* * *
Alex Grenier, son of Calvary Chapel Visalia Pastor Bob Grenier shares his thoughts on the passing of Calvary Chapel founder, Chuck Smith
* * *
Update and Disclaimer: I’ve been getting some push back because of publishing this article the same day in which Pastor Chuck Smith died. I understand the concern and do respect that opinion, too. If you are visiting my blog for the first time, this place is safe haven for survivors of abuse. An important part of what I do here is allow victims of abuse a platform to share their stories that were often not allowed to be told, were minimized, or dismissed entirely.
This presents a dilemma to me. On one side we have a beloved pastor, father, grandfather, friend who is now gone. That is sad. There are lots of wonderful memories. Yet, is there a “right” time to air a story like this? When is that time? I try to put myself in the shoes of survivors and I think I can do that as a survivor myself. What does it feel like for a survivor to hear the death of someone in a powerful position who had many opportunities to stop abuse, yet failed to do so?
It is for those people who I have posted Alex’s article. Alex speaks on behalf for those who have no voice.
If you feel the timing is inappropriate, I can appreciate that, but have decided to go ahead and keep the post up. I am doing this especially for those victims in Calvary Chapel churches who have felt abandoned. I think it is important for them to know that if they are feeling mixed feelings about Pastor Chuck Smith’s death, they are not alone. This blog exists for survivors. Please feel free to skip the rest of the post if you disagree with the timing.
This article is cross-posted by permission from Alex Grenier’s blog, Calvary Chapel Abuse. As some of you may recall, Alex Grenier was raised by his father and Calvary Chapel pastor, Bob Grenier. I met Alex because he was following my defamation lawsuit brought on by my former pastor. Alex, like me, has used his blog to highlight his personal story and other stories of abuse within the Calvary Chapel franchise of churches. Since that time, Alex has been sued by his father for defamation, etc, and is currently awaiting a lengthy appeal process with the anti-SLAPP lawsuit. I have written several articles on Alex’s situation:
- Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith, The Moses Model: Let the Little Dogs Bark!
- Calvary Chapel Pastor Bob Grenier: Stories of Abuse As Told by His Children
- Calvary Chapel Visalia Pastor Bob Grenier Files Lawsuit against ..
- Alex Grenier Responds to Notice of Imminent Lawsuit by Calvary Chapel Visalia & Pastor Bob Grenier
I think it is very important to read Alex’s words. He has been a loud voice defending the abused and has seen the corrupt system in which abuse has been enabled among Calvary Chapel churches. He reached out to Pastor Chuck Smith for help numerous times, brought personal testimonies, etc, to no avail. Chuck Smith essentially said his hands were tied and couldn’t help.
While many in the Christian world are mourning the loss of Chuck Smith, it is important to look at the power this man had and what he did and did not do with it. What does Chuck Smith represent to those abuse victims whose voices remain silenced? ~JA
Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel dead at 86. Daughter reports the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pastor and leader of the Calvary Chapel non-denomination has passed as a result of his battle with lung cancer.
Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel fame has died in the early morning of October 3, 2013 according to daughter Janette Smith Manderson. Chuck Smith has been battling lung cancer since he was diagnosed with it in late 2011.
My feelings are mixed.
Some of the last words I heard from Chuck Smith were his calling down God’s judgment on me from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit in classic “Touch not God’s anointed!” form.
Full audio of the public rebuke and warning here:
* * *
* * *
From Chuck Smith’s public rebuke of me from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit:
“There is a young fellow…who has created a website…a blog…in which he has been attacking me and Calvary Chapel viciously because his step-father was abusive to him as he was growing up…and he is wanting to bring his step-father down. And…so because I won’t take action against his step-father…because I, really…every Calvary Chapel is independent…I’m not in control of them…nor do I want control of them…I have a hard enough time just being in control of my own ministry. And, I just don’t want to have the responsibility of having to try and control the over 1,500 Calvary Chapels we have in the United States….so he is attacking me also on the blog and saying that I’m covering up all kinds of horrible things and making a lot of accusations and all…”
“…and I called him up and invited him down [this is factually incorrect, I first called Chuck Smith at his office and then reached him live at his home]…to try and sort of make peace if possible.”
“So, I promised him I would look into the situation…and I did…and then I wrote to him a response…and I sent it to his email address…but somehow it didn’t go through. And, it was endeavor on my part for reconciliation…but the email didn’t go through…I don’t know why…and I gave it a couple shots…and it didn’t go through….so I just sort of let it go…so he became really upset that I didn’t respond to his charges and so-forth against me…”
“So I was thinking…what can I do…and how can I defend myself…against all of these charges which are false and lies…and things that he is putting out on his blogsite. As we were finishing here tonight…as I was in my final prayer…the Lord just of spoke to me and said ‘look you’re praying that you’ll learn to turn things over to the Lord…let me fight your battles…and here you’re considering how you can deal with it…just leave it with me. I thought oh yes…and so….[pause, clapping]….I’m thankful for the help of the Lord”
“…and you know, I feel sorry for the guy. BECAUSE, WHAT I COULD DO WOULDN’T HURT MUCH…BUT I TELL YOU..WHAT THE LORD WILL DO…I CAN REALLY…UM…YOU KNOW…WELL…I’M GLAD I HAVE THE LORD ON MY SIDE. “
I publicly stated on this blog after hearing that very sobering and hurtful “Touch not God’s anointed” chilling warning from the very powerful and influential Chuck Smith…something that would have rocked most people hearing that chilling warning that “God is on my side and he’ll zap you!”…I had a feeling Chuck had called down a curse on himself, if God was in fact real, as I knew I was right in these matters.
Chuck Smith was diagnosed with Lung Cancer about a month or so after this public rebuke of me from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit.
I then commented publicly that I had a feeling the cancer would kill him, despite the happy and optimistic updates from his daughter and all the prayers for his healing etc…unless Chuck repented of his lying and his wrong handling of this situation and his wrong public rebuke and warning to me…when he and BG were in the wrong.
Well, the cancer has killed him and Chuck Smith died without repenting of this situation and without coming clean and without seeking reconciliation with me…other than some email that’s lost in cyberspace (according to him).
Calvary Chapel Pastors: Let this be a lesson to you. If you truly believe the “Touch not God’s anointed” garbage…if you truly believe God is “on your side” and you truly believe that critics and those who call you to accountability and responsibility are “of the devil” and that God will zap them for you….then what do you make of this situation? Coincidence? Random chance? Or did God do this as a public statement of who was right and who was wrong?
As a skeptic, I think it’s random chance and just a huge, though very very big, coincidence. I don’t think Chuck Smith or you as a Calvary Chapel pastor are “specially anointed” nor do I think that God will zap your enemies for you, etc. But, what if that dynamic is real? What if God is real and God does step in and zap folks sometimes, like Ananias and Saphira? If it’s true, then what are the odds this is coincidence? Again, I think it’s random chance, I don’t think God is active in this manner…BUT YOU AND YOUR DEAR LEADER DO and have expressed this dynamic and used this “Touch not God’s anointed” warning many times…believing that God does intervene sometimes and does punish folks sometimes in these sorts of matters.
So, what do you believe now? I’m sure the Chuck Smith “faithful” will be as skeptical as Richard Dawkins and any atheist and mark this one down as “random chance” and “coincidence” and “no connection whatsoever”…because the victim, this time, was their guy, their Dear Leader…and no way their Dear Leader could be wrong or could be lying or in sin etc. No way, not a chance.
If you embrace “Touch not God’s anointed!” as Chuck Smith both practiced and professed (see the Christianity Today article where he gives a chilling warning to the reporter and even quotes the verse about ‘touch not God’s anointed, do my prophet no harm’)….then circumstances around Chuck’s handling of the BG situation and Chuck’s subsequent cancer and death should chill you to your core.
My guess is you Calvary Chapel guys are full of s**t and you only profess a belief in spiritual things when it supports your narrative and your leaders and your business….God does all sorts of stuff in circumstances when it fits your agenda..otherwise everything is just random coincidence.
To the family of Chuck Smith, especially Chuck Smith Jr. (who is a great guy)…I’m sorry for your loss. Chuck had many good qualities. He was a mix of good and bad like we all are. He did a lot of good while he was on this planet…and unfortunately, he was also human like the rest of us and did some bad stuff as well. Net-net, I think Chuck as a man was a decent guy, not perfect, but decent. I think the position, the power, the Chuck-worship was a lot of temptation for him and I think that sort of power corrupted him over time, but he wasn’t near as bad as many others who have reached similar success. I think Chuck helped a lot of folks and I think, from what I’ve gathered, he treated you kids well and was a good husband. My beef with your Pops was the Machine he created and his propagation of particular mythology like the “Touch not God’s anointed” crap…and the Moses Model dynamic in the form of the CC pastors are “special” and privileged and God is “on their side” and will zap their enemies. That is dangerous stuff…and it’s the reason I drive this particular point home so strongly. Chuck was not “specially anointed”…he was talented. God was not on Chuck’s side, nor was he against Chuck.
Let my example dispel the myth of “Touch not God’s anointed” and Moses Model CC pastors are “special” and God is on their side. God will not zap you for questioning them and challenging them and calling their b.s. If you don’t believe that, Calvary Chapel-ites, then I must be “specially anointed” as God zapped Chuck and not me (if your theory is true). I am not specially anointed, therefore Chuck’s and Calvary Chapel’s thing is a myth. Run from it. Don’t repeat it. Let all that garbage and nonsense die with Chuck.
Wishing the family peace in their time of grief, wishing the Calvary Chapel pastor progeny of Chuck Smith repentance of their error and a new course for the future.
* * *