Brian Brodersen Part 4 in his “Revival” series…it’s like the FED’s QE…I’m guessing there will be many more “parts”…this series keeps on goin’! I think there’s some good stuff in BB’s recent missive, but I don’t know if I agree with this quote below as the definition of “Revival”…the Scripture seems to indicate that we really are incapable of “loving God with all of our heart” etc. Seems quite an over-sell and false litmus test for “Revival” to me (at least according to Scripture):
This is the searching question to consider: Do you love Jesus Christ with all your heart? Can you affirm that? Not around your peers, not to impress anyone publicly, but standing alone before God, can you affirm, “I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart”? Can you say honestly, “Lord, to the best of my knowledge and to the best of my ability, I am completely sold out to You and committed to doing Your will”? If you cannot say that with conviction, then I suggest you need revival.
Kellen Criswell is quickly becoming one of my favorite CC Pastors. He seems like a real guy who is less concerned about presenting a False Piety image…and more concerned about really reaching folks who need to hear and experience the true Gospel:
A few weeks ago I found myself at a punk rock show at a bar in Salt Lake City, Utah. Admittedly, it was one of the last places most people expect to find a Christian pastor. I’m not saying that to make myself look cool, edgy, or controversial. It’s just the truth. And many Christians and Christian pastors have a hard time swallowing the idea of a pastor hanging out in such a place.
Chuck Smith affirms Intelligent Design and expresses his own struggles in the past with questions about the existence of God etc. I really like this…and have gone through a similar process. The old coot is stubbornly irresponsible in not exercising good leadership and Church Discipline as the Apostle of the Church at Calvary Chapel…but he’s right on a lot of stuff, like this:
Maybe there is something to atheism, I thought. Maybe all this spiritual stuff is nothing more than the creation of man. I went through a period of real misery, almost sinking from the weight of my oppressive thoughts. Maybe God doesn’t exist. Maybe it is all man’s concepts and ideas, since man appears to need to believe in something. The more I entertained thoughts like these, the more I sank emotionally. And then I thought, Maybe God doesn’t exist—but it’s easier to believe that He does exist than to believe that He doesn’t. As I looked at the world and the universe, I found it much easier to believe in the existence of God than to believe that everything I saw came into being by sheer chance.
Danny Lehmann of YWAM and a teacher at Calvary Chapel Honolulu wants you to be well-read…including John Calvin! LOL. In yo face George Bryson! I think it is fear that keeps many in Calvary Chapel from considering the vast array of perspectives in Christianity…fear and ignorance. A weak Faith needs to be locked up, protected, barricaded from outsiders! A strong Faith is built on “work out your own Salvation in fear and trembling”…that’s a Holy Fear. Read up. Read broadly. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Don’t give in to the Bryson fear-mongers of the Calvary Chapel Association. Bryson is an ignorant fool and should be on the other side of the pulpit…and should do the first priority, which is swallow his pride and do whatever it takes to get his family back together. CC’ites, Chuck Smith’ers…listen to the Criswell’s and the Lehmann’s…don’t let the Bryson’s fill you full of nonsense.
Read a variety of “genres” (types of books ). Early Fathers (i.e. Irenaeus, Athanasius, Tertullian), medieval and modern mystics ( Thomas A’Kempis, Teresa of Avila, Madame Guyon , Brother Lawrence, Andrew Murray), Reformers (Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, Knox), Revivalists (Wesley, Whitfield, Finney, Moody), missionary biographies (William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael) and great saints of the past (William and Catherine Booth, Wilberforce, Spurgeon), Bible commentaries (Stott, Wiersbe), specialty books (books revolving around your passions–(i.e. for me evangelism, missions and spiritual discipline), and devotional classics (Pilgrims Progress, Mere Christianity, My Utmost For His Highest etc.)
David Rosales wins the CalvaryChapel.com honor of “Sermon of the Week”. Unfortunately, it’s like awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize before he did anything. I watched it…L.A.M.E. The personal anecdotes about how rough he had it on a Hawaiian vacation and how he had to suck it up was about as relevant to the rank-and-file as a Hollywood celebrity complaining about tough times on a trip to Paris. Rosales is out of touch, has bought into his own celebrity (and carefully masks his pride and presents a false humility). Rosales promotes himself as struggling with sin in the same tired and contrived manner I grew up with in Calvary Chapel. It’s really a tool, IMO, to promote himself.
The technique/script goes like this: 1. Tell a story about how you struggle with a petty sin, usually pride or being ungrateful or being in a bad mood. 2. Use your wife as the White Hat foil to point out how you need to buck up and be the “pastor” and “man of God” and get over whatever petty issue it is and thank God for the tough circumstance (which is usually a trip delay, a cancelled flight, a long lay-over, an annoying fellow traveler, a rude attendant etc). 3. A person usually recognizes the CCSP during this faux-ordeal and expresses their knowledge of their Christian celebrity status. 4. The Wife steps in and acts like the righteous saint she is. 5. The CCSP is convicted of this terrible sinful attitude they have and they put their eyes back on Jesus and get over the terrible trial of being delayed, annoyed, etc. 6. The CCSP ties it up in a bow and presents it to the non-member members of his CC Franchise as an Object Lesson in how humble the pastor is, how Godly the Wife is, how the CCSP struggles with sin (but not real disqualifying sin…no they hide the really good stuff from you), reaffirm they are “someone” by being recognized by the masses, and then “repent” and get their eyes back on Jesus for the trip home, etc. Gag. It’s about as real as a $30 Rolex.
David Rosales, you get the CalvaryChapelNews.com/CalvaryChapelAbuse.com “Sermon of the Weak”…as in it was Weak Sauce and vacuous. Get over yourself and help some folks in a real way. If you’re going to share about pastors sinning…share some detailed gore about your buddies Raul Ries and Bob Grenier…now that’s some real sin and some authenticity!
There’s a whole lot more to Rosales’s sermon/defense from the pulpit regarding getting called out for buddying up with TBN…we’ll cover that issue in its own article to come…
Link to the “Sermon of the Weak” by David Rosales of Calvary Chapel Chino Valley here: