Archive for the ‘Concerns for Calvary Chapel’ Category
“According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the name “Calvary Chapel” is owned by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa . . . This means that every church name that has the words “Calvary Chapel” in it belongs to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.”—Roger Oakland, March 2016
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
A new symbol has appeared at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (CCCM). Some may be wondering if this new symbol will be replacing the Calvary “dove” that has symbolized Calvary Chapel for decades. For now, at least, the dove logo seems to have gone “undercover” on the back wall behind the podium at CCCM and replaced by another symbol projected on the wall. Those who attend Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa will have seen it and know what I mean. Or if you receive ”tweets” via Twitter from Brian Brodersen, Chuck Smith’s son-in-law, you will have seen the new symbol. Brodersen inherited the pulpit at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa because of his marriage to Chuck Smith’s daughter, Cheryl. Since Pastor Chuck passed away, many changes have occurred at CCCM as the “new Calvary” replaces the “old Calvary” under new leadership.
To the left here is the banner used to promote Brian Brodersen’s Sunday morning study for Revelation 9:13-21 on March 6, 2016 that was sent out by Twitter.
On the picture below, note the symbol at the top center behind Brian as well as the absence of Chuck Smith’s pulpit. This symbol is commonly used for the trinity in Catholic and some Protestant settings. Below, you can see an enlargement of the graphic. In a later commentary, I will present documentation to show the origin of this symbol. . . . Click here to continue reading and for more photos.
Former Calvary Chapel Pastor and Teacher, Chris Lawson and Roger Oakland, Warn Calvary Chapel of Its Dangerous Ecumenical Direction
LTRP Note: The following two alerts are by Chris Lawson (director of Spiritual Research Network and a former Calvary Chapel pastor) and Roger Oakland (director of Understand the Times and former Calvary Chapel teacher and lecturer). These two men do not hate Calvary Chapel; rather they are deeply concerned and have been attempting to warn Calvary Chapel pastors and congregants of the dangerous direction that Calvary Chapel is heading.
By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network
There are numerous sources online now that are reporting on the imbalanced Calvary Chapel leadership issues as well as the growing ecumenical compromises. Many Calvary Chapel pastors as well as the Calvary Chapel Association Leadership Council (formerly CCOF Ministry, Inc.) are aware of many of the growing problems, but sadly, little is being done to publicly expose and correct these things.
Please note that Spiritual Research Network (SRN) is not affiliated with Calvary Chapel or any other church or movement. SRN is an independent Christian ministry that seeks to proclaim the Gospel and warn and equip the body of Christ against the dangers of cults, mystical/occult practices, and ecumenical compromise. SRN also seeks to help people who have been abused in cults and by aberrant and abusive church leaders. . .
After personally spending many hours over the past twelve years helping hurting people who have been affected by growing problematic trends within many Calvary Chapel fellowships, it appears that the road ahead for the Calvary Chapel is a sad one.
When I personally contacted CCOF Ministry numerous times in 2011, and also Calvary Chapel (Komo Mai) in Honolulu, Hawaii, it became quickly obvious that CCOF Ministry and Calvary Chapel (Komo Mai) were above being corrected. I was not only yelled at through the telephone, one “pastor” told me that ministries such as Understand the Times International and Lighthouse Trails were not reliable. Incredibly, another “pastor” responded the same way and told me that ministries like Let Us Reason Ministries and Apologetics Coordination Team (and by implication our Spiritual Research Network), were like “cults.”
Unfortunately, it appears now (from 2012 onward) that the Calvary Chapel Association is seriously struggling with what they are going to allow and not allow within the Calvary Chapel movement. The compromises continue and the confusion simply continues to grow. Sadly, if things do not change for the better, it is only a matter of time before the leaven of Emergent and Ecumenical apostasy infects the entire Calvary bChapel movement and numerous splits occur. In the mean time, many will continue to silently leave churches that are compromising. Many others who do have the courage to address issues head on within their fellowship will face resistance, and that most likely, at the highest levels. To continue reading and for a list of documents posted by SRN for several years, click here.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
The video link below goes to a video showing a panel discussion at the Calvary Chapel 2012 Pastor’s Conference with Greg Laurie, Bob Coy and Brian Brodersen is a must watch. If you are wondering what has happened to many of the Calvary Chapels and where they are headed and why, this video will provide the answer.
Now that four years have passed and Chuck Smith has gone to be with the Lord (in 2013), like many other denominations, the Calvary Chapel association of churches has been influenced by the postmodern mindset in many ways and is on its way to becoming postmodern.
While those attending the 2012 conference were told there was no problem introducing the ideas of popular pastors known for their popular methods of reaching the postmodern generation, they were not told about the dangers. Four years later, many have found out where such reasoning leads.
While there are Calvary pastors who remain affiliated with Calvary Chapel who express their concerns, they remain silent for fear of rocking the boat or losing their position in the Calvary franchise.
See information about Roger’s upcoming book, a warning to the last-days church and leaders.
Related Information from Lighthouse Trails Research:
Click here to see the Lighthouse Trails archive of coverage on Calvary Chapel for over a decade.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
Recently, I was informed about a conference held this week in Budapest, Hungary where Willow Creek senior pastor Bill Hybels taught leaders. According to comments posted on Phil Metzger’s Facebook page, the event was held at Calvary Chapel Golgota Budapest where Metzger is pastor. He is also the director of Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe (also located in Hungary). On Metzger’s Facebook, Hybels was not only endorsed, he was praised. 
Perhaps most who read about this event will not be alarmed. But I was because I see the significance. I know that what Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel once stood for is not at all what Hybels stands for. Bill Hybels was mentored by Peter Drucker along with Rick Warren to “reshape” Christianity for the 21st century. Hybels, from the famous Willow Creek Church located in South Barrington, Illinois, fathered the “seeker-friendly” movement.
When Hybels and his cohorts discovered that the seeker-friendly model produced spiritually illiterate believers, they said they “repented”  from this model of church; but in actuality, they delved right into teachings associated with the emergent church and contemplative mysticism, seeing those as the next “great” step. Interestingly, on Metzger’s Facebook page, someone defending Metzger’s promotion of Hybels said that it was irrelevant to talk about the emerging church because it was no longer an issue. But nothing could be further from the truth. While often called other names now, such as progressive, the ideologies of the emerging church are very much at work today. Click here to read this entire article and for endnotes.
A Lighthouse Trails reader sent this photo (see below) to us today. It is a picture of Calvary Chapel pastor Greg Laurie, standing with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and was posted on Greg Laurie’s Facebook page along with this caption by Downey:
So nice spending time with friends. Mark and I had a lovely lunch today with Greg and Cathe Laurie #harvestoc
Such a photo only heightens concerns as to the direction Greg Laurie (one of Calvary Chapel’s most popular pastors) is taking the church.
In 2012, Chris Lawson (a former Calvary Chapel pastor, now a Lighthouse Trails author) wrote a report about a book titled Have Heart (which is the story of pastor Steve Berger and communication with his deceased son). Even though the book encouraged necromancy, it was endorsed by Greg Laurie.
In author Greg Reid’s booklet, Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs, he documents that Roma Downey is aligned with the New Age. That, though, has not deterred Christian leaders, such as David Jeremiah and now Greg Laurie, from showing comradeship with Downey and Burnett.
To understand a fuller scope of our concerns about Greg Laurie, refer to the articles from our archive below.
In case you still aren’t sure about William Paul Young and his book The Shack—in case you still have some doubts as to whether Young is really of a New Age/New Spirituality persuasion—in case after reading articles at Lighthouse Trails revealing Young’s anti-biblical views on atonement and the Cross—and in case after reading Warren B. Smith’s booklet The Shack and Its New Age Leaven that documents Young’s affinity with New Age thinking, then perhaps his recently posted “Twenty Books Everyone Should Read” list on Young’s blog will convince you that The Shack or any of Young’s writings should not be sitting on the shelves of Christian bookstores and North American pastors’ offices and should never have become a New York Times best-seller having found itself there through primarily Christian readers (not to mention the big plug it received from endorsements by Eugene Peterson [The Message] and Calvary Chapel speaker Gayle Erwin. You can see the entire list of Young’s recommended books by clicking here. Below we are giving you a partial list of the authors whom William P. Young recommends. After looking at this list, you decide for yourself.
1. Andrew Marin’s book Love is an Orientation (foreword by atonement denier Brian McLaren): A treatise on how to fully integrate the practicing homosexual “community” into the Christian church.
2. The Shack Revisited by C Baxter Kruger, a book advertising the “virtues” of The Shack with a Suggestions for Further Study at the back that is a who’s who of emerging authors.
3. Mystic Frederick Buechner’s book The Yellow Leaves
4. Brian D. McLaren’s, Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: McLaren is one the foremost prolific leaders of the panentheistic, interspiritual emerging church, which is still very much active today, influencing vast numbers of young evangelicals.
5. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by emerging church hero N.T. Wright
6. Her Gates will Never be Shut: Hope, Hell, and the New Jerusalem by contemplative proponent Brad Jersak (author of Can You Hear Me?)
7. Jean Vanier’s book Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John: Roger Oakland wrote about Jean Vanier in his article “Rick Warren, Jean Vanier, And The New Evangelization.” Oakland’s article states:
Vanier is a contemplative mystic who promotes interspiritual and interfaith beliefs, calling the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi “one of the greatest prophets of our times” and “a man sent by God.” In the book Essential Writings, Vanier talks about “opening doors to other religions” and helping people develop their own faiths be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam. The book also describes how Vanier read Thomas Merton and practiced and was influenced by the spiritual exercises of the Jesuit founder and mystic St. Ignatius.
8. Henri Nouwen’s book The Wounded Healer: As we have documented for over 13 years, Henri Nouwen was a Catholic contemplative mystic and interspiritualist.
9. William P. Young recommends reading material by the following three Catholic mystics and panentheists: Thomas Merton, Brennan Manning, and Richard Rohr.
One of the things that most of these authors have in common is their contemplative and interspiritual propensities. Given the fact that William P. Young, in the past, denied the substitutionary atonement, we can see why he is drawn to these authors. But what we can’t understand is how so many professing Christians are drawn to him and The Shack and it’s New Age spirituality.
Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Pastor, Brian Brodersen, Says Sometimes It’s OK to Attend a Homosexual Wedding
On Friday, a long-time Lighthouse Trails reader contacted our office regarding the following situation. The person who called had attended Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for several years but has not been attending for some time.
According to an article titled “Can I Attend My LGBT Friend’s Wedding?” written by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa’s senior pastor Brian Brodersen, it is sometimes OK to attend a LTGB (Lesbian, Transgender, Gay, Bisexual) wedding. He says it’s not OK to attend the wedding if the two people getting “married” proclaim to be believers in Christ, but if they don’t claim to be believers then it may be OK. He says he bases his conclusions on 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, stating:
[If] the person is a rank-and-file unbeliever, perhaps a relative, an old friend, a work colleague, or whatever the case might be, and they invite you, this is where I would say pray about it and be open to the Lord having you there as part of the “bigger picture” work that He’s doing in the lives of those who presently are lost but could one day be found.
Brodersen believes that to truly show the love of Christ to a homosexual, it may be necessary to attend a same-sex wedding. However, one commenter on the blog where the article was posted disputed this view stating:
A number of years ago, a Lighthouse Trails editor was talking on the phone to an Oregon Calvary Chapel pastor, attempting to warn the pastor about the contemplative prayer movement. Lighthouse Trails had learned that the church’s web bookstore was filled with all kinds of contemplative and emerging books. The pastor chuckled and said, “Oh, I don’t know about all those things. I am living in a bubble.” The implication was that he was so isolated from things that would cause spiritual deception that he didn’t need to learn about them.
Our editor replied to the pastor, “Pastor, you may be living in a bubble, but your congregation is not. They are going into Christian bookstores, listening to Christian radio, watching Christian television, and their children are going to Christian schools. They are going to run into contemplative spirituality sooner or later (out of respect, our editor didn’t take the opportunity to remind him about his own church bookstore).
The conversation ended rather quickly after that, and needless to say, Lighthouse Trails editors weren’t surprised a few months down the road to see a comment made by that same pastor on a once-popular anti-Lighthouse Trails blog. He said, “Lighthouse Trails is nothing more than a flea on the back of a dog.”
It wasn’t that the comment didn’t hurt, but what really hurt is to have witnessed the indifference and later malice regarding the message of warning that Lighthouse Trails has attempted to give to the church for the past thirteen years, a message we believe is legitimate and biblical.
The reason we are writing this today is this: If you have a pastor who is not warning his congregation about specific spiritual deception, you might ask him why he doesn’t. And if says that he is living in a bubble, gently tell him that this is no reason to keep from warning and teaching his flock.
LTRP Note: This short piece is not meant to be an indictment on all Calvary Chapel churches. We know there are some Calvary Chapel pastors who are warning their flocks of spiritual deception, and we are grateful for those pastors.If you are attending a Calvary Chapel church, we hope your pastor falls in that category.