Father, Son and Holy Rift

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    http://www.netscape.com/viewstory/2006/09/02/father-son-and-holy-rift-preacher-sons-rock-kingdom-by-embracing-gays/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fktla.trb.com%2Fnews%2Fla-me-smiths2sep02%2C0%2C3262689.story%3Fcoll%3Dktla-news-1&frame=true

    Father, Son and Holy Rift
    For Pastor Chuck Smith, the big issues are undebatable. For Chuck Smith Jr., also a pastor, it's not so crystal clear. Something had to give.
    By Christopher Goffard
    Times Staff Writer

    September 2, 2006

    From his pulpit in Santa Ana, Chuck Smith's voice thunders with certainty. He denounces homosexuality as a "perverted lifestyle," finds divine wrath in earthquakes and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and promises imminent Armageddon in a deep, sure voice.

    If his message is grim, the founder of the Jesus People and the Calvary Chapel movement bears the ruddy good cheer of a 79-year-old believer who insists he has never known a day's doubt or despair.

    From the pulpit of Capo Beach Calvary, 25 miles south of his father's church, Chuck Smith Jr.'s voice trembles with vulnerability and grapples with ambiguity. Without a trace of fire and brimstone, he speaks of Christianity as a "conversation" rather than a dogma, plumbs such TV shows as "The Simpsons" for messages, and aims to reach "generations of the post-modern age" that distrust blind faith and ironclad authority.

    There is a tradition among superstar evangelists like Chuck Smith the elder of bequeathing the pulpit to a son. Billy Graham did it, as did Robert H. Schuller.

    However, it has been ages since anyone considered the younger Smith a possible successor to his father's 15,000-congregation ministry, the symbolic center of a network of independently run Calvary churches: about 1,000 across the United States, including two of the three largest non-Roman Catholic churches in California, plus radio and TV ministries.

    Instead, critics whispered that the son was a dangerous impostor. Last year, those whispers exploded into a full-blown din. Online protests and fliers distributed at the younger Smith's church demanded that he drop the "Calvary" name because of his increasingly liberal drift on such non-debatable issues as the evil of homosexuality and the promise of hell for unbelievers. "What will it take for Chuck Sr. to stop the nepotism?" blogged Calvary congregant Jackie Alnor, one of the critics leading the charge. "Does his son have to burn incense to Isis and Zeus before he is disfellowshipped from a Bible-believing fellowship of churches?"

    By last spring, one thing had become clear to Smith Jr.: Sprawling as it was, the church his father had built — the place that once embraced a generation of drug-addled hippies and helped change the way many Americans worshipped — had little room left for him.


    Read the rest of the story at the link
     
  2. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    Holy Rift

    Right, wrong, indifferent, conservative, liberal, legalist, libertine, it is clear which way the media went on this one.

    Thanks Bartimaeus/Ky/Look Away!
     
  3. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    Holy Rift

    I should say from what I read here on the board, I did not read the whole article.

    Once again, Thanks Bartimaeus/Ky/Look Away! (temporarily in Southern Alabama, Dixieland)
     
  4. Grasshopper

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    Interesting atricle. Seems as if the son had and has a lot of problems. Not sure if he should really be in a pulpit.

    It does seem to be a picture of the struggles between the Modern Church vs. the Emerging Church. I do think there are areas of doctrine that should be re-examined in our Churches today, but other areas regarding sin that are quite clear in scripture.

    Here are some quotes I find interesting:

    His earliest memories involve an overpowering sense of sin. "You can never be good enough if you're Pentecostal or if you're fundamentalist," Smith Jr. said. "Jesus may even be upset if you didn't make your bed or brush your teeth."

    Couldn't agree more with this statement. Thank God for Grace, and those who teach it.

    For years, Smith Jr. said, he had preached about hell uncomfortably, half-apologetically, because he couldn't understand why a loving God would consign his children to eternal flames. It felt like blackmail for a pastor to threaten people with hell-scapes from the Middle Ages to induce piety.

    Now, he came to believe that the biblical images used to depict hell's torments — such as the "lake of fire" and the "worm that does not die" — were intended to evoke a feeling rather than a literal place.


    This is an area that I have begun to struggle with and think it needs some serious discussion.

    He also grew disillusioned with the Rapture, the notion that believers in Jesus will be whisked to God's side during Armageddon. His father had predicted the end of the world would arrive in the 1980s, based on his reading of the Book of Revelation. He has continued, year after year, to announce its imminence with absolute confidence.

    No need for comment here.
     
    #4 Grasshopper, Sep 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2006
  5. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Yes, Chuck Sr. was Four-Square. but I have never heard Calvary Chapel described as pentecostal. Yes, their theology comes out of a Charismatic background - but I was unaware that they 'practice' that.
     
  6. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I've been to some Calvary Chapel churches that hosted conferences where I spoke (along with others) and have heard these churches are "lightly charismatic."

    I don't think the portrait of Smith Sr. as a hellfire type preacher is accurate -- from what I know and have heard, he is not like that at all.

    Smith Jr. got divorced as a pastor and remarried and is still a pastor. I do not think that is right. But beyond that, his vocal doubts on the faith and his entrance into Catholic mysticism do not portray a good pastor or witness for Christ, imo. But he seems to have his fans, so let them have him. It's good his church was separated from the Calvary Chapel consortium or denomination or whatever it's called.
     

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