn’t at work in the denominations, and we think we are doing it better. No. We just believe that God has given us a call to glorify Jesus and make disciples. The gospel is big enough for all of us. You’ll pardon us for taking our marching orders from the Holy Spirit instead of Martin Luther’s Disciple?

  99. a pastor – as I also said earlier, the non denominational & independent churches have accountability outside of their own 4 walls.

    All church craziness seems to come from independents … their is no firewall.

    Almost all of what I describe as American Pop Evangelism comes out of non denoms & independents

    But this is America, you are perfectly free to do this.

  100. a pastor says:

    And for the record, Martin Luther was 34 when he told the Roman Catholic church how they should be doing things. So, is it an age thing?

  101. Q says:

    “Don’t understand how having staff pastors reporting to me doesn’t seem right”

    That sounds like the corporate model, top down pyramid, fire the board Moses Model.

    bpastor 🙂 – Some Christians see this as a person unbiblically exalting themselves above the congregation that has led to abuse. If you do not understand, take the time to read what people that have been hurt have to say.

    If you are the Senior Pastor, what does that make Jesus?

    If your church isn’t set up this way great but sadly it seems many are. It also seems Pastor Chuck established it in our era and people like Driscoll are perfecting it, in that they have an appearance of meaningful accountability but really do not.

    I have noticed that some of these ‘servant leaders’ can raise mega churches but not raise other men for ministry unless it is answering to them in their church.

    It is like they exegete the verse building up for ministry to mean building up to serve them in their church.

    Also there are all kinds of ways to market; sometimes the corporate model is marketing

  102. Xenia says:

    Hello Author, we agree that pride is the root of it all, whether as a conscience act (I am rich, make me a bishop) or unintentional (Oh, thank you for telling me I am a terrific teacher! I will accept that as from God!)

  103. “Your viewpoint also mistakenly thinks that independent churches are started because we believe God isn’t at work in the denominations,”

    And how many times have I heard that from the pulpit? Maybe not from you young spuds but back in the 80s & 90s , yes that was the battle cry.

    Test – do you pronounce it seminary or cemetery? 😉

  104. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “a pastor – as I also said earlier, the non denominational & independent churches have accountability outside of their own 4 walls.”

    I do believe there needs to be true accountability in church leadership, and power to act on

    “All church craziness seems to come from independents … their is no firewall.”

    All? All church craziness? Really? Do you think perhaps you’re using a bit of hyperbole?

    “Almost all of what I describe as American Pop Evangelism comes out of non denoms & independents”

    Even if this were the case, you seemed to target all non-denoms and independents.

    “But this is America, you are perfectly free to do this.”

    I guess I am. Though I don’t.

  105. a pastor says:

    I pronounce it seminary, thank you. 😉

  106. a pastor says:

    And I genuinely believe that God is working through the fullness of His corporate church. Before every service we pray for every Bible-teaching, Christ-honoring church that will meet that morning. We pray that God will fill them with both believers/unbelievers and provide for them financially. We seek a unity in the body of Christ and His power upon it.

    Please don’t allow individual experiences to define your view of everyone.

  107. Actually my first statement was meant to say “… no accountability.”

    “Even if this were the case, you seemed to target all non-denoms and independents”
    Just because you can find one that isn’t crazy does not invalidate my claim.

    “I do believe there needs to be true accountability in church leadership, and power to act on ”
    Who outside the 4 walls of your church can hold you and the church accountable? This is why I think guys like to be independent.

  108. “I pronounce it seminary, thank you”

    Most of your co horts in days gone by always seemed to have an accent and it always sounded like cemetery. 🙂

  109. Jim says:

    I’ll say something nice about CC pastors. : )

    I think it’s cool that they’re here and interacting. My experience with another group of churches was the opposite, even when I asked the leader to address my 100k readers, and told him I’d control the mob. They had no problem with slandering my crowd from the pulpit, but would not address their “accusers”.

  110. a pastor says:

    “Who outside the 4 walls of your church can hold you and the church accountable? This is why I think guys like to be independent.”

    The three pastors from other churches (two in my town, and one from another state) that are on our board. (Our church bylaws state clearly that the board can fire me for sin and ethics matters.) The other pastors who I have invited as accountability partners. The CC pastors in that group can contact our regional CC leadership if they feel there is an issue, who can investigate and dis-fellowship me.

    Trust me. Independent churches aren’t necessarily as independent as you seem to think. And I planted a CC church in part because I didn’t want to be independent.

  111. a pastor says:

    Thanks Jim. I’d like to say that I’m not here to attack or stir any pots. Honestly! 🙂

    I’m here because I’d like genuine dialog. Because I’d like to know more about the hurts that people have experienced, so as to guard my actions and motives. And because I’d like to point out that CC produces genuinely good ministries and pastors that genuinely love and serve their congregations. Just as with any other denomination/movement, bad things happen (not minimizing). I just don’t want to see the baby thrown out with the bath water.

    Blessings to you all, and thank you for the opportunity to come into your ‘house’ and dialog.

  112. You have outside people on your church board?

    Can you explain the rational of by passing your church members/attenders for board seats?

    My church board is made up of members elected by the congregation every couple of years.

  113. a pastor says:

    Pick your preference. Do you want outside accountability or not? It would seem Paul was leadership in Timothy’s and Titus’ churches.

    Can you give me the Biblical example of a congregation electing their leaders?

  114. Xenia says:

    Here’s something I’ve seen from a few female friends, which I offer as a warning for women:

    Watch out if the Great Man wants to confide in you, if he starts to give you private information, tells you that you are one of the few people who would understand because you are so wise and such a wonderful woman of God, that you are a key person, etc. Don’t be flattered: he is setting you up. He is grooming you. He may present himself as a tragic figure- may even toss the word “suicidal” in for effect, all to play on your sympathy. Don’t believe him. You are not special, he is just testing the waters to see how far you are willing to go. He has used this line on many women before you came into his life. He’s a predator and you are a potential victim.

    If you are the friend of such a woman and you see that she is being groomed, pull her out of the fire before it is too late!!!

  115. Xenia says:

    Notice that flattery is a common denominator, both for the Mega-pastor (and wannabees) and women who fall for them, as well as sycophants who just can’t do enough for the Great Man. Flattery all over the place. Avoid flattery: don’t flatter people and if you are flattered, don’t take it too seriously.

  116. Q says:

    “The CC pastors in that group can contact our regional CC leadership if they feel there is an issue”

    Who can the average or mature congregate contact?

  117. Andrew says:

    “Pick your preference. Do you want outside accountability or not? It would seem Paul was leadership in Timothy’s and Titus’ churches.”

    Sure, but not before the local accountability. Its kind of like don’t think the FBI should be the first responder in a normal shop lifting case. The local police should be there first. This is why denominational-ism is probably important.

    “Can you give me the Biblical example of a congregation electing their leaders?”

    Sure, here is some biblical verses dealing with congregationalism:

    The authority to exercise church discipline is assigned to the local church body rather than to regional elders or bishops (Matt. 18:15–17; 2 Cor. 2:6). (3) The New Testament local church chose qualified men to meet practical needs (Acts 6:1–6), commissioned Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1–3), and was involved in the discussions and decision of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:4, 12, 22).

  118. “Pick your preference. Do you want outside accountability or not?”

    hmmm, I wonder what that has to do with accountability. Outside accountability as I was speaking of it comes from the denomination. The board should be to drive direction of the church.

    So, why the outsiders? Serious question. Are people at your church not capable of sitting in a board position – or is it as I have seen in the past, the pastors do not want the people to know how the sausage is made.

    Paul was an Apostle, so unless you still believe their are apostles well…

    Acts 6 is a good place to look for the ordinary folks picking and choosing people for leadership positions.

    I was at Ocean Hills when Skip arrived. We had an all church board. His first move was to remove all leadership (and perhaps they deserved it since they chose him as pastor) and replace them with all of his cronies.. That did not work well.

  119. Andrew says:

    Great question Q. Because I have been ignored now for almost a half a decade by the senior CC leadership when I had a problem with the local CC leadership.

  120. Q says:

    CC has developed an Episcopal style of clergy/laity. Chuck has said so himself.

    Surely you would want a congregation that is part of the decision making. They are in the bible.

    How many times does CC just announce something like, we just bought a ______ (radio station…). Or we have decided _____ (to start a school…) with no input from the congregation.

    No transparency of the finances and many times after the fact.

  121. Andrew says:

    Q, CC does the bare minimum to involve the congregation. Maybe once a year to comply with 501C non profit regulations they may report whats going on. And usually once a year the pastor will share his vision and if you don’t agree he will show you the door. That’s about it.

  122. I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I agree with X’s #2.
    Simony is misused in this article.
    Every time he used simony my mind’s definition was at odds with what he meant by it.
    I can hardly read articles that do that.
    The writer needed to use some other sin like in #6.

  123. a pastor says:

    Andrew #117

    “Sure, but not before the local accountability. Its kind of like don’t think the FBI should be the first responder in a normal shop lifting case. The local police should be there first. This is why denominational-ism is probably important.”

    It does not ignore local accountability. We have representation from the body also.

    “The authority to exercise church discipline is assigned to the local church body rather than to regional elders or bishops (Matt. 18:15–17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 2 Cor. 2:6Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). (3) The New Testament local church chose qualified men to meet practical needs (Acts 6:1–6Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), commissioned Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1–3Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), and was involved in the discussions and decision of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), 12Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), 22Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).”

    I saw no election of leadership in any of those examples. Since Acts 6 was mentioned specifically elsewhere… That appears to be existing leadership picking deacons, not the congregation picking elders. Acts 13 seems to be a prayer meeting springing forth into an evangelic outreach (going OUT of a church; not leaders in a church) by the command of the Holy Spirit. Acts 15:22, it seemed good for the elders… Hmmm…. And it seems they were sending missionaries with missionaries. Not choosing their church leaders. It seemed they already had their elders.

    MLD:

    “So, why the outsiders? Serious question. Are people at your church not capable of sitting in a board position – or is it as I have seen in the past, the pastors do not want the people to know how the sausage is made.”

    I covered this above. They are represented. There are just also external pastors.

    “Paul was an Apostle, so unless you still believe their are apostles well…”

    I do not claim to be an apostle. But one can’t deny this was leadership from outside the local congregation. I get nervous when someone’s defense is that something is wrong because it’s *not* like the example set forth in scripture.

    “Acts 6 is a good place to look for the ordinary folks picking and choosing people for leadership positions.”

    Acts 6 was existing leadership picking deacons so that they could concentrate on leading, not the congregation electing leaders. (Deacons were waiting tables, not directing the church.)

    “I was at Ocean Hills when Skip arrived. We had an all church board. His first move was to remove all leadership (and perhaps they deserved it since they chose him as pastor) and replace them with all of his cronies.. That did not work well.”

    I’m not sure what you want me to do with this. I’m not him and they weren’t our board.

  124. Andrew says:

    “I covered this above. They are represented.”

    No, they are not. No membership, no representation. PERIOD.

  125. Anonymous says:

    MLD- I’m at work and haven’t gone beyond your mention of the restaurant. The restaurant now has the former chef of Café Maxx which was a famous restaurant in Ft Lauderdale area. The chef must make big bucks.
    The interesting thing about “the Grill” is that the employees get a 50% discount off the menu while we all pay full price. It’s almost like an employee restaurant. I think the Grill was about having a place to impress the big givers.
    I remember seeing Billy Grahams grandson who is one of the Pastor’s there having luch on a regular basis with businessmen.
    Some of us remember a time when they had the cafeteria before the restaurant- and people of all economic ranges could eat there together.You could buy a bologna or PBJ sandwich for your kids for a couple of bucks with a juice box and cookie and get yourself a soup and side salad for a few dollars. Not possible now. Now you are looking at easily $75.00 or more to feed a family of 4 before service. I personally think this was just food for the flesh of the wealthy which worked for them. Who would not want to attend a church that has one of the best chefs in the state?
    It was a security issue for me as when your kids went to school there, the restaurant was open to the public so all these people from the outside were driving in and out.

  126. Andrew says:

    a pastor,

    We lost our pastor in my church. We had no back up elders. We were able to manage and get by without a pastor for years. Not ideal but we made it through until we found one. Now if a pastor just decided to come in and take over our church without even asking us, I would tell him to take a hike. What was our congregation to do in this situation? We had to confirm the new pastor with majority vote. Sorry you don’t like that but that is the reality.

  127. bpastor :) says:

    Q@101: the problem so many seem to have is that they focus on how things seem and make sweeping accusations when addressing individuals who are nothing like they seem. I said earlier we have planted lots of churches which, necessarily, means we raise up people. Can you not dealin generalities based on your pre-conceived notions? How can there ever be any constructive dialogue when you assume I am (or others are) the way you think it seems. Every church was to have an established overseer (individual, not plural) and he would have needed men who would come beside him to serve. Corportate model? Hardly. Biblical model. We are all aware that people get hurt but blaming it on us because of our association is srong. Dishonest. Unfair.

  128. Q says:

    “Acts 6 was existing leadership picking deacons so that they could concentrate on leading”

    Actually the apostles set down conditions to address what was troubling the congregation and the congregation chose the seven, the apostles affirmed.

    Congregation involvement.

    CC has chosen a ‘simpler’ form of church government.

  129. Andrew says:

    Yep, CC has chosen the simpler form of church government which doesn’t take the full counsel of God into consideration. Its a short cut and and abbreviation.

  130. Anonymous says:

    PS they also have a starbucks type coffee area (forget the name)-they were serving kids frappacchino’s before school and getting kids hooked on caffeine. Some of the parents weren’t too happy about that.

  131. Q says:

    bpastor,

    The ‘biblical’ model CC has chosen is from the Old Testament. That is convenient but IMO not rightly dividing the word.

    Read Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch.

    We are all brothers in Christ, Some mature and some not, yet brothers all the same.

    My accusations may be sweeping to you but they are the norm, i have been around CC along time.

  132. Q says:

    “I have been ignored now for almost a half a decade by the senior CC leadership when I had a problem with the local CC leadership”

    Andrew I am sorry,

    I have seen some who thought they would have a fair hearing whether someone agreed with them or not, at least they were heard, and when they found out they wouldn’t be heard it hurt even more.

  133. erunner says:

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this cafeteria and it’s blowing my mind!! 🙂

  134. Q says:

    I think one of the things MLD is pointing out is in his denomination, if an average or mature congregate has an issue in his local church and gets stonewalled, he has a recourse, he can go outside the “4 walls” of the local church and have someone else listen and look into the issue and get a proper hearing.

    This would be proper checks and balances.

    CC does not have this, just vote with your feet.

  135. In the LCMS we don’t call them bishops (too RCC) but we do have district presidents and circuit counselors that can be appealed to. I don’t know that an individual would as the issue can be addressed to the board which includes congregational rep who is assigned for individual problems.

    Then there is the national synod

    But my opinion has always been, i am not here to change any church. I have often said that people who go to churches where they are kept in the dark, actually love going to a church that keeps them in the dark and asks nothing of them.

  136. a pastor says:

    Q:

    “Actually the apostles set down conditions to address what was troubling the congregation and the congregation chose the seven, the apostles affirmed.

    Congregation involvement.”

    Yah. Congregational involvement in choosing the people who would distribute food to widows. It is and was an honorable ministry, but let’s not twist things into the election of elders.

    “I think one of the things MLD is pointing out is in his denomination, if an average or mature congregate has an issue in his local church and gets stonewalled, he has a recourse, he can go outside the “4 walls” of the local church and have someone else listen and look into the issue and get a proper hearing.

    This would be proper checks and balances.

    CC does not have this, just vote with your feet.”

    This is blatantly false, as any of our congregants would tell you.

    Anyone who has taken issue with leadership decisions (and there have been a few), I have personally recommended that we take it to the board, and then to CC regional leadership if that did not satisfy.

    In every case, either we have been able to resolve it in-house in a Biblical manner, or they chose not to take it outside of church leadership. But I personally sought those avenues of remedy.

    Despite what you may think, our leadership has the church’s and the body’s best interest at heart. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

    _________

    Andrew:

    “No, they are not. No membership, no representation. PERIOD.”

    Hmmm. I wonder how you can be so definitive about a church you’ve never seen, heard, or experienced.

    “Yep, CC has chosen the simpler form of church government which doesn’t take the full counsel of God into consideration. Its a short cut and and abbreviation.”

    As opposed to pointing out the selection of deacons and claiming it’s the election of a board of elders?

    “We had to confirm the new pastor with majority vote. Sorry you don’t like that but that is the reality.”

    I’m not judging your church. (If it is glorifying Jesus, teaching the Word, loving the body and making disciples, I probably would like it.) I just said I don’t see an example of it from scripture. Who am I to judge another’s servant?

  137. Paul says:

    “Ed Stetzer, an advocate and defender of mega churches…”

    HISTORY 101: It is alleged that Ed Stetzer was on the board of Acts29 when its founder, David Nicholas of Spanish River Church, was voted down and Mark Driscoll installed as President.

    [ ] True? or [ ] False?

  138. a pastor says:

    And Andrew:

    “Now if a pastor just decided to come in and take over our church without even asking us, I would tell him to take a hike.”

    If you came into our church and started trying to tear apart its leadership structure, none of the leadership would have to tell you to take a hike. The congregation would. Why not the same respect for our church that you demand for your own?

  139. Q says:

    “CC does not have this, just vote with your feet.”

    “This is blatantly false, as any of our congregants would tell you.”

    Seriously?

    I’m talking about the system of CC.

    How old are you and how long have you been in CC, this is as well known as “where God guides God provides”.

  140. a pastor says:

    Q: I would recommend that you quote the entire fullness of what I responded to. Thanks.

    “I think one of the things MLD is pointing out is in his denomination, if an average or mature congregate has an issue in his local church and gets stonewalled, he has a recourse, he can go outside the “4 walls” of the local church and have someone else listen and look into the issue and get a proper hearing.

    This would be proper checks and balances.”

    I’ve already explained what recourse the congregant has outside “our four walls”, and the checks and balances in effect. To state there is no recourse, nor checks and balances, is blatantly false.

  141. a pastor is an OK guy. He answered all of our questions and handled all of our jabs.

    Welcome to the Phoenix Preacher. 🙂

  142. gomergirl says:

    Mld… your #39… sorry I was at work and got busy.

    um, I kind of feel like Dusty, been there done that too. Small church Only took 2 crazy people to come in, stir up trouble, then leave. not long later the church closed doors and folded. Been to CC’s big and less big. just tired of trying. And here in the NW, seems hard to find something small, not over an hour away and not really out there theologically. We have mega churches galore, and that is just not my thing any more. Also, I have very few, if any friendships that have survived me leaving a church. It is hard for me to make friends in the first place, and it seems that most everyone wants to be your friend until you are not going to the same church. then there is no time for you anymore. that hurts and is hard to deal with, especially for an introvert like me. Maybe this is just a phase, and it will pass and I will find a real church home. but until then, I will try to stay in the word and keep learning.

    And there are some good things about really big churches, but to me they always seem so into programs and all the feel good stuff that draws the crowds. If you have a big church that is really focused on the Lord and the gospel, then great. But so often (like Dusty said) there is so much being spent of the trappings to be relevant and hip and cool that might be spent on more worthy things. why have a Starbucks in your church when you could be paying someone’s gas bill or helping those in the congregation with real tangible needs.
    Just seems a bit counter intuitive to me.

    But I really mean no disrespect. We have a pretty big CC within about 5 minutes from my house. It is not very CCCM-centric. The pastor used to listen to Oden Fong on the radio and liked how he taught so he looked into CC.(I think I got that right) Anyway, it is not very CC (if you get what I mean) It really could be most anything, pretty generic. But it too has its issues, and some that I could not get around.
    that is just my issue. The only CC I have ever really 100% loved and felt was like it should be is no more, and they pastor has moved on to other things. He was always a bit reluctant to even be a pastor, and that was, IMHO, what kept him from ever getting the big head. He was great and he and his wife really modeled true Christianity to me and Dude and we love them to this day for what they taught us and gave us. It is also hard because they are the standard by which i judge every other church. Oh well.
    thanks for asking.

  143. brian says:

    We all agree I am a hyper cynic and that is mild. But there is this “megachurch” in my area that did go through a scandal where a pastor was having an affair and got caught. He put out a letter about having to leave ministry because of personal issues. Well the next church meeting, all the church elders walked on down to the front of the congregation at church, said what the pastor did and said this is what we are going to do. They then had professional counselors available for those in the congregation who needed some help. Of course the fallen pastor was disappeared but I am not sure how best to deal with that. It was made clear that money for the wife and children, medical coverage etc would continue as needed. It was needed and not stopped. The Pastor was not given money.

    They then made more refinement to the bylaws and met with anyone who wished to discuss it. There was not a hick up in the transition because it was so transparent that anyone member or not could ask questions and get answers within a few hours. They also publish their financials to such a dramatic extent that you can walk in off the street and a staff with sit down with you and go line by line if you wish.

    OK Brian there is this church that is right down the street, they do work with the disabled, they work with the homeless and they provide huge public service aspects to the community. I cant become a member, this is disgusting on my part and I admit that, but I dont agree with their pentecostalism, and other views of reality and scripture. But I refuse to get really involved where eventually I would have to be asked to leave and I do not want to hurt them, call that a moral failing on my part, and it is, if I think I am right I should fight with great vigor and if I slaughter some other peoples faith. That is a very cheap price to pay. I dont think that way. Again a moral failing on my part.

  144. a pastor says:

    MLD, thank you. I appreciate the welcome.

  145. Andrew says:

    “If you came into our church and started trying to tear apart its leadership structure, none of the leadership would have to tell you to take a hike. The congregation would. Why not the same respect for our church that you demand for your own?”

    No one in the congregation ever told me to take a hike in any church I have gone to. None! Quite the contrary. Many wondered where I went to when they haven’t seen me in eons. Only the senior leadership told me to take a hike, when I challenged their ungodly VISIONS. The congregation never knew better. Out of site out of mind with no recourse for anything. PERIOD. CC needs to repent of this arrogant and pompous attitude big time. If asking for CCFL to have Boy Coy removed for his sin is tearing the leadership structure apart than I would say all of you need to resign and start showing respect for everyone else.

    “I’ve already explained what recourse the congregant has outside “our four walls”, and the checks and balances in effect. To state there is no recourse, nor checks and balances, is blatantly false.”

    WRONG. Your statement is blatantly false. There is NO recourse. None at all. Not until the last Bob Coy type is removed from your elite group and you men start getting serious about repentance and start taking the congregation (every member) into consideration when making decisions.

  146. PP Vet says:

    The traditional CC complaint/appeal process is “There’s another church down the road.”

    Not that I ever had a complaint or an appeal. But it is my understanding that is the default approach, although I am sure that varies from local CC to local CC.

  147. Andy says:

    PP Vet wrote: “The traditional CC complaint/appeal process is “There’s another church down the road.” Not that I ever had a complaint or an appeal. But it is my understanding that is the default approach, although I am sure that varies from local CC to local CC.”

    Yes, that is typically the response. However, any church (not just CC) will on occasion have unreasonable people that don’t agree with anything going on in the church. They are unhappy with everything, and seek to change everything. So the right answer for them is, “There’s another church down the road”.

    When it comes to abuse, that’s one thing. They give that answer, and it is a wrong answer. But keep in mind, that is actually the right answer for a purely unreasonable person that isn’t satisfied no matter what you do.

  148. Andrew says:

    Q @ 132

    Thank you! You recognize the problem and I am grateful.

    I won’t be getting that kind of apology from anyone on the elite board of CCA anytime soon. They have delegated that all out using Moses as their example. No time or energy for that kind of thing. Just too inefficient. They are way too busy tending to their flock as I have been told. Every time I hear that, I wonder if they realize I am part of the same flock that belongs to Jesus.

  149. a pastor says:

    Andrew, it would appear that you will just continue to paint with a broad brush and indict churches and leadership that you have no experience with. That’s your prerogative. In a spirit of grace and brotherly affection, I’ll just say God bless you.

  150. Andrew says:

    a pastor,

    I have over 10 years of experience in Calvary Chapels. So you have no idea what you are saying. I don’t want to indict any church. I love churches. I just want a recourse and find healing and help others that have been hurt. I was thrown out by a visioneering CC pastor who wants to be just like Bob Coy with his multi-sites campuses. If I have sinned, I am sorry but that’s not good enough if you have ever challenged the VISION of a CC pastor. I would like to be restored but something tells me Bob Coy would be restored before I ever will even be heard. Why is that? I didn’t cheat on my wife. I didn’t pretend to the congregation I was something I wasn’t. Something is desperately wrong and instead of defending this system, I suggest you start looking hard at what can be done. For instance if CC is going to be making counselors and professionals, etc.. available to Bob Coy as part of his restoration process, why don’t I get that as well? Maybe you should put me and Bob Coy in a class together so we can be restored together and learn from each other. There will be a snow balls chance of ever that happening though!. It breaks my heart that you do not see the tremendous hypocrisy in all of this.

  151. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “I would like to be restored but something tells me Bob Coy would be restored before I ever will even be heard”

    No offense, Andrew, but if the church that dismissed you was pastor-led, and the pastor has this direction he wants to go in, and if you don’t agree with that direction, why do you want to be restored to that church?

    This kind of thing, I never understood.

    There has to be a balanced approach to these things. It seems that there are two extremes, but only one extreme is being addressed, here. The one extreme of a relentlessly abusive pastor. That extreme is to be dealt with, yes.

    But there is another extreme. The other extreme is, “I don’t agree with this church and the church won’t do what I want, and even though it is not an abuse issue, I’m very upset and will go on and on being upset, and not just move on to another church that I do agree with”.

    What’s the point, exactly?

  152. Andrew says:

    “No offense, Andrew, but if the church that dismissed you was pastor-led, and the pastor has this direction he wants to go in, and if you don’t agree with that direction, why do you want to be restored to that church?”

    The universal church is an integrated body of all believers under Jesus. No pastor anywhere has a right to determine who is in and who is out. Church discipline is a function of the corporate body, not the pastors responsibility solely. This is no more evident than in the Bob Coy situation. I have brothers and sisters that I have been separated from. That my friend is what needs healing. Its not about the direction of the church or what they are deciding to do with this or that, its about spiritual ABUSE. I did not cozy up to the leadership when I was there but that doesn’t mean I didn’t exist.

  153. a pastor says:

    Andrew, I don’t want to argue or dredge up past wounds. I will pray for your situation. However, may I point out…? I’ve been discussing my church specifically. You’ve been indicting my church and leadership structure specifically due to your experiences with CCs elsewhere. I’ve pointed this out and you have refused to stop.

    I have neither confirmed, nor denied the hypocrisy that you speak of, because I have absolutely zero insight into the situation. You are dealing with a church that I don’t know, and men that I have probably never met and probably never will meet.

    Let me give you some insight into what you are doing by decrying all CCs due to your experience with some CCs. I pastor a church that genuinely loves and ministers to every person that comes through the doors. I will proclaim here boldly that every single member of the leadership are incredibly Godly, bathe every decision in prayer, balanced with love of the church and love for every person that walks through the doors. For that matter, we love every person that no longer comes through the doors, no matter the reason they chose to move on.

    We have a wonderful woman who began worshiping with us three weeks ago. Last night, I spoke to her and continued welcoming her, asking how we could serve her. I had spoken at the beginning of the service about Bob Coy, his sin, the effects on that family and church, how sickened and horrified we are about it… I gave minutes from the board meeting we had about the situation. I gave detail about the accountability structure I have in place in my family, and we have in place as a church.

    As I spoke to the woman, she offered up: “Wow, you have a lot of haters.” I asked, “Excuse me?” She said, “On the internet. A lot of people hate you. As a matter of fact, lots of people say you’re a cult.” “Yes.” I said. “Lots of people say that and more.”

    I asked what she thought. She said that our church seems amazing. That she was amazed by the sense of authentic community and genuine love with every person in the church. She was amazed that the congregation is so relaxed and comfortable with one another. That there seems to be a complete lack of pretense in the congregation and leadership. She eventually said: “Something as big as CC, there’s bound to be people who have been hurt and hate it.”

    I told her to please just keep her eyes open, considering all that she’s heard and stay sensitive to anything that may give her alarm bells. If anything seems inappropriate, then let me know, or let our leadership know. We want to be sensitive to these things.

    Now… We’re a Bible teaching church. We’re a part of Jesus’ bride that is trying to live out His gospel and take over the world for the Kingdom of God. I’ll repeat that. We are Jesus’ bride. He loves us. I am convinced He is well pleased with us and has sent His spirit to lead and empower us.

    And we are having to battle the effects of people like you, Andrew, every day. People like you who have problems with a church across the country but say things like:

    “No, they are not. No membership, no representation. PERIOD.”

    You said that about our congregation, Andrew. About my church. Not CCs in general. Not the CC you were hurt by. Not Chuck Smith, not Bob Coy. You said that about me. You said that about the people I am serving. You said that about a church you have never attended, and I’ll remind you, a beautiful part of Jesus’ bride, whom He loves.

    I would caution you, Andrew… In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul said that the church is God’s building. Then he cautioned everyone to be careful how they build it up– much less tearing it down! I would ask you, Andrew, in attacking **our church** (which you’ve never visited or experienced) because of your dealing with another… Are you building up Christ’s bride? God’s building? And how do you judge that you are doing that?

    I won’t lengthen the post by quoting all of your comments about our church specifically. I would challenge you to go back and read our exchanges. I described our church– individually. You attacked our church– individually. I still love and pray for you as a brother in the Lord.

    God bless you.

  154. Bob Sweat says:

    a pastor

    A good reminder! Thank you again!

  155. a pastor says:

    Thanks for your grace, Mr Sweat. Grace and mercies to you, sir.

  156. Andrew says:

    “You said that about our congregation, Andrew. About my church. Not CCs in general. Not the CC you were hurt by. Not Chuck Smith, not Bob Coy. You said that about me. You said that about the people I am serving. You said that about a church you have never attended, and I’ll remind you, a beautiful part of Jesus’ bride, whom He loves.”

    I don’t even know who you are let alone what church you pastor, so how in the world you are saying that I was referring to you specifically about the people you are serving is absolutely ridiculous!!! This is about the CC system!!!

    You have mentioned that there is an appeal process of sorts up to the CCA. I disagreed with you on that point, because they have ignored me for half a decade now. So you can stop taking things so personally “a pastor” and start looking at the system that is hurting many and stop giving yourself adulation for being the exception to the rule in the system. If you are a great church with great accountability than I would say that’s wonderful but its in-spite of the the CC system and not because of it. Now, you will accuse me of broad brushing all CCs. Which I have never done. I can’t win either way. You either take it personally or you accuse me of broad brushing. I am doing neither. There is no appeals process in CC unless its up to CCA. And unless you are on the board of CCA I am not sure how you can say for certainty there is a fair appeals process. Is there or is there not an appeals process up to CCA?

  157. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “Its not about the direction of the church or what they are deciding to do with this or that, its about spiritual ABUSE”

    You’re going to have to explain your situation very clearly to me, because, you made it sound like you didn’t agree with the direction of the church, you made yourself kind of a pest about that, and they got fed up with putting up with it.

    That’s not abuse on their part.

    I know you’d like to think that every believer is going to all agree in the “universal church”, but that’s never going to happen before Jesus returns.

    I don’t have a problem with some church down the street going in the direction of whatever, because if I don’t like it, I just leave. It’s not abuse if I say to them that I don’t like it, and they respond with, we don’t care.

  158. covered says:

    a pastor, we have tried for months to get Andrew to share why he was so damaged by his CC and it comes back to the vision thing. He also has a way of taunting every CC guy who comes to this site. It appears to me that he stumbled upon Alex’s site sometime ago and that got him fired up to hate most pastor’s and all things CC (I know Alex and this is not his motive).

    Let me finish by saying that I too have issues with CC but have learned through this site that throw the baby out with the bathwater makes little sense. It seems as though there is much to learn from everyone who hangs out in this sand box even from a CC guy.

  159. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “There is no appeals process in CC unless its up to CCA”

    Nobody in CCA will care about my opinion, but they should disband CCA completely, and replace it with nothing.

    Every church body should seek, FOR THEIR OWN SAKE, to stand alone, independent, and without the tie-ins to other churches. That is just my opinion and advice to pastors out there.

    Why? For the very reason that “a pastor” pointed out in his 153 post. The internet is only going to become more powerful and more of a source of truth as time goes forward. It’s fine to say, “We believe in the Calvary Chapel style of ministry, and that is why we have that name, but we don’t have any connection to the goings on in any other Calvary Chapel on the earth, so you will have to judge us based on us alone, and ignore every other Calvary Chapel”.

    The Baptists will have to do that, every group will have to do that. I know Baptists that are all whitewashed with the Rick Warren junk, but they in particular don’t want that association. They have to state what they are, and what they are not.

    Either that, or change the name of the church.

  160. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “I don’t even know who you are let alone what church you pastor, so how in the world you are saying that I was referring to you specifically about the people you are serving is absolutely ridiculous!!! This is about the CC system!!!”

    That’s my very point. How could you? Yet you did. Go reread the exchange. I described our church and its structure. You called it into question. Perhaps you didn’t realize that you were doing it. Perhaps you thought you were talking about CC in general. But you were talking about our church. Perhaps the offense has gone so deep with you that you do not realize that you are judging individual churches based on your view of CC in general. But you are.

    We do have an amazing church, and we are within the CC ‘system’ (I prefer to refer to it as ministry model). Perhaps that should tell you that maybe it’s not the ‘system’, but the actions of fallen men who have become unfit for ministry. Oddly, that’s pretty much the way it is in every ‘system’ with church failures. It’s a failure of men.

    I’ll say this again… Scripture says much more about the character of a leader than it does the leadership structure. That’s why we could have a debate about church structure earlier. Because the Bible never really goes into a lot of details. Oddly, it goes into a lot of detail about the character of a leader– what he must be. Any church government will be a failed church government if there are people of unGodly character implementing it. Most structures will be good structures with Godly people in office.

    It would pay to remember that.

    It would also pay to remember that, in every conversation you have about pretty much any church, this is Jesus’ wife you’re talking about. I wouldn’t like you very much if you spoke of my wife the way you speak about Jesus’. Praise His name that he is far more gracious than me. He’s probably settled into disappointment, as opposed to dislike.

    Blessings and mercy to you, sir.

  161. Andrew says:

    “Nobody in CCA will care about my opinion, but they should disband CCA completely, and replace it with nothing.”

    I see two options:

    1). if they want true accountability, they will need to become a denomination and work together.
    2) if the want independence, they should disband CCA completely.

    To not take one of these paths I believe is a serious stumbling block to folks. You can’t be both at the same time.

  162. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “To not take one of these paths I believe is a serious stumbling block to folks. You can’t be both at the same time”

    That’s the only thing you’ve said that I agree with, but I believe you are 100% correct on this. CCA’s existence gives the deceptive illusion that there is somewhere to appeal for help, when in reality, they can’t do anything but talk.

  163. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I’m confused about what you want to appeal.
    I’m a Calvinist.
    If you don’t believe in Reformed theology, you shouldn’t come to our church.
    You can appeal all you want, but I’m still going to be a Calvinist.
    If you stayed and complained about Calvinism all the time, I would suggest that you go somewhere that would feed your soul, not demand that I change my beliefs.

  164. Michael says:

    I don’t expect the CCA to last a whole lot longer…

  165. a pastor says:

    Well said, Michael.

    I fasted and prayed from Sunday evening until Tuesday evening. I heard from some folks that a lady that helps run one of our ministries turned the time into a criticism session for our church. As is my practice, I did not respond or deal with it immediately. I put it in God’s hands, prayed that He would have it dealt with in love and grace, and spent the time gathering love.

    She called me Tuesday night. Her complaints were that we don’t use real wine for communion (we never have), that we don’t have enough traditional hymns in worship (no change there), and that we just aren’t ‘traditional’ enough. (We’re a Calvary Chapel, folks 🙂 )

    I listened and prepared to respond, but before I did, I noticed something. She wasn’t *actually* complaining. She wasn’t attacking. She wasn’t trying to change us. She was just listing the reasons they were leaving. Praise God! I prayed a blessing over the family. Said I hope we can all stay connected in some way. Prayed that they would find the home church that could perfectly minister to her. I told her how much respect I have for them…

    She’ll still come to our prayer ministry every month. We’ll all still find a way to stay connected and be in one another’s lives.

    Love won out.

    Praise God. And praise God we have a great relationship with the Lutheran church down the street, which I could recommend to her. I think it will be absolutely perfect for them, and know for a fact that God will bless them through its Godly ministry.

    Not only love won… Not only the church won… But a dear brother and sister in the Lord, whom I love, won.

    And the gates of Hell did not prevail.

  166. Andrew says:

    That’s my very point. How could you? Yet you did. Go reread the exchange. I described our church and its structure. You called it into question. Perhaps you didn’t realize that you were doing it. Perhaps you thought you were talking about CC in general. But you were talking about our church. Perhaps the offense has gone so deep with you that you do not realize that you are judging individual churches based on your view of CC in general. But you are.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    That’s my very point. I didn’t. Read the exchange again. I don’t know you from Adam yet you take my criticism personally when I am talking about the CC system. But then you mention that you are part of the CC system and defend it rigorously. So no matter what I say, you will take everything personally so its not even possible to critique the CC system without you being offended. That is your problem not mine. You then accuse me of broad brushing.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    “It would also pay to remember that, in every conversation you have about pretty much any church, this is Jesus’ wife you’re talking about”
    _______________________________________________________________________

    You talk about the church as if its a system of leadership and not as much about the congregation. But now you are mentioning the reality its Jesus’ wife. Maybe you need to stop defending a bad system and start personalizing it and loving the people that apparently are not lovable enough and just get thrown out when no one is looking!!

  167. covered says:

    Your #164 is an interesting comment… I will say that with things shaking up a bit in Fla there will certainly be eyes on CCA to hear what they have to say. I hope that CCA sees this as an opportunity to clean a few houses but most likely won’t.

  168. Michael says:

    a pastor,

    That’s how it’s supposed to work, in my humble opinion.
    I choose to see the different flavors of Protestantism as diversity for the benefit of the Body, rather than division.
    Different people need different diets…

  169. Michael says:

    covered,

    The problem here is that there is an incorrect perception that the CCA is a healthy, functioning group of leaders who are setting an agreed upon course.
    Nothing could be farther from the truth.
    It’s a band aid that is ripping and is not repairable.

  170. RiBo says:

    Derek said, “Simony is misused in this article.”

    No, it isn’t. It’s only misused if you ignore the nuance and the fact the author explicitly states he/she has adapted simony to the modern era.

    It isn’t technically black-and-white simony of old…but that was not the author’s point. The author was drawing on a practice from the distant past and invoking the dynamic of historical simony and making the case that a similar dynamic exists today…though not EXACTLY like the days of old…with regards to a simony dynamic in today’s Mega-pastor church constructs.

    I agree with the author and think the person made a good case and presented some very interesting considerations.

    I get it.

    “The Author”…it is very common for X and Derek to miss the point. They tend to be very black-and-white and very literal and have a hard time comprehending rhetorical license to draw on issues from the past and make comparisons for today’s context. Not a knock on them, just a consistent pattern I’ve observed in dialoguing with the two of them for many years now. Both are smart, just more black-and-white. If you invoke a historical term, they expect it to be 100% the same as applied to today.

  171. a pastor says:

    Personally, I 1/2 expect the CCA to become even more regional than it already is. I’m cool with that. I can say this for an absolute fact:

    Our regional association is amazing with amazing leadership. They can do far more than talk.

    The only part of the association that I deal with is our regional leadership. Let me say it again… They are amazing.

    CCs are hard to understand, that is for sure. We are a collection of individual churches that are fellowshipped together under one banner. That banner gives oversight. But each church is free to operate by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Is there potential for abuse? Sure! But just look at the Catholic church to see the potential for abuse under the “extreme” denominationalism.

    Any church structure has dangers for abuse because fallen men are involved. We’ve seen abuse in every denomination and also non-denominations. All we can do is set up safeguards and watch the character of our leaders.

  172. RiBo says:

    My suggestion to those hung up on the “not 100% perfect simony definition!”….focus on the essence and the dynamic the author is expressing. it is a very good observation and analysis IMO.

  173. erunner says:

    a pastor, I appreciate your presence here. You are handling yourself well.

  174. Andrew says:

    I’m confused about what you want to appeal.
    I’m a Calvinist.
    If you don’t believe in Reformed theology, you shouldn’t come to our church.
    You can appeal all you want, but I’m still going to be a Calvinist.
    If you stayed and complained about Calvinism all the time, I would suggest that you go somewhere that would feed your soul, not demand that I change my beliefs.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    I want to be able to step foot in a building that I helped pay for the seats in. I want to say hello and probably good bye to some friends there that I will never see again. I was never disruptive even once in a church service. Not my style. I want to go to a home fellowship group in my home town that the pastor doesn’t even go to. But I am not allowed because they will escort me off the premises just for being there. No, I don’t want to protest. I don’t want to complain. I just want to see my friends once again because they are my brothers and sisters. I am not demanding anything other than my right as a Christian brother to join in worship with my other Christian brothers and sisters. But that won’t be granted. That is what I want to appeal.

  175. gomergirl says:

    a pastor… I wish I knew where you were, I’d try out your church…

  176. RiBo says:

    a pastor said, “She called me Tuesday night. Her complaints were that we don’t use real wine for communion (we never have), that we don’t have enough traditional hymns in worship (no change there), and that we just aren’t ‘traditional’ enough. (We’re a Calvary Chapel, folks 🙂 )”

    First world problems LOL. Well, if that’s a crisis at your CC, then you’re doing something right 🙂

  177. Andy says:

    Andrew, per your 174, so what happened? If you don’t mind sharing. If you don’t want to share, okay. But what do you believe caused these men to give you the impression that you are not welcome? You said before that you called them out for a vision issue. So what happened? If for no other reason, so I can understand why you are so hot under the collar.

  178. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    MLD said: “Who outside the 4 walls of **your** church can hold you and the church accountable? This is why I think guys like to be independent.”

    Asking about MY church…

    I said: “The three pastors from other churches (two in my town, and one from another state) that are on our board. (Our church bylaws state clearly that the board can fire me for sin and ethics matters.) The other pastors who I have invited as accountability partners. The CC pastors in that group can contact our regional CC leadership if they feel there is an issue, who can investigate and dis-fellowship me.”

    Describing MY church…

    I said: “I’ve already explained what recourse the congregant has outside “***our*** four walls”, and the checks and balances in effect. To state there is no recourse, nor checks and balances, is blatantly false.”

    You said, speaking of my church and our congregation:

    “WRONG. Your statement is blatantly false. There is NO recourse. None at all. Not until the last Bob Coy type is removed from your elite group and you men start getting serious about repentance and start taking the congregation (every member) into consideration when making decisions.”

    That’s a pretty good example of your broad brush, brother. Speaking of my particular, individual church… I described our specific system in detail… You completely dismissed it out of hand because of “Bob Coy-types”. A guy I’ve never met and has never even heard of my church. Do you get that? You judge me and our leaders. You indicated that I/we need to repent. You indicated that I/we do not consider our congregation when making decisions.

    You equate me to Bob Coy without ever meeting me. You equate our board members to fallen Bob Coy, without ever even meeting them. You besmirch our very Godly regional CC leadership, without even knowing who they are. You dismiss our church structure out of hand without ever experiencing it. After I described it, you basically called me a liar, without ever meeting me. All because of Bob Coy-types.

    I forgive you, and love you. How are you building up Christ’s church? How do you speak of His bride?

  179. Andrew says:

    Andy,

    I appreciate your concern. I’m not in the mood to share right now. I am hot under the collar with this entire Bob Coy situation. It brings to light everything that I dealt with in my years at CC to an exponential degree. I just hope this can be a teaching moment for CC but with the utter silence coming from CCA I don’t believe anything is getting better. Only worse. I’ll go back and stay off the blog for awhile. God bless.

  180. a pastor says:

    # 168 Michael, well said again.

  181. RiBo says:

    a pastor, hang in there, be patient. A lot of us don’t trust you guys for good reason. If you are doing the things you say, then you’re doing great. I know it’s tough, I don’t know that I could do it as I’m wired to hit back…but try to just let some vent and then keep posting the truth of your situation.

    We need to see and hear good examples from Calvary Chapel that “get it”. We need to know that there are some CC guys who truly understand the issues and have truly done good things to address those issues the best they can.

  182. RiBo says:

    But, try not to take on a perpetually defensive posture that apologizes for others in CC. Don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade in your Camp. That’s a beef I have with my CC buddy Steve W. He seems to do a great job at his CC, he is teaching good things in his Region and to the School…it just doesn’t play well and rubs me and others wrong when there is an attitude that the issues with CC are overblown and not that big a deal. It is a big deal to a lot of us who have been affected by the negative issues that are real.

  183. RiBo says:

    Just my two cents, take it our leave it.

  184. Andrew says:

    You equate me to Bob Coy without ever meeting me. You equate our board members to fallen Bob Coy, without ever even meeting them. You besmirch our very Godly regional CC leadership, without even knowing who they are. You dismiss our church structure out of hand without ever experiencing it. After I described it, you basically called me a liar, without ever meeting me. All because of Bob Coy-types.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    This is my last attempt at any reasonable communication with you. I don’t know who you are or what church you pastor. I don’t know if you are on the CCA elite board or not but I was referring to CCA board members of which Bob Coy was part of. If you are not part of the elite CCA board than you can just dismiss all of my comments altogether. They are directed to the CCA board and those on it that seem to remain in utter silence regarding Bob Coy.

  185. a pastor says:

    To multiple:

    Thank you very much for your gracious comments.

    Gomergirl: Statistically, it’s probably a very long drive for you, lol. (We’re in the SE US) But I’ll take the compliment on behalf of our church. 🙂

  186. Andy says:

    I have always been bothered by the “CC can do no wrong, and our big name pastors are infallible” attitude. They’d deny that such an attitude exists, but the stone wall of defense that goes up, just makes me believe such people are not pastors at all, but are company men.

    For example, when Chuck Smith went on the radio and horrendously said that “some mormons will be in heaven”, I almost fell on the floor and cracked my head open. But NOTHING was said by any CC pastor to make it clear that Chuck Smith’s statement was heretical and eternally dangerous to anyone that was listening that day. And when I casually mentioned it to a few CC pastors over the years since, my mention was met with an attitude like, I’m insulting the Lord Himself for saying it. A very pathetic response on their parts.

  187. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    I’m seriously not trying to be argumentative, and will drop the entire conversation with brotherly affection after this post. But it’s important to me that you understand my position, and why I would take your comments as directed at me and our church. I’ve already shown the context in which you were making the accusations. That context was our church. It was the description of our church that you were calling blatantly false. It was our CCA regional leadership (not Bob Coy’s) that you were calling out.

    To give further clarity. You wrote the following to me. That would make me the “you”. lol

    “Not until the last Bob Coy type is removed from ***your*** elite group and ***you*** men start getting serious about repentance and start taking the congregation (every member) into consideration when making decisions.”

    So, you said to me, that I need to start repenting and start considering our congregants.

    I’ll ask in love and grace… How are you building up Christ’s church, and how are you describing his bride? Sounds kind of like you’re saying she has a potato-nose without seeing that part of her face, if you ask me. 🙂

  188. a pastor says:

    Thanks RiBo. I’ll willfully not speak to what I don’t know about. And I won’t defend what I know to be wrong. But truthfully, the CCs and CC pastors I deal with regularly are very humble, Christ-loving, congregation-loving servants.

  189. RiBo says:

    a pastor, Southeast Region?

  190. RiBo says:

    Ooops, my bad, looks like there is “Florida” region and “Deep South”…which one are you?

  191. Andrew says:

    It was our CCA regional leadership (not Bob Coy’s) that you were calling out.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Last week Bob Coy was a huge part of that leadership. All of a sudden “poof” he’s gone and no problem and we just need to move on and forget and just blindly trust that everyone left is good to go. Ok, if you say so.

  192. Michael says:

    What we’ve seen exhibited on this thread is the power of communication.
    a pastor chose to dialog and much fruit has come forth.
    Let’s pray that he becomes a person of influence…

  193. a pastor says:

    Oh, and RiBo… I won’t defend what I know to be wrong. I somewhat suspect there are huge politics in some areas of the country. I won’t defend or excuse if this is the case. I’m not naive. It’s probably inevitable when a movement/denomination grows and fallen man is involved. PTL, Jesus knew He’s be dealing through fallen men when He founded it. He still said the gates of Hell will not stand against us (all of us). I think the key is that we all rush the gates of Hell (gates are defensive, which means we should be on the offensive), instead of spending so much energy fighting one another.

    (Not saying there isn’t a place for Godly criticism.)

    Hopefully, I’m not coming across as too terribly defensive. I’m blessed by the overall reception.

    Blessings…

  194. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “Last week Bob Coy was a huge part of that leadership. All of a sudden “poof” he’s gone and no problem and we just need to move on and forget and just blindly trust that everyone left is good to go. Ok, if you say so”

    Got to agree with Andrew on this one. Just like the Chuck Smith/Mormonism example I gave before, they refuse to criticize each other. Just flat out refuse. When they preach a false gospel as Chuck Smith did that day, when they do what Bob Coy did, they just erase it and move on.

    That’s, however, a CCA issue, and at the very least, a CC pastor could say, CCA is lame. It couldn’t fix the Chuck Smith false gospel that day (which was probably heard by 10,000 people) and isn’t saying anything about Bob Coy.

  195. RiBo says:

    a pastor, I think you’ve done a great job here today. I don’t think you came off as too defensive. I think it’s a good opportunity in CC right now for guys like you and others to speak up more and influence CC in a better direction.

  196. a pastor says:

    Ribo: Deep South.

    Andrew: Bob Coy has never been a part of the Deep South CCA leadership.

    I’ll say this again, at the expense of repetitiveness… Our Deep South CCA leadership is amazing. I have little experience with any other.

  197. Xenia says:

    RiBo, I think I did get the point of the article and pretty much agreed with it.

    I also “got” that the author was attempting to take a serious ecclesiastical problem that was rampant in the Middle Ages and say “This is the problem they had then and this is the problem we have now, even if the details aren’t the same.” Seriously, I got that. It was more or less like the other day when I said “Accepting the homosexual agenda is like offering a pinch of incense to Caesar.” Not the same details but the same attitude: Let’s just all get along and be happy.

    However…. the mindset of the simonist was “I am rich, I can do whatever I want.” He knew he was a scoundrel; everyone knew he was a scoundrel. Often, these simoniacs never even lived in the diocese they were appointed to, they just wanted the title and prestige that they paid for.

    The mindset of *some* mega-pastors is quite different, and this is what I was trying to point out. Some celeb/ mega pastors, because they are self-made men and receive a great deal of flattery, believe they are good men of God. They don’t think they are scoundrels. They think they are the cutting edge of God’s work here on earth.

    I think the difference is worth pointing out. *This* is what I was trying to convey in my posts. I was not trying to be nit-picky about terminology but to suggest that these two kinds of men- the simoniac and the (some) mega-pastor- are quite different although pride is the root of both.

  198. Andy says:

    “Bob Coy has never been a part of the Deep South CCA leadership”

    So?

    Not to be flippant, but, they are still part of CC overall. They could say something about the Bob Coy situation, or Chuck Smith saying that some mormons will be in heaven.

  199. a pastor says:

    Andy…

    “Not to be flippant, but, they are still part of CC overall. They could say something about the Bob Coy situation, or Chuck Smith saying that some mormons will be in heaven.”

    What does that have to do with whether they are good oversight for my church, whether they consider their congregations, or whether I should repent and consider my congregation?

    Perhaps they could. Perhaps they will. Perhaps they will allow the Florida CCA to handle it, since it is in the Florida CCA’s jurisdiction.

  200. Q says:

    a pastor,

    I did not intend to quote you incorrectly.

    Are you saying that CC does not have a “just vote with your feet” policy?

  201. Michael says:

    I believe CCA did release a statement and Brodersen and Greg Laurie addressed it on Pastors Perspective.
    There is not a whole lot to say…although they did attack me and Alex Grenier.

  202. Andy says:

    a pastor wrote: “Perhaps they could. Perhaps they will. Perhaps they will allow the Florida CCA to handle it, since it is in the Florida CCA’s jurisdiction”

    My point was, in a part of defense of what Andrew was saying, that there is still the ability to make a general statement over CC, even if it is not their “jurisdiction”.

    There always seems to be an answer as to why something won’t get done. “It’s not my jurisdiction” sounds like, “I don’t know, I just work here” 😉

    I will say, you are a breath of fresh air compared to most CC pastors I’ve seen.

  203. RiBo says:

    X, thanks for explaining the nuance of your position.

    I would strongly disagree that the “scoundrels” of simonists past didn’t view themselves the same way as the mega-church pastor. Men who seek power and money and position tend to view themselves much differently than the more objective non-following public does.

    My guess is the Old and New simonists both thought they deserved the power and were worthy of it.

  204. Andrew says:

    Andrew: Bob Coy has never been a part of the Deep South CCA leadership
    ______________________________________________________________________
    As I understood he stood even above the Deep South CCA leadership with a spot directly on the elite CCA board. The elite CCA name list became even more elite now with one less person.

  205. Ixtlan says:

    Xenia,
    I agree with many of your posts, but in this case you sure sounded like a nit picker to me. Even still almost thou (and a few other of my orthodox friends) persuadeth me to become orthodox…… almost.

    blessings

  206. RiBo says:

    Michael said, “There is not a whole lot to say…although they did attack me and Alex Grenier.”

    Really? Can you link specifics. Probably not a good time for Brian Brodersen to be throwing rocks.

  207. Q says:

    a pastor, you said –

    “Now… We’re a Bible teaching church. We’re a part of Jesus’ bride that is trying to live out His gospel and take over the world for the Kingdom of God. I’ll repeat that. We are Jesus’ bride. He loves us. I am convinced He is well pleased with us and has sent His spirit to lead and empower us.”

    The “take over the world” part is a little scary.

    I know that some in Dominion Theology and Post Millennial people believe this but this has not been a CC distinctive.

    Where are you getting the church is to “take over the world for the Kingdom of God”?

  208. Xenia says:

    Ixthan, Yeah, I agree. I did over do it. Every time I posted something I said to myself “Xenia, that’s enough!” But someone would say something and I just had to respond.

    Sorry ’bout that, folks.

  209. Xenia says:

    (oops, sorry to misspell your name, Ixtlan.)

  210. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    Pastors Perspective on the 6th and 7th, I think.
    It was about generic “bloggers”…and you and I were the only two bloggers with the story.

  211. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    It still added to our overall understanding..and that’s always our goal.

  212. a pastor says:

    At the end of the day, every church has a “vote with your feet” policy. I would not classify it as a “just” vote with your feet. Every CC **that I know of** tries to work through grievances in a Biblical manner. But at the end of the day, some people will decide to leave if we don’t change the vision and direction of the church for them. It can’t be avoided. I gave an example of how this happened in a Godly manner just this week at our church.

    But again, it’s not a “just” vote with your feet. We try to sit and hear complaints/criticisms. We try to work through things. But one can’t change everything for one person, one family, or one group.

    There eventually comes a time when you have to make a few decisions:

    Is this church the type of church that fulfills my desires as to style of ministry?

    If Yes:

    Do I feel safe enough to approach my leaders with questions?

    If Yes:

    Do I feel that I can trust my leaders, even if I don’t agree with and/or understand some of their decisions?

    These are some important questions. And they are complex, with few easy answers Sometimes. The reasons for the answers can even be complex.

    Maybe you can’t trust your leaders because they are genuinely untrustworthy. That’s a huge problem. Maybe you don’t trust them because you have a problem with authority and are a my-way-or-the-highway type. That’s also huge, but not as huge as an untrustworthy leader.

    Maybe you don’t understand because they are making the decision with information that would be unethical to share with you. I’ve lived through that more times than I would care to recall. All I could do was grin and bear it, tell the person I love them, and ask them to trust me. All our board could do was about the same. My character and integrity was questioned because I was exercising character and integrity. 🙂 So goes the role of church leadership. lol

    But yah. One tried everything available to deal with things Biblically, in love and with Godly accountability/oversight. But sometimes the answer to one of those questions is “no”, for whatever reason. And that’s when the people vote with their feet.

  213. a pastor says:

    Q: You’ll have to forgive me my figure of speech. It wasn’t an exercise in theology. It was a tongue in cheek reference to the Great Commission. We’re not a counter-culture spiritual militia. lol

  214. RiBo says:

    Michael, listening to it now.

  215. covered says:

    Ribo check your fb

  216. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “As I understood he stood even above the Deep South CCA leadership with a spot directly on the elite CCA board. The elite CCA name list became even more elite now with one less person.”

    I have never heard of any “Elite” name in CC. I would be very disappointed if there were ever a name like that. The closest I could see to this would be the group comprised of all CCA regional leaders who worked to collaborate between the regions. It is a voting board. One member, one vote (as far as I know).

    Our CCA Deep South region is represented by Sandy Adams– an incredibly Godly man and a great leader from my every interaction with him. He can not act on the CCA group’s behalf.

    Sandy Adams has no input to the FL CCA region, and Bob Coy had no input into the Deep South region.

  217. Ixtlan says:

    That’s ok Xenia. I wasn’t intending to bash you , yesterday observation from a friend. And BTW, I’m going to show your 144-115 to my daughter-in-law…… Thanks.

  218. Andy says:

    a pastor wrote: “Sandy Adams has no input to the FL CCA region, and Bob Coy had no input into the Deep South region”

    I’m liking more and more, Michael’s assertion that the CCA is going to fizzle away and disappear. Because this input thing is just silly.

  219. a pastor says:

    We will wait to see what happens.

    By no “input” I mean that, as far as I know, Bob Coy could never personally direct the Deep South region. I’m very thankful for that, frankly. Sandy Adams could never personally direct FL. The group as a whole worked together for CC overall vision, and worked toward unity.

  220. Andrew says:

    a pastor,

    In all due respect, I will wait for the CCA to make a statement about Bob Coy cause I have no idea who you are. All I know is Bob Coy used to be listed here

    http://calvarychapelassociation.com/general-information/leadership-council/

    And he is no more. There are 19 elite members left on this council. I call them elite because they were hand picked by Chuck Smith himself before he died. Unless Chuck Smith would appear in person similar to how Jesus appeared to the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, I don’t see how you could ever replace one of these men EVER. This list gets smaller. Its kind of like they are a newer set of apostles. Maybe this is why Calvary always jokes about the apostles. I guess they originals were the a-postles. And these 19 elites are the b-postles. You don’t have to call them elite, but everyone knows they are.

  221. RiBo says:

    Well, at least Brodersen grouped us into the “So-called Christian” Camp instead of the heathens LOL.

    Natural human behavior. He’s taking an “us vs. them” posture which is typical CC mindset.

    I really wasn’t “gloating” and I don’t think you were either. I would much prefer not to be doing a blog about Calvary Chapel or dealing with all this garbage. I do it b/c CC doesn’t deal with this stuff and I’m sure that’s why you do it as well.

    I expect this stuff, have piles of other “moral failures” etc of CC pastors as well as abuse cover-ups, pastors who abused their kids, financial corruption issues etc…expecting it and reporting it is not “gloating”…it’s just validation that we’re right and the CC leadership needs to wake up and quit denying what is true and it’s high time they make some structural changes in the by-laws to get the Dove.

  222. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “I will wait for the CCA to make a statement about Bob Coy”

    They did make a statement. It’s called a link to the CC FL webpage. That was their “statement”.

    Time will tell if they will say anything to bring healing to all the people that have been hurt.

  223. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “In all due respect, I will wait for the CCA to make a statement about Bob Coy cause I have no idea who you are. All I know is Bob Coy used to be listed here”

    Yah. That’s what I’ve described. My regional leader is on that council too. He’s a very good and Godly man. He would be hurt and offended that you said he needs to repent and start considering his congregation, because (as I mentioned multiple times) he is our leadership in the DS region.

    I am quite frankly very relieved that Bob Coy’s name is not on that counsel. You would prefer they left him on the council after his sin was exposed and he was stripped of his ordination?

    And finally… No. You don’t know who I am. You don’t know who Sandy Adams is. And yet you said of each of us:

    “…and ***you*** men start getting serious about repentance and start taking the congregation (every member) into consideration when making decisions.”

  224. Andrew says:

    They did make a statement. It’s called a link to the CC FL webpage. That was their “statement”.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    I didn’t see this on the CCA web page. I saw it on the Calvarychapel.com website. I thought that was Broderson’s jurisdiction and separate from the association’s jurisdiction.

  225. Andy says:

    “I thought that was Broderson’s jurisdiction and separate from the association’s jurisdiction”

    Yup, you’re right. I saw it on the CC page, not on the CCA page. Just another point to see that CCA is pointless.

  226. RiBo says:

    a pastor, you keep saying what “good and godly men” these regional CC leaders are. For your consideration, you probably don’t really know all there is to know about all these guys. My guess is they are sinners like Coy, Ries, Grenier, Kempner, Olague, Sabolic, Cook, Cardelli, Stewart, Wood, Smith, Heitzig, Abeyta, and a bunch of others.

    Don’t hang your hat too much on “they’re so godly!”…they’re still dudes. Keep your eyes open and have an open mind. You’d be surprised at what “good godly men!” are capable of.

  227. Michael says:

    Andrew,
    That council was not hand picked by Chuck Smith.
    Chuck Smith privately loathed the whole idea.

  228. Andy says:

    “Don’t hang your hat too much on “they’re so godly!”…they’re still dudes. Keep your eyes open and have an open mind. You’d be surprised at what “good godly men!” are capable of”

    HEAR THIS, YES.

    Bob Coy would have been defended by the guys in his “region” as so so so Godly, last week at this time.

  229. Michael says:

    a pastor,

    I suspect the remnant will be regionals, although some regions have significant internal issues.

  230. RiBo says:

    Peter was “good and godly!” and denied Jesus three times and Jesus called him “satan!” once…King David was “good and godly!” and committed adultery, had multiple wives, had sex slaves/concubines, murdered the husband of his mistress, etc.

    “Good and godly!” is merely a perception. While some are more personally disciplined and have more self-control than others…all are capable of nearly anything from experiences.

  231. a pastor says:

    RiBo. No hero worship here. Let me say it clearly. They are all sinners. Just like you and just like me.

    But unlike some others, I’m not willing to accuse or attribute the sins of others upon them with no evidence. I’ve been around them quite a bit.

    Christ said: “By their fruits you will know them.” He said we would know His disciples by their love. I’ve experienced fruit and observed love. I’ve seen great wisdom and discernment. I can only go by what I have seen of them; nothing more.

    Let me put it this way. If Sandy Adams fell as Bob has fallen. I would be absolutely flabbergasted. That comes from being around him, and should speak to what I’ve seen from him. Does that guarantee he isn’t falling now or won’t in the future? Of course not! But it’s very unBiblical to assert he is just because another fell.

  232. Andrew says:

    And finally… No. You don’t know who I am. You don’t know who Sandy Adams is. And yet you said of each of us:
    ______________________________________________________________________
    I know of Sandy Adams. I’m not impressed though. But that is just a personal thing. I’m not judging his heart. The call to repentance was a generic call for anyone who wanted to listen to it particularly in the CCA leadership and I am not singling out the Deep South. You can take it or leave it. If Sandy Adams wants to respond, he can but I don’t know who you are. Every member needs to be taken into consideration. Again take it or leave it. If you have no membership, now sure how you take them into consideration. Again, take it or leave it. Its your call.

  233. Ixtlan says:

    Don’t kid yourself. Jurisdiction ends where one desires it to end, or if they meet stiff enough resistance……that’s just human nature.

  234. Andy says:

    “Don’t kid yourself. Jurisdiction ends where one desires it to end, or if they meet stiff enough resistance……that’s just human nature”

    Well put. In the end, the local church will do what it wants, regardless of Sandy Adams or whoever. And even the individual believer will do what they want, regardless of the local church. All stand before Jesus, alone.

  235. Andrew says:

    Andrew,
    That council was not hand picked by Chuck Smith.
    Chuck Smith privately loathed the whole idea.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Michael, now this is where I may have been terrible misinformed. How did this counsel get formed without Chuck’s approval then? He certainly didn’t need to put his rubber stamp of approval onto something that he loathed privately. And if that is the case, shame of Chuck.

  236. RiBo says:

    a pastor, I think there is certainly a balance. Trust but verify. I’m a magnet for the bad stuff about CC and I can’t say I’ve heard anything bad about Sandy Adams, at least not yet, so that’s a good sign.

    My point of pointing out that the CC guys are capable of anything, fully recognizing there are a lot of CC guys with long histories of not crossing big lines…is to argue for CC Association to implement System-wide Checks and Balance to the by-laws of all CC franchises as a requirement to be an “official” Calvary Chapel.

    The fact is, there will always be failures, moral, financial, child abuse etc…b/c God uses fallible men.

    All the more reason to have a better System in place to deal with the inevitable cases of failure and to provide less temptation for the Pastors in the first place.

  237. a pastor says:

    RiBo:

    “Peter was “good and godly!” and denied Jesus three times and Jesus called him “satan!” once…King David was “good and godly!” and committed adultery, had multiple wives, had sex slaves/concubines, murdered the husband of his mistress, etc.”

    I think we’re making similar points.

    “Good and godly!” is merely a perception. While some are more personally disciplined and have more self-control than others…all are capable of nearly anything from experiences.”

    Better watch out, MLD will take you to take. :p J/K, MLD…

  238. a pastor says:

    Edit: Task, not take…

  239. covered says:

    a pastor, a friendly word of advice. Anonymity is a good thing. When you say things like Sandy Adams is a “godly man”, you are opening the door for others to dispute that. I have had a run in with him for years and “godly man” isn’t an adjective I would use.

  240. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    There is a great deal of misinformation out there.
    Life is not simple…this was a complex and difficult situation.
    Smith was obviously dying and doing so without any succession plans or the desire to create them.
    The current mess was stitched together hastily by necessity.

  241. RiBo says:

    covered, I’d like to hear more about that offline if you are willing.

    I think I may have spoke too soon, I’m remembering some things now.

  242. PP Vet says:

    The difference is, when I invest $100K with my broker, and after two years I am not happy with how he is handling it, I walk away with whatever is left.

    If I invest myself in a local church, when I vote with my feet I walk away from relationships and everything I invested.

    You people are awfully glib about that.

    Whatever I invest in a CC, I have pretty much said goodbye to. That may not be wrong, as long as I know that coming in.

    The “vote with your feet” paradigm may work OK in a non-relational church, where people do not build and invest in genuine relationships.

    Why would I want to invest myself in a church that is driven by the whims of one man??

    How much crueler when the church calls itself a “family” while often usurping and being corrosive to, instead of supportive of, the true nuclear family dynamics of real families.

  243. RiBo says:

    Michael, the “CC Association” is certainly in process and in flux right now. But, unlike you, I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I think something will emerge from the chaos and I think CC as an “Association” will be here for a long time.

  244. a pastor says:

    covered, as I mentioned, I can only speak to what I know of him. I was open about my area of the country. It’s easy enough to see who’s over this area. There are people in the world that don’t care for me either, too be honest– trust me. Doesn’t mean I’m evil or disqualified from ministry. Just not perfect, and often misunderstood.

    Blessings…

  245. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    Also in addition to my comment at 235, all of the members on the CCA really respect Chuck. If they knew that Chuck loathed this idea and they also privately loathed the idea, they should step down from the CCA and get their names removed. For me personally, I would highly respect a pastor who did that. There is no sense privately loathing something when you got the power to do something about it. Only makes sense. But if the pastors just sit on the board giving consent to this organization year after year after year, they give up their right to privately loath it. I mean they can privately loath it, but I don’t want to hear about it in public.

  246. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I don’t mean to be rude, but you really know next to nothing about the dynamics in play here.

  247. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    I don’t think it lasts another year…

  248. Andrew says:

    Michael,

    You are not rude. I don’t think the average CCA board member even knows their own dynamics. I understand there is complexity of unfathomable proportions but its still hard to respect anyone who privately loathes something and continues to rubber stamp it. I’m not speaking of Chuck here, but all the new board members. This is not a sign of character or conviction. Its a sign of fear of man.

  249. Papias says:

    I attended Stewarts church, serving in just about every capacity possible for about 4 years. Then I asked him about financial and pastoral accountability, to which I had it turned back around on me. He did it again when I asked him later about the if he had spoken to his board. So we left his church.

    Had not seen him in about 7 years until last week. Ignored us completely.

    We are not the only ones that he’s burned. In fact, I don’t know if more than a handful of people who attended the same time as us are still attending his church. People go for awhile and then move on elsewhere without the games and feeling like you’re a pawn in someone else’s game.

  250. a pastor,
    So that you know, I have always claimed to be the biggest sinner here. As Lutherans we hold claim to the phrase “Simul iustus et peccator” – “At the same time righteous and a sinner”

    I am 100% sinner and at the same time 100% saint. I also let anyone who will listen know that I break all of the 10 commandments everyday .. and a good many times on purpose.

    My deal with Bob Coy isn’t as much about his sin (although I do think he has disqualified himself) as it is with his defenders who do not even seem to be upset at Bob.

  251. a pastor says:

    MLD — I was just razzing. No offense meant, and I apologize if it was taken.

    For the record, I am upset with Bob. I’m trying to find the balance with grace, but I am upset with Bob and heartbroken for the family(ies?) who have been so deeply wounded.

  252. Q says:

    PP Vet – good comment.

    But I believe I was told , when referring to CC, my “vote with your feet” comment was –

    “blatantly false”

  253. Q says:

    I think Andrew has a point earlier in the thread; it seems like, a pastor, is playing a bit of a shell game. When the CC system is being spoken about he takes it personally and does not want to be lumped in, and yet defends the system.

    It’s like CC playing we are affiliated when convenient and there is no affiliation when convenient.

    Or a CC pastor taking credit when convenient and saying it was the board’s decision when convenient.

  254. a pastor says:

    Q:

    My argument so far had been:

    We have church leadership set up with outside oversight as a part of that. That outside oversight comes from our regional CCA. I have had little insight into, nor input from the national CCA, so can’t comment on it. But I have had wonderful dealings with our regional CCA, and have great respect for it.

    I took offense, when describing our local church’s structure, to Andrew making blanket statements about it, myself, and the regional leadership that I described. Andrew doesn’t seem to realize that that’s what he did. I quoted him to show where he did, But I’ll live and I’m not carrying a grudge.

    I’m not sure where the shells of that have been moved. It all seems pretty straightforward and non-contradictory.

  255. a pastor – not offended at all

  256. Andrew says:

    Q, its actually amazing, how they dance around this.

    Take a look at what a pastor said here:

    “Trust me. Independent churches aren’t necessarily as independent as you seem to think. And I planted a CC church in part because I didn’t want to be independent”

    This is amazing to me. All this talk about the independence or autonomy of the local CC church and a pastor says this. Its a complete shell game. And with that. I will sign off. God bless everyone.

  257. a pastor says:

    OK Q. Whatever. I’ve been straight-forward, and there is no contradiction in my description.

    Have a good evening.

  258. RiBo says:

    Michael said, “I don’t think it lasts another year…”

    Well, then it will be a race between you and CCA since Hugh cursed you 🙂

    …he didn’t curse me for some reason…maybe it’s b/c the last guy that did that, well it didn’t turn out well 😉

  259. filbertz says:

    the larger a church gets the more it should be like a pyramid resting on a wide base (shared leadership/elders/deacons, etc.), unlike many mega-churches who invert the pyramid to be resting on its point–one celebrity pastor.

  260. Q says:

    a pastor, CCA is relatively new, prior CCA congregates had no outside recourse.

    Are you saying that now an average congregate does through CCA regional?

    And what was “blatantly false” about my comment?

  261. Gary says:

    If Chuck had to answer to a CCA he would put the chairs back in a semi circle and walk out.

  262. a pastor says:

    Q: I’ve already pointed out that my ‘blatantly false’ comment was directed at much more than your “just vote with your feet” comment. I even quoted the entirety of the quote I was responding to for you. I then (repeatedly) described the recourse(s) available to congregants “outside our walls”.

    Really and truly, what do you want from me?

  263. Andrew says:

    I then (repeatedly) described the recourse(s) available to congregants “outside our walls”.

    Really and truly, what do you want from me?
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Nothing! Absolutely nothing. Because that is exactly what CCA is there for outside the walls. They do diddly squat. But if anyone wants to know what the recourse(s) are outside the walls. Its find a church outside the system of CC. That is basically the best advice I can give. Vote with your feet! Seriously that is what CC has always said and it really is the best advice. What is sometimes hard to do is take “good advice” from a “bad system”. But strange enough as it is it does seem right.

  264. Q says:

    a pastor,

    The way CC is set up is only the pastor has affiliation when convenient to what is now CCA, the average congregant is only associated to the local church.

    The congregant usually does not know this, but assumes, maybe even presumes they are also associated with the main organization or what is now CCA.

    Therefore CCA is set up to support the pastor, not the congregant.

    Even if a congregant could get a hearing from CCA common sense would tell you that this is not proper checks and balances.

    So in reality voting with your feet happens when it should not and more often than supposed.

    Now someone pointed out if a person was aware of this going in then maybe that would be okay, it’s pretty hard to find out after you lost your church, friends, relationships and discovered what ‘godly’ men are capable of.

  265. covered says:

    Well said Q

  266. Q says:

    Thanks covered.

  267. Andrew says:

    Thanks Q. At least someone is thinking about the congregant around here.

  268. a pastor says:

    Q:

    The association can disfellowship a pastor, which is a big deal. The boards for the churches that I am familiar with are generally made up of Calvary Chapel guys, and have the power in the bylaws to fire a pastor for disqualifying reasons. Thus, anything that would cause a disfellowship would generally also cause a firing for a CC church.

    Your logic that the CCA is set up to support the pastor hasn’t born out in examples I’ve seen. I’ve actually seen the CCA in our region step in, consult boards, correct pastors, steer churches through transitions, send interim pastors, train replacements pastors… In every situation I have been privy to, the CCA served the body of the church. Every one.

    I agree that voting with feet happens more often than it should. I’m sure people have left due to bad leadership. I’m sure some have left due to failure of the system.

    I’ve also seen people vote with their feet when they probably shouldn’t have. They should have stayed and handled things in a Biblical manner when the church leadership was trying to handle things in a Biblical manner. Generally, this has been people who wanted a congregation-led church and didn’t want a pastor-led church. At the end of the day, CC is not a congregation-led church. If you came wanting to run it, your stay was doomed from the start. It was a conversation that needed to be had very early on.

    In times when it’s a genuine abuse issue, I’ve seen the system work.

    But again… I’ve been speaking to our specific church. We have set safeguards up to prevent abuse and have remedy if it happens. It was set up on a common model (at least from our region).

    Good evening.

  269. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “Thanks Q. At least someone is thinking about the congregant around here.”

    Once again, since I’m around here, I must conclude that you are asserting– once again– that I am not thinking of my congregation. And once again, I must point out that you are throwing out baseless accusations against people you’ve never met. I will kindly– once again– ask you to think how you are building up Christ’s church by soiling the reputation of pastors and churches you’ve never met or attended.

    This isn’t an exercise in hyper-sensitivity. It’s a long suffering attempt to pry that broad brush from your hand. How are you honoring Christ by indiscriminately soiling His church?

  270. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    Please don’t think that I’m lashing back at you. I genuinely empathize with your pain and struggles and wish there was a way that I could help. I just know that our church feels first-hand the effects of indiscriminately bashing churches because of broad-brush comments on the internet. In my head, I multiply that out to all the churches out there that are working hard and struggling to minister in a culture that in becoming more anti-church every day. We’re having to struggle against the ‘powers and principalities’ of ‘this present age’. Be careful of adding burdens inadvertently. Our added struggles shouldn’t come from ‘friendly fire’.

    Good evening, and more prayers for your situation, brother.

  271. Jean says:

    A pastor #270, culture is not becoming anti-church because of powers and principalities, if by that you mean non-Christian power structures, but primarily because of the inhospitality and hypocrisy of the church. Is Christ’s body reflecting His love to the lost? The church is driving the lost away and deceiving many who are attracted to status.

  272. a pastor says:

    Jean:

    Our struggle defined (let us not add more from within the church):

    Ephesians 6:12 — For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

    The church must always make sure to conduct itself in a Christ-like manner,
    while proclaiming the Biblical gospel, but the lost are just “away”– they don’t need to be “driven’.

    Romans 8:7 — For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

  273. Antonio says:

    The simony of today is the nepotism that runs rampant, one such church in Pomona a Spanish CC called El Camino had the pastor’s mother, brother, sister, wife all working in the church, it becomes a family business based on blood relations, not the blood of Christ, in San Diego, you have a Pastor who has had his son as the youth pastor, his son in law pastoring another CC down the street, and again more relatives lurking in positions drawing salaries, one of the servants at this church joked, if you want to be hired here you need to change your last name to Bentley or whitcomb, it’s becoming not who’s better equipped for the job and called by The Lord but who is related to the pastor. Behind the scenes deals are being made and churches are being passed amongst relations like monopoly properties going to the highest bidder or the closest relation.

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