- Calvary Chapel
Calvary Chapel, a
non-denominational, Evangelical fellowship of Christian churches, began in 1965 in Southern California. It presents itself as a "fellowship of churches" in contrast to a denomination. Churches that apply and qualify for affiliation through an extensive and thorough application process, can then use the name "Calvary Chapel", but in no way are required to do so. Calvary Chapel has over one thousand such congregations worldwide. became associated with what later became known as the Jesus Movementwhen Chuck's daughter introduced him to her boyfriendJohn, a former hippiewho had become a Christian. John then introduced Chuck to Lonnie Frisbee, a hippie Christian who would eventually become a key figure in the Jesus Movement and in Calvary Chapel. Lonnie moved into Chuck's home, and in a few days, more hippies moved in with Chuck and his wife.
Affiliates of Calvary Chapel believe in the fundamental doctrines of evangelical Christianity, which include the inerrancy of the Bible and the
Trinity. Within evangelical Christianity, they say that they stand in the "middle ground between fundamentalism and Pentecostalismin modern Protestanttheology". While they applaud fundamentalism's staunch support of the inerrancy of the Bible, they believe Fundamentalists have become "rigid, legalistic, and unaccepting of spiritual gifts." On the other hand, they believe Pentecostals have become "enthusiastic and emotional at the expense of the teaching of God's Word." ). To say what God says in the Bible - no more and no less - is not always easy, comfortable, or completely understandable. But Scripture tells us that the wisdom from above will be loving and kind toward all, seeking the unity of the believers, not trying to find ways to divide and separate from one another .... In difficult doctrinal matters, may we have gracious attitudes and humble hearts, desiring most of all to please Him who has called us to serve Him in the body of Christ. 
Although Calvary Chapel believes in the continuing efficacy of the gift of tongues, it does not recognize uninterpreted tongues spoken in a congregational setting as necessarily inspired (or at least directed) by the
Holy Spiritbecause of its understanding of .
The fourth system (theocracy), the one that the majority of Calvary Chapels have adopted, models its government after the
theocracythat God created in the Old Testament— sometimes called the "Moses model". In this system, God headed the church, and under God came Moses, who led the Israelitesas God directed him. Moses also had a priesthood and seventy elders under him for support. Calvary Chapel has adapted this schema so that their pastors have a role like Moses and their boards of elders function like the priesthood or the seventy elders. ). Another advantage, they say, is that it makes difficult topics easier to address because members of the congregation won't feel like they are being singled out. That is to say, they won't feel that the pastor chose a particular sermon because of some flaw he saw in the congregation. They also see an advantage in the steady edification of the congregation. Rather than some preachers "who come in with a flash and a fire," they try to have consistent teaching that, over time, brings the "perfecting of the saints" which is part of their general philosophy for the Church. cite book | title=Calvary Chapel Doctrine and Distinctives | last=Smith | first=Chuck | authorlink=Chuck Smith | publisher=The Word For Today | year=1993 | url=http://www3.calvarychapel.com/library/smith-chuck/books/ccd.htm | chapter=The Priority of the Word ] In teaching expositorily through scripture sequentially, it allows the Bible and/or the Lord/Holy Spirit to set the agenda, not the pastor.
Calvary Chapels believe that most churches have a "dependent, highly organized, [and] structured" environment, but that most people want an "independent and casual way of life". Calvary therefore has decidedFact|date=September 2008 to have a casual and laid-back atmosphere in their churches. As a practical implication of this philosophy, people may wear street clothes to church. This "come as you are" atmosphere is consistent with the way the Bible describes Jesus teachings, and that of the early Christian church in the book of Acts.
Praise and worship usually consists of upbeat
contemporary Christian musicwhich differs from the hymnssung at more traditional churches (although many Calvarys also play hymns). The style of worship generally reflects the region and the specific make-up of the congregation.
Calvary Chapel does not have a formalized system of church membership. Calling a Calvary Chapel one's church usually means regularly attending church services and becoming involved in fellowship with other "members" of the church.
Technically, Calvary Chapel has only one
Bible college: Calvary Chapel Bible College (CCBC), located in Murrieta, California. However, this school also has at least 90 extension campuses throughout the world. cite web | title=CCBC Extension Campuses | url=http://www.calvarychapelbiblecollege.com/wb/pages/extension-campuses.php | accessdate=2006-04-16 ] Founded in 1975, it originally offered a "short, intensive study program", cite web | title=CCBC Main Campus | url=http://www.calvarychapelbiblecollege.com/wb/ | accessdate=2006-04-16 ] but it subsequently became a two-year school which awards Certificates of Completion, Associate in Theology degrees, and Bachelor of Biblical Studies degrees (depending on a student's educational history).] No matter which degree or certificate a student earns, the course requirements remain the same.
Calvary Chapel now offers a Master's degree program at the Costa Mesa campus, where the Calvary Chapel School of Ministry (SoM) [cite web
url = http://www.ccsom.org/
title = Calvary Chapel School of Ministry
accessdate = 2008-09-15
quote = ] operates.] The college is unaccredited as a whole, but CCBC credits are transferable to some major accredited colleges such as Azusa Pacific. The decision to remain unaccredited is purposeful, as this allows Calvary Chapel to control 100% of the content of instruction and curriculum.]
A number of Calvary Chapel churches operate radio stations that broadcast Bible teaching and Christian music:
* [http://calvarychapelcostamesa.com/ Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa] operates
KWVEnear Los Angeles, California. Its programming consists mostly of Bible teaching, but it also includes some Christian music. cite web | title=KWVE Programs | url=http://www.kwve.com/index.cfm?event=programs | accessdate=2006-04-19 ]
* [http://www.calvaryabq.org/ Calvary Chapel Albuquerque] (in
New Mexico) operates KLYT, known as M88 Radio. This station plays Christian music and has 16 broadcast translators around New Mexico. cite web | title=M88 Radio | url=http://www.m88.org/default.asp | accessdate=2006-04-19 ]
* [http://www3.calvarychapel.com/bishop/ Calvary Chapel Bishop] in
Bishop, Californiaoperates the Living Proof Radio Network which broadcasts to much of Eastern California and the high desert on 88.5 KWTW, 90.9 KWTM, 91.3 KWTH, 91.9 KWTDas well as using several translators. The station plays Christian worship music, jingles containing short scripture readings, and teaching from various Calvary Chapels and other churches, as well as a weekend program called "God's Country" — featuring Christian country and bluegrass.
* [http://www.calvarychapelbrandon.org/ Calvary Chapel Brandon] in Brandon, Florida broadcasts on 96.5 [http://www.wqrdfm.com/ The Word] FM. Popular Calvary Chapel speakers and Christian music appear daily on the broadcast.
* [http://www.calvarychapelchico.com/ Calvary Chapel Chico] in California operates KQIP-LP 107.1 FM, known as The Calvary Road. This station airs sermons from other Calvary pastors as well as live, weekly broadcasts of Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday services. Calvary Chapel Chico also operates a webcast that broadcasts live services as well as past archived services.
* [http://www.ccfingerlakes.org/ Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes] in New York operates [http://www.ccfingerlakes.org/ WZXV] "The Word" at 99.7 FM in Palmyra, NY. "The Word" broadcasts through western New York on several translators, and throughout the world via streaming audio. cite web | title=WZXV Streaming | url=http://www.wzxv.org/WZXV_TuneInOnline.aspx | accessdate=2007-02-15 ] WZXV airs Bible studies as well as praise and
* Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida broadcasts on
WREH[http://www.reachfm.org/ Reach FM] on 90.5 FM, with repeater stations currently dispersed throughout the Florida panhandle.
* [http://www3.calvarychapel.com/honolulu/ Calvary Chapel Honolulu] (in
Hawaii) operates KLHT, known on-air as K-Light 1040 AM. This station offers inspirational programming.
* [http://www.ccmarlton.org/ Calvary Chapel of Marlton] operates [http://www.hopefm.net/ 90.5] Hope-FM
Marlton, NJ. Broadcasting Calvary Chapel teachings and christian music in the Philadelphia metro area.
* [http://www.calvaryoxnard.org/ Calvary Chapel of Oxnard] operates [http://www.worship101.org/Worship 101.5 FM] Cross Culture Radio from
Oxnard, CA. It broadcasts Bible teaching from various Calvary Chapel teachers as well as contemporary Christian Praise and Worship music.
* [http://www.calvarychapel.com/pocatello/ Calvary Chapel Pocatello] in Southeast Idaho operates KRTK 1490 AM, known as CrossTalk Radio. This station airs Bible teaching, contemporary Christian music, and worship music.
* Calvary Chapel Uncasville in Uncasville, Connecticut, broadcasts as [http://www.wcse.org WCSE "Spark the Dark"] on 94.9 FM, 101.1 FM, and 107.3 FM.
* [http://www.cstonecc.org/ Cornerstone Calvary Chapel] (in
Howell, NJ), operates [http://www.bridgefm.org/ The Bridge] jointly with [http://www.ccob.org/ Calvary Chapel Old Bridge] (in Old Bridge, NJ), reaching a potential audience of over 6.5 million people in the New York-New Jersey metro area.
Harvest Crusades operate as a ministry of
Harvest Christian Fellowship(a Calvary Chapel in Riverside, California). They carry out an evangelistic ministry similar to Billy Graham's. They meet in stadiums and have Christian music bands play followed by an evangelical message normally given by Greg Laurie. They estimate three million people have attended since its inception in 1990.]
A 2006 article in "
Christianity Today" criticized a lack of accountability and what it viewed as undue control exercised over a Calvary Chapel in New Mexico by its former pastor. [cite web |url= http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/mayweb-only/119-12.0.html |title=Unaccountable at Calvary Chapel |last=Moll|first=Rob|date=2006-05-08|accessdate=2008-06-19 |publisher=" Christianity Today"] Cult-researcher Rick Ross writes on his website of Calvary Chapel, "I wouldn't go so far as to call them a full-on cult. But I will say that Calvary Chapel is an extremely authoritarian group where lots of control is exercised over the members." [cite web|url=http://www.rickross.com/reference/calvary/calvary5.html|title=Losing My Religion|date=1998-04-02|last=Templeton|first=David] . Mainstream Evangelical Cult researchersWho|date=September 2008, while expressing concerns with some isolated incidentsFact|date=August 2008, consider Ross's view extreme and not nuancedFact|date=August 2008.
Calvinist critics have criticized Calvary Chapel's centrist stance on Calvinism and Arminianism. Such critics may regard the doctrine of free will as unbiblical and may hold that God alone chooses those who will be saved. cite web | title=A Biblical Critique of Chuck Smith's Study: "Calvinism, Arminianism & The Word Of God" | url=http://acts413.org/freewill/calvarychapel.htm | accessdate=2006-04-15 | last=Kane | first=Ray ] cite web | title= Synergism & Freewillism Commonly Taught in Modern Pulpits | url= http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/smith.html | accessdate=2006-04-15 | last=Hendryx | first=John ] cite web | title=An Open Letter to Calvary Chapel of Ft. Lauderdale | url=http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/JohnNolanOpenLetter.htm | accessdate=2006-04-15 | last=Nolan | first=John ] cite web | title=Why I Am Not A 5 Point Calvinist | url=http://www.calvaryftl.org/AWMedia/MediaDesk.cfm?fn=G5146 | accessdate=2006-04-17 | format=mp3 - the subject of the above open letter ] Others express concerns that Calvary Chapel's position seems vague and that Chapels use the issue to reinforce
group-think. [cite web
title= Calvary Chapel Visitor Comments
work= The Ross Institute Internet Archives
publisher= The Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey
quote= I have grave concerns about Chuck Smith's teachings. He makes it sound as if Calvary Chapels are non divisive and believe only the Scriptures, but then sets up the leaders of the Calvary movement as the sole judge of truth. This is apparent from the last page of his pamphlet entitled 'Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Word of God.' He makes it sound as if he can judge true doctrine based on his assessment of a person's attitude.]
Related groups or movements
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Chuck Smith originated from this denomination.
Jesus Movement: Calvary Chapel formed a part of this movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Association of Vineyard Churchessplit from Calvary Chapel in 1982 over ideological differences about the Holy Spirit.
* Chuck Smith, founder.
Lonnie Frisbee, hippie evangelist, the key figure of the Jesus Movement. "The first Jesus freak"
Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship.
Jon Courson, pastor of Applegate Christian Fellowship.
* Malcolm Wild, pastor of Calvary Chapel Merritt Island
Mike MacIntosh, pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship.
Chuck Missler, author and teacher.
Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel, Ft. Lauderdale.
Jeff Johnson, pastor of Calvary Chapel Downey
Musicians with a Calvary Chapel background
Jeremy Camp, contemporary Christian artist.
Richie Furay, folk rockartist.
Switchfoot, popular alternative rock band.
Phil Wickham, contemporary Christian artist.
* Alejandro Alonso, contemporary Christian-Latin artist.
P.O.D., popular alternative rock band.
Before You Breathe
Calvinism, Reformed theology which follows the teaching of John Calvin. Calvary Chapel agrees with some but not all of his teachings.
Evangelicalism, a stream of Christianity which stresses a dual commitment to the final and exclusive authority of the Bible and to the saving power of the Gospel as achieved in the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Calvary Chapel is strongly evangelical.
* Fundamentalism. Calvary considers themselves to stand between this and
Pentecostalismwithin Evangelical Protestantism.
* [http://www.calvarychapel.com/ Calvary Chapel - Official Site]
* [http://maps.calvarychapel.com/ Church Locations]
* [http://twft.com/?page=C2000 Chuck Smith's audio library]
* [http://www.calvarychapelpodcasting.com Sermon Podcasts]
* [http://www.calvarychapel.com/?show=Resources.Ebooks Chuck Smith's book library]
* [http://home.wmis.net/~ixthys/fabuqa.htm Frequently Asked But Unanswered Questions]
* [http://www.the-tiki-hut.com/streamguide.htm Calvary Chapel Stream Guide]
* [http://www.hotworship.com/ccstreams Calvary Chapel Streams - radio & churches]
* [http://www.calvarystreamingradio.com Calvary Streaming Radio]
Other Calvary Chapel organizations
* [http://www.twft.com/ The Word for Today - Official Site]
* [http://www.maranathamusic.com/ Maranatha! Music]
* [http://www.calvaryschools.org/ Calvary Costa Mesa Schools]
* [http://calvarychapelbiblecollege.com/wb/ Calvary Chapel Bible College]
* [http://www.ccsom.org/ Calvary Chapel School of Ministry]
* [http://www.calvarymagazine.org/ Calvary Chapel Magazine]
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