Aug 302011

A new friend gave me Chuck Smith’s phone number.

I called him directly.

We had a long conversation. It was extremely direct. Chuck listened.

I asked very specific questions and I received answers. I was able to express my frustrations with the Calvary Chapel System and broach many of the areas of criticism that I believe are valid with regards to Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel Ethos. He listened.

He agreed to have both a meeting with me and Bob Grenier and Bob’s accusers….and to meet with me to hear how I and others think Calvary Chapel can make changes to address much of the grievances and criticisms and frustrations out there.

I will be transparent and faithful. I am no CC apologist. I want to see reform and repentance. I do not want money or power. I want truth and change and I want Calvary Chapel to hear the cries of those who have been hurt and “try” to make some common sense changes and set a new course.

That’s my heart. That’s been my heart from day one.

I told Chuck that I don’t want a dime of his money and I don’t want to see lawyers take a bunch of it either. I want them to listen, consider and make changes.

Thank you God for opening the door. Give me the Power to walk through it.

 Posted by at 2:29 pm
Aug 302011

The Church (and Calvary Chapel) need to take the issue of Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse very seriously. It is demonic, evil and should not be counted among professing believers. IT IS NOT GOSSIP OR JUDGING OR SLANDER to call sin sin and to out the wolves who tolerate and practice such.

Lighthouse Trails Research

If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews,or friends with children, or if you work with children, we hope you’ll read this article. With Lighthouse Trails’ motto, “bringing light to areas of darkness,” we have been reporting on child sex abuse and the “new” sexuality since the beginning of Lighthouse Trails. Some may feel that sex abuse and the “new” sexuality do not fall within the parameters of exposing spiritual deception, but we believe it does. Why are we doing this? It’s quite simple, really. What is sown today will bear fruit tomorrow. In other words, what we do for or against the younger generation (children, teens, and young adults) today will be evident in how they function as Christians tomorrow. If we give them sexual abuse, deceit, sensuality, mysticism, pride, arrogance, carnality, lust, surely we must realize what this will reap in the future.

There are many facets of child sexual abuse in the church that we won’t be covering in this article, such as predators who claim to be Christian but are not and who infiltrate churches for the mere purpose of abusing children. But even that is still ultimately the responsibility of the local church wherein they should be screening children’s workers and by all means, not covering up abuse and then allowing perpetrators to continue working with children, either in their church or in another associated church.


The majority of people who contacted us after our article last week were extremely supportive of this story coming out. But a few were angry and upset. Some of those felt that the story should not have been released as this is a “private” matter for the church, not for the world to see. New believers will stumble, they say, by this coming out. This is nothing but gossip and so on. Basically, what they are saying is that this shouldn’t be talked about publically. But that poses a problem because it isn’t being dealt with within the church. Children are being abused, and adult leaders are covering it up.

Today, a lot of Christian figures talk about “revival” and a “new” reformation taking place. However, we should note that whenever true revival has taken place in the past, it was a revival of repentance. People would be humbly confessing their sins. This is a sharp contrast to today’s “revival” mentality where sins are pushed under the rug, never dealt with – or worse yet, they are no longer called sin. A “new” reformation or revival that is fleshly, devilish, and sensual is not a reformation from God at all.

You can view the entire article here:
 Posted by at 1:04 pm
Aug 292011

"Tell it unto the church" and "rebuke them publicly"....and don't stay silent...but why? What does the bible say "simply"?

Many come on the blog and have much to say. Some will trot out the canards of “Don’t Judge!” (see the article on Judging), “Don’t Gossip!” (see the article on Gossiping and Slander)…but, “why” do we call this stuff out? Does Scripture command us to call it out and to resist it and to contend against it? Are we to stay silent or speak up?

“We simply teach the bible simply”. Heard that one before? It’s a big part of the Calvary Chapel Brand, promoted and sold by Chuck Smith and his 1200+ “affiliate” Calvary Chapel Pastors.

Okey dokey. What does the bible (Scripture) say about these questions, “simply”? Let’s find out…

Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Expose the deeds of darkness. Hard to “expose them” when you stay silent.

Proverbs 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them.

There is a lot of “praising the wicked” going on in Calvary Chapel. There’ s a picture of Chuck Smith mugging for cameras with my step-dad Bob Grenier after we presented much testimony and many allegations of abuse, wrongdoing, corruption etc. Raul Ries invites him to speak at his church, etc etc. Bob Grenier is patted on the back and endorsed by Chuck Smith and praised…rather than “resisted” as Scripture says simply above.

John 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Calvary Chapel doesn’t like transparency…they have a revulsion to it. The stuff done in the darkness does not like to be exposed by the light. Scripture says so, “simply”…and Calvary Chapel sure models that and promotes that Dynamic. They are like Vampires and sunlight when it comes to asking them to disclose financial issues or asking them to tell the truth regarding abuses, molestation, adultery, corruption etc in their ranks.

Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Put the deeds of darkness aside Calvary Chapel. Put on the “armor of light”…which includes truthfulness and dealing with sin.

1 Corinthians 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.

Don’t associate with sexually immoral people. Wowzers. I’ve got a list a mile long of Calvary Chapel Pastors and employs with Adultery and molestation issues. Big names in there as well. Chuck Smith promotes them. It’s almost a Badge of Honor in the CCCM and CC ranks. “Hey, look at  me, I committed the same sin as Chuck Smith did!” Terrible. Wrong. Disqualifying.

CCCM and CC and Chuck Smith should be honest about who has committed Adultery in the CCCM and CC ranks so people can make an educated “Vote with their feet”…and not the false impression (which is lying) the vast majority has now.

1 Timothy 5:20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.

Pretty “simple”…yet never a “public rebuke” from Chuck Smith and other CC Pastors…though Bob Grenier made a former Assistant Pastor get up in front of the Calvary Chapel Visalia Congregation and rebuked him and had him resign in public humiliation for a sin that wasn’t his. Same Standard for Bob Grenier? Nope, not on your life.

1 Timothy 5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

Lots of “sharing in the sins of others” and not much “keep yourself pure” in the Chuck Smith, CCCM and CC ranks. Many many pastors within Calvary Chapel KNOW this stuff goes on, yet they turn a blind eye and wear the Team Uniform…and justify doing so. Wrong. Repent guys.

Do you Calvary Chapel Pastors, Leaders and lay-people believe the bible or don’t you?

Another consideration: The issue is often presented as an either/or (or Dichotomy) with regards to Speaking Out vs. Suffering it for Christ. I’m shouting the abuse and corruption from the roof tops…and I’m still suffering the injustice for Christ. I’m still suffering. It’s a both. What say you?

 Posted by at 5:39 pm
Aug 292011

"Don't Gossip! Don't Slander!" is often misunderstood or intentionally used as a manipulative technique to guilt people into silence (in the church) to cover up abuse, molestation, corruption, lying etc by church leaders who are held to a high standard in Scripture.

We covered “Judging”…and Joe Fisher has made it crystal clear we should take a hard look at “Gossip” and “Slander”.

What do those terms really mean?

Does it mean people are to keep silent about abuse, corruption, molestation, adultery, financial issues and lying by Pastors and Church Leaders?

Let’s take a look at the meaning of the words, since we are all entitled to our opinions, but we aren’t entitled to the Universally Accepted definitions of the Words we use.

3 John 1:10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

The Greek word in the verse above for “Gossiping” is:


to talk nonsense
Original Word: φλυαρέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: phluareó
Phonetic Spelling: (floo-ar-eh'-o)
Short Definition: I gossip against
Definition: I gossip against, talk idly, make empty charges against, talk nonsense.

Cognate: phlyaréō (from phlýaros, "to bubble up, boil over") – overflowing with speech "that is fluent but empty". 
It is used only in 3 Jn 10. (phlyaros).

OK, so the Scripture defines “Gossip” above as: “make EMPTY charges against”. OK, don’t make empty charges. Make sure that accusations, rebukes, etc of a Pastor/Elder and Leadership who are in sin are not “Empty Charges”. Make sure it’s the truth as you know it.

1 Timothy 5:13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

The Greek word used in the above verse is:


Original Word: φλύαρος, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: phluaros
Phonetic Spelling: (floo'-ar-os)
Short Definition: prating, talking foolishly
Definition: prating, talking foolishly, babbling.

phlýaros (an adjective, derived from phlyō, "to boil, bubble over") – properly, what bubbles over 
(like a seething, boiling pot). (phlýaros) is only used in 1 Tim 5:13.

OK, so Scripture says “don’t talk foolishly”…reporting abuse, corruption, molestation, adultery etc. is not “talking foolishly” especially when it is commanded in Scripture to expose the deeds of darkness and to “tell it unto the church” and to “rebuke them publicly so others may take warning” etc etc.

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

The Hebrew word for “Gossip” in the above verse is really interpreted “officially” as “Talebearer”:


to go, come, walk
Original Word: הָלַך
Transliteration: halak
Phonetic Spelling: (haw-lak')
Short Definition: go

Word Origin
a prim. root
to go, come, walk

The verse above means don’t “go” and “walk around” telling tales. If you have a legitimate secret in confidence of another person that is not a Pastor and is not a crime or something that will lead to hurting another person or themselves, like say someone emparts to a Pastor a “secret” in a Counseling session, the Pastor should not spread that “secret” unless it is a criminally actionable offense like child molestation or child abuse etc.  A Pastor should not be a “Talebearer” about a lay-persons confessed sins. However, “Talebearing” cannot be exposing the deeds of Pastors in sin, as that would contradict Jesus and Paul the Apostle’s words and actions regarding Religious Leaders.

Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.

The Hebrew word translated for “Gossip” above is:

Original Word: רָכִיל
Transliteration: rakil
Phonetic Spelling: (raw-keel')
Short Definition: slanderer

Word Origin
from rakal
NASB Word Usage
slanderer (3), slanderous (1), talebearer (2).

We know what “Talebearer” means. So what does “Slander” mean?

slan·der (slndr) n.
1. Law Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation.
2. A false and malicious statement or report about someone.

OK, Scripture says don’t make a “false” statement or report about someone. If they didn’t commit child abuse, molestation, adultery, theft, lying etc, don’t say they did.

Leviticus 19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.

We know what “Slander” means…don’t do it. Don’t spread false information about people. If a Pastor has done something that violates Scripture, try to handle it through Matthew 18, if he refuses to be truthful and repent, tell it unto the church. Rebuke him publicly. Don’t tell lies about him, tell the truth.

Psalm 15:3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man.

Don’t “Slander”…tell the truth.

Ezekiel 22:9 In you are slanderous men bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts.

Again, don’t “Slander”…tell the truth. Pastors, don’t disclose counseling information to keep people in fear and as a way to have the dirt on them to keep them from telling the truth about you. Don’t commit lewd acts, especially with minors, you’ll end up in jail and/or sued. Don’t cover it up, report it, report it, report it, right away.

OK, it appears the Scripture and the Universally Accepted definitions and meanings of words are contrary to Joe’s use of them.

Don’t Gossip and don’t Slander…tell the truth.

Pastors and Elders are held to Standards: 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

If you have been hurt and witnessed a crime or corruption by a pastor or church, if you have been abused physically or sexually etc etc, report it to authorities and warn others (expose the deeds of darkness).

If you have been offended by a Pastor, attempt to follow the Matthew 18 process. If he doesn’t play ball and isn’t truthful, “tell it unto the church”…local Congregation and Church Universal (according to Scripture).

Pastors/Elders who remain in sin are to be “rebuked publicly so others may take warning” per 1 Timothy 5:19-22.

 Posted by at 3:28 pm
Aug 272011
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I’ll put this as straightforward as I can, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and Chuck Smith are lying.

[UPDATE: Chuck Smith denies lying in my in-person meeting with him. He says he and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa did all they could do with regards to the Ayub molestations/statutory rape on the CCCM Campus. He said they reported to authorities right away and that they didn’t try to talk the victim into silence, etc. He said he felt very bad for the victim and her family and was completely truthful and forthright in that entire situation. Dave Rolph corroborated Chuck Smith’s version of events and agreed with Chuck’s assessment of the Ayub situation. Both Chuck Smith and Dave Rolph denied any knowledge of “Affiliation” and/or and “Affiliation Agreement” in that same meeting. They both had “no idea” what I was talking about with regards to “Affiliation” and no idea what goes on at CCOF, “a separate Corporation”. However, in IRS Documents, Chuck Smith is listed as President of CCOF.]

Scripture is extremely clear about the issue of lying, which includes lying by omission (including cover up, cover over, secrecy/opacity vs. transparency) and commission by outright lying and by giving false impressions of an “appearance” of accountability through CCOF.

The pile of information I have is explosive. Off the charts bad. It shouldn’t happen in any swath of Society, the least of which the Church and “a” Church that claims a special revelation from God and special anointing like Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel.

The difficulty in finding out and verifying and certifying “truth” is the lack of truthfulness and forthrightness and participation from the other side. I have many offenses with Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel and I have many many questions about very sinful issues of wrongdoing, adultery, child molestation and possible illegalities that I’d like an answer for. These are serious allegations and need direct and prompt answers.

Did a 15-year-old girl who attended Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (and whose dad was a CCCM pastor) get sexually assaulted multiple times on the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Campus?

Did a CCCM pastor or staff member walk in on an assault and not report it to authorities?

Was Chuck Smith aware of this situation? When?

Did Jeff Smith hire John Flores, the perp who was later convicted and served time? Did Jeff Smith fire him? Why?

Did Brian Brodersen rehire John Flores? Did the teenage girl get sexually assaulted after Brodersen rehired Flores?

Did Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa under Chuck Smith’s leadership attempt to talk the parents into not reporting this crime? Did they attempt to persuade the family to send the teenage girl to the Calvary Chapel Castle in Austria to get her out of the country to quiet things down?

Did CCCM pastors and agents try to paint the teenage girl as a “temptress” and frame the sexual assault of a minor with an adult male with many prior issues of sexual misconduct as an “affair”?

I and many others would like some straightforward and direct answers from Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

 Posted by at 6:53 pm
Aug 252011

Lighthouse Trails Blog

We realize some readers may think we are posting the following story just to dig up dirt on Calvary Chapel for the mere purpose of hurting them or bringing them down. But this is not the case. For nine years, Lighthouse Trails has been reporting consistently on areas of darkness in the church and in our society. In the beginning of our work, we included child sex abuse as one of these areas. Thus, we published Laughter Calls Me in 2003 and The Color of Pain in 2010, and we carry the DVD The Kinsey Syndrome, all of which fall in this category. We have also tracked many stories where children are at risk. While we know there are those within the Calvary Chapel movement who will not appreciate our publicity of the following story, the voices of millions of children throughout the world being sexually abused rings loud in our ears. We will stand as an outspoken advocate because we know the power of sin lies in its secrecy. It is better for those who are hurting children or those who are covering up these crimes against children to have the chance to repent here on this earth than to face God on judgment day having never repented.

What is needed today in the Christian church is for the sins of the leaders and pastors to be uncovered, either by their victims or better yet, by themselves in humility and contriteness. When we heard of this story, we had one of two choices: ignore it or talk about it. To ignore it is to avoid the path of truth and join the multitudes of silent onlookers – this we cannot do. In view of the slide into apostasy that Calvary Chapel has been making, this story is just another indication that the movement is in deep trouble, and repentance by its leaders and its pastors is long overdue.

Find the rest of the story here:

 Posted by at 9:54 am
Aug 242011

Chuck Smith mugs for the cameras at Calvary Chapel Visalia with accused Child Molester and Child Abuser Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia, after Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa was notified of the abuse allegations made by three of Bob Grenier's sons and corroborated by an Aunt in an interview with a police detective for a report filed in 2009. Unfortunately the statute of limitations had run out and no arrest was made. However, Calvary Chapel is well aware of many allegations over 30 years of abuse and corruption by Grenier and still endorses him fully...which is indicative of how Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel shuns accountability and protects Calvary Chapel Pastors, while ignoring Victims and whistle-blowers.

​Gustavo Arellano/OC Weekly

Everyone knows about the Catholic Diocese of Orange and its pedophile-protecting ways (got another bombshell in the cannon–I’m warning you, Brownie), but Orange County’s other Christian yahoo network has had its kiddie-diddling scandals as well–except Calvary Chapel does a much-better job hiding its tracks, signing settlements that remain under seal. I should get to exposing those, and will after I finish a couple of projects, but nice to see others aren’t waiting.

In a blockbuster case filed August 9 in Idaho’s First Judicial District Court, four men allege various Calvary Chapel pastors knew they had a pedophile on their hands when they allowed Anthony Iglesias to continue working for the ministry at their North Country Chapel branch in Idaho, where he abused the men when they were boys. The lawsuit claims that not only did Iglesias get collared for molesting a boy while serving as a youth minister atCalvary Chapel Golden Springs in Diamond Bar, but that his bosses allowed him to go off to Idaho and allowed him to return to Idaho after molesting boys on a Thailand missionary trip. 

Paging Bishop Brownie…

The lawsuit, filed by an Idaho law firm but featuring the muscle of Washington lawyer Tim Kosnoff (whose tenacity in going against pedo-protectors of all denominations was just told in a book by my publishing company, Scribner–just found that out while Googling!) combines two separate lawsuits filed against Calvary Chapel accusing them of harboring Iglesias. This one names the Big Calvary in the suit: Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which is actually in SanTana, and accuses them and North Country Calvary pastor Robert Davis of “negligently, recklessly and/or fraudulently conceal[ing] from the general public, law enforcement, its parishioners, plaintiffs and their parents its knowledge that Iglesias was and is a pedophile, child predator, and child molester.” Kosnoff isn’t asking for much–$10,000 per client, because that’s all that Idaho allows in such cases (a direct byproduct of Brownie’s Idaho days, no doubt) but will try to ask for punitive damages at a later date and is asking for a jury trial.

Iglesias is currently in jail for molesting two other boys in 2003. What did Calvary Chapel founder-head Chuck Smith know about child molesters within his flock, and when?

 Posted by at 7:06 pm
Aug 242011

Dino Cardelli of Calvary Chapel Arcata gets 18 years for molesting a little girl in his care. Had the girl (and Dino's wife who committed suicide over this issue) alleged child molestation and abuse and statute had run out, Dino would still be a Calvary Chapel Pastor in good standing this very moment (similar to Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia).

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard

Despite a former Arcata pastor’s pleas for probation, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge sentenced Dino Cardelli to the maximum prison sentence allowable Monday, charging that he essentially seduced his adopted daughter with Bible passages in order to molest her.

Arrested last September, Cardelli, 50, pleaded guilty June 22 to charges of the continual sexual abuse of a minor, child molestation, attempting to dissuade a witness and 25 counts of violating a court order not to contact his victim.

During an emotional two-hour court hearing, the court heard from one of two victims in the case — identified as Jane Doe 1 — and from Cardelli, and attorneys debated an appropriate sentence for Cardelli, who — until his arrest — had served as the pastor of Arcata’s Calvary Chapel. He and his late wife opened the church in January 1995.

Judge Bruce Watson sentenced Cardelli to serve 18 years in prison, the maximum allowable under a plea agreement Cardelli reached with prosecutors the day his trial was slated to begin. Watson said he weighed both mitigating and aggravating factors in reaching an appropriate sentence for Cardelli but said the scale tilted heavily toward handing down the maximum sentence.

Watson said Cardelli took advantage of a vulnerable victim, a girl he’d adopted at the age of 5 and who was 13 when the acts of molestation began. The judge said Cardelli then repeatedly attempted to dissuade Jane Doe 1 from cooperating in the case. Watson said the former pastor also betrayed the trust and confidence of his daughter, his community and his congregation.

”He violated the trust of countless people,” Watson said.

The full story is here:


 Posted by at 6:47 pm
Aug 092011

Sex Abuse lawsuit filed against Calvary Chapel. Pictured (left) is founder and "Papa" of Calvary Chapel, Pastor Chuck Smith pictured with Rick Warren of Purpose Driven Life fame.

Aug. 9, 2011

Four men, represented by Tim Kosnoff, have filed suit against one of the largest Protestant church associations in the country, after they were sexually abused as kids by a former Calvary Chapel church employee, Anthony L. Iglesias.

Iglesias was convicted of sexually abusing two Idaho boys in 2003 and now is serving a lengthy prison sentence.  Local Calvary Chapel churches operate under the oversight of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, the Santa Ana, Calif. parent church.

Kosnoff, and his co-counsel, Idaho attorney Leander James, both nationally recognized victim advocates, are now seeking to hold accountable the parent church they say should have known of the abuser’s past, in exercising reasonable care.  Kosnoff and James have already filed separate civil lawsuits against the local churches, Calvary Chapel in Rathdrum Prairie, Idaho and North Country Chapel in Post Falls, Idaho on behalf of Kory Larabee, Kyle Larabee, Nicholas Rutler and Alex McIntosh.

Years ago, Iglesias was criminally charged for sexually abusing a 13-year old boy in Southern California.  At the time, Iglesias regularly attended Calvary Chapel in Diamond Bar, Calif. and engaged in a church youth group.  Iglesias pleaded guilty.  Calvary Chapel pastors removed Iglesias from youth ministry there for a period of months to keep children safe from his predatory behavior.

However, Calvary Chapel ministers reinstated Iglesias’s contact with children after about six months, exposing children to potential harm.

Later, Calvary Chapel pastors in the Pacific Northwest had multiple opportunities to prevent the molestation of all four clients, but failed, after learning that Iglesias had again abused children – this time on a foreign church mission trip.

Pastor Bob Davis employed Iglesias in youth programs in Post Falls, Idaho and sent him on a mission to the Bann Emanuel orphanage in Thailand.  (Baan Emanuel is part of North Country Chapel, Inc.)  “Pastor Bob” did not report Iglesias to authorities, as he was required to under state law, after learning that Iglesias had allegedly molested children in Thailand.   Another Calvary Chapel pastor, Ray Duran, later learned of Iglesias’s abuse in Thailand, but employed him anyway in Rathdrum Prairie’s youth program, where he molested the Larabee boys and Nick Rutler.

Founded in 1965 by Pastor Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel is a network of more than 1,000 evangelical churches worldwide.  Calvary Chapel ministers typically do not have any formal seminary or theological training.  Calvary Chapel presents itself as an association rather than a denomination; if it were a denomination, it would be the fourth-largest Protestant denomination.

If you have suffered sexual abuse by a Calvary Chapel pastor or employee – or if you have information about Anthony Iglesias — please call our abuse help line: 877-275-4416.

 Posted by at 7:54 pm