Calvary Chapel's Chuck Smith's son-in-law Brian Brodersen announced his resignation from the Calvary Chapel Association and founded a new association, the Calvary Chapel Global Network.
"'Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?' The implied answer is, no, they can't," Brodersen writes, citing the prophet Amos.
Brodersen, the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, says the pastors of the Calvary Chapel Association saw founder Smith as their common bond. Upon Smith's death, many members had different visions of where the denomination should go.
Thus, Costa Mesa split from the CCA and is now part of the Calvary Chapel Global Network.
"Doctrinally we are all in agreement with a few minor differences on a few secondary issues. No one has, in any way, deviated from historic biblical doctrine, or from what might be called Calvary's core values or from what we know as the Calvary Distinctives. Our areas of disagreement are NOT theological or doctrinal; they are more methodological and practical, yet they are real disagreements. These disagreements have not only hindered us from moving forward in the work of the kingdom of Christ, they have created confusion, contention and some division within the body of Christ," Brodersen writes.
"It is for these reasons that I have decided to resign my position as a member of the CCA Council. I do believe that this is the best way forward for us all. I maintain a love and close friendship with many of the CCA Council members and trust that we will continue, in many ways, to co-labor together for the kingdom. To some degree, this comes down to a difference of vision. The goal is the same—the glory of Christ and the furtherance of His kingdom on earth. But we differ on how we accomplish that goal," he continued.
According to the CC website, CCA serves in various support roles to local Calvary Chapel churches and senior pastors. It is overseen by the Calvary Chapel Association Council, which consists of over 20 seasoned Calvary Chapel senior pastors from around the world.
Oden Fong, the former director of the Calvary Chapel Association and current pastor of Poiema Fellowship, says the split is not unusual.
"It's ultimately a declaration that Calvary Chapel is not unified in vision as how to proceed together in ministry," Fong says. "If you study the church history, one can see that there have been many 'dividings' not necessarily 'divisions,' but dividings where people go separate ways. The dividing of Paul and Barnabas is an example."
Smith founded Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa more than 50 years ago. The congregation of 25 people expanded to more than 1,600 churches around the world.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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