Friday, May 15, 2009

Calvary Chapel Fires Paul Smith, Brother of Chuck Smith Sr.: CCOCM shows signs of going Emergent

**NOTE***

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.

***Update***

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.

End quote.

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.

21 comments:

Lynda said...

Why would you quote from a source that loves to stretch the truth, make all kinds of ridiculous accusations and bring division. Calvary Chapel has and still does reject all of the emergent church -the good and bad parts of it. Please check all your sources before publishing false and therefore sinful material. Yes we should be careful about what is coming into the church, but you have the responsibility to report truth and will be called to account for any lies you give out to others no matter what your intent.

Denise said...

Lynda,

What is false here? Did you go to Lighthouse to read their full report? They have information that you do not have, because they had worked closely for years with Roger Oakland and have been in contact with Paul Smith. They supported their statements with facts. You, however, have not.

Before you start accusing me of lying, I suggest you actually read the report in full, for you will be called to account for slandering a believer, Lynda.

I realize its hard to see a church you like opening itself up to error, but that is happening rapidly in these last, dark days and no Christian should bury their head in the sand.

Loyalty should be to Christ Jesus and the Word above all else, and if that means the church, pastor, author, or conference speaker we like is going into error, we must be willing to give that up for HIM.

grateful said...

Amen Denise,
we are seeing the results of decades of compromise by Christian leaders and teachers and pastors.

No matter how much we have in the past gained from these men and their ministries, if they don't endure until the end, then we are to forsake them.

We follow Jesus, and we either gather with Him or scatter with Him. We are with Him or against Him.

So if the men we once loved are going out from among us, the Scripture says they were not of us in the first place.
They have become enemies of the Cross of Christ.

Denise said...

Grateful, you are right!

Matt said...

One needs to be very careful with many of these 'discernment' ministries. They often claim that a half truth is heresy (which is true) however, they will produce an accusation built on half truth. In the Lighthouse Trails article, I didn't notice any quotes or feedback from Chuck Smith or Brian Brodersen. For the full story, both sides need to be heard. "The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him." Proverbs 18:17.Both Brian Brodersen and Chuck Smith have very clearly spoken out against emergent doctrine. Chuck Smith even had his own son (Chuck Smith Jr.) 'defrocked' from the Calvary Chapel movement as he had embraced emergent doctrine.
Suggesting that Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel are 'going emergent' is contrary to the evidence. Saying that Paul Smith being released is evidence of going emergent is absurd. If that were the case, why would Chuck Smith's own son be disfellowshipped and why would Calvary Chapel declare at the annual pastor's conference that the emergent church is unbiblical if they were indeed moving in that direction? Brian Brodersen also has often spoken out against the emergent streams.

At the end of the day many of these 'reports' are nothing more than "the words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body" (Proverbs 18:8).What some name as discernment is rightly called gossip. It doesn't build up the body but divide it. Yes we stand for biblical truth and the inspiration of Scripture. But unfortunately there are many who are interested in sinking their teeth into any information which ultimately does not edify and it is not endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit.

Denise said...

Matt,

We should always be careful, of course. Scripture should be our test for everything.

The gift of discernment and discernment ministries aren't nearly as numerous as those who fall for anything or rally around their anointed man. So the caution SHOULD be for all who claim to be pastors/teachers because most of them do not qualify according to 1Tim. 3 and Titus 2.

Most who don't like to be challenged or have their favorite man challenged usually claim "gossip" or "twisting facts". Its a typical reaction, and I understand. Its not fun having the light of Truth shine on those we like.

As I have said before, the gift of discernment is one of the least welcomed gifts by Christians, even though God has gifted some of His children for the very purpose of protection and warning, and honoring HIM.

Truth will always divide, Matt. And when public figures do wrong things, it must be examined publically.

Let's go to Scripture and look at examples God has given to us:

2Tim. 4: 14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

3 John 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 3John 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

Spurgeon, as well as many others, did the same thing, taking error publically. See The Downgrade Contraversy. These are a collection of magazine articles he and Robert Shindler published, dealing with the error of Modernism within Christianity. He took his arguement public. And we reap the benefits from the wisdom of those men as well as others who have done the same.

http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/dg01.htm

"Those who were really orthodox in their sentiments were too often lax and unfaithful as to the introduction of heretical ministers into their pulpits, either as assistants or occasional preachers. "

Telling the truth is NOT gossip. It should be done out of love for God, His Word, His children, and an absolute hate for wickedness and error.

I suggest you see how CCOCM is going emergent: http://surphside.blogspot.com/2009/05/calvary-chapel-of-costa-mesa-to-host.html

RColleen said...

CCOCM is NOT going emergent. The Lighthouse article (anti-Calvary Chapel) did a tremendous injustice and failed to accurately portray the reasons behind Paul Smith's leaving (which was mutual). The reasons are a restructuring of CCOF (NOT CCOCM). I am not suggesting that you lied - please don't misunderstand - only that you have taken one article (which I did read in full) and giving credibility to an uncreditable source. Pastor Chuck categorically denies going emergent and I have seen no evidence to the contrary.

nayz said...

we must be careful of what we are saying against Church leaders...God said "do not touch my anointed one".
we are accountable of what we are doing.
I just want to say here: Go Calvary Chapel!

Denise said...

Nayz,

The verse you refer to about not touching God's anointed is from the OT, and has nothing to do with testing all teachers and rejecting those that are false.

Ps. 105:11-15 shows this is talking about the Jews who were wandering from nation to nation, and God was protecting His own from obliteration, NOT QUESTIONING and NOT TESTING. This had to do with PHYSICAL harm.

In the OT we see God commanding the people to test all teachers:

Is. 8 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

In the NT we see God commanding us to judge all tho claim Christ and teach in His name:

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2Jo 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

1Co 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

Joh 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice TO DISTINGUISH good from evil.

Instead of blindly following CC, you need to know Scripture first, then obey it out of a sincere heart, testing all teachings, teachers, songs, authors, speakers, pastors, leaders. If you don't know what Scripture says (in context) Nayz, then you won't have the discernment to distinguish good from evil, right from almost right.

Sadly, most Christians are unwilling to even do that, and thinking they are loving and spiritual, accept error easily enough. That doesn't honor Christ in the least.

Eggie said...

Brian Brodersen threatened Chuck Smith, "either you go or I go". Obviously, Chuck did not leave and Brian went after Paul Smith to have him fired. Brian is building his empire. This is a spiritual battle, please pray.

Eggie said...

Brian Brodersen had threatened Chuck Smith, "either you go or I go", with regard to leading Calvary Chapel. Obviously, Chuck is still there. Brian went after Paul Smith to have him fired. Brian is emprie building. This is a spiritual battle, please pray.

David Emme said...

Stay faithful sister because speaking truth is never easy. You know the saying-if it was easy everyone would be doing it as this is my first visit to your blog. We might disagree on issues theologically on some ideas of what we think but ultimately we must subject our thoughts and ideas to the scriptures and to the God of scriptures and when found to be in error-we must repent amd turn to the bible, the God of the bible who is Jesus Christ(Nope, not unitarian or oneness pentacostal but is one of the names God took for himself)

Don't get discouraged, stay faithful, and when you are not faithful, this is where we begin to understand only God is faithfull and need to learn how to rely on Christ-not ourselves.

God bless
Dave Emme

Denise said...

Thank you Dave for your kind encouragement. May we be faithful to Christ Jesus above all things.

Patmos Pete said...

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Mama Jo said...

I used to go to a calvary chapel. I loved CC but since coming to Africa and learning of the emergent church movement I have seen some of its most well-known leaders and others such as Gayle Erwin coming out for the Emergent movement or associating with those who are. Men I have loved and respected, I see are associating with those of that movement. I have found Lighthouse Trails to have no motive but to warn and cry out to warn all churches and Christians about this dangerous movement. They have nothing to gain,they really DO care. I have seen one friendship go that I had with a couple from CC because I tried to just warn them to be careful about such teachings coming into the church. I did refer them to Light House Trails and they accused them as those trying to cause division and called ME a gossip!! I am a missionary in Africa and not only taking the gospel to the interior we take the warnings of the emergent and other false doctrines to teach pastors what to watch for so they won't be deceived. I was so masurprised by the reaction of my friends as if I have viciously attacked CC which wasn't the case at all. We need to be praying for leaders of CC and continue to warn those who are members out of love for God. We are in the end times. We must continue warning people even if we go on alone. We must stand for truth, not people's approval. They will one day kill us thinking they are do
ya

Denise said...

Thank you Mama Jo for stopping by and sharing your experience. Its very hard to face such rejection from people we care about when we tell them the truth. It seems that things are upside down, don't they? Those that say the love the Lord are the ones persecuting those that truly do. Instead of rejoicing in the Truth, they abhor it....for the sake of rallying behind their favorite teacher/author/church/pastor. Its like Paul said:

Gal 4:16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Our loyalty needs to be with Jesus Christ no matter what. Its an honor to be wounded in the battle for Him. May you rejoice and count it a joy as you face many trials b/c the testing of your faith will produce steadfastness.

You are doing the right thing by warning pastors of the dangers of such movements. Don't grow weary in doing good. =)

Jason Gosnell said...

I think people should practice in the way that the Spirit leads them. Judging people's practice as "contemplative" and therefore wrong is playing God. How can you know what the Spirit might lead one to...are you God? From my limited point of view, I must say that people's attempts to be "biblical" have resulted in their throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Those attempts to be biblical are noble and useful, but "resting in God" as contemplative prayer is called is anything but anti-biblical. The essence of the bible is this one act of surrender...contemplative prayer is just one way to do this. Many of the great saints and mystics reached a point in their practice where this was the natural outcome. It is the natural outcome of all of our more classic form-based practices...singing psalms and other songs, praying with words, bowing, reading scripture deeply, etc. Calling it anti-biblical is another form of legalism...again, in my view. I do think that these kinds of practices are NOT for everyone, but for some they are ideal it seems. The Nicene Creed came into existence in the 300s, the basic creeds...the bible itself did not come into existence for another 500 years. What were sincere Christians doing before that?

blessings, jason

Denise said...

Jason, actually Contemplative spirituality is paganism. I suggest you read this article: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=5185 along with the links provided.

God says it does matter how we worship Him, and that as Christians we are commanded to judge all things righteously. God never leads contrary to His Scripture. The Word is faithful and true because HE is faithful and true. We are not to use occultism or paganism, which is UNholy in worship of the HOLY HOLY HOLY God.

If you bother to call Jesus "Lord", you are commanded to bow to His lordship and obey Him; otherwise don't use it.

Luk 6:46 "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?

Joh 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Psa 106:34 They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, 35 But they mingled with the nations And learned their practices, 36 And served their idols, Which became a snare to them.

Deut. 18: 9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.

Lev 10:1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

Practice DOES matter. If its not ordained by God according to Scripture and rather comes from pagans, it stirs His anger, for He is a jealous and holy holy holy God. Only those in Christ have the Light of Truth in them for the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit abides in them. Lest you think "that was the OT times, its ok to find truth in error; we can borrow from unbelievers in our worship of God", you better reconsider:

2Co 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
2Co 6:17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
2Co 6:18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.

Heb 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

Remember Romans 12:1-2?

God is Holy and expects those who follow Him to grow in holiness by His Grace. Just as God struck down Achan and his family for stealing and then lying about it (Joshua 7:1-26), so God destroyed Ananias and Sapphira for the same thing (Acts 5:1-13).

Oh yes, who has the right to say what is biblical worship? God does. In His Word.

I find it interesting that you are judging me for judging. Guess its only a one-way street for you to do the judging?

Denise said...

One more thing Jason, you have your facts wrong about Scripture. You said:

"The Nicene Creed came into existence in the 300s, the basic creeds...the bible itself did not come into existence for another 500years. What were sincere Christians doing before that?"

I don't know what source you have been reading but that is wrong. Scripture was completed by about AD 90-95,not after 800 AD.

The Old Testament was completed 400or so years prior to Jesus' birth. The OT Scriptures were written on scrolls of papyrus. This was what the Bereans used to test Paul to see if what he said was in line with Scripture. It is also this Scripture that Jesus used against Satan in the desert when he tested Him. Its the Scripture the Apostles used not only to teach, but in their letters that are in the Bible including the Gospels. 52times "Scripture"and "Scriptures" are used in the NT.

1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Act 17:10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Act 18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

Act 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

And finally:

2Ti 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Psa 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psa 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

I recommend you reading:

"The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament" By B.B. Warfield

http://www.bible-researcher.com/warfield2.html

Denise said...

In order to obtain a correct understanding of what is called the formation of the Canon of the New Testament, it is necessary to begin by fixing very firmly in our minds one fact which is obvious enough when attention is once called to it. That is, that the Christian church did not require to form for itself the idea of a "canon" — or, as we should more commonly call it, of a "Bible" — that is, of a collection of books given of God to be the authoritative rule of faith and practice. It inherited this idea from the Jewish church, along with the thing itself, the Jewish Scriptures, or the "Canon of the Old Testament." The church did not grow up by natural law: it was founded. And the authoritative teachers sent forth by Christ to found His church, carried with them, as their most precious possession, a body of divine Scriptures, which they imposed on the church that they founded as its code of law. No reader of the New Testament can need proof of this; on every page of that book is spread the evidence that from the very beginning the Old Testament was as cordially recognized as law by the Christian as by the Jew. The Christian church thus was never without a "Bible" or a "canon." ~ BB Warfield http://www.bible-researcher.com/warfield2.html

Victoria said...

Ahhh, California, the land of the tolerant. We have been taught since Archie Bunker was on T.V. that we need to be tolerant. Who is the "we" you say?, it is us, the bigoted, judgmental Christians who have been the stopping force of freedom?... Does this sound familiar in the psychy of today's America? Aren't we to blame for every injustice to every mindset different from ours? Of course we have forgotten that it is the Gospel of Peace, the Word of God that has ultimately brought REAL freedom in America.

So the fact that Calvary Chapel had its beginnings in the environment of the "tolerant" and all the pervasive thoughts that go with the Hollywood section of the country, and all the guilt heaped upon Christianity for standing in the Word of God and saying what we believe... it is not far fetched to think that the fight would come from "the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."- Eph. 6:12 . Brethren, our fight is not with flesh and blood, it is these forces of darkness that are trying to undermine our foundations. We need to STAND FIRM, resist the schemes of the devil and put on the full armor of God.
Open your eyes, be ready to give an answer from scripture not from any denomination.

In Grace I stand.