Sep 292014

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. The lawsuit brought by the one part of Chuck Smith’s family against other family members is going to generate a lot of publicity and a lot of opinions, both informed and uninformed.

To write about the situation in a way that would bring real understanding requires a book, not a blog article.

This is the exposure of what has been known by insiders for decades…that this was and is a highly dysfunctional family.

The only questions now are around how much of the cause and effects of that dysfunction will be revealed.

If this lawsuit goes to trial it will not protect the legacy of Chuck Smith.

It well could destroy a large part of it.

No one will come out of this untainted.

If this action had been brought to determine the lawful ownership of the various properties that Smith founded as part of the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa empire, it would be understandable at some level.

To frame this action around a grieving widow suffering from dementia while making accusations of abuse is utterly beyond my understanding.

I will answer two questions I keep getting… to the best of my understanding.

First, there are questions about the Smith children’s inheritance.

All I will say is that Chuck Smith provided opportunities for his children while he was alive that many thought were scandalous in themselves.

I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry at those concerns.

Second, I’ve never heard even a whisper of concern that his widow would not be or is not being be both provided for and cared for.

If the proof is there, bring it forward…until then I will believe the family has more than enough assets (and desire) to care for her.

More assets than most families in the same situation…

2. In my opinion, (carefully framed to avoid unnecessary litigation) this move is also about who will control the Calvary Chapel movement going forward. In other words, there will be those who want to make political hay of this…I heard the combines fire up quite some time ago.

3. When I think about what everyone involved in this mess has to lose the word “settlement” is written in fire on my computer screen…

4. Teddy Bridgewater looked really good yesterday… really good.

5. Christianity Today has picked up the story and sees the narrative being presented….that being that Brian and Cheryl Brodersen “hastened the death” of Chuck Smith. I already have heard that this narrative is being repeated in Calvary Chapels all over the country. If that narrative gains traction, the wave could sweep the Brodersens out of CC…see #2…

6. Speaking of narratives…when a Muslim beheads a woman and we call it “workplace violence” and pretend that religious ideology was irrelevant, that narrative should be called a “fairy tale”.

7. I feel like a need a bath after writing this column…

8. There seems to be no end to the goals of the social thought police. My Facebook feed has articles every week now telling me what I should find attractive and beautiful in the opposite sex and inferring that I am an oppressive beast if not every body type or appearance appeals to me. These articles are usually accompanied by pictures of half dressed or fully undressed people of every body type and appearance that we’re supposed to appreciate…or else. Add these to all the articles about what we should eat, what we should wear, and what phone we should use if we’re going to be right thinking citizens .Why in the world can’t we just agree that there are different strokes for different folks…are we going to legislate taste and preference now? For the record, I like redheads, pork chops,  iPhones, the mountains over the sea, and the ESV over the KJV… and I don’t care what you think about any of the above.

9. Nothing like discussing the assets of the rich and religious instead of the Gospel…said Jesus never…

10. Finally, the real news today is that it’s Jerry Lee Lewis 79th birthday. Happy birthday to the Killer…the greatest that ever lived.

  45 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. I had this over on the other thread but I think it fits better here.

    “The lawsuit itself is of no consequence at all – as I said the other day, the fact that the assets belong to the Smith family to fight over is the issue.

    This is no different than when the Schueller’s were fighting over their kingdom. Crystal Cathedral – CCCM, zero difference.”

    And then I will add, base on this article – why would any of the inheritance come out of the church and not Smith personal estate? Can I claim to be a Martin Luther decedent and claim Lutheran Church assets?

  2. Related to the above comment – I was at the doctor today having my prostate examined. Guys, if you are of age and have put it off, get it done.

  3. Number 6…..I agree 100%
    Does anyone really believe that it was merely workplace violence? Of course not!
    Political correctness gone mad.

  4. Wow, I guess we really are a family here at PP, MLD.

  5. Yes … A bad settlement is better than a good judgement.

    Or, as it is written, Make peace with your adversary quickly.

    I hope these are able to do it, although, that is easy to say from the outside of a tough situation.

  6. MLD,

    There are days here when it seems like one long prostate exam…
    Good word…

  7. # 4 Skol

  8. MLD,

    In answer to your first question…the lines between “personal” and the “church” in American celebrity evangelicalism is so blurred that people can’t see the difference.
    Thus, you have identified one of the primary issues here…

  9. Great “Things”, Michael. What a sad, yet unsurprising situation.

  10. Thank you, Noelle!

  11. Thank you for writing about it. I know it brings you no pleasure.Thinking about the progression of this frame-up over the last decade is sobering.

  12. #2 TMI

    :: !!! O_o !!! ::

  13. MLD

    Next time your doctor puts on the latex gloves…………………………………!

  14. There you go again MLD, stirring the pot. 😉

  15. Hi Noelle!!

  16. Michael,
    intriguing list…no wonder Smith was so hopeful for the rapture.

    Fortunately, Bridgewater’s injury doesn’t appear to be too serious.

    Your unabashed love for JLL always makes me smile.

  17. regarding #6, there was, without a doubt, workplace violence characteristics in the attack in question, but additionally, the ISIS terrorism flavor was plainly apparent. To report otherwise is simply foolhardy.

  18. Hi, sweet Nonnie! <3

  19. “Touch not God’s anointed” and may I add their assets as well.

  20. “5. Christianity Today has picked up the story and sees the narrative being presented….that being that Brian and Cheryl Brodersen “hastened the death” of Chuck Smith. I already have heard that this narrative is being repeated in Calvary Chapels all over the country. If that narrative gains traction, the wave could sweep the Brodersens out of CC…see #2…”

    And thus, Christianity Today becomes just another newsstand rag. Easy article, as they didn’t even have to pay the paparazzi for the scoop.

    What the hell is the matter with these people?!!!!

  21. What do we learn from this?

    Building an FMD (Family Ministry Dynasty) is problematic?

    Schullers, Smiths, Grahams. Billy Graham seems to be of another type.

    Is it that testerone and ambition mingle with devotion to the gospel to produce interesting results?

    Can any of us really distinguish within our own hearts what is passion for the kingdom and what is personal ambition?

    How can we know?

    How do we build families in which our children love each other after we are gone?

  22. I mean, even Herbert W and Garner Ted struggled in these matters.

  23. “If this lawsuit goes to trial it will not protect the legacy of Chuck Smith.

    It well could destroy a large part of it”


    I’m not interested in hagiographies or destroying someone’s legacy. I just want the truth to come out. We have already had one of the biggest and most expensive funeral services I have ever seen for a pastor. Now in less than a year it seems the legacy is fading fast. One bright light at the end of the tunnel maybe that ambitious visioneering pastors trying to secure their own legacy may take stock in just how soon after your death it can all be smashed.

  24. the seeds of this discord were sown long ago & ample fertilizer piled atop them. It was just a matter of time and moi$ture before they germinated.

  25. Leave it to Chuck to push Driscoll off the page. Mark this day.

  26. #25 I truly LOL’d. thank you. I so needed that laugh.

  27. You know it sort of went like this age 19 started taking care of my nephew, until he was 18, during that time I helped with my father who died a horrid death over a very long protracted and very hard death. He was absolutely broke when he died and it killed him in a strange kind of way. My mother needed my help most of my adult life especially with finances. I never really made alot of money, a sin I will never forgive myself for, ever. Then my sister got cancer and it took her a very long time to die and it was extremely expensive for myself. Im not complaining I am just saying it as it is. Then my mom got sick and eventually passed that was also very expensive still is. I dont have the money to inturn her ashes which makes me feel like a piece of crap. During that time I have had to deal with my own physical and emotional issues. But in that never would I have even thought about leaving or suing or making my one remaining brother feel guilty etc. I cant imagine doing that to a family member.

    I know I am no where near as spiritual or Christian as any of the Smith family, Mark Driscoll or any of the other professional Christians who are in middle to upper management in the Corporation. I sat with my family, all of them, took a whole bunch of grief, listened to the terrors as they struggled with dementia caused by their debilitating diseases. I will tell you this I was made to feel like crap on a regular basis as a Christian because of this. There were the subtle slights, the accusations of wanting attention if I even asked for prayer while the professionals parade their family matters all over media in their tell all books.

    Smith made an industry out of Jesus, and when he stood up on that stage with that crazy woman Kathryn Kuhlman and lonnie Frizbee with that big poppa Smith smile and condescending platitudes. Chuck Smith Jr. seems like a good guy and Im sure CS did good. I just dont get it though. Never have.

  28. @#21 PP Vet

    Good points.

    I like where your going with this…

  29. Re #4….forget Johnny Football…here comes Teddy Football!! Impressive performance! Skol Vikings!

    Re #8…totally agree! That is yet another reason I don’t have Facebook and think most articles on my Yahoo page are fluff and stupid. Oh, look what so-and-so is wearing today.

  30. “Thinking about the progression of this frame-up over the last decade is sobering.”

    It is sobering. The handwriting on the wall during the duration of my involvement with Calvary Chapel is staggering. Those who saw things like this coming a longtime ago, including this blog author and others, were scorned as un-Christ-like critics at best and liars from the pit hell, fabricating lies at worst. Let those who have an ear………………..

  31. Pstrmike – or not ‘really’ committed the Lord’s work and the always endearing “bat sh*t crazy”. Came across old journal with entries from 2004 – 2006. It was difficult to read. But did realize that maybe I need to finally get this all behind me. Even though this gal got out of CC, it has been hard to get all the painful “gifts” of CC out of the gal. Maybe a burn the journals ritual is in order.

  32. re #6…… the news scrolled down the FB page of the murderer and what unnerved me is that he has 1,500 friends. The stuff he posted was disturbing to put it mildly and if a FB friend of mine was posting stuff like that I’d have removed him from my friends list.

    I don’t know the legality of it but it seems to me I’d have an interest in those friends, especially if they were commenting in agreement with what this man was posting.

  33. I had a feeling things were going to blow up after “Papa Chuck” died. Money plus Power = Inheritance Blood Feud (Fatima or Ali?)

    The King is dead.
    The Iron Throne is vacant.
    Let the Game of Thrones begin.

  34. I just wish the other family members would act like Chuck Smith Jr from what I have observed. I wish their family the same love my family had, the same dedication. My family had a PhD in dysfunctional on steroids. But none of us would have ever sued each other. My father would never sue me and I him. We just would not do it. Even if we had major bank we would not have. I got to sit with each of my family members near their death, and make peace, major peace. I got to share with them about Christ in my own way. I remember those times. I got to see them finally find rest. I will admit I struggle with the many memories, many not so good, some extremely awful, revelations of abuse suffered or at least the accusation.

    One gift my father and mother left me and I thank God for, an utter disdain for power hungry deceptive religious institution but a sort of respect, even awe for God. The second gift they left me was a very finely tuned BS meter. I was not the best son, in my opinion I was not even a good son, but I loved / love them. I wish the Smith’s Daughter could find that, maybe I was blessed to not have a family that had great assets and wealth.

  35. Just a thought, but maybe papa Chuck’s wishes were exactly what this daughter is saying. Maybe Chuck didn’t want this gigantic expensive funeral service. Who paid for that anyway? I heard some of the family didn’t go to this gigantic service and maybe this is the reason why. Maybe they had a private service for Chuck and maybe that is all he wanted. I don’t know but I am not dismissing this daughter right right away.

  36. Andrew,

    Exactly where do you hold a memorial service for over 10,000 people?
    His viewing and funeral were private.
    Memorial services and funerals aren’t for the dead, they’re for the survivors.

  37. Can one of you experts please do something for us, show us the money!

    I read and understand where this is going, but where is this money and inheritance many are pointing to? Did Chuck have multiple homes, a sizable 401K account, did he personally own the church property, or what?

    To get a piece of the pie there has to be a pie to distribute. If CCCM was truly a 501c3 organization then the assets of the corp must be distributed to like organizations and not to individuals. Yes there are ways around the rules (men like Furtick have shown the way), but these ways also leave a trail leading to assets which have departed. Where’s the trail?

    Personally I believe what’s happening is family members who didn’t find the “love” they wanted from their biological “papa” want their share. Sadly this happens daily amongst families around these United States.

    Honor thy father and mother?

  38. Bob, If this lawsuit sees the light of day in court, many of your financial questions will be answered. Which is why I suspect it will not.

  39. This lawsuit will not proceed in it’s current form…they will narrow the scope to ownership of TWFT.
    If all the financial stuff came out at this point we’d have blogging fodder for the next few years.

  40. .
    Memorial services and funerals aren’t for the dead, they’re for the survivors.

    True, but usually funds from the estate of the deceased pay for the expenses.

  41. “Memorial services and funerals aren’t for the dead, they’re for the survivors.” You know Michael I brought this up once at a bible study I think it was. I was thinking how hard it was for my family when my brother died so young, it was emotional and all that stuff, but it cost so much, that was a biggie. Not for us but it is in the real world. So any way I got to listen to how all I wanted was attentions memorial services are for preaching for the “Good News” and to tell people who are not saved that they are going to an eternal hell to suffer under God’s wrath. It is not for comfort nor grief, let the dead bury their dead. Personally I will not nor do I want a memorial service, nor will I have any memorial stone or any other type of stuff like that. Yes I learned alot, and I learned it well.

  42. It looks like Chuck had no problem honoring himself

  43. Wow! This is Disgusting, is this really what American Christianity is about? Who the Hell thinks they have a Right to profit off the Gospel? Wolves in sheep’s clothing who think Godliness is a means of Gain! Chuck profiting off his Word for Today Ministry says all you need to know about him and Calvary Chapel! The Word of God is to be given free of charge not Pimped out so the Family can live soft and Luxurious lives while there are sheep in their midst barely surviving. If you have material wealth and don’t share them with those in need your midst do you even have the spirit of God in you?

    Stop drinking the Kool Aid drinking, it’s obvious that Chuck was building his empire not God’s! No Pastor is called to live soft and luxurious and now the families are fighting over the $$$ left behind. Calvary Chapel is so corrupt it is not even funny. They protect known child abusers such as Bob Grenier! No church should have that amount of money. What happened to sharing with those in their midst. It’s clear now that Calvary Chapel was about building an Empire via the Moses Model. The love of money is the root of all evil, Shame on them all of them, Brian Broderson especially. Ridiculous how they thought that godliness was a Means of Gain. False Pagan Church

  44. Dr. “False Pagan Church”

    Nope it is a business in an industry with the primary objective of generating income for the shareholders and upper management. It may have been a church sometime in the past but that does not have the expandability and revenue generation a business does.

  45. My ‘father-in-law’ is 84. He spent his entire career at Morgan Stanley as one of their top producing stock brokers.

    He worked with the wealthy people of the Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

    One of the things he observed throughout his time as a stock broker is the fact that “The siblings of the wealthy always turn into absolute animals when their parents die.”

    I hope this CS CC issue doesn’t turn out like that…

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



%d bloggers like this: