Aug 092012

If you want to "help"...start with publicly acknowledging the facts. If you don't believe basic facts that are presented and aren't "helping".

One of the major goals expressed by the “good guy” Calvary Chapel Pastors over at, here and elsewhere has been a concern for those “hurt” by Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors (CCSP’s) and the CC System. One of the major obstacles that often makes their participation another hurt rather than a help is their unwillingness to publicly state what is true, while doling out advice and pats on the back and stating over and over that they all aren’t the same and not to broad brush the whole Calvary Chapel Group.

The dynamic is this: You spill your guts out everywhere, gory details and all…and bleed all over the place. Your hurts and the hurts of so many many others is real and quantifiable and there is a mountain of testimony/evidence that a large majority of intellectually honest people would agree there is a serious Problem and injustice. A Calvary Chapel “good guy” Pastor tells you they feel bad for you and they offer up a book for you to read and assure you that they aren’t all the same and that they don’t do that at their Calvary Chapel.

You point out that a big part of the Problem is Systemic and the way the Structure is set up by Chuck Smith and CC Leadership…and that the pattern is the same or similar in so many other examples. The CCGGP repeats the mantra that he’s different, they aren’t all the same, all Systems are bad, CC does much much more good than bad and don’t broad brush the CC Movement.

Then comes the Chuck Smith worship.

You watch CCGGP after CCGGP talk about how wonderful Chuck Smith is. How much “integrity” he has and how much God has used him in so many lives. Meanwhile Chuck Smith has lied to your face, used his immense power to malign you from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Pulpit, lied about him calling you and reaching out to you as if his goal was to really help…when the truth is you found a way to call him and he only met with you after you lobbied him for an hour and discussed “some” of the very sensitive issues you were aware of regarding his personal issues and Calvary Chapel’s current (at the time) legal situation. Chuck Smith goes on to lie and state that he has “no responsibility, no control, no authority” etc etc in the Calvary Chapel Movement and that all CC’s are 100% independent and he doesn’t make decisions that effect them directly, etc. Smith says this in a Radio Interview here: from the CCCM Pulpit here: and in the “meeting” to your face with Dave Rolph, Janet Carter (attorney) and your brother as witnesses. You realize Chuck Smith lies, often.

There comes a point where the inability of the CCGGP’s to publicly acknowledge some basic facts about Chuck Smith and the Bob Grenier situation is offensive and doesn’t really “help” anyone get over anything…it adds fuel to the fire.

If help in “healing” is the goal, I hope CCGGP’s will rethink their approach. Patting the abused and wronged on the back and telling them all will be well…without publicly acknowledging basic facts (and there is ample evidence to establish the facts) is simply not “helping”.

You can’t help holocaust victims by denying the holocaust. You can’t help black people by denying slavery existed and was wrong. You can’t help a rape victim by denying she was raped and that you don’t really know if her abuser in fact raped her or not. You can’t help a battered wife by questioning her abuse (when there is more than ample testimony and eyewitnesses and even a confession to a specific instance). And, you can’t help someone by denying that the Leader who has the power to make a right judgment and bring some accountability has lied and mishandled his responsibility.

Start with examining the facts and making a right judgment and publicly stating your take. Use your name. Take a stand for what is right, in public, not hiding behind the scenes and playing the CC political game. That would go a long long way to healing and to building a positive relationship.

 Posted by at 12:22 pm

  41 Responses to “Calvary Chapel Pastors: If you want to help the hurting, you must first acknowledge what is true”

  1. alex,

    for fear of being called by ‘some’ CCGGPs (by the way, great abbreviation) i’d like to say “great article again”… aw hell, i’m gonna say it anyway! Great article again. (Come and get me, you nerds!!)
    the need to deal with the root of the the system that creates, facilitates and protects these ‘legends in their own minds’ cannot be stressed enough. Until these guys realize that it’s not just localized and ‘bad’ apples going off from the pattern, but the pattern itself that is the issue, i don’t think we will see any change or real reform within the CC system.

    as i told allan in response to my artice yesterday, i don’t believe ‘healing’ will come till real repentance happens. the whole “if i regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” and Pr 28:13 ¶ He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
    Repentance then healing

  2. Yeah alot of these Calvary Pastors tow the line and refuse to speak out for what is right. They treat Chuck Smith like the Penn State myopians treated Joe Paterno

  3. mic,

    If the Chuck’s, Raul’s Skip’s, Bob’s of this world are wolves then I don’t see real repentance happening from them. The solution withdraw from a fallen away system and run run run run run away and don’t look back and then warn warn warn warn

  4. And I do think the men listed above are wolves who fleece their flocks and plunder them, add Pancho Juarez of Montebello to that list

  5. Sol,

    i feel ya’ bra’

  6. Guys, I agree. Can’t have “healing” w/o repentance…in many cases.

    I also doubt CC will change on its own and I doubt guys like Chuck Smith, Skip Heitzig, Bob Grenier and others will change either. They have too much (earthly man kingdom) to lose to acknowledge real sin and wrongdoing and humble themselves in true repentance.

    They preach a good game…but that stuff is for those in the pews.

  7. McCalvary Chapel: “you wann Lies wi dat?”
    (disclaimer: no actual Doves were injured in the making of this commercial)

  8. The CCGGP’s experienced a very small taste of what it’s like to be offended. They wanted accountability and justice and they had no problem publicly voicing their anger about it.

    That was to show them what it’s like on a much much smaller scale. They probably still don’t have ears to hear, but I think others saw the example and “get” it.

  9. MiC, ROTFLOL! 😆

    Some folks wondered why I had a tendency to freak.

    CC/Chuck would pee on me and then guys like Dave Rolph would tell me it’s raining 🙂

  10. alex
    “MiC, ROTFLOL! ”

    i find making fun of the CC Borg in creative ways is the best way to keepo what sanity i got left.

  11. what did you think of the MN ‘love in’ we had yest?

  12. Alex,

    I am not anywhere near being either knowledgeable enough or intelligent enough to fully grasp your agenda here, except that you are concerned for innocent people, in the CC system in particular; and you seek justice towards the abuser’s un-qualified glorification within that system. I think that this bothers you the most because they not only claim to be God’s anointed, but are at the same time disrespecting God Himself by worshiping themselves instead of Him; while they claim to be using their power of delivering the Righteous, Holy, Word of God and to teach common people how to obtain Heavenly virtue.

    After saying that without even mentioning your tangible, personal experiences, it bothers me that there is nothing I can do to help you. I have thought about it for a couple years and have said nothing because as much as I wanted to, I could not see how you could obtain satisfaction. The following suggestion is a feeble expression of a possible method of taking action in a battle between armies of good and evil while having faith that you are on the side of good.

    You have experienced a vast array of places of multiple levels concerning events regarding CC from both inside and outside observances. As I am sure that you would agree, God gives us the ability to do what it is that He wants us to do. I thought of your situation and position. You have used your journalism ability to some extent through this blog and other places. You have obtained more information concerning good things and bad things about CC than probably anyone else ever will, overall.

    Have you ever considered taking the journalist skills you have to another level, one that you have already touched base with in a different mode? I am talking about a monthly printout, a news magazine if you will. However, gear this one to exposing both positive and negative articles regarding CC as a current one-place news- letter for the reader’s themselves to determine as a balance scale. (Such as the current status of legal CC issues and CC current system events). I know there are some internet sites that do this (kind of), but I am talking about a hard-copy printout magazine.

    As I said, I am not aware of all you have already either done or thought of and I apologize if I am out of bounds here. It is just that I really feel that you, with your ability and business experience, could make this turn out to accomplish multiple goals of reaching some sort of satisfaction. If nothing else, I hope this can trigger you with a thought of how to take a step in concluding your turmoil.

    Who knows, maybe your thought of becoming an attorney is your answer. Again I am sorry if this is of no help to you, but it is all I have to offer as a suggestion.

    God bless you,

  13. What is CCGGP?

  14. CCGGP = Calvary Chapel Good Guy Pastor (we often referred to the CC Pastors at PhxP as CC Good Guy Pastors)

  15. Hey Paul, good to hear from you old friend. Paul and I go back to my Visalia days. He worked at CCV and knew my step-dad, etc.

    Thanks for the input. You’ve done something already by lending your name to the discussion, which is appreciated.

    I think you touched on something that is a good idea…only doing it on here in an online format. I need to incorporate more “news” articles about what is happening in CC and not just feature the opinion pieces and abuse stuff. That draws a larger audience that is looking for news about Calvary Chapel. We’ll start doing that more soon…

  16. Simple. You establish the facts first and foremost. Let’s say that again for the hard of hearing. Let’s say it loudly. You establish the facts first and foremost.

    Then, if the facts warrant it, you confront the source of the problem. You confront the ‘source’ of the problem.

    You never patronize a victim. You never pat them on the back. You don’t begin by trying to encourage them. You remove the source of pain if necessary. You assure the victim that they are now safe. You build their self respect that has been shredded by an inhumane person.

    CC Pastors, with very few exceptions, have very bad bedside manners. Especially the ones I have seen try to be Job’s friends to Alex.

  17. alex,

    Is the Moses Model more like the ‘Zeus’ Model? With CS as the head ‘god’ over the other petty, imabalanced, and self-absorbed ‘gods’ they call CCSPs? What do you think?

  18. MiC,
    I like to think more on the microscopic scale when referring to CC. Could the Moses Model be like the atomic model of the atom? Chuck Smith is the nucleus and all the senior pastors are the electrons spinning around him feverishly with no clue why. The new organization (CCA) is just a heavier atom with more neutrons and protons in it. I like this model since it properly puts Calvary Chapel in its place as being very insignificant in the scheme of church history yet also gives the analogy of how incredibly boastful and huge the Nucleus (Moses pastor/s) is compared to everyone else. Actually normal people aren’t even electrons in this model since only pastors get that status but all we really are is the space between the electrons.

  19. andrew,
    i recently found the most informative blog from a former CC pastor, he wasn’t a SP, but now he’s a missionary in PR. posted a couple of great articles examining and debunking the MM and even the idea of havig a SP. just do a google seach for exploringthefaith

  20. MiC, Thanks for your info. I’ll check it out. It is amazing to me that CC puts such a huge emphasis on the senior pastor. Some churches don’t even have a pastor or elders but it would be wrong to say they are not a church.

  21. MiC, it tends to be more of a Zeus Model b/c the Lord isn’t really in it. I think you’re onto something 🙂

  22. Andrew said:

    ‘MiC, Thanks for your info. I’ll check it out. It is amazing to me that CC puts such a huge emphasis on the senior pastor. Some churches don’t even have a pastor or elders but it would be wrong to say they are not a church.”

    The church was and always will be the people not a denomination or organization

  23. it might be interesting to do an article on the ‘greek gods’ structure of CC or a parallel of ‘hegemonic’ imperialism. 🙂 just sayin’

  24. Sol,
    Yes I agree but I also believe in a local church model as demonstrated in the Bible.

  25. andrew,
    “Yes I agree but I also believe in a local church model as demonstrated in the Bible.”

    any basic ideas on how that would look? no need to be exhaustive, but i’d be interested in what you think.

  26. Sol, Andrew,

    I for one am for more of a ‘plurality of elders’ within local fellowships of believers, accountable to and servant of/examples to the rest of the body of saints that meet together there. Facilitating and equipping the local assembly to grow in christlikeness and maturily in the Lord. this is what i see in the Word.

  27. MiC,
    Here is my stab at your question. I have been in so many bad churches that I have been somewhat jaded but there are good examples in the Bible. Let me know your basic idea.

    Jesus needs to be first and foremost and His Word (Bible) needs to be the priority. I believe the Lord’s communion and baptism are the sacriments He has given to the body. I also believe that we should take seriously the Lord’s Great commission and the ministry of reconciliation. Church discipline properly exercised should have the goal to eventually restore the person and should be the responsibility of the congregation and not a Moses Model senior pastor who has no accountability. The fellowship should be characterized by agape love. Beyond these essentials I can see a great diversity in local congregations.

  28. Andrew, I really like your #27…

    It sounds like the church I am a member at 🙂

  29. Just checkout the website Exploring the Faith and its a good site to check out.The article about cc was a good read and informative .The on the end times is worth going back to for further study. Thank you MiC.

  30. Alex, awsome. There are a lot of churches like this out there but they usually are not in the lime light since they are actually doing the Lord’s work and not caught up in scandal after scandal.

  31. andrew

    i agree with alex… does that make me a ‘ditto head’ or a ‘follower of alex’? (i anticipate a new moniker…AGD) 🙂

    but seriously, amen to your #27 also.

  32. Its not that I am against Elders or pastors. I believe teachers and pastors and leaders are gifts God has given to the body but to elevate any one person above another in church is wrong and seems to go against what Jesus spoke.

  33. mic said;

    “I for one am for more of a ‘plurality of elders’ within local fellowships of believers, accountable to and servant of/examples to the rest of the body of saints that meet together there. Facilitating and equipping the local assembly to grow in christlikeness and maturily in the Lord. this is what i see in the Word.”


  34. Sol (should we call you MiCD? or ‘follower of MiC?) 🙂


  35. Mic,

    you got it bro,

    I started attending a home fellowship recently and it has a Pastor but he seems pretty laid back and humble. It’s a bunch of youths so I stick out a bit being 38 and the pastor is a little older.

  36. alex,
    as the comemnt i had about likening the ‘Moses Model’ to Zeus and the greek ‘gods’, i recently found this on Calvary Chapel Wiki and thought it was interesting. Not sure when the original artice was written but here is the link.

    Larry Taylor Recants

    One of the primary proponents of the Moses Principle, Larry Taylor, former CCBC president, has recanted his former support for the Moses Principle and come out in support of the Presbyterian form of church government. In the article, Taylor describes how he now views the Zeus (Moses) Principle:

    “Zeus leaders are typically smart, insightful, and hard working, usually workaholics, who spend little time with their families. They are often noted for their public persona of love, but find it nearly impossible to genuinely connect on a personal level with anyone, and find it quite easy to dismiss people out of their lives and minds when they perceive a lack of absolute loyalty. They have come to expect flattery, and although they may eschew traditional ecclesiastical titles, love to be called “Pastor”, “The Man”, “The Head Man”, and “Boss”.”

  37. The CC Wiki has its roots in the CCFUAQ page, circa 1996 or so. From what I can tell it’s still current otherwise I’d update it 🙂

  38. Doug, LOL!

  39. Boy, was CCSP Rudy Paredes in love with titles. When we had two members (non-members) of the fellowship being married; one of them had a brother who was a pastor at another church (CC, I think). Being the sound person for the ceremony I interacted with him a bit, feeling comfortable enough to be on a first name basis with him as he was with me. However, Rudy could not stand for it so he felt the need to keep correcting me as if I were one of his junior high school kids (I was 38 at the time; I’ve served in the military, so I’m pretty sure I know when it’s appropriate to use name or position of authority titles). Talk about a man in love with the pleasing ring in his ears from the utterance of a title– geesh! Mind you I was in no way being irreverant towards the other pastor, just comfortable enough in one another’s presence to use first names. Besides what does Jesus tell us in Matthew 23?

    I’m utterly sick of repulsive men who are in love with the sound of their titles!

  40. What I see as the CC movement’s biggest problem is wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s all about the leadership, and most of it’s bad. The idea of one-person rule is really absurd. It was never the practice of the early chruch and should not be today. To borrow somethin like that from the Old Testament out of context is rediculous. Yet that is what the foudners of the movemnt did. I believe that the movemnt’s problems will begin to go away when they fix their leadership. And to fix it, they need to eliminate the moses model. In my opinion they should adopt a system that involves a plurality of elders. This was the practice of the early chruch at the start. It keeps the flock safe from imbalances and authoritarianism, as well as from abuse. The only way to reform this movement is to reform its leadership.

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