Archive for the ‘Concerns for Calvary Chapel’ Category
A Commentary by Two Norwegian Brothers
Understand the Times, International
We were musing in a conversation the other day about some of the issues associated with the difficulties of doctrinal divergence. Our discussion focused on a certain fellowship of churches. Like countless others, we were greatly disturbed by the seemingly steady shift to the slippery slope of doctrinal relativism that seems to be plaguing many within this movement at the moment.
Although we completely believe God is in control and will ultimately perform His will in and through the lives of people within His Church, we also see a call to the leadership of any movement in order to do so. A lack of action in the midst of opportunity, for the sake of “letting God handle it,” is nothing short of Christian fatalism.
We believe 2 Timothy 4:2 makes it clear that we are to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” These are not passive but an active response to the need for direction and correction with the church. As we well know, Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:20:
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
We were both part of a fellowship for many years. One of the main themes was the “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry.” We were inspired by our leader to be reproducers of all we were taught by word and works.
We have both felt an “uneasiness” with this subtle shift of emphasis of ministry and saw a “new breed” of pastors being raised up. Many of them seemed to have a strangely different ethos for ministry than what we both had witnessed during our years of association with this fellowship. Some leaders often proudly announced, “We don’t need to follow in the footsteps of our leaders.” They did not seem to understand that in taking the name of the mother church, they were to adhere to some basic essential doctrines for the sake of unity in order to avoid confusion.
As we struggled to understand this new paradigm, we decided to do a simple comparative analysis of great church movements of the past and see if there were any similarities with their rise and ruin that we were witnessing within the broader landscape of this worldwide fellowship.
We hereby offer an abbreviated overview of our findings for the consideration of the leaders of this fellowship of churches before it is too late. Click here to continue reading.
The following audio interview took place on June 15th, 2016 with Roger Oakland and a Calvary Chapel pastor. We believe this interview sets the record straight in a number of areas.
Within hours of this interview, Roger Oakland was rushed to the hospital for a high blood pressure scare. We are happy to report that he was able to go home a few hours later and is doing fine. Please pray for him as he continues in his ministry work.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
There is an interesting legendary story from Greek mythology that describes a Trojan Horse. Simply defined, one dictionary states:
[H]uge hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. The horse was built by Epeius, a master carpenter and pugilist. . . . The term Trojan horse has come to refer to subversion introduced from the outside. 
Oxford Dictionary says:
A person or thing intended to undermine or secretly overthrow an enemy or opponent: the rebels may use this peace accord as a Trojan horse to try and take over.
I find this Trojan Horse syndrome fascinating in light of the infiltration into the church by heretical and New Age ideas. My experience has been in the Calvary Chapel movement where this is happening; but this is also occurring throughout the Christian church at large. Where there was once sound biblical Christianity, it has been replaced by the current ecumenical movement and the march toward a one-world religion in the name of Christ for the cause of peace. This peace plan is led by man but actually is the plan of Satan to set up his own kingdom on planet earth. According to the Bible, this plan will unfold, but the plan will end when God puts an end to the plan with a sudden destruction (1Thessalonians 5:3).
No doubt, those reading this and other recent commentaries we have sent out will be able to tell that they are very controversial and will be seen by some as divisive. While separating truth from error is a dividing process we undertake when we use the Bible, it does indeed cause division—but division cannot be avoided. Jesus said this would happen—especially in the last days before He returns to earth. If you have read the Bible, you will know there are many signs indicating Jesus’ return is near, isn’t it?
This topic is very deep and very complex. Some who are reading this commentary may think I do not understand what I am writing about. Some say that unity of all faiths is necessary to bring peace to the world. Some say the differences between the faiths do not matter as long as everyone loves everyone. And a growing number of people (including many in the church) are saying that those who are clinging stedfastly to the Bible calling it God’s inspired Word are standing in the way of this peace and love.
Some say Jesus said there is no greater thing than love, which is true (Mark 12:30-31), but he also said: Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division” (Luke 12:51). Jesus knew there is no genuine love in compromising the truth. In context, He was saying that true love is telling those who are deceived they are deceived (i.e., speaking the truth in love). Click here to continue reading.
LTRJ Note: Some who read this article and other similar articles by Roger Oakland and LT accuse us of “lumping” all Calvary Chapels together saying they are all bad. We find this line of reasoning troubling. Lighthouse Trails historically has challenged many denominations (and the leaders within those groups), Calvary Chapel being one of them. Because Calvary Chapel has claimed it is not a denomination, there has been this expected idea by some who contact us that they are so loosely connected to each other that one Calvary Chapel church should not in any way be implicated with other Calvary Chapel churches.But the fact is, if a church takes on a particular name for the benefit of being associated with that name or group, then it seems unfair to expect that no one associate them with that group. Does this mean that all Calvary Chapels are going astray because some are? Of course not. Just like not all Baptist or Nazarene churches are going astray because some are. Calvary Chapel, as a group or denomination, should not be singled out for undue criticism, but neither should it be excused from criticism. And if a church has the name and association of Calvary Chapel, then that church must bear some of the responsibility for the leaders of that group, just like any other denomination or ministry. While Lighthouse Trails does not say that a particular local church should break away from a denomination if some of the denomination is going astray (because that is a decision only that church can make), we do say that pastors and church members who see their group or denomination going astray should speak up, not be silent, and call out those who are leading their group toward apostasy. Roger Oakland and Chris Lawson, both long-time Calvary Chapel ministers/teachers, finally left the Calvary Chapel movement and speak about the problems within the movement in an effort to help Christians stay the course of truth. Lighthouse Trails supports their efforts.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
This commentary will be short. It will also be clear and to the point. There are three things I am compelled to share.
First, I am often accused of being a Calvary Chapel basher. Not so. For those of you who have read my biography, Let There Be Light, you know I first began working with Calvary Chapel in 1989 at Chuck Smith’s personal invitation. Chuck had asked me to bring my teachings on evolutionary thinking and the New Age (and how both were affecting the world and the church) to Calvary Chapel pastors. Thus, I moved my family from our farm in Saskatchewan to Southern California.
I had only been with Calvary Chapel less than a year when I began seeing serious problems within the movement. In my book, I described the situation:
From 1998 on, the battle I faced in southern California . . . only intensified . . . A number of things simply did not line up with my “farming” way of seeing things. Many times I was reminded of my dad’s famous statement: “The reason I am a farmer is that I would rather deal with nature than human nature.” This became etched in my mind over and over as I saw the signs of a Christian church being run more like a corporation than a New Testament church. . . . Since I had traveled throughout America and the world in Calvary Chapel circles since 1989, giving me opportunity to make observations, I didn’t have to be a forensic scientist to see when something was wrong. 
You can read more about my years at Calvary Chapel in Let There Be Light, but I bring this up because of being accused of only wanting to hurt Calvary Chapel. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve sometimes been asked, “Why did you stay so long at Calvary Chapel if problems began surfacing within the first year.” I explain this in my book:
Well, that’s simple—I truly was convinced God had brought me to Calvary Chapel to be a blessing, to teach those at Calvary Chapel about creation versus evolution and the ramifications of believing in evolution, and to help prepare and equip Calvary Chapel against spiritual deception and a great coming apostasy. With such conviction and my love for the Calvary Chapel pastors, I never felt the freedom to just walk away from the movement, at least not until I had done all I could possibly do. My farmer heritage gave me the tenacity to not give up, while the Lord in my life helped me to persevere. 
While I have been accused of being divisive and unloving, the fact is, to say nothing when people are in danger is the most unloving thing of all. Bottom line is, at Understand The Times, we have attempted to promote the truth, not just to Calvary Chapel but to the body of Christ at large. When light shines into the darkness, the darkness does not like the light. You will find this in the Bible where we read:
The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him. (Job 18:6) Click here to continue reading and for endnotes.
Letter to the Editor: Trying to Warn Our Grown Children . . . And Letter to Our Pastor Goes Unanswered
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
We are very thankful for Lighthouse Trails Publishing and Research, and for all the dedicated watchmen who warn and educate the sheep. We pray for continued wisdom, provision, and protection for everyone who is engaged in presenting and defending the simple and powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are especially concerned because our talented, zealous adult children are, to some degree or another, caught up in following Bethel and Hillsong worship and practices. So far as I know, none are practicing ‘contemplative’ prayer, but other occult practices are subtly mixed in with their schools of worship and ‘supernatural’ ministries. We prepared a notebook for each of our children and their spouses where we downloaded and printed Warren Smith’s Reinventing Jesus Christ (now titled False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?) back in late 2006 or early 2007 – probably just before we discovered Lighthouse Trails. I think they mostly stuck the notebooks under the bed or somewhere obscure.
Since that time, some of them have expressed disappointment in us for backing off of all things Vineyard, hyper-charismatic, and the whole signs & wonders and healing ministries movements. So, we have the privilege of standing in the gap and praying God will reveal the Truth to them and expose all the error they are so vulnerable to. My husband says we really can’t bring up these topics with them anymore, that we need to wait until they ask us what we think or believe because they already know. We find that we aren’t comfortable going to their churches anymore.
At one of their churches, one big event featured a couple from Bethel (Redding) leadership – and Heidi Baker – ‘ministering.’ We watched some of it online . . . very distressing.
We actually have left our own Calvary Chapel fellowship this past year. They’re still teaching the Word, chapter and verse, but are not willing to address apostasy issues. My husband wrote a letter to the pastor after Jesus Calling showed up in the bookstore – even some of the men in their Bible study were bringing it along and quoting it. No response, not even an acknowledgment of his letter was ever offered. The book disappeared from the bookstore, but they never addressed it from the podium, nor did they ever stock any books by discernment authors.
We have been blessed to be able to attend discernment conferences with Roger Oakland and Warren Smith speaking, as well as some local CC pastors who are good under-shepherds. We have gotten to meet and speak with them, as well as with Caryl Matriciana and Randolph and Johanna Michaelson. What is surprising to me is that these types of conferences don’t seem to attract the thousands of Bible believers I thought would be lined up to participate, up in arms about false teaching and wolves in sheep’s clothing as are we, like-minded.
May God give you good health and continue to provide for you and protect you as you continue to fight the good fight!
Yours warmly in Christ,
“How can we know if something is not a move of God? In today’s church, there are two significant signs that can be looked at to answer this question.”—Roger Oakland
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
Throughout my life, I have seen God work in many supernatural and natural ways. God is a God of wonders, and there are many times I wonder at the things He does to help me connect the dots in order so I can understand the times.
Someone once said that connecting dots in order to make a meaningful drawing or picture is easy. All one has to do is use a pencil or pen to join one number to another. Now, while this may sound easy, in the confusing world we presently live in, connecting dots is not so simple.
My calling has been to connect dots in order to help believers, and unbelievers, understand what the Bible has to say about the times in which we live. The Bible helps us to understand the past, the present, and the future and is of paramount importance as it is given to us by the inspiration of God for our benefit. For example, we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Now, for the point of this commentary. First, let me start with John 6. This is the story of where Jesus miraculously multiplied fish and bread to feed the multitude that had come to hear him preach. Afterward, the men whom he fed said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (vs. 14). The chapter goes on:
When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. (vs 15)
Later in the chapter, it explains that the multitude found him and began questioning him as to where he had gone. But rather than answering their question, He brought to their attention the motives of their hearts:
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (vs. 26)
Jesus had used the miracle of the loaves and fishes to show them that He was God. But they didn’t see that—in essence, they only saw how they benefited from what He had done. They missed the entire point of what God was trying to show them and do in their lives. Click here to continue reading.
THE RISING STORM and A CLARION CALL for HUMILITY, TRUTH and REPENTANCE: Observations for Calvary Chapel Leaders to Consider
LTRP Note: Please see the video at the bottom of this letter from Chris Lawson.
By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network
Filmed between a 45-minute break between down-pouring rain and a storm system approaching from the horizon, this unscripted, impromptu video expresses my heart and desire to see people in the Calvary Chapel movement (and other movements) helped and healed and strengthened in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in these last days.
I have no desire to divide the Body of Christ or needlessly offend anyone who is in Calvary Chapel movement and beyond. I am simply sharing my heart and God’s truth in light of a number of observations I have seen growing for over 25 years now in the Calvary Chapel movement. Things now have become so blatant in the rising storm of ecumenical apostasy that only sincere prayer and publicly declared clarion calls for humility, truth, and repentance will make any difference at all. My prayer is that God Himself by His Spirit and His Word will raise up clarion voices around the globe in this late hour.
As a Christian missionary and as a former Calvary Chapel pastor for many years, I have been observing a growing trend of too many people remaining silent on far too many major ecumenical compromises. A host of other issues are also of concern.
Sadly, true biblical accountability is often sidestepped and leaders (and/or church elders) either remain silent in the face of evil—perhaps out of fear of ostracism or losing their livelihood—or they willfully choose to remain ignorant when presented with documented facts. For whatever reason, when leaders are passively silent, and even suppress the truth when godly action, righteousness, and truth should prevail, God is grieved, and the church sinks into malaise, confusion, and apostasy.
This video was not a “planned” event. I was actually standing on the beach alone, praying. As I was watching the rising storm clouds on the distant horizon and observing the turbulent waves, I was reminded of the flood of shameful compromise and storm of spiritual apostasy that is taking over churches and families worldwide. As I began to share my heart and thoughts in this video, some local bystanders slowed down to listen—perhaps you, like them, will seriously consider what I am saying.
Altogether, my heart is for pastors, for church leaders, and for fellow believers in Jesus Christ. My heartfelt exhortation is the same as Jude’s in the early days of Christianity, and my sincere prayer is that all who have ears to hear, will hear—for God’s glory—and that laymen and leaders alike, will take heed, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Contending for the truth, in the love and joy of the Lord,
Jude 3; Ephesians 4:11-16
Important Related Information from Spiritual Research Network:
LOCATION #1 – CALVARY CHAPEL ALERT page
LOCATION #2 – SPIRITUAL RESEARCH NETWORK HOMEPAGE
LOCATION #3 – CHRIS LAWSON VIMEO ARCHIVE