Statement Of Support Regarding Chuck Smith And The Emergent Church

Moriel and Jacob Prasch solidly support the position recently published by Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, (Santa Anna) California distancing Calvary Chapel from the Emergent Church Movement which is in essence a hyper-ecumenical combination of Post Modernism and religious mysticism that rejects the propositional truth upon which the biblical Gospel is predicated.

The guru of the Emergent Church is Brian McLaren whose notions of the church declaring a 5 year moratorium on debating homosexual ordination before deciding on the morality of an issue God’s Word has already declared wrong, and his rejection of absolute truth, in itself establishes the biblically untenable nature of McLaren’s apostasy and the general character of the Emergent Church.

McLaren has also shared pastor’s conferences with Rick Warren of Purpose Driven fame who redefines biblical ecclesiology and mission along the marketing and consumer psychology philosophy of the late secular marketing guru Peter Drucker. This in essence abandons the message of repentance in favor of “seeker friendliness” and warns against teaching End Times prophecy as a diversion. Purpose Driven is the door into the Emergent Church much as British Alpha courses were the door into the drunken style hysterics of the Toronto Experience. In one 2004 San Diego Pastors conference with McLaren and Warren as keynote speakers, yoga as a course to spirituality was featured.

Such deceptions have attempted infiltration into the Calvary Chapel movement at a time when substituting the Name of the God of the Bible with the name of the Hawaiian volcano god “Io” is advocated by certain figures in Youth With A Mission (YWAM), a highly ecumenical organization. This misidentification of the true God has sadly made inroads into certain supposedly Evangelical circles in the Pacific in defiant rejection of Exodus 20:3. St. Paul and Moses in Scripture both taught other gods are demons. The rejection of propositional truth likewise inherently disposes the Emergent Church towards the adoption of such multi-faith orientations. Rick Warren’s recent Purpose Driven address to a California synagogue that was void of any Gospel message or presentation of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah additionally underscores the interfaith predisposition of Purpose Driven. The convergence of these inter-faith and ecumenical trends is alarming.

At a time of the proliferation of such Last Days deceptions, we thank the Lord for the courage, integrity, and leadership demonstrated by Pastor Chuck Smith in his rejection of the Emergent Church and we applaud the stance of Dave Hunt, Roger Oakland, and Warren Smith and others who have warned of the unbiblical nature of so much of the Purpose Driven fad and its various tendrils.

We do however remain disappointed that some Calvary Chapel Pastors are rejecting the position advocated by Chuck Smith, or are trying to keep a foot in both camps. Moriel considers Pastor Smith’s position to be both utterly biblical and grounded in wisdom. In our experience, Pastor Smith has usually been right in his judgments on various issues, and concerning the Emergent Church he has rarely been more right in the exercise of his judgment and discernment.

We thank God in an age of compromise where the political correctness of the fallen world has permeated the church, that Chuck Smith has once again correctly taken a stand, just as he correctly took a stand concerning the practices of Lonnie Frisbee and the experiential theology of John Wimber in the earlier years of Calvary Chapel.

May the Lord bless Pastor Smith for his fortitude and continue to prosper his ministry. Our prayer is also that Calvary Chapel pastors and attendees will rally to the support of the position that Chuck Smith has ably published in a position paper in the form of a pastoral letter “Parson To Person”.

Jacob Prasch
David Lister
David Royle
International Board of Moriel

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