I've been getting a number of comments that defend CCOCM and Chuck Smith and try to discredit Lighthouse Trails Research (who, by the way, has had first hand contact with some involved as the article shows). I'd like for you who read this to also read the article I posted on CCOCM. While LTR doesn't say CCOCM IS going Emergent, just that it appears to be heading that way and LTR hopes it doesn't, I believe it is. If you read this article (below) you will see why.
Those who reject the Emergent Church Movement would confirm this by staying away from ECM leaders/churches/pastors/events. To have such a man come preach at a church is to open the church and the hearers to the philosophies that so permiate a man like Erre. His spiritual views are conforming to the ECM's heresies and this will come through in one way or another in his teaching. To denouce the ECM and then turn around and tout one of its pastors is hypocrisy. Actions speak louder than words. Please bear this in mind.
RockHarbor reveals itself to be Emergent. Go here for the latest report.
A heads-up from the Christian Research Network took me to this article on Calvary Chapel's firing of Chuck Smith's brother. There is some information from behind the scenes that prompted the firing of Paul Smith, which Lighthouse Trails Research has revealed. This is directly linked to the Emergent Church Movement's Eastern Mysticism infiltrating that church denomination.
In typical fashion, the liberals get rid of Christians who question and challenge the spiritual direction of the church. They welcome all who agree with them, but not those who dogmatically stand solely for Scriptural truth.
Here are some excerpts:
Lighthouse Trails regrets to report that on May 5th, Paul Smith, brother of Chuck Smith (the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement), was fired from his position in the Calvary Chapel (CCOF) organization during an unscheduled meeting that day. The motion to fire Paul Smith was made by board member Roger Wing and seconded by Chuck Smith's son-in-law, Brian Broderson. Other board members affirmed the motion, and Paul Smith was dismissed.
Concerns over the direction that the Calvary Chapel movement may go after Chuck Smith is no longer heading the organization have continued to grow. And now with Paul Smith, who strongly advocated and supported his brother's hopes of having a NON-contemplative/emerging/Purpose Driven movement, those concerns are mounting. Just two weeks ago, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (home church of Chuck Smith Sr.) hosted a Pure Worship Conference, which included worship leaders from the nearby Rock Harbor church. Rock Harbor has shown signs that it is being significantly influenced by the emerging church, including having had their youth group study New Age sympathizer Rob Bell's book, Velvet Elvis , for three weeks. A few months ago, Rock Harbor held a meeting due to concerns by congregants as to whether they were going emergent or not. Approximately 700 people showed up!
Recently we reported on Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa's high school in which a teacher there asked his class to read, review, and study How to Stay Christian in College written by Protestant-turned-Catholic J. Budziszewski . The book has references in the back of some editions to mystic emergent Tony Jones, and Budziszewski himself is a proponent of contemplative prayer practices. Our article "Concerned Family Asks Legitimate Questions of Christian Leaders" illustrates what many families are going through in trying to protect their children and teens from spiritual deception. Christian parents must realize that the souls of their youth are at stake.
Paul Smith came on board to Calvary Chapel about four years ago to help with what could possibly be a sinking ship. Paul believed that the only answer for the movement was to hold to the basic tenets of biblical Christianity. As he learned of the various emerging/contemplative/Purpose Driven influences pouring into Calvary Chapel, he often spoke up but was also often received with resistance--until last Tuesday, when an impromptu meeting in the middle of the day brought his efforts to a halt.
This situation with Calvary Chapel is not isolated. Nearly every evangelical denomination and organization of any size in North America is going in this same direction to one degree or another. One key factor in why this is happening so rapidly is that Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries are heavily saturated with contemplative/emerging spirituality. Biola University, for instance, where many Calvary Chapel pastors have attended and graduated, is deeply involved in this "new spirituality."
But as with most denominations and Christian organizations, there are indications that contemplative/emergent/Purpose Driven is continuing to influence the Calvary Chapel movement contrary to the efforts and statements of Chuck Smith in 2006. For instance, Calvary Chapel speaker Gayle Erwin has come out strong in support of the New Age sympathizing book, The Shack. Erwin's endorsement for William Paul Young's New York Times best-seller sits on The Shack website, and says:
Riveting, with twists that defy your expectations while teaching powerful
theological lessons without patronizing. I was crying by page 100. You
cannot read it without your heart becoming involved. [emphasis added]
Even though a statement was issued by Calvary Chapel denouncing The Shack, which is reported in our article "New Age Similarities, Popularity Continues, and Calvary Chapel Gives Official Statement" , Gayle Erwin continues speaking at Calvary Chapel churches today.
Earlier on (as the Lighthouse report states), Roger Oakland, who had a long standing ministry within the Calvary Chapel denomination in teaching and evangelism. He began to sound the warnings of the ECM and for a time, Calvary Chapel, including Chuck Smith Sr., agreed.
However as the pull of heresy continued, and the son of Chuck Smith Sr., Chuck Smith Jr., embraced Eastern Mysticism, the fight against the ECM started to crumble. Now they have fired Paul Smith, Smith Sr.'s brother.
Again we see two things I've pointed out repeatedly in the past: error comes in by way of churches, books, schools, seminaries and colleges (it MATTERS what we read and who we listen to!) and when a relationship is at stake, as with Smith Jr.
Christ said that unless we're willing to give up even our family members for HIM, we are not worthy to be His disciples.
Loyalty to Christ Jesus at ANY COST!
On a side note, in this article from Lighthouse, I read with disappointment of another seemingly solid Christian leader leaving the faith, J. Budziszewski. It reminds me of the whole debacle with Ravi Zacharius. Very sad.