Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa has tried to keep a low public profile and avoid inter-denominational conflicts. They count on the cooperation of the other denominations for events such as their Harvest Crusades. However, there are a number of incidents that have been widely reported noting the lack of support for other churches in the Southern California area. Some of these are:
There are additional examples in the sermons of Chuck Smith of attacks on other Christian Denominations.
This story starts a step back. Hocking was the Senior Pastor of Calvary Church of Santa Ana (no relation to Calvary Chapel). The church grew under his leadership to be large:
Calvary Church to dedicate OC's largest worship center" [75,000 square feet, 3,200 seats -- $9.7 million] Orange County Register, 11/24/91, p. B1
In Oct 1992, the elders of Calvary Church caught David Hocking in a major scandal involving marital infidelity. The elders of the church told Hocking that he would no longer be the Senior Pastor of Calvary Church and would have to undergo a three-year restoration process.
Refusing to accept the restoration plan of the elders at Calvary Church, Hocking's long-time buddy Chuck Smith took him in. Reportedly, Smith said that this great man of God should not be wasted, and took in David Hocking as a Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa staff member. Hocking was excommunicated by Calvary Church of Santa Ana after he refused to submit to the elders of the church in their restoration process.
Calvary Church of Santa Ana had based their restoration process on the process outlined in a chapter reportedly authored by David Hocking of Tim LaHaye's book If Ministers Fall, Can They Be Restored?
In the beginning CCCM did not call Hocking a "Pastor". However, Hocking was preaching at the church and teaching at the CCBC within a very few weeks. Presently, when Hocking's radio program on KWVE is announced, Hocking is called a pastor. We went to a service at CCCM about the end of 1995 where Hocking announced that he would no longer be on staff at CCCM, but would still be teaching there during the weeknights.
Hocking, soon after coming to Calvary Chapel, started teaching at CCCM on Wednesday nights and other times as well (the CCCM school of ministry) as well as at the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Twin Peaks (near Lake Arrowhead, CA). It is obvious to everyone from the close timing of the events that at CCCM there was no restoration process.
This turned into a simple sheep stealing exercise as Calvary Church emptied out and CCCM further filled up due entirely to the presence of David Hocking. Calvary Church went into a financial down spin and having Hocking preaching less than 10 miles away on Wednesday nights made the situation much worse.
Hocking is no longer teaching at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa (7-98).
This was a major point of contention between Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and other local churches in the community (particularly CCSA). This caused a major scandal here in Southern California where the results are still being felt.
The LA Times carried the following articles on the subject.
Excommunication Shocks, Confuses Disgraced Pastor;
Wednesday, December 23, 1992
Orange County Edition Section: Metro ID:0920143998
Words: 383 Byline: DAVID HALDANE TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Rev. David L. Hocking, well-known former senior pastor of Calvary Church, said Tuesday that he is shocked and confused by the church elders' decision to excommunicate him for failing to show what they called "proofs of ...
Santa Ana's Rev. Hocking Quits Pulpit After Affair;
Scandal: Renowned minister acknowledges 'sexual sin' with married woman in congregation of his Calvary Church.;
Friday, October 9, 1992
Orange County Edition Section: Metro ID:0920112962
Byline: BILL BILLITER TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Rev. David Hocking, a Protestant minister who has a national following through his taped radio sermons, resigned as pastor...
The article originally appeared in the CRI Newswatch publication. Read the complete document.
All of these charges against Set Free sure sound a lot like the charges that were made against Calvary Chapel over 20 years ago.
They have many examples of epidemic condemnation of other churches from CC pulpits.
The backlash to this practice by the mainline denominations has already started. Witness particularly, a recent "Whitehorse Inn" program where the radio show's Calvinistic hosts stated that CC is not a true church, but is rather only a sect. This was one of the first few public responses to the continual attacks that the mainline denominations have received at the hands of CC over the years. Although Calvary may claim to "not oppose denominations", this is simply not the fact.
On tape 5180, Smith said:
I believe that when God desires to do a fresh work, He often goes outside the boundaries of organized religious systems. I don't know where in historical record we find evidence of a true revival occurring within a denominational group. Usually, the great modern revivals resulted in the formation of whole new denominations.
On the same tape, Smith said:
I couldn't see going along with traditional practices of the denomination I was affiliated with. It seemed simple enough; but the old skins just couldn't handle it. They were already set in their ways.
So much for being under authority! By the way, that's what we're doing now, here with you; Chuck.
On tape 5190, Smith said:
And when you hear the unbelief and skepticism that is expressed by so many ministers today. Unbelief in the Bible as God's inspired word. Unbelief in the virgin birth in Jesus Christ. Unbelief in the atoning death of Christ. And yet they call themselves ministers. And yet they are part of major denominations. And yet they are embracing all kinds of ungodly doctrines. And many of them are extremely opposed to any fundamental view of the scriptures. And especially to any evangelical approach to men.
On tape 5226 Smith said:
And I think of how tragic it is and what a poor witness to the world that the church is so divided and so fractured. Now that is not an indictment against denominations. I see the purpose of denominations; I have no problem with that. The only problem I have is when people get denominational, when they cannot see the whole church and the whole body of Christ, but they see their own little segment only and exclude the rest.
We agree. That's the problem we have with the Calvary Chapel denomination, too. On the same tape, Smith said:
And I believe that there are many people that have been turned away from Jesus Christ because of that terrible faction and party spirit that exists in Christianity, as people have put up their denominational barriers and confined themselves. You know, "We are..." And people look at the church fighting and competing among itself. They see the bitterness that arise and the church is not that witness that Jesus would have us to be.
It's too bad that Calvary keeps doing that. On tape 5254, Smith said:
G. Campbell Morgan said that "I have noted that the more spiritual a man becomes, the less denominational he becomes." Had Paul been writing to the church today concerning the divisions among it, I'm sure he would say, "But some of you say I'm a Baptist, and some of you say I'm a Presbyterian, and others say I'm an Episcopalian, and then others say, well I'm a Nazarene, and there are those who would say well, we're of the Church of Christ." Again he'd say "Is Christ divided?" and he would urge toward unity within the body to realize that we are all of Jesus Christ. Paul was sent to preach the gospel, not with the wisdom of words, something that they were very familiar with there in Corinth.
On tape 5205, Smith said:
We have some friends who were pastoring a church in the same denomination that we served for so many years, were we got packaged programs from the denomination. Quit convenient, you didn't even have to think of one, they thought of them for you. All you had to do is get your committees and inaugurate them. And of course every year you get two of them. You get your spring enlargement program, and that you get the one to beat the summer slump program. And so this church was going to go all out. I mean they had everything all lined out.
Sounds kind of like the Harvest program that you are taking on the road now, huh? On tape 5207, Smith wrote:
And John answered saying:" Master, we saw one who was casting out devils in your name, and we forbid him, because he did not follow with us." (the beginning of sectarianism, denominationalism) And Jesus said onto him:" Don't forbid him, for he that is not against us, is for us." Ready to stop others who don't follow along with us. The Lord says;' no, no, no, if they are not against us, they are for us."
On tape 5255, Smith wrote:
This party spirit or denominational spirit is a mark of carnality, to refuse to recognize the whole body of Christ. To break down the denominational barriers and be able to love another man even though he is Baptist, or even though he is a Nazarene, or even though he is a Presbyterian -- to be able to accept him as a brother in Jesus Christ -- is so important that I not see these differences.
Seems like he sees a lot of differences, actually. On tape 5256, Smith said:
Part of the problem was the divisions that existed within the church as they were dividing off into little sects of sorts, little denominations, I am of Paul, I am of Peter, I am of Apollos. And Paul said this was a mark of carnality, Christ was not divided, those ministers who ministered to them should have had complementary ministries, not competing ministries.
On tape 5256, Smith wrote:
The communists have planted many men in places of position in some of the major denominations across the United States. The World Counsel of Churches is close to a Communist front organization and espouses almost every Communist cause and supports every crooked thing going. I could get carried away with this. I'll tell you I would not give one dime to a church that is a part of the World Counsel of Churches or the National Counsel of Churches.
On tape 5275, Smith said:
It wasn't until I forsook the role model the denomination I was in maintained, that the evangelist is the highest calling, and instead was satisfied with what God had equipped and ordained me to be, "Chuck, a pastor-teacher by the will of God," that I began to experience a real fulfillment in my ministry.
On the same tape Smith said:
Because I wanted to be an evangelist, because that is what the denomination recognizes. I wanted to see souls saved, because the first thing I had to report on my report every month was how many people were saved this month. Terrible to put zeros in there. The hierarchy, the bishops will never recognize you unless you have converts.
Translation: the pastors in denominations have carnal motives. On tape 5279, Smith said:
A few months ago I received a letter where I was invited to speak at a certain denominational meeting and I got a letter this week after I responded, I thought well that is interesting I will accept that and so I wrote a letter of acceptance and I got a letter back this week from the minister who had invited me to speak and he said, "I am awfully sorry but when I brought up your name, a lot of the ministers were afraid that some of our ministers might be influenced by you and because you believed in the validity of the gifts of the spirit it might draw some of them away so they decided that they don't want you to speak.
On tape 5279, Smith said:
There should be a unity in the body of Christ and the thing I like about being non-denominational or inter-denominational is that it does give us a comfortable posture whereby we can accept and love and feel free to fellowship with anybody from any denomination who really believes in Jesus Christ. Now there are some denominations that will not accept the baptism of another denomination. Some churches that will not accept the baptism of another church. Oh you were baptized by them, will you will have to be baptized again before we can receive you into membership. There are some churches that have closed communion, when they pass the broken bread. You can't take it, unless you are an approved member of that church. Walls by which the body of Christ is divided.
Kind of like the way that Calvary Chapel will not accept 5 point Calvinists, and people that do not hold the pre-tribulational rapture, huh? Who's doing the dividing, there? On tape 5298, Smith said:
This so often happens when man sets up a hierarchy. It will degrade into something less than when it was started; a political institution instead of a spiritual organism. One of the problems with most of the major denominational churches today is that they have become political systems rather than spiritual organisms.
Sounds like CC, to us. On tape 5298, Smith said:
Just about every message that I preached was evangelistic; because, in the denomination where I served, evangelism was the big thing. I came to the realization, after years of frustration, that preaching is for the unconverted. The converted need teaching.
On tape 5194, Smith said:
I have a friend who had a very remarkable conversion. He lived out in the area of Victorville. He owned about five different businesses out there; he was an extremely successful person. He owned a tractor agency, he owned an excavating company, and just had many business interests. He was an Episcopalian, very nominal Christian, one of the Christmas/Easter variety.
On tape 5156, Smith said:
And ...ahh... so she developed the ...ahh Seventh Day Adventist and they follow her writings and so forth, which it turns out aren't necessarily her writing, she was a plagiarist and has copied from other books and so forth ...ahh which some of their own scholars are discovering now a days. And exposing and getting kicked out of the Seventh Day Adventist. It's quite a stir that's going on in that particular denomination right now. ..
Kind of like Chuck Missler, huh?
On tape 5315 Smith says:
Now, there is within the Pentecostal churches that thing that is called "Shepherding" which is the deeds of the Nicolaitans. 'You come to us and we will advise you what God has to say concerning whom you should marry, and what you should sell and what you should buy and when you should do this or that and they seek to exercise a lordship over the people. It is the deeds if the Nicolaitans - that shepherding movement.
Those other mind control cults sure are nasty, huh? On tape 5229, Smith said:
Somewhere along the line, the Pentecostal churches have gotten a mistaken notion, that God often speaks to the church through tongues and interpretation of tongues. That is not scriptural!
On tape 5297, Smith said:
You grow spiritually through the word of God. In Pentecostal Services, when they have emotionally charged meetings, the people declare the blessedness of the service but the preacher did not even get a chance to preach. They will say, "The Spirit came down and we were all so blessed."
Attacks against the Roman Catholic church have been a long-standing practice at Calvary Chapel. All of the following quotes were taken from TWFT tapes. On tape 5176, Smith said:
The dogma that was developed in the Catholic church of the perpetual virginity of Mary, is sheer poppycock. It is the invention of men who have thought to elevate Mary to the status of deity. The obvious fact is here, "And knew her not 'till'" It is clear that afterward, they did have normal husband-wife relationships with each other, or else the other sons and daughters that were born of Mary were also virgin-born, and that throws the whole story in disarray. The gospel of Mark names the brothers of Jesus as James, Joses and Simon, and mentions his sisters, so to declare perpetual virginity of Mary is not a scriptural truth. It is a Catholic dogma, without scriptural foundation, as are most dogmas. Paul said, "Beware of dogs"(Phil. 3:2,) I say, "Be wary of dogmas!" (Spelling checker shows word to be spelled correctly.)
Another one was tape # 5185:
Now the Catholics assert that the church was build on Peter. There are problems with this. Number one, Jesus said onto him," thou art Petros,( which in the creek is a little stone) and then He declared," upon this Petra,(which is a giant stone) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
On tape 5189, Smith said:
For one is your father, which is in heaven." So the title of father was prohibited by Jesus. In my associations I have become acquainted and friends of many ministers within the Episcopalian Church, and also within the Catholic Church. And I have extreme difficulty in knowing how to address that. Because for the life of me I can not call them father so and so. Because Jesus said not to. And so, to me it creates a difficult thing, as to how to address them, because they are usually introduced,' this is father so and so,' and I just have a hang-up with this, but I just can't address a man, father, in a spiritual sense. I don't know, do what you want, but I just have problems.
On tape 5209, Smith said:
The Protestant reformation came as a protest against the evil practices that had arisen within the catholic church. Especially the selling of indulgences. For the Pope was desirous to built a great Cathedral in Rome, St. Peters. And the money wasn't coming in, fast enough to build this glorious monument, that he was desiring to put up, as a symbol for Christianity. And so someone in the counsel came up with a bright idea. Everybody likes to sin, why don't we sell them forgiveness for sin's. And they can buy an indulgence, before they ever indulged. So as they indulging, the thing is covered, because they've already buyed their forgiveness. So you want a little escapade on the side. You want to go out and get drunk? fine, go down and buy your drunk indulgence. You want to have an affair? go down and get an adultery indulgence. And they started selling the indulgences to the people. And this so incensed Martin Luther, that he took his 95 thesis, his objections, to the practices that had developed within the church, and he taged them on the door, and he protested. And thus the name Protestant. Beginning of the Protestant reformation.
On 5255, Smith said:
And it is tragic to me that so many people, rather than identifying themselves with Jesus Christ, identify themselves with a particular church that they attend. Are you a Christian? Oh, I'm a Baptist. Are you a Christian? Well, I'm a Presbyterian. Are you a Christian? Oh, I'm a Catholic. I think that's tragic. Rather than being able to identify with Jesus Christ. Are you a Christian? You bet your life. What church do you belong to? His church. When did you join? I was born into it by the Spirit of God. To see the whole body of Christ.
On the same tape, Smith also said:
It is a sad error of the Catholic church to declare that Peter is the foundation upon which the church was built. Taking Matthew's gospel chapter 16, where at Cesarea Phillipi Jesus said, "Who do men say that I am?" And they began to say the current concepts that people had about Jesus.
On the same tape, Smith also said:
So the rock upon which the church was built the Catholics say was Peter. He is the foundation. Not so. Jesus said, "You are petros [a little stone], upon this petra I will build my church." What is the petra, the rock upon which the church was built? The confession of Peter, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
On tape 5279, Smith said:
We really weren't baptized a Baptist or a Christian Church or a Methodist or Catholic we should have been baptized into Jesus Christ. Not into a church. Because a church cannot save you. There is only one baptism and that is the baptism into Jesus Christ.
On tape 5202, Smith said:
There is sometimes within the Protestant circles perhaps a backlash to that position that the Catholics have sought to place Mary in as the intercessor, and even some today, the coredemptress, and there is that backlash among Protestants often times to sort of put Mary down.
On tape 5315, Smith said:
And we see it in the Catholic church where the priest says, "You come and confess your sins to me and I will remiss your sins and I will go to the Father and I will take care of things for you. It is putting a man between you and God. We will see the system develop when we get to the church of Thyatira but at least the church of Ephesus says 'I hate it and the Lord says I hate it too.
Later on the same tape, Smith said:
And these are the dominant issues of the Roman Catholic church; their love and their service and their faith and their patience and their work. And this they have a lot of - a lot of good works and there are some marvelous people in the Catholic Church, highly admired. Mother Theresa, such an unusual person. Marvelous. It's not saying things against those individuals because God has his overcomers. It is just talking about the system.
We agree with your motives, and that's why we are looking at your system, too. Later, Smith said:
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold I will cast her into a bed, and those that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds" Here is now first of all, the indication that the Catholic Church would exist right up to the coming of Jesus Christ and the rapture of the church, because he talks about them being allowed to go into the great tribulation.
About the Lutheran church practices, Smith said on tape 5184:
There was a Lady who came to church here at Calvary Chapel invited by some of her friends, and she was visiting here from Missouri. And she happen to belong to the Missouri Senate Lutheran Church, and after service she came up to me, and she was shaking, she was so angry. She said," why didn't you face the alter when you prayed." I mean she was really upset. And I said,"what?" she said," when you prayed you didn't turn and face the alter, why didn't you?" I said," well, I guess because I don't think Jesus lives in the alter." But the traditions you see:" why didn't you turn towards the statue of Jesus when you prayed?" But by traditions there is the violation of the commandment of God that says, we're not to have any images.
What about the dove at the front of your sanctuary?
About the Word of Faith/Full Gospel, Smith said on tape 5178:
This the fallacy of those who are called faith teachers, who have become so popular on television and in the Full Gospel circles. This is the tragedy of the Full Gospel circles today, their lack of theological depth. The people who are involved in these circles are so shallow that they run after every new "wind of doctrine". Paul warns us, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14) Cunning men, going around with some new concept and everybody running after them.