Calvary Chapel is a Cult

Have you seen all of these Calvary Chapels pop up all over the place? I live in Southern California and they are everywhere. Calvary Chapel is a total cult.

They believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and in the importance of expositional teaching. They believe in pre-millenialism AND in a pre-tribulational rapture. They’ve got their own bible college that’s not even accredited and I think they teach all of their pastors to sound exactly like their founder, Chuck Smith. Cult, cult, cult!

Okay, my spoof is over. I don’t actually think that Calvary Chapel is a cult. But if you actually go to a Calvary Chapel and you read my “accusations” against it you probably thought “yeah, so? how does that make us a cult? I’m glad we believe those things and I’m going to stick up for them against a jerk like you.”

This is exactly how Mormons feel when we lead with the cult accusation. There may be excellent reasons why the LDS church qualifies as a cult of Christianity BUT if that’s where we start with them, they have no reason to believe that we actually want to befriend them and have true concern for them. Instead we’re telling them we want to combat them and tell them all the reasons we think they are wrong (and perhaps that is exactly what some want to do). But if we do that we should expect them to fight back. In my experience, picking fights is about one of the worst ways to change minds and one of the best ways to solidify people against your point of view.

Honey attracts more flies than vinegar.


70 thoughts on “Calvary Chapel is a Cult

  1. Usually, when I bring that up it is in the context of an already ongong debate, where particulars are brought up, or more likely, when I am trying on influence someone who is investigating Mormonism.

  2. It’s all a matter of semantics. If used as a simple perjorative to mean any religion you don’t like or that is different from yours, “cult” is basically meaningless. Like I said on my mission, “We may be a Sekte (a German word that carries the same connotation as “cult” does in English), but if so, we’re still the only true and living Sekte on the face of the earth.” Used that way, “cult” definitionally meaningless (other than to promote in-group/out-group thinking and to demonize the opposition) and just run-of-the-mill mudlsinging and defamation.

    If used in a sociological context to describe, in a relatively-emotion-free manner, the characteristics of tight-knit religious groups that exercise an unhealthy amount of control over their adherents’ lives, beliefs, etc., then I think Mormonism exhbits some characteristics that put it in a kind of gray area, kind of like a mild quasi-cult, but one that probably isn’t dangerous in the same way as truly problematic cults like Heaven’s Gate or Jonestown.

    If used in a history-of-religion sense to mean a religious group or subgroup, then sure, Mormonism is a cult, but so are most other religions or religious movements.

  3. I think the “cult” label is a bit misleading. It is used by critics to scare people away from the LDS Church. The people that use the word rarely explain how the LDS Church qualifies as a cult and therefore allow the reader/listener to conjure up images of devil worship and sacrifice (a far cry from Mormon theology).

    If someone is going to claim that the LDS Church is a cult (which I’m willing to accept) then they need to go through the trouble of defining what a church, sect and cult are and how they relate to each other. The problem is that once someone does this, the label “cult” looses much of it shock value and diminishes the effect I believe they are trying to create. So I believe critics will continue to abuse this label by keeping their readers/listeners in the dark.

  4. regardless of the merits of the word or it’s use, I think people need to recognize it’s a conversation stopper.

    This is EXACTLY why most people use the word, but if you actually want to dialogue with some one, this isn’t the place to start.

  5. Dando…I really like your style. I just wanted to say that I appreciated your comments and on the site where someone was talking about kicking out the Old Testament. Keep up the good work. Oh, and I’m meeting with Chuck Smith next Saturday; so I’ll tell him you said he was a cult leader. He he he…

  6. 4given thee or to say arise and take up thy bed and walk? but that ye may know that the son of man hath power on earth to 4give sins he saith to the sick of the palsy

  7. You are kidding right. How can you even compare calvary to morminism. That is just crazy. So chuck is teaching that we will become our own gods of our own planets if we are male and if you are a female you cannot get to the celestial kingdom without being sealed to a man and even then the only thing that we have to look forward to is shareing our husband with a multitude of women and have babies for all eternity. Yea thats a cult. Not someone who teaches that Jesus Christ our Lord died for all of our sins and loves us all. was a thought in his minds eye before any of us were even born, He teaches that we are all important to our Lord and that we are to love everyone because we are all sinners. He teaches us to accept

  8. You are kidding right. How can you even compare calvary to morminism. That is just crazy. So Chuck is teaching that we will become our own gods of our own planets if we are male and if you are a female you cannot get to the celestial kingdom without being sealed to a man and even then the only thing that we have to look forward to is shareing our husband with a multitude of women and have babies for all eternity. Yea thats a cult. Not someone who teaches that Jesus Christ our Lord died for all of our sins and loves us all. were a thought in his minds eye before any of us were even born, He teaches that we are all important to our Lord and that we are to love everyone because we are all sinners. He teaches us to accept Gods love for us and not to listen to a world that will eventually destroy itself because of its evil. The rapture is questionable in my own mind however it does not make calvary a cult as we know them in this day and age. We are aloud to question things that the pastors say. They do not throw us out and tell us that our family is to now shun us for questioning. That is a cult sir and I do not know where you get off. Trust me I know my bible. and as for ccbc my pastors went to loyola and pepperdine.

  9. Um, madeline… did you read the post? He was saying that it WASN’T a cult.

    And before you start talking about whatever crazy ideas you think Mormons believe, you should actually learn if they’re true, because most of what you said isn’t right or isn’t the whole story. Women can’t go to the celestial kingdom if they aren’t sealed to a righteous man… and men can’t go to the celestial kingdom if they aren’t sealed to a righteous woman.

    Seriously, when you just write stupid falsehoods about a church, it loses all of your credibility for anything else you might say.

  10. That is…. unless you believe in pre-millenialism AND in a pre-tribulational rapture. . . then you are really among the brainswashed, even if your leader did go to Pepperdine.

  11. why don’t you all look up the definition of cult and rethink what you are all saying bottom line you shouldknow what a cult is before you accuse churches of being one

  12. per
    1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
    5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
    6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
    7. the members of such a religion or sect.
    8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

  13. I do not know how to join the bold cult. And I always just feel like the ALL CAPS CULT is yelling at me. I’ll stay with Brian’s cult for now…

  14. Kat, using the definition from if you follow christ your are in a cult… lets look.

    1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. didn’t christ attend temple? and other rights?

    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. don’t we venerate christ?

    3. the object of such devotion. isn’t God our object of devotion?

    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. isn’t Jesus our person, ideal and veneration?

    5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. I guess mormons are a group that has a sacred ideology the study and following all of Jesus’s Teachings??

    6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. I guess in 1965 when the spirit fell upon Chuck Smith (isn’t it funny? maybe he is Joe Smiths relative…) and his congregations of 25 followers who were praying to close their church… read on.. I guess mormons are a sect because everybody hates them…

    so, i guess following the teachings of christ makes you a member of a cult, okay i am a member of a cult.. the cult of Jesus Christ.

  15. Wait–was that to me? 🙂 If so, I’m not sure what your point was.

    I am pretty sure that I was clear, however, that I am a member of a cult. BrianJ’s cult of italics.

    I can totally get on board with the Jesus cult too, though. So you probably don’t have to save my soul or anything. Unless Jesus only wants me to be in one cult, and then I’m in trouble.

  16. Uh, ka, we’re talking about a specific definition of “cult” here. Just so you know. Yes yes, we know that words can have different–even overlapping–meanings.

  17. ALL religions are cults. Mormomism has its roots firmly planted in freemasonry and is therefore fruit of a poisonous tree. Freemasonry is a plan to institute control over the entire globe in preperation for “satan’s” kingdom on earth. Nothing good can come of a church that models itself on the secrecy of freemasonry. You people need to wake up before it is too late.

  18. What is it with anti-Mormons and trying to corner the market on things like “reasonable” and “intelligent conversation” when it’s painfully obvious that they’re interested in none of the above?

  19. Sometimes at Calvary Chapel in Rivergate Tennessee I felt sometimes not all the time I was going to get beat up by several of the men there.;

    There was no laughter, you couldn`t be yourself and finally like I sai I was ostracized.

    I`m still wondering what I did.

    Oh be healthy when you go there. Don`t be sick.

    Later godly people

  20. When I speak to Mormons, I would like to commicate differences of belief by saying that “traditional Protestant Christians believe…” and go on the convey what Protestants have traditionally believed, based on Scripture, about the identity of Jesus, the Trinity, and salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and explain how they differ from Mormon positions.

    Now, I don’t consider Calvary Chapel to be in the same category as Mormons, so please don’t get me wrong, but I would dialogue similarly with advocates of their positions on some issues, like in discussing the bodily resurrection of believers and other issues related to eschatology. Their beliefs about the end times, which have resulted in suggesting dates and the like, are problematic.

    I would also probably discuss the idea that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself, and would ask their adherents to apply the law of non-contradiction to issues related to salvation. For example, Chuck Smith’s presentation of salvation makes it seem like the Bible can teach contradictory things on issues like the perseverance of the saints.

  21. The problem here is, you are trying to find a cult within a cult. Christianity is a cult in itself and Jesus is a myth designed by that cult. You should trust me when i say, there is no such thing as “religion” because they are all cults in their own light.

  22. While I would not label CC as cult I will most certaintly say that it IS “cultish”. If you leave a CC (and even go to another CC) you will pretty much be shunned by your old CC. It is explicitly implied that CC has the best teaching available and other churchs are not as “well taught”. Therefore it also always implied that “mixing” with other “less well taugh”‘ Christians should be avoided. Though they may deny it -CCers see themselves as the spiritual elite.
    Everything is taken as an affront to the personality of the Sr. Pastor. His personality (and Chuck Smith’s missives) drive everything at CC not the Holy Spirit. There is little accountability for CC Sr. pastors either as the church “elders” are all hand picked cronies of his and would never dare be “unloyal” to him. I’ve seen it in several CC’s, its typical and common. I sat under a young CC pastor for 10 years who was controlling and very arrogant. He talked about himself constantly in sermons (how he used to be a janitor at CCCM). He has turned many off not only to CC but unfortunatley to the Lord as well. He kicked several teenagers out of the church because he felt they were not listening close enough to him during one service, they are kids for crying out loud and they are not perfect. But his pride was injured so he kicked them out. Wonder how they will feel about “religion” as they matute ? What a poor example of Jesus he and many CC pastors can be.

  23. Well as long as we’re all using self-serving, and non-standard definitions of the word cult: Let’s use the qualifier that cult-churches don’t have any members on the internet.

    Wow, finding ways to exclude others is fun. I see why the so-called counter-cult-ministry people do it.

  24. Just… the freemasonry thing. That is hillarious! I used to work for a sound company, and we set up in the big freemason hall in my state for their meetings. They were awesome, friendly and good natured old men mostly… no secrecy! I was a teenager and we snuck into the basement. You know what was down there? Pictures from charity events!

    Mormonism was founded by someone with serious mental illness. I wrote a paper on mormonism freshman year in college. Studying it was hillarious. You know they beleive in Jihad?

    I wonder if Calvary does too… that would explain the big sword on the wall at our local division.

  25. Mormonism was founded by someone with serious mental illness.

    Oh, are you a psychologist?

    I wrote a paper on mormonism freshman year in college.

    Oh, that probably definitely qualifies you as an authority.

    You know they beleive in Jihad?

    Nonsense. Cite something in support of that.

  26. Having spent many years in the CC “system” and having left I can say that I have seen many people become discouraged and even stop going to church because of CC. Its nothing more then a social club, hey lets all eat at In n Out burger, take up Harley riding, and surf or say “dude” and endlessly talk about Pastor Chuck, Romaine and how well taught we all are. Seems CC has forgotten ” Love builds up, knowledge puffs up” 1 Corinthians 8:1

  27. I too have dealt with a Calvary Chapel, during divorce proceedings and a custody battle over my children.
    CC is not like David Koresh or Martin Applegate. They are much more subtle. Their beliefs statement is almost dead-on with my own faith. Like political rhetoric the basic beliefs appeal quite easily; you have to dig in deep and get involved to see everything that isn’t on the front page.
    I’m no expert on cults, but I do have a pastoral degree and have studied cults somewhat. The root problem of most, if not all, of them is egocentric leadership. Not egotistical–though that is commonly a problem–egocentric. CC’s adopts a form of gov’t in which the pastor is declared God’s anointed appointed and whatever he says is what the Holy Spirit dictates. Perfect segway with that word….what danger does that lead to? A man (not woman, CC rejects the modern growing acceptance of women in church leadership) who calls all shots and can’t be questioned, like a totalitarian dictator. What if the Spirit was communicating something to the hearts of the majority of the congregation that did not align with the pastor’s word? Musta been the devil you all heard, cuz I’m the one with the spiritual authority; I have the Spirit more than you! In my particular case, this pastor said in numerous sermons that he accepts criticisms from people attending his church, but I imagine those critics have always been his chosen circle, the ones he knows are loyal and won’t go astray even if there is a strong disagreement.
    I tagged along with my then-wife to CC because we were church-shopping and she wanted to experience the church that had her high school ex-boyfriend as an assistant pastor. The people were very friendly and extrovert-ish, openly inviting and eager to include newcomers. She thrived on that; I wanted to sit in the corner and just observe for awhile. I asked how to become a pastor at CC and was told my pastoral degree was worth nothing there; I had to go through CC’s own year-long internship training, learn their ways AND set aside my previous education. The same was expected of my wife if she wanted to get involved in the children’s ministry, at least the way she told it. She was willing to do that, though. There came a point when I was still searching for openings in ministry out there and my wife told me, “Good luck with that. I hope you find a job, but if I disagree with whatever church hires you, I won’t go and neither will our children. I will not have them being taught things I don’t agree with, and I agree with Calvary Chapel.” She did not have this attitude before.
    Eventually, my only purpose of going was to write criticisms of the senior pastor’s sermons (long-winded, constantly off-subject, and in my opinion biblically inaccurate and just “sounding right” to people who haven’t really studied it) and to take care of our toddling son after service while the missus stood around talking with her friends the parishioners for two hours. I should say that playing with our son that whole time made it worth going! When our second child was on the way and we discussed the need for a bedroom to be painted as a nursery, I used that to opt out of continuing at CC. I couldn’t take it anymore. Then the decision to divorce came–not exclusively because of CC, btw–and when I suggested going to counseling to see if it would help dissuade me, the one and only counselor she agreed to go to was….you guessed it, her pastor.
    And now for a break. But the cultish elements continue.

  28. The entire discussion interestingly illustrates the relativity of all things. If I were to tell you I had heard of a particular religious movement, originally of eastern origin, which includes many influential members of our society, and that its belief system includes a quasi-cannibalistic rite and another ritual in which devotees are immersed in water to wash away their sins, whose founder taught devotion to him eclipsed love for one’s family, a movement banned in many countries…sound familiar?

  29. Of course, I have my tongue slightly in my cheek as I write this, but only slightly. It has been done before, a lot more cleverly than by I (try Googling TNEVNOC). I am not suggesting all Christian religions or their adherents today are particularly “cultish”. But it does show that it all depends where you are looking at it from!

  30. No, because most of the “cultish” things you tongue-in-cheek said about Christianity aren’t actually characteristics of cults. You made Christianity sound creepy and strange, but creepy and strange is not the same as “cult.”

  31. Lee, you forgot to mention that the leader of your hypothetically cultish religion is a Jewish zombie.

    But worshiping a Jewish zombie who regularly asks you to eat his flesh and drink his blood isn’t a characteristic of a cult, as kullervo said. It may be strange, but lots of things are strange without being connected to cults. For example, consider the platypus or the echidna. Strange indeed, but no cults there (at least, that I know of).

  32. What can I say about Calvary Chapel – Ipray for you and your division. I have met many CC attendees, listened to their pastoral perspectives, etc. Pride and arrogance stops you from seeing your most egregious error; the teaching to thousands of a belief in a pre-tribulation rapture [rapture; a state of happiness]. Once and for all, a quick remedy too all – he/she who has ears let them hear – at the [6th] trump the anti-Christ will appear! 5 months is all that ‘He’ has to conform the World to worshipping him as the one true Messiah (Satan) – After that, and only after that, the LORD JESUS CHRIST has ‘foretold’ us all that he will return at the [7th] trump, in which he has promised that he will capture up the true believer in spirit; all those who are proven to not have been impregnated with the word (mark) of the false messiah: I Corinthians 15:52-53 V52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [last trump]: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible (for those who truly believe that Jesus is the true CHRIST, believe that the dead did rise) we, being changed into spiritual bodies at the twinkling of an eye, will be brought into the heavenly dimension of the LORD, the King of Kings, LORD of Lords; our SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. V53. For this corruptible (flesh) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortalit (SPIRIT) – Then, and only then, is the [7th], not sixth, scroll opened; and all those who are found naked (“those who realize that they were duped into believing in the false Messiah (Satan crying out to you “Come, and I will fly you away before the great and dreadful day..) and will become aware of their unforgivable error – and will cry out with a loud voice; Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name… – Hence, the 7th vial will be broken and – oh, the tribulation! Brothers and sisters listen only to the LORD your GOD, repent from false teachings and hear the word of the LORD. Pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. Open your eyes and read and study his true word; not as a novel but as the scholarly text that it is. You can only serve the LORD our GOD in Spirit, not polluted flesh – Repent, turn away from all false teachings – He, the Living GOD has foretold you all… you have been warned!

  33. Pride and arrogance stops you from seeing your most egregious error; the teaching to thousands of a belief in a pre-tribulation rapture

    I had no idea they were that far gone!

    If only I was not so arrogant and proud in my own interpretation of scripture, I might be able to accept these poor deluded souls.

  34. religion is lame bro’s and sis’… bigtime lame… brainwashing mumbo jumbo talk… you are all suckers suckin’ on the tit of a grand supreme being that doesn’t exist nor would you know one way or the other… you are all sad saps lookin’ for a way out… you will die like a dog and wither away…. i know this story isn’t as happy go lucky as eternal life non sense but hey .. be good to one another while your here and when your polluting , detergent using , suv driving , plastic bottle drinkin’ ass dies make sure you tell your children what you did wrong and why your goin’ to hell

  35. Timothy, you sure know how to get someones attention! Reading your statements, I was trying to figure out your belief system until I read and comprehended the statements after the third paragraph.

    Way to go, power on with reasons and answers to keep sharing that eternal joy, hope, love and promises of the faith!

  36. The reason Calvary Chapels are popping up all over is because the denominational churches (baptist, mennonite, lutheran, prepesterian, etc.,) look at my generation of newborn Christians that have come from the drug scene and barf at them. I have a lot of friends with tattoos, piercings, and other things that can’t be undone overnight. OK, some of the piercings can, but to get rid of tattoos costs a lot of money.
    But, they aren’t accepted by the denominational churches. So, where do they go? They go to the ones that welcome them for who they are and not for what they were. Also, CC churches are geared towards teaching the way they teach so that people can follow along, and not just get random things out of the Bible. I don’t fall asleep near as much with CC teaching. I can actually listen to it at work on my iPod or computer or whatever, and keep working.
    I chose to go to a CC church nearby because I didn’t care for the milk I’d been brought up on for years, and wanted something better, and not the same yacky-yack I heard every sunday. I wanted a church that would call sin “sin”, deal with it, and move on, and not tell everyone to keep loving everyone, because then everyone has love.

    And as for the pre-stuff, I think that whole ball of wax needs to be shut down. It’s adding to the Gospel that we have to be we’re pre this or pre that or pro this or pro that. Who cares? Didn’t 100 people just go to Hell while you were arguing that pre/pro crap? If it’s not essential to the Gospel, then I don’t bother with it. I just try to live a Christian life.
    I came here to get some help on proving Mormonism wrong, but I sure came to the wrong place.

  37. “I came here to get some help on proving Mormonism wrong, but I sure came to the wrong place.”

    Well, best of luck with your preconceived agenda Ezra.

  38. So, this is not pro Christian site, but a pro-Mormon site? OK, sorry then. Didn’t realize it.

  39. How about heretics? Can we all agree on that word? Christians need to be more familiar with the basic items of the faith, such that they can recognize when other groups who define themselves as “Christian”(mormons, j.witnesses) are actually not Christians at all. Actually, if you want to see how the Bible says to interact with these ones, it says not to greet them or have fellowship with them.

  40. I’d agree with Christine. Read II John 9-11:

    9: Anyone who goes beyond Christ’s teaching and does not continue to follow only his teaching does not have God. But whoever continues to follow the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10: If someone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not welcome or accept that person into your house. 11: If you welcome such a person, you share in the evil work.
    New Century Version.

  41. ok C, let’s try this hypothetical, yet all too common scenario, where, say a person is a newly converted, God fearing, Christ believing Christian, whom by the way receives an undeniable healing/ blessing… then you get together with this Christian, share in God’s word, but he/ she understands the Word/ verses totally different than you or your church – is he/ she wrong? For instance, many CC attendees will actually fight you in their defense of a rapture belief. I myself could read the same scriptures in Mark, Thessalonians, and Mathew and see where one might believe they would be swooped away – but in fact the Lord states to beware of the a false son of man, who, if you allow him, will have broken in and destroyed the household of the believer; why? Because, you are taught to believe in a church system rather than the power of prayer and fasting in Christ Jesus name to the Father, in ‘HIS’ HOLY SPIRIT – and so that you do not get confused, I have found that Mormons have much the same beliefs as CC attendees – such as a rapture. It blew my mind, but it was there in their latter DC’s. You see I study everyone’s religious beliefs, and then bring it to the cross of Jesus in prayer – and I realize that we are to suffer the ridicule if only for the better of souls, and so be it. If only one person takes hold it is that seed that will prepare them for their tribulation and eventual judgment call. So rather than argue, and/or hate one another, I’d humbly offer that you believe in this, suffer your spirit, for there is no bigger sacrifice in heaven than bringing comfort of God’s true will – believe! – and if an issue bothers you that much, then research the matter so that you will be prepared to deal with that person one-on one. Educated to the facts at hand is to do the Father’s will – Why do you think Jesus came – so that not one of the Father’s would be lost… for many will come in sheep’s clothing…. but the Word of GOD is like a two edged sword that cuts deep into the soul (conviction) – let ‘GOD’ do the judging while you receive his reward in doing his bidding in peace and love. God’ how many times I’ve heard, do not allow them in… shun them, taking the Lord’s and his apostles teachings out of context – it makes my heart ache to hear this type of argument – do you not trust in the power of the Father, his Son, and his Holy Spirit. Do you have to live guarded to the point of shutting potential God fearing Christians out? Because that is what you are essentially doing when you…. look, I offer you peace, the peace of Christ-Jesus, I pray you. Remember, patience is a virtue of the one true God. And all you pastors, lest you openly repent, like the dog that laps up his own vomit, so you will return to the errors of your ways. /e

  42. You are exactly right. Thanks for reminding me.
    I came accross this blog in a search engine because I am looking to help my brother. He has been going to a Calvary Chapel in S. Florida and at first it was his girlfriend that was sounding like a religious fanatic and then I noticed that he was speaking in a way I had never heard before and not just because he is now quoting Bible verses.
    We did not grow up going to church, our grandfather was a Jehovah Witness and that is where I began my religious education. However, my brother is 8 years younger and through life events did not experience the same teachings.
    I am not a Jehovah Witness, even at a young age, I questioned my grandfather about everything, never just believing something because someone else told me. I have no problem if he wants to learn about the Bible, I studied the Bible. And although I had my grandfather’s influence amongst others, I always read more then just the verse I was given, to make sure it wasnt taken out of context.
    Anyhow, my brother wants to to talk to me and tell me why he believes what he does. So I am going to have to listen and try to make him know that I am sincerely taking in what he has to say. But things I was hearing and seeing from him and his girlfriend kept setting off red flags in my head and I began investigating this church and now I am even more worried. I have alot of supporting documentation to prove my suspicions but I know hitting my brother with all of that at once will put him in defense mode.
    So I am not sure what to do. I have prayed and I’m not feeling all that confident yet but hopefully by the time we have this talk, I will find the wisdom to help guide him.

  43. CC is just another version of fundamentalism. The environment has been updated with rock music and “cool” pastors in Tommy Bahama shirts, but it’s still evangelical protestant fundamentalism. Here’s a thought–Christianity started in the East, not the West. The church that started with the Apostles and is still in existence today is the Eastern Orthodox Church. To anyone interested, do an unbiased study on church/world history. I did and I was shocked at what I discovered.

  44. Remember there is only one body of Christ. I would be afraid to judge so quickly, anyone who has accepted Jesus as the Son of God. It could backfire. Don’t worry so much about what Satan is doing and keep your eyes on Jesus or you may just get sidetracked. Grace and Peace to you all. ken stone

  45. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created though Him and for Him, And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Colossians 1:15, 16, 17.

    “You have heard that it was said. ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:43, 44, 45.

    Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  46. The Calvary Chapel movement certainly suffers a crisis. The crisis entails numerous allegations and complaints over the years directed at clergy. That is the problem that no one will address: the Moses Model. I have argued elsewhere that we are not at liberty to borrow an example like that from the Olde Testamen. Pastors are not in Moses shoes. COngregations are not Israel trekking through the desert. The books of the New Testament offer us an example, and I think mroe than that, a tradition we should uphold. And that tgradition is presbyterian government. I don’t necessarily mean the exact type found in the Presbyterian denomination. What I mean is a plurality of elders leading a congregation, where everyone works togetehr in mutual submission according to their calling. This is the picture we get from Acts and the Epistles. The CC movement was flawed from its inception because they insituted one-person rule, arguing this was godly and practical. It is neither. It merely suits the person in charge and all those wiht power. It has wreaked havoc on congregations and has led to serious wounds in the body of Christ. This is tragic. The movement will not experience reform until it overhauls its power-structure, and that is very hard to imagine, since those with power would have to give it up. Having attended a Calvary Chapel, I noticed some of what people have been saying about CC for years. Its pastors really are somewhat arrogant. But I have to lay some of the blame on the people, too. Many of them are somewhat gullible follow-the-leader types and have their own issues. The dynamics are such that everyone colludes to foster an uncharitable environment. So it serves both sides in a sense. I am a Christian who believes in the Bible’s authority to inform and shape our lives and I believe in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of the world. I do think CC is mostly Christian in their beliefs. I emphasize mostly because they do propogate a certain amount of error. But the real problem is that they operate as a cult. It is a behavioral problem more than it is a theological one. That is how I read the situation.

  47. All very interesting, except that the OP is not really about Calvary Chapel at all. It’s about Mormonism and how calling Mormonism a cult is counterproductive.

  48. Well I really don’t know what the word cult means. I guess I should look it up. The only thing I didn’t like about the Calvary where I live is I asked the pastor a question and he yelled at me for 1/2 hour. I know I’m really stupid but I just couldn’t believe what was happening and I thought I could at least get a word in edgewise. Also, I tried to do a crochet ministry- you know afghans to Vets that kind of thing and I taught the ladies and their kids how to crochet. The ladies told me I was evil because I taught my son how to cook, mop the floor, wash dishes. They thought that was so evil that they wanted to call the authorities on me. And I proved to them that in our state it isn’t against the law for males to learn life skills so they stopped on that one. Then they told me I had to wear what they were wearing. I’m sorry. I’m almost 60 years old. I don’t want to wear really low cut blouses and tight leggings that are so tight the seams actually go inside the front and the back crack. It in my opinion looks really nasty. I don’t want to go into detail. I’m an old lady with all the issues that go with it. And I’ll never know if that is what Calvary is pushing or not where I live because I can not try to speak to that pastor again. I finally just hung up the phone and it was a cell phone so it makes no sound when you hang up. I wonder how much longer he yelled at me before he realized I was no longer on the line. Actually, I don’t care about all the extra labels on all of the churches. And I don’t know what non-denomination means. It appears that not all of the non denomination does not mean that they are all one church. I mean not all one organization. I’ve gone to several non denomination thinking because they say they are all the same that they were but the non-denomination Calvary chapel doesn’t seem to be the same as the Non denomination Church of Christ or the Non denomination of this man called Tom who created a building and made himself the non pastor not head of the church. I have no idea what that means. Honestly, I just want Jesus the rest can go somewhere. I’m tired and old and sick and to me even though I’ve many Christians coming to me saying weird things like everyone is in Calvary. For real? Oh, and by the way my best friend is Mormon and she is really nice to me and she is Mormon and I am Catholic but I really go along with my friend who is Southern Baptist. I am a Christian not a Baptist. I just go to a church that choose to call itself Baptist but I’m Christian.

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