Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chuck Smith Speaks Out on the “Emerging Church”

I saw this on Slice of Laodicea. Chuck Smith, who started Calvary Chapel churches, has issued a statement on the emerging “church”. I may have some disagreements here and there on certain points of theology, but one thing that I do appreciate is the general stand on preaching the Word of God. Calvary Chapel had a huge impact on me as a new believer. When I was saved, I used to listen to Raul Reis, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Golden Springs, CA. I ran across Raul Reis’s radio program “Manna for Today” (that is what it was called back then) before I was saved. Raul was raised Catholic and he would often speak on some of the false beliefs of Roman Catholicism that helped me begin questioning the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Once I was saved, I listened to Raul’s program regularly until his program went off the air in our area. I am not sure what Raul is like today since I have not heard him preach in quite while, but I do remember what he was like back then. What I appreciated was the fact that they were willing to lovingly reach out to the lost, yet without watering down the proclamation of God’s Word. It seems to have been a hallmark of the Calvary Chapel churches. I have never attended a Calvary Chapel church, so the only thing I have to go by is what I have heard on the radio.

But it seems that some of the churches may be going the “emerging” route, which is probably the reason Chuck issued this statement. Tragically, it seems that his son, Chuck Smith, Jr. has taken the postmodern “emerging” bait. From what I understand, apparently his church is no longer linked to in the list of Calvary Churches. That is sad and my heart goes out to Chuck Smith Sr.

I hope that Chuck continues to speak out openly against the emerging movement, and makes an attempt to do so more publicly.


Rob said...

I just read it, and frankly it's really silly, shows a lack of scholarly research and a complete misunderstanding of what we're saying.

I'd refute it point by point but I don't have time. I will say this. Emerging churches are filled with people with Reformed Theology. I have abandoned that theology as I find it lacking, but I know your arguments. I know what you're going to say, I know what arguments you will make, and I know how to refute those arguments.

On the other hand, Chuck doesn't know me. He's never bothered to study or learn what I think, the arguments I make or how to refute them. When he writes this stuff I have to chuckle because he's so wrong.

I can make Reformed churches sound scary too. I can call them intolerant bastions of white middle-class America/Canada. I can say their full of intolerant and bigoted people. I can say they love Calvin more then Jesus. But if I said that it would show I hadn't done my research. It would show that I don't have a good grasp of Reformed churches, who they are or what they think. But I really can make them sound scary.


anoninva said...

I have heard Raul Reis' program lately and I think he is still solid, very much like Chuck Smith, Sr. I too have been blessed by their expository teaching ministry even though I've never attended a CC church either. I so appreciate Chuck Smith's commitment to scripture and sent an email to them to let them know that.

Rob...ugh...ugly attitude, ugly arrogant comments. Too bad we're not all as smart as you, I guess. But if you are so short on time, why bother correcting us? Why cast your "pearls" before swine?

Rob said...


I was attempting to be provocative. The comments from Chuck Smith are no less rude or arrogant then my own. Just they seem directed at people you disagree with.


AuthenticTruth said...


It does not surprise me that you find it "silly" and "lack of scholarly research". That is the typical answer given by those in emerging "churches". But this is the same charge leveled at men like D.A. Carson as well, who I think did excellent research in his assessment of emergent.

I have read the statements of McLaren, Bell and others in their own material, and I have come to the same conclusions as Carson and others.

I know that there are inevitably some involved in the emerging phenomenon that may be fairly biblical in their theology, but I believe that is the exception rather than the rule. Take Mark Driscoll for instance. While I still have some concerns about Mark in certain areas and cannot fully endorse his ministry, I highly commend his move toward more sound and biblical theology. I also find it interesting how his material seems to rarely be referred to by the ministries officially associated with Emergent. I highly commend Mark for speaking out and distancing himself from the more aberrant elements of the emerging church. Keep in mind that at one time Driscoll worked closely with McLaren, so I think he would understand better than anyone what they are really teaching.

But the key leadership in the emerging movement holds to aberrant theological views that are way out of line with Scripture.

Rob said...


See this is where you are wrong. There is a distinct difference between Emergent (an organization with a hierarchy) and emerging churches. Carson's criticism and your's seem to use the 2 interchangably. This is a sad error and one that is made over and over again despite the fact we keep pointing it out.

Do me a favour please link the website for the Emerging Church. I'd be interested to see what you find. Again, please note, is NOT our denomination.

Driscoll is still a part of the Emerging Church. He has distanced himself from Emergent the organization.


Rob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bobby grow said...

I went to Calvary Chapel Bible College, and sat under many of the CC pastors for years--my home church was CC Costa Mesa. I agree, I appreciate there emphasis upon the centrality of God's Word and Evangelism! But they are also anti-"intellectual" and a bit sectarian (e.g. believe they are "where" the Holy Spirit is primarily working today). Also Calvary Chapel's (at least around the hub of Costa Mesa) are decidely Arminian in their soteriology (Raul Reis esp.).

I have since removed myself from the CC, but like you, in general I still appreciate some of their emphases; and I'm still in contact with some "key" leaders at CC Costa Mesa.

The distinction between "emergent" and emerging by Rob seems a bit artificial--not quite sure what the distinction is between the two? What is it Rob?

In Christ,

Bobby G.

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Dave said...

I'm not much of a blogger but I do feel the push to just point you guys to one document that actually helped me out a lot. Driscol actually wrote an article on the differences between emerging and emergent.,2%20APastoralPerspectiveontheEmergentChurch%5BDriscoll%5D.PDF

Rob, I understand your frustration with being lumped together. I too often find myself trying to clarify the difference to people who have already made their mind up. However as a soft rebuke, that will hopefully be received well, I would say remember that we are called to reveal truth in a humble way that differs from the world.

I love your passion, but let it be tempered by a trust that in the end God will sort out the hearts of man, and the Holy Spirit is much better at convicting the conscience then man.

God Bless,

Dave said...

THat Link didn't work very well

The paper is called A pastoral Perspective on the Emergent Church.

Google it!

Sorry for the inconvenience.