The West Coast CCA Conference
Today the other side of the Calvary Chapel split gets together as the Calvary Chapel Association kicks off their West Coast Conference.
While the Calvary Global Network struggles with defining who they are, this group knows exactly who they are, or who they want to be.
This is the “Chuck Smith Re-Parenting Conference” where old men who traded in their own dysfunctional families for the myth of “Papa Chuck” come to preserve his ways and his name…as they define what those ways were, whether true or not.
These are the true believers, the ones who preach chapter by chapter, verse by verse through Numbers and Leviticus, the ones who preach the pre tribulational rapture of the church, then have conferences about the pre tribulational rapture of the church, those who do not drink or chew or go with girls that do…these are the men of the Moses Model and the Calvary Chapel Distinctives.
More than anything else, these are the leaders who failed to wrest away Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa from Brian Brodersen, the losers in the war for ultimate prominence in their non denominational denomination.
They will invoke the founders name and pray for his ailing widow because without wrapping themselves in his mantle they are mere mortals, simply power hungry schismatics who took their toys and went home.
They will spout again how their organization was Smith’s idea and that they were his hand picked men.
The rank and file will believe the myth because they must… “Pastor Chuck” was their pastor too, even if they only shook hands with him one at another conference back when the sides were one.
Things will go on as they always have…until they don’t.
For one more year, these leaders will ignore both age and irrelevance to celebrate themselves and what once was…but time has a way of catching up with all of us.
Time is on the other side of this split…if it’s on either side at all.
Just an FYI…I’m probably not going to spend much time on this one…
I’ve been in the CC movement for decades. Your description of the CCA gathering/values though somewhat exaggerated (for reasonable purposes) is accurate. I’d add, this vain of content is not new, as it’s been the main course that’s been served at pastors conferences for years even prior to Chuck’s departure … even though Chuck himself would have disavowed any such emphasis upon “his wishes/intentions” for the movement over against “what God intends” (though I realize this last statement may be disputed by some).
Agreed that it’s not new…this is the DNA of the “movement”.
Well said, Michael! The Titanic has sunk but Ichabad keeps playing the fiddle while hanging on to floating debris…
Now what only remains is the memories of what once was and the ominous opinions of why it sunk!
This is just sad. Obviously I don’t care about either side’s nonsense – I’ve been out of it for years.
I can understand a couple guys who never got to cash-in by leveraging the “Model,” now they have to beg from someone else – its so obvious I don’t need to mention names.
What I don’t understand are guys who had SO long to learn from this nonsense, still have real pastor roles, A LOT of work to do in their community, and instead focus on this nonsense.
God-god! Can’t someone tell the few busy-bodies to get a real ministry and leave everyone else alone?!!!
I mean not even their “sheep” care!!!
While not at all an apologist for what Brodersen is attempting to do through CCGN (as I have no ties whatsoever to the inner workings of it), I can say the emphasis at their conferences has remarkably (and refreshingly) been upon, “the Gospel”, and the expansion it brings (racially/culturally/beyond tribal and denominational barriers). This is a noted distinction from what “CCA counsel” members have articulated/portrayed in their *conferences.
*a conference being the primary arena to disseminate/articulatate values from a said community/affiliation/movement/coalition.
Just a thought…
The West Coast CCA aged leaders reminds me of aged mob bosses who reminisce about the days before younger. more aggressive crime groups like the Yakuza, the Russian mob, etc. came to dominate in later years.
They talk about Papa Chuck like others spoke of Lucky Luciano, the Capo di tutti capi.
Maybe someone can come up with one of those org charts with pictures for CCA like the FBI did to map out the the Five Families?
Good summary. Regarding the pre-trip rapture of the church, I can’t figure out why they emphasize it so much if they think the church won’t be around what is the point? It seems like it makes for great sci-fi entertainment and maybe they think that helps grow the church as an evangelism tool to scare people they will be left behind. Still trying to figure it out.
Steve: “…maybe they think that helps grow the church as an evangelism tool to scare people they will be left behind. Still trying to figure it out.”
That is certainly a big part of it.
As I sit in a church that regularly makes a big deal of the pre-trib rapture, the big main emphasis seems to be that it is our great hope that we are going to be “outta here” and escape all the terrible things to come in the Tribulation. Of course, the flip side to that is that it makes it scary to anyone who may think that they’re not right with God.
I think it will be much more scary once they find out they are in a church that refuses to administer the sacrament the way Jesus instituted them.
Identity is a tricky thing. Groups tend to be identified or known by the things that they are for or against. In the two to three years leading up to the split, based on the pastors conferences I attended, there was a group trying to emphasize what CC was known for (to become CGN) and a group trying to emphasize what they were against (modern CCA).
It’s much easier to define an identity based on what you are against which is why it’s easier to distinguish CCA. CGN, based on my own observations of the podcast and website and conferences, is really trying to be identified by what they are for, and the “for” the seem to be emphasizing is simply the group being in friendly relationships with other groups that hold to core essentials of the gospel. In effect, they want to be know by their love for one another on a group/movement/denom level and they want to infuse their participants with this mindset. Just my opinion. That’s what I would come away with anyway.
So when CGN removes a specific item from their statement of beliefs like specifying a pre-trib rapture, they aren’t communicating that they no longer believe in that, they are removing a potential obstacle to fellowship with those who don’t believe it, or don’t emphasize it. Let’s be honest; a crazy culture developed at one extreme of those who believe in the pre-trib rapture, and that culture came to represent the “norm” of that doctrine when that was far from it. So, remove the emphasis to remove an obstacle to fellowship, but still hold to the doctrine internally.
After years of being a part of a group that was publicly “anti” a lot of things, which CCA remains to be, CGN is trying to be open and frienly, which Michal has observed results in it seeming that there isn’t much which identifies what they are or do. To me it’s about the time (referred to above) being take to build up some things that were missing for a while (the old bulletin thing at CCCM that used to say “we are not opposed to denominations as such but their overemphasis on …) while still hanging on to the core things that made CC relatively unique; verse by verse emphasis, gifts of the spirit but not crazy, an end times theology that motivated people to love and not fear, a casual style of worship, a relatively casual stye of leadership, things like this. These things are still there, just not the focus as has been the case in the past.
Well said and I mostly concur.
The problem is that you can’t take a bunch of guys who had a clear identity and turn them into a a generic ecumenical society.
Our great hope is totally confused when it’s more about political Israel and not about Jesus second coming. When it’s more about UFOs and nephtalien than about Jesus. When it’s about the temple mount and not Jesus ultimate sacrifice. They obviously confused about the Trinity as well as Christology but in their arrogance they are accountable to no one. The fruit of this non denomination denomination is truly scary.
Michael – agreed. If they keep at it with things like the podcast and other ways of building identity without beating over the head, I think we will start to see a more defined thing begin to develop. What I see is them being careful, which is also a new thing compared to how it was before. The most recent CGN podcast (as of this post) was very definition driven. Almost too much so in terms of wordiness, but I tend to do the same thing with those concepts so I get it. But, there was a lot of clarity in terms of “what” not its time to roll out the “how”.
I accidentally had the sound on my facebook feed (friends still in the CC movement share the conference) and from the stage someone said “Jesus was a Nazirite” re: alcohol in the wine – that assertion is beside the point.
A room full of Bible teachers and nobody is going to fact check whether or not Jesus was a Nazirite a la Samson? We’re just going to throw out historical accuracy to fill in narratives like that?
“CCA and the gospel of teetotalism.”
“Acceptance into the tribe by non-drinking.”
In regards to #16,
Jesus was a Nazerene, not a Nazirite. There is no indication he took the Nazarite vows and any proponents of this are making the Logical Fallacy known as an “Argument from Silence”.
I suppose you can thank the effects of Finneyism for the teetotaling in CC and the SBC. The sad thing is, if only people knew what a heretic Finney was….