May 312017
 

As usual, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about Calvary Chapel and how the split is working itself out.

I don’t have any inside info for you today.

Because I just don’t care.

For years I have maintained a large network among CC people in order that I might provide some truth and insight into how and why this group of men operated.

Despite all sorts of accusations about the veracity of my work, we all know where Calvary Chapel people went to try to find out what was going on in their own non denomination.

They came here and they came here because there was nowhere else to go…their leaders lied to them and kept them in the dark, not believing that they were capable of rightly parsing information.

They still come for that, but it’s not my focus anymore.

I’m weary of doing for timid men what they won’t do for themselves.

The split was a perfect opportunity for CC pastors to demand accountability and transparency from their self appointed leaders.

The split itself was created through lies, slander, and innuendo, that should never have been allowed to take root and fester…but men who prefer to be led won’t challenge those who demand to lead in this dysfunctional troupe.

The few who have stood up have found themselves alone as the main conviction in the CC DNA is the conviction that authority, (legitimate or not) is not to be challenged.

They have either been ignored or had more smoke blown at them from those who will not answer to “lesser” brethren.

Today the group engages in dueling conferences, colleges, and bible schools, and is a bleary echo of what God did back in the day.

That day has passed for this group…and they have no one to blame but themselves.

We’ll still be here for the big stuff…but we’re going to be about better things than old men clinging to illegitimate authority unchallenged.

The rest of the rank and file seem to prefer eating cake…enjoy.

  47 Responses to “Whither Calvary?”

  1. We’re still hanging in there with CC Boise.
    Tucker has made many much needed changes, and his preaching style is refreshing.
    The openness and transparency is finally there.
    We have been told that Calvary Chapel is now nothing more than a name on the side of the building.
    As far as Bob goes…..he’s slithered away. Not a word.

  2. Of all we loved and honored, naught
    Save power remains;
    A fallen angel’s pride of thought,
    Still strong in chains.

    All else is gone; from those great eyes
    The soul has fled:
    When faith is lost, when honor dies,
    The man is dead!

    Then, pay the reverence of old days
    To his dead fame;
    Walk backward, with averted gaze,
    And hide the shame!

    John Greenleaf Whittier

  3. Mmmmm. Cake….

  4. Corby,

    I think you prefer other desserts… 🙂

  5. I think I prefer all the desserts.

  6. “They still come for that, but it’s not my focus anymore.”

    I first came here out of curiosity about things going on in CC’s. Sure, I found it. But along the way, I’ve found friends…Christians of all stripes, some I never would have considered true believers at all…based solely upon the denomination (or non) with which they associated. But the Holy Spirit used this forum to open my eyes and broaden my understanding of what constitutes orthodox Christianity.

    So, to “it’s not my focus anymore,” I say, “Glory to be God!!!”

  7. CK,

    “But the Holy Spirit used this forum to open my eyes and broaden my understanding of what constitutes orthodox Christianity.”

    That’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time…thank you.

  8. Captain Kevin.

    Amen! I have shared your experience here, and am grateful that I found my way here.

  9. another ‘amen’ to the Captain’s observation and amen also to Michael’s conclusion: “Because I just don’t care” … you did when the Holy Spirit prompted you to address a course of events playing out in the denomination that needed an honest examination and now on to the next focus – what will this new Anglican see, i wonder ? …
    my take away from the CC saga played out here over the years is that God uses weak people and strong ones to find and save souls, but He doesn’t rely on any one person to do that… and, if you truly care about God’s truth, He will bring you to it … grace is a wonder

  10. Heard Mike MacIntsh’s message from the recent pastors conference at Raul’s church.

    First off, it’s sad to see someone like him so fixated on what he assumes is BB’s diviciviness that he uses scripture to draw flawed parallels.

    Secondly, that was such a hack job on scripture.

  11. Like CK, I found this blog when researching Calvary Chapel. Actually after finding Alex’s abuse blog first which lead me here. I must say, I found out a lot about CC but it certainly didn’t stop there. I understand my faith, church history and Christianity in general much better now. Like Michael, I’m not sure I care about CC anymore. Every now and then I get emotional about what I experienced but I guess time, maturity and understanding makes the wounds less painful. I do worry about my children however getting mixed up in this bizarre group. I do hope an honest book about all things Calvary Chapel comes out soon that will stand the test of time giving the good, bad and ugly of CC that church historians and inquisitive layman can use for years to reference. CC is quite hard to understand and complex at times and I think it probably is because of all the lies that have been told by power hungry marketing egos.

  12. We’ve left another local CC because we are selling and moving away due to retirement. Not one person called or anything. No, not one. Forget these people, their love has grown cold. 🙁

  13. I found my way here like Steve@#11. Thinking back, I don’t know why I started searching… that being said, the mother of our kids attends the local mega/seeker friendly church. The pastor is an Oral Roberts grad. I attended an evening service once and found it vacuous. Mega-milk, no Gospel. I did like one sermon by the pastor at CC once, however, when he said that there are believers even at that church he named, as kind of a shame towards those who probably complained about that church and it’s vision (live your dream, etc… the pastor wrote one of “those” books)..

    I’m realizing more and more that church starts at home, and I’m trying, but still feel lacking.

  14. I recently found out from my friend David DI Sabbatino that during a phone conversation one very high profile person told him to retract a statement he had quoted in his book that I had said.

    The high up person said that I had used drugs and was not a reliable source.

    Davids reply to him was good, he riminded this person that before they had come to Christ they were dealing drugs.

    Recently another well known worship leader left a comment on my blog that was a frabricated lie about an incident that I had personally witnessed and wrote about.

    Both incidents did not really shock me because the culture of CC was well known, to do what ever it takes to polish that gleaming perfect image no matter if it takes lies to accomplish.

    They will throw anyone under the bus to achieve the goal of appearing squeaky clean.

    The atrocities that have been reported here over the years bear this out. Cover everything up and eliminate anyone who dares confront.

    Your right…sadly I too find that I honestly don’t care anymore.

    I think that there is a loss of respect when we see otherwise respectable leadership stoop so low as to be willing to take and employ a page from Satan’s play book.

    In their screwed up thinking it is justifiable to take questionable actions to achieve the image/facade of purity and perfection, no matter what it takes.

    My own brush with these two incidents confirmed for me personally, that something is indeed very wrong within the hearts of some CC loyalist.

    It truly is disheartening.

    I can only hope and pray that I have the integrity within my own self to never fall into that trap of which these men have become so guilty of over many many incidents as reported here and in other places over the years.

    Just like assistant pastor Romain of CC once said to a US Marine who showed up at CC one day in his full dress blues, “Son, under that uniform, you’re still a sinner.”

    We are all sinners saved by grace.

    Let’s never forget that folks.

  15. Surfer51, still praying for you.

  16. captain Kevin, still praying for you as well

  17. Surfer

    #14

    That hits so many chords with my family and what we went through at CC.

    Amen and thank you.

    As far as CC, there is a plague on both houses.

  18. Much appreciated!
    So many Christians battling cancer these days.

  19. John 20:29, still praying for your cousin

  20. When the pastor of my old CC had learned that I had left, he came over to the house immediately and talked to us for a few hours. In retrospect, it was a ridiculous conversation but it ended with affectionate hugs all around and I give him credit for making the effort.

    After the cat was out of the bag, several people contacted me and 2 took me out to lunch to find out what was going on. (One of them converted to Orthodoxy.) So I have no complaints about how people responded to my departure. Sure, there was a lot of “Oh no! We must pray that she return!” but what’s wrong with that? I would be more bothered if the response was “Good riddance!”

    I am still good friends with two CC people. One is my best friend for many years and she would stick by me if I became a Hindoo, I think. I don’t know why the other one keeps me in her circle because we sure don’t agree on much. Who knows. She is a genuine friend.

    Remember, I left them. I am the one who rejected them. When I do meet up with some old CC people, it’s a little awkward because they are not sure I am still a genuine Christian. They want to talk about the old CC stuff because that’s all they know. They want to talk about how the new pastor (my old CC pastor’s son, a good person) is such a good teacher. My thoughts, which I keep to myself, are if CC teaching is so good why doesn’t it “work?” Why didn’t it help me grow to be more Christlike? Why was I becoming a bigger jerk with each passing year under this system? But I don’t say anything. If they asked, I would explain but they never ask. They don’t want to hear ONE WORD about my church, I can tell you that. These conversations are always very one-sided. They don’t know that there is anything besides the CC way so they cheerfully chatter away about worship teams and children’s ministries. God bless them. They are closer to the Throne than I am, I think.

    So…. no complaints. I left because I was miserable. They stay because they are happy.

  21. Here’s something else to think about.

    People will leave our parish, for various reasons. These people often want to have long conversations about why they left. I don’t want to participate in these conversations. I am willing to listen to their initial complaint, of course. If you have spent any time around people in the middle of a church-changing, you know that they can be obsessive, analyzing everything to death and being harshly critical of everything. There comes a time when you find yourself avoiding such people. These people might (almost certainly) see this avoidance as another example of bad behavior on the part of their old church, another complaint to add to the list.

    So if people from your old church are avoiding you, it might be because they don’t want to hear your complaints about a church and group of people that they still love.

    Not talking about anyone on this thread, by the way.

  22. Come to think of it, they were avoiding us while we were there. So in some way it must be our fault for going there in the first place.

  23. thank you, dusty – praying with you for all your list on the prayer thread also

  24. #14, your post makes me think of Psalm 1. These pastors/leaders have degenerated consciences and must be completely deluded by now. It all started with getting their eyes off God and onto their “idol”. What their “idol” rationalized–they rationalized because, after all, their “idol” can’t be wrong. By their “idol’s” mouth and other’s testimony, God was surely with him. Look at all the phenomena that occurred around him years ago. He must be “God’s Anointed”. Right? Everybody around him seems not to have trouble with even an unholy decision, so why should they? They were too dull to see that they stayed too long–just like Psalm 1.

    It starts with one small compromise. Then another one. Then, they’re in the “club”. Then, before they know it they are bought by their own sin of complicity and the hypocrisy that they do not see. They’ve exchanged truth for a lie because they actually believe that they are not like others and their sin is not sin. They are missing the healthy fear of God and are no longer able to be convicted over their atrocities. They have, essentially, put themselves above the Word of God.

    BTW, I would like to know what Romain’s position was on Chuck staying on as pastor after he committed adultery in 1977? He seemed like a straight shooter when I encountered him. Why in the world would he stand for such a thing? Do you think he idolized Chuck, too?

  25. withered CC would also be a correct title.

  26. Why did people like Romaine? I always thought he was a theological lightweight, useful only as the team bully … but then that’s just me.

  27. Why in the world would he stand for such a thing?<<<

    I don't know if the rumors about Pastor Chuck are true so I wont hang my hat on that particular hook.

    However…. if they are true, I can understand the #2 person looking the other way if he thought blabbing what he knew would destroy the hundreds of young people who looked to Pastor Chuck as their spiritual father. I think I would have done the same thing, even if it wasn't the right thing.

  28. For years, many in my circle of friends/acquaintances would complain about the lack of transparency within the Calvary Chapel organization. Many people complain, so little willing to speak up.

    The way that Brodersen was treated by CCA members was outside of Christian conduct. Brodersen is looking towards the future, CCA is attempting to hold on to the past. It is the common misidentifying of orthopraxy as orthodoxy. It was a severe critique born out of ignorance, and a lack of respect not only for another man’s ministry but our common heritage. Enough was enough, and I left CCA.

    Brodersen has not altered from what some would call “Calvary essentials”, but he recognizes that we sing a new song, and that song will be manifested by different methods in preaching the gospel. The old ways of doing things can become an idol rather than a tool.

    A new wineskin has been made.

  29. “The old ways of doing things can become an idol rather than a tool.” You hit the nail on the head Mike. Well said.

  30. Dusty,
    Thank you so much!!! I cannot even begin to tell you how your faithfulness in prayer is an encouragement and comfort to me.

  31. #27, MLD,
    Despite my assessment of Romain, I heard many accounts that mirror what you said. It’s not just you.

  32. “Why did people like Romaine? I always thought he was a theological lightweight, useful only as the team bully ”

    That was his job…the team bully.
    He was so good at it that he became a template for other senior pastors who all thought they needed a Romaine to keep everyone in line and handle conflict for the pastor.

  33. Well, Michael. That does connect a few dots. That was truly the pattern I saw in the many CC’s I passed through. It kind of proves my point about pastors abdicating their own mind (and responsibilities). They mindlessly used this leadership template because it had worked for the Chuckster. It was as though it was passively sanctioned by “the man”. No one ever thought about the bad fruit or that it was not Biblical. I guess some one figured out that “good cop/bad cop” worked really well if you want your visible leader to maintain his “squeaky clean” image (to borrow a reference from above). Truly a group mentality. Very much like a cult. Romain’s legacy appears to be less than stellar.

  34. @pstrmike your church is still listed on the CCA website church locator.

  35. I was aware of that, at least last time I checked (which I don’t do often). I’ve asked my former regional pastor to take care of that, and I’ve opted out of CCA’s e-mails. Eventually, someone will get around to the updating it.

  36. pstrmike

    Let’s not forget where Brodersen was standing and what party line he was defending amidst nearly ALL the scandal, and taking up the position of assistant pastor under someone whom many here consider disqualified from ministry. He ain’t no saint nor is he Charlie Brown.

  37. Xenia, #28,

    Thanks for your input:
    “However…. if they are true, I can understand the #2 person looking the other way if he thought blabbing what he knew would destroy the hundreds of young people who looked to Pastor Chuck as their spiritual father. I think I would have done the same thing, even if it wasn’t the right thing.”

    “Blabbing” would have only been necessary if Chuck or any other leader tried to cover up their sin and continue on. Pretty much like the Bob Coy and the Bob Caldwell cases. These men would deserve to be exposed because of their own actions.

    Given the chance to do likewise, I did not cover up a situation. Those whose faith was set in Christ and not a system or a man, were fine. Infact, they moved on to something else. When faith in Christ nearly costs you your life, it sets your loyalties. What else can be done to you? Initially, I was alone in my convictions, but time bore out that the right thing would have also been the best thing. That being said, my beginnings were not usual and I actually understand why most people might chose to be quiet in the beginning. I give you credit for why you say that, Xenia. In the midst of so much pressure, people often gravitate to the most expedient solution without thinking. However, we have to look at what happened to all those “young people”. Was it right that they continued to be misled and follow a lie? Was that better in the long run? God will take care of those that truly hunger and thirst for righteousness. God didn’t need CC. CC needed God and they threw His holiness under the bus. I was one of those young people and I will always resent being used as a prop to undergird their false narrative.

    The Bible has a lot to say about the place of truth in our walk. If we do not love it–bad things happen. Therefore, even if there was an early choice to be silent out of mislaid concern or until they figured out what to do–fine. However, it should not have stood. It should have bothered someone and been corrected. At some point if any CC leaders had a conscience (or an independent mind that functioned on any level ), they should have spoken out. Apparently, with all the “righteous” people who knew about the perversive nature of this group, no one really set out to expose it until Michael and he was sorely persecuted for doing so. Those that have remained silent about the level of sin in leadership are abetters and have been a party to the spread of immoral leaven. All of the abuses that have come forth since that one cover up are on the heads of the cowards who are willfully silent. They are a blight upon the body of Christ.

    I look forward to Michael’s book. The truth needs to be out there in print.

  38. Descended, #37 –you bring up some points that need to be addressed. It would be good to get clarification on them.

  39. Descended,
    I am well aware of Brodersen’s shortcomings, and have criticized him in the past. I am also familiar with the dynamic of what CCCM was like under Chuck.

    Some of us are called to separate from things that we cannot endorse, others are called to endure in the hope of the opportunity for a new season. In reality, we all work with some form of compromise, or as my Lutheran friend would say, “we are simultaneously sinner and saint.” Having said that, I don’t consider CGN the lesser of two evils, but a network of common vision and values with which I can engage or not engage with as I feel led by the Spirit.

  40. I’m no longer a CCA affiliate. Left 6 months ago to return to Southern Oregon to become part of a pastoral team. Unlike Mike, when they heard is was stepping down as pastor of Salem, CCA quickly removed me from their list.

    Loved my people in Salem and whether CC or not, I faithfully served them. I am honored to spend my last year’s in ministry with a great team of pastors.

  41. JM, I hear what you are saying and in fact, I do agree with you in principle.

    There’s been occasions in my life when I was in possession of information that I kept to myself because I, in my human weakness, attempted to weigh telling what I knew vs. preserving people from grief. I have often regretted saying too much and have never regretted keeping my mouth shut. There are, of course, situations where keeping silent would be very wrong.

    I am not much for situational ethics but I think it applies here. I want to make a choice that contributes to the greater good and I am not wise enough to make decisions like that.

  42. Xenia, #42

    Thank you so much for commenting again. In the context that you describe, I would agree that full disclosure would be inappropriate. It is good not to be hasty, but rather circumspect. I also don’t mind saying that this side of heaven, even the right decision to disclose can be inadequate because it occurs in an imperfect environment. All we can do is our best before God and be willing to make it right if we should find that we have erred. Because of the way you write, Xenia, I think you have a humble heart and would correct anything if you found it necessary. You, too, are striving to do the right thing and I commend it. 🙂

  43. A little leaven, leavens the whole lump

    Throughout the years here there has been random references to Chuck Smiths alleged adultry . Once again, its been brought up here on this thread. As well as alleged accounts of a cover up, turning a blind eye

    Is it true? What is the scope of the adultry?
    Was it a one time incident, dalliances with several individuals or a lingering loyalty to a long term mistress???
    To what extent does it matter?
    How did it affect the man, the family, the ministry and the movement?

    Are we right to wonder, question or address the situation… after all …true or no, it was so very long ago.

    And so was King Davids sin with Bathsheba
    Not only did his second man “address” the situation… but God recorded it for all to see…
    The incident, the reckoning, and the results.

    While i can appreciate those who opt to err on the side of discretion ( if indeed the adultry charge is true) in an attempt to spare emotional and spiritual damage to multiples who looked to Pastor Chuck as a spiritual Father… Im left to wonder, if by a failing to walk in truth on the matter that it hasnt had a far more insidious affect of not only leavening the whole lump… but spiritual fall out of myriads more menacingly wounded by multiple leaders who have followed in that type of behaviour and “discretion”

  44. Before there was Calvary Chapel Bible College there was this:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Ricky+Nelson%EF%BD%9EMalibu+U

    Now that the tide seems to be going out on Calvary Chapel we can sit back, relax and smile a little 🙂

  45. “Why did people like Romaine? I always thought he was a theological lightweight, useful only as the team bully ”

    Never talkerd to Romaine, and never will forget him.

    He was teaching one night (don’t remember on what), stopped, and said something like, “one of you will get fired tomorrow but don’t worry, you’ll find another job, a better one. It. has to be better, they don’t like you in the job your in now.”

    Next morning I went in to work and was fired! By afternoon someone else had called and offered me another job. This was in 1982. I kid you not.

  46. The CC system has two sets of standards: one for the “attendees” (remember, they have no “membership”), and one for the “leadership” (and now my quotation marks are cynical).

    Most attendees have no idea what goes on behind the scenes because they are told not to worry about that. Their “anointed” pastor will handle all decisions and everyone will say yes.

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