Jun 152013
Selective Fundamentalists pick and choose which sins are taboo and to Law vs. which sins are to Grace. They Taliban what they don't like and Liberal what they do like. No one truly applies a "simple" reading of the bible, not nearly...and they shouldn't.

Selective Fundamentalists pick and choose which sins are taboo and to Law vs. which sins are to Grace. They Taliban what they don’t like and Liberal what they do like. No one truly applies a “simple” reading of the bible, not nearly…and they shouldn’t.

Hey, what’s up. Hope you’ve been well.

Me? Been a little disillusioned and pretty much questioning the faith, the “Church” our System and pretty much just pissed off in general over how easy it is for guys like Bob Grenier (my step-dad and my former pastor at Calvary Chapel Visalia) to get away with their bullshit and to actually turn the tables on those they’ve wronged. I accept this garbage in Business and Politics…I have had a hard time accepting that an active, present “God” would allow it to happen in the “church” and by those who claim “special anointing” etc without him opening a sink-hole and swallowing them into the bowels of the planet.

I’m a life-long student of humanity (until I croak or go insane or go vegetable) and I’ve learned a TON in the last few years about homo sapiens (not to be confused with homo erectus…not to be confused with an excited George Takei…”Oh my!”).

Here’s what I’m learning: The Mafia is smarter than you think. They understand (and leverage) humanness. Politics, Business, Religion/Church: It’s about “loyalty”, influence, building political relationships, affiliations, money…all which lead to power…and often lead to get-out-of-jail-free cards and the benefit of the doubt (or the plausibility of being able to extend the benefit of the doubt) in a variety of situations (often in a law enforcement context or System context including “the Church” and Civil Authority).

It’s not about Truth and it’s not about Right and Wrong and it’s not about Blind Justice and Equal Scales. You can, in fact, tip the scales…and the majority of those who have power in our System do…and do it effectively and often. One needs look no further than the current political scandals in the headlines. There’s a different set of rules and enforcement in play depending on who you are, who you’re connected to, how much money you have and which “side” you’re on. If you’re on a “side”…you’ve got a chance. Rules and “justice” generally only apply to the regular schmucks who can’t claim ignorance or “amend” their “mistake”…who can’t claim tax software screwed up their return…who can’t parse what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. Nope. Regular folks must be perfect, must recall perfectly, must make perfect statements, etc or the full weight of the law is on them…very similar to how Church Authority works as well.

Hard-line Law and Justice for the powerless…Antinomian Grace and benefit-of-the-doubt as a shield for the powerful. Politics, Business, Church…no difference.

Are there exceptions to these “rules”? Of course there are, I’m painting in broad-brush generality. There are some folks in society and in the System who buck this overwhelming dynamic and do the right thing no matter what. You see glimpses of this counter-cultural ethos in Whistleblowers, politicians like Gary Johnson and Ron Paul, businessmen like Simon Lee (he gives away half his profits to help the poor) and Church leaders like…um, you know, like…um…err.

I’m sure there are some good Church leaders out there who are popular and well-known. Franklin Graham, there’s a good one! He serves Jesus! He does so much for God! He’s one who really counts the costs and sacrifices for the Lord. What? He made $1.2 million in 2008 from “serving” Jesus? You’re kidding me, that can’t be right. Oh? It is documented fact? http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2009/10/franklin_graham_moves_to_addre.html OK, he’s agreeing to a pay cut? http://www.newsobserver.com/2009/10/08/131524/evangelist-agrees-to-reduced-benefits.html That’s better, now he’s reportedly making over $500,000 a year in total compensation (for Jesus of course) instead of $1.2 million.

I think I feel “called” to Franklin’s Graham’s position and huge salaries, thank you Jesus! Where do I sign up for that sacrificial self-less Jesus ministry?

BTW, good job in having him speak at the CCSPC 2013 Amway Convention Calvary Chapel. Put another millionaire up there for the 1,400 CC water toter small-time pastors to suck up and aspire to. Point is, don’t buy the bullshit. CC pastors, if you want to aspire to “be something”…be a low-paid, un-heralded boring Servant of God and not a rich celebrity selling Jesus like he’s a ponzi scheme and quid pro quo herbal remedy for life’s problems. That’s horseshit, deep down, I think you know it. If you’re going to tout “special anointing” and promote Jesus, then be like him and not like Chuck Smith Sr. or any of the other rich celebrity pastors. Do the hard things, do the mundane, wash their feet (not the Big Dog CC leaders, the feet of the everyperson). If you are rich and famous because of selling Jesus, I think you have your reward (and maybe a punishment coming?).

“Most” are basically corrupt in some form. It’s the human condition. There is one Jesus and the vast majority of humanity doesn’t imitate him very well. I don’t, most of you don’t, not very often anyway. The “Church”? No different, it’s mostly about influence, money, power. Yada, yada, “it’s all for Jesus! I’d do it for free!” OK, do it for free and I’ll believe you, until then I call bullshit. Business? Look at Wall Street, look at the Big Corporations. The lies and corruption are covered over under the guise of “Shareholder equity!” and “Too big to fail!” and working the angles under intentionally wiggly laws and codes for the Lawyers to navigate their rich clients through like the Straits of Gibralter. The big money Lawyers have the maps (they lobbied and wrote the laws!) they know how to apply what is a different set of rules for “them”…but not for you. You? You’re screwed. Politics? LOL. Politicians take notes from the Church and Business…that’s where they learn how to be corrupt and how to lie and cheat and steal better.

What’s the difference between a Politician, CEO, and Preacher? Seriously, I don’t know, it’s not a joke.

What is true “belief”? Is it rote expressions of doctrine, theology, distinctives, creeds, etc? No. No more than repeating that you believe you can fly, then not jumping off the building. You believe what you do, you do what you believe. If you are hungry and you believe that eating the hamburger will satiate your hunger…you eat the hamburger. If you’re thirsty, you believe the bottle of water will quench you and you drink. When you are sick, you go to a doctor (or not in the case of some crazy Fundamentalists who let their kids die, which is murder in my opinion). You don’t put a loaded gun to your head and pull the trigger, because you believe when you pull the trigger it will fire and blow your brains out.

You “do” what you believe…and even if you repeat bullshit over and over in sermons and at Pastor’s Conferences and on the radio etc…when you don’t do it, you are expressing non-belief.

Exhibit A: Christian Fundamentalists tout “simple meaning!” and “plain meaning!” as their expressed belief in how they interpret the bible. In Truth, this sort of self-described approach is largely a pick-and-choose function of being Taliban on issues they are against and very Liberal on issues they like or can’t resolve. Don Stewart is a glaring example. He co-hosts Pastor’s Perspective with Pope Chuck…and Don is a divorced man (and not because his wife committed adultery or left him, she did neither). Sources tell me (multiple, not just one…and I’ve reached out to Don Stewart in the past and he wouldn’t respond to the question) that Mr. Stewart allegedly got popped for prostitution solicitation in Portland, Oregon. I don’t have the arrest report, but I have several sources who claim such and when asked, I got the CC Stone Wall. If it’s not true, he could have easily responded “no”…he didn’t respond. Dear Judge, while I don’t have DNA evidence or video that Don Stewart got popped for prostitution solicitation, I believe my sources and I have a reasonable belief that he did and that some sort of personal infidelity led to his divorce, which is a legitimate issue and right (per the Constitution) to discuss publicly regarding a pastor/leader/public personality who interjects himself into the public discussion regarding a variety of moral issues and promotes himself as an expert to trust and listen to.

That’s my opinion based on information from credible sources and I have the right to state my beliefs and to believe them, despite the judge’s bizarre ruling recently that you can somehow get in my mind and know what I’m thinking when I write stuff. That’s very clairvoyant, can you please tell me what my wife is thinking when she asks me if a certain dress makes her look fat…do I tell her the truth or does she want me to lie to her? That one always confuses me. To the point: Don Stewart, according to a “simple” reading and Ken Ham’s “plain meaning” (BTW, Ken Ham spoke at this year’s CCSPC as well, he got sued by former partners/associates in Australia for allegedly unethical behavior and my-way-or-the-highway Moses Model type garbage. Here’s a link: http://duoquartuncia.blogspot.com/2007/06/answers-in-genesis-lawsuit.html ) a person who is divorced for reasons other than adultery by the spouse is in the ongoing current sin of adultery today.

At least that’s what the bible says “simply” here: Luke 16:18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Seems pretty straightforward, no? Well, I’m sure there’s an explanation, I mean, it can’t mean what it says because Chuck Smith Sr. and Calvary Chapel wouldn’t have a “homosexual” hosting Pastor’s Perspective, because that’s such a heinous sin! God “hates” the homos! God “hates” liars and a lot of other folks, too, or so the bible says. Full Taliban on the homosexual issue, not so much when it comes to Calvary Chapel pastors who can’t keep the “little pastor” in their pants. This is what I call Selective Fundamentalism, write it down, it’s a drum I intend to beat for a long time.

There is no such thing as a true Christian Fundamentalist/Literalist/Conservative, only the Taliban do it right and keep it real and keep it OG and OT.

Today’s Fundamentalists/Literalists/Conservatives are really Selective Fundamentalists or even Part-time Liberals depending on the issue. Hard cold law and justice for homosexuals, maximum grace and antinomianism for liars, prideful, heterosexual adulterers, gluttons and whatever sins they (and their buddies) can’t tame. Fact is, there is no such thing as the Transformational Gospel. You might change positionally in a Justification context, but none are truly “transformed” in the context presented by the particular Group that promotes this myth.

Atheists, Mormons, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, etc can do “good works” and can be very moral people…they “love their neighbor” and they are the Good Samaritan many times. Conversely, God’s supposed “specially anointed” can be some of the most lecherous evil bastards ever evolved theistically (yes, Ken Ham, the facts tell me you are a total idiot, and for those who would exegete my words 2,000 years from now, I mean Ken Ham is a total idiot, I think he is intellectually dishonest and twisting and contorting and forcing things into his presuppositional box…and making a lot of money and quite a name for himself in Fundie circles by doing it).

Humans are bad and good, good and bad. One giant beautiful mess of contraction and duality. Some are generally more evil than others, others are generally more good. Most are a mix, capable of doing very good things and very bad things. It’s how we tick, it’s who we are. There is no correlation to some special “transformation” in Christians and no evidence that Atheists or Mormons or whoever you deem as Godless can’t be moral, exhibit the “fruits of the Spirit” etc. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control is exhibited in all Groups, so is malice, lying, selfishness, pride, anger, lust, etc. If you disagree with me, you are going to a level of hell reserved for Adolph Hitler 🙂

Ironically, this Calvary Chapel Bob Grenier situation proves all the above. Selective Fundamentalism is on full display.

Chuck Smith Sr. rebuked me on air and from the pulpit for being “unforgiving” and for not unilaterally forgiving my step-dad for the hurt he caused me and my brothers. I’ve been roundly scolded, rebuked, ridiculed, told I’m in “greater sin” and “of the devil” and even demon-possessed by some in Calvary Chapel. I’ve been told my actions toward seeking justice are “hatred” and “bitterness” and that I should “leave it to the Lord!” and “move on” etc.

How come Chuck Smith Sr. rebuked me then and didn’t unilaterally forgive me and “leave it to the Lord” like he told me? Why did a powerful public figure take action for the slight he believed he suffered? Why did Chuck Smith Sr. sue Mike Kessler over CSN Radio and money when he felt he was wronged, even though the bible “simply” says you’re not to do such a thing? Why is Bob Grenier suing me for the slight and injustice he says he’s suffering? I thought we were to unilaterally forgive?

Selective Fundamentalism and true belief. Chuck Smith and Bob Grenier don’t really believe the bullshit they tell you. They are very unforgiving and very much want blood…when it suits their Agenda and purpose. When you are the Offended, well, you are to unilaterally forgive and just leave it to God, etc. I call bullshit. Liars lie and spin, it’s what they do. In my opinion, Chuck Smith and Bob Grenier (and much of Calvary Chapel leadership) are liars and twisters and spinners and will profess one set of rules from their pulpits for “you”…and practice a very different belief for themselves. It’s proven over and over again in a ton of other instances.

Pastor Steve Wright of Calvary Chapel Lake Elsinore recently exampled the Truth underlying this entire situation. Pastor Steve and I have logged a ton of time over at Michael Newnham’s PhoenixPreacher blog over the years. It started out friendly and I took it in a more adversarial direction once I gauged that Steve wasn’t interested in taking any responsibility as an “in fellowship” co-affiliated CC Pastor/Elder and rejected the “simple meaning” of 1 Timothy 5:19-22 etc.

Steve Wright has many times stated that “spiritual abuse” is often some sort of over-used and over-played concoction of disgruntled church folks who have a bad experience (largely based on their own issues) and need to move on and get over it etc etc. His buddy Gene Schneider (MLD) tends to echo this sentiment over the years as well. Unilateral forgiveness is what is generally touted, that and the typical “don’t be bitter” “being bitter is like drinking poison and expecting the other guy to get sick” “leave it to the Lord” etc. Steve seems to have a hard time understanding why I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, especially when it comes to Calvary Chapel.

Well, Steve’s recently gained some empathy through experience. I’ve been somewhat intentional in the direction I’ve taken my relationship with him…largely to make a point and to persuade and teach through real-life experience (which tends to stick) verses just stating words over and over on a blog.

Long story short, I’ve kind of been a dick to him and not been very gracious. I outed his identity (which violated his trust and was a sort of betrayal) and then I’ve laid into him persistently many time, giving him a sort of blog-beating (or what Bob Grenier would call a “spanking”) many times. I don’t let up. I don’t give the guy a chance to breath, often. He sticks his head up, I knock him down. I play a bit dirty at times, I don’t follow the rules etc. Hmm, who else (metaphor) did similar growing up in my life? Hmm, who could it be?

Now, does Steve Wright unilaterally forgive and treat me like nothing’s happened? Does he extend grace to me consistently? Is he kind and loving toward me? Does he say nice things about me? Not on your life. Selective Fundamentalism. One set of advice like a prescription from Pastor Steve to those hurting, a whole other expressed belief in action when the shoe is on the other foot. Steve hates my guts. He hits back. He rails on me, calls me out, accuses me, etc.

It came to a head again recently and he offered this tidbit which exposes his true belief in how to handle offense:

“Steve Wright says:

Why give someone your word, if you word doesn’t mean anything?

Why believe or trust anything such a person ever says?

Moving on…..

Why believe or trust anything such a person ever says? Yes. Why believe anything coming out of Bob Grenier’s mouth, Chuck Smith’s mouth or Calvary Chapel? They’ve lied to me. Bob Grenier lied to me my whole life, so did Chuck Smith, so did Calvary Chapel. They told me the the bible was to be taken “simply” and that it was the Authority and the Standard by which we measure all things. Now they’re suing me for following the bible in a very Christian Fundamentalist manner.

I followed Matthew 18 and confronted Bob privately, then went to his main Elder at CCV, then I spent four years praying about it after getting the con job from the Dowds. I told the truth to the CC elders, board, fellow pastors, CCOF, Chuck Smith etc. It took years and years of following the “rules”. I “warned”, I “told it unto the church” and I “rebuked them publicly”…all per a “simple” read of the bible. When push came to shove, Bob Grenier betrayed me. He didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. He didn’t submit to Matthew 18, he didn’t tell the truth, he didn’t confess and repent, he sacrificed me and my brothers to save his “ministry”…my mother betrayed us as well. The Church betrayed us. We were Stone-Walled, lied to, manipulated, treated as garbage. Our offenses were minimized, the gobs of people whose offenses we shared with Pope Chuck were discarded. My brother Paul Grenier’s allegations were not taken seriously by Calvary Chapel. We were all betrayed, the bible was betrayed. It has been Selective Fundamentalism at its worst. It’s a Statement of Belief by Bob Grenier, Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel System of Churches. Don’t buy their bullshit, actions speak louder than words.

Steve Wright, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Lake Elsinore, is a coward of the worst kind. He hid behind a moniker until I outed him, then once he’s out he continues to defend a System that doesn’t do what it says…it twists and spins and takes very little “simply” unless it’s something like Gay Marriage or “double honor” as an excuse to pay pastors well (Steve excluded, he does do a good job with his finances). It’s your attitude and actions regarding your hypocrisy with these issues that really torque me Steve. On one hand, you say you’re not responsible, CC’s are all independent and you can’t do anything…on the other hand you tote the water and defend the Brand publicly and rebuke your enemies (and CC’s enemies) often. Bullshit. Be a do-nothing pacifist in all areas or STFU (yes, exegeters in the future, that stands for Shut The F**k Up). I can respect a consistent asshole, I can respect a consistent gracious guy like a Chuck Smith Jr. I have zero respect for mealy-mouthed politicians like Steve Wright.

Similarly, I have no respect for Fundamentalist/Literalist/Conservatives who tout “simple meaning” yet don’t go full Taliban. If you’re going to tout that angle and look down your ignorant noses at the Liberals within Christianity, then go the whole way and stone your women and children to death, make your women cover their heads in church, quit tolerating divorce, stop being fat gluttons (ever been to a CCSPC? Moo. Fat asses everywhere, but not Mr. Mid-life Crisis Greg Laurie, LOL, he’s got the GLT’s goin’ on! Gym, Laundry, Tan! Lookin’ good for an old dude Laurie, just keep it in your pants…or, actually, since you’re CC just make sure you don’t stick it in a dude and you’ll be fine).

We can learn a lot from the Liberals in Christianity. We’re all moving in that direction anyway. The Enlightenment, if God is real, is from God. He gave us Reason, he gave us Truth, he gave us a Conscience, he gave us a brain (Ken Ham, it’s OK to use it, don’t be scared). If the presuppositionalist position of “the devil is the father of lies!” is in fact true, then don’t fear Truth, wherever you find it. If you are a presuppositionalist and literalist who doesn’t believe that “simple” verse in the bible, then your Belief System is errant and has a flaw. Either way, you’re screwed.

Fear is what keeps most Selective Fundamentalists from embracing the Truth about reality. Fear is what keeps Cult Followers cult followers, it keeps Kool-Aid Drinkers drinking, it’s what puts money in the coffers, it’s what gives men pulpits, people and power in a worldly sense (which is largely the Church sense as well).

If God is real (and I believe he is), then it’s OK to be a Selective Fundamentalist, which is really a Liberal in disguise. If God is “love”, if the pre-eminent “Law” is now “Love your neighbor” and “Good Samaritan” and “Unilateral Forgiveness”…then quit cowering in the corners and shed the rest of the ridiculousness of Selective Fundamentalism. Embrace the God of Christianity, who is the Jesus Christ of the Gospels. God is not words on a page or creeds or traditions or some weird pick-and-choose bible belt cultural concoction. God is not the jot and tittle of what we call the canon of scripture, nor is the bible inerrant or without contradiction and paradox.

God is probably Spirit, Zeitgeist, Universe, Truth and Jesus. God is more Ideal than Idol, more Truth than Transformation, more Distinct than Distinctive. If you aren’t afraid to watch, listen and read between the lines, you’ll discover some glimpse of Truth as I have, guaranteed.

 Posted by at 10:52 am

  58 Responses to “Calvary Chapel’s Selective Fundamentalism, Truth and things as they are”

  1. Glad you’re back!

  2. Alex-

    I think many of us have been where you are and hurt deeply over injustices
    We have all shared our pain here and have been grateful you have allowed this venue for us to process our abuse.

    Some of us, like my family, felt that there would be irreparable damage done to our kids in the name of “Christianity”, where leaders were hypocrites and where we thought we were supposed to wrestle with the devil for righteousness sakes.

    It is a process and I know the pain firsthand. The place you trust the most hurts you the most.

    Remember Alex, God is on your side. We may not see that in this life.
    Don’t let people be your god. They are not worth it. The more you interesact with evil, the more evil controls you.

    After 7 years I am finally seeing the clearing in the woods. Some here believe that by expressing my healing, I am attempting to sway others away from this blog, but what I am offering is hope. I had no hope for years. I didn’t see God moving for years. I saw evil winning. Then I imagine the struggles Paul had while he was in chains, and the torture the disciples went through in death.

    I have been praying for you as my brother. Anything I offer to you will seem unsympathetic. God has allowed us to suffer to grow us and mold us. It is very painful but necessary. This world is not heaven. It will never be.

  3. Alex-

    My first Christian book 16 years ago was Charles Stanley’s on Forgiveness.
    I recently found a book titled “The Source of My Strength” at a local discount store. I am in the process of reading it. I had not realized Charles Stanley had such a difficult childhood. In this book he describes being raised by a single mom and abuse by his stepdad. I would like to send it to you. Can I send it to one of your stores?

    I also wanted to share this 6 minute video on suffering.
    It can make you better or bitter.
    For me it was a process, but I was bitter for many, many years.


  4. Hannah, when I view God through the lens of Universalism and Christian Liberalism, I can forgive unilaterally.

    When I view God through Calvary Chapel’s Selective Fundamentalism and Conservatism, I am compelled to law and justice.

    Christian Fundamentalism/Conservatism is the real issue….

  5. Alex- They break the rules to benefit the situation.
    What is the issue with Fundamentalism if the rules are not broken?
    If a Pastor is obeying the Word of God there is no issue, right?

    What is Christian Liberalism?
    I followed PxP a little on these issues, but only with the slant of hypocrisy on CC issues.

  6. OK, so this must be it from wiki:

    This means that the Bible is not considered a collection of factual statements, but instead an anthology that documents the human authors’ beliefs and feelings about God at the time of its writing—within a historical or cultural context. Thus, liberal Christian theologians do not claim to discover truth propositions but rather create religious models and concepts that reflect the class, gender, social, and political contexts from which they emerge. Liberal Christianity looks upon the Bible as a collection of narratives that explain, epitomize, or symbolize the essence and significance of Christian understanding.[2] Thus, most liberal Christians do not regard the Bible as inerrant, but believe Scripture to be “inspired” in the same way a poem is said to be “inspired” and passed down by humans.[citation needed.

    …This seems to be treading on dangerous waters….

    Need to leave for the day….

  7. “What is the issue with Fundamentalism if the rules are not broken?”

    We have to be careful to define terms so we’re speaking about the same thing.

    I consider “Fundamentalism” to be a “simple” or “literal” approach to interpreting the bible.

    Fundamentalists/Literalists/Inerrantists tend to assert the Absolute Truth nature of the printed words. OK.

    Assuming such, we have to define “Absolute Truth”…and that would be something as true in all contexts in all times, or a Universal Truth.

    As such, I’m guessing you don’t cover your head at church per:

    1 Corinthians 11:6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.

  8. Since we know that stoning women and children to death is “wrong” and not righteous in any context, we can assume that Truth in the bible is largely Relative to the time and culture that a particular command or belief was articulated.

    We would assume that it is “wrong” in a Universal Context for people to stone women and children to death, like the Taliban do today, yet the Taliban are merely following instructions that are the same as given in the Old Testament Jewish Torah.

    I’m assuming you would cringe at the Taliban videos of women being stoned to death, executed with stones, yet it is simply following what was normative and commanded in the Old Testament.

    Truth “changed” from OT to NT and has changed for today. You are not a Fundamentalist, you are a Selective Fundamentalist and partial Liberal. We all are.

    Liberalism simply embraces Enlightenment and goes further than Selective Fundamentalists Conservatives.

  9. Big problems with the Selective Fundamentalist / Pick-and-choose Literalist position:

    1. If Unilateral Forgiveness is the command for mankind for today, how is God held to a lesser Standard? God does not Unilaterally Forgive as he sends folks to hell according to the Selective Fundamentalist position.

    2. If God is the same yesterday, today and forever then he is bi-polar. The god of the Old Testament “changed his mind” “repented” ordered the killing of women and children (Amalekites and many others) and in a quid pro quo fashion rendered punishment on Israel when they were bad boys and girls and lavished them with blessings when they were good boys and girls (CC loosely teaches this dynamic, which is false today and not an Absolute Truth and Universal empirically verified times a zillion today). The god of the OT was vengeful and merciless to the enemies of Israel and to Israel herself depending on his mood. That is not the Jesus of the New Testament and the God of Christianity and the Gospels.

    3. The Presuppositionalist Position says all truth comes from God and all lies from the devil. We can verify what is true today via observational science and there are certain facts that are not nebulous like doctrinal jot and tittle…yet many Selective Fundamentalists embrace lies rather than truth…which by their own presuppositionalist position means they and their leaders who do such are of the devil.

  10. Now that’s the alex I missed hearing from. Love that fire and the intelligence that doesn’t fail to get me thinking.
    There’s lots there for me to chew on. Thanks for not playing the games and for being honestly who you are.
    -mike (aka. MIC)

  11. You can expect a letter to arrive this week as I now represent you know who. We will squash you like a grape.

  12. Alex: “…Me? Been a little disillusioned and pretty much questioning the faith, the “Church” our System and pretty much just pissed off in general over how easy it is for guys like Bob Grenier (my step-dad and my former pastor at Calvary Chapel Visalia) to get away with their bullshit and to actually turn the tables on those they’ve wronged. I accept this garbage in Business and Politics…I have had a hard time accepting that an active, present “God” would allow it to happen in the “church” and by those who claim “special anointing” etc without him opening a sink-hole and swallowing them into the bowels of the planet…”

    Me: Alex, thank you for sharing, I read every word, now understanding you a little better, you are writing for so many of us, where our hearts hope for love and acceptance, then crushed, bleeding for all to see, exposing for all to see the hurt, the blood gushing from someone else’s carelessness to be to us what we hoped for, but it doesn’t come to pass. They are nowhere to be found, or only a few expose their hearts to us because God truly lives in those who are compassionate and kind and loving and would surely come quickly to apologize for any offense they or even someone else has caused, whispering so kind, “here let me wipe your tears, let me hold your hand, do you feel better? Yeah, me too”

    Psalm 27:10 “…though my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will receive me…”

    Me: I truly believe that God sends his angels to us just in the nick of time to make sure that we don’t even stub our toe from someone else tripping us or causing us to fall. They catch us in mid air so our landing isn’t a rippling earth quake that will move people from us, but rather moves them closer to us. And it’s good to lay there for a minute or day or two, don’t just jump up and prepare for battle. Alex, you needed every minute of the break you took, though you were missed here on CCA (and some jumped ship because they were here for the wrong reasons), there is a time for healing, to contemplate tomorrow, how God wants to speak to you personally for your life and how He wants to use you.

    Psalm 91:11 “…For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways…”

    Me: And no one is looking at us as if we are the offender, but rather looking back at the one who offended us, with all intent purposefully and with no remorse tripped us up. That glaring look of ‘how dare you’, ‘you call yourself a pastor, a leader of Christ?’ ‘look here, you made him bleed, now go get a band-aid, and be quick about it’ (and the pastor can care less, skipping off into his man made sunset oblivious to the collateral damage he causes throughout his life). Who are these men that call themselves pastors? God says they are men who only feed themselves, only care for themselves…

    Jude 1:12 “…These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted- twice dead…”

    Ezekiel 34:10 “…This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them…”

    God bless you Alex, and I don’t say that lightly, but rather sincerely with my whole heart. May the Lord bless you and your family more than you could ever think or imagine.

    Romans 8:31 “…What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?…”

    1 Peter 4:17 “…For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?…”

    ~ ~

    Fear is what keeps most Selective Fundamentalists from embracing the Truth about reality. Fear is what keeps Cult Followers cult followers, it keeps Kool-Aid Drinkers drinking, it’s what puts money in the coffers, it’s what gives men pulpits, people and power in a worldly sense (which is largely the Church sense as well).

    Me: I truly believe that a church is defined by its love for one another. If there’s no love, then it’s a dead church, if only I didn’t have so much fear back then, I would have found another church and moved on in life. Fear is bondage, our own encapsulated prison, where we can’t move or even think for ourselves. Now when someone tries to hand me a glass of their kool-aid, I can see in their eyes that they’re drunk with fear. My heart truly goes out to the ‘church’ who don’t know God’s love.
    ( A Dead Church = No Holy Spirit )

    1 John 4:18 “…There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love…”

  13. F. Lee Bailey, you can’t squeeze blood from a grape, but you can make some whine 😉

    That’s OK, I’ll dig up Johnny Cochran and miracle him alive after tearing a piece off Chuck’s robe.

  14. A little about “F. Lee Bailey”…
    …was one of the lawyers for the defense in the O. J. Simpson murder case. He has also had a number of visible defeats, legal controversies, and personal trouble with the law, and was disbarred for misconduct while defending his client Claude DuBoc…Bailey’s visible public profile has come both as a result of the cases he has taken and for his own personal actions. In 2001, he was disbarred in the state of Florida, with reciprocal disbarment in Massachusetts on April 11, 2003. The Florida disbarment was the result of his handling of stock in the DuBoc marijuana case. Bailey was found guilty of seven counts of attorney misconduct by the Florida Supreme Court. Bailey had transferred a large portion of DuBoc’s assets into his own accounts, using the interest gained on those assets to pay for personal expenses. In March 2005, Bailey filed to regain his law license in Massachusetts but failed. In 2011, Bailey passed the bar examination in Maine and applied for a law license; in 2012 the Maine Board of Bar Examiners voted 5-4 to deny his application. The majority said Bailey had not proved by “clear and convincing evidence that he possesses the requisite honesty and integrity” to practice law.

  15. Right on Alex!

    A voice crying in the wilderness of compromise… make straight the paths that are crooked!

  16. Welcome back!

    Was it because I said this BLOG has gotten boring?

  17. Hey Doug, LOL. No, I just finally felt I had something to say over here again after some time away. I’ll probably start ranting again on here. Michael’s got me on lock-down and I can only take so much Steve Wright and some of the others w/o being able to respond.

  18. Laurie, thanks and good to hear from you, how’s the Courson situation? Is he still sending you threatening attorney letters?

  19. Guru and Gary, hey as well and thanks. Glad to know some folks care.

  20. I shut down Steve Wright who took his ball and left the field. Turns out although he claims to know Greek, he doesn’t really know all that much beyond what he heard at Dallas Seminary. I do think he probably has studied post seminary (I give him credit since I’ve done very little with my Greek after seminary). The advantage I have is that I can recognize an argument that is ideological in nature. And that’s all Steve offers there.

  21. What I still don’t get is how Michael consistently has 20 people reading his BLOG and you consistently have 80+ reading yours. Even with the more or less boring conversations here in the past weeks.

    Not sure how Michael can afford to put Ricky Bobby on lockdown. He needs to be free to shake and bake.

  22. I am much less Eastern Orthodox in reality than I appear there. I just am discovering for myself that selective fundamentalism (and I do get what you are saying) is very weak. It doesn’t stand up to its own standards.

  23. Watch out Laurie… Or whatever your name really is. I am bringing in Algonquin J. Calhoun and we are gonna bring you and that uptight anti- fundamentalist to the mat…catchers catch can.

  24. “George Takei”

    I have been wanting to subscribe to his FB page for some time but I am afraid of the post that comes on a wall when someone likes something. If I liked strawberries page it would say Doug Gilliland likes strawberries. I just don’t want that if I like George Toogay’s page.

  25. F. Lee Bailey, you’re a little scrapper aren’t you.
    I bet you steal purses from little ol’ ladies too.

  26. It may take time, Alex, but you will prevail, even if it is only in the court of public opinion or former CCite experiences… either way, even if CC wins by way of a judgment or decision from a virtueless and corrupt court and legal system, they will be self-inflicting a gradual and painful form of spiritual harakiri without the supposed honor that comes with the act. People will hopefully leave in droves and eventually watch the wretched CC system and facade of Senior Pastor Moses Authority crumble like the walls of Jericho, if God so wills it.

    Personally, I’m praying for true repentance on their part and reconciliation with those whom they have offended, but if they continue to practice things in direct opposition or conflict with Scripture… God will decide their fate. I’ve left already and want nothing to do with them until matters are resolved.

    Alex, press on. Many here, including myself, continue to empathize with your struggle and hope you get resolve for wrongs against you and your loved ones at the hands of Bob Grenier and his cronies or supporters.

  27. doug,
    are you the MTM?

  28. I am not a bible scholar in the least, dont know Greek (its all Greek to me including the Hebrew). I do know we cant live in absolutes in any real sense of day to day life. We can parade them around on blogs and quote scripture or tribal affiliations until the cows come home. We can aspire to an absolute idea, like the brotherhood of all people, life is precious and valuable, do not steal, murder etc. But in application it is always filtered through probabilities, threat assessments, resource analysis, observational data, validity tests, etc. Presuppositionalism can not be tenable in the real world because it denies selectively denies one of the most powerful methodologies in use to day, science. It denies logic in the sense that it uses a selective pretense to filter all data through. It holds to absolutes but cannot define every aspect of their absolutes and by their vary doctrine of depravity and mans fallen nature one cannot test nor compare those absolutes to any sustainable degree, thus they are applied inconsistently.

    I admit I have presuppositions to, but they change with data, time, experience, application and such. I do not claim absolute truth nor do I think anyone can, no that is not meant to be an absolute statement. The Van Till approach to reality seems to start with the premise that we cant know anything unless we know their is a God because He is the basis of all knowledge. Well the Chinese culture did just fine over thousands of years not knowing our God, as did the native cultures of various lands, so did India, etc.

    I read one person on a blog state, he believes the natural reading of Genesis 1-3 and denies all science that contradicts that because we have an eye witness (God). That is basically what they say. I would hold that the validity of Evolution and the age of the Earth and the universe are supported by a great deal of data and predictive models that have also shown to be valid. Of course that could be turned on its head tomorrow good, then we will have a better way to understand the variety of life and change over time.

    This is a poorly worded article, and admire how others write, I understand what they are saying if we evolved, if the bible is not inerrant what good is it. I say “ye of little faith”. Why would it change that? I dont get it. Alex has struggled with faith because it seems he has been trying to fig God into a predefined box of doctrinal ideologies, and he found out in application God does not fit. Well of course He does not, the second one can define God, you get an idol. Oh my I must be post modernist liberal, like that is a bad thing. Post modernism is where much of us live, we are not some one size fits all.

    I wonder why absolute presup apologist go to the doctor, drive a car, use a computer, etc. They are not in the bible in the modern sense. PS if some of them read this, its not your world view, you can thank the Greeks, and the Romans for much of it.

  29. Fig = fit and also I am not an expert in any of the subjects I brought up and also I could be wrong. PPS I had to look up some of the big words I most likely misused. 🙂




  31. laurie,

    Thx for the link. I will be praying for those who want to be fathers and mothers but thru age or physical inability are not able.
    I pray that they would seriously consider their inability as an opportunity to meet the needs of those children who thru whatever circumstance and thru no fault of their own find themselves ‘fatherless’ this year.
    Adoption and Fostering are great solutions and options for both parties. I pray that the church does more to actively encourage them.

    And for those of us who have recently lost our fathers by passing, may we also draw our strength and supply from the Father of us all, God the Father and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus.

    “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens
    by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families…” -Psalm 68


  32. Alex@ “As such, I’m guessing you don’t cover your head at church per:”

    1 Corinthians 11:6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.

    Alex- This came up years ago in a conversation I had with a Pastor.
    I was looking for something online to coincide with what I was told.

    Here it is:


  33. last in mauderation

  34. Ultimately, it is our heavenly father who will nourish us and guide us and love us. For all the fatherless children in the church (as my son was), I pray that the men in the church will see these children as a blessing to the body, and will include them as part of the church family. Thank you so much for your prayers for these fatherless children, who just permeating the church these days. I pray these children find shelter and strength and love in the church, and will grow up to be brave, courageous, God-fearing, compassionate adults. But it starts when they’re young, the body needs to embrace these children and love them and guide them and teach them all things. James 1:27 is alive and well ~ and so is Uriah 😉

    To all of the fathers, God bless you, have a great day today!

  35. Interesting article, Hannah. (June 16, 2013 at 11:56 am) It demonstrates how that “biblical literalism” properly understood–taking into account textual context, cultural context, and applicational context–is far different than how it is often mis-characterized.

  36. Chuck (not Smith)

    I realized after leaving my CC, that I got very little history and cultural background, and verses out of context.

    Another subject is that of tongues.
    The Corinthians were fleshly Christians and Paul was criticizing rather than admonishing the tongues that they used and were edifying themselves rather than the church.
    My CC Pastor used to take verses out of context to fit the subject he was preaching on. So in the 7 years or so I was there I really didn’t learn much about the people of the epistles…If you read Corinthians as a whole, they were doing all sorts of things of the flesh…
    My old Pastor used to teach people how to speak in tongues, actually making jokes out of it while professing he had a private prayer tongues…
    John Macarthur helped me a lot in that regard.

  37. PS.. I realize that most CC Pastors believe in the “private” prayer life “tongues”.
    Maybe this comes from CS’s charismatic background.
    Do Calvary Chapel Pastors have to speak in this counterfeit tongue to be a CC Pastor?
    I don’t know but they all agree with it.

    I don’t think this is diverting the subject and may add to the discussion.
    It is a sort of abuse if you are going to a CC and do not have this “gift”.
    This 15 minute video really addresses this issue:


  38. Ya know, at the time and in context, I read Steve’s quote above as “Why would Alex give Michael his word to behave/bemoderate just to break it? Michael, why ever trust Alex again?”. Was it not written after your brief hiatus? Just my interp, not canonical.

    teve Wright says: June 13, 2013 at 10:08 am Why give someone your word, if you word doesn’t mean anything?

    Why believe or trust anything such a person ever says?

    Moving on…..”

  39. sheck,

    my interpretation FWIW was that alex was trying to stretch the boundaries of their ‘unilateral forgiveness’ to the point that they would prove themselves hypocrites by breaking their own ‘meme’ and throw him out (without forgiveness).

    in my take, it was ultimately a wasted lesson for them. they didn’t get that he was turning it around on them. see that ‘forgive without repentance’ only applies when its not them doing the forgiving and it IS them doing the offending.

    abusers always give themselves unlimited free passes and always re-victimize the victims by blaming them for their ‘worse sin’ of lack of ‘unilateral, unconditional’ forgiveness’. alex was trying to show them that, but they refused to see or accept it. its always easier to blame the victim that confront the offender and hold him accountable.

  40. mike, yup, pretty much.

    Unilateral Forgiveness is a myth in reality. Easy to prescribe, not such and easy pill to swallow for the one doling out the medicine.

    Fact is, it’s difficult to unilaterally forgive when you’ve been offended. Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith Sr., Steve Wright, Bob Grenier, pretty much everyone at PhxP and everyone in general does not unilaterally forgive. God, apparently, doesn’t unilaterally forgive, either. He requires confession and repentance and some sort of faith in Jesus or a person goes to hell to be tormented forever, no? Doesn’t sound very forgiving to me.

  41. Good to see ya, Alex!

    I got your “lesson” to Wright. Wright missed it.

    Wright has some predictable ways of responding … they are very revealing.

  42. Thanks Grateful, good to see you again as well!

    We should dub him Steve Wrong LOL 😆

    “Wright has some predictable ways of responding … they are very revealing.”

    Very much agree…

  43. It’s kind of comical to a degree. I prove my point over and over and over (in their responses and exampling the point I’m making) and some of them don’t even realize it or see it, which makes it even more ironic and comical (if it wasn’t such a serious issue).

  44. They don’t even see it even after it’s been pointed out on black and white.

  45. I think they see it when it’s clearly pointed out, but their pride won’t allow them to accept that it’s a valid point

  46. Wish they’d man up.

  47. Grateful and Alex, ……..totally!!

    Funny how some people can so appear to be good guys, and yet God know the heart and so understands how they would be if they and their families had gone through what others have, and I believe God will even judge from that prospective.

  48. Hey fellow beliver who is struggleing..I noticed your cracking. You context of your posts, swearing and just raging in the flesh (sounds like you may have a good reason too) I want to pray for you. I pray you quit blaming Jesus for the churches nonesense. I was ticked at calvary too, matter of fact I spent 3 years damnig any kind of “box” church and promoting house churches.I saw alot of flaws being I saw cccm from the inside out, bottom to the top. It was my heart that had to change. Jesus sadi He is the way the truth and the light. If you allow the church to effect your faith much like I did then the truth is..You have very shallow faith. You faith isnt rooted in him, its rooted somewhere else. You r attacks should not be aimed at a movement in general as they as a whole had nothing to do with your alleged abuse. Your fightinbg the wqrong battle friend. If you walk in the spirit bearing fruit and serving people as Jesus did..The truth will be easy to see. I belive you can do wonderfull things for the kingdom. Its tyakes alot of balls to fight this hard for this long on a public forum. Its respectable in my opinion. But dont let 1 bad pastor spoil the whole bunch. Walk in love, follow Jesus he can use you to set a new standerd even..But not like this friend, Fight the good fight of faith. What is faith? Who is your master? Forgive him and love that abusive prick anyway(VERY VERY HARD TO DO, but what is required). Tell him you forgive him and just let it fall. That is how GOD will reward you. Maybe even get that apology you may deserve. Jesus loves you and so do I..Bless ya warior..

  49. Kyle, I don’t blame the Jesus of the Gospels for the church’s bullshit, I blame the individuals and especially the Leadership, including Chuck Smith Sr.

    I do agree that “Love” is the pre-eminent Law and the Grace and Unilateral Forgiveness is the true Way, and that Liberal Christians and even Universalists are probably much more correct in who God really is vs. the Fundamentalist/Literalist/Conservative Old Testament God of parts of Calvary Chapel that Taliban’s folks and lord’s over them and is unjust and very much unloving in their conduct and very hypocritical in their version of god which is in their own image of Selective Fundamentalism.

  50. “I have had a hard time accepting that an active, present “God” would allow it to happen in the “church” ”

    You are presuming that your step father is a Christian…I find that interesting.

  51. I think he might be. I’m more disappointed in Chuck Smith and the CCV Board, Elders, the CC Association etc who have looked at this situation and done the same. I’m guessing most or some have to be “Christians” and that has been very disappointing and shown me what is true and what isn’t.

    “Specially anointed” and “of the Spirit” does not mean what they tell you it means. These guys are not special nor are they any more spirit-filled than the regular schmuck and they don’t hear from God etc, no one does, not in the context of knowing right and wrong etc.

    I think there’s a lot of mythology out there about Christians* and especially Christian Leadership*.

    If God is real, he’s not that active in his creation and the supposed Leaders and Gurus don’t get memos from him, no more than you or I.

    Somehow the Good Samaritan was able to example the “fruit of the Spirit” and somehow Peter, an Apostle, was called “satan!” by Jesus himself.

  52. Alex from my perspective it is all about maintaining the status quo and above all not interrupting funding sources and developing new avenues of revenue. They hate messes and what you were causing was a well justified mess. In your phone interview with CS he pulled out all the Jesusezz and fawned help, in my opinion you could be dying on his front lawn and maybe you would get a 911 call, maybe (that is hyperbole to make a point for the Illuminati that may be reading here).

    Alex if you ever want to see a dispensationalist have dear in the headlights look, ask them why their theology / eschatology has created more “cults” by their own definition that any other theology. Its all a Jesuit conspiracy started by Darwin and the Freemasons to ring in a one world odor I mean order.

    Seriously for what its worth I am sorry all this happened to you, my father and be, being the complete apostates and spawn of Satan we are / were in his case made up after struggling through years of anger. In my case it was a unilateral forgiveness that brought me back to him, another sure sign that I hate Jesus. At the appellate court I do hope you prevail.

    I tried finding the audio of the “sermon” online and only sermons of going through the old and new testament seem to be available.

  53. Secular devil worshiping world UN mandated action provided lets see, the eradication of small pox, control of plague, great reduction of death do to influenza, the end for the most part of Polio, huge swaths of people fed, water, a world with out a world war for 60 + years, I think Nukes had something to do with that. Give me a self centered pragmatist over one lead by dooms day revelatory knowledge any day of the week for leadership of our nuclear deterrents.

    Fundamentalist Christianity has given from what I have seen, anti science, anti tech, anti government intervention. From my own observations in my own life also, outside of higherups, they have been willing to help when others would not, they are giving to a fault, many have a joy about them I admire and envy, despite their theology they care and for the most part are decent people, just like most atheists, I know, Catholics, EO, people who are gay, Tea Party, Liberals, moderates, women, men, children etc. Also the Christian religion has given us great art, literature, the one world view that can respond to the other Abrahamic faiths.

    Religion in general and the transcendent aspect of religion can also give great comfort in pain, a sense of worth and hope. Its funny how that works, as for the leaders of the franchises I am sure some of them mean good, maybe even most, which is far more then they give people in similar positions in different religions. I actually think there is a distinct difference between the Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus proclaimed by Paul and the other apostles. But that is just me.

  54. brian, I agree more and more with your philosophical take on things. I think you’ve thought through the big things carefully and observed humanity etc. Your voice has always been one that has resonated with me, even when I was much further from your take.

    BTW, BG didn’t post the angry hateful bitter unforgiving sermon online. He saved that one special for his dvd he disseminated. He said on the dvd that he intentionally didn’t post it online and made some sort of snarky joke about not doing so.

  55. Just checked the analytics, we hit the 4 million hit mark in just under 3 years. Yikes. Lots of the traffic is searches. That’s telling b/c we’re on the top search page for anything to do with Calvary Chapel and abuse or other similar language, that means folks are searching for info about CC probably due to being mistreated. Way to go Calvary Chapel, that’s some “good fruit” that you don’t take credit for, but it’s yours.

  56. I agree with Alex at #51
    The top leadership are a huge disappointment, bury your head in the sand, bigger broom and bigger carpet and under it goes, thats the calvary way.

    As far as I’m concerned the top leaders are cheats, liars and frauds. These attributes filter down to the lower ranks.

    There are leaders who endeavour to ‘do the right thing’ but they endorse a corrupt system by saying nothing. COWARDS.

  57. Broken, very much agreed.

  58. Alex @ 51 “I think he might be”

    He might, but I wouldn’t assume he is. I do not see the appropriate fruit yet. God knows for sure…maybe he is a ‘work in progress’ (leading a flock *shivers*).

    “I’m more disappointed in Chuck Smith and the CCV Board, Elders, the CC Association etc who have looked at this situation and done the same.”

    Birds of a feather & I’ve got your back if you’ve got mine. Fraternal bonds, or merely gentleman’s bonds, are not easily broken.

    ““Specially anointed” and “of the Spirit” does not mean what they tell you it means. These guys are not special nor are they any more spirit-filled than the regular schmuck and they don’t hear from God etc, no one does”

    Exactly. You stopped the kool aid IV didn’t you? The Bible is cannon, they are men.

    “I think there’s a lot of mythology out there about Christians* and especially Christian Leadership*.”

    There is. And thousands of variations of “truth” mixed in. ‘Christian’ is becoming more and more delineated to where the term soon won’t have relevance at all…as it could mean any number of things.

    “If God is real, he’s not that active in his creation and the supposed Leaders and Gurus don’t get memos from him, no more than you or I. ”

    Self professed ‘leaders of God’. Their lack of tact isn’t proof that God doesn’t intervene with believers…it is proof God isn’t working in THEIR lives.

    “Somehow the Good Samaritan was able to example the “fruit of the Spirit” and somehow Peter, an Apostle, was called “satan!” by Jesus himself”

    That is entirely dependent on which ‘spirit’ you are entertaining in your decisions. Hiding abuse is the spirit of Lucifer/satan. Slandering exposers of abuse is the spirit of Lucifer/satan.

    The bible says, if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it into a fire…for it is better for a part of your body to burn than the entire thing. The same can be applied to our personal sins…expose them to light…let them burn…it is the only way to stop satan.

    For a pastor to do so…yes…it may alter his career for the rest of his life. But, it is better to lose one’s career, then for the entire body to burn.

    Every single person makes mistakes after ‘becoming a christian’. It is how we handle those mistakes, that determines if we are actively walking with Christ.

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