Where Chuck Smith JR stands
Well we really don't know yet where Chuck Smith SR stands but here is where junior stands in his own words. There are two very different camps at work here make no mistake. You will have to choose where you stand. I hear that junior is in his early 50's but as you can see even with Charles Stanley -people are being deceived.
Here is the information....
chuck, the jr. says:Added on May 27th, 2006 at 3:03 pm -
Okay . . .I shouldnt be here right now. My weekend services begin tonight.
So this has gotta be brief!First, thank you for the grace with which you have received me (I wont say my remarks, because that is less important).Anon. I fully understand your feelings regarding my withdrawal from CC. When Wimber was squeezed out, I had exactly the same response. My friends Tom Stipe, John McClure (Dons older brother), and Kenn Guliksen, to list a few, pulled away from CC and joined John. I was disturbed by the fact that some of our more articulate and thinking colleagues were leaving us. At the same time, some of the most vehement voices against John did not demonstrate either the spiritual depth, intellectual agility, or integrity that I hoped would characterize the CC community. So I prayed, Lord, please dont let CC be taken over by those people with lesser minds, less compassion, less grace, less biblical depth, or less integrity! I received a clear response from him: I do not endorse any brand names. The only name I honor is that of my Son, before whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Otherwise, I honor those who honor me and are faithful to me. But I do not stand by any label. From that day on my heart was free from any concern regarding the destiny of CC.Organizational, denominational, even our own personal names are like grass, but Jesus name (and the name of the LORD), like his word, are eternal.Lamp, Yes I have a prayer request. I am human (damn it!). I have several different kinds of critics, and of course I appreciate those most who lovingly point out where my thought or lifestyle are inconsistent with Scripture and the Person of Jesus. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a couple of sociopaths who slander me with lies every chance they get. In between are a variety of critics with inscrutible motives and varying degrees of cleverness in seeking to do damage to me or my ministry. But the truth of the matter is the fact that I am my own worst enemy and can destroy myself faster (and more seriously) than anyone else. So, if anything (or among other things), pray for me that whenm going through bouts of depression, the Lord mercifully guides or forces me along his path. I do console myself that my depression resembles to a remarkable degree the way C. H. Spurgeon described his own spells of despair in the chapter entitled The Ministers Fainting Fits in LECTURES TO MY STUDENTS.Papias, I have enjoyed your comments and will continue to take them with salt and light, which is essentially what we find in each other through Christian fellowship. Not all of the wounds we sustain in discussions like this are bad for us. And even what is interpreted as a mean word can sink deep enough to effect an important change.Andrew. Et tu, Brute? Well, of course. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. But seriousness aside, I do appreciate you.A Believer. Given the time I (dont) have, all I can do is briefly say:Fundamentalism to me represents both a theological commitment (leading to a lifestyle) and a culture. I am not opposed to the theology of The Fundamentals (published in the early twentieth century and worth looking into). The folks that published those documents were the professors who greatly influenced Francis Schaeffer, for whom I have always held a great respect and admiration (and most of them were within the ReformedÂi.e., CalvinistÂtradition).My problem is more with the culture of fundamentalism, which grew out of the fundamentalist fight against modernism (aka German theological liberalism) and fundamentalismÂs hostile position toward culture. Early fundamentalist preachers condemned everything that went on in the old west saloons: gambling, drinking, prostitution, vaudville, smoking (and chew), etc. By the time I was a teenager, those old strictures were still in force and were applied to any sort of card-playing, all drinking, dancing, movies, and in some quarters even other activities in popular culture such as sports events. Of course rock-n-roll was soundly condemned.I am not fundamentalist for several reasons, but, briefly, I am opposed to one community of Christians determining what is right and wrong for all communities of Christians. I am not thinking of clear biblical teaching, but of issues like those Paul addressed in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 & 9eating meat, Sabbath days, drinking wine, etc. Fundamentalists do not often admit that they speak only for themselves, but give the impression that anyone who disagrees with them, no matter how biblically centered their lives, is most likely, if not absolutely certainly, going to hell.Believe it or not, thats my short explanation.Dispensationalism is a lens through which people look at Scripture and a method for interpreting Scripture. I think we should, as far as possible, put away all lenses when reading the Bible and let it speak for itself. There are verses from Old Testament prophets that dispensationalists say apply to the return of Christ, whereas in the context of the prophets had a specific event in mind that occurred within their own time. It is absolutely clear, reading the minor prophets (like Joel) that the day of the LORD is not one specific day at the end of time, but that there have been many such days of judgment in biblical history. I do not use Dispensationalism as a grid through which I interpret the Scripture. But I have no grievance with those who do (however, they tend to have grievance with me).Anti-intellectualism does not mean a person is opposed to being intellectual (or using their brain), and there have been brilliant anti-intellectualists. But in conservative Christendom, anti-intellectualism is the position of saying something like, All we need in order to know God is the Bible and the Holy Spirit. To read anything else is likely to taint your understanding of Gods Word.I have spoken with Pentecostals who refused to read Francis Schaeffer because he wasnt Pentecostal.Now is Christianity so fragile, our minds so weak, our discernment so poor, Gods truth so vulnerable that reading a variety of works by a variety of authors is in some way going to jeopardize our faith? If I had stuck to the community of faith from my childhood, I would have never read Calvins Institutes. But I have heard people say, You dont want to read them theologians; they dont have the Holy Ghost.Primitivism is the rejection of church history from the end of the book of Acts to the present. Or to say it another way, it is the belief that only in the book of Acts do we find the design for the true church and that everything that happened from that time to the Reformation (or from that time to Dispensationalism, Pentecostalism, or the present) was so twisted that it holds no value for believers today.It also consists in a repudiation of Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. A lot of the Protestant antagonism against the RC and Orthdox churches has been fueld by Alexander Hislops THE TWO BABYLONS, in which he invented Babylonian rituals and non-historical relationships between paganism and the Roman Catholic church. Unfortunately, few Christians who have read Hislop realize the erroneous nature of his work; the same way that many skin heads dont realize that the antisemetic work, The Protocals of the Elders of Zion is all hogwash.Calvin and Luther were both great fans of Augustine. They also quote freely from other church fathers. Luther obviously felt the church was in need of reform, but he by no means repudiated all of church history nor the churchs doctrines or rituals. Though the Reformers called into question the edicts and decrees of councils and Popes, and stressed the Scripture as the final authority, they still embraced the conclusions of the historic church regarding the nature of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity.And here I must bring my comments on these things to a close for now.Baby D. Well, first I have to admit Ive never read the Calvary Distinctives, so Im not up to date on the Moses model. I have studied arguments for different forms of church government and I have some rather fluid ideas about that. But heres a surprise: I have on a number of occasions been in church membership meetings at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mecca, which were publically announced (in accordance with the by-laws of their non-profit corporation) and in which important decisions that had been put to the board of directors (including major purchases and the voting in of new board members) for a church vote. These proceedings took place in the church sanctuary and were attended by as many as 2,000 people. Any CC that has adopted the by-laws of CCCM have the same terms of congregational procedure. However, not everyone reads or follows the by-lays.Another surprise: even churches that with congregational governments and strict rules of accountability have egregious examples of financial and sexual misconduct. The same is true of presbyterian forms of government. In fact, there has not been, in the history of the church, a from of church government that has protected believers from being deceived, abused, swindled, and exploited, nor kept the leaders above reproach. The bottom line is that integrity resides in the hearts of individuals. Or it doesnt.Now here is something you can debate with me (if not with anything else Ive said already): I think Evangelicals should stop putting so much emphasis on doctrine (Im not saying exclude it, but give it less emphasis than we do now) and focus instead on teaching Christian character (my emphasis). What good is it if a woman from our churches can out-argue a New Ager at the car wash if she demonstrates nothing of the person of Christ in her life? The people in our culture who hate the Christian religion, do not hate it for its doctrines, but for its representatives. They dont care what we believe, they want to know if Christianity makes us good people. The reason we dont win more of them to faith is not because were crippled by false doctrine, but because we do not live according to Jesus new commandment or the two greatest commandments, on which he said all the law and prophets hang.
Ive gotta rush . . .chuck
chuck, the jr. says:Added on May 29th, 2006 at 5:01 pm -
Lamp, beautiful prayer, and there is no way you can know how appropriate it is for today and my reading in Scripture this morning. Thank you.As for doctrine and character. My concern is not that we de-emphasize the role of doctrine in our understanding of God and his self-revelation in Scripture and Christ, but that we not make it the supreme concern of our Christian experience or spiritual growth. I guess I can ask the question this way: Do we love Jesus or our doctrine of Jesus? A too great an emphasis on doctrine can lead us into the futility of searching the Scripture because we think that in them we have eternal life, but they tell us about Jesus, to whom we do not come so that he can give us life.To grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior is more than improving our ideas about God. Spiritual growth is the development of the life of Jesus within us and transformation by the Spirit into his image. This kind of knowledge is not purely intellectual nor can it be mastered with a bright mind and rational methodology. If that were the case, then the things of the Spirit of God would not be incomprehensible to a natural man and we would not need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Jesus.I am concerned here (as opposed to other places where I am concerned with doctrine) with the kind of knowing that is tied to lived experience and not merely intellectual reflection like one would expect from a detached observer.To say it as simply as possible, James urged us to be doers and not just hearers of the Word. In his John 13 foot-washing lesson, Jesus gave a benediction, not for knowing the things he was demonstrating and teaching, but for doing them.As you most likely know already, the same Greek word is translated doctrine and teaching. Doctrine, to me, seems to have a more ossified character, whereas teaching is dynamic. Whats the difference? The difference is not that teaching is more flexible (I do not think that is the case with the apostles teaching), but that teaching stresses communication and implies application. Doctrine may be memorized to pass a test, complete a catechism class, or prepare for the next debate. It can fall into the repository of the sort of stored knowledge that puffs up.Doctrine, as the formulation of truths revealed in Scripture is vital for believers. After all, we want to know the true Jesus and not another Jesus, of which Paul warned believers. Now I do not know that the best way to learn doctrine is to sit down and read a list of doctrines that have been deduced from Scripture or a book of biblical doctrines. I prefer to learn doctrine reading and studying the Scripture again and again. To say it another way, I prefer to study the teaching of Scripture by reading the teaching of Scripture. However, I do read the doctrines formulated by others in order to test my own understanding of Scipture.I heard an Evangelical theologian once ask, How much information does a person need in order to be saved?Well, it isnt information that saves a person. Sam K. said, Who Christ is and what he has accomplished is doctrine. Well, yes, but it is not the doctrine (i.e., the statement or the articulated belief) that is most important, but the historical fact of Jesus life, death, burial, resurrection, acension, ongoing intercession, and so on that provides salvation. And a person can believe the doctrine (even fear and tremble), but not be transformed by it. Creeds are meant to embody the truth that saves, but the creeds themselves to not save.And my concern is that people who get carried away with doctrine tend to become doctrinary (requiring everyone else to see the truth in exactly the same way they see it and condemning those who do not).We want to know the true Jesus. We find in the gospels that Jesus is both the Son of Man and Son of God. This revelation is apparently central to the gospel itself, because when Paul begins to lay out the gospel in Romans, he begins by noting that Jesus is descended from David according to the flesh (Son of Man), but declared to be the Son of God according to the Spirit.So what I discern from this New Testament teaching, would indicate two natures; one human and the other divine. Now I can learn the term Incarnation or not, but what is important is that I appreciate the fact of Christs two natures and what the New Testament makes of it regarding his role as mediator, substitutionary death, and so on.Please forgive me for taking so long to develop my point, but I dont want to give the impression that I am naive about doctrine or its role in Christian faith.Now what do you suppose about HOW the two natures exist in one person? Do those natures fuse together or do they exist separately from one another? If we decide that the answer to this question is really critical, then we find it is also easy to err to one side or the other. For example, the Nestorians believed that the two natures were separate, and that there were actually two persons: Jesus (Son of Man) was indwelt by the Logos (Son of God). The Nestorians were condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431 (causing a major church split in the east). But when one looks at the doctrine embraced by the Assyrian Church (which speaks of essences rather than persons), it doesnt look all that different from what later came to be official church doctrine in the west. Anyway, the Council determined that Jesus was truly one person, regardless of the two natures.So we have resolved the problem, right? Not quite. One of the opponents of Nestorius was Eutyches who was so opposed to the two persons doctrine that he argued the two natures of Jesus were fused somehow within this one person. His position became known as monophysitism. Because he was opposed by several bishops, another assembly was convened in Ephesus, in which monophysitism (or the one nature doctrine) was accepted as orthodox. But it turns out that they were wrong, as determined at the Council of Chalcedon, where Eutyches doctrine was branded as heretical and it was determined that the two natures existed within Jesus without being mixed or comingled.Does this mean that the people whose view of Christ is that his two natures somehow fuse are in such serious error that they have embraced another Jesus and are therefore without salvation? And what of those who have never even asked themselves the question whether Jesus two natures are mixed or not? Are they less orthodox or unsaved for not knowing? And what about Protestants, like Martin Luther, who said, I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other? Does this mean that Protestants have to hammer out all of these doctrinal issues all over again? And once we have cleared up the issue of the hypostatic union of Jesus two natures, we have only scratched the surface of one member of the Trinity (which is another doctrine we also must reestablish if we dont accept church councils).If we do accept church councils, are we allowed to pick and choose which ones we accept? What about the church council that gave the final word on the use of icons in churches? (And the fact that the earlier 754 council and rejection of icons was based on the fact that the only authentic representation of Jesus was the bread and wine of Eucharist, which they took to be the real body and blood of Jesus?) Do you reject icons with the iconoclasts based on their doctrine of Transubstantiation?And thus we descend into the rabbit hole. Eventually you come to the place where the pursuit of the purest possible doctrine (like blogging) will leave you no time for real life. But more seriously, you are left with no affection or compassion for those who disagree with you or hold different opinions. (Even such a devout theologian as John Calvin could prove to be overly harsh with those who held to views different from his own, as in the case of Servetus.)Whatever else we know about the Christian life, we know that we no longer live for ourselves. We are bound to love God above all else, to deny ourselves and follow Jesus, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to put others in the church before ourselves, and to live as witnesses to the risen, living Christ in the world.My concern is this: How can we be most effective in our role of salt of the earth and light in the world? I try to keep in mind that the light, according to Jesus, is Âyour good works,Â which have nothing to do with works righteousness, because the issue here is witness and not salvation. So what is effective? What shows people the love of God? For myself, I find that I am more receptive to being loved than being corrected, and that if I am corrected I am more apt to receive it if given in love than smugness or contempt. To the degree that my doctrine makes me more loving toward God and my neighbor, it is serving the purpose God intends for his commandments, for the end (telos, aim or goal) our faith is the salvation of souls.I know we need to test our experience of God by our doctrine, but have we paid attention to theologians (like Lutheran scholar Paul Hoon) who tell us to test our doctrine by experience, because if you cant live it, theres something wrong with it?On other notes: lets rethink what we mean by social gospel, because it became one of the buzz words of early fundamentalists to label modernists or liberals. What I remember from my childhood is that there were Christians who carried no concern for the starving, the homeless, the refugees, the victims of natural disasters or physical epidemics and so on. Given that Jesus was moved by compassion for people who had not eaten for only three days and that a great deal of his ministry was a response to human need, I have never understood the callous attitude of Christians who believed their only duty was to save souls. Pure religion, according to James, consists of doing the very thing the Bible tells us to do from the torah, through the prophets, and into the New Testament care for the orphans and widows, the strangers and the poor, the powerless and voiceless. Or, in the words of Jesus, the least of these his brothers (who may be sick or in prison or without a home or clothing).I could understand why a relative (by marriage) who was in Religious Science did not give a thought to people in pain, and that was because according to their beliefs, people in pain have brought it on themselves (by their negative thinking). Jesus, however, gave less concern to how a person came to be in his condition than he did with the condition and the fact that the person needed his touch.Regarding the Alnors, I doubt that they are sociopaths. I dont know them and I imagine them to be well-meaning in what they are doing.I dont want to say too much about the sociopaths I had in mind, because I hate riling them up. One of them was asked to leave our church because he refused counsel and restoration to fellowship after a serious moral lapse that had been brought to our attention. He then decided we were in the wrong and to my knowledge has not repented of he had done. But the danger he poses to others goes beyond that particular incident.I am only guessing that the Alnors have been influenced by the Dave Hunt type of apologetics and therefore take issue with what they have perceived in our church as a turn toward Catholicism or the emergent camp. But, in my humble opinion, their perception of CBC and myself is myopic. I suppose that is why they cut most of the biblical quotations out of my sermon they transcribed and posted on their site. There is so much more to our ministry than having speakers like Ron Martoia and Barry Taylor (no one reported on their site the fact that Pancho Juarez spoke at CBC last year), and there is more to our church than the icons thatlike the variety of artworks we displayhung for a season in our Sanctuary.And for whoever cares, it was neither a Russian Orthodox or Roman Catholic who suggested I sign the cross when giving the benediction at the end of our service, but an Episcopalian and a professor at Trinity Law School, which was founded by John Warwick Montgomery, Harold Lindsell, and Walter Martin (for heavens sake!).