Is Calvary Chapel a cult? What is wrong? How Calvary Chapel adds to the Bible…

Have you ever had a strange feeling in your gut about Calvary Chapel? If so, you will want to read this (it has been my most-viewed article).

You walk into the church on a Sunday morning. Everyone is worshipping God with hands raised. You greet smiling faces. The message is delivered from the Bible (word for word) in a powerful, authoritative manner by the senior pastor. Greetings are made. You drop some money in the “tithe” box. Great day at church, and you do this year after year after year. The pastor says his church only goes by “the Word”. Indeed, that’s how it appears on the outside. You sense there is something wrong at the church, but you just cannot pinpoint it and doubt yourself. After all, the Bible is taught word for word from the pulpit, and there are a lot of members.

This church movement that claims to “simply teach the Word, simply” also follows a set of teachings they say are simply “foundational”, written by a man named Chuck Smith. Oddly, these extra-Biblical doctrines are not brought up. Why? This set of “foundational” teachings that most Calvary Chapel churchgoers are kept in the dark about is (drum roll, please):

The Calvary Chapel Distinctives by Chuck Smith (PDF)

So, what is this “Distinctives” document, exactly? You thought that you were being taught by leaders whose allegiance, leadership models, practices and doctrines were solely based upon the Word of God and sound doctrine rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15)?

Not so fast.

Calvary Chapels appear to be a very solid, Biblical church. In fact, the messages are usually word-for-word out of the Bible; however, they do manage to insert their twists on scripture. Almost anyone would gather that from attending on Sundays. This is where it gets tricky. Discernment is needed. There is more behind the mask. There is a curtain, so don’t be fooled. Get a little closer, stay a little longer, dig a little deeper, and you will see something quite different at play. A friend of mine, a Calvary Chapel pastor’s son, once said that discovering the issues at Calvary Chapel is like peeling back the layers of an onion. Keep peeling, dig deeper, and don’t settle for the outside.

Have you ever had an odd feeling in your gut when attending a Calvary Chapel but you just didn’t know why? Listen to it. It could be God warning you.

Know your church and what goes on behind closed doors. Most importantly, know the Bible. You could protect yourself and your loved ones from physical abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse and/or practices and legalistic teachings contrary to orthodox Christianity. Church abuse is epidemic.

The root of abuse is error in teaching (and the human heart, of course). In section two of The Distinctives, Smith discusses the Moses/Aaron form of leadership. He also twists the meaning of a “hireling” to mean someone who is not accountable to a board of directors:

“Becoming a hireling is a real danger when the church is run by a Presbyterian kind of a government, and the Board is ruling over the church. The pastor is hired by the Board and can be fired by the Board in the same fashion. With that kind of rule the pastor becomes a hireling.”

Did you catch that subtle yet powerful twist? Smith here is putting the pastor above the board of directors (the “board” is a worldly, business term and is found nowhere in the Bible). In many states, at least in Nevada, the attorney general frowns upon a non-profit with a “one-man show”. The Nevada Attorney General’s A Guide to Non-Profits warns:

Beware of the one person show. That is, if one or two directors dominate the board and the organization’s activities, do not relax and assume everything is running smoothly. ‘Nonmanagement’ is the quickest route toward trouble. Also, do not allow staff to exercise undue control over the board. Be aware of, and informed about, every major action taken by the organization. The buck stops with you.” (Emphasis mine)

Is this not what is happening at Calvary Chapels worldwide? Why are Calvary Chapels permitted tax-exempt status when they leave a bloody trail of abuse stories in communities? Are they truly contributing to “the public good”? There was once an entire website dedicated to helping abuse survivors from Calvary Chapel. It was called http://www.calvarychapelabuse.com. The author wrote on it for several years before he retired from writing about this subject. Smith’s leadership model is a pyramid of pride as opposed to Christ’s humble, servant-based leadership model. If the pastor cannot be hired or fired by the board, doesn’t that make the pastor a church boss with no accountability whatsoever (as opposed to a “hireling”)? Jesus said a hireling is someone who does not care for the sheep, not someone who is accountable to a board or fellow Christians (John 10:13). In fact, every true pastor/shepherd will be accountable to others. A true, humble servant of God wants to be accountable to Godly people and will listen to correction (Proverbs 12:1; 2 Tim. 4:2). A pastor who cannot get fired is a pastor who can get away with anything in the name of God or being “the Lord’s anointed one”! Do you see any similarities with the Roman Catholic Church?

Smith was no dummy. This is a clever set up and ripe breeding ground for abuse and false teachings to go unchecked in the church. Smith simply (and unbelievably) puts the pastor at the top of the pyramid in his Moses/Aaron form of leadership, on a deserted, pastoral island unto himself separate from any possibility of being fired by the Board or having healthy accountability. We are in the New Testament era – not the era of Moses – it’s the new covenant. Smith twists these Old Testament passages, adding to the Word and creating new, unbiblical “traditions of men”, and churches do this to suit their own legalistic agendas. This is precisely what the lax and liberal Pharisees did. Jesus had a problem with that.

You see, these teachings are “foundational” to the Calvary Chapel church you attend. What are you being taught? Do a quick internet search about Calvary Chapels, and you will find trails of abuse stories and a lack of financial accountability as well.

Calvary Chapel can also be found on the Cult Education Institute.

Please don’t be deceived. Calvary Chapel is not a biblical church. Calvary Chapel has no love or tolerance for those who have questions. When it comes to the bereans, those who would use their intellects to think for themselves, the leaders often threaten with words such as, “touch not the Lord’s anointed”. Even worse, they will condemn with fear tactics and threats that God will “hurt” you if you dare ask them questions or expose church abuses. Where in the Bible does it say to threaten to hurt others? It doesn’t. The top two commands are to love.

“not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3; BSB)

Chuck Smith used this tactic on someone years ago. His public shaming on a man was actually two years (to the day) prior to Smith’s passing. He publicly chastised his critic in front of thousands at a Sunday service, a man who had questions and was speaking out against abuses in the church (particularly, child abuse). Here are the words of Chuck Smith:

“…and you know, I feel sorry for the guy because what I could do wouldn’t hurt much..but…what the Lord will do…um…you know…well…I’m glad I have the Lord on my side“.

How’s that for cultic?

Related:

The Moses Model by Spiritual Sounding Board

Cult Warning Signs by Cult Education Institute

Invalid Reasons for Staying in a Church you Know Teaches False Doctrine by Famine in the Land

The Misunderstood Gift of Discernment by Free Believers Network

Advertisements
Posted in Calvary Chapel Distinctives, Calvary Chapel Green Valley (Henderson, Nevada), Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain, Calvary Chapel Movement, Calvary Chapel...cultic?, Chuck Smith, Deception in the Church, Divisions in the Church, False Christs, False Gospels, False Prophets, False Spirits, Hyper-Authoritarianism, Las Vegas Cults, Secret Pre-Trib Rapture Lie, The Falling Away from Sound Doctrine | Leave a comment

Is It Right for a Christian to Expose False Prophets and False Teaching ? (by Damon Whitsell)

Shepherd/Guardian

 

false-teachersSOURCE:

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2013/09/05/is-it-right-for-a-christian-to-expose-false-prophets-and-false-teaching/#more-6424

I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgment
One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7: 1). Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand the true meaning. In vs. 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that v. 1 is referring to hypocritical judgment. A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a mote in his eye. The lesson is plain, you cannot judge another for his sin if you are guilty of the same sin.

 

Those who cling to “Judge not, that ye be not judged, ” to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing,  ” (v. 15)…

View original post 1,855 more words

Posted in Apostasy and unholiness in churches, Apostate Christianity, Deception in the Church, False Christs, False Gospels, False Prophets, False Spirits, False Teachers, Is exposing false teachers slander?, New Age Invasion, New Apostolic Reformation, The Coming False Prophets of Antinomianism, The Falling Away from Sound Doctrine, The Tactics of the False Teachers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An article about the frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in pastors…

http://www.aacc.net/2017/12/11/let-us-prey-the-frequency-of-narcissistic-personality-disorder-in-pastors/

The above helpful article was found on the American Association of Christian Counselors’ website.  Enjoy!

Posted in Apostasy and unholiness in churches, Calvary Chapel Distinctives, Calvary Chapel Green Valley (Henderson, Nevada), Calvary Chapel...cultic?, Cult Expert Rick Ross, Cults, False Prophets, False Teachers, Spiritual Abuse, The Shepherding/Discipleship Movement, The Tactics of the False Teachers, Truth | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comfort for those in Las Vegas who are suffering from recent shooting

I know we are all shaken up from yesterday. Spent some quiet time in the Word with the Lord this morning, and really hoping for more peaceful, quiet times throughout the day. I hope you too can find at least some peaceful, restful time today. This is what He brought to mind. May this comfort and encourage you for today and the days ahead. Stay strong! #VegasStrong God cares!

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Psalm 34:15

“Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“The Lord is near unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

“Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” Psalm 27:3

 

Posted in Stay Strong, Strength, Suffering | Leave a comment

The Great Commission

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:18-20 NLT

Our verses today form what has come to be known as the Great Commission, the virtual marching orders for the church. There are three orders: make disciples, baptize them, and teach them.

The reason the disciples are to do these three things is that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Why is this relevant? Because Jesus has been given all authority, it follows that there is nothing that can prevent the church from fulfilling His orders. Jesus is in control “far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else” (Ephesians 1:21). Although the church may yet face opposition to its task, it will not be stopped from fulfilling the commission.

Given Christ’s authority, the disciples are to go forth and make new disciples from all nations. They do this by leading people to faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In effect, they go forth and make new members of the church, new citizens of the Kingdom of God.

The disciples are also to baptize these new disciples. Baptism is significant because it is a symbol that represents the disciples dying and rising with Christ and having their sins washed away. Baptism signifies the disciple’s having passed from citizenship in the kingdom of darkness to citizenship in the Kingdom of God.

The disciples are also to teach the new disciples to obey all the commands Jesus gave them. In its broadest sense, teaching the commands of Jesus means teaching the whole Bible, because Jesus’ commands presuppose previous biblical revelation and form the foundation of the biblical revelation that was yet to come. It means to teach the new disciples everything they need to know to be effective citizens in the Kingdom of God.

As a member of the church, as a citizen of the Kingdom, you are participating in some way, shape, or form in fulfilling the Great Commission—and Jesus is with you.

© 2016 by Bible League International

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Truth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The persecution of Christians: A look at what the Bible says about work for the Kingdom and Christianity…

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
— I Corinthians 15:58 NKJV

At the end of Chapter 15 of I Corinthians, the Apostle Paul proclaimed to the church at Corinth the glory of their final destiny. He proclaimed to them that the “corruptible must put on incorruption” and the “mortal must put on immortality.” He proclaimed to them that when this happens “Death is swallowed up in victory.” And all of this is because we have the ultimate “victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:53-57).

Given the glory of our ultimate victory through Christ, Paul exhorted the church in our verse for today to do three things:

First of all, they should remain steadfast and immovable. It was part of Paul’s practice in all the churches to warn them that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12), and that “after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). Despite all of this, the church should stand fast in the faith.

Second, the church should always abound in the work of the Lord. The persecution and the savage wolves will be sent by Satan for the very purpose of stopping this work. Nevertheless, the church should stay steadfast and immovable and abound in every work. That is, they should not just do some work, they should do an overabundance of work. The church should do all they can to advance and enhance the Kingdom of God.

Finally, the church should know that their labor will not be in vain. Despite the persecution and the savage wolves, the work of the church will go forth and be successful. Jesus’ prophecy that the church will be His witness “to the ends of the earth” will come true (Acts 1:8). Further, if the church will remain steadfast and immovable and abound in the work of the Lord, they will reap Jesus’ promise of “a hundredfold now in this time” and His promise of “everlasting life” (Mark 10:30).

There may be persecutions and savage wolves that have pushed you to the point of giving up your work. Remain steadfast and immovable, for that work is not done in vain.

© 2016 by Bible League International

Posted in Apostasy and unholiness in churches, False Prophets, False Teachers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The forgotten verse of 1 Corinthians 11:19 about heresies and the crucial gift of discernment

http://www.bibletruths.net/archives/BTARO96.htm

There are so many verses in the Bible that are over-preached and then many which are conveniently ignored by modern-day teachers who preach unity at any cost.  Yes, unity is a good thing, but to have true, Godly unity…it must be a unity based on Truth, not compromise.

“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:19)

Paul said there “must be” heresies among believers.  The word heresies comes from the Greek word hairesisa (Strongs 139).  It means a self-chosen opinion, or a religious or philosophical sect. Basically, any teaching (man-made) that is against (contradicts) the Bible’s sound teaching and sound doctrine, rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15), is a heresy.

Often, God allows heresies or sects (divisions away from the truth of God’s Word) to arise.  The Christians with the spiritual gift of discernment (or prophetic gift of standing on the truth) who very plainly see this will not have it easy in these times where truth is not popular at all, even among churches.  This is a sacrificial gift as it is often ignored, misunderstood and even abused by leadership (spiritual abuse is very real and prevalent today more than ever).  It’s very important for people with this gift to learn more about their gift and to stand strong.  It is crucial to understand this gift (whether you have it or not) because it is the most abused gift.  The apostle Paul said to “not” be ignorant of spiritual gifts.

Back to the verse.  The apostle Paul was saying here in this commonly forgotten verse that heresies and false teachings are a test to see who will stay faithful to God’s Word and who will not.  Often, the people who will not stay faithful to God’s Word will accuse the faithful of being divisive or ungraceful, or worse, thus bringing the way of truth into disrepute.  This is a warped twist on the truth, and this is partly what the Bible means when it says, “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:2).  This is speaking of the “many” people who divide away from God’s Word while at the same time falsely claiming to be “tolerant” or “graceful”.  The Christians who stay true to God’s Word will be slandered or evil spoken of.  This is exactly what happens today.  The people who stay faithful to His Word are worthy of His Kingdom.  We must not cave into deceptive teachings, for they are a test for God to see who is genuinely loyal to Him and who is not.  So, stand strong today in the truth of God, and seek to understand God and how He mysteriously works!

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears…” (2 TIm. 4:3)

Have a blessed day!

Christian Apologetics Research of Nevada

Related:

The Misunderstood Gift of Discernment

Posted in Apologetics/Discernment, False Teachers, GIFT OF DISCERNMENT, Is exposing false teachers slander?, Spiritual Gifts, The Tactics of the False Teachers, Truth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment