Apr 232014
Chuck Smith Sr. has been made aware of much abuse and corruption by Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia...yet has ignored requests for help and to use his leadership to confront the abuse and corruption.

Chuck Smith’s greatest legacy: He was a good dad and grandpa who never hurt his kids.

I had a very long conversation yesterday with a person who intimately knew Chuck Smith. It was as close as I’ve been able to get to having a final talk with Chuck regarding our personal spat over the Bob Grenier situation and my blasting Chuck and Chuck’s return fire from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit (as well as our internet radio spar).

There are many who viewed Chuck through very rose-colored glasses…and there are some, like me, who had a more jaded and negative view of the man. The truth tends to lie in the middle with regards to most people…and this conversation only affirmed that conclusion.

While the good is well-documented and well-publicized and well-touted by the 1500 plus affiliate Calvary Chapel Church System…the bad is documented on places like this blog. In the background are human beings with feelings. This was a rare occasion when two of those human beings…from the two different Camps…had a heart-to-heart discussion…and it was very helpful, at least for me.

My suspicions were proven likely correct…Chuck didn’t step in and do something directly with the Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel Visalia situation…not because he didn’t believe us…he actually told my brother Geoff directly in the meeting at the Logos Building that he did…it was because Chuck was being sued in Idaho for the Iglesias molestations that happened through meeting kids at other Calvary Chapels…and the lawyers told Chuck to shut up and not take responsibility for any other Calvary Chapel situation and told him not to get directly involved in the Bob Grenier situation…even though he had done so in the past.

I was also reminded of what I’ve heard in the past many times from people very close to Chuck…he was a great dad and grandpa and he was loving, kind, gracious and never hurt his kids. Some have actually been critical of him for being too soft on Jeff, which ironically, I think was a strength of Chuck’s, not a weakness (while still recognizing that can present some problems in adult church/business situations).

Like all of us, Chuck Smith was a mix of good and bad…something I’ve stated before. However, I now see more of the good…because I got a glimpse at the good in someone he loved…someone who is a living example of the good in Chuck.

The person knows who they are. You are a good person. I’ve heard it from several others who know you…and I’ve now experienced it first hand. I blasted someone you cared about deeply and you showed me kindness and mercy and compassion…yet you were also honest with me. I forgive Chuck and I am sorry I hurt you in the process of dealing with my anger and frustration over those issues with Calvary Chapel. I can’t tell Chuck to his face, but I can tell you…I’m sorry. I could have been much more gracious. Thank you for doing what you did. It helped me and gives me some hope.

 Posted by at 7:37 am
Apr 202014
Brian Brodersen's daughter denies abuse allegations and says her dad is a gracious and loving guy.

Brian Brodersen’s daughter denies abuse allegations and says her dad is a gracious and loving guy. published a story recently about allegations by multiple Smith family members (first posted publicly by Michael A. Smith on facebook) and a long-time friend of the Brodersen kids, that Brian Brodersen had hit his daughter in the head and made her ear bleed while the Brodersen’s lived in England.

Kristyn Brodersen states the story is false and she and her brother maintain a good relationship with their parents to this day. She says her dad is a very gracious and loving guy. Commentary and Opinion:

I think the testimony of the kids trumps other testimony and decided to withdraw the original story. The fact the kids have a good relationship with their parents today and that the daughter nicely, but flatly, denies any abuse…trumps the allegations made by others in my opinion.

 Posted by at 1:23 am
Apr 182014

Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale finally comes clean with regard to Bob Coy’s “moral failure”.

bob coy tiger woods

Bob Coy pictured discussing the Tiger Woods affairs on youtube. Calvary Chapel finally came clean about Coy’s “moral failure” in a recent service.

In Wednesday night services, “pastor Chet” confirms what we reported over a week ago…Bob Coy was involved in multiple affairs with women and has an addiction to pornography.

The story first broke on this blog as a blog comment left by an anonymous poster claiming to have been a Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale employee who had knowledge of the affairs and the coming resignation.

The comment started asking questions…and the story was confirmed and then went viral being picked up by other blogs and then national media.

Here is a link to CCFTL’s Wednesday night service that finally comes clean with the whole truth: Commentary and Opinion:

This is great opportunity for Calvary Chapel to come clean on many other issues of “moral failure”. I have a long list of other Calvary Chapel senior pastors and radio personalities who are guilty of “moral failure”, child abuse, corruption, lying, etc. that are similar and sometimes worse than Bob Coy’s known sins.

Calvary Chapel Association needs to recognize that their senior pastors are men, sinners…capable of doing wrong, capable of doing bad things at any time. Being “specially anointed” is a myth when it comes to men not being sinful men.

I call on the Calvary Chapel Association, once again, to implement System-wide reforms to the Calvary Chapel Affiliation Agreements to mandate Child Protections and Open/Transparent Finances to all Calvary Chapel franchises AND to have them include a “moral failure” by-law that gives the power to the CC Board and Elders to remove a pastor caught in major sin.

Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale is currently finding Accountability Jesus. I have reports from many CCFTL’ers who say the Board was essentially a puppet-board who were too cozy with Bob Coy. People who pushed back got fired. The sexual sins were known for two years or more according to multiple sources.

CCFTL is reportedly going through some big changes to address these big gaps in their Accountability plan. That is a very good thing and I commend them for learning from past mistakes.

May all of Calvary Chapel find Accountability Jesus. Your “specially anointed” pastor is no different than Bob Coy, or any of us for that matter.

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Apr 162014
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale owes Bank of America $35 million.

Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale owes Bank of America $35 million.

The Bob Coy scandal for “moral failure”, which is Calvary Chapel speak for he got caught with a porn addiction and humping women who aren’t his wife according to sources inside and outside of CC, illustrates a major problem with the Pastor-centered mega-church model.

What happens when the rock star guru cult-of-personality demonstrates their non-transformation into Jesus and falls on their face?

I’ll tell you what happens…a lot of people stop attending the show and stop giving their money…and the church is forced to sell off a bunch of their assets to pay back the bank.

Skip the Hagee “Blood Moon!” nonsense, I’ve got a prophetic word….Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale best start hanging the “for sale” signs on big chunks of their Disneyland because Bank of America will get their $35 million back one way or another….and now that Smiling Bob is off the stage, it’s gonna be a lot harder to rake in all that Jesus money. Chet’s a good looking likable wholesome guy, but c’mon…he ain’t Smiling Bob. Smiling Bob had that naughty but nice quality about him, that Vegas allure, that “I’m a Vegas bad boy acting like a good boy telling jokes and quoting bible verses wink wink” thing going on. The women loved him (some a little too much, know what I’m sayin’), the men wanted to be him. There’s only one Smiling Bob at CCFTL and that dude is evangelical damaged goods (but at least it was other women and not dudes or he’d be toasty toast, no chance at a comeback).

Big shows require big overhead and bigger rock stars to keep them going.

It would not surprise me to see a Skip Heitzig try to toss his hat in the ring to try and step in and be Coy II. Skip’s got a history of jumping ship from Calvary Chapel Albuquerque and he was recently caught with Paul Smith trying to buy off the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa stage for a million bucks. What is it with Heitzig? He’s a rock star in Albuquerque but seems to hate the place and is always looking to upgrade. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Heitzig make a play for CCFTL and CCFTL’s board will feel the heat of lower attendance and lower giving…so you never know…we could see the Skipster surf on over to that bigger stage.

One thing’s for sure, CCFTL is in big trouble. They can prattle on about how it’s “all about Jesus!” and how they tell everyone to look to Jesus as they continue to deny they are a Pastor-centered mega-church with an over-emphasis on a cult-of-personality like Bob Coy…but time will show that despite their denials…they are what they are…and they will be a fraction of the mega-church they are now in the coming months and years, unless they somehow resurrect Coy from the “moral failure” ash heap and put him back in the saddle.

 Posted by at 10:38 am
Apr 072014

Smiling Bob.

Comments are back on now that things have calmed down and traffic is more manageable….here is a link to the blog comment left on that started the firestorm:

If you have information concerning Bob Coy and Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale or another Calvary Chapel franchise and pastor: agrenier7 at gmail dot com.

 Posted by at 9:31 pm
Apr 052014
Bob Coy, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, is to resign for a "moral" issue according to sources.

Bob Coy, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, is to resign for a “moral” issue according to sources.

A commenter posted Friday, April 4 on Calvary Chapel Abuse blog that Bob Coy, long time senior pastor of the mega church Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, had resigned…and that an announcement to the congregation will be made in a closed meeting after services this Sunday.

Sources inside and outside of Calvary Chapel have confirmed that Coy is resigning and the reason for his resignation is “moral” failure.

One source used the word “devastated” to describe the mood of those at CCFL who are dealing with this news.

UPDATE: Sunday, April 6, 6:30PM MST:

Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale has issued a Press Release and confirmed Bob Coy’s “resignation”. An employee meeting was held at approximately 3:00PM EST today followed at 4:30PM EST by a general closed meeting for those considering CCFL their church home.

Sources tell me Coy was not present at the meeting and that an assistant pastor read a letter prepared by Coy.

The full press release is here:

Statement Regarding Bob Coy

Posted on Sun, Apr 6, 2014

Media Statement – April 6, 2014

On April 3, 2014, Bob Coy resigned as Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, effective immediately, after confessing to a moral failing in his life which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church he has led since its founding in 1985. The media ministry of the Active Word that distributes his Bible teachings through radio, television, and digital media has also been suspended.

Pastor Bob will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God and with his family. The governing board of the church is providing counselors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration.

Trusting in God’s providence, protection, provision and direction, the staff of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale will continue our mission to “make disciples,” through regular services at all campuses and through a myriad of other ministries the church has established over the years. A team of assistant pastors already on staff will maintain their usual rotating schedule as teaching pastors for all services.


Calvary Chapel Abuse Commentary and Opinion:

This is a teaching moment for Calvary Chapel and could be a watershed moment for the Movement/Association.

I have long stated that Calvary Chapel senior pastors are not “specially anointed” as Chuck Smith had claimed as part of his CC apologetic. I know these guys, I grew up the son of a Calvary Chapel pastor, I’ve seen behind the curtain. These guys are men. They are sinners and just as much or more a sinner than you or me. They aren’t special, they aren’t anointed. Don’t build them up as something they aren’t. Many of these guys are not qualified per the standards set out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1…and I’m beginning to think none of us men are able to meet that standard.

Let’s be frank, Coy was a rock star of a mega church…worshipped by many. He came from a Las Vegas background that fed his appetite for the carnal things. He got “saved” and sought a leadership position and was a very talented guy who rose through the ranks quickly. He was very comfortable in the spotlight and extremely charismatic…and he actually seemed like a nice guy on the surface (though some have reported he can be a jerk…but so can we all at times…I can be one of the biggest).

I get it. I know what it’s like. I’m no better than Bob Coy. You are no better than Bob Coy. We are all inflicted with the same human condition.

But, big sins can have consequences…and when you put yourself out there as “special” and “anointed” and sit atop that pedestal…it can be a long way down to hit the floor.

Coy will suffer loss for his sin. He was a big boy and took risks and made the choices he made and now it’s time to pay the piper. Many don’t get caught in Calvary Chapel and they get away with their sin for many years. My step-dad is one such example. I have more sympathy for a “moral” issue like Coy’s appears to be than I do for someone who hurts kids…but regardless, we’re all sinners and we all need Jesus. None of us get “transformed” and none of us can meet the standard…even after we’re supposedly saved. That is the great myth of Calvary Chapel’s brand of Christianity*…there is no such thing as the “transformation” gospel. We’re all still sinners after we’re saved and we’re all just as capable of sinning as we were before we were saved…which is why we NEED ACCOUNTABILITY measures in place to protect kids and to have open finances to keep things on the up-and-up with the Jesus money.

The details of Coy’s resignation will come out. A lot of people who put him on a pedestal will be disillusioned, some sad, some angry. I know. It was very sobering to find out that my “pastor” and even Chuck Smith himself were just as much NOT anointed as I am, when push came to shove.

While Coy is no better than any of us and no more “special” or no more “anointed” than anyone…he is also a human being who has sinned and if he has truly confessed and repented then his life isn’t over and hopefully he wants to make amends with his family and hopefully God will help them to forgive and reconcile.

This is not a happy day and not an “I told you so!”…it is simply something I always expect to happen and I know many more stories of abuse and moral failure will come from Calvary Chapel…because I know the truth about mankind and religion.

Calvary Chapel pastors currently hiding your sins…come clean, do the right thing. If you really “trust the Lord”…then quit dodging the consequences and man-up and take your medicine. I did it at one time in my life. It was terrifying, but actually trusted the Lord and did the right thing not knowing how things would go from there. Quit playing Business with your church, quit playing Celebrity and Guru and quit hiding behind the veneer that you are something you are not. If Calvary Chapel ever wants to see a true “move of the Spirit”…it will start with Leadership coming forward and being honest about who they are, what they’ve done and then exampling true Christianity for the world to see. True Christianity is about humility…the humility that knows you are as much a sinner as the homosexual or the drug addict or the person who makes you uncomfortable because their sin is different from your sin.

I hope Coy is truly repentant and does whatever he can to be honorable and honest and face the consequences of his actions. I hope his family can overcome this. I hope those who esteemed him will look to Jesus and within and realize we are all in the same boat and all of our hope should be that God is truly “love” and is truly merciful…even to his “enemies”…as we are all God’s enemies at times…as well as his kids.

 Posted by at 12:22 pm
Apr 042014

A person claiming to have been employed at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale made a public blog comment concerning Bob Coy.

The blog comment stated that Bob Coy had resigned and that the resignation will be announced after this Sunday’s services in a closed meeting for CCFL attendees.

Can anyone in Fort Lauderdale or from Calvary Chapel with knowledge of Bob Coy’s situation and CCFL please confirm or deny whether Coy has resigned?

Email me at agrenier7 at gmail dot com. If you are more comfortable speaking on the phone, email me your number and I will contact you by phone.

 Posted by at 9:57 pm
Apr 042014

It should be hard for you to watch this video…if it isn’t you need help. Child abuse in the church is more common than most realize…it is still a serious problem. Child abuse survivors are more attuned to this issue as we’ve lived it, been hurt by it, seen its effects on siblings etc. The church needs to change its mindset, its teachings and its policies regarding this issue. Jesus loves the little children…he does not want you to hurt them and use his name to justify it.

 Posted by at 1:56 pm
Apr 032014
Jesus loves kids. Jesus does not want you to hurt them in his name. Church, Calvary Chapel, everyone: Stop child abuse.

Jesus loves kids. Jesus does not want you to hurt them in his name. Church, Calvary Chapel, everyone: Stop child abuse.

I love my kids. I love them completely, unconditionally. There is no other love to compare it to in this present existence.

Romantic love, brotherly love…no comparison.

If God truly exists in some sort of paternal relationship with mankind that is beyond a human anthropomorphic rhetorical device, then I imagine my love for my kids…and their love for me…is about as close to an earthly glimpse of the Divine as we’ll get.

I appeal to your Conscience as a Christian parent…especially if you’ve been taught by a conservative fundamentalist evangelical church that beating your kids with rods “for Jesus!” and breaking their “spirit” is right and righteous. Let me be extremely clear: It is evil and you are wrong. You have bought into a lie.

Don’t hurt your kids. Don’t teach it, don’t rationalize it, don’t justify it. If you are hurting your kids now, stop. If you are a pastor who is teaching child discipline and you appeal to the Old Testament and verses that tell you to beat your kids with rods and leave stripes and scours (bruises and wounds)…and you teach that a parent must beat the “rebellious spirit” or “will” out of your children…you are teaching evil and you are sinning. Jesus does not want you to beat your kids into submission and Jesus does not force people into submission. You imposing your power physically and mentally and spiritually over your children to “break” them so they conform to whatever whim you have in your home is being a bully and is being an abuser and is an incredibly destructive misuse of the power and responsibility God has given you, toward the children he has also given you.

God does not want you to beat your children to “break” their will. That is what enemy military and the mafia does to extract information or to force compliance with a particular agenda…or to just be plain evil bastards who like to hurt and scare people.

Corporal Punishment Parent: “But, it is abuse to let my kids run wild without discipline! God says I’m to keep them in full submission! I would be a bad ungodly parent if I don’t ‘spank’ my children and make them conform!”

First, let’s define “spanking” and legal discipline…then let’s discuss the goal of discipline and the responsibility in discipline…and the child’s psyche and what science and statistics show are the results of corporal punishment that often opens the door from mere legal “spanking” to much more violent abuse.

All States (and Romans 13:1 applies here, read it) have Child Abuse laws on the books that define what is and isn’t “abuse”.

In the vast majority of States, the legal definition of abuse is hitting a child with an object or your hand and leaving bruises or marks or some sort of physical marker that the child was struck hard enough to leave a mark. Abuse also includes threatening a child (psychological and mental abuse) and scaring a child to death, as well as neglect (not providing basic necessities). Other “abuse” is defined as imprisonment, like locking a child in a small coat closet (my brother Geoff was imprisoned by my step-dad in a small coat closet as a form of discipline). Hitting and striking your child in the face or head with your hands is abuse. Punching or kicking your child is abuse. Grabbing your child violently and throwing them against a wall is abuse.

“Spanking” is not abuse when it leaves no mark, is done to a degree and in a manner that does not psychologically or physically harm the child. This is usually defined as using your hand on a clothed rear-end and not in an inordinate amount of blows and not a blow that would harm the child physically.

Do not “spank” your kids with belts, paddles, rods etc. Do not “spank” your kids while they are naked, that is a form of sexual abuse, you are forcing them to be naked in front of you in a very humiliating and vulnerable and dominated position. That is wrong.

All of the things I’ve described above have happened to me and my brothers (and more). I lived it. I witnessed it first hand. I will never be able to escape the memories of the abuse and while the physical scars have long healed, the spiritual and emotional and psychological scars are a part of who I am in both good and bad ways.

Parents, if you really truly “love” your children and want what’s best for them…do not hurt them. Do not have as your goal to “break their will” and to force conformity to your particular whim or agenda or view of a particular situation. You do not want God forcing you into compliance. You would press charges against me if I walked into your home, grabbed you by the collar and beat you into submission if I wanted you to stop doing something.

Your children are sentient human beings. I am a sentient human being. My brothers are sentient human beings. Your children have the same rights you do, they are just as important to God as you are.

There is nothing more dehumanizing than crushing the spirit of another human being using fear, force, violence and humiliation.

Let me repeat that and let it sink in: There is nothing more dehumanizing than crushing the spirit of another human being using fear, force, violence and humiliation.

Grown soldiers face years of issues after being tortured in prison camps, dominated, humiliated, hurt physically in an effort to “break” them. Men who go to prison and are beaten violently or dominated by other inmates face similar humiliation and have psychological and emotional scars that haunt them for life. How much more a child. How much more a child at the hands of the very people that are supposed to love them and protect them. How much more your pastor who represents “God” and “Jesus” to you and your family.

Child abuse is a prevalent problem despite public efforts of victims and advocates to raise awareness.

According to Child Help USA that tracks national child abuse statistics and advocates on the behalf of  the abused, children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
  • Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion.
  • 14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population.
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • Abused teens are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
  • One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.
  • In one study, children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs were three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.
  • As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.
  • More than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before their 18th birthday, three times as likely as those without a report of abuse or neglect. –Statistics courtesy of Child Help USA, 2014 based on government data.

Fundamentalist conservative evangelical parent (and others)…if your true goal is to “help” your kids by providing loving boundaries so they have a chance at turning out to be good productive citizens as adults…the statistics overwhelmingly demonstrate that crossing lines into abuse is doing more to hurt your kids and more to ruin your kids than some nebulous “devil” and “enemy” you appeal to that is supposedly after their souls.

Parents, many of you are that “devil” that is ruining your kids. Many of you are the very evil you say you are against and guarding your kids from. If you want to screw your kids up big time, just do what my step-dad has done…hurt your kids, dominate them, force them into conformity, strip away their humanity and use fear and guilt and shame and beat any good they have right out of them. You cannot beat Jesus into your kids…but you sure as hell can beat Jesus out of them.

Personally, I refuse to spank my kids, even within the guidelines of legal spanking. I find it doesn’t work very well if the goal of discipline is to be rehabilitative and corrective rather than punitive and hurtful and retributive. I found most of the time the “spankings” we got growing up were more for my step-dad to release his rage and vent (akin to kicking the family dog) vs. the goal of loving corrective and a teaching moment. Even done responsibly, it just isn’t your best option and teaches your children that violence is a proper means of getting another human being to conform to your will. I don’t like that. You shouldn’t either. Violence should only be used in self-defense or the defense of others…never to force conformity onto another outside of a War context or a police action etc.

We employ a parenting philosophy we call Grace-based Parenting…and I lead that effort in our home. My wife came from a very healthy and loving Christian home that disciplined responsibly so she is not nearly as sensitive to the issue as I am…but she has seen the results of what happened to me and my brothers over the years and understands the dynamic and the cause-effect correlations that come with abuse.

My daughter is very obedient. Some kids are just born with a nature of compromise and wanting to get along. It is very easy to provide boundaries for her and we rarely have to discipline her…and when we do, it is after the rules were clear and there were chances to moderate the behavior (by verbal warning) before an actual punishment.

My son is not very obedient…he takes after his mother :-) (don’t tell her I said that LOL, actually she recognizes it and it has caused her to thank her mother for being so patient with her growing up).

I love my son so much (as well as my daughter) and I knew early on that my role as his father would be very important in his development as I knew we were going to have a challenge in the home in incorporating his will and spirit into the family unit. I know full well the wrong way to handle him…which I count as one of the few good things, but a very important thing, to have come out of my abusive upbringing.

There is rarely a day that goes by without some sort of conflict in the home, in varying degrees, related to something my son has done or said or not done (or all three).

The first rule of Grace-based Parenting: Make up your mind early on and know that your goal is NOT to force absolute conformity and to have realistic goals and know and accept that your spirited child is…not might…but IS going to give you trouble. Don’t be shocked when he or she does. Know that the issue will be a recurring issue…just as there are things about you (parent) that you struggle with, sins that you struggle with all the time that you repeat and don’t conform to God all the way in some areas. Good parenting is a process…it’s not an event. You are not going to win every battle. Let me repeat that: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN EVERY BATTLE. If you can accept that, if you are realistic about that, you will be doing yourself and your kids a great service. Strict 100% compliance on every issue is not the goal…no more so than you would respond to another adult in a more powerful position than you. Imagine if your boss at work treated you like you treat your kids…or if your spouse did (which happens often) or the cops did, or your pastor did or your doctor did etc.

The second rule of Grace-based Parenting: Don’t die on every hill. Pick your battles. Don’t make every last issue full-on nuclear war. Kids are human beings and they are full of energy, full of mischievousness and sometimes full of naughtiness. Remember, they take after you. Show some grace over petty issues. Give them the power to speak for themselves and the power to push back and explain themselves. Don’t silence your kids. Don’t take away their voice…that is very destructive. Have good boundaries…have rules…but not petty stupid stuff. We were often smacked in the head or face while our hands were forced to be kept at our side whenever our step-dad perceived a “bad attitude”. Don’t worry about a facial expression that expresses disappointment or discomfort or non-agreement. Your kids are human beings! Those are biological and physiological functions. They are not robots and they are not animals and they are not prisoner’s of war for God’s sake. We have Boundaries in our home and we do discipline. We choose to die on the big hills: Don’t hit your sister. Don’t hit your mom. Do your school work and chores. Make sure we know where you are. When big lines are crossed, we warn. After the warning, we enact a previously defined punishment (that is non-violent). This punishment usually results in the loss of a prized privilege (think video game use or playing or having to do additional chores). Lines are crossed often. Punishments are enacted, with and without an attitude. I don’t like being punished when I do something wrong…and I don’t expect another adult to force me to be happy about it for my “own good”. Let your kids be the human beings God created, don’t stifle all their emotions and personality and natural responses.

The third rule of Grace-based Parenting: Give your kids the power over their punishments. My son crosses the line…often. He does the crime…and he serves the time. But, he also has the keys to let himself out of punishment (metaphorically speaking, we DO NOT lock up our kids…I saw it happen to my brother growing up…he was forced to stay in a small coat closet in the dark and it was terrifying and evil, like solitary confinement in prison only done to a child). The punishment begins and we simply tell our kids…if you want to end your punishment then correct your behavior. When they correct that particular issue, then so ends the punishment (unless it’s hitting the other sibling, then the punishment stays in tact for its duration). Often times these punishments are over as soon as our kids finish their chores or complete their homework or correct whatever other behavior or task it is that mom requires. Our kids respond very well to this. It gives them some hope and tends to be much more corrective than punitive and retributive.

The fourth rule of Grace-based Parenting: Tell your kids how much you love them…often. Back it up with actions of love. Tell them you WILL NEVER hurt them in any way on purpose and that your goal for disciplining them is to correct a particular behavior or action…not because you are mad at them or because you say they are evil or bad or rebellious or whatever other verbal hurts abusive parents think of. Don’t tell your kids “God wants me to do this to you!” If you want to really screw up your kids…just tell them God told them to abuse you. We tell our kids that God does not want us to hurt them and that hurting them is wrong. When my son acts out toward me and screams at me…I ask him to stop and remind him that I don’t treat him that way and that I love him and respect him and I ask him why he thinks it’s OK for him to treat me in that manner. He usually responds very reasonably on these rare occasions and then I hug him and tell him I want to help him and ask him why he’s so upset. This empowers him. It makes him feel like he is truly loved and a human being, not an object, not a dog and not a prisoner in his own home. When you tell your kids you “love” them…and then you hurt them and yell at them all the time and crush their spirit and scare them and threaten them etc, they are not stupid. They know that you don’t love them…it’s just a word you use. Kids are very perceptive and they learn to not trust you very quickly when you cross lines and are abusive and mean towards them. When you lose your kids’ trust, you have failed miserably as a parent.

The fifth rule of Grace-based Parenting: Mom, dad….parents…I want to let you in on a little secret…you are a sinner, too…and you are wrong more often than you realize. Be honest with your kids, don’t have double standards and don’t be afraid to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me”. If your kids aren’t supposed to hit others and yell at others…how can you be a trusted and honest broker if you treat them much differently? If you lose your cool, repent quickly and let your children know you are sorry for your actions and that yelling was wrong…just as when they yell it is wrong. If you find yourself consistently losing your cool, you have a problem and you need to get help. It is not normal, both moms and dads, for you to fly off the handle all the time and to scream and yell and “lose your temper”. My step-dad was famous for his self-described “temper problem” which he used instead of his “child abuse problem”. If you cannot control yourself, if you cannot deal with another little human being not being perfect and not complying perfectly to your will and you freak out over this (my step-dad would blame his abusiveness on being “provoked” often by my brother Geoff…which is wrong, Bob is responsible for his own abusive behavior) then you have a major problem and you need professional help. Get it under control or you may end up in jail, you may end up on a blog someday and you will end up with grown kids who are damaged and who will never forget how you hurt them.

The “fruit” of Grace-based Parenting? My kids aren’t sinless perfect angels…they are good kids in general and both are very smart and very confident and very secure. Most importantly, they KNOW and believe they are loved…and they trust me and my wife. They believe me when I tell them, “I love you…I will always love you…and I will never hurt you”. The “fruit” of Old Testament Law-based parenting? Read the statistics…and read this blog and many others who have been abused.

I don’t know if my kids will or will not turn out well. That is ultimately between them and God and I cannot control that outcome. What I can control is how I treat them as their father.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month…Church, Christians, Calvary Chapel and others…don’t hurt your kids…be a Grace-based Parent as Jesus wants you to be…and spread the word.

 Posted by at 1:08 pm
Apr 012014

This is particularly amusing to me because I grew up in Calvary Chapel, am a product of Calvary Chapel…and went to Johnny Mac’s The Master’s College and attended MacArthur’s church over the course of a couple of years.

I don’t really agree with either side doctrinally/theologically…though MacArthur is right about Cessation…CC has no miracles, no real sign gifts, etc…all the stuff I witnessed was pure emotionalism and all fake…but I think this is quite an interesting dust up.

Grabbing my popcorn to watch this one. Doctrine Wars!!!! LOL.

 Posted by at 4:12 pm

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