This wouldn’t have bothered me except that it’s being tarnished for the wrong reasons…in truth, factually inaccurate reasons.
“Chuck Smith, the founder of the movement, seemed to be biblically sound and determined to serve the Lord throughout his many years of ministry. Toward the end of his ministry, it appears there were strange bedfellows planted around him who in earlier years he would have avoided. So what happened? The purpose of this commentary will be to answer that question.”
If that was the purpose of the screed, Oakland failed miserably.
Let’s walk through this mess…
“Those who were situated near the epicenter of this multimillion-dollar big business definitely knew about some major problems that were quietly concealed. A number have pointed out that the Achilles Heel of the Calvary machine was Chuck Smith’s passion for the Moses Model. Ask anyone who ever bucked the system and dared challenge this style of leadership. The exit plan was the door, and they were given the left hand of fellowship without any alternative.
While the motto around Calvary made the claim that agape love was flowing over, many a disillusioned servant of God was buried in an unmarked grave throughout the network of Calvary Chapels. And what happened at Calvary Costa Mesa did not stay at Calvary Costa Mesa. An enormous machine of abuse was born, and many were maimed throughout the growing movement. Pastors cloned the model, and the spirit of heaviness was exported. Thousands were hurt and then shunned as happens in organizations that use cult-like control tactics.”
That statement is true.
It was true when I started writing about it years ago and people like Oakland called me a liar.
Times have changed…
The question that Oakland implicitly raises is “What were those “major problems that were quietly concealed”?
Oakland doesn’t answer the question directly because he knows what the backlash would be if he did.
However, after presenting a case made from whole, shabby, cloth that there was “apostasy” creeping into the movement, he says this;
“It was at that point that the light went on for me. Chuck Smith, as powerful and influential as he was, was under the rule of others who had become more powerful than he was. If there were wolves in the movement, why did he not remove them according to the Moses Model, I wondered. There are legal words to describe more adequately what I am referring to when human beings are manipulated and controlled by others and cannot comment in a public fashion. Why would that be?”
There you have it…the first public claim that Chuck Smith was being blackmailed…of course, without really saying it.
Let me help gain some clarity around this claim.
Chuck Smith was never “under the rule of others”.
That’s almost funny.
The truth, (as Oakland and scores of others have known for decades) is that Smith was covering up an affair from the seventies.
This left him vulnerable to exposure from those who knew…which included the vast majority of the first guard of CC pastors.
Many used that information to their advantage until the day he died.
There have been allegations for years that the people he was most vulnerable to were in his own family…
What Oakland wants you to believe is that one of the ways he was manipulated was in doctrinal matters and forced associations with people that he never would have associated with had not this been the case.
That is completely and utterly false.
Smith’s life long fear of exposure impacted the Calvary Chapel movement in many important ways that I will discuss at length in my book…but this was not one of those ways.
The primary doctrinal distinctives of CC were never in question for any any reason.
In my opinion, the study and understanding of this situation is important on many fronts, (both current and historical) and it is beyond wrong that it is being used to perpetuate a false narrative.
It is too complex a situation for a blog article and too important to ignore, which is why I chose to spend the effort necessary to write a book about it.
What is sub Christian in any case is to hint around at the matter without naming it, and to use it to further a false agenda.
Oakland ends his article with this;
“Finally, as I conclude this commentary, do you not think there is something wrong in the Calvary Chapel movement? What about Brian Brodersen himself? What about Cheryl Brodersen, Brian’s wife and Chuck Smith’s daughter. Do they echo words of warning about the coming onslaught of ecumenism and the march to the Coming One World Religion? Are the cardinals of Calvary Chapel speaking out? “
“Their silence is deafening.”
The only thing louder is the misinformation Oakland is spreading.
I’ll respond to this more in a later article.