Crisis in the Calvary Chapel Movement
A Response to Pastor Dave Rolph
by Lee Edward “Ed” Enochs
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Dear Pastor Dave,
You don’t know me, but I used to come down to Aliso Viejo from Biola University when I was a student there to hear Pastor Danny Bond at Pacific Hills Calvary Chapel many years ago and was concerned about some things you wrote about in your open letter.
My name is Lee Enochs and I am now a graduate student at Princeton Theological Seminary here on the East Coast. I grew up in the Calvary Chapel movement and used to attend Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for many years when I lived in Southern California. I began attending Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and sitting under the Bible teaching of Pastor Chuck Smith back in the 1980’s and greatly appreciated Pastor Chuck’s focus on verse by verse expository preaching.
While there is much to be commended by your letter, I am concerned by its lack of Scriptural foundation. I believe that whatever we do in ministry must be governed by Scripture and not by emotions and personalities. There are very serious issues facing the Calvary Chapel movement that must be addressed by the authority of Scripture alone.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
While I love everyone on both sides of this matter regarding the Calvary Chapel Association and the Calvary Chapel Global Network, I believe it needs to be explained better to us laypeople why exactly Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa is leaving the Calvary Chapel Association that has been shepherded by trusted men of God that had the confidence of Pastor Chuck.
There are many serious issues that need to be addressed in this controversy. Important issues need to be addressed from Scripture alone such as the erosion of Biblical preaching in the Calvary Chapel Movement, the role of entertainment in the Calvary Chapel movement, women in ministry and the very real issue of postmodern relativism invading our Calvary Chapel churches.
Pastor Dave, can you explain to us from the Bible why Brian Brodersen and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa are Biblically justified to break away from the Biblical accountability afforded to it by godly Calvary Chapel pastors that had the confidence of Pastor Chuck Smith?
“For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:6).
Sincerely in Christ,
Lee Edward “Ed” Enochs
“But examine everything carefully, hold fast to the truth” (1 Thessalonians 4:21)
“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Lee Edward Enochs (B.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a graduate student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Lee is the author of two books, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism” and, “The Case for Rand Paul.” Before studying in Princeton, Lee lived in Southern California for over twenty years where he sat under the preaching ministry of the late Pastor Chuck Smith.