Calvary Chapel: “We simply teach the Bible simply”. Bible: “An overseer must be above reproach” and “an elder must be blameless”.
The Marine Corps Times reports that two Atheist Groups and one Religious Freedom Group (Atheists Inc., the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation) have submitted a letter to Military Officials alleging that Camp Pendleton has denied them equal treatment in access to the base…while other Groups with a dubious reputation are granted a lot of leeway.
From the Marine Corps Times article:
They single out the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in Southern California, the mother church in a network of roughly 1,300 Calvary Chapel congregations nationwide. Its head pastor, Chuck Smith, has been mired in controversy for years, with critics blasting his teachings that center on predictions the apocalypse is near. He and other leaders within the congregation also have been accused of not doing enough to prevent the alleged molestation of several children.
“We are disturbed that the government is giving such extensive support, including assets, resources and personnel, to a single sect of Christianity,” the three groups wrote in their letter to Mabus. “Even more troubling is the ‘doomsday’ nature of the CCCM. … The last thing Camp Pendleton needs is a large group of well-armed Marines convinced of an imminent doomsday crisis.”
Smith told Marine Corps Times that said he hadn’t seen the letter — but he scoffed at any characterization of his church as doomsday-focused. CCCM, he said, supports “a pretty strong ministry” for Marines at Camp Pendleton, and he does not oppose other organizations, include nonreligious groups, accessing the base.
“We have men that go down [to Camp Pendleton] and we provide food for the fellows and … parties and picnics for them and their families,” Smith said. “We do spend quite a bit of money helping them.”
First things first, Chuck Smith will correct you big time for using “1,300 Calvary Chapel congregations”…he has clearly stated it is 1,500…err, no 2,000…and he’ll let you know it! Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6ydHm_lwKs and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4yE6p1WgNM
I’m no Atheist, but Spiritual Leaders like Chuck Smith who lie, protect child abusers and cheat the Church sure are the best argument there is for “No God”.
CC’ites will spin the blame onto critics and whistleblowers for Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel’s bad reputation…however, the finger of blame points squarely at Chuck and the corrupt and unjust Calvary Chapel System. This is the fruit of not dealing with your problems in a right manner Calvary Chapel. Your reputation is terrible…and well deserved. Shame on you.
Unfortunately, the Atheists and the Religious Freedom Group make some valid points if their allegations of special access for Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel…while limited or no access for their Groups…are true.
1. Calvary Chapel is a terrible representative of the greater Church Body. The CC history is marred by scandal after scandal and toleration of abuse and corruption at its highest levels. Chuck Smith is currently protecting a Child Abuser in one of his Calvary Chapel pulpits this moment.
2. Chuck Smith does promote a “doomsday” form of End Times theology…no matter how much he “scoffs” at the idea (hey, I thought “scoffing” was a bad thing and that “scoffers” were going to hell or something like that, but I digress). To deny that Calvary Chapel has a Rapture Now, God is Coming Soon, End Times emphasis is laughable. The Chuck Smith Calvary Chapel “Movement” / Association (whatever) is largely built upon the End Times Eschatological Premise that the “End is near!”…so much so that Smith used to predict specific dates, but got out of that business in the early 1980’s when he was wrong several times. It is well documented that Smith thinks the generation that saw Israel become an official Nation was the last generation before the Rapture. Chuck, who can spin and lie with the best of them, can “scoff” all he wants…but it is what it is. Calvary Chapel is largely a Millerite type Group…though they’ve stopped the Harold Camping stuff. If CC isn’t “doomsday” / End Times like Chuck says, then I must have the wrong DVD’s with his name on it here: http://store.calvarychapel.com/cccm_store_/catalog/display.php?cat=185&zid=1&lid=1&cartid=201208142460744
3. Other Groups should have similar access, like it or not…especially in light of how poorly Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel represent Evangelical Christianity. If the litmus test is integrity and ethics within the Leadership and Structure of the Organization doing the proselytizing/helping folks at Camp Pendleton…then CC has set the bar very low.
Personally, I love our Marine Corps and I’m assuming that much of what Calvary Chapel does at Camp Pendleton is net “good”…despite the terrible Leadership and example by Chuck Smith and the CC System when it comes to child abuse, molestation, corruption etc in its ranks. As long as Calvary Chapel’s Agenda with the Marines is practical help for families and morale through providing food, entertainment, fun events, etc then no problem. If their Agenda is for political favor and/or Chuck Smith’s personal Philosophical / End Times interests…then problem.
Either way, even the World smells the stench coming from CC Land…it’s getting harder and harder for Chuck and Costa Mesa to cover it over with spiritual threats, denial and PR spin.
Full Marine Corps Times article here: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/08/marine-atheists-pendleton-access-complaint-081312/