CHUCK SMITH, (1927-2013) founding pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California
Chuck Smith was founder and pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, which spawned a number of Calvary Chapels throughout the United States and around the world. All are charismatic. He was reared in Pentecostal churches by his parents, graduated from LIFE Bible College, and was ordained a pastor by the International Church of the Foursquare* Gospel (Aimee Semple McPherson*/Arminian/Pentecostal).
Chuck Smith, along with Pentecostal evangelist Lonnie Frisbee (who "put the freak[iod] in Jesus freak," struggled with homosex, and died of AIDS in 1993) played key roles in the '60s-'70s, charismatic 'Jesus People' movement of southern California.
"Pastor Chuck" had a radio program titled 'The Word For Today', and often spoke on TV via the rabidly charismatic Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). "He has a very personable aspect, his speaking approach is low-key, and he is careful to avoid any untoward Charismatic characteristics. Hence his ministry is especially dangerous, in that most Christians today tend to evaluate a leader by his personality and appearance, rather than by his doctrine" MJS.
While dispensational in the realm of eschatology, Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel movement are doctrinally Arminian. This fundamental humanism can also be seen in his associates and those who Smith has discipled including: George Bryson, Greg Laurie, Jon Courson, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, and Skip Heitzig.
Like many non- and interdenominational ministries, Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel attempt to appear theologically neutral, intellectually superior, and transcend century-old, so-called "human interpretations." Many immature Christians are fooled by the ploy. In his article Calvinism, Arminianism & The Word of God: A Calvary Chapel Perspective, Smith erroneously wrote:
"Calvary Chapel has been known for striking a balance between extremes on controversial theological issues that have often caused division rather than unity in the body of Christ.
"Calvary Chapels have no desire to be divisive nor dogmatic in areas where Bible believers and teachers have disagreed.
"It is not our purpose to take sides on these issues or to divide the body of Jesus Christ over human interpretations of these Biblical truths concerning our salvation.
Consequently, Chuck Smith reformulated (to sound more biblical) each of the five statements of the Remonstrance (Arminian), while maintaining their central humanistic tenet of "free will." He failed to understand that these "issues" are are at the core of the division between truth and error, and that one cannot effectively 'straddle the fence' philosophically, despite his good intentions. Smith wrote, "Our desire is to bring believers together in the love and unity of the Holy Spirit." Yet, history has proven time and again, that such "love and unity" is but a mirage when Truth and Light are not both honored and upheld. One cannot maintain "balance" between truth and error, the flesh and the Spirit. Simply put, deficient views of the Fall result in deficient and pseudo forms of Christianity. Despite their evangelicalistic emphasis, the Calvary Chapel movement was biblically unsound.
* Aimee Semple McPherson's (1890-1944) "Foursquare Gospel," which she claimed was given directly to her by divine revelation, was almost identical to A. B. Simpson's (1844-1919) already-existing "Fourfold Gospel" (Christ Our Saviour, Christ Our Sanctifier, Christ Our Healer, and Christ bur Coming King).
See The Unholy Alliance, The Five Points Compared and Contrasted and LIVING WATER The Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life
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