I published the following blog post at my previous pastoral blog site (www.stevedurkac.org) which has since been absorbed into this site another. While it may be a bit of “inside baseball” stuff, it does offer a background perspective regarding where CrossHope Chapel is in its relationship with the Calvary Chapel movement. – Steve Durkac
January 4, 2017 – “Calvary Chapel Split” | Steve Durkac
If you don’t know what the Calvary Global Network and the Calvary
Chapel Association is, then this post may not mean much to you. On the
other hand, if you are familiar with my involvement with Calvary
Chapel or curious as to how I became involved or have been following
the Calvary Chapel buzz on some of the church watch-dog blogs (as I
do), then you may find some interest here.
I’ve had the blessing of enjoying fellowship with Calvary Chapel
pastors since February of 2015, when I first attended a pastors
conference in Atlanta. Since that initial conference in Atlanta, I
have attended other pastor conferences and became close friends in
regular communication with the pastors in our area.
My connection with Calvary Chapel happened by accident in 2014 while
doing a trade name search when changing our church name from West
Mobile Bible Fellowship to CrossHope Chapel. In our search, the name
Calvary Chapel came up and my memory immediately tied that name to
Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
As a new believer in Jesus Christ in 1980 I would cling to every
broadcast of Chuck Smith on Christian radio in Toledo, Ohio but lost
track of his radio teaching ministry as I moved South.
In that trade name search I realized that there was a multitude of
Calvary Chapel’s and our church was very much like them in philosophy
and doctrines. I also learned that there was once a local Calvary
Chapel in our city so I made contact with a Calvary Chapel pastor
close by to inquire about it, and that led to my attendance at a
Calvary Chapel conference.
There are things I like about the Calvary Global Network and there are things I like about the Calvary Chapel Association.
I like that the Calvary Global Network offers freedom, because my ministry background has been in denominations that stress conformity, and it is refreshing to me to be able to lead a local church fellowship with freedom as the Lord leads, not in accordance with required political protocol.
CrossHope Chapel takes a very relaxed laid-back approach to doing to church, and I am still not sure if our approach isn’t too laid-back for the Calvary Chapel Association.
On the other hand, when it comes to Calvary Chapel Association I do hold in high regard the council members I know, and I like the their regional leadership structure, and I stand with them in my commitment to uphold the doctrinal distinctives laid out by Chuck Smith.
I should also state that I have been thankful and grateful to Calvary Chapel Association for allowing me to enjoy and build relationships with other Calvary Chapel pastors.
It was during this time as an outsider evaluating if our church had
place in the movement, though warmly welcomed inside, that I was able
to watch and hear the splitting sounds of timber that fell into a
separate Calvary Global Network and the Calvary Chapel Association.
Unlike most of the pastors I have rubbed shoulders with, I have not
come up from within the ranks of the Calvary Chapel movement. So
admittedly, I do not have the same perspective or attachment to the
history, the people and the places within the movement, so naturally I
don’t have the same emotional investment.
However, I feel for these men who are hoping not to be pushed into
taking sides, and who are stressing with a sense of loyalty to the
Calvary Chapel Association and to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
I like the fact that Brian Brodersen made it clear from the beginning
in his “An Update from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa“ that the formation
of Calvary Global Network “…is NOT a call to “choose sides”. There
are no sides. I fully expect that there will be freedom to connect
with CCCM, Calvary Chapel Global Network, and at the same time, be a
part of CCA.”
Frankly, I don’t see why both the Calvary Chapel Association and the
Calvary Global Network can’t exist together for the glory of God in
advancing the Kingdom of God. Church life is local, as I see it, so
being a Calvary Chapel affiliated local church could become as
applicable as being a Baptist affiliated local church – there are
varying oversight organizations behind the Baptist name but the name
on the sign has more implications for the pastor then it does for the
parishioners or the lost in the community.
Calvary Chapel to me has been fellowship with the pastors of the
Calvary Chapel Association, however, after reading Dave Rolph’s
statement on the split (http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=27492) and seeing that the established Calvary Chapel churches were not exiting their grandfathering into the network, CrossHope Chapel made the decision to become part of the Calvary
My hope is to keep the fellowship I’ve known with Calvary Chapel
Association alive through personal friendships, conferences, and the
potential to affiliate with the Calvary Chapel Association.
I will continue to closely follow the unfolding news, progress, and
practices of both the Calvary Chapel Association and the Calvary
Global Network, but I will not wearisomely fret or fear, nor will I
presumptuously hope or trust, instead I will continue to stand on the
promise of our Lord Jesus Christ that “I will build my church, and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 ESV).
Calvary Global Network: www.calvarychapel.com
Calvary Chapel Association: www.calvarychapelassociation.com
Learn more about CrossHope Chapel at our About Us page.