Let me be very upfront…this blog is not primarily about healing…at least my participation anyway. I am not a pastor and do not possess the gift to help those who have been hurt by the Church. I have other gifts and am exercising those as I feel led. If you want help in healing go to http://spiritualsoundingboard.com and spend time with Julie Anne Smith. She has a real gift for helping people discuss the issues and she has resources linked on her site with help for the Spiritually Abused. Dee and Deb at The Wartburg Watch are sympathetic to the issues and cover some Spiritual Abuse stuff here: http://www.thewartburgwatch.com . I am hopeful there will be pastors with the proper “gifts” and the heart of a pastor who will come on here and help victims of abuse (if they feel led). That is not my calling. I am who I am, though there are many on this blog who are gifted in helping like Grateful, Linda Pappas (a licensed therapist), Tina Jenkins and so many other valuable voices who have experienced what you have and are coming out the other side.
This blog is about accountability and justice. Since Big Calvary likes to be a non-denomination denomination so Chuck Smith doesn’t have to pay for the misdeeds of corrupt jerks like Mike Kestler…then there needs to be a place where victims of other corrupt jerks like Bob Grenier can go to get help, blow the whistle on the abuse and corruption, and spread the word to warn the church per 1 Timothy 5.
I chose to focus first on Bob and CCV, as I am an expert and a witness and a victim in this terrible story. In the future we will tackle other abuse and corruption within Calvary Chapel.
If you have been a victim of Bob’s abuse and corruption, this is a safe place for you to share your story. Safe because we have the Constitution of the United States and the First Amendment as our protection. Bob has published a book, “A Common Miracle” and is a very public figure. Sarbanes Oxley (Federal Law) and California and other states have “Whistleblower” laws in place that protect individuals from “retaliation” by Non Profit organizations, including Churches.
Share what you believe is true. Sharing your name gives more credibility to your allegations. Don’t share if it isn’t true. Truth is your best legal defense. It is my best legal defense. You are entitled legally to give your opinion regarding public figures. If the matter you have experienced is criminal, report it to the proper authorities. If you make a direct accusation against a Calvary Chapel pastor…be willing to back it up with direct testimony and/or documentation. I may choose to moderate you if you make a wild allegation and won’t stand behind it and be willing to put your name behind it and/or provide documentation and/or other witnesses. This Blog is a form of New Media. I will protect anonymous sources under the same protections that a reporter would. However, I won’t go to battle with a weak allegation that you can’t back up. That is not responsible or ethical.
Am I bitter, vindictive and operating a hate campaign? No, I don’t believe so, but others are entitled to their opinion.
Have I judged myself while judging others? Yes, I have. I have confronted sin in my life and confessed and repented. It was extremely humbling, but good. Do I sin now? Yes, I do. But I am not a slave to the besetting sin I struggled with for years before coming to true salvation and repentance.
Am I a Calvinist or an Arminian? I don’t know. In applying man’s logos (man’s reason)…for which I have formal training…the Calvinist arguments make the most “sense”…however, the things of the Lord are Spiritual…and I do not presume to believe that man’s logos is capable of an absolute determination of “how” we are saved. I believe Salvation is a Miracle…and “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. IMO, we should preach the Gospel as if we are all Arminians…trust that God is Sovereign as if we are Calvinists…and let God sort it out.
Am I a “Calvary Chapel Hater”? No. I am literally a product of Calvary Chapel. My dad and step-dad both came up through the early days of CC. My mom was “saved” in a tent on the beaches of Costa Mesa in the early days. I lived with my mom and my brother on “The Land” near Eugene, Oregon in the Shiloh commune. I grew up in CC and rubbed shoulders with many of the “Big Guys” in SoCal over the years. I saw much from a raw “behind the scenes” perspective. Much I wish I hadn’t seen and experienced. I do not hate Calvary Chapel. I am saddened and sickened by the hypocrisy and the worldliness and the abuse and the corruption I’ve both seen and experienced first-hand. The “Moses Model” is a terrible form of Church Government, IMO. Good guys can operate under any system. Bad guys have too much “authority” in the current CC system…and they get away with too much abuse and corruption. CC is set up to protect the assets of CCCM. There is “affiliation” and a connection when it helps the cause…not so much when a bad guy does his thing. Accountability is left to the local level…which in many cases is nearly impossible, as the “rogue pastor” has so much control of the particular situation. Accountability and justice are good…good for the pastor in sin, good for the victims of abuse and corruption. Accountability and justice are Biblical.
I believe this site will help in bringing accountability and a form of justice for victims of abuse…that helps CC and the broader Church. Accountability helps people not to sin, when tempted. I know from personal experience in dealing with my own sin. Often, when we think we can “get away with it” when tempted…it is easier to sin.