It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is Calvary Chapel Anti-Catholic?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In a word, "yes." Calvary Chapel (www.CalvaryChapel.com) is anti-Catholic. Now the good folks there would deny it. They would tell you they love Catholics, but hate the "Roman Catholic religious system." That's all well and good, but being anti-Catholic isn't about hating, or even disliking, Catholic people. Being anti-Catholic, by its very definition, means being against the religion of Roman Catholicism. Try as they may to dodge the issue, Calvary Chapel is an anti-Catholic organization.

In the broad sense, we could argue that all Protestant churches are anti-Catholic to some small degree, simply by virtue of the fact that they are Protestant. Historically, this would be true. However, while most Protestant and Evangelical groups try not to stress this anymore, some organizations have surfaced in recent years that are far more anti-Catholic than others. I believe Calvary Chapel would definitely fall into this category. Though I am not aware of any official documentation of Calvary Chapel's anti-Catholic positions, one can easily find most Sunday sermons latent with them. A good example of this comes from Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel affiliation. The nice thing about Calvary Chapel is that most sermons are taped and archived, so if one has the time to do the fishing, the evidence of blatant anti-Catholicism is not too difficult to find. Now remember, these are sermons of a pastor to his congregation. One would think a pastor would be concerned with preaching the gospel, and applying the teachings of New Testament to the day to day lives of his congregation. Instead, this is the sort of thing one can easily find in Calvary Chapel sermons....

On tape 5176, Pastor Chuck Smith said:
The dogma that was developed in the Catholic church of the perpetual virginity of Mary, is sheer poppycock. It is the invention of men who have thought to elevate Mary to the status of deity. The obvious fact is here, "And knew her not 'till'" It is clear that afterward, they did have normal husband-wife relationships with each other, or else the other sons and daughters that were born of Mary were also virgin-born, and that throws the whole story in disarray. The gospel of Mark names the brothers of Jesus as James, Joses and Simon, and mentions his sisters, so to declare perpetual virginity of Mary is not a scriptural truth. It is a Catholic dogma, without scriptural foundation, as are most dogmas. Paul said, "Beware of dogs"(Phil. 3:2,) I say, "Be wary of dogmas!"
On tape 5189, Smith said:
For one is your father, which is in heaven." So the title of father was prohibited by Jesus. In my associations I have become acquainted and friends of many ministers within the Episcopalian Church, and also within the Catholic Church. And I have extreme difficulty in knowing how to address that. Because for the life of me I can not call them father so and so. Because Jesus said not to. And so, to me it creates a difficult thing, as to how to address them, because they are usually introduced,' this is father so and so,' and I just have a hang-up with this, but I just can't address a man, father, in a spiritual sense. I don't know, do what you want, but I just have problems.
On tape 5209, Smith said:
The Protestant reformation came as a protest against the evil practices that had arisen within the Catholic Church. Especially the selling of indulgences. For the Pope was desirous to built a great Cathedral in Rome, St. Peters. And the money wasn't coming in, fast enough to build this glorious monument, that he was desiring to put up, as a symbol for Christianity. And so someone in the counsel came up with a bright idea. Everybody likes to sin, why don't we sell them forgiveness for sin's. And they can buy an indulgence, before they ever indulged. So as they indulging, the thing is covered, because they've already buyed (sic) their forgiveness. So you want a little escapade on the side. You want to go out and get drunk? fine, go down and buy your drunk indulgence. You want to have an affair? go down and get an adultery indulgence. And they started selling the indulgences to the people. And this so incensed Martin Luther, that he took his 95 thesis, his objections, to the practices that had developed within the church, and he taged them on the door, and he protested. And thus the name Protestant. Beginning of the Protestant reformation.
On the same tape, Smith also said:
It is a sad error of the Catholic church to declare that Peter is the foundation upon which the church was built.
On tape 5202, Smith said:
There is sometimes within the Protestant circles perhaps a backlash to that position that the Catholics have sought to place Mary in as the intercessor, and even some today, the coredemptress, and there is that backlash among Protestants often times to sort of put Mary down.
On tape 5315, Smith said:
And we see it in the Catholic church where the priest says, "You come and confess your sins to me and I will remiss your sins and I will go to the Father and I will take care of things for you. It is putting a man between you and God. We will see the system develop when we get to the church of Thyatira but at least the church of Ephesus says 'I hate it and the Lord says I hate it too.
Later on the same tape, Smith said:
And these are the dominant issues of the Roman Catholic church; their love and their service and their faith and their patience and their work. And this they have a lot of - a lot of good works and there are some marvelous people in the Catholic Church, highly admired. Mother Theresa, such an unusual person. Marvelous. It's not saying things against those individuals because God has his overcomers. It is just talking about the system.
Later, Smith said:
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold I will cast her into a bed, and those that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds" Here is now first of all, the indication that the Catholic Church would exist right up to the coming of Jesus Christ and the rapture of the church, because he talks about them being allowed to go into the great tribulation.
These are typical examples of Calvary Chapel sermons, which can easily be found anywhere, by multiple Calvary Chapel pastors throughout the country. In the later quotes above, Smith is comparing the Catholic Church to the worst form of churches written of in the Book of Revelation. While of course, Calvary pastors typically equate their own brand of Christianity to some of the better churches written of in the Book of Revelation. In my own experience, at a Calvary Chapel ran by one of Smith's direct pupils, it seemed that there was at least one small dig at Catholicism every week.

One can also find special books and audio series, made by Calvary Chapel pastors, specifically designed for the purpose of attacking Roman Catholicism. In part, I believe this is due to an unusual number of Calvary Chapel pastors who are themselves former Catholics. The affiliation began in Southern California, a heavily Catholic region of the United States, and as a result the pews are regularly filled with former Catholics who've converted to the "Gospel According to Calvary Chapel." A small percentage of these disaffected converts went on to become pastors for the affiliation.

You may be wondering why I am bothering with this particular Evangelical-Protestant group. There are, after all, hundreds of different anti-Catholic organizations in America. So what's so special about this one? Well, I'll tell you. I used to be a "member" of Calvary Chapel. In fact, I even became a teacher there. All of this was before my conversion to Catholicism of course. I can personally testify that I regularly heard, with my own ears, large volumes of anti-Catholic rhetoric. Yes, as a Calvary Chapel teacher, I even preached it. I've personally witnessed a very popular Calvary Chapel pastor in Southern California actually call the Catholic Church the "Whore of Babylon" and the pope the "Antichrist" on more than one occasion. These happened before a large audience, many of whom were former Catholics. I can personally testify that Catholic doctrines are taken out of context, represented falsely, and then maligned on a regular basis in Calvary Chapels throughout America. Sometimes it seems that it's rare to even get through a single sermon, on any given week, without hearing at least one small jab at Catholicism.

As a former Calvary Chapel teacher, I have mixed feelings about this organization. On the one hand, I must give credit where credit is due. Having been raised in a non-practicing Protestant home, Calvary Chapel helped me a great deal when I was struggling with my faith as a young person. Calvary Chapel helped me better understand basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Calvary Chapel also helped me sort out the sinful habits in my life, and set me on a path of greater obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to that, it was through my pastoral studies at Calvary Chapel that I came to knowledge of Church history, a knowledge that would eventually lead to my Catholic conversion. So on the one hand, I am grateful to Calvary Chapel, because without it, I would probably have never found Christ and later converted to HIS One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. On the other hand, I am frustrated with this organization, because it misleads people about Christ's Catholic Church. Those who do not take the time to do the study, and there are many, are forced to simply trust what Calvary Chapel pastors tell them about the Catholic Church. A good number of those things are wrong, and most of it doesn't even originate within Calvary Chapel. In fact, the majority of anti-Catholic material, used by Calvary Chapel pastors, comes not from the organization itself, but from outside sources that specialize in anti-Catholicism.

If you're a Catholic who attends a Calvary Chapel, or has been approached by somebody from Calvary Chapel, as a former Calvary Chapel teacher, I have some good advice for you. Stop and do your homework! There are lots of things Calvary Chapel pastors say about Catholicism that just aren't true. Many of these pastors are former Catholics themselves, and one would think they should know better. Yet you would be surprised to discover just how little these supposedly "educated" men actually know about Catholic beliefs and the Catholic Church. I would suggest you do a little reading on this topic list HERE, where will find one of the most exhaustive Catholic apologetic resources available on the Internet. If on the other hand, you're a non-Catholic who attends Calvary Chapel, I would encourage you to do the same, so that you might have a better understanding of Catholicism "straight from the horse's mouth," rather than relying on the second-hand information spouted by some disgruntled Catholics, who later became Calvary Chapel pastors. Many of whom got their information from sources not even affiliated with Calvary Chapel. I would also encourage you to take the The Ultimate Protestant Challenge. I think that's good advice, and you owe it to yourself to hear both sides of the story, weigh the evidence, and learn the truth.

********** Update 12/1/2010 **********

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So it's been over three years since I wrote this original blog entry on Calvary Chapel's anti-Catholicism, and nothing has changed. (Not that I really expected it to.) In between jumps to my snowbird hideaway down South, I returned home briefly to keep the Knight's armory running well. On the way home from one of my errands in town today I decided to tune into a local Calvary Chapel radio station broadcasted via satellite syndication. (I'm not sure what possessed me to do it.) Anyway, the station manager had just gotten Chuck Smith on the air for some questions from callers. One caller mentioned that his girlfriend is Catholic, and he occasionally attends mass with her. He had a question about the apparition of "Our Lady of Guadalupe." It wasn't five minutes into the show, but Chuck Smith had plenty to say.

First, he proclaimed that "Our Lady of Guadalupe" is nothing more than a demonic spirit, and the apparition itself is a deception of the devil. He advised the caller to avoid anything to do with it. Second, he then went on, as if that weren't enough, to accuse the Catholic Church of idolatry and apostasy. He did this in his usual soft-spoken gentle manner, (you could almost hear the smile on his face), which I used to think was charity. Twelve years after having left Calvary Chapel, it's now starting to sound a little creepy. Anyway, he used the classic strawman fallacy. He blatantly misrepresented Catholic teaching, claiming the Church places Mary above Christ. Then he proceeded to tear down the strawman by saying that anytime someone (i.e. The Catholic Church) puts someone or something above Christ, we know that can't be from God. Of course the caller was gushing with gratitude for Pastor Smith's pontification, and the station manager then proceeded to advise him, and anyone else listening, to stay away from the Catholic mass and go to Calvary Chapel instead.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, especially when it comes to the anti-Catholicism coming out of Calvary Chapel. I'm pleased that this particular rant against the Church came from the top Calvary Chapel pastor himself - Chuck Smith - the man who started the whole chain. It demonstrates what I've been saying all along in this blog entry. The founder of Calvary Chapel is a raving anti-Catholic, and the apples never fall far from the tree. The way the founder goes, so do the followers. This type of anti-Catholicism can be found among Calvary Chapel pastors from coast to coast. Some are more virulent than others, but virtually all of them look to Pastor Chuck Smith as their example and teacher. He is, after all, the closest thing to a "pope" there will ever be in the Calvary Chapel network.

Pastor Chuck Smith's dishonest dealing with Catholic doctrine is inexcusable. He is an educated man who has been in ministry for decades. He's the virtual "head" of an international nondenominational-affiliation. He has missionary outreaches in Latin America and Rome. You cannot tell me this man is ignorant of authentic Catholic Church doctrine. He knows full well the Catholic Church DOES NOT place Mary above Christ in any way. He knows the Church teaches that Mary is subordinate to Christ, and that everything she is comes directly from Christ. His opinions about Marian apparitions are his business, but to tell people they are demonic is to be disingenuous to say the least. No demonic spirit leads people to Christ, and if "Our Lady of Guadalupe" was supposed to be some Satanic deception, than it was a miserable failure on the devil's part, because it resulted in over a million people (Native Americans) accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It has since inspired the Christian faith of tens of millions. If it was supposed to be a lie of the devil, than it sure backfired on him. Of course we know the truth. Mary appeared to Saint Juan Diego to bring his people to her Son - Jesus Christ - and that she did in the most startling and miraculous way.

So why the strawman fallacy? Why would an educated man, who surely knows what the Church teaches in regards to Mary, deliberately twist and distort Church doctrine in such a way so he could easily tear down the strawman he created? Well, I can't get inside Chuck Smith's head, so I really don't know with absolute certainty why he did it. But I do have an opinion, and I think it's a fairly educated one with some inside information. You see, Calvary Chapel started in Southern California which is a heavily Catholic portion of the United States. Most of the people who attend Calvary Chapel are former Catholics. I don't have an exact percentage, but I would say that at least half would be a fair guess. Most of them left the Catholic Church during the turbulent times of the 1970s through 1990s. It was during this time that Chuck Smith, and his ministry disciples began their anti-Catholic propaganda, and WOW did it take off! They brought scores of formerly Catholic "members" into their affiliations with this nonsense, combined with their apocalyptic teachings on current events and typical altar calls for instantaneous salvation. It was (and still is) a formula that works. Every Sunday in Southern California, Calvary Chapels are packed to standing room only. Smith and his ministry disciples have now taken their "Gospel according to Calvary Chapel" into Latin America, and they've even been so bold as to bring it to Rome as well, under the very shadow of the Vatican. The formula works. It draws away Catholics, and turns them against Rome in the most virulent way. It also fills the pews at Calvary Chapels, as well as the collection plates. You see, in my opinion, the reason why Chuck Smith doesn't change is because he can't change. If he ever admits that he was wrong about something the Catholic Church teaches, it would threaten his whole organization. In Southern California alone, at least half of his ministry is to former Catholics. An admission of error, especially after having preached this stuff for so long, would cause the Calvary Chapel faithful to begin questioning the whole Calvary Chapel system, and that is something that neither Chuck Smith nor his ministry disciples can risk.

26 comments:

Catholic armor said...

Thank you for the enlightening post. I too am Catholic and have attended Calvary chapel services. I am very uncomfortable with the constant catholic attacks and feel that calvary is leading a lot of folks down the wrong path to salvation.

ridedecade7n1s said...

i would like to make a statement in saying that not all Calvary Chapels are all about "bashing" the Catholic faith. I regularly attend Horizon Christian Fellowship and have been part of the ministry there for the last two years. although i am only 18 now i have a large understanding about this whole "Calvary vs. Catholic" debate and would first like to say that all we do is preach the Bible verse by verse and may give reference to some of the faults to the Catholic faith relevant to the Biblical passage being taught on. i would also like to make mention that there are some other things going on where pastors are abusing the Calvary Chapel name and are unfortunately misguiding people's opinions on the "Calvary doctrine". i apologize on behalf of those who have "bashed" the Catholic church and ask you to have an understanding that we are NOT out seeking to bring ruin to the Catholic Doctrine, rather, we are out to preach the Word of God. if we truly love God and desire to draw closer to Him and have a relationship with Him then we have one common goal and should not look down upon other believers, yes we should inform them and help to guide them on the right path if they go astray, however, we should seek to lift one-another up with one love (being in Christ) and to fulfill the Great Commission to help save people from the fires of hell.

The Catholic Knight said...

I wish to thank 'ridedecade7n1s' for his kind comments and especially for his apology. However, as a former Calvary Chapel teacher myself, I must expand on them.

He said he has "large understanding about this whole "Calvary vs. Catholic" debate and would first like to say that all we do is preach the Bible verse by verse and may give reference to some of the faults to the Catholic faith relevant to the Biblical passage being taught on." The problem here is that in my experience, very rarely do Calvary Chapel pastors state the Catholic position accurately. Quite frequently, the Catholic position is stereotyped, misrepresented or botched all together. Since those sitting in the pews (many of them former Catholics) rarely know any better, they are usually left with a false understanding of what the real difference between Catholicism and Calvary Chapel is. I dare say the "faults" of the Catholic faith would hardly be viewed as "faults" at all if they were represented properly. In fact, most people would probably find them very Biblical. But herein the commenter inadvertently reveals the major problem with Calvary Chapels. He says as they preach the Bible, Calvary Chapel pastors "may give reference to some of the faults to the Catholic faith relevant to the Biblical passage being taught on." To which I have to ask WHY? Why bring Catholicism into it at all? Why not just preach what you believe about the Bible, and leave other religions out of it? That's what happens every Sunday in most Evangelical churches. That's what happens every Sunday in virtually every Catholic Church. Catholic priests don't go though our Sunday Bible readings and point out, verse by verse, the faults of Calvary Chapel (or Evangelicalism) as they are relevant to our Biblical readings. But this is the regular practice of Calvary Chapels, which the commenter freely discloses to us, and tries to explain that there is nothing wrong with this. Sorry, but that is the epitome of anti-Catholicism, and it harkens back to what I wrote above in the original entry. One can scarcely get through a single sermon at Calvary Chapel without hearing at least one or two little 'jabs' at the Catholic Church. Sometimes those 'jabs' aren't so little.

The commenter also writes "i apologize on behalf of those who have "bashed" the Catholic church and ask you to have an understanding that we are NOT out seeking to bring ruin to the Catholic Doctrine." While 'The Catholic Knight' fully accepts his apology, I cannot accept the explanation. Calvary Chapels, for the most part, ARE trying to bring ruin to Catholic doctrine, because they INSIST on bringing it into their sermons virtually every Sunday, when they certainly don't need to, and then to make matters worse, they frequently misrepresent those doctrines entirely. If they're not trying to "bring ruin" to Catholic doctrine, than I don't know what it is they are tying to do. What are people in the pews supposed to think? How many of them do you suppose are going to side with Catholic doctrine after the pastor gets through with his little jab?

The commenter then goes on to add that when it comes to Catholics "we have one common goal and should not look down upon other believers, yes we should inform them and help to guide them on the right path if they go astray." The idea here being that Catholics have gone astray and need to be set on the "right path." Look, I understand that there are differences between Catholicism and Evangelicalism. I also understand that Evangelicals believe they're right, just as Catholics believe we're right. The fact is, that's the way it's supposed to be. I wouldn't expect it to be any other way. I have no problem when Catholics and Evangelicals go at it with each other in controlled and moderated settings, where things can be kept relatively fair and balanced. I have no problem when Catholics and Evangelicals compare and contrast their views in books, tapes, CD and DVDs designed for that particular purpose. But in all of these things, both religions should be represented accurately and fairly. We have plenty of differences already, we don't need to compound this with bad information that misrepresents each other. So all of this, when done properly, is well and good. However, when a particular organization (like Calvary Chapel) frequently and continuously sees the need to reference Catholic doctrine in their regular sermons, for the sole purpose of "pointing out it's faults," what we have here is anti-Catholicism in its most pure form. If they don't like the anti-Catholic label, then the first thing Calvary Chapels should do is get references to Catholic doctrine OUT of their regular sermons. That would be a first step in the right direction. Until then, the anti-Catholic label sticks -- and very appropriately I might add.

billguy said...

CatholicKnight,...thank you!

Strange you should post at this time. Upon invitation of a Calvary friend, I have attended several Calvary Chapel services here in Nevada, and experienced EXACTLY what you describe. I was welcomed and thought it might be a nice place to exchange friendship and fellowship in a Christian setting, but...eventually I was exposed to subtle invictive regarding the Catholic Church. The pastor was a former Catholic, but I found him not quite as scholarly regarding understanding the Bible as I would have hoped. After a couple exposures to anti-Catholicism in the form of misrepresenting Catholics in sermons, I thought maybe it isn't just this one Calvary Chapel, so I did a web search and found many examples including your own of this subversive process of anti-Catholicism. Again, your account of the Calvary process is an uncanny duplication of the one I encountered. After I confronted my friend on a just horrible publication I found at his Calvary (by Harvest House Publishers but it had the Calvary sticker on it), "What You Need To Know About Roman Catholicism"[they have a whole series that misrepresents everyone from Mormons to Muslims], my friend mentioned that his Calvary pastor in California said that he thought the antiChrist was going to be the Pope, and he mentioned other anti-Catholic messages he's received. My friend is sincere but a little naive, and was surprised when I explained how the representations in that Harvest House/Calvary pamphlet were NOT the teachings of the Catholic Church and taken out of context, so now he's confused. But I had to do quite a bit of research because I didn't know the exact Catholic teaching, I only knew, or eventually suspected, that the Calvary one wasn't right. The good result of all this is that I researched most of the points in the pamphlet, and expanded my own understanding of Catholic teaching(as you say, Catholics themselves don't know!). Since my friend showed openness to the real Catholic side of things, I suggested, "You should be heading that Church, not that guy who is pastor now."

Like you suggest, there are sincere Protestant/evangelical churches who will engage in a sincere debate/discussion, and others like Calvary who are opportunistic. It' sad, because Calvary really could perform the legitimate function of representing the strict Word of the gospel, but they have this opportunistic streak. Considering the fact(I've read online) that Calvary is probably the fastest growing church network, maybe one reason for the Calvary opportunism is that it has seen results in using this form of anti-Catholicism as part of a process for converting Catholics.

I'm focusing my church attendance on the Catholic Church(the Rock!) from now on, but I'm going to also attend a few services at legitimate nonCatholic Churches just to remind myself that someone can have a legitimate difference of opinion.

The Catholic Knight said...

Billguy, thanks for your comments. There are many opportunistic Evangelical churches today that follow the parasite model you described above. They have a tendency to leach off the weaknesses of other churches. Of course the Catholic Church is the largest church in America and therefore becomes the largest target for these opportunistic churches. That being said, the US Catholic Church has made itself a particularly easy target as well. After the Second Vatican Council the US Church had a grand opportunity to focus on apologetics as part of it's ecumenical outreach. It would have been a perfect chance to explain Catholicism to a predominately fractured Protestant nation. Instead however, the leaders of the US Catholic Church choose to focus on liberalism instead, trying to model itself after Protestantism, rather than trying to engage Protestantism. As a result Catholics became confused, catechesis of children went to hell in a handbasket, and the Church went into crisis. If opportunistic churches like Calvary Chapel are successful with their parasite tactics, then the US Catholic Church is partially to blame because of it's failure to properly educate Catholics about Catholicism.

phyglenaut said...

I just wanted to chime in. I'm glad credit was given where credit was due. Praise God for your being led to repentance of sin and Jesus Christ as Savior! I think I have some ability to comment on this. I came to faith in Christ through Calvary Chapel preachers/teachers sermons and of course, the guidance of God's Holy Spirit coming along side me during that time. Recently, during the past year, I have listened to over 900 hours worth of hour long sermons on several Books of the Bible by a Calvary Chapel Pastor. This has been a great growing in faith experience for me and God has used it in my life very powerfully. Additionally, when I was first coming to faith, I listened to a different Calvary Chapel Pastor, probably over 500 hours worth of sermons over 10 years ago. To say that all or most Calvary Chapel sermons are laced with and involve anti-Catholic rhetoric and sentiment is not only incorrect, but very incorrect. Perhaps your experience is slightly different than mine, but I would dare say that perhaps you are over-exaggerating based on your current feelings regarding the Catholic Church in contrast to your former experiences with Calvary Chapel. The memory has funny ways of remembering what it wants to vs. what the actual truth is--a few sermons here and there and a few portions of sermons here and there turns into "practically every sermon, every Sunday, across the nation"? I would estimate that during the last year, maybe about 5% of the 900 hours worth of sermons I listened to brought up Catholic beliefs negatively on a subject distinctly and overtly, and maybe another 5% did so more subtly. And the important part is that, most of the time it was simply, "this is what we believe in contrast to what the Catholic Church teaches on this particular subject"--of course it was also with the tone of "we are right, Catholics are wrong on this subject," but what Catholic wouldn't do likewise when an issue like that came up? It is well known some of the major Catholic / Protestant disagreements and when a subject like that comes up in the Biblical text it is quite natural to talk about the debate and why we believe this way vs. that way. It is not parasitical or anything of the sort, and being married to a Catholic for many years, I personally witnessed in the Catholic Church, the same thing is sometimes done, defending their beliefs against well known Protestant teachings with their interpretations of those Scriptures. I've only found maybe about 2 or 3 sermons out of 900 that could actually be categorized as very strong, predominantly anti-Catholic teaching and even then, it was buffeted with a very strong counterpoint that it was only against that particular Catholic teaching, not against Catholic believers themselves. You may say that IS against Catholic believers/the Catholic faith as you already have, but then the arguments you yourself are making could then also be construed against all Calvary Chapel believers, not just against the general tenor of some Calvary Chapel Pastors teaching/style. You are then upholding a double standard by even having this blog / article if you insist on that point. Additionally you misrepresent the "Whore of Babylon / Antichrist" teachings as well. At least, whenever I've heard a Calvary Chapel Pastor encroach on that particular subject, it is with the strong caveat, that they are talking about a post-Rapture, thereby, remnant/corrupt version of the RCC-i.e. true Catholics have been Raptured along with all other true Christian believers. Now, I know you reject the idea of that eschatological viewpoint, and that's fine, but the point is you yourself misrepresent Calvary Chapel teaching, because you don't explain that they are talking about an eschatological, post-Rapture, Tribulation period, corrupted, remnant Catholic Church, made up of "Catholics" who never really believed, so even though you don't believe that is what is going to happen you are still misrepresenting the intent of the teaching--again you have setup a double standard. More in next post . . .

phyglenaut said...

Perhaps you could change your attitude to: is Calvary Chapel pro- Jesus Christ, in a word, “definitely!” This would much more accurately describe the emphasis of Calvary Chapel. Even if the Calvary Chapel teaching on Rapture and Catholic Church differences is not true, you misrepresent the intent of the teaching. It is also funny that you yourself use probably the biggest Calvary Chapel teaching of all--"do your homework" to search the Scriptures daily to see for yourself if the teachings are true. Calvary Chapel encourages this as I’m sure you know quite well, and you have, and have found peace in your faith in Christ through the Catholic Church. I don't think you'd find a single Calvary Chapel Pastor/leader who would condemn you for that--they might be a little leery of your decision sure, but condemn? No way. In fact they'd be supportive of the fact that you've done your homework and come to your conclusion. I'm also enrolled in Calvary Chapel Bible College, leading a Bible Study and as I have already mentioned, have listened to approximately 10-15 years worth of Sunday morning / evening / Wednesday evening hour long sermons from various Calvary Chapel Pastors, so I believe I'm just as qualified, if not more so than you are to comment on this subject. Of course just like with the broader Catholic / Protestant schism / debate, The Catholic Church, naturally is not going to want to give in and/or admit wrong back in the time of Luther/Pope Leo as much as they should, and Protestants likewise are not going to want to give in and/or admit fault where they have also gone wrong in that sense, and what the real truth is about the Reformation period. It takes two to tango, and I strongly believe there was grievous error on both sides, not just doctrinally, but perhaps more importantly, how the whole thing was handled. The Catholic Church is and has been willing to take a step or two in that direction, and the broader Protestant Church has also been willing to take a step or two in that direction, but ultimately neither is willing to admit to enough to come all the way to the middle, where, somewhere therein, I'm sure the real truth lies, and it seems quite apparent to me, that it will not ever happen before Christ's return. So I just wanted to point out that I think you are creating a double standard through your criticism, and while I don't expect that you will fully agree with me, I hope you will reflect with more gratefulness and less criticism the way God led you to repentance and true faith in Christ--through Calvary Chapel. If Calvary Chapel is so wrong/bad why did God use it in your life so powerfully? Additionally, it seems that Catholics spend an awful lot of time talking about what the real teaching of the Catholic Church is vs. what the misrepresented Protestant belief about what they think the Catholic Church teaching is. Therefore, perhaps we agree more than we really know? The only issue I have is I've heard a lot, especially recently, about what the Catholic Church really teaches about this, etc. yet I live in an area that is dominated by over 75% Catholics, and I know for sure that the majority of Catholics I run across actually don't believe what the supposed "real" Catholic teachings are. Where does this discrepancy come from? Also, I see an intense, emotionally charged need to defend their beliefs against a perceived Protestant attack. I have a super-extreme Orthodox Catholic friend of mine who seems to be struck by this tendency. It seems, when that tendency takes hold an emotionally charged and a vehement emotional attachment to the Roman Catholic Church becomes more prominent, at least outwardly, than any visible emotional attachment to Jesus Christ. I would be worried anytime my feelings about my Church superseded my feelings about Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is not so, but then explain it. Why does it appear that this happens to objective observers such as myself? Why is the emphasis on the Church rather than on the head of the Church, Christ?

The Catholic Knight said...

Thank you phyglenaut for those comments. Yes, I would have to agree with you in your observation that your experience has been different than mine. As you read in the initial post, I have mixed feelings about Calvary Chapel and I am thankful for their ministry which allowed me to hear the gospel in a way I could relate to at the time, thus making it easier for me to repent of my sins and turn to the Lord. Having been raised in a non-practicing Protestant home, this conversion experience was essential for me.

I would like to see better relations between the Catholic Church and Calvary Chapel, but with Calvary's loose organizational structure, I'm not sure that's even possible. Basically Calvary uses civil laws via it's registered trademark to govern its affiliation standards, and beyond that there really is no organizational structure. Thus no one Calvary pastor is really able to speak on behalf of another, nor the entire affiliated network.  Not even Chuck Smith has that kind of authority. So ecumenical relations are reduced to a pastor by pastor basis, and any kind of mutual understanding obtained between the Catholic Church and one Calvary pastor cannot be expected to be shared with another Calvary pastor. So you see dialog is very limited. I suppose a candid Internet conversation like this one is really the best we can ever hope for.

For example; I have had one experience with a Calvary Chapel pastor which was exactly as you say. He disagreed with my decision but gave me his blessings as I left Calvary Chapel for the Catholic Church. Another Calvary pastor flat out called me an apostate and an idolator. He said I was a "dog returning to his vomit" and assured me that if I didn't return to "the faith" (I assume he meant the faith according to Calvary Chapel) it was only because I was never saved to begin with. Then I had an experience with another Calvary pastor that was something in between. He was pleasant with me, but simultaneously made it clear that I am never to enter his church building without him being there, because my very presence within the building could create a lightning rod for schism.  I don't understand the reason for this because I have never done anything, nor said anything, in or around his building that would give him cause to think this, but it's no skin off my back. I have no intention of entering his building.

Therein lies the problem you see. One Calvary pastor says one thing about the Catholic Church, another says something totally different, and a third is somewhere in between. The truth is you never really know what kind of teaching about the Catholic Church you're going to get in a Calvary Chapel until you visit one, and then every one is different.

So if you want to know where Calvary Chapel goes wrong in dealing with their Christian brethren in the Catholic Church, I'll tell you. The problem is simply twofold.

The first problem is that MANY Calvary pastors (though admittedly not all) have excused and sometimes accepted anti-Catholic propaganda from so-called "evangelists" who make a living dispensing it. That needs to stop. Calvary Chapel should not host these guest speakers, nor carry this slanderous literature in their bookstores. More than that, Calvary pastors shouldn't be repeating it from the pulpit either. That does happen from time to time. Topics related to doctrinal differences should be ACTUAL doctrinal differences based on the authentic teaching of both organizations. Seriously, if a Calvary pastor can't accurately relate Catholic teaching on his own, then he really should pull out an approved catechism and read it from there, or else refrain from the comparison (or contrast) entirely.

The Catholic Knight said...

Second, the eschatology common to most Calvary Chapels typically pins the Catholic Church, the pope, and/or the Vatican to some kind of one-world Antichrist religion. Now I understand this is based on a pre-tribulation, pre-millennial dispensational point of view. I understand that the context for this teaching is that all the "true Christians" have been raptured out of the world before this. But to link the pope, vatican or Catholic Church to such a grotesque abomination as the Antichrist is a HUGE ASSUMPTION - based on NOTHING! Assuming this whole pre-tribulation rapture thing is right (which is a whole topic in itself), who is to say there will even be a Catholic Church after such an event? Suppose the pope and every cardinal is raptured. Then what? You have no clear line of secession to the Chair of Peter. Canon law does not account for such a scenario. Effectively, the Catholic Church would be reduced to a loose collective of national churches overnight - very similar to the current situation in the Eastern Orthodox churches. Of course, if all the good practicing (i.e. "born again") Catholics are gone, and all that remains are Cafeteria Catholics, who is to say they would unite around any man claiming to be the pope? They don't do it now, so why should things be any different after a pre-trib. rapture? The problem with such a huge eschatological assumption is that it is an ASSUMPTION. You can't possibly know what the world would be like after a pre-trib. rapture, and to teach such an ASSUMPTION from behind the pulpit is negligent to say the least, and slanderous at worst. It's uncharitable and I dare say unChristian. Just imagine if the same were said in reverse, pinning the rise of the Antichrist to Costa Mesa California who seizes control of Calvary Chapel and using all her affiliates to start a one-world religion. Now you may find that ridiculous, but is it any more ridiculous to make the same claim of a Church that's been proclaiming Jesus Christ for two millennia? You and I both know the message of the Antichrist. We know what he's supposed to preach. It makes no sense for him to use the structure of any Christian organization to accomplish this. So preaching this ridiculous assumption from behind the pulpit, concerning the role of the Catholic Church in a post-rapture environment, must be stopped as well. Catholics and Calvary Chapel Christians can't be expected to have any kind of level relationship so long as Catholics are being slandered in this way.

Now you asked me why Catholics get so bent out of shape when it comes to defending the Church, but in doing so you made the ASSUMPTION that we put our Church above Christ. Again, this is nonsense. The reason why Catholics so vigorously defend the Catholic Church is specifically because we know it to be HIS Church, founded by him and for him. It is his bride, and in our view to assault the Catholic Church is to assault the bride of Christ. In a way it is an assault on Christ himself. Catholics will defend the Church with just as much fervor as a Protestant will defend the Bible. Honestly though, would it be fair for me to assume that Protestants love the Bible more than Christ? Of course not. No more ridiculous than it is to assume that Catholics love the Church more than Christ.

billguy said...

I hate to follow yet another clear response from the Catholic Knight but I'll have to add re phylglenaut, to excuse your experience of ten percent of sermons injected with jabs or outright attacks on Catholicism as not being an example of anti-catholicism is self deception; ten percent is about the percent a smart opportunist would choose otherwise any more and he'd look like what he is. It took me only a couple sermons to stumble across a Catholic jab, which really made me feel uncomfortable and used - like I had just heard gossip behind someone's back. It didn't seem right and wasn't right. In addition, these Catholic attacks seem to be without any outreach to Catholic theological authority for response. There is only ONE debate between [Costa Mesa] Calvary instructors and Catholic apologists that I know of 'Catholicism meets Calvary Chapel', but after this radio debate(available for purchase online) showed some embarrassing holes and factual errors in the Calvary understanding I haven't seen any since, or before; but I have heard the insulated [misrepresentative]Calvary attacks continue in sermons and literature. How can you follow that process? Catholics don't do this, and although you try to insinuate comparison of mutual attack, constantly Catholics are forced to respond in defense. You know, Anglican or say, Lutheran theological authorities will contact Catholic theological authorities and they'll sit down[sometimes in formal boards] and discuss these things and typically they don't botch each other's representation.

As far as Calvary being overall "wrong/bad", I don't think anyone here has said that. I'm identifying one aspect, seemingly handed out and passed between Calvarys like the effective lighting/graphics schematics, that is very bad[it's anti-catholicism and excuses for such]; although I have witnessed other issues I like and don't like. I admitted at a Calvary men's group that "there are certainly better Christians here than I", and there was one young pastor who really impressed me, which makes the whole unfair Calvary attack on Catholicism that much more tragic.

RDub said...

The bottom line is: Heaven is a free gift that cannot be earned or deserved. Man is a sinner and cannot save himself. God loves us and doesn't want to punish us but he is also holy and just and must punish sin. Jesus Christ (100% man, God in the flesh, and 100% God, through whom all things were made) took our sin upon Himself and paid for our sins by His blood. By grace we have been saved through faith, not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). Our faith in the "finished" work of Jesus Himself: that is what it comes down to. Is Jesus Lord of your life? Anything else that deviates from this takes away from the Glory of Jesus Christ of whom our father who art in heaven is well pleased. Does what we argue 'for or against' take away from this reality? If we agree, and believe, we are brothers and sisters in Christ and therefore, need not argue about the "other, denominational" things that get in the way of our appreciation of what Jesus "paid in full" on our behalf. We can go round and round and fool one another but our God, who is mighty to save, knows all. We are His church, of whom the gates of hell will not prevail against. This is the solid "Rock" upon which we must stand. All other ground is sinking sand. Amen.

billguy said...

Rdub, 'The bottom line' is...
maybe you didn't read the posts here, or maybe you just don't care. We aren't arguing the "other denominational thing" in this thread as you put it, but you do.

Sadly, I wish Calvary DID only argue the "other denominational" thing, instead of jabbing at and misrepresenting another Faith.

RDub said...

Billguy, I did read the posts and I do care. I am sorry if I give the impression that I am arguing "denominational" issues. The "jabs" are not cool. I agree. But is anything else more critical than our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ? In all seriousness, what else really matters in all of this. If we can agree on this, we can work closer together and have unity in Christ, not religion. We can stand firm and protect the unprotected, the unborn. We can defend marriage. This arguing over who got their feelings hurt is an attack of the enemy that has weakened the church as far as it's effectives in doing what we are called to do: share the truth of Jesus with others. How many of us do this on a daily basis? Of all the posts here, how many of us step out in faith and share Jesus with others who don't know that heaven is a free gift? Who don't know why the Bible was written: so that we can know that we have eternal life. Who don't know why Jesus had to die for our sins? In reading this post, I was challenged to pick up the book entitled Eusibius The History of the Church. I read it and you know what, we need to stop. We need to call out heresy when we see it, on the spot, not on some blog nor behind each others backs-in love, of course. We need to hold each other accountable.

The Catholic Knight said...

Rdub,

Let me first commend you for picking up and actually reading the History of the Church by Eusibius. This is a big first step. As a former Calvary Chapel teacher I can assure you you're on the right path now. You've still got a ways to go, but at least you're going in the right direction.

It's important to know and understand Church history. Sadly, you'll find that most teaching on Church history behind the pulpit ends with the close of the first century. Then if they talk about anything at all after that, it's usually some kind of rehashed Chick-track version of pseudohistory starting with Emperor Constantine, moving forward with how the popes and the Catholic Church corrupted and generally screwed up the gospel message. Depending on the teacher behind the pulpit, this alleged "corruption" may or may not have been intentional.

So at least now you've got a record of history up to the 4th century, and like I said, that's a start.

So now what you need to do is actually start reading and studying what Catholics actually believe, from our own sources, not what others say we believe. Let me ask you this, if you wanted to know what Jews believe, would you go consult the literature of the Nazi Party? How about Islamic propaganda on Judaism? Would either of those be good sources? Probably not eh?

The same goes for Catholics and our beliefs. You want to know what we believe? Well, why would you go to a non-Catholic (or a supposed ex-Catholic) to find out? Yet this is what Calvary Chapel cites as their "experts" on Catholicism all the time. It's kind of like me citing skinhead neonazis and Islamic radicals as "experts" on Judaism. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not comparing Calvary Chapel pastors to Nazis and Islamists. Perish the thought! But I am comparing the literature they frequently cite to that, at least in the realm of propaganda alone. I'm sure most of this is done in ignorance, but I also think it's fair to say that some of it is prejudice.

So since anti-Catholic authors and lecturers are probably not a good source to go to in order to find out what we actually believe, a good place to start would be our own sources. The links I have provided above do a pretty good job of that.

Just to cut to the chase, I'll give you a nutshell of Catholic beliefs about Jesus Christ and salvation which will probably shock you considering all the negative propaganda you might have heard about us...

The Catholic Knight said...

As Catholic Christians....

1.) We believe that there is one living and true God, existing eternally in three persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all and governs all.

2.) We believe that the entire Bible (all 46 books), the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit without error in the original manuscripts, and one of two infallible rules of faith and practice.

3.) We believe in God The Father, an infinite personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer and that He saves all from sin and death who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

4.) We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, literal miracles and teachings, His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people and His personal, visible return to earth.

5.) We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and the Son in righteousness and judgment to convict the world of sin, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower for ministry all who believe in Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher and Guide. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all the Biblical gifts of the Spirit.

6.) We believe that all people are sinners by nature and choice and therefore are under condemnation; that God regenerates by the Holy Spirit those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord; and that Jesus Christ baptizes the regenerated believer with the Holy Spirit, empowering them for service. We also believe baptism is a gift of grace which is received (like salvation) without merit of the baptized regardless of the age, gender, color or station in life.

7.) We believe in the universal and visible church, the living, Spiritual Body of Christ, of which Christ is the Head or King and the pope his prime minister, and all regenerated persons are members by virtue of their common Trinitarian baptism.

8.) We believe in the seven sacraments that the Lord Jesus Christ committed to the Church:baptism, confirmation, eucharist, reconciliation, healing, marriage and holy orders.

9.) We believe in the laying on of hands for the baptism of the Holy Spirit otherwise known as "confirmation", for ordination of pastors, elders and deacons, and for the receiving of healing and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

10.) We believe in the visible, personal return of Jesus Christ to earth and in the full establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection from the dead and in the eternal, heavenly blessing of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked in hell.

So there you have it, the Catholic Christian faith put in the same format used by Calvary Chapel. In fact, if you're wondering where this list of ten points came from you will find them here: http://www.calvarychapelhutchinson.org/Statement_of_Faith.html

I pulled it off a Calvary Chapel website. The only modifications I made are in italics so as to better fit with Catholic doctrine. Now for your next assignment, why don't you do a little comparison between these two "statements of faith." See where we are the same, and where we differ. Then we can chat some more.

jessup138 said...

Thanks for this article, I was engaged to a woman from Calvary Chapel Melbourne, Florida. The pastors there and most of the congregation have a personal score to settle with the Catholic church.
The members use emotional blackmail to try to force convert people to Calvary Chapel. Often times it seemed as if the pastors would make suggestive comments about the Catholic church to condition people; as to what to believe aside from the gospel. My faith has been very hurt by this experience, and now I often struggle with hateful feelings towards Christ. I am not trying to be a jerk, I just have to vent.

gerald nichols said...

What happened to the interesting dialog? I was going to comment but it appears the antagonists have lost interest. Hmmmmmm.

Eustaquio7 said...

Well, having attended Calvary Chapel of Escondido, California now for 28 years, and having 99% of all of the Sunday morning services on either cassette or CD, I can safely say that NOWHERE on ANY of them is any mention of, or jabs at the Roman Catholic Church!
In fact, all I have ever heard at Calvary Chapel of Escondido (Including Home Bible Fellowships)is that Jesus Christ took our sin upon Himself and paid for our sins by His blood alone. By GRACE we have been saved through faith, not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast about it.(Ephesians 2:8-9),and that salvation is a free gift.
So perhaps it depends upon WHICH Calvary Chapel is being referred to here in various posts above.
Many of my closest friends, including that of my family are Catholic.
Now there have been various times when people ask me why I don't attend the Catholic Church, to which I simply and truthfully respond to them that I'm not called to that ministry, just as I'm not called to the ministries of the Wesleyan Church, The Episcopalian Church, The Lutheran Church,The Methodist Church, etc. etc. etc. They are simply to me different ministries,to which others are called to.
We who've been infilled with Emmanuel (God With Us), and the Holy Spirit are called to be living testimonies to his saving and miraculous power, and to thwart evil,and to be salt and light.
Any infighting is pointless and is, if anything, a BAD witness to the world at large who do not know or have Christ in them, who thirst, and who need Jesus Christ's living water to quench their thirsts.
All of this bickering about various doctrinal points such as "How many angels can dance of the head of a pin" and their like, are nonsense to those who are perishing, and should not be named among us.
That's my "two-cents" worth for now folks.

Anonymous said...

I live in snoqualmie Washington and have heard a lot of anti catholic lies from both Calvary chapel and the local Christian missionary alliance. The most common things they say are
"Catholics are not Christians"
"the catholic chuch is a cult"
How I know this is I am a catholic and attend thier churches once in a while to see what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Well, you are true about the sterotypes protestants have about Catholics. On the other hand, a church like Calvary Chapel in the 6th century would have have severe discrimation let's say in the empire of Justinain. Justinian plan to put to death the leadership of the Montantists that have some similarities to churches like Calvary Chapel. The Church state union which actually is strongest in the Eastern Orthodox east more so than Roman Catholic countries is something feared by protestants as well and their big criticism of Constantine, Theodosius and Justinain. And in the Catholic west government leaders put heretics to death in the middle ages. In fact, its the protestant verison against the Catholic Church similar to the Eastern Orthodox criticism of Cathollism because of the crusades and the filoque. Orthodox tend to forget the massacre of the Latins where a Byzantine mob killed Latin merchants-Roman Catholics in 1182. Both protestants and Eastern orthodox criticism of the Roman Catholic church are more from the middle ages and some from more modern times but usually nothing in the past 200 years.

The Catholic Knight said...

Anonymous, I would venture to say when you really dig down into history you'll find that none of it is so "black and white." A lot of it has to do with the actions of civil leaders more so than religious leaders. To take a superficial view of history, and twist it into a religious conflict that has anything to do with today's Evangelicals is ridiculous. Today's Evangelicals have nothing to complain of. The Catholic Church has done nothing to them -- period -- and I defy any Evangelical to prove me wrong with any citation of Catholics 'persecuting' their kind anytime in the last 200 years. Go ahead, produce some documentation! I dare them!

Beyond that, I find that most Evangelicals don't even know history beyond 200 years ago. The best they can come up with is some vague reference to Martin Luther, and then it's one-thousand-five-hundred years of amnesia going back to the apostolic era. A period of 'lost history' to them in which all they know is that Catholicism was 'bad' and did a lot of 'bad things.' How does one reason with such ignorance?

Tami Brett said...

Hi, I'm a Catholic and currently in a dialogue with my Uncle, who just happens to attend Calvary Chapel. I went on his Facebook page to wish him a happy birthday and found a post which falsely represented Catholic teaching. I felt the need to defend the Catholic faith and thus began an e-mail exchange that has been going on now for several months. Your write-up has certainly shed new light on his "understanding" (lack of understanding) about what the Catholic Church teaches. Despite my best attempts, I'm having great difficulty making any headway with him. My Uncle had a previous marriage to a Catholic woman (I assume they were married in the Catholic Church), so I suspect a lot of his anger stems from his divorce. I wonder how many of these fallen away Catholics have a divorce in their past? My Uncle has been married to my Aunt (who also had a previous marriage) for at least 30 years. Divorce weaves such a tangled web. If I am ever able to get through to him, he's going to have quite a few hurdles coming into full Communion with the Church. I need to do a little research on this, but I assume they would both need annulments and then need to have their Marriage blessed. The Eucharist is worth any hurdle, but I'm just saying it's a hill he'll have to climb. Thank you Catholic Knight for all you do to defend and spread the faith!

The Catholic Knight said...

Tami, God bless you for your efforts with your uncle.

Calvary Chapel is a very difficult thing to break free of. Calvary Chapelites (as I sometimes call them) are fed a steady diet of anti-Catholic propaganda. Of course the flaws and failures of Catholics in society doesn't help but bolster the stereotype Calvary Chapel paints of us.

About all you can do is correct his misunderstandings of Catholicism, and then demonstrate your love of Jesus Christ to him. It will become increasingly difficult for him to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in you as you do this. That will go against the grain of what he is being taught in Calvary Chapel. 'How can the Holy Spirit be working in this Catholic niece of mine, when she's a member of this Catholic "cult?"' That realisation will be at odds with what Calvary Chapel tells him, and may someday cause him to question Calvary Chapel thinking.

As I look back over the years, I am becoming less conflicted, and starting to realise that my involvement in Calvary Chapel may have very well been the worst thing I could have done. I am looking at members of my family who attended there with me, and I'm seeing the spiritual damage that was done to them. Some of them are burned out on Christianity in general. Others seek signs and wonders. Still others believe Calvary Chapel is the 'TRUE CHURCH' and all others are false 'man-made' religions. I thank God he gave me the grace to get out of that organisation, but I have so much work to do to try to help others see the folly of it, as well as point them to the truth. I wish you all the best of luck with your uncle, and God's blessings for trying to help him.

Anonymous said...

I attended a Calvary affiliated church for several years and the take away I was given about Catholics was "There might be some Catholics that are Christians, but if they are, they are not good Catholics", in other words the Calvary Chapel party line about Catholics is that the only Catholics that might be actual Christians are the ones who do not believe/follow Catholicism. This was the teaching I recieved from Pastors, Home Fellowships etc...

backoftheworld.com said...

I just stumbled upon this post... Much of my childhood was spent at a Calvary Chapel in Florida, and I swam the Tiber just this year. What you describe is 100% in line with my own experience. CC teaching is passionately anti-Catholic, and I would guess that ex-Catholics probably made up a solid majority of the adults I knew in the movement. I recall special presentations on the "end times", where the Catholic Church was indeed identified as the "whore of Babylon," and I remember passing out Chick tracts that made it quite clear that Catholics were on their way to Hell.

It wasn't until much later, as an adult, that I discovered that much of what I was taught about the Catholic Church was based on prejudice and falsehoods. I have a brother and two sisters who are just beginning the RCIA process, and the backlash that they've received from Calvary Chapel friends is, well... less than charitable, shall we say.

Poncho barr said...

Catholic's are waking up,, and Christians are coming back to the Mother Church, that is the future of the Catholic Church. with over 50.000thousand christian sects, We can only be reminded of the type of circus,and confusion going on out there, The False Gospels of the prosperity Gospel,, pass the bucket, give me all your money,, save your soul. sounds like when the Catholic church lived in the Dark ages, (2). So many Mega Churches that were Anti Catholic don't even exit any more, they have fallen,,you will know by their fruit the Bible says, And the Mega churches of today are pointing fingers at each other, each one accusing each other of being a false prophet, Jimmy swaggart, blaming everyone except himself, while crying at the same time, Mr prize in Los Angeles he try's to ignore all this besides he has his bentley cars and plane to get away, while flying he crosses paths with benny hinn, who is trying to slay people in the spirit from the plane.
while filling his pocket with so much money,
So much that He goes to Rome to give some to the pope to restore the paintings, I can go on and on ,, but it makes me sick to my stomach. if they would just spend one month doing what Mother Theresa did, instead of criticizing Her, they might just save their souls. Money is the root of all evil, Most christian churches want your bank account, not your Soul... Money the Root of all Evils, Catholics Wake up, The Bible says they will be many false prophets. why trust a church that has no cornerstone, foundation,and tradition, The Catholic Church has been around for 2000thousand years,, 2Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter. unless you want to trust the new christian church that was started yesterday. well some are even starting today, by man.. Alfonso from Los Angeles: One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Amen Brother, Jesus is our Pillar.