LTRP Note: Below is a follow-up article to journalist Jim Fletcher’s previous article “Calvary Chapel Breached,” regarding the situation with North Coast Calvary Chapel’s recent invitation of a Palestinian activist. Just prior to the event, Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith made a public statement against the North Coast event. Also read our article, “Further Implications of Calvary Chapel North Coast Event – Lynne Hybels Presence Shows Serious Move Toward Apostasy.” We also posted this note on Facebook after we watched Chuck Smith’s “denouncing” and have decided to post it here as well:
From the Lighthouse: Chuck is not being completely accurate when he says that each Calvary Chapel is independent and “on it’s own completely.” If that were the case, then why did his son get ousted for being emerging? And why are there Calvary Distinctives and Calvary Position papers? Like virtually every organization that exists, Calvary Chapel has guidelines and boundaries; otherwise, an organization couldn’t call itself a distinct group, and it would be a free for all. When the whole emergent thing came up seven years ago, Chuck made it very clear that any church that wanted to go in that direction should best remove their Calvary Chapel name from their title. So it is not accurate to say that CC churches are on their own completely and can basically do whatever they want.
“Christian Palestinianists” Unable To Establish Beachhead Within Calvary Chapel Movement
by Jim Fletcher
In a dramatic showdown last week within the Calvary Chapel movement, the leadership of the California-based association of churches rebuked an event held at North Coast Calvary Chapel that featured a presentation by Palestinian activists.
Called “Hope for the Holy Land,” the seminar program aims to present the Palestinian narrative to church audiences. Observers are saying that what made the North Coast event such a flashpoint was the fact that since its inception, Calvary Chapel has been staunchly pro Israel.
Israeli officials and American Jewish leadership have long known that Calvary Chapel is a staunch supporter of the Jewish state
CC remains so, as evidenced by Chuck Smith’s public rebuke, which aired last week, just ahead of the Friday event, which spotlighted discussions by Sami Awad, Lynne Hybels, and Mae Cannon.
Sponsored by World Vision, the relief organization, “Hope for the Holy Land” purports to offer a balanced, nuanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some who attended the North Coast event say the presentations were heavily tilted toward the Palestinian view, which claims the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian suffering.
On May 9, one day before the North Coast event, Chuck Smith (who founded the Calvary Chapel movement 40 years ago) denounced the decision of North Coast to hold the event. On his “World News Briefing” via HisChannel, Smith made it clear that North Coast’s approach to this issue was an anomaly for CC:
“I’m really shocked…I understand that one of the Calvary Chapels down in the San Diego area is having these fellows who are really friendly to the Palestinian cause, and anti-Israel, and they’re having them to speak there at a church that is affiliated with the Calvary Chapels. I just have such a difficult time with that, to try to understand why a pastor would have an anti-Israel speaker, in these days.” Click here to continue reading.