"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Thursday, May 28, 2009


By: A.M. Kisly

I came upon this wonderful film clip posted by Lighthouse Trails Ministry. It takes us back to the wonderful beginning of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa during this time of the “Jesus Movement”. The teaching of God’s Word was pure and uncompromised. I pray that we not only remember, but that we would return to our roots, where our love for God and His Word was pure and fervent and uncompromised.

Remembering: 1971 - Chuck Smith: Maranatha, Love Song, Baptism

A couple of weeks ago we were stunned at the termination of Paul Smith , brother of Chuck Smith, who is the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement which began in the early 70’s. Paul Smith, fighting the good fight of faith, had been working tirelessly to keep the contemplative and emerging spirituality out of Calvary Chapel, by trying to enforce the Calvary Distinctives (Statement of Faith and What They Teach). Apparently, this was at odds with some of the church’s leadership, and ultimately cost him his position there.

After Paul’s termination, we learned that Calvary Chapel was hosting Rock Harbor pastor, Mike Erre, who is author of the book, “Death by Church: Rescuing Jesus From His Followers, Recapturing God’s Hope for His People”.

Unfortunately, Mike Erre’s theology does not represent the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The "Kingdom of God" theology that Erre presents is very broad. Instead of bringing truth and confidence to our faith, and definitive answers to the reader, he casts a shadow of doubt and uncertainty in his message.

Erre teaches replacement theology, and states in his book that "the people of God are the new and renewed Israel." (p. 96)

Included in his book are strong undertones of "universalism". 

He states,
"Our traditional conceptions of salvation are blatantly more individualist, focusing on one's individual reconciliation with God through a personal relationship with Jesus . . .It is more concerned with getting souls to heaven than with bringing heaven to earth. This narrow gospel focuses only on the salvation of the human soul, but the gospel of the kingdom includes salvation of human beings within the context of the larger story of God restoring all of creation.

He states,
"The consummation of the kingdom includes an entirely new creation." He goes on to say, "This new and cosmic salvation is spoken of as the renewal, restoration, or reconciliation of all things."

Another quote from the book, "One of the ways that the kingdom is larger than the church is that the focus on the kingdom is the redemption of all creation.The message of the kingdom of God is cosmic in its proportions . . . it (the kingdom) is ultimately aimed at redeeming and restoriing all that God has made."

You can read the article in its entirety here:
Emergent New Paradigm Pastor to Speak at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa

On Rock Harbor's website, I found that they had posted a video put together by the leadership to squelch the rumors going around that they are a part of the “Emergent Church”. After viewing the video, I was not convinced.

When asked if the Emergent Church was good or bad, this pastor answered, "Yes." Huh? He said, "it is very hard to pin down what it means to be apart of an Emergent Church, some parts are really harmful, and some parts are positive contributions." He goes on to explain and to "break down" into different compartments, or three tiers if you will, the groups identified in the Emergent Church movement.

He identifies the first group as "relevance". These are theologically conservative evangelicals who are interested in translating the gospel into culturally relevant concepts, language and ideas.

The second group is identified as "deconstructionists". They are a conservative group but believe the current forms of church are a hindrance to the Gospel. Therefore the "forms" of church need updating.

The third group is identified as "revisionists". These group believes the same as the first and second groups but think that theology needs revising as well.

Rock Harbor's position is the middle one: "We see the need (and the biblical mandate for) fresh expressions/forms/methods of contextualization - that is, new wineskins - while remaining faithful to the revelations of God through the Scriptures."

Deception is subtle and often sounds very good. This is how Satan works, appearing as an angel of light but bringing deception, and drawing attention away from God and His Word.

I find it disheartening that churches feel the need to make the message of the Gospel more “universal, relevant and user friendly”. I think that this is a dangerous path and a misguided vision for the Church. Feeling the need to make the Gospel message "more attractive” to the world is in itself a worldly concept. Churches have become entertainment centers to help us feel like we are relating to God better. The newest versions of the Bible are so culturally relevant that one can't find that literal translation anymore.

Jesus did not come into this world all decked out in the latest apparel, riding in the coolest ride, with all the glitter and glamor of the world. There were no cool bands performing, activities He offered, or ministries for everyone and everything.

He was born in a manger, a cave really, worked as a carpenter. He was meek and lowly, and didn’t stand out as the “big and awesome” coming attraction. The attraction was His Message and who He declared Himself to be.

The focus should not ever be making the Gospel more attractive through culture, style, and fun activities. The attractiveness is in the Gospel message alone.

With that said, pray for our pastors, pray for our churches, pray for the Church as a whole that we would not compromise and that we would stand for truth.The Word of God is relevant to our lives today as it was in the beginning. God does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever.


Anonymous said...

You do not know what you're talking about. RockHarbor has no interest in making God's message "attractive." RH teaches truth. Humbly. And recognizes the need for revitalization in our churches. Calvary Chapel under the Smith reign was not perfect and should not be the ideal. Our idea of church shouldn't be stale, stuffy, and confined. The early church was nothing like that! It was believers living together in community. THAT is the only way RH aims to be attractive. To show a beautiful picture of a community of believers worshipping together, taking care of and serving each other, and reaching out to surrounding communities. Showing the love of Jesus! Indicating in any way that Satan is working through Mike Erre, RockHarbor, or any other Jesus worshipping person or community is a very dangerous practice. You need to be very careful with throwing around accusations like that. You don't know what you are talking about, and the words I find on your website certainly don't seem pleasing to God, edifying to believers, or ministering to non-believers. It would be better if you took this entire site down, and instead of attacking from a place of defense, anger, judgment, and paranoia, set out to love, serve, and get to know others. That is how God wants you to live.

James J. Fire said...

There were a number of quotes from Mr. Erre's books in this article; you made the claim that we don't know what we are talking about - but have failed even once to attempt clarification of what Mr. Erre actually meant by his statements.
Further, do you presume that these statements made by Mr. Erre are in fact biblical? And yet you have failed to provide any Scripture to support that view.
If true Christians, indwelt by the Spirit of the living God, "hold fast the form of sound words" (2 TIM 1:13) and reverence God's Word in doctrine as well as practice, we never need fear becoming "stale, stuffy and confined" - we must adhere to the truth as found exclusively in God's Word, the very Word that He magnifies above His own (MOST HOLY) Name (PSALM 138:2)!