As you probably know I have not sided or supported CCA or CGN. Still I pray for the leaders and believers in both camps and consider pastors in both camps as long-time friends. At the time of Chuck’s departure, to my knowledge, there was no CGN as it is known today. However, Chuck sent me one of his many emails about his vision for CCA. Since many of the leaders that were in CCA are now in GGN-I assume what he wrote about CCA applies to CGN as well. On July 27, 2013 11:26 AM Chuck emailed me and said:
Dear George, I am in full agreement with your assessment, and advice. No Calvary is over or under another Calvary. We are all brothers in Christ. We all have the freedom to follow our understanding of how the Lord is leading us. If you feel that He is leading you in another direction, you are free to go and follow that leading. If you agree to the Calvary Chapel distinctives and desire to fellowship with us, you are welcome. What we do not want is for fellows to call themselves Calvary Chapel, and go a dozen different directions, that will only end in total confusion. The CCA board is only intended as an advisory board, not a ruling board. The men serve on this board only to help when called upon or needed. In Christ, Chuck
Just in case you do not remember what my assessment was, this was what Chuck was referring to:
A young pastor wtote me and asked:
- To be an affiliate pastor in Calvary Chapel do I have to accept the CCA board and their regional leadership team in my area as my leadership team? Are they “over me” and am I “under them”?
- Can I just make sure my assistant or someone else I may want to send out in the future has “proved” himself to be Calvary in doctrine and practice, vouch for him and then send the evidence into the main CCA office?
- Before I call a brother a CC affiliate pastor, do I need to get the permission or approval of the CCA leadership in the area in which he wants to start a Calvary Chapel?
George, the last thing I want or need right now is controversy so I would appreciate remaining anonymous until some of the issues that seem to be dividing some of us are settled. I would not be troubled if Pastor Chuck reads this letter but for now I would not like to have anyone know who I am. So long as information is given out that does not identify who I am and where my church is, you have my permission to share my concerns with other pastors. More than likely, there are a few others who have the same or similar questions. I would not be bothered if you passed these questions on to Chuck, Don or others on the CCA board. Sincerely, in the love of our Lord and Savior…
This is just one of the letters I have received over the last year that you may want to address. Here is what I want to write him back.
It is my understanding that it is not necessary for you to consider yourself in CCA or to see or view the CCA board or leadership as over you in anyway. It is also my understanding that as an affiliate Calvary Chapel pastors, if you can be sure that your assistant is CC in doctrine and practice, you can lay hand on him, send him out to start a Calvary Chapel pastor anywhere in the world and you do not need the approval or permission of anyone else. I would add as a side note that all of us need to be respectful about what someone else is already doing in an area and not do anything to undermine, divide or discourage other Calvary Chapel pastors and ministries. As I have said in my Stay the Course Email Articles, every CC pastor is and should be as free as Chuck Smith was/is, as free as Mike McIntosh was/is and as free as John Higgins was/is. Allow me to echo Pastor Chuck and say “Go for it”! In Christ, George