Things I Think

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311 Responses

  1. brian says:

    1. Amen

    2. In the corporation the bible is beyond irrelevant protecting the brand, increasing market share, that is what is holy.

    3. True Christians should not need hope, they should not need anything.

    4. That is not effective, efficient or successful, thus it is beyond useless.

    6.My worst sin is that I actually needed God. I never quite got that but it is clear as day in my personal experience.

    7. I know this is stupid and I admit I am totally pathetic for being so emotional but when I heard the Nixon Graham tapes I wept very deeply.

    8. “It’s more important that the church be impressed with Him than with me…” This is far more important than all that other stuff. Can they perform for the circus that is what is critical.

    9.I struggle with this, I admit I did not let love cover a multitude of sins and it has cost me, when I was a kid I actually use to do that, it took church to teach me to not be such a pathetic person. It took church to teach me to remember every single wrong ever suffered, store it up in my heart and make sure I get even. I never quite got aspect of the faith. This is just my personal experience and I am very biased. On an intellectual level I know this is silly but it is how I feel deep down, almost every single day.

    10.“Do you want to be healed?” Of course I do and the fact that I feel / need that I was taught to hate myself with a deep passion. Another thing I have never quite got.

  2. I disagree with both segments of #2
    1.) The ‘scandal’ of an individual person is hardly recognized (I have not read a thing in the LA times nor the OC register about the Driscoll activities.. Why would a sane person think any less of Jesus Christ because of the acts of Mark Driscoll or whoever. Michael – do YOU think less of Jesus because of Driscolls actions? I don’t.
    Do you think the Richard Dawkin’s of this world think any less because Driscoll plagiarizes? He already cannot think any lower of Jesus.

    2.) Your accusation that we do not care is even worse. How the heck do you know what we care about? What action or lack of action shows that we do not care? Do you want me to go out and for the cause of Christ shoot Driscoll? Will this show that I care?

    The funny thing is you and your blog are the one’s giving these guys the limelight. Quit giving these guys the public forum. People who don’t read these blogs have no idea who Mark Driscoll is. I am sure that 95% of my Sunday Bible study have no idea.

  3. Why is there a need for a new Billy Graham?

  4. Michael says:


    I don’t know what they’ve run on Driscoll, but I’ve worked with both those papers on CC stories for years.
    I believe it’s a biblical concept that we are to avoid doing things which bring shame to the church and the name of Christ…and yes, I do think it matters, not only to the world, but to us.
    If the “generic we’ cared, we would do all we can do to resolve these issues biblically and quickly, so that the resolution of the sin and not the sin itself became focus.
    The fact that 95% of your bible study is computer illiterate is not my concern. 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    There really is no need for a “new Billy Graham” and I actually think that the world is so different today that there won’t be one.

  6. Ixtlan says:

    “The “next Billy Graham” will be the first celebrity to publicly blow it and and immediately own it and ask for forgiveness. Real humility would be so refreshing that it might become a fad…”

    which will wring every drop of genuineness out of it. But wth, anything for market share.

  7. Michael says:



  8. Ricky Bobby says:

    “There really is no need for a “new Billy Graham” and I actually think that the world is so different today that there won’t be one.”

    True, there won’t be.

    New era, too fractured, too many items on the menu. There won’t be another Walter Cronkite, won’t be another Johnny Carson, no more National mega-gurus, we’re too fractured and too diverse with media/information options and philosophically nuanced disagreements now.

  9. Ricky Bobby says:

    2. From a biblical standpoint, the worst part about the scandals in the church is that they bring reproach upon the name of Christ. We really don’t seem to care much about that…

    I disagree. The worst part about the scandals is that real human beings get hurt and then they get marginalized and then they get confused b/c of the cult-like mindscrewing that has been indoctrinated into them over the many years by the particular sect.

  10. Ricky Bobby says:

    though stuff like Driscoll’s plagiarism is a different animal, more the SH type stuff or the TBN type stuff above.

  11. Michael,
    In a non evangelical setting, how would one come to know a Mark Driscoll,, a CJ whats his name or James McDonald?

    I think it is very telling, that evangelical keep all these guys bookmarked (kinda like keeping them on speed dial)so they can follow their every move – then moan and groan when you find something wrong.

    I don’t think that you realize how remote and unknown these guys are by the masses.

  12. Michael says:


    Evangelical celebrities affect evangelical pastors…and that affects the masses whether they know it or not.
    If book sales and website rankings have any meaning at all, you’re dead wrong.
    Now, they may not have much impact within the Lutheran bubble…but 10 years ago I could say the same about the Reformed bubble…

  13. Reformed but repentant Bob says:


    “I am sure that 95% of my Sunday Bible study have no idea.”

    I try to keep abreast of what’s going on in the “Christian” world so I tend to forget your statement is basically true. It hit me a couple of weeks ago while attending a seminar in a small Texas town, I was presenting the difficulty of understanding doctrinal and theological positions from people outside the views of those who were in attendance. In the course of giving an example I mentioned three people, Driscoll, Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen (all three having vastly different positions thus the reason for using them as examples) and with the exception of Joel O I got those “deer in the headlights” looks from the others.

    The people in this seminar were predominately from “Church of Christ” and the SBC and most had live their lives in this small Texas city of about 40,000.

    I even have RCC friends who, when Martin Luther is mentioned, only think of the black pastor and his famous speech. Growing up in a Louisiana Parrish they were never taught about the reformation and Martin Luther (the reformer).

    Oh, will there be another Billy Graham?

    Maybe, but it will be different because the simplicity of the Gospel is largely been scoffed at and torn down in this post-modern culture.

  14. Michael,
    That would be interesting to see. The Lutheran ‘bubble’ contains only Lutherans.

    The Reformed … well they are a mixture of all sorts.

    Look, we have enough trouble of our own. The ELCA brings great shame to Christ and the body … so, as LCMS we cut fellowship and let them sink on their own.

  15. Michael says:


    There was a day when the Reformed bubble was similar…and then came Piper.
    Someone will come along who makes Lutheranism cool…and then you can enjoy the same issues we have.

  16. 1. Just give me the word to start & I’ll ratchet it up.
    2. Agree with MLD to a point. I am starting to think it is sort of an evangelical bubble univers

  17. Michael says:


    They will post something today on the main page and we’ll fill in the blanks from there.

  18. Evangelicalism is not nearly as big as some think – however, all of the Christian media is evangelical – the publishers, the radio and TV etc.

  19. 1. Just give me the word to start & I’ll ratchet it up.
    2. Agree with MLD to a point. I am starting to think it is sort of an evangelical bubble universe. Not to say we shouldn’t address problems, but maybe we see them as bigger than they are.
    3. It ain’t just leaders that need to confess and repent.
    4. Can a Christian ever place themselves beyond grace? I don’t think so.
    6. Yep
    7. Not sure about the means you mentioned, but I am sure God has someone in store.
    8. Thank you
    10. Gotta think about that

  20. Sorry, big fingers, little keys

  21. Ricky Bobby says:

    brian’s #1 above, so much truth in there as usual and in classic brian style LOL.

  22. Nonnie says:

    “If you’re above confession and repentance you have placed yourself beyond grace as well.” Yes!!!

  23. Michael says:


    I think we place ourselves outside of grace when we refuse the means to receive it.
    I’m not speaking of damnation here…I’m speaking of that blessed state of knowing that you are forgiven by men and God and reconciliation over an offense has taken place.
    What we have seen for years that concerns me is that a leader is caught in some sin…and instead of immediately owning it and repenting they ignore it until people forget it happened.
    This is modeling…and those that watch what the leaders do will replicate the same in their own ministries and their own lives.

  24. Hey!

    #5 is spot on Michael. They Blazers have really turned things around haven’t they? Letting Hickson walk in free agency and acquiring Lopez have really opened things up for Aldridge and Matthews. Plus Lillard is like 18 for 20 from the floor in career overtimes. That kid has ice water in his veins. Hope they can keep it up!!

    Let me know what you need me to do for Wednesday!!

  25. Michael says:

    Thank you, Phil!
    Blazermania is a strange thing…the team not only has to perform well, it has to be a likable bunch to succeed here.
    The state had turned on them for years…now it’s turning back because of Lilliard.

  26. filbertz says:

    Just because the Trailblazers are good this year, leading the Pacific Division & one of the best records in pro ball, doesn’t mean anyone will see them on television until the second or third round of the playoffs…the Portland audience is too small a market share to garner a regional or national TV slot. Yet, it is fun to follow them this year even if I have to read the paper to keep up.

    Regarding your #10, “do you want to be healed?” I often think of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the guard at the bridge lies on the ground with his arm cut off and replies, “It is only a flesh wound.” Unless one recognizes their need for healing or forgiveness, they will think it an absurd question. Denial is the opiate of the masses.

  27. Michael says:


    #10 fascinates me on a number of levels.
    Denial is one factor…another is that to be well changes ones identity.
    There is much more to explore there as well…

  28. Michael says:

    The best thing this years Blazers have done (other than win) is they have embraced our “Rip City” history…I love the new uniforms.

  29. Xenia says:

    “Do you want to be healed” is interesting. The sick man blamed everyone else for his problems: “No one helps me.” Jesus cut through all that victim stuff and said “I’m here, look to me, not the others.”

  30. 10 games is all Portland gets for national coverage. That’s not good is it?

  31. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Do you want to be healed” is interesting. The sick man blamed everyone else for his problems: “No one helps me.” Jesus cut through all that victim stuff and said “I’m here, look to me, not the others.”

    Agreed. And, you don’t really need Jesus to not be a victim. Modern psychology helps many many folks become overcomers.

    Victims are those who allow themselves to be victimized and don’t assert their power and allow others to have power over them…this often happens in cult-like religious relationships like so many we’ve documented on here.

  32. Xenia says:

    There seems to be a community of blogs that feed off each other. I don’t think this blog world is representative of reality.

  33. Michael says:

    Blogdom, like all media, is a snapshot of a particular part of reality, taken at a specific time.

  34. Ricky Bobby says:

    It’s representative of reality in the world of those who are connected to the vague blogs you reference.

  35. Ricky Bobby says:

    It was great seeing President Obama call for Saeed’s release. Like I’ve said over and over and in the article I posted on CC Abuse, we have the power to make things reality. Christians* often over-spiritualize things and make them “magic”…when in reality, much of the bible is akin to any self-help manual you read (in many areas). Get off your rear end and make your ‘miracle’ happen. Reaping and Sowing principle is not some “magic” etc.

  36. Ricky Bobby says:

    You can pray for a job…or you can study in a different field that has more jobs available, make yourself better, more hire-able, workout, improve your appearance, fill out a zillion applications, don’t take no for an answer etc.

    You can pray for God to “heal” of health problems…or you can lose weight, eat right, workout, get fit, take the medicine the Doctors prescribe for you etc.

    You can pray for all sorts of stuff, but at the end of the day, you are in control of some of your destiny and then random chance comes into play with the rest.

  37. Michael says:


    That article was a few months old…a lot of people missed the date on it.

  38. Ricky Bobby says:

    IMO, the best way to combat Church Abuse is to de-fang the cult-like power that Churches intentionally indoctrinate and recruit their followers or “sheep” with.

    Churches build up the “pastors’ as “special” and “God’s favored or God’s anointed” or whatever. Then they drill into folks over and over that they have the answers to life’s problems and that the particular leader or guru knows what the bible is saying and knows what God is saying and that they should be followed and trusted and supported etc.

    Now, in the next breath, evangelicals will say “Don’t give so much power to a pastor!” when you end up abused and tossed aside and torn up…how very convenient.

    Let’s use that mantra at the onset instead of after-the-fact.

    Yes! Don’t give the pastors any power at all. They aren’t special or anointed or anything. They don’t have much of a clue and you shouldn’t trust them and give them any power in your life.

    …that’s what the evangelical apologists claim after-the-fact “It’s your fault for giving the pastor too much power! You should’ve been looking to Jesus!”

    OK. then look to Jesus and skip the church and the pastor.

  39. Ricky Bobby says:

    God told me all that btw. It’s straight from God. If you come against me, you are touching God’s anointed and you will suffer God’s wrath. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes! 😉

  40. RB is right – to get things done (get a new job etc) pray as if it is all up to God and work as if it is all up to you

  41. Anne says:

    Copy of comment I made @ CCA: ” Did you note that call occurred earlier in the fall? There is a lot that has gone and will go on behind the scenes regarding this and other citizens imprisoned abroad that doesn’t make the press. It can not, until possibly after their release, for many reasons. It has been good to see believers from all spectrums join together to agree on a cause. But saddened that it is framed as a response to our leaders “not doing anything” when the record shows efforts have been made. And it is likely as I stated above, those efforts that won’t make it into main stream media are ongoing as well.

    Negotiations regarding nuclear capabilities and embargoes continuing to move forward are a good thing. Using Saeed’s tragic situation to draw lines in the sand over those issues, to risk breaking down talks in those areas, will make negotiations for his release more difficult not easier. Those politicians and nations who try to tie them together are thinking more of their own political agendas than his release and safety.”

  42. #5 is so true! Everything feels better and if you’re a Seahawk fan, it feels like you’ve hit the jackpot! This years Blazers team is so fun to watch, they play unselfishly, they seem like they like each other and are enjoying shocking the NBA ‘experts!’

  43. Michael says:


    I have no political agenda.
    This man is in a dire situation where time is of the essence.
    I believe that the voice of the people is critical in getting this raised to the highest level of importance.
    I voted for this president twice because of his stand on very specific issues.
    He has betrayed my trust on all those issues and I refuse to trust him in this one without doing all I can to help him keep it.

  44. Michael says:


    As a Viking fan, my glass is half full… 🙂

  45. Steve Wright says:

    Here are the facts we know. Not assumptions. Not opinions.

    1) A 6-month deal with Iran was recently struck by Kerry and the Obama Administration
    2) Both political parties in both houses of Congress have significant concerns about this deal and are questioning the motive, wisdom, and merits of what Kerry and Obama just did.
    3) Discussions began without making Saeed’s release a precondition for negotiation.
    4) Saeed was not mentioned once in the negotiations either.
    5) Nobody in the Obama Administation has made contact with Naghmeh in any way, shape, or form, as to Saeed’s welfare.
    6) Saaed’s health is in grave danger as he continues to be imprisoned in a hell hole on earth.

  46. Ricky Bobby says:

    Why should I go to church? Why should I go to “your” particular church? Why should I commit to being ‘discipled’ or commit to being a regular attender or member at a particular Pastors “ministry”? Why should I give to that particular ministry? Why should I listen to what that particular Pastor says about the bible and why should I trust his interpretation of the bible? Can this Pastor help me? Does he have answers to life’s problems? Can I trust your church and your Pastor?

    Well, when you are being recruited to join the particular Sect or Cult, the answers are very positive and assertive and the Pastor and that Church can be “trusted!” and should be “trusted!” and that Pastor “teaches the bible the right way!” and “can help you with life’s problems!” and that “God has his hand on this pastor and this ministry!” and the Pastor or Church has “God’s anointing on it!” etc etc.

    Very much a huge sales pitch and constant reinforcement once you’re in the Fold. Indoctrination over and over in word, doctrine, teaching, promotion and example of how wonderful, how special, how trusted, how sincere, how correct, how anointed, and how much God speaks through this Pastor and Church.

    So, “sheep” buy in and these mantras are drilled into them over and over.

    Then a problem arises with the Pastor and the particular dissenting “sheep” or “problem” “sheep” etc. The Pastor (and subsequently the cult/church) then use this huge power THEY have built up and created by their recruitment, their words, their teachings, their propaganda, their rhetoric etc….and then they shun and abuse that particular “sheep”.

    Then, that “sheep” is torn up, disillusioned, feeling the weight of the guilt trip and mindscrewing and the cult shunning and the whispers and the fatwas and how evil and unsaved they are etc, etc.

    Then that “sheep” is “bitter” and “unforgiving!” and the “sheep” should just “get over it” and in fact the “sheep” is at fault for putting that Pastor and Church on a pedestal and not looking to Jesus…they should just move on…there’s the door…we (the Pastor and Church) have done nothing wrong etc.


    The Pastor and Church creates the dynamic and then after-the-fact acts like they have nothing to do with it.

    Liars, liars, pants on fires. If there is a real literal hell…it will probably be littered with these sorts of Pastors and Churches. I can only think of a few things more evil than this dynamic for which the Pastor and Church is soley responsible for creating and employing.

  47. “Why should I go to church?”

    Because that is the place where God’s gifts and grace are distributed to his people. We have nothing in scripture that indicates that it happens anywhere but the church.

    Some say they ‘meet’ god on the golf course – but hey, are a couple of squirrels going to preach the word and distribute the sacraments? … I don’t think so.

  48. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve Wright, yes Saeed’s situation sucks, he’s under much physical and mental anguish and it is Unjust.

    There are thousands of Saeed’s (in terms of mental anguish) due to Calvary Chapel’s recruitment and promotion of itself and its Pastors as “anointed” emissaries of God to be trusted and followed and supported…yet your Group/Church claims no responsibility for the abused after-the-fact. “We’re all independent!” “the people shouldn’t put the pastor on a pedestal!” and “there’s the door!”

    Very evil and dishonest and Unjust.

  49. Michael says:


    We agree on something!
    The church is God’s ordained means of ministering to His people and through His people.
    It is where the Word is proclaimed and the sacraments given.
    Everyone in the assembly has a gift that the rest of the assembly needs to grow up in Christ.
    God has also ordained that there would be leaders and offices in the church…servants of all under Christ.
    In a fallen world sin ravages even those things called of God…our job is not to discard that which God has given, but to continue to try to bring it closer to it’s true calling.

  50. RB,
    Saeed is not in an Iranian prison of his own free will. He willingly asked for none of it.

    100% of the folks in CC, no matter their state of anguish are there of their own free will and can walk out at any time.

    I think that those who claim to be abused by CC were damaged goods going in and allowed the abuse (speaking only of non physical).

  51. Michael says:


    Your own experience should point out how ridiculous that statement was.
    When Heitzig took Ocean Hills like Sherman took Georgia, those displaced had nothing to say about what happened to them.

  52. Michael says:

    That’s just one example…and it’s not just a CC issue.

  53. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “Saeed is not in an Iranian prison of his own free will. He willingly asked for none of it.”

    No, not entirely true.

    Iran’s laws are very clear. Saeed knew he was taking a risk by doing missionary work there. Saeed knowingly violated Iran’s laws and paid the consequences. We view it as unjust appealing to a Greater Law…but to say Saeed was caught off guard is dishonest. He knew what he was doing violated Iran’s laws, he did it anyway. He chose to do it.

  54. I was in the eye of the biggest abuse scandal on this blog – the Skip chronicles at Ocean Hills.
    When Skip came, within 2 weeks half the church (probably the most healthy half left). They were replaced by ‘damaged’ followers of the CC scene or the Skip himself scene.

    Later more of us left – not abused at all, but disgruntled for various reasons.

    Pretty soon all of the healthy people were gone leaving only the … well, you name them.

    Soon the church was broken and dysfunctional and today not even in existence.

    Who closed down the church?

  55. “those displaced had nothing to say about what happened to them.”

    Not true at all – that first half acted with resolve, left and went down the street (literally” and became a part of Capistrano Valley Baptist Church … which then became a community church.

    That is what healthy people do – take matters into their own hands.

  56. Michael says:


    Are you really saying that the only people who attend CC’s are “damaged” people?
    That is nuts…

  57. Michael says:

    Last time I checked, the church was for people who are “unhealthy” as much or more as ‘healthy” by your bizarre standards.

  58. RB,
    Then what you are saying is that Saeed is not in prison for his faith “just being a Christian” as I read on the blogs and FB – but your position is he is in prison for breaking actual Iranian laws.

    If so, then I guess I agree with you – law breakers belong in prison.

    Do I have your position correct?

  59. Michael says:

    The only part I agree with is that if more people would get up and leave places where rogues are in residence, this problem would take care of itself.
    Sadly, they don’t.

  60. Ricky Bobby says:

    “That is what healthy people do – take matters into their own hands.”

    I do agree with this principle.

    Take the power. Those abused by CC should call it what it is…a Cult-like entity that promotes itself as “to be trusted!” and “specially anointed!” and “a move of God!” etc…when they want your butt in their seat.

    Then when push comes to shove, they don’t take responsibility for building themselves up as “specially anointed by God” and say “get over it, there’s the door, we’re all independent!” etc.

    The more healthy people can call out the con and fraud of Calvary Chapel and how it sells itself in the recruitment phase vs. how it acts when it comes time for them to do what a Godly church is required to do by the bible they promote they teach “correctly” and “simply” as the “inerrant and perfect” word of God himself….the better.

    The more the CC myth and con can be exposed, the more their duplicity can be made know to the Public, the less “abused” there will be b/c folks won’t trust them and give them any power in the first place.

  61. Xenia says:

    Bad stuff happens. How we respond determines whether we are victims or, as MLD says, healthy people who make an informed decision about the situation and act on it. Most of the time, there is a choice.

    Regarding Pastor Saeed, yes, the choice was ultimately his. He made the hard choice and is suffering the consequences, which makes him even more heroic in my book. You preach Christ in an Islamic country and you risk martyrdom. As was famously said by Tertullian, the martyrs are the seed of the Church.

    But he did have “something to say” about what happened. He could have stayed home in the US of A and been safe. That’s not what he chose and God will bless him for it. But it *was* a choice- to stay safe or to risk his life for the sake of the Gospel.

  62. Michael – No, what I am doing is answering RB who is suggesting that it is CC that is doing the damaging and does not allow these people to leave.

    Now in the case of OH, the vacumm that was left when the healthy folks left was filled by other CC damaged people from other locations such as Pacific Hills when Danny Bond left and Laguna when Sobolick left.

    They came back for more

  63. Nonnie says:

    “The only part I agree with is that if more people would get up and leave places where rogues are in residence, this problem would take care of itself.
    Sadly, they don’t.”

    I wonder why???

    I was reading about a pastor in Wisconsin who is on his 3rd or 4th marriage. (divorced..not widowed) I can’t believe people stay in that church. Why would people sit under a man like that? What about the outcast wife and children? Crazy!

  64. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, no. I am asserting two separate things:

    1. Iran’s law is unjust and there is a higher moral law that trumps Iran’s law which is why Saeed’s freedom is a just cause.

    2. Saeed, however, did know that he was breaking Iran’s bogus law and made the decision to break it anyway…which makes your statement above not entirely true.

  65. Are we really at the point of comparing Calvary Chapel to the Iranian government?

  66. Can you show me that “higher moral law” that allows one to break a law in a nation and go unchallenged? I gotta see this..

  67. Michael says:


    I don’t think “we” are.
    What one commentator suggests is not what all the readers believe.

  68. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, by your logic, Saeed is not a victim.

    Things are unjust of just at a higher moral level whether or not the people know of it before hand.

    In CC’s example, most people don’t find out how unjust the construct is until after-the-fact.

    In Iran’s case, Saeed knew it was against Iran’s law…but he did it anyway. His knowledge of such doesn’t make Iran’s law any more or any less unjust at a higher moral level.

  69. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Mark Driscoll is my Hero and should be yours too!

    Vote Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka into the Wrestling Observer 2013 Hall of Fame

  70. I think such absurdity hurts both causes.

  71. Michael says:

    It’s my understanding that Saeed was arrested on charges related to his previous visit and not anything he did on this one.
    The fact that he wasn’t arrested previously lends great doubt to the validity of the charges.
    Xenia spoke well…

  72. Michael says:


    I don’t understand this comment you keep making…so clarify it or quit.

  73. Josh,
    “Are we really at the point of comparing Calvary Chapel to the Iranian government?”

    No! RB thinks that would be an insult to the Iranians. 🙂

  74. Xenia says:

    Let me be clear that I think Pastor Saeed did the right thing, just as St. Peter did when he was told by the Sanhedrin to quit preaching and he said that it was better to obey God than man and went on preaching anyway.

  75. Ricky Bobby says:

    “After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iranian Christians were recognized as a “protected religious minority” and according to the Constitution of Iran possess freedom of religion and even have a Member of Parliament (MP) representing them. However, evangelism and missionary work and converting Muslims to Christianity is prohibited by law, and Christians in practice may also face some discrimination as well in their lives.”

  76. Xenia says:

    Some laws just have to be broken.

  77. RB,
    “In CC’s example, most people don’t find out how unjust the construct is until after-the-fact.”

    What is the ‘after the fact’?? When they find out in the ‘after the fact’ they can still leave.

    You don’t understand at all – each of those folks have done a careful ‘risks and rewards’ analysis and have decided that there are more rewards to be gained by staying than there are risks. They may be wrong, but they have all done the calculation.

  78. Ricky Bobby says:

    We could always take a page out of Iran’s book and make it illegal to for muslims to do evangelism or missionary work here in the US.

    I bet Russia might do this…or maybe Russia already has those laws on its books…

  79. Solomon Rodriguez says:


    He is my Hero and should be yours too!

  80. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Iranians vs. Calvary Chapel

    Let’s see if the Iron Sheik can break Brian Broderson’s back and make him humble!

  81. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you are not addressing the cult-like grooming and indoctrination that occurs pre-abuse and pre-shunning with no just way at resolving a disagreement within the Cult, I mean CC.

  82. Michael says:


    I agree…

  83. RB, they can leave – pre, mid or post abuse.

    Since we see that many do, we know it can be done. Remember – risk vs reward. They have chosen.

  84. RB, all I am saying is that every person who will be in a CC this coming Sunday is there of their own free will – sheez, most of them don’t even go every Sunday – they choose.

    I myself have other reasons to persuade people to stay away … but i won’t bring it up here.

  85. Ricky Bobby says:

    “RB, they can leave – pre, mid or post abuse.”

    MLD, so can Battered Wives and Stockholm Syndrome folks.

    You miss the point.

  86. Ricky Bobby says:

    Calvary Chapel recruits using cult-like appeals to “specially anointed” etc. It reinforces this cult-like garbage over and over. It indoctrinates its “sheep” with this nonsense. It is akin to creating a similar dynamic as Battered Wife Syndrome…only from a cult-like spiritual angle of dependency and legitimacy.

    Then, after-the-fact, it’s “well you shouldn’t put a pastor or church on a pedestal, just get over it and move on” after the people have had their lives turned upside down and a bunch of their friends and family ripped away from them.

    Evil evil stuff.

  87. Steve Wright says:

    I’m going to either throw up or punch a wall.

    Instead I will say a little prayer that Naghmeh never ventures over here to read this thread.

    As she continues her effort to find media outlets talking about her husband, may the Lord somehow shield her eyes from here.

    Michael, your name is on that joint email. It’s bad enough I have Grenier’s site popping up whenever someone searches my name, but you have a whole blog you’re responsible for.

  88. I can only imagine those cult-like appeals working on the very weak-minded. Unless we are talking about something totally different from what actually occurs.

  89. Ricky Bobby says:

    CC pastor Steve said, “I’m going to either throw up or punch a wall.”

    Good, that’s called empathy. I know how that feels in working through your Calvary Chapel Church Group regarding issues of justice and right and wrong and accountability etc.

  90. Ricky Bobby says:

    “As she continues her effort to find media outlets talking about her husband, may the Lord somehow shield her eyes from here.”

    She lives in my town. I have friends who are her friends. I think she would be sympathetic to my cause and appalled at how her and your Calvary Chapel handles things.

    Maybe I’ll try to meet her and talk to her about it and share with her how Pastor Steve knows so much about CC Abuses but doesn’t do anything.

  91. Now I am throwing up.The Saeed imprisonment should not even be mentioned in the same breath as any CC issues.

  92. Ricky Bobby says:

    Josh said, “I can only imagine those cult-like appeals working on the very weak-minded”

    Well it is generally the weak-minded who get sucked into cult-like churches so I think it’ll make a dent.

  93. But you are speaking from experience, right? Or are you fighting on behalf of the weak-minded?

  94. Ricky Bobby says:

    “The Saeed imprisonment should not even be mentioned in the same breath as any CC issues.”

    You don’t consider child torture and abuse as on par with an adult like Saeed being imprisoned for breaking an unjust law he knew was in place?

  95. Ricky, can you point me to a place where CC promotes torture of children?

  96. Ricky Bobby says:
  97. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Ricky, can you point me to a place where CC promotes torture of children?”

    When you don’t take action against abuse, you are tacitly endorsing it.

    “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  98. “When you don’t take action against abuse, you are tacitly endorsing it.”

    I, for instance, didn’t take any personal action in your situation. Does that make me evil? And since you mentioned Bonhoeffer, I guess you are comparing those who didn’t take action to Hitler. So am I Hitler because i didn’t rescue you, or is it only other complete strangers with nothing to do with the situation who are evil for not rescuing you?

  99. gomergirl says:

    Just gotta say, #5 not so much. Timbers maybe. #RCTID

  100. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I, for instance, didn’t take any personal action in your situation. ”

    The culpable parties are those who have the power to do something in CC abuse cases. Those are the CC Leadership and Co-pastor Co-elders who “affiliate” with each other “in fellowship” etc.

  101. They told you they didn’t have the power to rescue you.

  102. Michael says:

    Anne wanted me to post this as she’s having difficulty with the site.

    “Last August Kerry appealed to Iran for the release of Saeed and two other American’s being held. In September, Obama called Rhouhani directly regarding releasing Saeed. If Saeed had been released prior to the deal made regarding disarmanent & sanctions, concerns on both sides of the aisle regarding the deal would still exist. Israel opposes any negotiations for any reason.
    I do not believe Michael’s or others advocating via #freesaeed are politically motivated. I apologize if that was taken as my inference. I was refering to the complexity of the overall situation. Making Saeed’s release a precondition of negotiation would make his release more difficult, IMO. I will try to better organize my thoughts about this for a later post.
    As we continue to be mindful of Saeed’s ordeal, may we also remember Kenneth Bae of YWAM being held in North Korea who also made the choice to participate in “illegal activities” and all other prisoners of conscience suffering throughout the world.
    Xenia: Are there any updates about the kidnapped nuns in Syria?
    Peace to all. “

  103. Ricky Bobby says:

    “They told you they didn’t have the power to rescue you.”

    Not rescue me, do the right thing and make systemic reforms to correct the cult dynamics and unjust dynamics in play.

    They do have the power, its their Organization.

  104. “Not rescue me, do the right thing and make systemic reforms to correct the cult dynamics and unjust dynamics in play.

    They do have the power, its their Organization.”

    Many have, and are making changes to their organization. You make the mistake of believing that their is a higher power in CC above the local church. There is not. The local church is where the change occurs.

    For some reason I bet you are still not satisfied. You want someone to beat up your daddy, right?

  105. Ricky Bobby says:

    Josh, that is false. We have documented many times over where CC acts as a collective Organization on many issues.

    Just look at the #FreeSaeed campaign to see how CC’s have come together and worked together on a what they consider an injustice.

  106. Ricky Bobby says:

    There is also a “Leadership Council” and an “Association” etc.

  107. The reason you have such little success in your campaign is that you don’t understand the difference between Denominational hierarchy, and voluntary cooperation. #freesaeed is a perfect example of voluntary cooperation. Are there repercussions for any CC not getting involved? Of course not. There are just people agreeing together to work for a cause.

  108. Ricky Bobby says:

    I can’t open up an “official” Calvary Chapel and teach Buddhism…why is that if there is no Organization and everyone is 100% independent and no one has any authority etc?

  109. Sure you can. I declare my desk a Calvary Chapel. No one is going to stop me.

  110. Michael says:

    Actually, getting the CC’s together to work on a unified campaign was impossible.
    Part of the reason was because my name was attached, part of it was I have no idea what…

  111. SO there you go, Ricky. Even #freesaeed didn’t get full action from CC. I don’t know what you are expecting.

  112. Ricky Bobby says:

    What does “Oversight” mean in the CC Universe?

    “Oversight Team:

    Leader: Pastor Damian Kyle

    Calvary Chapel Modesto

    Damian committed his life to the Lord in 1980 at Calvary Chapel Napa, California, at the age of 25. He had previously been employed as a cable splicer with the phone company. Damian’s family moved from Napa to Modesto in June of 1985 to plant a Calvary Chapel there with the blessing of their home church.

    Web Site: Click Here
    Click Here

    Regional Team Members

    The following are men the Lord has raised up to assist in the oversight of the affiliated Calvary Chapels in this region. If you have any questions regarding affiliation, or any questions in general we invite you to contact any one of these gentleman for further assistance.

    Pastor John Snoderly

    Calvary Chapel Crossroads
    Web Site: Click Here
    Click Here

    Pastor Bill Holdridge

    Poimen Ministries
    Website: Click Here
    Click Here

    Pastor Rich Chaffin

    CC Laguna Creek
    Web Site: Click Here
    Click Here

    Pastor Tim Brown

    Calvary Chapel Fremont
    Web Site: Click Here
    Click Here

  113. Ricky Bobby says:

    In most everyone elses’s Universe, “Oversight” has some sort of accountability connotation and that these “Leaders” are checking up on underlings who are in some sort of authority/subservient relationship.

    What are they “Overseeing”? How well they tote Chuck’s bullspit? Or are they supposed to deal with moral/ethical issues?

  114. I know you want something to be there. It’s just not there.

  115. gomergirl says:

    I keep reading these threads here and on FB, conversations between RB an Michael and others, and the one thing that keeps standing out to me is this.

    I understand that people have been hut by those in power under the umbrella of CC. I understand that there are people who have willfully turned a blind eye. There are fundamental flaws in some teachings of CC (as interpreted by those who participate here)
    There are also people who feel that hurt very deeply, it is a driving force in their lives. That is their burden to carry. We all have one. Abuse and injustices of one kind or another. But there was a time in my life, when I had to stand up, forgive those who had hurt me, and move forward. This was to keep from ending my life. It was not for the benefit of the abusers or people who covered for them, but for me and my heart and soul and mind, so that I could go before God and lay those things at his feet, so that I could go on living.
    My experience is that most people who attend CC have no idea of what is going on in this bigger picture of CC. The churches that are not satellites to one of the biggies have, for the most part very little contact with the mothership, and really have no idea that these things have happened. So to say that they are some how complicit in your suffering is a gear disservice to them and these churches that so the best they can. Bad stuff happens, that is just part of life and the fallen world we live in. But we are responsible for our own hearts and souls before God and not anyone else. What you do with the circumstances and events of your life are all on your own head.
    It gets really old to have every post and every thread turned into a RB bashes CC and Everyone else who has an opinion that varies from his. I tuned into this blog because it seemed to post varying views on things and Michael liked Michael Spencer and I had a lot of friends here. I get tired now, worn out reading the bickering and venom.
    That’s all, just the two cents of an outsider.

  116. Ricky Bobby says:

    Josh, the Calvary Chapel Association and Regional Leadership “Oversight” councils and the website that articulates such “isn’t there”?

    Hmm, it’s showing up in my Universe….

  117. You used the word “accountability”, which is different from “legal right”. For your plan to work, CC oversight would have to go much farther than a little spiritual accountability. Basically, your dad is the sole owner of his franchise. There is no one over him to take it away. He’s the king in that little kingdom. The only people who can do anything about him are those in his church. And they don’t want to.

  118. Michael says:


    Judging by my mail it’s the majority opinion.

  119. Ricky Bobby says:

    The unresolved cult-like dynamic and abuses in CC get really old and I don’t comment on “every thread”….not nearly and there is adequate empirical evidence to irrefutably prove such.

  120. Michael says:


    You nailed it at 118.
    I have a SBC friend who’s up against the same thing in his area.
    The question boiled down to what type of ecclesiology do you believe the church should practice…and that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

  121. When you use cult-like in such a manner, yout think it strengthens your argument, but it really just weakens the the word “cult”. If CC is a cult, then your family probably is too, and my job…and basically any grouping of people. CC is the easiest church in the world to leave. FOR the most part they don’t have members, You either show up or you don’t.

  122. Michael says:


    You’re almost omnipresent…and we’ve had this discussion before.

  123. Michael at 121 – exactly. and I am a staunch believer in Church autonomy.

  124. Michael says:


    I know you are. 🙂
    I’m not…I continue to believe that some structure is not only necessary, but biblical.
    However, almost all baptistic evangelical churches would rather dance in hell than have oversight.
    It’s a creedal distinctive.

  125. It’s a creedal distinctive.

    Except for the fact that Baptist don’t believe in creeds. 😉

  126. Michael says:


    It’s unspoken…like embarrassing prayer requests. 🙂

  127. Michael says:

    One of the things I didn’t understand years ago when I started was how central that the doctrine of local church autonomy was to this group of churches.
    It’s huge…

  128. I have something to say about Saeed Abedini,

    I have been to war twice and I don’t consider myself a coward.

    But, what Saeed did is real bravery.
    What Saeed did is to spread the gospel of our Lord to a land where he knew death could await.

    “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

    Saeed took this and said “Yes and Amen”

    I pray that if I am ever put in a similar situation that I shine forth the light of Christ like Saeed Abedini.

    I pray that those leaders, who call themselves Christian, who ignore his plight, who give a brother no aid or comfort in his imprisonment for the Lord…I pray that the Lord would deal with them as befits their sin.

  129. Michael says:


    Post of the day…hands down.
    Thank you.

  130. Xenia says:

    Well, we don’t know that anyone is ignoring his plight. I personally have been praying for him since he was first arrested, when he was brought to my attention by my daughter in law. That’s been about a year, I think. I have also written to my representatives and have heard back from most of them. I light candles at church for him and for other captives. Yet I did not join the official campaign here because “blowing the lid off Twitter” is just not my style. So you just don’t know what people are doing.

  131. Xenia says:

    Anne, as far as I know, reading today’s news, the nuns are still captive.

  132. Michael says:


    I can respect that.
    Blowing up Twitter was to get attention…and according to the congress people it worked.
    It was one tactic among many that can be used.

  133. Xenia says:

    I hope it does and did work! I am not against it at all, I just prefer to do things in my Orthodox way.

  134. Ricky Bobby says:

    Derek, I agree with your assessment of Saeed’s bravery. He knew the risk and did what was right anyways.

    Michael, omnipresence is how the ball is getting moved with Saeed’s injustice. You often critique my strategies and tactics….yet emulate them when its a cause you feel worthy.

  135. Michael says:


    We also had people who asked us not to bother them, who chose not to participate for whatever reason.
    We respected that.
    The issues with CC and other independent baptistic churches and the imprisonment of Saeed are two separate issues with very different solutions.

  136. Steve Wright says:

    Well, we don’t know that anyone is ignoring his plight.
    Xenia, I agree with this. Ignoring is a strong word and “know” of course is something that only the highest levels of government could comment upon.

    Which is why I wrote the above facts that we do KNOW – 100% certainty. In my post #45 above. Special shout-out to #5 on that list above.

  137. Ricky Bobby says:

    “We also had people who asked us not to bother them, who chose not to participate for whatever reason.”

    Yes, but what happens when that Group is the Group responsible for the bad injustices and no proper oversight?

  138. Ricky Bobby says:

    BTW, I had several tell me to shut up about Saeed on media threads, etc.

    I basically told them to fork off. Forking corksoakers.

  139. Michael says:


    it’s a simple matter of respect.
    I want to keep a lot of people engaged here on a lot of different topics.
    The more participation we have the more we all learn, and the better and more worthwhile the blog is.
    I had no issues with those who didn’t want to get involved or who didn’t want to get involved in the manner we were advocating.
    It simply meant that we had to find other ways to accomplish our purpose.
    There is little value or return in simply irritating people.

  140. Michael says:


    That’s the first I’ve seen that…looking for verification.

  141. Ricky Bobby says:

    Wow, all the false prophets are dropping like flies. Chuck, Crouch, Camping…it usually comes in threes.

  142. brian says:

    Dr White said it was on a face book page on the dividing line. The only link I could find was listed above

  143. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “There is little value or return in simply irritating people.”

    Core strategies and tactics of the science of Social Activism is Disruption and Irritation. Proven fact.

  144. Michael says:


    The people you irritate here have nothing to say about the matter for the most part.
    They simply want to fellowship and discuss matters related to the faith.
    The solutions to these issues are more complex than just social activism can address.
    If you were to poll congregants in the IFB, FBC, and CC my guess would be that they would overwhelmingly vote to keep their ecclesiology as it is.

  145. Ricky Bobby says:

    Disagree. Many read here and elsewhere and the irritation creates awareness and more and more people become aware of the issues and the problems etc and slowly but surely a dent is made.

    With Saeed’s thing, it has come a lot quicker b/c it’s a more popular issue and you’ve got the systemically connected Calvary Chapel on board with it, and Evangelicalism at-large is simpatico with the plight of a christian missionary.

  146. RB,
    The more you go on and on, the more I shut down to your cause. So do others.

    You go on and on like the telemarketers who call every night.

    So, how many of your peeps have called Damien Kyle and the others on your list? Shouldn’t they be calling 24/7 clogging the phone lines until they are forced to do something?

  147. Michael says:


    No…just more and more people stop reading the PhxP and fewer feel like commenting.

  148. Bob says:


    You think you have something to say and then you say this:

    “I basically told them to **** off. ****** ***********.”

    You’re your own worst enemy.

  149. Noelle says:

    Actually, I see this as a consistency. Jesus loved to ask us to partner him in the miraculous.

  150. Ricky Bobby says:

    “No…just more and more people stop reading the PhxP and fewer feel like commenting.”

    That isn’t factually correct, other than maybe the commenting part, but then again, the threads I participate usually have a zillion comments.

    You don’t need to misrepresent that verifiable data to still offer correction and disagreement about how I communicate on here.

    You may get some emails and threats to not read or participate, that may be factual, but the numbers that are empirically verifiable and refutable tell a different story when i gauge the accessible data when I participate.

    Let’s be truthful.

  151. Ricky Bobby says:

    “The more you go on and on, the more I shut down to your cause. So do others.”

    That may be the case in some cases maybe in the teens or twenties of people…however, the overwhelming evidence supports a thesis that it has caused GREAT awareness in the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands as evidenced, once again, by verifiable stats and data that can’t be refuted.

  152. So why aren’t you and your peeps clogging the phone lines to the supervising pastors 24/7.?

    That is real disruption to make your point as you stated above.

  153. Michael says:


    I’ve lost a lot of folks I liked a lot.
    You do not know, nor do you care what people say to me…and how much of it could be avoided with some respectful moderation on your part.
    That’s all I’ve asked.

  154. Some FB and twitter accounts that could be targeted on Wednesday for Saeed.
    All of these fall under the State Dept., have small relatively small followings and thus could have a greater impact of being heard and felt.

    Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

    Office of International Religious Freedom

  155. Michael says:

    Those are perfect for this Wednesday…

  156. The FB link for the Office of Intl. Religious Freedom isn’t working and here is the FB link for

  157. PP Vet says:

    “Abraham and Noah would not have fared well in the blogosphere ….” True enough.

    I read and comment here because it is helping me figure out what kind of person I want to be when I grow up.

  158. Steve Wright says:

    Derek – this is the twitter handle for the Undersecretary of State that testified before the Senate banking committee on Thursday. The one who promised the Senate that she would raise Saeed’s name at every chance. @wendyrsherman

  159. You know, that old ACLJ article from Sept. is continuously popping up like a bad penny.
    Someone was showing it off on twitter and I had to tell them the truth.

    It is misleading in that people think the President is doing something now, when in fact this article is from September, prior to the Iranian deal that Saeed got left out of.
    It is good that the Administration was thinking of him at one time, except the time they could have acted.
    It makes people think “Game Over!”

    Do people not look at dates on articles and stuff? Sort of basic.

  160. Back to the beginning. Evangelicals get all upset over someone like Driscoll who is harmless. He may be a piss poor example of a pastor, but we Lutherans have more serious problems to deal with. here a RC priest interviews one of many impostor pastors … this one in particular has become a bishop. Women pastors in the ELCA.

  161. Thanks for that, Steve.
    Here are two more for people to use.

    United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

    Office of the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights

  162. brian says:

    MLD Driscoll is harmful on many levels and in a huge part of the evangelical church. Granted he is a mid size fish in a small pond but he still has influence. As for the problem with the lady bishop, why is that a real problem? She seems like a rather well read balanced individual.

  163. A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You by Paul David Tripp is free on Amazon right now.

  164. Come on, Brian. They have a Driscoll book for $2.99 on Amazon.
    You know you want to buy it!
    You would be able to read real authors at a discount price. If you can figure out who you are actually reading.

  165. Also free on Amazon
    Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity by Frank Viola

  166. @#38

    Ricky you would like the Rabbis in most synagogues I think. They don’t usually get lifted up like the Christian pastors of Churches do. Rabbis are down to earth and just one of the many in their own attitudes.

    The pedestal that Christians in ministry have to deal with is not something that Rabbis go through. It is because everyone gets to discuss the Torah as well as the Rabbi and in fact is encouraged to do so. In Christian Churches everyone must be silent while only the ‘chosen one’ speaks.

    I guess years of exposure to the Constantine model of only letting the pastor teach and comment while everyone else is prohibited from any input does make for the distorted lifting up and making special the pastor.

    And it has to effect a man to be above people physically and being the only one allowed to talk. Doing this year after year is a form of programing in and of itself. The early church was never like that. The early Christians conducted ‘Church’ more like the Jewish Synagogues. Everyone was expected to join in the discussion with the Rabbi as the Toast Master.

    That way everyone was an equal and no one ever got lifted up above the others.

  167. Michael says:


    That’s how I teach…we interact through the whole teaching.
    I couldn’t do the weekly lecture thing again at this point.

  168. brian,
    “She seems like a rather well read balanced individual.”

    She may very well be – but she is still an impostor.

  169. brian says:

    I read some of his books / who ever wrote them, and have listened to many of his sermons. He is articulate when he wants to be, crude for the cause when he feels its needed. I have to admit I liked rob bell alot more. I will give driscoll this when he preaches against something like Yoga or Avatar I know I will go try it. I loved the shack, I even bought two copies because of his ringing un-endorsement

  170. brian says:

    “but she is still an impostor.” Is she going under an assumed name?? 🙂

  171. brian says:

    Derek what about this guy


  172. Steve Wright says:

    That way everyone was an equal and no one ever got lifted up above the others.
    Isn’t that the work of the cross?

    As far as the comment about rabbis and their humility, that sure hasn’t been my experience, but we each are entitled to our own anecdotal evidence.

    But more importantly it sure wasn’t the experience in Jesus’ day as the Gospels pretty clearly shows.

    So how exactly does a trained, Jewish scholar who rejects Jesus Christ get greater humility in the process?

  173. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, I’ve got a game-plan for 2014 to tackle the Calvary Chapel cult-like stuff and the opacity etc. It’s very grass-roots and will (by year’s end) touch nearly every Calvary Chapel franchisee in ‘Merica.

  174. David51,
    I don’t know what Jewish services you go to, but I grew up Jewish and periodically go to temple with my mom. I have yet to see this conversation you talk about. The rabbi stands at a pulpit just like any pastor and does his thing.

    If you don’t think rabbis are put on a pedestal you are sadly mistaken. Go to the Wilshire Temple in LA and ask about the rabbi.- some of these places are identical to mega churches.

    They are even multi campus

  175. Ricky Bobby says:

    David, the Rabbi model sounds much more like what Jesus taught “do not be called ‘teacher'” “you are all equals” “be the servant of all” “greatest must be least” etc.

    The Jews do what Jesus said and the Evangelicals do what the devil did…put himself in authority and power, etc. Pretty ironic.

  176. RB,
    As a started do the 24/7 phone calls. Since you have 10s of thousands of devoted followers, surely you can get 100 of them to call the 5 pastors everyday for 2 weeks. That means each pastor would get 100 calls per day for 14 days – 1,400 calls each = 7,000 calls.

    Their phones would be jammed all day long. I guarantee you that dear old dad would be gone before the 2 weeks were up.

    You have no stones if you don’t do this – immediate action. Ready, set, go!!

  177. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you are missing the point of the Cause, it’s not about one particular individual…he’s just a microcosm of the underlying Problem in Calvary Chapel.

    The Problem is systemic cult-like opacity, cult-like indoctrination that the CC Senior Pastor is “specially anointed”, the toxic Moses Model, Financial Opacity, no system recourse for those who have a beef with a CCSP, no system wide child protections, teachings that promote child abuse and spousal abuse etc etc.

  178. Ricky Bobby says:

    There is a much more effective and broad-reaching strategy to deal with the CC stuff…one that will influence public opinion about the bad brand and will inform folks in wide-ranging areas that there are problems to consider before trusting a particular Calvary Chapel.

    It’ll touch every CC’s own backyard eventually and since the Franchisees don’t take responsibility for their Church Group…then they all get to explain to some why there are these serious problems and abuses and cult-like practices in Calvary Chapel.

    Time to make it much more hyper-local and much broader.

  179. brian,
    ” Is she going under an assumed name??”

    No, an assumed vocation.

  180. Ricky Bobby says:

    You’ll be surprised at how much a grassroots motivated group can get done…and when it starts effecting the local Franchises…well, we’ll see what happens.

  181. RB, sounds like a fund raising letter. 🙂 You will probably get rich in the process.

  182. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, LOL. Occasionally you are actually funny.

  183. Ricky Bobby says:

    I think we’ll start with Lake Elsinore and work from there since Steve is so independent of his Brand.

  184. You are funny. So you go to Lake Elsinore and canvass the city with your “CC is a cult and abuses children” and someone asks you, do they abuse children here? and you say, well not here – and your credibility goes down the toilet and you don’t make it to the 2nd city.

  185. Ricky Bobby says:

    Nope, won’t be like that. It’ll be well supported and concise and very credible, though the hardliners ccool-aid drinkers won’t like it very much.

  186. Michael says:

    So you will attack a pastor for no other reason than he’s CC?
    Someone who there is not a shred of evidence that he has done anything wrong?
    Someone who has an actual accountability statement in the by laws?
    You’ll try to hurt a healthy church just because you want to?

  187. Jim says:

    RB, MLD is correct. SGM Inc is a shadow of it’s former self, but still has member churches. In each local body, there are those who hate the denom, but love their local church. They agree with everything I have to say, and will not support the denom, but they will not leave their church.

    It’s just how it is, bro.

  188. Michael says:

    I’m all for going after bad guys at the local level…but that is just wrong to go after someone who has done nothing wrong.

  189. brian says:

    rb I hope that you address particular situations and systemic issues but that it is done in a judicial manor. Dont become what you are fighting against, not saying you are just some advice from someone who did become who they hate.

  190. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, no, not Steve specifically, but the Brand he displays proudly on his building and proudly affiliates with and connects to.

  191. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jim, i hear you and understand. I know there will always be those who will ignore the problems and support the bad brand and bad practices and non accountability etc.

    I’m just finding creative and effective ways to educate, influence, disrupt etc as many folks as I can before I croak. It’s the only way real changes get made…and at least many many people will have more knowledge about what each individual Calvary Chapel hides about their bad Brand that they affiliate with.

  192. Michael says:

    There are two CC’s in that town.
    Both are pastored by friends of mine…men who have come along side me despite our differences.
    Both have church constitutions that should be the model for independent churches.
    How you would find it righteous or helpful to attack men like that is beyond me.

  193. Ricky Bobby says:

    Not attacking the men, I’m pointing out the problems with the Brand they choose to affiliate with and then claim zero responsibility for the Brand/Church Group at large.

  194. Michael says:

    You would think that such a crusade would happen in a place where people are being victimized instead of ministered to.
    I would fear God if I dared do something like that.
    He will not bless that sort of thing…

  195. Ricky Bobby says:

    I would fear God if I didn’t do it. The so-called “good guys” endorse a bad brand they claim zero responsibility for. Time for some ownership. It’ll be anyone that is affiliated on the official CC website eventually.

  196. Ricky Bobby says:

    “He will not bless that sort of thing…”

    Well, we’ll let God decide that one. Your god may not be cool with it, but the one I think is out there seems to be saying go for it.

  197. RB, is all show and no go. Nothing will come of this.

    Look at all the effort you put into the one plae that was guilty … nothing.came of it. The Dove still flies high. Do you really think if you told me CC was a cult I would care? Why, i don’t go to CC and neither do 99.99999% of the people you would be addressing.

  198. “but the one I think is out there seems to be saying go for it.”

    And why do you think Baal says “go for it.”?

  199. Ricky Bobby says:

    Actually, much has been accomplished and much more will be. Calvary Chapel is on the radar of many for the bad abuses and the cult-like practices, including financial stuff and some things I can’t disclose, not even to Michael. The blog has over 6 million hits, perceptions about the positive-only CC PR spin is being eroded and I’ve gotten tons of responses from people continuing to inquire about CC and I point them to the major problems that are still unaddressed and unresolved in the System. It’s been remarkably effective and has reach to places like Australia and England and elsewhere.

    People who are interested in CC at the local level after being proselytized or advertised to or who are Brand loyal will find the information about Calvary Chapel at every local level. The local communities and their local news departments will have the information available. It’ll make a dent at the micro level and will disrupt things to some degree.

  200. brian says:

    Not comparing the two, but when I got the boot from the place I gave my soul to I had the ammo to get even, nothing illegal or abusive, that I would have reported but I could have sunk the person / ministry/ Being the degenerate I am I chose to fall on my sword as the ministry was far more important that any gratification I would have gotten. I think I made the right choice as the ministry flourished the things that bothered me got resolved and we made up. That is not at all evangelical but it is rather human. Again not comparing just offered from the left field bleachers.

  201. Ricky Bobby says:

    What can happen is that the local CC’s will have to go on defense and then either be shown to be doing the bad stuff that many CC’s and the Brand is known for by many or they will have to show that “Well we’re not like those other examples” and show that they are financially transparent, have good by-laws, address abuse in their franchise etc. to convince people to trust them and attend and give them money etc.

    Competitors will love it. “I knew something was wrong with CC” etc and the news will spread especially in competitive local markets.

  202. Ricky Bobby says:

    Money and butts in seats and bad PR is a great motivator. An infinitely better motivator than doing what is righteous and right because the bible says so.

  203. Ricky Bobby says:

    It won’t be an end-all be-all, but it will have some effect and will make things uncomfortable in some areas and will raise the core issues and cause some of the franchisees to take some of the issues more seriously.

  204. Jeff Jones says:

    Dear Steve and any other Calvary Chapel pastor. Please listen to a fellow colleague. Just ignore Ricky Bobby, AKA: Alex Grenier, and his website for he is no longer relevant ad bitterness has overtaken him. No wood, no fire. I believe his story, I choose to do “an end around” regarding his dad and all things Grenier. Engaging a person such as RB will bring vexation of the heart and will only be a tool to get you off course, which is to edify the Body of Christ, with which all who dwell here are…. I hope. Keep RB in your prayers and Michael as well as he is tasked to navigate his online ministry with this complicated person.

  205. Ricky Bobby says:

    It’ll be a lot more effective in the small markets where the communities are more tight knit and the media flow is slower paced and less congested.

  206. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jeff’s breaking the anonymity rule. Ban him.

  207. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jeff you are joined with all your other CC pastors and you endorse all the good and bad that goes with Calvary Chapel…much of which you choose to ignore like the SH scandal, the Ayub scandal, the many moral/ethical scandals and the countless spiritual abuse issues etc. You are as complicit as any of the Brand Bearers in your Church Group.

  208. Jeff Jones says:

    Dear Steve and any other Calvary Chapel pastor. Please listen to a fellow colleague. Just ignore Ricky Bobby and his website for he is no longer relevant and bitterness has overtaken him. No wood, no fire. I believe his story, I choose to do “an end around” regarding his dad and all things Grenier. Engaging a person such as RB will bring vexation of the heart and will only be a tool to get you off course, which is to edify the Body of Christ, with which all who dwell here are…. I hope. Keep RB in your prayers and Michael as well as he is tasked to navigate his online ministry with this complicated person.

  209. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Keep RB in your prayers and Michael as well as he is tasked to navigate his online ministry with this complicated person.”

    LOL, that is such Christianeze bullpucky. Code for “this forking corksoaker is ticking me off, what an arsehole! Michael, I don’t know why the fork you put up with him, you should ban him for good!”

    Lying is supposedly an “abomination” to the Lord and liars supposedly go to hell and are tortured forever…yet some of the most persistent lying is by pastors who can’t express themselves honestly and couch insult and manipulation behind carefully selected Christianeze.

  210. Ricky Bobby says:

    You guys won’t be able to ignore the website this coming year…especially since many of you will be featured on it.

  211. Xenia says:

    “Ricky Bobby” is a lunatic.

  212. Nonnie says:

    Michael, you are loved and respected and your number 149 is absolutely correct.

  213. brian says:

    I will be out for what is left of advent for my own sanity won’t be posting or commenting but may read but I dont wish to waste this Christmas, see you on December 26, take care.

  214. Ricky Bobby says:

    ““Ricky Bobby” is a lunatic.”

    Well, I feel that way about most Christians*, especially the ones that think crackers and grape juice turn into flesh and blood and then you eat them like cannibals LOL.

  215. Ricky Bobby says:

    Xenia, do you really believe the bread and wine turns into literal human flesh and human blood? And, believing so, you willfully eat it?

    …have you read the definition of “lunatic” lately? Just sayin….

  216. I woke up in the middle of the night chuckling. I had this dream that there was a guy named RB who was spouting off on a blog how he and his blog were going to single handedly bring down CC,

    You know how you wake up from a dream, but you can’t remember details, like, who is RB and how can he turn the world against CC if he can;t even convince his mom?

    I am going back to sleep – see if i can get back into the dream.

  217. Don’t eat the berries!
    They are toxic.
    They will at least give you a stomach ache and could do worse.
    Best to just leave them alone.

  218. Steve is the one guy who has stayed in contact with these guys, and they attack him with twice the vigor. Any Calvary Pastor would be crazy to listen to any detractors after seeing the crap Steve takes.

    Ricky, a few years back I told you about my abusive upbringing with my addict grand-mother. I gave you the advice a very wise counselor gave me in my mid-twenties: Cut the cancer out of your life. This is what you need, friend. This is what your family needs. This is what your business needs. This is not for the benefit of Bob or CC – Those are the cancers in your life that have taken you over and affected your entire being. You’re a grown man man now. It is time to cut the cancer out. Get away from it and let it die alone. Surgery is painful, but good health is on the other side.

  219. stu says:

    I’ve been working more and I don’t have as much online time so I get to the dis-cussing late. I don’t read many of RB’s posts but I had to go back and read some this time. I missed where RB says exactly what he’s gonna do. RB, Are you going to call local media? Are you going to post handbills or hand out fliers? Who exactly do you want to reach?

    When God says He’s going to judge liars it doesn’t mean right now. Christians may get instant spankings. Non Christians get eternal punishment. Psalm 73 puts your dilemma in perspective.

  220. Ixtlan says:

    Re: #2 Scandals. When and how did the celebrity cult within the church develop? Lots of reasons. What ever happened to simply pastoring the church God gave you? Why is it that so few “get it”?

    “And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
    We call it Riding the Gravy Train. “………….. Rogers Waters

    Trueman is like a ray of sunlight on a dark canvas or should I say “campus”. Why is it that so few are asking these questions?

    From the article:
    “Is being called as a congregation’s pastor not being called to make serving that congregation by preaching the number one priority?”

  221. Not so humble Bob says:

    I woke up this morning and discovered another Phoenix Preacher thread run amok by, RB, a man who runs around the track in his underwear to gain attention.

    Now I will comment on the issue of humble rabbis in the Second Temple period. Hillel was considered a humble man and Shammai not so much. Additionally the idea of paid rabbis doesn’t come historically for a few more centuries. Even today it is considered an insult to get paid to teach the Torah to people, the saying is, “God freely gave us His words so freely they should be given to others (or something like this)”. However, to have people pay and or provide food and shelter as a traveling teacher was not abnormal.

    Basically people are people and there is no perfect system which can force humbleness and kindness. What can be done is to regulate and provide penalties when others are harmed at the hand (or voice) of another.

    Back to RB, I notice his rants and delusions grow as the night grows old. Hmmm, I wonder why that is a consistent pattern?

  222. Xenia says:

    Why the Aitch-EEE-Double-Toothpick this buffoon is allowed to remain here and threaten people regularly is beyond me.

  223. Xenia says:

    We talk all the time about abusive churches. Why oh why, we moan, are abusers allowed to continue? Why doesn’t somebody do something?

    Yes, why indeed?

  224. Ricky Bobby says:

    That’s your opinion X, I have many emails and fb messages from others who would say the opposite and wonder why Michael allows MLD and others to do what they do. Many of those folks who contact me have left this blog citing those personalities.

  225. Catherine says:

    Yes, I agree Xenia..I just don’t get it….

  226. Ricky Bobby says:

    The numbers are trending up, btw. More readers, not less, hmm.

  227. Nonnie says:

    Agree with Xenia also.

  228. Michael says:

    The numbers are going up because there is a new article up.
    I can’t run a blog this way…and it figures that the first full day I could sell ads here you’d ruin it.
    Thank you.

  229. Xenia says:

    My #224-5 references a post that has been removed.

  230. Ricky Bobby says:

    “XXXXX, just wanted you to know, I think you did an excellent job in maintaining your mud while continuing to bring to the conscience what they would like to sweep under the rug.

    There are so many parrallels between Saeed, Iran, the “church” and other governing authoritys and your situation with CC and BG. As I read through the comments concerning this, I sit here shaking my head wondering exactly how any of them can justify themselves and excuse any CC Pastor or leader to remain silent. They have problem raising the alarm when it comes to Obama but when it comes one of their own—heaven forbid, they might need to repent and speak up for those being oppressed, abused, and robbed by one of them.

    Urrrrgh!. Very funny on the cannabilsm and perfect timing.

    Yeah, you need to lay off the sheep jokes regarding sexual overtones. It kills your integrity and no, never did buy into Luther’s stuff in and of himself due to his take on females and Jews. That should have been a tip-off to the men of his days. But then again when you are also being abusive and prejudice towards a gender or ethnic group, it’s real hard not go along with it. No difference in CC. They don’t hold one another to account because they are knee deep in it themselves. You know this, as well as I do.

    Will be interested in hearing more about this campaign you made mentioned about —- hope to be able to help, but lousy on tweet and so forth. Just wanted to give you a thumbs up.
    I don’t comment on Michael blog simply because I have found that they are not teachable, regardless of what they say.”

  231. Michael says:

    My sincere apologies to Xenia for that insult.

  232. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, many folks still read your blog, but many are afraid to comment b/c of you and the small core group of others who are abusive. That group dynamic doesn’t work on me b/c I’m not your typical person. You have blind spots, as do the others and there’s a large group who views you small vocal core group’s take differently.

    You can do what most cult-like groups do and cast out the dissenter and circle the wagons and run and then demonize the enemy etc and cry victim or you can accept that not everyone is going to agree with you and your small vocal core group and not everyone is going to play nice, the way your small core group defines it, all the time.

    It’s your choice, it’s about integrity.

  233. Ricky Bobby says:

    The irony is this group examples many of the same tendencies and cult-like dynamics that you have spent your career critiquing about Calvary Chapel and others.

  234. Michael says:

    It’s not about integrity it’s about respect.
    You have your own blog…which you rarely touch.
    You have trashed a lot of work and a lot of hope here…I can’t continue to run this with you doing this every day.
    My hope was to run this and earn some income as you well know…and you have refused to use any moderation or show any respect for me as I did.
    You are the one running rampant and then crying victim…whenever you’re asked to simply follow simple guidelines.
    I have tried to be patient and gracious and you have spit in my face.

  235. Ricky Bobby says:

    I am not a victim, I deal with it on here and I disagree with your messianic victim view of yourself.

  236. Why do you say cult-like? You can leave here any time you like. So can I. Cults make it difficult for people to leave.

  237. Ricky Bobby says:

    I haven’t “spit” in your face, I’ve made comparisons to the Saeed situation that are valid and then defended those positions when attacked.

    I’ve been inspired by the Saeed success (that I’ve been a part of) and am reminding you that Social Activism works and not to give up on the CC stuff and to use the same passion and zeal for Saeed toward a Cause you used to champion and built your online career off of.

    Then it got into the typical sniping and attacking from your small vocal core group and I defended myself and didn’t give up b/c that’s how I’m wired.

    You then cry foul and cry victim. Let’s be truthful here. Others see it clear as day, your group has a blind spot.

  238. Michael says:

    Then go preach to your group.

  239. Dry Bob says:


    How come you don’t get it, how many people do you need to tell you?

    BTW, I was wrong your morning rants today are equal to your late night ones. Started a little early today?

  240. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’ll take my leave and let you think about it. Review the thread. See who the typical attackers are, see how I generally respond to the personal attacks vs. initiating them etc. I attack ideas and institutions etc, then others attack personally, then I respond b/c I am not a victim, I fight back.

    If you are intellectually honest about it, you’ll see that if you swallow your pride a little. Others who email me and message me often see it plain as day. They are afraid to comment on here for the very reasons I am stating. There is still a warped dynamic here, some here have the power while others are dismissed. I simply don’t play by the group dynamic rules here and I fight back when attacked.

  241. “Others see it clear as day, your group has a blind spot.”

    IS the blind spot that EVERY conversation comes back to Bob Grenier?!?

    If so, I’ll admit, I’m just unwilling to go there.

  242. This group does have a blind spot….they let me comment here 😉

  243. This is ridiculous.
    He has his own forum, his own voice and his following.
    I say let him go lead sheep astray in his own pasture.
    Michael, you deserve a life free from the constant rantings of a madman.

  244. Jim says:


    I gotta be honest. I think you abuse Michael’s patience in a very selfish manner. I like you, and we agree on some issues. Like many here, I consider your attacks on the beliefs of others to be extremely disrespectful and vulgar. It’s a futile exercise, as we’ve heard it all before. You will shake no one’s faith.

    I ran a high profile/high traffic blog for 4 years, and banned maybe 10 people. I would have appealed to you offline, but if you tried to do to refuge what you’ve done here, you would have been banned.

    I really can’t understand why you would want to make Michael’s life harder.

  245. Nonnie says:

    Jim and Derek, thank you for speaking up.

  246. filbertz says:

    My neighbor has a bathroom. I have a bathroom. If there were an emergency, I’d be happy to let my neighbor use my bathroom. If my neighbor was simply being neighborly–visiting, watching the television with me, assisting on a project, hanging out–I’d let him use my bathroom. If my neighbor kept using my bathroom despite the fact that his worked fine, and he left the sink running, took my supplies, never flushed, aimed poorly, didn’t use the fan nor the air-freshener, and made obscene noises while relieving himself, I’d have to rescind my invitation to let him use my restroom.

    make your own application.

  247. Things I think:

    1. I’m 39, but feel like a decrepit old man.
    2. I love Christian Colleges and Seminaries. I am fortunate to live in the middle of a bunch of them, from independant baptist to presbyterian and everything in between. I LOVE IT! I love walking around the campus and showing up for different lectures and seminars. I love places that engage the mind and the spirit.
    3. I got four new pairs of shoes for my birthday. Hard to get used to, The pair I am wearing today are Clark’s. Pretty comfy.
    4. My kids are a lot smarter than I ever was. That makes me proud…and scares me.
    5. I don’t know how Michale come up with ten of these each week.

  248. I agree with Josh – I wear Clarks also. 🙂

  249. I’m guessing these are age appropriate for me, then. Oh man.

  250. covered says:

    MLD, I’m going to go out a limb and assume that you don’t wear your Clark’s when you are wearing your speedo’s? I think I just threw up in my mouth 🙂

  251. Michael says:


    The biggest mistake I made was choosing to do ten… 🙂
    Most of them come out of the bible study I teach…

  252. Ahhhh, in that case:

    6. I think it is clear that The Gospel of John and Revelation have the same author, if for nothing else that both books are crammed with symbolism. John’s symbolism is much more subtle, but from the first verse the book is filled with symbolic numbers and imagery.
    7. I think Charismatics totally misunderstand John 14:12. The words “greater” and “works” should be properly defined in context before trying to apply this verse.
    8. I think I don’t want to think about MLD in a speedo.
    9. I think I have to find a way to lose weight that doesn’t involve eating less or exercising more.
    10. I think there is a reason why people care what Michael thinks every week, but not what I think. 🙂

  253. Jeff Jones says:

    Just to let everyone know, Ricky Bobby has just posted this about me on his website (which you can access on the PP Blogroll Section?) in retaliation for my comment last night, falsely implicating me – a pastor who DOES have checks and balances and who DOES have Child Protection Safeguards in place (fingerprints, background checks) and IS above board in every area. I render to Caesar which is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. You may call any Calvary Chapel Pastor and cross reference me. Alex does not know me or my church, but is willing to lie and implicate me and associate me with those who have committed crimes under the Calvary Chapel name. The crimes committed are now listed with my name attached. These incidents are despicable and horrific.

    To all who disagree with Alex on this PP Blog, this allowed type of behavior will result in you being publicly drawn out and lied about, thus harming yours and my reputation. (I have never commented on his blog “Calvary Chapel Abuse” btw). I will look into the legalities of his actions immediately.


    Here is Alex’s piece below…..He has also placed my church logo and a picture of me which I could not paste here:


    Calvary Chapel Foresthill California: WARNING: What you should consider before attending.

    Jeff Jones, pastor of Calvary Chapel Foresthill, an official affiliate of Calvary Chapel system of churches.

    Calvary Chapel Foresthill is part of the Calvary Chapel system of churches, a non-denomination denomination with a sordid history of scandals resulting from no or very little accountability from the parent church organization Calvary Chapel Association (previously CCOF) that is all headed by Chuck Smith (now deceased) and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

    Jeff Jones is the senior pastor of the Calvary Chapel Foresthill franchise / affiliate.

    Calvary Chapel can be a dangerous place as documented in many news articles and the norm is closed finances, Moses Model style of leadership where the senior Pastor has final say on all things and in essence owns or controls all the assets of the church through control of trusts or other legal entities. Generally, there are no Child Protections in place, none are mandated system-wide by the “Oversight” Calvary Chapel Association (formerly CCOF), this means it is possible that the Calvary Chapel franchise you choose to attend could have a known child sex offender working at the particular sunday school class and you wouldn’t know it. Our advice: Ask your local “affiliated” Calvary Chapel pastor if his franchise vets all of their workers and staff for prior child abuse and/or sex crime convictions or allegations. As the articles will show below, Calvary Chapel as a church system/movement has no mandatory checks-and-balances in place and there are many instances of abuse that have occurred in the Calvary Chapel System.

    Be careful. Ask questions. Don’t assume your particular Calvary Chapel franchise is safe because the governing “Oversight” body and Chuck Smith’s brand endorsement doesn’t necessarily mean there are good by-laws, sound finances and a safe environment. It is shocking that a teenage girl was once raped at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa by a CC pastor there and the allegations regarding an attempted cover-up in that matter are stunning.

    Please do your homework. Calvary Chapel, on the surface, has done some good things, stands for some good things…but know the whole story before you commit. There are many good churches out there that have better checks-and-balances in place and better accountability and integrity in these sorts of matters.


    News story about teenager rape on CCCM Campus, financial scandal and other moral/ethical issues regarding no or little accountability in Calvary Chapel:

    Questions about the teenage girl who was raped by a Calvary Chapel Pastor on the CC Costa Mesa Campus and allegations of an attempt at a cover up:

    News story about financial abuses and unaccountability at Calvary Chapel:

    Calvary Chapel named in Child Molestation lawsuit:

    Calvary Chapel accused of shuffling pedophile in lawsuit:

    Calvary Chapel Pastor accused of Child Abuse and Molestation:

    Calvary Chapel Pastor convicted of Child Abuse and Molestation:

    Calvary Chapel Pastor in Southern California accused of molesting little girl, then arrested:

    Calvary Chapel youth worker says he likes to hurt and rape little girls in FBI sting:

    Calvary Chapel High School coach arrested for videoing women undressing:

    Calvary Chapel High School coach arrested:

    Calvary Chapel featured in the national media: Scandals, abuses, financial corruption documented:

    Calvary Chapel Wiki: Everything you need to know about Calvary Chapel:


    In closing, I just encourage people not to respond to Ricky Bobby/Alex on this blog and to ignore him. As I said before, “no wood no fire.” I read here regularly and have been edified in general and even though Michael and I disagree on some things, I have noticed that there are hardly any Calvary Chapel pastors who used to regularly contribute here and offer their thoughts.

    I may even say that because Michael does not protect his readers by restricting Ricky Bobby, that the Phoenix Preacher Blog may not be a safe place to fellowship. I am not angry with Michael, just perplexed that he allows a man like this to enter into his domain and attack others relentlessly.

    God bless you all, and be careful.

  254. Jeff Jones says:

    Thank you Michael for allowing this to be posted. I am praying for you as I know you are trying to expand and be able to get a return for your efforts.

  255. Well, that’s # 48,345 in the list of uncool things Ricky Bobby has done. Luckily for you, he has destroyed his credibility with almost everyone, so you are not likely to see any problems from this.

    Ricky, now you are just trying to hurt people who have done absolutely nothing to you. Does that really seem right? Have you gotten to the point that THAT makes sense to you? Come on, man. It’s time to cut the cancer out of your life. You are hurting yourself and everyone you come into contact with, whether you realize it or not. No one is coming to rescue you from your stepdad. It really is time to let it go.

  256. #10 takes on a whole new significance after this thread.

  257. Bob says:

    Jeff I’m sorry for what Alex G has done to you and your church. Regardless of anyone’s feelings about the CC franchise to attack your church without facts is evil to the core and he has the gall to say “God bless you all…” at the end of his post.

  258. Bob says:


    oops sorry I didn’t get it was you who said “God bless…”

    BTW where is this posted, I looked and couldn’t find it.

  259. Steve Wright says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’ve been thinking what to write, if anything, since I saw what the poster known as “Ricky Bobby” published on his blog. He’s had a post up on me since the summer, but different. He’s just insulting me and hoping for anonymous complaints, trolling for dirt. You didn’t get off so lucky. I’m sorry this happened to you and the church you pastor – all because you dared offer one comment last night. Amazing.

    I guess you are the first example of what his new “grassroots plan” is going to look like. I would think that already losing a motion in court and now facing one lawsuit would temper him from risking further litigation. I would be shocked if his attorney approved of this latest stunt, much less his family whose future he is risking. False light is an actionable offense in California, and as the comments already have shown, a “reasonable person” certainly can see this behavior as offensive.

    In sharing my own experience, I have had a small handful of people ask me about that website since last summer when he posted about me. Every one of them expressed an opinion unfavorable to “Ricky Bobby” – some thinking he is mentally unstable, some thinking he is a cruel jerk, others thinking he is a Christ-hating atheist just looking to destroy churches. I’m sure having that post about me at the top of Google search engines has had a negative impact, but it is hard to prove who does not visit a church. It has had no impact on those who call us home, and we still get plenty of visitors. You can expect your post to be at the top of Google shortly, not because of actual traffic but due to his specific efforts which he has bragged about here before.

    My guess is that you will have a similar experience. Anyone who knows and attends your church will not be the slightest bit swayed by this stunt. And of course, if asked, it gives you the opportunity to explain to them, uninterrupted, what he really is like – going all the way back to the beginning. You will see plenty of heads nod as you do.

    It’s all about destruction, especially of Michael’s friends. There is no coincidence this latest assault here on the blog corresponds to Michael’s announcement of trying to make something more of the blog here – for a future. I commend your kindness to Michael and the difficult situation he is in, and I agree with you. I believe his hands are tied, and for a pretty obvious reason if we think about it – which is why Ricky Bobby can’t be banned.

    Personally, I asked Michael a long time ago if my departure would be better for him and the future of the blog – if driving off the last known CC poster would make Michael’s life and future better. And that offer still stands. However. Ricky Bobby though has moved from just CC issues to attacking the very foundations of the Christian faith, and all those of this community who believe them, so I don’t see what difference that would make. MLD, Josh, Derek, Xenia, Jim and others are not CC. It would be nice if the real old archives were still available, just to put to bed the myth that somehow this blog and participation is as strong as ever. We all remember the multitude of voices five years ago and earlier…

    I’ll pray for you, Jeff. Please pray for us at CCLE – and we both will pray for Michael.

  260. brian says:

    Can I de-lurk in my effort to not waist this advent. Pastor Steve and Pastor Jeff when I was first booted from a ministry I loved I loathed those that did it to me, I wanted revenge and wanted to get even. Why? Because it was the almost daily practice of the faith I swore to love. When I was on the outside of it, I was loathed, mocked, and vilified, usually in my own mind and my memories were blurred. Emotion, frustration and desire for retaliation were aspects of my desire, I am not equating that to RB. I came to this blog because I did not want to give up the Christian religion and Michael was kind enough to offer me a forum to spew my half witted rhetoric and at times solid truth on a group of caring humans. My main reason this community could not take me out, but they could not challenge me either.

    I came to realize I wanted a sounding board without responsibility, again I an not equating this to RB, someone I deeply respect and wish I could wake his extended family up and they would be reconciled. I had “dirt” on the people who “hurt” me but it was fake dust I just wanted to feel better, I am glad I chose to “fall on my sward” and it was not that dramatic I just chose to not spew crap in the wind, again not referring to anything here, to feel better.

    My point Michael’s blog saved my life, I would have melted into a pool of self loathing with out this place. Much of what I post is substandard rhetoric trying to make a point, but I qualify it with knowing I may / most likely am wrong. I am an evolutionary believing old earth Universalist. I could go on but wont. I love churches of all kinds because they remind people of the price Christ paid for them and they give healing. At my utter worst I would not deny that. They / you are the heart and soul as is RB. I wept and still do as to what he suffered, I have walked similar ground, but I found healing with my father, who loathed the precised Christian religion, it was not the pure religion as delivered from the saints. That is on my soul I kept it from him and mine for selfish reasons and for validation. I am ashamed of that and God I repent. I dont want sympathy or even vengeance I just want restoration. I just want to be whole again. Funny thing my students always make me feel / be whole every single day of every single year. I know Christ saved my soul but I know more he used them because they constantly show me the face of our dear Lord Jesus. Always.

    RB I have not walked where you have, but you have not walked where some of those I have worked with have. Please brother you are worth it I pray God grant you healing and peace in this advent season. I am sorry I broke my word not to post but I care way to much for those involved. Offered for what it is worth.

  261. RB does not need healing and peace – he needs a kick in the ass.

  262. Jeff and Steve,
    You need to understand RB’s tactic – it isn’t even guilt by association but worse.

    If I had a blog about what is even a worse form of child abuse that RB mentions – GUNS IN THE HANDS OF KIDS – killing other kids. I could write page after page – and i could ask why no one does anything.

    RB, being a large gun runner in his area could be pointed at even though he has never sold a gun to an underaged person in his life – why?? because he has done nothing to stop guns from getting into the hands of kids.

    Every gun ever used to shoot up a mall, a theater or a school originated in a gun shop like the one RB owns (actually he owns 3 gun shops.) Now we all know that the NRA and other groups oppose restrictions and give people grief for trying to impose restrictions – I am sure that RB belongs to several pro gun groups. I have even listened to him on local Idaho radio stations talking with guys who sound like white supremacist militia supporters.

    Now although RB himself does not sell to unauthorized people and he may have even implemented strong measures against guns getting into the hands of kids – he still has not cleaned up the organizations he belongs to.

    So, the next school shooting that happens, we can make a link to Patriot Pawn and Guns … just like RB does with individual CCs that do not do the things RB accuses and even have strong internal checks.

    See, it does not matter – how guilty is Patriot Pawn and Guns in this genocide against kids?

    That is the RB tactic, He will come here and object, but hey, then he will just sound like a CC pastor protecting the brand. 🙂

  263. MLD hit the nail on the head with that one.

  264. stu says:

    Stu is not CC. Stu was CC for 2 and a half years in the early ’70’s. Stu did not have a falling out with CC only with 2 CCers, which is not the same. Stu left CC when he left Costa Mesa for the east coast. Stu has no axe to grind with CC, only with one CCer. Stu is overcoming his angst with that one CCer with the help of other CCers. God is at work. -stu, formerly known as Gary

  265. stu says:

    re: MLD’s #264,
    Now I can see why some CC pastors have bodyguards and pack guns. I don’t excuse it. No way! I don’t understand that lifestyle and I don’t want to. But there it is.

  266. J.U. says:

    As a long time reader and rare commentator on this blog, I must say I’ve seen a change in RB’s behavior. A change for the worse. On a blog where we try to accommodate religious and denominational differences and focus on the agreement and try to understand each other and our faith better, RB has adopted tactics that are destructive and I would agree with the word “toxic”.

    I think many on here are sympathetic to his issues and support his efforts to right the wrongs that were done to him and that still exist. But he has turned to a scorched earth policy that burns friend and foe alike.

    It makes me very sad. Some times it makes me mad. But mostly it just makes me sad. I pray for RB every day. I also pray for Michael and the fine people on this blog. We don’t all agree, but we do converse and respect each other. I think that is the greatest loss in what I read from RB. He has lost all respect for fellow human beings. That may be something that some in his life deserved, but he has turned on everyone like a flamethrower.

    You know, when I first came on this blog, AB was one on my favorite commentors, and I really liked him personally. It makes me very sad how much that has changed.

  267. J.U. says:

    You know how, as soon as you write something, you wish you hadn’t. I don’t want to attack anyone on this blog. Some times the cold, cold medium of text on a computer screen is just not as satisfying as a face-to-face conversation, filled with a cup of coffee and a manly embrace at the beginning and end.

    I struggle with much in life. I try to understand why. I’ve made big mistakes and I’ve had to pay dearly for many of them. I still make mistakes, lots of them. But I try to live my life like Christ commanded. I try to shape my beliefs focused on the words of Christ. I don’t have any answers. I just have faith. An earlier comment about Michael’s number 10 thought is right on. Forgiveness is an elusive goal.

    God bless you all. May the peace the peace of Christ be with you.

  268. Armed but not dangerous Bob says:

    “RB, being a large gun runner in his area…”

    I think calling him a “gun runner” is a bit hyperbolic, but your comparison of the rest of the issue is a lot more revealing than you plan. Does RB own “gun shops” or pawn shops? I thought it was pawn shops and he has a legal Federal License to sell guns there.

    On the subject of teen shootings:

    Having the opportunity to travel to other countries I do see a trend or difference here in the USA; it seems to me that in westernized countries outside the USA school shootings just don’t seem to happen. Yes there is violence, drugs, and all the other social problems of group dynamics, but not shootings.

    The next thing I always wonder is how do the terrorists seem to have an unlimited supply of fully automatic weapons and ammo. Take a poor nation like Afghanistan, how does the enemy have enough resources to get weapons and ammo while our government spends billion upon billions staffing our own soldiers there?

    So how come teens can’t get guns in some places but the poor, unemployed terrorists can get an unlimited supplies of the latest hand held weapons and ammo to go with them?


  269. JU, those were good posts. Thank you for writing both of them.

  270. Bob, look at the name of the business. RB has posted pitures of the “gun shop” and it is a quite well stocked arsenal.

    Also, he speaks about opening his shop in Meridian and all the competition – I think a gun shop on every corner – so it’s not like there was a need and he filled it – no, he jumped on the gun sales frenzy.

  271. “a poor nation like Afghanistan, how does the enemy have enough resources to get weapons and ammo while our government spends billion upon billions staffing our own soldiers there?”

    Tony Stark

  272. brian says:

    I should not have de lurked sorry about that. See you all after Christmas.

  273. Grey (not black) Bob says:


    “Tony Stark” You made me laugh!

    Gin shop on every corner? At least he’s a capitalist. Is that bad?

    Even though I own a weapon or two I really don’t get the black gun craze going on, you know the AR style.

    I better stop on the gun issue this blog is supposed to be about issues of faith and I believe somewhere in the scriptures it says something about what a person lives by they will die by. How does that apply to this conversation?

  274. J.U. says:

    Brian, I can only speak for myself, but I suspect most on this blog would agree that we enjoy your comments and perspective. I understand that sometimes people have to detach from “the hustle and bustle” for the sake of their own sanity, but I always appreciate your perspective and heart.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and I’ll watch for your comments after the holiday.

  275. Jeff Jones says:

    Dear Steve, thank you. Your words touched me and I will be praying.

  276. stu says:

    I enjoy reading about the life of brian. 😉

  277. Jeff Jones says:

    MLD, I do not want to re-pay evil with evil or play Satan’s game. I do think about someone just standing up and opening fire because it is happening more and more in our culture. If I die, I die. I choose to never pack a gun or defend myself. Jesus is my defense. Peter tried it once and was rebuked by our Lord.

    Brian, I have asked one person to leave my church, an unrepentant, arrogant child molester who somehow did not end up on the Megan’s Law Website in CA. No one in my church knew of his past except me (I check the website and speak to law enforcement all the time about possible threats) and then I prayerfully and “surgically” removed this unstable man from our church Body. The person fully understood and no hard feelings were left behind that I know of.

    Brian, my heart goes out to you. Have I ever hurt someone’s feelings as a pastor? More than I care to admit, and I have gone immediately to that person and apologized. It is amazing how sensitive we all can be. (Example…One woman left my church because I forgot to mention her teen daughter’s birthday from the pulpit, I was bummed, so I left messages and emailed her but was ignored and now it hurts my heart every time I see her in my tiny town. (I do mean tiny. As in ‘no stoplights’ tiny. 4,000 population tiny.)

    All this to say that pastors are people too. We hurt and carry pain in our hearts every second of the day. Hurts of a suffering saint, (cancer, surgeries, divorce, depressed, discouraged, wounded by others et al) plus the hurts of our own failure, hurt of rejection or undeserved gossip, etc…. My goodness, Charles Spurgeon was depressed all the time and why would you think? He carried about the dying of the Lord Jesus in His body and in his heart. Spurgeon was serious about his call and his mission. Isaiah said that Jesus was a man of “grief and sorrow.” All of this flies in the face of today’s “feel good gospel.”

    Despite RB/AG and his dad BG and others (criminals in sheep’s clothing) that Ricky Bobby called out under my name for no good reason other than to hurt me, I say: Get in line. I march on and I like Paul press on for the high call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Praying for all….

  278. Ricky Bobby says:

    “guilt by Association”

    …well, it’s called the Calvary Chapel “Association” is it not?

  279. Ricky Bobby says:

    Something similar to Calvary Chapel Foresthills will be done for every “Associated” Calvary Chapel on the their website.

    Jeff isn’t a target, it’s the System and the Ideas and lack of oversight and lack of addressing the core Problems in Calvary Chapel.

    There will be a lot more than that, each CC will get a bunch of warnings in their area etc. providing the other side of the Calvary Chapel story they Associate with.

    It’ll take a year or two, but it’ll get done.

    It’ll be a grass roots effort like the Saeed stuff and just as valid.

    The Campaign will be rolled out on the CC Abuse site in the next couple of weeks. You are welcome to participate in getting the word out.

    This type of Social Activism works. It’ll get the word out at the hyper-local levels, create more awareness of the Systemic CC problems at the local Franchises and will cause some change.

  280. Jim says:

    264 was clever, but I’d find a better analogy, as the NRA is guilty of nothing.

    I think what Alex did was a completely punk move, as I think pastors should be judged by their own actions. At the same time, let’s not pretend that CC national leadership has clean hands.

  281. Xenia says:

    Here’s the bind those of use who have posted on this blog for years- the “Regulars”- find ourselves in. We have affection for Michael and we would like to see his projects succeed but increasingly, we cannot and will not participate in a blog that allows a certain hateful and disruptive person freedom to post here. And not only is he permitted to post his threats and blasphemies here, there remains a link- a LINK, for crying out loud- on the blog roll along with the blogs of decent people like Sarah.

    I know Jeff Jones personally. He is a wonderful person and does not deserve to have this blog post a link to the other blog where his and another very decent pastor (Steve) have their reputations impugned by a monomaniac.

    I am not a prophet or the daughter of a prophet but I see serious trouble on the horizon.

  282. Ricky Bobby says:

    Some of you are quite the drama queens with the messianic “I’m a victim” hyperbole.

    It’s called Social Activism folks. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it for Causes you deem worthy.

    The truth as documented and preached by Michael for years (to which he built his online career) is that Calvary Chapel has major problems and that there’s another side to the story.

    Michael has also said it is the “sheep” and those who support CC that are the Problem for continuing to support it.

    Well, I think it’s as much the fault of the CC Franchisee pastors who claim no responsibility for their “Association”.

    You guys talk out of both sides of your mouth.

  283. Ricky, you just want top hurt somebody. Anybody. Why don’t you go punch your dad in the mouth and get it over with?

  284. Ricky Bobby says:

    Later, I’ve got a lot of work to do, it’ll take time addressing each CC Franchise and locale.

  285. Xenia says:

    MN has always wondered why Pastor Chuck had never done much about abusive pastors when it was within his power to remove abusive pastors yet here on his own blog he has an abusive poster who is THREATENING people and attempting to ruin their reputations yet this poster is allowed to remain. He is here today, breathing out threats and ragings.

  286. Not only threats, he is actually trying to ruin decent people.

  287. Ricky Bobby says:

    Good, after less than 24 hours, the CC Abuse link for Calvary Chapel Foresthill is on page one and will eventually be #2 or #3.

    This will happen in most every CC Franchisee locale as most are small to medium sized.

    The mega-CC’s will be harder to get the word out up the SEO ranks, but we’ll address them with a different set of tactics.

    It’ll make a dent. It’s actually a brilliant strategy, it’ll just take a lot of time and work, but it’ll get the word out about the other side of the story.

    CC needs to address their issues and the rank-and-file Franchisee Pastors need to step up and take responsibility for their Association.

  288. Ricky Bobby says:

    X, apples and oranges.

    I’m not a Pastor, I’m not in a Position of Trust, I have no power built up through indoctrination of “Special Anointing” etc. I can’t cult-shun you and have you lose half your friends and family etc.

    Two very different animal altogether.

  289. Ricky, I really hope your conscious will wake up. This man, and his church, never did anything to you. How can you possible think it is OK to blackmail and cyber terrorise him. If I fly to Vasalia and beat up your daddy can this all end?

  290. Steve Wright says:

    I will gladly testify under oath that this stunt against Jeff Jones and his church was malicious and motivated by a desire to hurt Jeff personally, as we all saw the timeline connection to Jeff’s posts on this board.

    It it noteworthy RB did not post his false light libel against any of the large Calvarys that have attorneys on retainer. He picked on a little Calvary in a little town with a good pastor who is also a friend of Michael’s.

    RB could have similar posts up for Greg L, Raul R, Bob C, Skip H, Brian B, Mike M, Steve M, Jeff J and many others before the day is over. He could blanket his blog like we all blanketed the internet for Saeed.

    He hasn’t. He likely won’t. So let’s not kid ourselves that Jeff was not a target. Just like I was a target (and continue to be) going back to last summer

    (And Xenia is right about the link to his website. That needs to go before the litigation really hits the fan)

  291. Jim,
    “264 was clever, but I’d find a better analogy, as the NRA is guilty of nothing”

    Well, using RB logic it is. If shooting up schools is not child abuse, I don’t know what is. What was the NRA response to Sandy Hook – any more regulations to keep guns out of kid’s hands? NO!!! Their response was to arm the teachers – so we can have shootout between teachers and 15 yr olds..

  292. Ricky Bobby says:

    LOL, you can testify all you want. It’s protected free speech and legitimate Social Activism to tell the other side of the CC story.

    Jeff will be one of 1,500, he’s not special.

  293. Xenia says:

    Well I personally am going to boycott this place until the link to CC Abuse is taken down.

  294. Ricky Bobby says:

    I have threads up for Raul, Bob Coy, and some of the others, and you.

    I just haven’t had the time or gumption or conviction to address all 1500 CC’s in this manner, but the Saeed Campaign re-motivated me. Social Activism works and I’m renewed in my belief a bigger dent can be made.

    All those names you mention will be included in telling the other side of the CC story and lawsuits will only draw more and more media attention to the Cause and will simply make my attorneys rich with your money when they win.

  295. Ricky, please listen to reason. What you are doing is evil, and probably illegal. Your family does not need this. This is cyber-terrorism. Please, for the sake of your children, stop.

  296. Since RB and Patriot Pawn and Guns are members and associates of the NRA, all I can say, using RB logic is that RB and Patriot Pawn and Guns are doing nothing to rid their business of this child abuse.

    So Patriot Pawn and Guns MUST be held accountable for the continuing mass shootings.

    This is the way it works, if Jeff Jones and his small congregation are held in anyway responsible for child abuse of others as is the current claim, because of an association, then so should the case be made against Pawn and Guns.

  297. Michael says:

    My apologies to all involved.
    I have matters to deal with here at home then I’ll deal with this.

  298. Ricky Bobby says:

    Now that I have your collective attention, here’s how this can be a more cooperative effort:

    I plan on giving a review of each CC Franchise: Do they have by-laws that have child protections in place? Do they have mandatory background checking? Do they prohibit felons and sex crimes people from working in volunteer or paid staff positions? Do they have open finances? Who owns and controls all the stuff? Can the pastor be fired? Is their recourse for member/non-member who has a beef with the CCSP? etc etc.

    We’ll probably rate them with Jesus’s and Moses’s. 0 Jesus’s and 5 Moses’s is Bad, 5 Jesus’s and 0 Moses’s is Good.

    It’ll be kind of like a Yelp but specifically for Calvary Chapel.

    Each Franchisee CC Pastor will have the opportunity to tell their story of how they are different from the Norm and the other bad CC situations.

  299. Steve Wright says:

    The other night I was up around 3:00 AM, and I checked something out as a hunch. Sure enough, the CC Abuse website showed about 240 or so visitors.

    No matter the time of day, the website shows a range of 230-260 visitors it seems. Has that ever happened in the history of the internet? Such a constant, steady similar number of folks – even on a blog with no new posts for weeks at a time.

    Those of us who know blog traffic know that any site with 240 visitors at 3:00AM is going to have a thousand or more during the day. Likewise, any site with that sort of traffic that allows comments is not going to go hours without a new comment, and have almost all comments be from the same small handful of people.

    Now, I do not know HOW he does it. Nor do I know how he pushes his posts to the top tier of google searches. I am not that tech savvy.

    But it does speak to the character of the man. How could he possibly allow the truth to show of how few people are actually online at his site at any time. Sure maybe the total hits he refers to is accurate from the past several years. I’m sure I contributed thousands over 4 years to that total. As have most of the readers here.

    If this blog made the top 200 or so, CCA should have been in the Top 50 easy if that traffic was legit. It’s not. So he is not.

    And of course, that is why he spends all his time here.

    I’ve been sitting on that for awhile, but now I can retire from all comments associated with that website. It truly is shocking to think of the mindset that would do such things as to invent internet traffic that does not exist.

  300. Ricky Bobby says:

    Josh, it’s Social Activism and much needed in the Church. If you call what I’m doing “cyber terrorism” then you may like China or Russia a lot better than America.

  301. “Now that I have your collective attention, here’s how this can be a more cooperative effort:”

    Are you trying to blackmail all of us? Is there any reason we should cooperate with a cyber-terrorist?

  302. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve, that’s b/c of google searches and the fact we get hits from all over the world and there are different time zones etc.

  303. Interested party says:

    MLD is making lots of sense. I’m guessing however that there is no one as vindictive as him to carry it out. RB had a lot of sympathizers here for a long time. A lot of people in his corner. I cannot sympathize with him anymore. He is very frightening.

  304. Ricky Bobby says:

    “cyber-terrorist” is libelous by your definition.

  305. Social activism – Yelp Patriot Pawn and Guns – not on service or quality, but that they support child abuse.

  306. Interested party says:

    “Vindictive as him” I was not implying MLD was vindictive.

  307. Ricky, if you keep this up, the courts will decide if you are a cyber-terrorist. I’m afraid they’ll see it the same way I see it. Don’t put your kids through any more of this. Go be a good daddy. I know you didn’t have one, but that doesn’t mean that your children shouldn’t have that experience.

  308. Michael says:

    For the time being to avoid a complete shut down, I’m closing comments on the blog.

  309. Steve Wright says:

    Actually, one final comment. Look up “false light liability”

    Some free advice for you, RB. Ask your attorney if what you are doing is perfectly legal and get his assurance he will defend you for free when you eventually reap what you sow.

    At least that way you will set yourself up for a bad faith case against your attorney so maybe your wife and children do not lose everything because of your hate and foolishness.

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