Hi to all my Forum Friends,
In the discussion I began titled "A Forum Friend Accuses Pastor Chuck Smith Of Heresy!" my Friend, B50, has suggested a number of Pastor Chuck Smith's books
She writes, "Yes. Chuck Smith has a number of speculative End Times books. Some of these include:
* Dateline Earth - Countdown to Eternity
* End times - a report on future survival
* The Final Curtain - Prophetical Events Leading to the Second Coming
* The Last Days - The Middle East and the Book of Revelation
* Snatched Away!
* What The World Is Coming To
B50, that is a good list. Have you read any on these books? I have read "What The World Is Coming To" as well as his "The Final Act" - "The Tribulation Of The Church" - and "The Rapture" - and found nothing in any of them that would be considered bad theology.
You call his books speculative. Why? Have you read any and know for yourself that this is true? Or, are you parroting what some dissatisfied, disgruntled person has written about his books. I have always found the best way to judge another's writings -- is to FIRST, read what he/she has written -- and then decide if I agree or not. Reading what an agitator on the Forum or a disgruntled ex-church member may have written -- and basing your thought upon that, is not very convincing.
As I told Beter, Pastor Chuck has never been my pastor; but, I have watched his progress and the amazing growth of Calvary Chapel under this guidance over the past 23 years. And, I can say that, what I have seen has most certainly been a movement of the Holy Spirit. For, when Chuck Smith took over at Calvary Chapel in 1965, they had one small church with about 20 members. Today they have over 1100 Calvary Chapel churches around the world -- many of them large enough to be called megachurches. Under his guidance they have started several radio broadcast networks, and they have a number of Bible colleges and many K-12 schools.
All of this from the simple start in 1965. None of this came from going on television and asking people to send money. It has not come from soliciting money from people. As a matter of fact, for many years at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (and they may still do it, I am not sure) they did not even take up an offering at the church services. They had a basket in the back of the church -- and whoever wanted to put money in the basket could do so as they entered or left the sanctuary. But, no ushers passed the hat for donation and offerings.
When the church was fairly young and needed to build a larger facility -- a private donor came to Pastor Chuck and offered to give one million dollars to the church. Pastor Chuck refused his offer -- for he wanted no person to have that kind of influence in Calvary Chapel.
In the late 1960s, when the church was young and and Orange County had a big population of Hippies -- many of them began to attend Calvary Chapel -- barefoot and wearing tie dye shirts and bell bottoms. The church had just installed new carpets and some of the older members went to Pastor Chuck complaining about the Hippies walking on their new carpet with their dirty feet.
Guess what Pastor Chuck told the older members? "If they are getting your new carpets dirty with their bare feet -- let's remove the carpet."
He has never been my pastor -- but, I can assure you this. You will never find a more down to earth, humble, Godly man -- than Chuck Smith. I do not agree with everything he says and teaches -- but, he has a solid conservative theology and on all Essential Christian Doctrines -- he and I are in total agreement.
So, B50, if you will read some of his books -- I can promise you that you will be taught good, solid theology. A book you might want to start with is "What The World Is Coming To" which is a good simple language commentary on the book of Revelation. And, another you might find interesting is "The Final Act" which is a good study of the End Times in narrative form.
And, if you are really interested in learning about the history of Calvary Chapel and how this amazing ministry began and grew -- read the book "Harvest" by Chuck Smith and Tal Brooke. This is the personal story of the beginning of Calvary Chapel and includes the story of how ten young men from the least likely backgrounds -- became ten of the early, very effective Calvary Chapel pastors. One of those ten is Greg Laurie who came from a very dysfunctional home (mom married and divorced six times) and was a drug user -- until God led him to Calvary Chapel. This is a great book.
You can find these books and many more resources at the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Bookstore:
or at: The Word For Today: http://twft.com/?page=Home.Main
B50, read those books; then let's discuss Pastor Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel, and his theology. But, until you have some first hand knowledge of what he teaches -- how can we have a dialogue?
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,