Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Smith’

“Is Lighthouse Trails Haters?”

LTRP Note: Recently, we sent out a Special Note to our readers asking you to pray for us as we have been undergoing extra pressures from forces that wanted to see Lighthouse Trails come to an end. While we can’t say that all pressure has been relieved, we can say that God has answered your prayers in a number of ways, mostly in that He lifted us up, encouraged us, and strengthened us. In addition, we were reminded, once again, that we (and all believers) are in a battle, and though we at times grow weary, we are assured through His Word that He will not leave us or forsake us, and He said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” How grateful we are for those wonderful words of promise and hope.

We know there are those who believe Lighthouse Trails editors and authors are haters. Lately, we have been again made aware of this and were reminded of something that took place eight years ago. In May of 2009, we wrote an article titled “Calvary Chapel Termination Has Profound Implications.” The article was a special report detailing Calvary Chapel (CCOF) firing Chuck Smith’s brother, Paul Smith. Our article began with:

Lighthouse Trails regrets to report that on May 5th, Paul Smith, brother of Chuck Smith (the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement), was fired from his position in the Calvary Chapel (CCOF) organization during an unscheduled meeting that day. The motion to fire Paul Smith was made by board member Roger Wing and seconded by Chuck Smith’s son-in-law, Brian Broderson. Other board members affirmed the motion, and Paul Smith was dismissed.

Within hours of Paul Smith being fired, we talked to him, asking for permission to write the story. Paul had been working hard to keep the emerging church out of Calvary Chapel, but he was coming up against brick walls. Shortly after his dismissal, a youth event put on by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa called Movement 2009 was scheduled to take place. Thousands of young people were expected to attend. The reason Paul was trying to intervene in the event was because Mike Erre, an influential emergent author, was the scheduled speaker. Lighthouse Trails had exposed Erre’s emergent leanings in a review of his book, Death by Church. However, Paul Smith was fired a few weeks before the event took place, which then prevented him from having any say in the matter.

Movement 2009 took place, and Mike Erre spoke to several thousand youth. During the event, one of the organizers of the event stood in front of the crowd and said that “the haters tried to stop us, but they didn’t.” We knew they were speaking about Lighthouse Trails (and probably Paul Smith). In response to this idea that Lighthouse Trails is “haters,” author and researcher Ray Yungen wrote a letter to our readers. In view of increased pressure on us lately, we wanted to repost Ray’s letter, answering the question, “Is Lighthouse Trails haters?”

“Is Lighthouse Trails Haters?”

By Ray Yungen

Recently, at a large Christian youth event, Lighthouse Trails was indirectly referred to as “haters” because of our articles and books exposing the emerging church movement. We realize that many people think ministries like Lighthouse Trails are mean-spirited, hateful, and derive pleasure from causing trouble for others.

On the contrary, what motivates and drives Lighthouse Trails is a sense of duty to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see that being the issue at stake.

Right now, there is a struggle going on for what the church of the future will look like. Karl Rahner once said the Christian of the future will be a mystic or he or she will not exist at all. The question must be asked (and answered): Is this really a good thing? Will mysticism lead to a Christianity that is more vibrant and in harmony with the will of God?

When one looks at the writings of those such as Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, etc., one finds that this mysticism is rooted firmly in a spiritual understanding more in-tune with Buddhism and Hinduism that with the writings of the apostles in the Bible.

Thomas Merton said:

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are…. If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other…. At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth…. This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. (A Time of Departing, p. 59)

This is identical to what is called in New Age spirituality, the higher self. Over the last few decades there has been an ever-increasing number of individuals in Christianity that draw on and promote persons such as Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. The mission at Lighthouse Trails is to point out that if the church goes in the same mystical direction as these individuals, it will ultimately embrace the spiritual perceptions such as the one just stated. If that sounds implausible, take a look at the spiritual life of Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees).

Monk Kidd was at one time a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher. But after she was introduced to the writings of Thomas Merton, she branched out and began embracing contemplative practices and her spirituality dramatically changed. Eventually, it led her to say that God dwells in everything, even excrement and graffiti.

At Lighthouse Trails, we are not motivated by hate for people but rather by love and concern. We believe, with everything in us, that man’s only hope lies in Jesus Christ and the free gift of salvation offered to those who believe and accept it. And we also believe that contemplative/emerging spirituality leads man away from that Gospel not toward it. This is why we do what we do.

Ray Yungen
Lighthouse Trails author

The Calvary Chapel Association Announces Complete Separation from Brian and Cheryl Brodersen, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and the Calvary Chapel Global Network

Understand the Times, International posted the following letter yesterday (November 28th) that was sent out worldwide to  Calvary Chapel Pastors by the Calvary Chapel Association.

November 28, 2016

Calvary Chapel Pastors,

Pastor Chuck Smith chose a group of men to lead the Calvary Chapel movement after his passing. The Calvary Chapel Association Council was a plan he reiterated on numerous occasions. A Council provides checks and balances, and a collective wisdom to help steer us in the right direction.

The CCA Council consists of men from across the country who are committed to the core values that have made us Calvary Chapel. Like many of you, we have given our lives to build Calvary Chapel churches. What makes the 1700 churches “Calvary Chapel” are the values Pastor Chuck instilled in us – our doctrine and philosophy of ministry. The principles we were taught and the transformative power of God’s Spirit have proven to be more than sufficient. The CCA Council’s primary goal is to maintain what has been our Calvary Chapel identity for fifty years, while seeking the Holy Spirit for fresh power and wisdom to advance God’s Kingdom.

We believe Calvary Chapel has a unique and important role in the Body of Christ. Pastor Chuck left us a glorious legacy. Yet the new Calvary Chapel Global Network, established by Brian Brodersen, now threatens that legacy. This network goes by the name “Calvary Chapel,” but has no framework for affiliation or required commitment to the Calvary Chapel core values. Such a network will ultimately de-emphasize our Calvary Chapel distinctives. The CCGN establishes a different version of Calvary Chapel, and will cause confusion. Brian claims the authority to represent, and even more critically, to define, what Calvary Chapel is and is not. In a recent letter to the movement, Brian quoted Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” Brian’s resignation from the Council, acknowledges he disagrees with the way the CCA Council would lead and define Calvary Chapel. This has created a crossroads that none of us on the Council wanted. To continue reading this letter, click here where UTT has posted it in its entirety.

Related Articles:

The Calvary Chapel Movement and the Sinking of the Titanic

Greg Laurie, Calvary Chapel, and New Catholic National Shrine for Marian Apparitions

Fed Up With False Teaching: Calvary Chapel Church Says “So Long” to the CC Association

 

The Calvary Chapel Movement and the Sinking of the Titanic

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

Recently, a letter posted by the Calvary Chapel Association (CAA) was signed by fourteen senior pastors and sent out to clarify what the Calvary Chapel movement represents. This letter has been widely circulated around the world. These well-known leaders in the Calvary Chapel Association council emerged following Pastor Chuck Smith’s death. It appears their goal is to provide a collective directive for those in the movement who are accustomed to receiving their instructions from human authority.

Long before Chuck Smith died, many were asking and wondering who would replace him as head of the movement when he died. It was also a wide concern as to whether Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa would remain the Mecca of the movement. To see and hear a discussion over this issue, please click on the following link that presents comments made by a panel at the 2012 Murrieta Calvary Chapel Pastor’s conference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xygUvRX0MsQ&list=PLJ72RIrPC41QUv51fVT9-GWeWrZBGzvP1&index=5

One of the major concerns at the time of the Murietta Conference was that the Calvary Chapel movement was being infiltrated by the emerging church fueled by postmodernism and that the authority and infallibility of the Bible was being undermined from outside sources. If you listen to this discussion by the panel, you will hear the thoughts being discussed. Bob Coy, who is no longer a Calvary Chapel pastor, was very vocal in this discussion as was Greg Laurie and Brian Brodersen. Coy recommended that “getting out of the boat” was the natural expression for modifying a biblical message for our times that would help reinvent Calvary. It is also obvious that Brian Brodersen was already assuming he would be Chuck Smith’s replacement at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the new head of the movement and that change was around the corner.

So, what has happened to the Calvary Chapel movement since the Murrieta Pastor’s Conference panel discussion in 2012? At the end of the discussion, the camera shifted from the platform and focused on Chuck Smith who was asked the question: who will be the head of Calvary Chapel in the future? He pointed out that the Church belongs to “Jesus,” and no man should be given the position of pope. It seems apparent that the question was asked to put Chuck on the spot and force him to name a human successor to replace him as the head of Calvary. Click here to continue reading.

Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Splits From Association, Citing Old Testament Prophet

LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content.

By Jessilyn Justice
Charisma

Calvary Chapel’s Chuck Smith’s son-in-law Brian Brodersen announced his resignation from the Calvary Chapel Association and founded a new association, the Calvary Chapel Global Network.

“‘Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?’ The implied answer is, no, they can’t,” Brodersen writes, citing the prophet Amos.

Brodersen, the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, says the pastors of the Calvary Chapel Association saw founder Smith as their common bond. Upon Smith’s death, many members had different visions of where the denomination should go.

Thus, Costa Mesa split from the CCA and is now part of the Calvary Chapel Global Network.

“Doctrinally we are all in agreement with a few minor differences on a few secondary issues. No one has, in any way, deviated from historic biblical doctrine, or from what might be called Calvary’s core values or from what we know as the Calvary Distinctives. Our areas of disagreement are NOT theological or doctrinal; they are more methodological and practical, yet they are real disagreements. These disagreements have not only hindered us from moving forward in the work of the kingdom of Christ, they have created confusion, contention and some division within the body of Christ,” Brodersen writes. Click here to continue reading.

 

Sins of the Fathers, Nepotism, and Apostasy in the Church

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

There is an obvious pattern observed from a brief study of genealogies found in the Old Testament. When a father follows God and leads the people, overseeing in the right direction, there is absolutely no guarantee this virtue will carry over to the next generation. In other words, the saying “he is a chip off the old block” is not always the pattern we find when it comes to biblical history.

Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12–13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company.

Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12–13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company.

While there are many examples we could use to lay the foundation for this “father-son” relationship, I will quote God’s word regarding His promises that is found in 1 Kings chapter 9. We read:

And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do, that the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, there shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people. [1]

God’s warning to Solomon cannot be misunderstood. The Lord God made it clear in advance to Solomon what would happen if he strayed away from his father David’s legacy and worship the gods. While the Bible reveals that David had his own faults, he was “a man after God’s own heart” as the Bible describes. Unfortunately, Solomon, the son, while a wise man, disobeyed and rebelled.

There is another way of understanding this truth that is very simple. God stated that if a son follows his father, and the father follows God and His Word, then he will continue to be blessed. As the Scriptures clearly reveal, this was not what happened in Solomon’s life. He and the children of Israel suffered the consequences as they rebelled against God and ended up under judgment.

While this one example features the point I am trying to make in this commentary, a broader study of the Bible reveals the father-son rebellion pattern in repetitive detail. This happened over and over again, generation after generation. The lesson learned should be easily transferred to what often happens in the church today. Click here to continue reading and for footnotes.

The Hijacking of the Calvary Chapel Movement into the Coming One-World Religion

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

The commentary you are about to read has been written with much prayer and thought. I have not written it impulsively or with ill motive but rather believe God has compelled me to testify of things that have gone unspoken of and hidden in secret for too long. For the sake of the body of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel, the secret things in darkness need to be exposed.

There are a number of low-profile Calvary Chapel pastors starting to ask questions. Chuck Smith, the founder of the movement, seemed to be biblically sound and determined to serve the Lord throughout his many years of ministry. Toward the end of his ministry, it appears there were strange bedfellows planted around him who in earlier years he would have avoided. So what happened? The purpose of this commentary will be to answer that question.

Chuck Smith attributed the growth and the strength of the Calvary Chapel movement to the Holy Spirit and not to man-designed gimmicks or human effort. He never wavered from that position until the day he died. He called Calvary Chapel “His Church.” While there were those who had some questions about strange things going on behind the scenes, the Calvary ship sailed pretty well most of the time.

Those who were situated near the epicenter of this multimillion-dollar big business definitely knew about some major problems that were quietly concealed. A number have pointed out that the Achilles Heel of the Calvary machine was Chuck Smith’s passion for the Moses Model. Ask anyone who ever bucked the system and dared challenge this style of leadership. The exit plan was the door, and they were given the left hand of fellowship without any alternative.

While the motto around Calvary made the claim that agape love was flowing over, many a disillusioned servant of God was buried in an unmarked grave throughout the network of Calvary Chapels. And what happened at Calvary Costa Mesa did not stay at Calvary Costa Mesa. An enormous machine of abuse was born, and many were maimed throughout the growing movement. Pastors cloned the model, and the spirit of heaviness was exported. Thousands were hurt and then shunned as happens in organizations that use cult-like control tactics.

I was introduced to Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel in June of 1981 when I was part of a seminar team brought to Costa Mesa from Saskatchewan, Canada. This was over one decade after Calvary Chapel was founded and years after the Jesus Movement spread around the world. While I was not familiar with the actual first generation pastors while the movement was launching, later in my life as the Lord opened doors, I came to know many of the players. I also became friends with several members in the Smith family (including Chuck’s brother, Paul, with whom I am still close friends).

In the spring of 1988, I was invited by Chuck Smith to move from Canada to California to join the staff of CCCM. At the time, as I still do, I felt this was the absolute will of God. My family moved from Canada to the USA leaving a small community of less than 1000 people and headed to southern California. We left family, friends, and farm behind and entered a world of mystery. After several months of boot camp, I felt I had missed the will of God. Like Jonah, I ran away back to Canada in the spring of 1989. Later I thought I heard the call of God and returned. Click here to continue reading.

Strange Bedfellows Creeping Into Calvary Chapel

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

I was reminded recently of a commentary I had written a number of years ago that reverberated around the world and throughout the Calvary Chapel movement. You can find it on our Understand The Times website.[1] A discussion about that article was posted at a website frequented by many Calvary pastors called Phoenix Preacher.[2] The purpose for posting this was to show that the credibility of my article was bogus as well as to pit Rick Warren’s apologetics bulldog  . . . against Understand The Times and create a controversy. To read this entire commentary, click here.

 


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