Jun 292013
Former Calvary Chapel Castle Rock franchisee Moses pastor Brian Abeyta opens up Beauty For Ashes church right up the road from the CC he allegedly left in a big financial hole.

Former Calvary Chapel Castle Rock franchisee Moses pastor Brian Abeyta opens up Beauty For Ashes Fellowship right up the road from the CC he allegedly left in a big financial hole.

Pastor Brian Abeyta is back! He’s open for business and selling his story of Beauty For Ashes Fellowship just up the road from the Calvary Chapel Castle Rock franchise he built after 17 years in the biz.

I’m working up a more in-depth story on this one…it’s been on the radar for quite awhile…and I’m sending questions to Abeyta in an attempt to get his side of the story.

The news of this one broke on the local news website ourcoloradonews.com.

Here’s a link to the article that reports Abeyta ran his Calvary Chapel franchise with “no board” and that he spent “$200,000″ on “personal” things during “2011 alone”. The allegations go well beyond what is reported in this article. Really over-the-line stuff. Easy to do in the Calvary Chapel System where Chuck Smith’s toxic Moses Model’s fruit is often malfeasance, abuse and corruption.

What’s of particular interest to me is that Calvary Chapel seems ready to air the dirty laundry…now that Abeyta is a competitor just up the road. Where was this new-found transparency when Abeyta was in the mafia….err, I mean Calvary Chapel? Calvary Chapel was well aware of the allegations against Abeyta, many times over, while he was still Moses at the Castle Rock franchise.

Link to the article here: http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/lonetree/news/leader-of-new-church-has-questionable-history/article_0b7745f8-e034-11e2-9a81-001a4bcf887a.html

 Posted by at 9:38 am
Jun 272013
The bible presents several "definitions of marriage"...which is the correct one? Appeals to "Cultural Context" only support a position that says it's not a Moral Absolute.

The bible presents several “definitions of marriage”…which is the correct one? Appeals to “Cultural Context” only support a position that says it’s not a Moral Absolute.

Moral Absolute: “Gay Marriage is AGAINST the Law of God! Homosexuals, even if they are monogamous and in a committed relationship are “hated” by God! Gay Marriage is against God’s will!” scream the Christian Absolutists / Literalists / Conservative / Fundamentalists.

Interesting take, in light of the Old Testament and in light of what the universally accepted definition of “Absolute” is.

Absolute Truth defined: “Truth is considered to be universal if it is valid in all times and places in all contexts. A Truth that satisfies these conditions is known as an Absolute.”

What do you make of these verses in the bible?

2 Samuel 5:13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.

“Concubines” and Polygamy. Concubines are “mistresses”…basically women who were lower than a wife, who David had as sort of sex slaves and he fathered children with them.

Is having “mistresses” a Moral Absolute? Apparently not. Neither is Polygamy…either that or the bible is errant, fallible and Relative as it tells us that for David’s “Cultural Context” he was righteous and right to own women as sex slaves and to have multiple wives.

Leviticus 25:44-46 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.

Why were the American Slave Owners of the South “in sin” and against God? Is “slavery” wrong and a Moral Absolute? Were the Hebrews/Israelites unrighteous and wrong for making people slaves and making them “their property”? Christian Fundamentalists will appeal, once again, to “Cultural Context” in explaining away this supposed “truth” in the bible.

“Gays can’t marry! The bible says so! The bible defines marriage!”

Not really. The Culture defines marriage, the Culture defines morality, justice, etc based on Consensus Principle…the same Consensus Principle utilized to choose the Canon of the bible, same Consensus Principle to pick and choose “Christian orthodoxy” etc.

“Marriage” defined in the bible was at one time much different than today’s Conservative definition of marriage. It is not a Moral Absolute as is self-evident in the bible. If it were a Moral Absolute, “Marriage” would be consistently defined and exampled as an Absolute per the definition of Absolute Truth above. The example of several different definitions of “Marriage” in the bible disproves the thesis of Moral Absolutists who claim such…unless you toss out the entire Old Testament from your Canon of Scripture.

So, which “Marriage” is the Absolute definition in the bible? The one where we can have multiple wives and mistresses and sex slaves of the Old Testament…or the monogamous heterosexual non-divorcee “Marriage” (though Paul the Apostle speaks against marriage) of the New Testament?

You can dismiss the Old Testament Definition of Marriage by appealing to “Cultural Context”…but that has very interesting Philosophical implications about Truth in the bible…

I would assert that there are very few Moral Absolutes we can be sure of, due to the teaching and example of the Old Testament…if one appeals to the bible as “the Authority” for all Truth. Again, an Absolute, by definition, must be True in all contexts, all cultures, for all of time. Clearly in the Old Testament: Executing children and women with stones (like the Taliban) was right and righteous and even commanded. Having multiple wives and mistresses and sex slaves was right and righteous and commanded as well. Slavery? It was okey dokey. Killing unarmed men? Check. Samuel hacked King Agag to pieces with a sword (Agag was unarmed, living peacefully in captivity) “in the sight of God” and it was called righteous. You can appeal to “Cultural Context” and “that was then, this is now!” to explain away these uncomfortable facts…but that only supports my Position more.

I believe the Enlightenment was from God…and as such I believe we “see” Truth today more clearly than we did before. God is not the bible. If God is truly Love, if God is truly Good, if God is truly Merciful…if God is truly the God of Jesus in the Gospels…if God is truly the author of Truth and the devil is truly the “father of lies!” then we must follow Truth wherever it leads.

Was it ever “right” and “righteous” to execute women and children with stones? Was it ever “right” and “righteous” to make other human beings your property and to make women sex slaves and mistresses? Was it ever “right” and “righteous” to execute an unarmed man who was in captivity and not posing a threat? So many other examples…

I agree with the Conservative Christian argument and appeal to “Cultural Context!” to dismiss the Old Testament Levitical Law. I agree that God, as presented by men, is “not” the “same yesterday, today and forever” if the bible is the sole Authority as taken literally. God is much different in the Gospels than he is anywhere else in the bible.

I agree with the Conservative Christians that “Cultural Context” is an Authority and that Context and Consensus play key roles in determining what is Morally Right and Wrong in a particular Culture…which is in stark contrast to a Moral Absolutist position that seeks to pick-and-choose only one of the several “Definitions of Marriage” presented by the bible.

“Gay Marriage” may very well be a-ok with the real God. As we discover more about homosexuality and the fact that many are born with the predisposition for attraction to the same sex, as we discover that it is their “natural” desire…the way they are wired…we are forced to reconsider our position…much like we reconsidered Slavery, Concubines and Executing Women and Children with stones.

“Committed Loving Relationships” seems to be the Moral Absolute today. I would rather see a loving gay relationship, than an abusive heterosexual one…the former is much less a threat to Society than the latter.

Is homosexuality a sin?

I think it depends on the “Context”…just as Conservatives appeal to “Context” to explain away so many “simple” and “plain meanings” in the bible that present contradictions and very ugly things.

If you are born wired a heterosexual…and you go down the path of sexual deviancy, pornography, promiscuity to the point that you have to push the envelope to get off…and that leads you into homosexuality or bi-sexuality…then I think it is “sin” for you. If you are born or rather wired with the desire for the same sex, then that is “natural” for you.

The bible seems to assert that “going against nature” or “going against what is natural” is the sin, yet the bible further defines promiscuity (in the New Testament) as sin, even though promiscuity is the “natural” default position for the male of the human species. The Old Testament recognizes the promiscuity of man and gives license for Concubines (sex slaves) and multiple wives…yet the New Testament forbids it. Both the Old and New Testament seem to speak against “homosexuality” yet the New Testament seems to present it in a plausible Context of “temple prostitutes” and homosexuality as promiscuity. Further, it is also very possible that Progressive Revelation and the Relative Nature of truth exampled in the bible on so many issues teaches us that “truth” changes and that today, as we discover more about homosexuality, it is not the Moral Absolute that Conservatives tout today.

At minimum, I think the issue of homosexuality is over-played and over-emphasized by Fundamentalists.

“God hates FAGS!” reads a Westboro Baptist Sign (kudos to them for keeping it real, like the Taliban and exampling in real-time the dangers of true Fundamentalism).

Well, turns out God “hates” pretty much everything if you take a browse through the bible.

God hates “liars”, God hates the “prideful”, God hates “unequal scales”, God hates “a false witness”, God hates “hands that shed innocent blood”, God hates “discord”, God hates “sin”…which is pretty much catches all of us in the net, if you take a Westboro Baptist/Taliban hermeneutic (interpretative model).

In fact, Sodom is often trotted out as “PROOF!” that God hates the gays. What was Sodom’s “great sin”?

Ezekiel 16:49 Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

Wow, God must hate gluttons, the selfish, those who don’t help the poor and needy, the arrogant etc.

I’m sure God hates me and he hates you as much as any “fags”…but you get a different emphasis and a different vibe in Christian Fundamentalism. You’d think that God is somehow more concerned about the Gays than any other Group of sinners.

Government “Marriage” vs. Religious “Marriage”

We are not a Theocracy. The United States was born out of the Enlightenment, and like it or not, our “Founding Fathers” were largely Deists and Liberal Christians, not nearly the Conservative Fundamentalists who try to claim them today.

As a politically Libertarian leaning individual, I recognize the difference between Church and State.

Our Liberal Christian Founding Fathers were well aware of the dangers of a Theocracy and the necessity of providing checks and balances in our System to prevent one Group from dominating the System and forcing their particular brand of morality or political agenda on the rest.

As such, there is Government/Civil/Legal “Marriage” and there is a particular Religious Group’s “Marriage”.

In the Government Context, we are bound to do our best to provide Equal Protection Under the Law and not discriminate against a particular Group that views Morality in a different manner (with caveat, it isn’t perfect, there are many philosophical implications that defining marriage presents, like the rights of Polygamists, etc). Consensus weeds out and picks-and-chooses what is “OK” and what isn’t. Our System, while imperfect, is working. The DOMA controversy, like it or not, is defining “Marriage” for our Culture our Context. It does open doors for the Polygamists to present their argument…and ironically Polygamists have an Ally in the Old Testament…but I’m confident the System will probably hold the line on that issue as the Consensus seems to be against multiple partners engaging in a Marriage Contract.

From a Religious Perspective, the First Amendment protects the rights of a particular “church” to disagree “morally” and to hold their own definition of “Marriage” as long as it doesn’t incite violence or discriminate (from a Civil Legal perspective) the rights of the fellow Citizen.

“Majority Rules”, however, is not entirely the case…as our System provides checks and balances for the Minority Position measured against the Constitution. Think about Dearborn, Michigan and the influx and increasing dominance of Muslims there. Sharia Law may become the “Majority” take in that area…but it cannot be tolerated and must be resisted in light of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. Sharia Law goes against US Western Law and as such an appeal to “Majority” in that area is nulled by our Constitution.

Similarly, a Majority Opinion with regards to the “Definition of Marriage” is not necessarily the last word on the issue…we must measure the issue against the Constitution.

A final appeal

The World is changing rapidly. “Democracy” is only as good as the people behind it. Iraq, Egypt, Libya…all glaring examples that “Democracy!” can sometimes just be a tool to promote barbarism like Sharia Law and extremism. If you bring “Democracy!” to a bunch of Fundamentalist Muslims…you’ll just create a much more powerful Fundamentalist Muslim State to have to battle against in the future.

In America, we are not a Theocracy. We are deeply diverse and divided on Religious, Ethnic, Political and Philosophical lines. We do have “enemies” and we do have Ideologies that we must oppose, or it’s Game Over.

The Gay Marriage issue is not one of those critical issues.

God is NOT “judging America!” because Gays are marrying. The “Bible Belt” is also Tornado Alley, Estonia (Atheist Nation) is the least likely place (statistically) on the planet to have a natural disaster. God doesn’t “hate” “Fags”…that’s the Christian Taliban’s spin on the contradictory and paradoxical nature of the bible. Jesus Loves homosexuals, Jesus loves me, he loves you. Jesus is the God of Unilateral Forgiveness and the God of Mercy and the God of Love.

If you disagree with Gay Marriage, no problem, you have that Constitutionally protected right to speak against it as what you believe is a Moral Issue, but please don’t make a Moral Absolute about the bible’s definition of “Marriage” when the bible defines “Marriage” much differently in the Old Testament.

Rather than beat the Anti-Gay Marriage drum with such fervor and effort and with such loud voices…let’s beat the Jesus Loves You! drum with the same effort and enthusiasm.

Jesus of the Gospels does in fact Love you, he loves me and he loves our homosexual brothers and sisters.

 Posted by at 12:55 pm
Jun 252013
Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and co-founder of the Calvary Chapel movement. His daughter is reporting his lung cancer has moved from Stage 3 to Stage 4.

Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and co-founder of the Calvary Chapel movement. His daughter is reporting his lung cancer has moved from Stage 3 to Stage 4.

A Facebook update and now the Christian Post is reporting that Chuck Smith, the co-founder of the Calvary Chapel movement / denomination and pivotal player in the Jesus People revival…has had a set-back in his battle against lung cancer.

From the Facebook update:

“Update on my dad: Prayer warriors, it is time to put on your armor and fight in the spiritual arena. Dad’s doctors just upgraded his lung cancer from Stage 3 to Stage 4, due to the fluid in his lung. This fluid contains cancer cells. He just had the fluid removed for the second time. He will enter the hospital on July 1st to have more fluid removed (which will take two days) and a CAT scan to see if his lung is expanding. If his lung does not expand, he will have to have a catheter installed in the lung area to help him to empty the fluid at home. If his lung does expand, they will put talc into his lung to keep the fluid from forming. The talc procedure is simpler and preferable for various reasons. Please ask the Lord for His perfect plan for Dad to be accomplished. We trust our Heavenly Father to know best. Thank you eternally for praying.”

The Christian Post reports on the Chuck Smith Cancer Watch here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-chuck-smith-suffers-setback-in-battle-with-lung-cancer-98610/

Before I launch into a massive philosophical point for consideration, I wish Chuck Sr. the best and my prayer is not so much that he’s healed…the dude is pushing 90…he’s gotta die of something….my prayer is that he passes peacefully and without pain and that his family has a little more time with him and that their grief over his passing, while painful, will be mitigated by their mutual love for each other and remembrance of the good things about their pops.

I will give a prophetic word: Chuck Smith Sr. is going to die.

I grew up a Calvary Chapel Pastor’s Kid (CCPK). I’ve observed the teaching, rhetoric and actions of many in leadership my entire life. Some of the most disappointing moments have been as a result of observing the head-honcho/Guru/Prophet Chuck Smith himself.

Over the years, Smith’s poor leadership has led to a rather pervasive belief (both articulated and exampled) of a dangerous Doctrine: The Doctrine of Divine Retribution.

I’ve been told my Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa insiders and many others inside the CC Bubble (former and current) that Smith believes God has zapped/nuked/punished even killed some folks who have “touched God’s anointed” and opposed, what Smith believes, is “the work of the Lord!” in the form of Smith’s Calvary Chapel ministry.

There are a couple of anecdotal examples, almost lore, of a couple of people dying not terribly long after challenging Smith. When you’re a magnet like Smith and Calvary Chapel and when you are dealing with literally millions of people in a 2,000 church non-denomination denomination, odds are there will be a ton of people who give you some perceived trouble and odds are, a few of them are going to die at some time proximate to your perceived slight.

Well, as is Smith’s and Calvary Chapel’s tendency, they “see” what they want to see and ignore the rest. They read the headlines with an ever-changing and rather selective prophetic eye with a penchant to embrace what fits their narrative and ignore the vast amount of information that contradicts it. Similarly, Smith and Calvary Chapel latch on to a couple of very rare examples in their history as “proof” that God zapped/nuked/killed an “enemy of God’s work!” who challenged them…and this myth is still quietly embraced to this day.

So much so that this toxic mythology spilled over into Calvary Chapel Land itself…I am told by several sources that it was widely believed in Calvary Chapel circles that Greg Laurie’s son died in the car accident as a punishment from God for Greg moving in on the lucrative Southern California Orange County market with his Harvest franchise. Pretty sickening stuff…but it’s true.

Chuck Smith’s and Calvary Chapel’s Doctrine of Divine Retribution is articulated very soberly by Chuck Smith here in a warning to a Christianity Today reporter here:

During the investigation for this article, Smith cautioned CT’s reporter: “The Lord warns, ‘Don’t touch my anointed. Do my prophet no harm.’ I think that you are trying to do harm to the work of God. I surely wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.”–Chuck Smith, Christianity Today article investigating Calvary Chapel 2007.

Chuck’s message? Mess with “God” (which equals Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel in his deluded mind) and God will get you!

OK, live by the sword, die by the sword. If God is real, I think he has quite a sense of irony.

Chuck Smith lied, misrepresented, mishandled, covered over, went against his conscience, attacked me using his overwhelming advantage as a very powerful and influential public figure, hurt me tremendously…and back-handedly threatened me with God’s judgment from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit here: http://youtu.be/n6ydHm_lwKs

I commented shortly after (on this very blog) that something innately told me that Chuck Smith had just called down judgment on himself.

A month or so later, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer. It’s now back with a vengeance.

“Touch not God’s anointed, do my prophet no harm!” says Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel.

Doctrine of Divine Retribution? Ananias and Saphira exampled today? Or, shear coincidence?

I can GUARAN-FRICKIN-TEE you that if I had come down with lung cancer a month after Chuck’s fatwa from the CC Costa Mesa pulpit….Chuck and his cult-followers would have claimed “God GOT him! Praise God!”

It’s a dangerously vindictive, unloving, non-unilateral forgiveness, non-gracious, non-merciful, non-Jesus of the Gospels Doctrine…and it is the Doctrine that Chuck Smith and much of Calvary Chapel examples over the years…which is more a statement of their true belief and doctrine than professions of “Love” over and over in an attempt to PR their way into a softer side.

Don’t buy the Smiley Papa Chuck persona. Underneath the veneer is a man who truly believes he’s a prophet and that God is on “his side” and that God will get you if you challenge his “ministry”…his “ministry” which is his god.

Aspiring Calvary Chapel Pastors out there who read this: Don’t be like Chuck Smith, Raul Ries, Bob Grenier and many others of the bad CC pastors out there who embrace and example this anti-Jesus of the Gospels Doctrine. God is not in the business of “destroying his enemies!” (which oddly seem to be whoever your enemies happen to be, how convenient). If the Law of Love, if Love Your Neighbor, if Unilateral Forgiveness are the “New” Testament…if Jesus Christ of the Gospels is truly God’s Logos (his utterance)…then this Doctrine is Old Testament driven error and more a function of man’s desire to conquer those he considers his enemy while pinning it on God.

Chuck, God truly loves you despite your error. May those you’ve inspired learn more from your mistakes than from your perceived successes.

The right example: I disagree with you, I think you have wronged me and my family terribly and misused your immense power. I forgive you unilaterally and wish you well and I hope God will have mercy on you and give you peace and give your family a bit more time. God, have mercy on Chuck Smith. If you are truly a God of Love, do not judge him, do not enact vengeance upon him. Stay your hand and accept the sacrifice of your own Son, Jesus Christ, as payment for “all” of our sin both past and present and to come. Amen.


 Posted by at 6:43 am
Jun 212013

no bullshit1. To the Political bullshit: Hello to our friends at the NSA, CIA, DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Big Brother Alphabet Soup! Good luck with your spying on all of us. I’m sure you wouldn’t abuse your powers to target Constitutionally Protected political opposition and dissent, right? Cough, cough, IRS bullshit, cough, cough. Ron Paul must be a prophet, because his predictions continue to come true, one after another, after another. [Inaudible...] What’s that? No, honey, I think it’s just a large bird. What? You’re kidding me. Give me those binocs….a Drone? Nice. Anyways, as I was saying, praise be to Obama, our Lord and Savior, praise be to the Government of the United States! Nothing to see here, move along now.

If you’re going to use the Machine to smoke out Achmed the Dead Terrorist or maybe the Drug Cartels and the pervasive criminal organizations on our soil, then have at it. If you’re going to (like the IRS) use this broad-reaching Unconstitutional power to intimidate political opposition, then we’re all going to have a big problem.

2. To the Business bullshit: As I’ve stated over and over…and over, the US Economy (and the World Economy for that matter) is singularly dependent on the Federal Reserve and Treasury of the United States. We are addicted to Debt, Deficit, cheap money, Quantitative Easing (QE) and the economic heroine (in many forms) that the FED has been pumping into Markets to prop them up. If the US FED backs away, it’s Game Over. Want to test this theory? Bernanke farts (just hints) that the FED will “taper” their $85 billion dollar a month QE program (QE3 or QE Infinity) and the Stock Markets around the World (including the US) crash hard, along with Commodity prices. We live in an Age of Creditism and Debtism. We’re in a Currency War and it’s getting nasty. You’re seeing the cracks beginning to form as its every Nation for itself. The Eurozone is about to implode (again) with Spain missing a debt payment and Greece still unresolved. Italy is broke, so is Portugal. The only Nation with money in Europe is Germany…and the Germans are tired of being the only responsible working adult in their Family, while the others leach off their hard work. Japan has never recovered from its Stock Market and Real Estate Market Orgy of the 1980’s. It is perpetually trapped in a vicious QE Cycle and they recently threw more gasoline on the fire by trashing the Yen through yet another aggressive round of QE, which pressures the rest of the World in the Currency Wars. China continues to game the System by pegging the Yuan to the US Dollar (which is the defacto World Reserve Currency). China does this to keep their products artificially cheap verses Japan, the US, Europe and other competitors, meanwhile China stockpiles US Dollars and uses those Dollars to buy up Commodities, Land, Real Estate and Companies in the US (very shrewd those Chinese). China also uses the interest payments we (the US) pays them on the $1 Trillion in debt we owe them to fund their entire Military budget. Smart bastards those Chinese. Art of War, a China-man wrote it. Meanwhile Brazil riots as the Currency War is putting massive pressures on Nations like Brazil and other emerging market countries who are forced to have high interest rates in an attempt to stave off “hot money” and Inflation that affects their poor there tremendously and causes societal upheaval and discontent (see the riots and mass demonstrations in evidence).

It’s one big giant fluster-cluck and all thanks to the current US Big Corporation Big Wall Street in bed with Big Government System.

The good news is we will blow the current System up due to our reckless ways…bad news is the next World Crisis will make 2008 look like a stroll in the park. The Current System will eventually implode, there will be a time of world-wide Economic Crisis and the “solution” will be a New System. It will take the form of a World Body (World Central Bank) made up of representatives of Member Nations that will administer and regulate a new World Reserve Currency to replace the US Dollar as the WRC and this Body will set interest rates, vote on monetary policy etc in an attempt to solve the imbalances in the Current System. Nations will still have their national currencies but there will be a Supra-national Currency to transact global trade and the new “bancor” or whatever they’ll call it, will be the Currency by which other national currencies are measured against. This Supra-national Currency will be backed by a basket of Member Nation national currencies, Gold, Oil and some other Commodities. This World Central Bank will wield great power and the US will lose its position as the defacto World Central Bank.

Mark it down…it’s nearly inevitable.

A last comment: Our FED and Government is singularly concerned with saving Wall Street and the Big Corporations and Big Banks. If you think they care a lick about the Middle Class and Small Biz in this Nation, can I sell you an investment opportunity in Nigeria? The “poor” get food stamps, all sorts of government programs, free healthcare etc. The “rich” are richer than ever thanks to the bailouts, QE, and ZIRP (Zero percent Interest Rate Policy) of the FED. The Middle Class continues to get decimated and are left to go it alone. Rich and Poor get massive government socialism and assistance. It’s “free market” rugged individualism for the Middle Class and I’m personally sick of being the only Group that gets hosed.

3. Religious bullshit: Selective Fundamentalists have gone viral! They’re everywhere! It’s like the Walking Dead, only with bibles. Nearly the entire Evangelical Landscape is comprised of this Group and the irony is many consider themselves Fundamentalists and shun Christian Liberalism, but they don’t understand the contradiction and duplicity and shallow roots of their own Belief Systems and the positions they promote from their own mouths. If ignorance is bliss, then the vast majority of Evangelicalism is Nirvana.

If you claim a modern-day “Conservative” and “Fundamentalist” approach to the bible…your history goes all the way back to the 1910’s with the release of “the Fundamentals” and was more organized and formalized in the 1920’s within a broad range of US protestant churches. Sounds like a pretty recent phenomena to me. Fundamentalists can’t really claim a lengthy history and some sort of original authentic Tradition and Belief System. What they did was come up with their own Emphases and their own ideas and pet-doctrines and pet-foundational truths using their Reason and Conscience and picking and choosing their way through the very paradoxical and often contradictory/dualistic bible or scripture that all Groups under the “Christian” umbrella appeal to in creating their particular flavor of Christian*.

The historical fact remains: The Early Church was a loosely bound Group immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus. These “churches” were geographically separated, not doctrinally separated like today. Very quickly the “church” splintered and the geographically separated “churches” began to take on particular emphases depending on the leadership’s direction and personal convictions. Early Church gurus, heavily influenced by Greek Philosophical discipline that preceded them, began to reason their way through the difficult issues in the sacred texts (there wasn’t an official “bible” as of yet, not like today, no Genesis through Revelation NKJV, etc). One guru would launch a particular thesis and others would hash it out and either agree, disagree and cry “heretic!” or partially agree and then add to the philosophical Christian soup. Dudes like Marcion (probably the first Liberal, LOL) made waves by using his common sense to reason that the God of the Old Testament seemed far different than the God of the New Testament. Marcion noticed the Bi-Polar nature of the two Gods and how the narratives in the Gospel accounts of God and Jesus simply didn’t align with the harsh, judgmental and vindictive God of the Hebrews in the Old Testament. This pissed some folks off and other gurus of the day fired back and called Marcion a “heretic!” which became a very effective strategy in squashing dissent and alternative viewpoints. The Old-Church gurus continued their salvos regarding the Big Issues and began defining Christian Orthodoxy through politicking, argument, rhetoric and eventually achieving Consensus on particular issues. Those who were on board with the majority were orthodox, those who weren’t on board with the majority were heterodox and “heretics!”. Enter Constantine, the Roman Emperor who happened to be an early Christian. Constantine finds himself in a civil war with Maxentius, a rival Roman Emperor, and is severely outnumbered. Constantine gets a revelation from God that inspires his army to bear the Christian cross. Basically, Constantine prayed for God to help him, a meteor flashed in the sky and landed near his area and while he stared at what must have been a dramatic and inexplicable supernatural encounter, Constantine believed God told him to use the sign of the Cross and to conquer. Constantine’s army painted crosses on their shields believing they had a sign from God and then they went and slaughtered the much larger enemy. Constantine eventually becomes the head-honcho and last Emperor standing after more civil war. In 313 AD, he then enacts Religious Tolerance throughout the Roman Empire, effectively ending the persecution against Christians. Constantine then embarks on a campaign to unite the Christian Church and to make all the factions sit down and play nice and arrive at Consensus on a number of issues that continued to be argued during that day. He called the first Church Council in Nicea in 325 AD and during that Council the process of Biblical Canonization officially began, as well as the process of defining Christian Orthodoxy through Consensus and, conversely, defining who was a heretic etc. It wasn’t until the Council at Carthage in 397 AD that the West’s “Bible” Canon was officially decided and it took much of the East another 100 plus years to finalize their Canon in 508 AD. The now-mostly-unified “Church” stumbled along as what we would call the Roman Catholic Church until the East-West Schism which was a process that began in 1053 and was pretty much complete by the 1200’s. Basically, there was a big pissing match between the Church Leaders in the East and West, so they began excommunicating each other and began “sacking” the other side in what looked a lot like two rival gangs battling over turf. The “Church”, now Schism’d, marches on another few hundred years until that asshole Martin Luther sticks his crude neck out and nails the 95 Thesis to the Wittenburg door. Dudes like Luther and Calvin begin to rebel against the Papal “authority” and basically lead a Movement that effectively splinters the “Church” into a zillion pieces. If you are a Protestant, your Granddaddy is Martin Luther. I suggest you read his stuff, it’s rather eye-opening in a lot of areas. It’s like finding out you are from Appalachia after doing Ancestry.com and then studying up on your grandpappy and granpappy’s grandpappy. Yikes! We’re descended from assholes!

The Reformation was the 1776 of Church History. It was World-changing. It was also a violation of a “literal” interpretation of the Sola Scriptura. Romans 13:1 and many other passages speak to “obeying the authority” and that “all authority is placed there by God” etc. The Reformers took a very liberal approach to these very clear verses of Scripture as they were in complete rebellion and violating the Authority God had established (if one takes a literalist view) in the form of the Roman Catholic Church. Of course the Reformers had all sorts of “good reasons” and arguments for why those verses didn’t mean what they said in a literal sense and why they were righteous in their rebellion etc etc. The Reformers faced a paradox and contradiction and they found it in their Conscience and through their Reasoning that they could violate these literal commands, because it made more sense and they understood God and the Scripture in the “correct” manner, whereas the Roman Catholic Church and Pope had it all wrong and therefore weren’t to be obeyed as the Authority. Very liberal and non-literalist approach.

The Unified “Church”, which a literal interpretation of the bible says God promotes and commands “unity”, is no more. The Reformers splintered the church into a zillion pieces and “opened Pandora’s box”…to the level that we have 9,000 (James White’s number) to 30,000 denominations and flavors of Christian* today.

From the time of the Reformation to today, we’ve seen some other big moves…the biggest, IMO, is the Enlightenment, which has had a similar World-changing effect as the Reformation and followed the Reformers by about a century.

This “Age of Reason” was a natural progression of the Reformation as it challenged the Authority and Dogma and Tradition of the day and recognized Conscience, Reason and Spirit as the Standard for Truth as opposed to rote Dogma, Tradition and text on a bible page as God. During this Age, Knowledge exploded like a Supernova and philosophy flourished. Christian Liberalism was born and every branch of Catholicism and Protestantism was influenced and changed during this Age.

The United States was born under the direct impact of the Enlightenment and the Founding Fathers of the United States of America were products of the Enlightenment and many were Liberal Christians and not the retarded Christian Fundamentalists of today who like to claim them.

It strikes me as the peak of irony to hear the very recent Sect of Christianity in the form of Pre-trib Rapture Dispensationalist Fundamentalist/Literalist/Conservative Christians (like Calvary Chapel) claim the Founding Fathers of the United States in CC’s push to influence Politics…yet they don’t seem to know or understand the Enlightenment and the very Liberal Christians and Thinkers our Founding Fathers were.

If you are a Christian Fundamentalist/Literalist/Conservative….what historical Tradition are you appealing to? How do you defend your Literalist approach? What part of the “Church” and Church History are you looking back to and claiming? Why would you look down on the Taliban for stoning women and children today? Seems they’re just looking back to the Old Testament and mimicking what is in your bible. Why do you resist “change” and Reason, while demonstrating a big shift from the Consensus of Church History until 1910 and the birth of your young Movement?

If you are a strict Christian Fundamentalist/Literalist/Conservative, I challenge you to cover your heads if you’re a woman 1 Corinthians 11:6, to follow the jot and tittle of Pastoral Qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, if you are a man…to wear short hair and no hats allowed 1 Corinthians 11:7 and 1 Corinthians 11:14, to keep the Sabbath strictly (Jesus affirmed the Law and Prophets which includes the 10 Commandments), to stop being fat gluttons (bible speaks repeatedly that gluttony is a sin and “self-control” is a Fruit of the Spirit and the opposite of self-control is eating too much), to obey your Master and submit to slavery if you find yourself a slave, to obey all the governing authorities which includes President Obama (Romans 13:1) and to recognize that if you are divorced you are committing adultery (Luke 16:18) and to immediately disqualify all Pastors/Elders/Deacons who are divorced. Oh, and make sure you demonstrate these supernatural manifestations or you aren’t a true believer, according to a literal take of the bible:

Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Haven’t miracled anyone yet myself, nor have I handled any poisonous snakes, I guess I don’t got the “signs” of a believer…neither do you. I think I spoke in tongues once, I smashed my finger with a hammer and I was speaking Sailor :lol:

 Posted by at 1:28 pm
Jun 212013

Well, that was quick.

The Presbyterians don’t seem to think Child Abuse is that big a deal. The General Assembly sent the watered down Amendment packing, according to PhoenixPreacher.com.

The PCA General Assembly  “…sent a proposed resolution on child abuse back to committee ‘to be worked on in the coming year’”.

Way to go PCA! Not.

God, didn’t your supposed “Son” Jesus Christ say some stuff about how important the kids are? If you are in fact 1. Real and 2. Active in your creation, could you maybe send some fire from heaven to show folks that you love the children and don’t want churches de-emphasizing (which is tacitly endorsing) Child Abuse?

Unfortunately, it seems God is not active in his creation. Seems “God” is more a function of the folks minds and will who claim God….just sayin’.

 Posted by at 10:59 am
Jun 202013

Nnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwnham (read in Seinfeld voice).

Well, Michael is right a lot, even though he’s got an itchy-mod-trigger finger.

He predicted the PCA would neuter their Child Abuse Amendment, and they did.

Read the final, much slimmer, draft here: http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=12960

It’s still better than nothing, IMO, but probably a C instead of an A like it was in its original form.

Still better than Calvary Chapel’s F or even more accurate Withdraw (as they don’t address the important issue officially).

 Posted by at 10:56 am
Jun 192013

Ligon_DuncanLigon Duncan, of the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America), responded to our tweet today questioning whether he’d support the recent PCA Child Abuse Amendment. We were curious if he’d publicly support the proposed measure since Duncan seems to be a staunch supporter of CJ Mahaney of SGM (Sovereign Grace Ministries) during SGM’s Child Abuse lawsuit and allegations that the organization covered up abuse.

T4G (Together for the Gospel), a group spearheaded by gurus including Duncan of PCA, Albert Mohler (Southern Baptist Convention), John Piper, Mark Dever and others has come under fire recently for their seemingly tepid and friendly response to fellow T4G’er CJ Mahaney’s SGM Child Abuse scandal.

Duncan reported via twitter:

“I just voted to receive it. It has been referred to our Overtures Committee.”–Ligon Duncan

The proposed Amendment is encouraging, so is Duncan’s response. We hope it passes and believe that rhetoric and emphasis does move the ball in these organizations. Problems tend to get addressed for the good when they are acknowledged rather than ignored. Churches and church leadership should take the lead on protecting children…and not lag and act like it’s a non-issue.

Kudos to the PCA if this passes. We hope the Calvary Chapel Association will adopt a similar public stand (but hell will probably freeze over before that would happen, George Bryson’s Calvinist witch-hunt, endless End Times prophecy conferences and church planting are far more important issues in Calvary Chapel than the well-being and emphasis on protecting our children who are the “least of these”).

Here is the proposed PCA Child Abuse Amendment as first featured by our friend Michael Newnham on PhoenixPreacher.com:

Personal Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse

Proposed to the 41st General Assembly in Greenville, South Carolina

By TE Mike Sloan, Georgia Foothills Presbytery

WHEREAS our Lord Jesus demonstrated his righteous anger at his disciples, rebuking those who would do anything to prevent covenant children from coming unto him, saying “to such belongs the Kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14); and

WHEREAS the Lord Jesus, who possesses all power and authority in heaven and on earth, taught and demonstrated in his humiliation, that power is rightly exercised to serve others, protect the weak, and speak for the oppressed (Mark 10:42-45Exodus 22:21-24,Deuteronomy 10:17-19Proverbs 31:1-9); and

WHEREAS a silent epidemic of child abuse exists in our culture wherein 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006), including girls and boys who attend PCA churches, with 95% of victims being violated by someone they know and trust (Darkness2Light.org); and

WHEREAS child sexual abuse thrives in an environment that discourages open communication about the abuse and also thrives with both the calculated sin of abusers and by the inaction of church leaders who are nonetheless complicit in the abuse and culpable before the Lord; and

WHEREAS the law in almost all states mandates pastors, and even in some states volunteers, to report child abuse to civil authorities within 24 hours, and biblical due diligence requires churches to train its workers and volunteers to protect children by screening workers and volunteers, by strictly limiting one adult one child situations, and by maintaining a child protection policy informed by wise resources now widely available; and

WHEREAS the silence of the church, by not speaking out against this sin, or not supporting the courageous victims who disclose abuse, or not proactively taking the steps to prevent abuse, is a fundamental failure of servant leadership in such a time as this, and drives people away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS many of our members have close relational ties with some Reformed and evangelical organizations, fellowships of ministers, and well-known leaders who have lately come under the closest moral and legal scrutiny, some facing criminal and/or civil litigation for neglect in reporting alleged criminal activity against children and harboring and protecting alleged sexual perpetrators against children, casting doubt in the eyes of some on the stance of the PCA toward child sexual abuse and our moral resolve to uproot it; THEREFORE, be it

RESOLVED that we plead with all pastors and church officers to take an active stance toward rooting out child sexual abuse in the church by leading their churches to study, implement, and maintain child protection policies pertaining to our moral and legal obligations in loving our covenant children and protecting their rightful interests as God’s image-bearers and heirs of the Covenant of Grace from the devastating actions of abusers in the church; and be it further

RESOLVED that we pledge our commitment to work and fully cooperate with duly appointed God-ordained government officials in exposing and bringing to justice all probable perpetrators, who morally and criminally harm the children placed in our trust, and not in any perceivable way display reluctance in fully cooperating with lawful authorities by attempting to handle the issue internally by subjecting either the supposed victim or alleged criminal perpetrator to private “church discipline” or relational “restoration” apart from the fulfillment of our mandated reporting duties to God-ordained government authorities; and be it further

RESOLVED that we exhort all pastors and church officers to use their power for the protection of the vulnerable, by any and all godly means, including speaking boldly about the horrors of child sexual abuse in our time, urging anyone with knowledge of these sins to “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11), and by supporting victims who are easily intimidated, and often suffer in silence, without the clear support of those in positions of power; and be it finally

RESOLVED that the 41st General Assembly urge all members of the PCA to renew our allegiance to our Lord Jesus to love our covenant children as he loves our covenant children, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:14).

 Posted by at 12:43 pm
Jun 152013

Bob Grenier gave a long angry rant from the Calvary Chapel Visalia pulpit just prior to the judge’s lower court ruling in which he claims he’s innocent of all the allegations against him and that he’s been vindicated by the local authorities and Calvary Chapel.

It’s been a little while since the lower court judge’s ruling in the Calvary Chapel Bob Grenier lawsuit against me (his step-son and former long-time Calvary Chapel Kool-Aid Drinker) and Tim Taylor (a former CC’ite as well).

The ruling, in my opinion, was rather bizarre. I’ve heard good things about the judge, but I’m pretty sure he’s human and capable of being influenced and/or error. From chewing on the verdict and the evidence presented by both sides in court, I can only assume he latched onto one particular piece of evidence that was intentionally (my opinion) presented out of context by Grenier’s attorney Nick Pritchett.

They published a quote of mine making a comment in essence “do the ends justify the means? Dunno…” and this seems to be the tidbit Vortmann latched onto in claiming he could divine my heart, intent, motive and that I had “serious doubts” about my belief in Paul Grenier’s (my brother) testimony to me where he alleges Bob Grenier molested him.

The truth is that if the judge (or whoever) reads the entire comment (which was not presented by Pritchett) and the thread and the back-and-forth, it is 100% non-debatable fact that the comment was made with regards to my outing the testimony of long-time Calvary Chapel Visalia Elder and Board Member Glen Cardaronella’s testimony. Glen asked me to give the testimony to Chuck Smith Sr. only and did not give me permission to publish the scathing testimony that documented many of the abuses at Calvary Chapel Visalia (according to his take). I published Glen’s testimony and that comment above (that is in evidence) was directly connected to Glen Cardaronella (read the thread, it’s very clear). And, to be crystal clear, I had no “serious doubts” in Cardaronella’s testimony, I believed and still believe him to be a credible source and witness. The comment was in response to push-back that it was wrong to out his testimony publicly without his permission. I felt it served the Greater Good to enter the testimony into the public discussion. The only way that comment could be misapplied, misinterpreted and mis-construed is to take it out as a snip-it (like Pritchett did) and then make a giant leap assumption that it was somehow connected to my belief in Paul Grenier’s testimony to me.

The fact remains that Paul told me about his allegations and I believe him. I don’t have Bob on video doing it, it doesn’t mean I “entertained serious doubts” or whatever nonsense was speculated. I have good reason not to believe Bob Grenier, due to my direct personal experiences of his actions and behaviors toward me and others and his subsequent lying about what he did to me and what I witnessed in our home. I have no reason to disbelieve my brother Paul and I have the right to believe him and the right to speak the truth about it as I know it and to warn others about a public figure in a Position of Trust. It would be wrong of me to stay silent and not speak up with regards to such a serious allegation. I think the ruling was dangerous and irresponsible and a real set-back for the First Amendment and Anti-SLAPP legislation in California. If it’s upheld, it will put a huge chill in the air and set California back quite a ways with regard to protecting free speech and warning the public about public figures who do bad things. It will endanger children and cause Victims of child abuse to fear retaliation by frivolous lawsuits meant to silence and intimidate and re-abuse.

Pritchett may have fooled the lower court judge, I am hopeful the Appellate Court judges won’t be so easy to Lawyer and/or influence. It is well known that Visalia is a small town good ‘ol boys club…has been for years. It’s a tight-knit community and Bob Grenier has paid his dues politically. To claim there is absolutely no dynamic in play there is naive. I don’t claim it’s 100% in play, but to dismiss it as a serious possibility and “some” influence is, again, naive.

Bob Grenier, prior to the ruling, went on quite a screed at one of his morning services at Calvary Chapel Visalia.

I was sent a dvd Bob made, sent to me by a CCV’er. This person wishes to remain anonymous. This person was quite concerned by the tone and content.

I stomached as much as I could. It was disgusting. Bob was angry, vicious, mean, hateful, vindictive…basically all the things he and his Camp and Calvary Chapel have accused me and others of. Bob wasn’t unilaterally forgiving anyone, nor was he “leaving it to the Lord” or extending any sort of grace. He was, metaphorically, spitting fire and madder than a drug addict who is jonesing and can’t find his next fix.

Basically Bob said he’s got a stack of lawsuits ready, he’s going to sue everyone, blah, blah, blah. “What would yyyyoooouuuuu do?” etc etc. He said he’s going to fight and sue and sue some more (in essence) and you could hear a couple of amens in there from the Christians* there.

A particular low-point, Bob was taking pleasure, and even pausing for maximum effect, when dishing the dirt on one of his former employees and whistleblowers…touting how this person fell morally. I could see the venom dripping from Bob’s tongue in my mind’s eye. Here’s a sitting Calvary Chapel Pastor, a man who represents himself as “specially anointed” and an emissary of Jesus Christ…taking pleasure in publicly expressing this non-public non-pastor figures moral turn (largely due to disillusionment in this person’s experience with Bob and Calvary Chapel). I know Bob and Calvary Chapel don’t really believe the Millstone verses in the bible or they would act differently, so I doubt there is a Millstone, but what an evil bastard, no “transformation” there, no “unilateral forgiveness” there….that’s for suckers. You cross Bob and Calvary Chapel and they want blood and money! And, Chuck Smith’s got his back! Woohoo! Praise Jesus*!

Bob’s rant included his version of some things which I don’t necessarily believe. A couple of things I do tend to believe and acknowledge: Detective Brian Haney investigated and didn’t arrest Bob, so I’m assuming the stuff that was reported to him by former CCV employees (before I communicated with Haney) must be OK to do and the practices must be legit, even though I thought they were wrong. I was told by a City of Visalia insider that there was going to be an arrest, but at the last minute something happened. If this is true, I find that interesting.

If you are a church or business you may want to look into what the employees were alleging and do similar to Bob and CCV as the Authority in Bob’s area says he’s good to go, so why not take advantage?

Bob said from the pulpit publicly that Detective Haney told him he could quickly see it was a smear campaign (or something similar to that). Detective Haney, did you say that? Really? You think the former employees were lying and making the stuff up to smear Bob? That the testimonies I gave you were all lies and part of a smear campaign? If what Bob is reporting is accurate, I don’t understand Haney’s conclusion. I thought the stuff reported to me was wrong and the sources were bookkeepers, pastors, elders, board members, employees and family members. But, I have to accept the Authority in Tulare County’s verdict. They looked at the same stuff I looked at and say Bob did nothing wrong. Shocking to me, but it is what it is and I’ll make sure to refer to the specifics of that case if I’m ever held to a different Standard. I’d encourage you to do the same if you find yourself in the cross-hairs there in Tulare County for financial stuff. It’s not as black and white as I thought.

Bob also stated that he’s been investigated in some form by Calvary Chapel (but I thought Chuck Smith Sr. said they are all 100% independent and that Calvary Chapel has no Central Authority and oversight and responsibility and control etc, then who the heck did an investigation? The Church Investigation Fairy? By what authority did they do an investigation and render some sort of judgment if they are all independent? What did they investigate? Who did they talk to? I haven’t been contacted by anyone from Calvary Chapel in that capacity and I haven’t heard that others connected to the Bob CCV situation have either. If they did do some sort of investigation, it was behind closed doors and news to me. I guess I have to take Bob’s word for it (from my interpretation of what I heard on the dvd).

Basically, Bob says he’s good to go per Calvary Chapel and per the Tulare County law enforcement community. Bob basically says everyone’s lying and out to smear him in an attempt to take down his “ministry” and that only God can remove him and no one else will. He says he’s innocent and has done nothing wrong and has been vindicated (or something to that effect) and that he’s going to fight and sue and get his vengeance until the “bitter” end. But I thought…err, um, Chuck Smith Sr. said to…err, um, “get over it”, “leave it to the Lord”, “forgive”, “love” etc. I’m very confused. Seems quite a double-standard. One set of rules for the sheep, another set of rules for the shepherds. No public rebuke by Chuck Smith Sr. from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit telling Bob he is in greater sin for “unforgiveness” and for being bitter and vindictive etc.

I can’t really argue with the results of Haney’s investigation (which I assume is as Bob stated) and I can’t really argue with Calvary Chapel’s continued endorsement of Bob as a Calvary Chapel Pastor in good standing. I tried to call attention to the serious issues and to warn folks and to get the Powers that Be to do something. Apparently they did and found Bob Grenier clean as the wind driven snow (according to him). I disagree, but I’ve done all I can do as a law abiding citizen. We are a nation of laws with rule of law (in general) and while there are gaps in the System, it is what it is and sometimes guys get away with stuff. I’m not happy about it, but that’s life in ‘Merica today.

I still find it quite ironic that when Bob exposed Phil Aguilar for abuse and corruption allegations, Bob got the keys to Visalia. When I expose Bob, he gets the keys to Visalia. Interesting, no? I’m guessing the skills Bob learned while (according to his book) smuggling and dealing drugs while flying the Lt. Governor of Florida around have served him well in his Career as Pastor/Chaplain. I tip my cap to you Bob, you’re good at what you do. Well played sir. You should run for office…but you’d have to take a pay cut.

The appeals process will play out. Bob retained a Fresno attorney, according to sources. They tell me his name is Todd Baxter. Todd, welcome to the dysfunction, hopefully you’re honorable and don’t twist things like Pritchett did (but, hey, as long as the bills get paid right? I mean right?)

I hope we win in Appeals. From what I’ve been told about the Anti-SLAPP laws and the First Amendment laws, I don’t see how a three judge panel will divine that we had serious doubts about our belief in Paul’s testimony and the testimony of the many other bookkeepers, pastors etc at the time we made our comments. I find that such a bizarre and radical position, “shocking” as our attorneys described it to me, but I was wrong about the lower court judge, somehow he was able to see it Camp Bob’s way.

I don’t feel compelled to continually beat the drum with regards to Paul’s allegations as the local authorities and the Church are well-aware of the allegations and I found out toward the end of the lower court proceeding that Paul does in fact have recourse through the Criminal Justice System due to a loophole in California’s sexual abuse laws with regards to statute of limitations. In essence, Paul can still seek justice through that route.

Regardless of what Bob does from here, like Tony Stark said to Loki, there is no version of this where you come out on top. Pay your hired assassin attorneys with that fresh Jesus money. I’m sure the folks who gave the money to Jesus* intended it to fund your lawsuits…not.


 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Jun 152013


LOL, you’re much more of Universalist and Liberal (in the Christian context) than you have the courage to admit publicly. I’m much more in that Camp these days and I can amen your CC buddy’s good works and Good Samaritanism and the good works of Atheists, Catholics, Mormons, 100th Degree Masons, though I don’t trust Muslims.

Again, the underlying point to me was the Conservative/Fundamentalist vs. Universalist/Liberal attitude and I was trying to show you that reality in your article and subsequent comments, but you take it, primarily, as a shot at CC. No. It was primarily showing you the Universalism and Liberalism in your article and example in your comments affirming good works no matter who it is doing them.

In my search for Truth I look to actions as expressions of true doctrine/theology. You’re much more Liberal than you think (as evidenced by the amens from Muff and brian). I think that’s good and affirms some of my personal suspicions about what is true and what isn’t. That was the point, your handling of this particular issue is teaching (though it contradicts some of your hard-line Fundamentalist/Conservative expressions, which you don’t really believe, not in practice, which is a good thing IMO).

 Posted by at 12:26 pm
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