I lived through hell…still do in some respects.
The man responsible is a Calvary Chapel pastor, Shiloh Alumn…Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia…who continues with the full endorsement of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and CCOF…despite a literal mountain of allegations and corroboration that he is disqualified from ministry per 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Because of these actions, in the form of Stonewalling and inaction, against clearly articulated Scripture…people have been hurt…and people continue to be hurt. When a Church’s Culture promotes “easy Restoration” and “cheap Grace”…while dropping the hammer on those who have a dissenting opinion…often in the form of Elders, Board Members or Ministry Volunteers…the dynamic that is created is one of a temptation to Authoritarian Leadership by some of the “anointed” Pastors. These Pastors begin to believe “they” are special and can do no wrong…and they don’t have the “Holy fear” when they do “do wrong”…and see the actions of others tolerated, over-looked and/or graced over so easily.
In doing some research, it is clear to me that there is a long history and a pattern of “bad fruit” that is a by-product of the unBiblical “Moses Model” and the ad hoc approach to accountability and church discipline by the leadership at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and CCOF.
Opacity, Cover-up, “easy Restoration”, “cheap Grace”, All the Authority rested in the Lead Pastor, Distinctives and teachings that encourage Autonomy for the Lead Pastor and no (or very little) Checks and Balances available to dissenting Board Members, Elders and Lay-people…not a good combination.
Will a better Church Governing System and better Accountability Controls solve ALL the Abuses, Corruption and Problems? No.
Do Laws and Rules that Govern our Society solve ALL the Abuses, Corruption and Problems? No.
Those that argue, “Well, there’s no perfect form of Church Government…abuses will still happen”…are on flimsy ground. That’s like arguing for not changing our Laws and Rules in our Society to try and better address Abuses and Corruption that rear their ugly head.
In addition, Scripture commands Justice and Accountability and clearly lists Standards in the form of Pastoral Qualifications. For a Movement that Preaches, “We Simply Teach the Bible Simply”…it would be wonderful to see them “Simply Follow the Scripture Simply”.
To this day, Chuck Smith, Brian Brodersen and the rest of the 1,200+ Calvary Chapel Pastors are Affiliated with an Unrepentant Child Abuser, Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia. Smith and Brodersen are aware of the allegations many times over. They have chosen the path of Stonewalling and inaction…another dangerous precedent and example to their Followers. The fruit, I am certain, will be more Abuse, more Corruption…and they will share in that for ignoring their responsibility as fellow Elders of the Church.
A lot of this ground has been pioneered and covered before by Phoenix Preacher and by several media outlets. Many lives have been negatively affected…and sadly, not much has changed structurally. Lead Pastors still hold all the power, there are no Best Practices to protect children, no protocol or venue for Victims or those who have an issue with the Pastor to get a fair and safe hearing within Calvary Chapel, no clear teaching regarding Child Abuse and no Organization-wide procedure for Reporting Abuse. What can we do? Keep praying, keep pushing for Justice and Accountability…and pray for a reconsideration of the Practices and the Distinctives of Calvary Chapel. Pray for a revival of the Leadership and a conviction of sin and error…and pray for confession and repentance.
Calvary Chapel Abuses and Corruption in the News: