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Why I Left Calvary Chapel: Introduction

by randy on April 4th, 2009

If you are at all familiar with Calvary Chapel you may find it interesting how someone could be so gung-ho for a fellowship of Churches like Calvary Chapel and then end up in a confessional, Orthodox Presbyterian Church (  I had spent an entirety of six years in Calvary Chapel and have served in a variety of ways from being on the facilities team, sound team, co-leading and teaching “College and Career Night” to being involved in a Calvary church plant, serving on the board and teaching on various occasions… even desirous of being sent out myself someday to plant a church.  There was a point in time where I thought the Calvary way was the modern extension of the book of acts church, oh how ignorant I was!

If you came here expecting a rant on the evils of Calvary Chapel or to see me air dirty laundry you came to the wrong place.  While I might list specific issues with Calvary Chapel- the issues really apply to the entirety of the modern evangelical church in America.  The application ranges from the very modernistic church to the essentially reformed and “reformed” churches I have visited along the way.  My purpose here is not to BASH anyone but to set off in reformation.   American Christianity is in a sad, sick place.  We say, I am rich, have prospered and need nothing- not realizing that we are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked (Rev 3:14-22).  It’s easy for us to point our fingers at the extremes like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen and say, “those are the Laodiceans of Revelation Chapter 3″ when in actuality it may very well be us too.

American evangelicalism may trophy the conservative label around or claim to be biblical, but it has not only embraced secularization, pragmatism, pop-psychology and the liberal mindset- it has led the way in it.  Many of the references I make will come from Michael Horton’s book, “Made in America.”   You would do better to read his take on the issue rather than mine.  In either case look forward to future writings on the issue as I try to paint the picture with more specific cases from my prior circle of modern evangelicalism.

  1. John Doe permalink

    Hi Randy,

    I find your articles very interesting. I have attended a CC church for the last 5 years. Iv been to a lot of CC’s in California and spent a lot of time in “Coasta Mecca”. I also attended a CC Bible College for a semester (and later found out I couldnt graduate unless I agreed with dispensationalism). This was all in my late teens (im in my early 20’s now). I agree totally with you about the Calvary obsession with the rapture and end times. I hold to the Amill view but I have still chosen to stick with my church. My Pastor has a great heart for the city and I really respect that. That is one of the reasons I chose the church. He follows a christocentric teaching of the bible rather than the usual Calvary “rapturecentric” teaching and for those two reasons I have chosen to stay.

  2. Rayla permalink

    I left Calvary Chapel and Protestantism and converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. I agree with the comment from a poster here about CC’s obsession about the end-times. Year after year of it just depressed the heck out of me. Of course, that’s not the reason I converted. It’s all of Protestantism that’s off, not just CC. I wanted to be a member of the church with the faith and TRADITION that was handed down to the Apostles. Orthodoxy is the faith that has not changed in a significant way in almost 2000 years. There is a book called Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin, a former CC pastor. This book rocked my world and got me seriously questioning all my religious suppositions.

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