Legendary Chuck Smith: What I Want on My Tombstone
There has been a lot of talk about unity but for me unity is only impressive when it contains diversity. A unity that comes through division and exclusion isn't really unity at all. In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, in chapter 12, he makes it clear that God intended His Church to be a unity with a lot of interesting diversity. And that is what impressed anyone who came to Calvary Chapel in the 70's, when I first started to minister there. It wasn't just a tent full of hippies. It was "long hairs, short hairs, some coats and ties." It was police officers like Hal Fischer, firefighters like Ken Mitchell, business executives like Chuck Missler, and crazy hippies like Lonnie Frisbee. And it was led by a middle aged bald guy. The Calvary Chapel movement was always the same. As other churches started we had Mike MacIntosh who had a huge vision for missions, Greg Laurie who was an evangelist and heir apparent to Billy Graham, Tom Stipe who had a passion for worship, Don McClure who called us to holiness as he was influenced by Alan Redpath. Later there were guys who were more drawn to apologetics or creation or eschatology or politics. But within this diversity, we were all held more or less together by our love and respect for Chuck Smith. The reason Chuck was able to hold this motley crew together is because he didn't let diversity trip him up. Frankly, the Calvary Chapel fellowship of churches hung together largely because of Chuck's capacity to put up with extremists, radicals, and a various assortment of crazy people. If we purge all the crazies from Calvary Chapel, and organize and structure the whole thing, it will no longer be Calvary Chapel. Unity without diversity will suffocate what once was a powerful work of the Spirit, where the lunatics like us had been allowed to run the asylum.
I hesitate to even use the words "Calvary Chapel Movement." In the 60's and 70's there was a Jesus Movement. It sprung up almost simultaneously all over the country and several places around the world. Calvary Chapel was a church that participated in the Jesus Movement. I'm not sure when people transitioned from talking about the Jesus Movement and instead talking about the Calvary Chapel Movement but there was a sad day in there somewhere. In the early days it was never about Calvary Chapel as opposed to the rest of the church. Chuck worked with people from various different denominations. Calvary loaned money to missions groups like Wycliffe Bible Translators and Missionary Aviation Fellowship. He was friends with Bill Bright and supported Campus Crusade. He was also friends with Chuck Swindoll, John MacArthur, Billy Graham, Francis Schaefer and others. He even had Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Reformed Calvinist woman preach from the pulpit of Calvary Chapel several times. The point is, during the times when God blessed Calvary Chapel in the greatest way, Calvary Chapel was a part of the larger Church of Jesus Christ. It wasn't a sell-contained "Movement." History will show that the more exclusive our church (and churches) became, there was a pronounced decline in the influences of our ministries. So in my opinion, a move toward exclusivity will be a move toward obscurity.
I understand that some people within CCA see the Calvary Chapel Association as being the successors, chosen by Chuck Smith, to all that is Calvary Chapel in the future. I understand that because Chuck allowed a letter to be published that seemed to endorse that concept, and he made certain statements to that effect. However, Pastor Chuck also made numerous private statements concerning his lack of respect for CCA, to me and many others, and on several occasions he told me that he was going to pull out of CCA and "we will start our own thing." Chuck never saw the group of CC churches as the big deal that others seem to think. He told me many times, "Dave, we have one church! Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa!" And maybe it sounds strange, since I am the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Pacific Hills, but I still consider Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa to be my home church. I consider CCPH to be a part of, and an outreach of, Costa Mesa. I'm sure it is different for pastors who have never been personally associated with CCCM but I worked as a pastor there for 25 years, taught there for 30 years, and remained in regular personal contact with Chuck Smith for the greater part of 40 years. His church will always be my church, no matter what.
For me, the idea of there being a Calvary Chapel Association that doesn't include the original Calvary Chapel is ludicrous. CCCM even owns the name that CCA uses, as well as the dove. Some of the CCA guys feel that Brian is starting an association that is a subset of CCA. In my view, every church that calls itself "Calvary Chapel" is a subset of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. For CCA to attempt to get CCCM to submit to CCA the tail is wagging the dog.
I understand why many of the Calvary Chapel churches don't want to submit to Brian. While Chuck ultimately handed CCCM off to Brian's leadership, he did send conflicting messages concerning whether or not he really wanted that to happen. Conflicting messages were a constant thing with Chuck, and anyone who knew him knows that. But you have to ultimately go by what he did in the end, which was turn the church and all of its assets over to Brian's stewardship. But the thing is, no one has to submit to Brian. Brian isn't even asking anyone to submit to him. He is simply unwilling to submit to others, as was his father-in-law.
All of this illustrates why independence is so importance as we move into the future. The Lord works in mysterious ways. As Jesus said to Nicodemus, "The Holy Spirit is like the wind. You never know where He's coming from or where He's going but you'll hear Him as He moves." Calvary Chapel experienced an incredible move of the Holy Spirit, as a small group of people, led by one man, allowed the rules to be broken, and submitted to no one but the Holy Spirit. At the time Chuck was accused of arrogance, and of not being a team player. The team players and rule keepers missed the revival, and they always do. If you were going to come up with a revised list of Calvary Distinctives, I'd put independence somewhere near the top of the list. To see a Calvary Chapel pastor be criticized for having an independent spirit is incredibly ironic.
The messages that have gone out from CCA have stated that the role of CCA is to maintain the affiliation process, have a helpful webpage, put on conferences and publish various teachings. So far, after 3+ years, not much of that has happened. The CCA webpage and affiliation process is a confusing mess. They haven't conducted a single conference. And the only things they've published, to my recollection, are the recent succession of emails about Brian, and a few short notices concerning how to help with some natural disasters. On the other hand, Brian has an amazing website at calvarychapel.com, with a great church database and lots of articles written by Calvary Chapel pastors, including many written by CCA board members. He has a constant presence on social media, which is so critical nowadays. And he has put on a large pastor's conference every year, in addition to missions conferences, youth worker conferences, worship leader conferences, and scores of other conferences all over the world. And Brian was doing all this long before there even was a CCA. If CCA really wants to lead they might want to start by doing all the stuff that he is doing, at least as well as he does.
When Brian put out his announcement about Calvary Chapel Global Network he made it clear that he'd be happy for pastors to be associated with CC Global and with CCA. I thought he was very gracious toward CCA. On the other hand, CCA made a series of attacking statements directed toward Brian, and made it pretty clear that they don't want their affiliates associating with CC Global. That says a lot to me.
Throughout my years with Calvary Chapel I saw Pastor Chuck say and do some dumb stuff. But I remained associated with him. And I said and did a lot of dumb stuff, and he remained associated with me. (We could be furious with each other at different times, but we remained connected.) I think CCA has said and done some dumb stuff recently. But they are still my family. And I've also seen Brian say and do some dumb stuff. But he is still my brother. I wish that Calvary Chapel Association could've avoided this split. I wish they hadn't been offended by Brian's independence and I wish he wouldn't have left and I wish they wouldn't have attacked him after he left. But what's done is done, and we need to move forward.
I had the privilege of growing up in a church environment that was crazy, independent and radical. It was messy and disruptive. It was anti-establishment and always walking a fine edge, and falling off regularly. That was Calvary Chapel. And the Spirit blew everywhere, and an old man let it happen. Brian and Cheryl Brodersen's oldest daughter, when she was probably 3 years old, used to say to Pastor Chuck, "Grandpa, you are a non-capormous!" (She couldn't pronounce "non-conformist, although she knew what it meant" so "non-capormous" was the best she could do. And Chuck was so proud that his granddaughter saw him as a non-conformist. He was one to his very soul. And that's what he taught us, if we were listening. I am an old man now but I pray that I never lose that radical, messy, independent, non-conformist spirit I got from Chuck and Calvary Chapel. There is an old saying in history that the first thing revolutionaries do when they come into power is kill all the revolutionaries. If we aren't careful we may snuff the flame of the next revolution of the Spirit before it happens. Let's never lose our radical spirit.
ONE MAN'S TAKE ON THE MATTER....
In simple terms, these two established ministries are going in different directions.
This move has cause a lot of upheaval, some very negative.
It is my intention to shed light on the matter. But mind you, I am not a Calvary Chapel pastor and the church I serve with, Poiema Christian Fellowship, is not a part of Calvary Chapel. We are a small independent church in Costa Mesa, CA.
If you get angry with me, please message me privately where you can abuse me off line. (smile). I am willing to be wrong.
He is not ecumenical in the sense of bringing all people together into a One World Church. But he believes that all Christians are of the same universal church which is the body of Christ.
He does not agree with the pious, arrogance of exclusivism. Therefore, he wants to be open to a selective integration among believers, churches and ministries.
He has not done this without countless years of prayer, discussion and planning.
2. An openness to working with other churches outside Calvary Chapel
3. A House Cleaning whereby one is willing to throw away things which have sentimental attachments, but are no longer usable and therefore cause clutter. To him, clutter is something which keeps one in a state of tradition rather than creativity.
4. To give woman a greater role in the church, more equality, more opportunity to lead, teach, edify the body of Christ...no longer relegated to positions of being secretaries, child care worker and school teachers. I don’t believe that Brian will place women in authority over men in context of church leadership.
NOTE; This may mean that women will sometimes be allowed to speak to a mixed congregation of both men and women.
5. In seeing that biblical academic teaching can go over the heads of many church goers, he intends to simplify/condense some of the content of certain books of the bible rather than teaching verse by verse.
6. His doctrinal beliefs including his view of eschatology (end times) remain the same as all Calvary Chapel churches; pre-tribulation rapture, the coming together of ten nations in a religious and economical merger, the coming Anti-Christ-deception of the nations, including Israel, the Two Witnesses, the Re-Awaking of Israel, the 144,000, the Second Coming of Christ to the earth (in person, not spirit), the Millennium of Reign, the final Rebellion/Battle of Armageddon and finally..the White Throne Judgment of all both angel and human kind. Brian will not over emphasize the End Times, The Rapture, The Great Tribulation, etc. He will refrain from keeping people on the edge of their seats with the latest reports from Israel, etc.
There is a board of mature pastors who oversee the association of churches and provide leadership and direction to those who desire elder wisdom and leadership. CCA is a large fellowship of churches (1700 plus world wide) which agree (for the most part) on the same biblical doctrinal beliefs; what is written and understood in scripture.
Most of the men on the council (board) are foundational members of the Calvary Chapel Movement started by the Holy Spirit in 1965 when God was pouring out His Spirit upon open hearts and God chose Chuck to lead the movement. A few are younger men whom God lifted up to bring fresh insight into the association.
All of these men are tried and true and have the scars to prove it. Their purpose is to provide leadership to the over 1700 church pastors, not lording over them, but pouring into them.
(i.e. All of the board members and their churches have supported Greg Laurie and the Harvest Crusades, pulling together a huge workforce to fill the stadiums).
Calvary Chapel is highly evangelistic with a sincere burden for lost souls.
Of the Five Points Of Calvinism most Calvary Chapel pastors probably hold to a three point agreement, but most disagree strongly with the notion that God created some people to be destroyed and punished for eternity, while others were created to be adopted into the family of God to live forever in heaven!
Along with this rides the notion that man has no choice in his/her salvation; no free will in the matter. He is born into the world to be heaven bound or hell bound. The belief that people have a choice to choose incites a desire for evangelism, a cry for people to know God and to be saved from their sins and ultimately, eternal separation and a continuing destruction (punishment).
Believe on the LORD that He is not only aware of all the goings on, but is in the middle of it. He alone knows the heart of each person.
The anger of our flesh does not work the righteousness of God.
All of the men and their wives who serve CCA, in my opinion are all godly souls whose chief desire is to do God’s will.
We are all working towards the same goal, to do what is pleasing to God and to glorify Him by our good works!
We need to see more of Jesus, and to hear His words, so that we may know His heart and thoughts ...then we follow. )
Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa will hold a public memorial service for Pastor Chuck Smith, at the 18,000-seat capacity Honda Center arena in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 27. More than 200 churches worldwide presently plan to show the tribute, live via webcasts. Greg Laurie is scheduled to give a Gospel message during the memorial. (Source: the Christian Post)
Brian Broderson has been appointed the new head pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. The broader association of Calvary Chapel churches will be led by a leadership team that currently includes Pastors Bob Coy and Greg Laurie.
***OCT. 3, 2013 UPDATE. PASTOR CHUCK SMITH HAS PASSED ON TO HEAVEN***
Pastor Chuck's daughter, Cheryl Brodersen said Pastor Chuck's last words were "All Right!"
Here are some photos I took April 23, 2010 at Anaheim coliseum. Was an honorary meeting for Pastor Chuck Smith, along with the band, Love Song, Crystal Lewis, Pastors Mike MacIntosh, Greg Laurie, Skip Heitzig and others. This was done shortly after Ps. Chuck recovered from a stroke, and he was very greatful and emotional, to address such a large crowd so soon after his healing.
Here is how the updated Wikipedia first statement and last statement reads now: Charles Ward “Chuck” Smith, (June 25, 1927 - October 3, 2013), was the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement. Beginning with the 25-person Costa Mesa congregation in 1965, Smith's influence now extends to thousands of congregations worldwide, some of which are among the largest churches in the United States. Chuck Smith announced during the New Years Day 2012 service that he had lung cancer. In June of 2013 Smith's doctors upgraded his lung cancer from stage three to stage four. He died on October 3, 2013.
Legendary Chuck Smith: What I Want on My Tombstone
By Michael Tobin
CARLSBAD, CA-- Pastor Chuck Smith spawned the "Jesus Movement." Through his students, mainly, Mike MacIntosh, Maranatha! Music was born. From Maranatha Music came Integrity Music, Praise, and Hillsong. Within these decades first came, Phil Keaggy, Lovesong, Parable, Larry Norman, Glenn Keiser, Bryan Duncan, Randy Stonehill, Charlie Peacock, Terry Clark, John Michael and brother Terry Talbot, and even some who the one's I just mentioned, had even befriended and produced with such as, Amy Grant, Sarah Masen, Margaret Becker, Rich Mullins (who's biographical movie is released Oct 2013,) and many more.
The 1970's saw the re-birth of church in America. If not for Pastor Chuck Smith, it would have been someone else. It was just meant to be.
We saw mainline denominational traditions change, to include those who wore their hair and clothes differently. The majority could not afford to dress and appear peachy. There was a new opening for those with long hair, bell bottomed tight jeans and t-shirts.
Suddenly there were records, posters and vehicle bumper stickers with depictions of the ancient white doves of the Holy Spirit, and fish symbols, both inspired by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, in Southern California.
The list of students of Chuck Smith is extensive and long: Pastor Mike MacIntosh, Pastor Mark Foreman, (father of lead singer and bass player of Christian rock band Switchfoot), Pastor Greg Laurie, pastor Raul Reese, Pastor Skip Heitsig, and many more.
Pastor Chuck Smith was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, and he is actually doing quite well. Whether God will heal him or not we don't know. But he is in his 80's, and has lived a full and useful life already.
To make a long story short, before the bandwagon gets heavy and the axels break, here are my notes from this mornings two Sunday services from Pastor Chuck Smith's church, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa.
But first, as a recipient of Chuck Smith's burden to win the lost and preach the Gospel, I'll say I'm 49 yrs. old and came into his ministry from my Mom, Aunt, Uncle and family through one of Chuck Smith's students, pastor Mike MacIntosh when I was 10 yrs old.
I can remember at age 10, my first missionary trip was to Tijuana, MX, when the church would, on a regular basis, bring water, clothing and food to the trash dumps of Tijuana where many families lived in cardboard or plywood shacks, with no toilets or running water or plumbing. Just the trash dumps and hills. They would literally wash everyone's feet, as Jesus gave example of, feed them and give them water supply, toiletries and food until the next time. My job was to play with the kids. And boy did I have fun.
I believe the most powerful force of Chuck Smith's ministry has been a genuine presentation of the Gospel in spoken sermons, but just as importantly, sermons through a modern presentation of the Gospel in music and songwriting.
Today's message by Chuck Smith was titled, "Absolute Surrender." And the focus was praise; specifically, praise through music and song.
Here are the notes I took from both morning services, along with photos. Enjoy:
First Sunday morning service: Acts 16:13-22 Complete Surrender. Ps Chuck Smith- Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Lydia, the woman with divination and Paul and Silas imprisoned. Expressing our praise in singing makes it much more romantic. It can lift us out of a dark dungeon of despair. We can focus on our despair but it always and only makes things worse. Singing can be a great faith builder. Jesus Never Fails was inscribed on Chuck Smith Mom's tombstone because she would sing that song often. He later found out his grandmother had the same on her tombstone in Santa Barbara. Chuck wants the same on his tombstone. "I want the same words on my tombstone." - Pastor Chuck Smith "The longer Jesus keeps me here, the longer He keeps you here." - Chuck Smith
Second Service: Ps Chuck Smith Costa Mesa Sunday A.M. 2nd service.Ps Chuck Smith Costa Mesa Sunday A.M. 2nd service. Pianist and flutist performing, "His Eye is On The Sparrow." And traditional men's choir singing from pg. 129 "It Is Mine," in the Songs of Calvary Hymnal book., and pg. 103 "Jesus Never Fails."
2 Chronicles 20 David sent singers before the army against three confederacies and sang, "great is the Lord and His mercies endure forever." And God sent ambushments and defeated Israel's enemies that day.
God has delivered in battles and war. And God delivered Paul and Silas from chains and imprisonment through miracles, and Paul and Silas chose to sing and praise God before their miraculous release. The prison guards asked Paul and Silas, "what must we do to be saved?" And Paul said, "Believe in the Lord Jusus Christ, and thou and thy household shall be saved."
For further reference, here is a blog about Pastor Chuck Smith's documentary, before he was diagnosed in 2013 for cancer: http://eric-zehnder-books.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-documentary-on-chuck-smith-and.html
A documentary on Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel Movement
Special to ASSIST News Service
VISTA, CA (ANS) -- One of the greatest spiritual revivals to sweep America, even the world, was the Jesus Movement. It happened back in the late sixties and early seventies during the hippy era, and one of the key players was Chuck Smith.
"What God Has Wrought" tells the story of Chuck Smith and the birth of the Jesus Movement and Calvary Chapel, a then small Southern California church that he had just become the pastor of.
It's a story that has marked history in remarkable ways, changed lives radically; a story well worth hearing (and seeing).
During that period of upheaval in America, most hippies were young people reacting to society and tradition and in pursuit of authenticity, meaning, love and peace. Many thought they'd found it in drugs, revolutionary music and their free-love lifestyles.
The older generation, for the most part, viewed them as a bunch of grungy losers, but not Kay, wife of Pastor Chuck Smith. She saw them not as losers but as lost. And she wanted to help them find their way back home.
Chuck Smith found himself acquiescing to his wife's compassion and soon found his church, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, filling up with barefoot, longhaired "seekers"-week after week. Men such as Greg Laurie, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, and many other now prominent Calvary Chapel pastors.
These young people were hungry for truth, peace and love. They wanted to belong to a cause bigger than themselves. They found it at Calvary Chapel within the simple expository teaching of Chuck Smith, teaching that simply pointed them to Jesus. They were excited and passionate about their newfound faith, and eager to express it.
This led to the birth of contemporary Christian music which sounded a lot like an amalgam of Beatles and Beach Boys-a very sixties sound-but with Christian words. It was a musical revolution and it caused quite a stir amongst the traditional crowd.
The recently released documentary, "What God Has Wrought" is a riveting account of how Calvary Chapel became the catalyst for the Jesus Movement. It includes interviews with Chuck Smith, testimonies from those who were transformed by though this outpouring, flashbacks to actual church services, testimonies and clips of the Jesus Movement bands such as Love Song.
Talking about his role during the Jesus People movement, Chuck Smith said, "I didn't want to direct the Holy Spirit, I just wanted to find out how the Holy Spirit was moving and get in the boat and move with him." It is heart stirring, inspiring and well worth watching. The DVD has also just won "Best Documentary 2012" at The International Christian Film Festival in Irvine, California on October 6th, 2012.
For more info on "What God Has Wrought", or to order a copy of the DVD, visit: www.visionvideo.com or www.screensaversentertainment.com.
ASSIST News Service (ANS)
Ode To Ps Chuck Smith
By: Michael Tobin
CARLSBAD, CA -- I prefer to agree with a dead mans quotes (Spurgeon, Ravenhill, John Bunyan, J. Oswald Sanders, etc...) than to agree with someone who is alive; then everyone knows I read some dead guys biography and will think I'm smart. (Not seriously. I am simply making a point on what I see that we do in the Church). Ps. Chuck Smith may not even be with us much longer. Let's give him his flowers (encouragement) while he's still alive. If this note gets around I hope someone would feel compelled to form an event in Ps Chuck Smiths honor before he passes away. I would email some people but I'm not part of their world.
Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was an English Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival. He is best known for challenging the modern church and his most notable book is Why Revival Tarries. Ravenhill was also a close mentor to Kieth Green (for those who may need to be impressed a little).
Tozer said of Ravenhill:To such men as this, the church owes a debt too heavy to pay. The curious thing is that she seldom tries to pay him while he lives. Rather, the next generation builds his sepulchre and writes his biography – as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an obligation the previous generation to a large extent ignored.
Chuck-Smith (A submission from an obscure website who does bios on notable people)
Charles "Chuck" Ward Smith
Keeping it in the family
Daughter - Jan
Son - Jeffrey Wayne Smith
Son - Chuck Smith Jr.
Monday, January 11, 1999
A New Point of View: Tattoos: Across the U.S., a network of parlors
specializing in Christian imagery is making its mark.
By ELAINE GALE, Times Staff Writer
Perhaps no one feels more caught between the two views of tattooing than Jennifer Stankovits, wife of Sid Stankovits, the owner of Sid's Tattoo Parlor.
She's the granddaughter of Chuck Smith Sr., founder of the Calvary Chapel movement--a Pentecostal church started in 1965 in Costa Mesa that now has over 700 affiliates--and the daughter of Chuck Smith Jr., pastor of the Calvary Chapel in Capistrano Beach.
She's caught between her choice to express her faith and her father's and grandfather's wishes that she not get any more tattoos.
"They think tattooing looks too rough," the 21-year-old said, showing off her eight tattoos, including a "Rock of Ages" banner on her forearm and an 12-inch portrait of Christ's face tattooed on her back by her husband. "I've always thought it would be cool to get the Last Supper tattooed on my back."
Her father said he is amazed at how popular the tattoos are in his church among young people and that Jennifer's generation has a different idea about the nature of their skin.
"They have the idea of skin as a canvas. In high school, we made our statement with hair," said Smith Jr., 47. "But their skin is an accessory--they puncture it, stud it, draw on it."
Although Sid Stankovits has tattooed people of all ages in his retro-style shop--the oldest was 78--he said the Christian tattoo market is mostly twentysomethings who literally embody their beliefs.
"Generation X is more into individuality," he said.
Stankovits, 27, met his future wife while he was tattooing her then-boyfriend. After they got married two years ago in Las Vegas, they opened the tattoo parlor together. He said most tattoos done by the shop's four evangelical Christian tattoo artists are religious.
Cheryl Smith Broderson
Daughter - Cheryl
Wikipedia entry on Chuck Smith