Calvary Chapel May Set Precedent

Calvary Chapel May Set Precedent at This Week's Pastors Conference

As Calvary Chapel pastors across North America prepare to attend this year's [2006] annual pastors conference starting Monday, many in the church at large are watching and waiting to see if Calvary's recent position paper on the emerging church movement will have a meaningful impact. The position paper, issued after evidence surfaced that some Calvary Chapel pastors were endorsing and promoting the emerging church movement, stated that Calvary Chapel was rejecting the emerging movement including the contemplative and mystical aspects of it. The paper said that those Calvary churches that were teaching and/or promoting emerging should no longer be affiliated with Calvary Chapel.

The decision to issue such a position paper was not easy, according to sources we spoke with. Chuck Smith Sr. (founder of Calvary Chapel) is the "spiritual father" to many Calvary pastors and such a severance would have significant consequences. For instance, his own son, Chuck Smith Jr. (a Calvary pastor), is among those who have apparently turned toward the emerging church. According to statements made recently by Chuck Smith Jr, his Capo Beach Calvary Chapel is no longer a part of Calvary Chapel: "Officially, we have withdrawn from the Calvary Chapel affiliation." It is expected that other Calvary Chapel pastors may follow suit because of the new position paper.

Lighthouse Trails Publishing has done extensive research on the contemplative and emerging church movements and found that most ministries and Christian organizations that are promoting these New Age belief systems (contemplative and emerging) are not turning away from them even after they have been made aware of the concerns and dangers. While a few Christian leaders have stood firmly against these mystical movements, Calvary Chapel may be the first large ministry that has been directly influenced to actually denounce the false teachings of these movements. If Calvary Chapel stands firm on defending the gospel message and rejecting these heretical doctrines, it may be setting a precedent for other Christian ministries to do likewise. With organizations such as Purpose Driven, Zondervan, NavPress publishers, Willow Creek and Renovare all promoting contemplative spirituality and with many other ministries appearing to head that way, it is becoming less and less popular to do what Calvary Chapel has done. But it is a time in history when compromising the integrity of the gospel could actually help to unfold the greatest spiritual deception Christianity has ever seen. May God help Calvary Chapel pastors and the pastors of the body of Christ at large to stand, not for the false christs and false doctrines of this world, but for the Savior and Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

May the apostle Paul's exhortation to the church be ours also:

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." I Corinthians 2:1-2


Roger Oakland, of Understand the Times, has been ministering to Calvary Chapel pastors around the world for 20 years. As Roger has observed the growing influence of contemplative and emerging in both Calvary Chapel churches and the body of Christ, he believes what we are witnessing in much of evangelicalism today is a subtle return to Roman Catholicism. Roger has counted the cost as he has continued to speak up and warn the church, often being criticized for his stand. On the eve before Calvary Chapel pastors head to California for their annual meeting, Roger has written a powerful and important report that we are presenting to you now:

The Emerging Church: Another Road to Rome

For more information on contemplative and emerging,
please refer to Lighthouse Trails Research Project

Bookmark and Share