1. I wrestled all night with whether or not I would speak to the Chuck Smith memorial service or if I would simply move on and spare myself the grief.When I arose this morning I chose to speak because of some comments here and in my Facebook mail. There are too many questions about why some are so angry and too many references to folks being bitter and influenced by Satan for me to be silent.
Here is what you must understand if you choose to be fair.
There was only one man who had the authority to make right the wrongs that were perpetrated by some pastors in the Calvary Chapel movement.
There was no real hierarchy…there was only Chuck.
His was the only vote that mattered, indeed, his was the only real vote.
In the vast majority of those cases he refused to act, in some cases he participated in the cover up of the incidents.
People who were genuinely wounded with real grievances were told to simply vote with their feet and get over it.
Those people were ignored and often shunned and despised for speaking at all.
For those people, the torrent of accolades for Smith reinforces the shame and pain of their forced silence…it reaffirms that they were nameless, faceless collateral damage in the building of the kingdoms of God and Smith.
In a faith that allegedly is based on the love of God and neighbor, that’s a tough pill to swallow.
Only a bitter fool would deny that untold numbers of souls have been touched through the ministry of Smith and Calvary Chapel.
It’s another kind of fool that refuses to acknowledge that the system also chewed up and spit out a lot of people in Jesus name.
My prayer is that those who embrace the Smith hagiography will prove it’s worth by reaching out to those who were disenfranchised by the group that made it’s ecclesiastical reputation by reaching out to those the church didn’t want…then, maybe they can celebrate too.
That’s all I think today.