Jun 232016

rdozlerDoveDuring the Calvary Chapel East Coast Pastors Conference a couple of months ago Joe Focht fielded a question about “unity’ during the Q & A panel.

“Well, are will still united?”, he asked rhetorically.

There was a smattering of yeas from a crowd that knows damn well that “unity” exists in brand name only.

Many of those attending the gathering in Philly were from the West Coast and their presence was actually a vote on the referendum choosing between the Philly traditionalists and the Costa Mesa “progressives”.

Next week the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Pastors Conference begins.

This used to be the annual Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors Conference, but has been demoted in status to accommodate the angst of those who feel that in some form or fashion Brian Brodersen has betrayed the legacy of the late Chuck Smith.

Attendance numbers for this gathering will be of interest…some who wouldn’t have missed this gathering in the past chose to go to the Philadelphia conference instead, as noted previously.

Another group is boycotting the event because Skip Heitzig is a speaker.

There are those who believe Heitzig should be held accountable for his part in the Gospel For Asia scandal and who recognize that according to current dogma, Heitzig is one of the “leaders” of the “movement” by way of his place on the Calvary Chapel Association board.

Those who have expressed this desire for accountability have been alternately ignored or scorned as being “divisive”.

How ironic is it that after all these years of telling people abused in CC churches to “vote with their feet”, that those pastors who want to hold their leadership accountable are now offered that as the only alternative to being silenced.

There is no mechanism in place whatsoever to hold these self appointed leaders accountable.

The truth is that there is no accountability for any leader in the “movement’, that the whole narrative of the birth and purpose of the CCA is built on lies, and any proclamations of “unity” in the group are lies as well.

My guess is that they will be more careful with the Q & A next week…

John MacArthur has removed his endorsement from the Greg Laurie Harvest Crusades.

MacArthur right hand man Phil Johnson has some less than affirming things to say about the crusades and the integrity of the Harvest team…

The Tom Randall Philippine orphanage sex abuse trial will continue in August.

I would ask you to keep this in your prayers as an incredible amount of time and money have been spent to bury this case and cover up the evil that has been done. The American press won’t touch it and the Philippine justice system is reminiscent of Mexico…

I need to go take another shower now…

  33 Responses to “Loose Ends”

  1. Loose ends always seems to have loose cannons in mind.

  2. Good work in reporting this stuff Michael.

    You have matured greatly over the years and found a good responsible balance. Less polemic and less hyperbolic, but still the truth and still much needed information. You’ve been faithful in your calling. Thank you.

  3. My cannons are well grounded and accurate…

  4. Alex,

    I’d rather spend time with my cat. 🙂

  5. I hear you LOL. It’s no fun having to always do the dirty work that the “leaders” in that Non-denomination should be doing.

    But, they are not specially anointed, they are no different than any of the rest of us. They are sinners, just like us. I feel sorry for some of them now. They are self-deceived and not being their best selves…and I know that has affected their personal lives and others around them.

  6. I watch the Skip Heitzig promotional video where he is exalted and glorified and it makes me sad. But, I recognize that I would have that temptation and tendency if I was worshipped and adored like he is by his followers.

  7. The reality is that the article will have no effect other than raising my blood pressure when the inevitable comments come that I don’t know what I’m talking about and I’m making things up as I go.

    The truth is out there and more and more of these guys want to hear it…but there is a steep price to pay.
    I almost didn’t bother…but those who want to know and who are speaking up deserve a voice too.

    Next week will be interesting…

  8. Anyways, I’m a mess, too. I’m not better or worse than Skip or any of those guys. They’re human. They are political. They will behave like the rest of us in a church/political situation. They will pick sides and create cliques and be in competition and vie for power and self-promote etc. Humans being human.

    I know Jesus doesn’t approve of it. I know it’s not how God and Jesus intended the church to act. It’s not God’s design and it’s not God’s fault. I’m sure he is saddened by it. But he allows it to happen. And, he will likely show grace and mercy to them as he’s shown me and you and others…b/c he does love us.

  9. Michael, true. You have seen this movie before LOL. Hang in there and just stick to your convictions and keep growing and learning in how you report the stuff. You have become more “truth in love” over the years, I have witnessed your evolution.

  10. The MacArthur/Johnson wing can be tiresome, but that’s some tacky tactics by the Harvest people.

  11. MacArthur / Johnson make a perfect case for Lutheran closed communion

  12. because i have a high regard (not mindless hero worship) for John MacArthur i clicked on the above link … i almost bookmarked ‘Pulpit and Pen’ and then i thought, “no, i can’t take a steady intake of this…” as a result i appreciate even more Michael’s calling here (this is the only Christian web-site i visit daily) … however, re: #4

    does the cat at Michael’s house have a litter box? i just did my busy daughter a favor by cleaning out that thing and the bag broke as i carried it through the garage – i’m headed for sainthood now; i’m sure of it… a non-cat person cleaning up cat stuff without cussing, now that’s a sure sign of a saint, is it not? (posted tongue in cheek for those who have trouble interpreting my comments) LOL

  13. Em,

    Miss Kitty is an outside cat and would explode before she would use a cat box.

    I am immensely grateful for this…

  14. “Man…Message…Movement…Machine…Monument…Memory.” Can anyone enlighten me as to who penned this progressive description of sorts? I have for years also wondered who first said “There’s a sucker born again every minute.”; a twist on the saying often attributed to P.T. Barnum?

  15. JD,

    It originated with Vance Havner, I think…

  16. Man I thought the panel was going to start crying about the whole wine question, so sad.
    I wonder if any of the pastors noticed all the “we’re all united…its about the Spirit” rah-rahs, and then “what a dum question..who the hell are these idiots in our movement?!!!”
    No, no one actually said that, but almost all the guys up there had a fit.
    I also thought it ironic they justified ridiculing such a question by pointing to how bad the world is getting, “now you don’t even know which bathroom to use!”, etc.
    Um, guys, is THIS the first time you’ve noticed “how bad” the world is getting?!!!
    I can remember when we (back when I was involved) use KWAVE to ridicule everything not CC, then dems, then “homos” “ruining the family unit”, etc.
    My point is I’m sad their tribal mentality has never gotten them anywhere and they obviously haven’t learned (as Raul joked, but he wasn’t, “Chuck always said if you’re going to leave [CC], don’t leave mad, just leave”, followed by giggles).
    Well, I guess I should be positive after 30 years they can be so proud now about talking to other ministries (it reminded me of those after segregation felt proud about talking to blacks), no, I’m not calling them racists, just arrogant.
    I really don’t mean this as a rant. Maybe after a few years undefined by the Moses model I’m more sensitive to such obvious narcissism masking as Godliness.
    If you’re really following Jesus AND pointing others to do the same (which is our only mission-make disciples), you can do that AND spend so much time and energy on YOUR opinions.

  17. Sorry, I meant “you CAN’T do that AND spend so much time and energy on YOUR opinions.

  18. Maybe CC could start to talk about how God loves all people, not just white ones (whose problems are the biggest focus).
    What about all the child sex trafficking happening in EVERY city?
    What about all the slaves we employ with all our corporate crap we buy?
    And “can we have a drink” sends the church into a fit?
    Come on.

  19. UnCCed,

    I would be remiss if I didn’t note that information you posted here was in error.
    Chickales has not left CC.

  20. It’s funny the talk of unity. The LCMS is not unified but seems to get along fine — except on blogs. The LCMS synodical convention is this weekend. The vote for president 2 weeks ago was contentious and split.

    There are the same 2 factions in the LCMS as in Calvary Chapel – the traditionalists and the Calvary Chapel wannabees.

  21. UnCCed @ #16 wrote:
    “Man I thought the panel was going to start crying about the whole wine question, so sad.”

    Such angst. I saw even more angst among those alpha male chieftains when the topic of gender roles came up. Roles determined solely by plumbing received at birth. I suppose in a way their angst is warranted because many of their young charges are coming to the conclusion that the Bible teaches no such thing. They’re fast fading into the sunset those old tribal war-lords, and it troubles them.

  22. “Such angst. I saw even more angst among those alpha male chieftains when the topic of gender roles came up. Roles determined solely by plumbing received at birth.”

    Call me a Reverse Jason Stellman LOL, but I am back to believing the Traditional ways are better for Society than the increasingly socially-liberal progressive push.

    In general, God’s design is for men to be men and women to be women. There are a small percentage of the species who are gay or confused, but that does not make it normative or intended, it is an anomaly and even Science supports this if you think about Natural Selection. There is no purpose in same-sex relationships, not in an Evolutionary context and Perpetuation of the Species context.

  23. The design of the human species is for men to be the hunter-gatherers and women to be the nurturers. This is supported by a ton of Science, ironically.

    Men and women are different. It is what it is.

    From a Christian perspective, God and Jesus seem to affirm the roles of the man and woman and they present a guide in what and how to perform those roles. I think those ways were the best ways, though many men abuse their role, which is wrong.

  24. Well, since the “wine” issue from the East Coast Pastors Conference video has been brought up in this thread and I was the one who previously wrote an article about drinking here on this blog, I feel obliged to comment. (Plus I need to release some pent-up frustrations from the first time I viewed this video.) 🙂

    I found much of the conversation to be utterly ridiculous. (Not all, but much.) Let me deal with a few statements or themes:

    First of all, the great surprise by many on the panel that they are even dealing with such an issue in Calvary Chapel. – C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding me. A movement such as Calvary Chapel that has been relatively progressive in the church in regards to shedding traditional or legalistic norms such as music and appearance and supposedly has more freedom within its churches than those “denominational” churches and these guys are shocked that some within their ranks think it’s okay to drink? Let’s drop the pietistic and spurious shock.

    The world is going to hell and we’re worried about drinking? – Exactly! Alcohol shouldn’t even reach the level of a secondary issue theologically within the church. And so why out of hundreds of submitted questions does this one get chosen and great concern is expressed about those who drink or who think it’s okay to drink?

    Those who drink wine are stupid. – I don’t think much more needs to be said on this statement. Pretty self-evident of the attitude portrayed.

    Scripture is clear that elders are not to drink wine. – I must have missed this one in my Bible where this is clear.

    The Bible says that we are to avoid the appearance of evil. – No it does not. The King James faultily translates I Thessalonians 5:22 this way. It is widely recognized that this is not an accurate translation and the verse says more along the lines that we are to avoid every form of evil, not the “appearance” of it.

    We need more pastors filled with the Holy Spirit than filled with wine. – This is a false dichotomy. A pastor can be both, it is not an either or. If a pastor is “filled” with wine, does this mean that he can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit? Of course not. Especially if we’re if we’re speaking of “filled with wine” as being in a sense of simply partaking in the drinking wine. Now if a pastor is regularly getting drunk, that is a different story. Then they shouldn’t even be a pastor in the first place – that is what Scripture is clear about.

    Impaired judgment begins on the first drink. – True, in some sense, but obviously not to the point where there is significant impairment of any degree. But then as usual the argument is made of where would we then draw the line at how many drinks we can have so why do we even risk taking that first drink. And the reasoning is that for this reason, we shouldn’t drink at all in the first place. – I will have to go back to Jesus on this one and ask why he risked drinking in the first place. And why did he give wine to his disciples and others and had them risk drinking in the first place. I will have to ask him about his reckless behavior.

    Don’t know anyone where drinking adds to them, only where it is a detriment. – C’mon, drinking adds enjoyment to those who drink. Especially for those who do it responsibly. That is why they drink in the first place, because they enjoy it. Yes, there can be detriments. But it is not an issue that has only downsides with no upsides. It can even be argued that there can be benefits beyond simple enjoyment.

    But enough of this. Rant over. Just needed to get it off my chest. 🙂

  25. Kevin H, OMG. That is so sad. Hyper-fixated on that issue a.k.a. Straining the Gnat….yet they Swallow the Camel of so many things that are truly issues they should focus on.

    SMH. What a waste of time and energy. But, very human. Very not specially anointed. They are being who they are.

  26. That being said, too much alcohol is very destructive to people and families and churches etc. They are right to warn against the dangers of too much alcohol.

  27. Kevin H. @ # 24:

    Pretty much my sentiments too. It seems they wistfully long for the good old days when Papa Chuck was as revered and obeyed as Chairman Mao was in a bygone China.

  28. Al @ nos. 22 & 23:

    You’re the same pastor Al, Ricky Bobby, and other aliases who used to come here loaded for bear and war? What happened to you? Did you re-get religion?

  29. Muff, I’m tired of kicking against the goads and being mad at God for the sins of my fellow sinners (of which I am one).

    I’m broken. War-torn. Not from battling the humans…from wrestling with God. I give.

  30. Al,

    It’s been good to see your recent outlook and participation. Stay encouraged and just be mindful when those old provocations come about. Where you’re at now not only makes it more peaceable at this blog, but I think it’s much healthier for yourself, too. God bless.

    Oh, and don’t drink wine, or something like that, too. 😉

  31. I really respect folks here and value their opinion a great deal I truly respect Em as well. But for personal reasons and I will admit to a bias here, I cant stand John MacArthur at all and Phil Johnson even less via their online / public persona. On the other side of it I have heard really good things about some powerful outreaches at GTY and some pastoral care both of these men have given so to try to balance it I add that. So I am sure if I knew them in person it would be different. I wish no harm to them only blessing but my little interaction with PJ and my passive interaction with JM ie reading his books, what I could stomach and listening, to his sermons yuck. But that is just me.

  32. Gotta love Al when he’s firing on all cylinders. The balance of righteous anger and grace is evident and it’s a joy to read your posts.

  33. Michael Newnham,

    please send me a message to my e-mail so that I may reply privately..


    peter b

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