The recent announcement that aberrant teacher Rick Warren will now be featured on Calvary Costa Mesa’s KWVE radio was met with shock and dismay by many in the Christian community. Social media lit up, as people spoke out about the direction of CCCM & KWVE.
On Feb. 18th (2017), Chris Quintana, Sr. Pastor of CC Cypress wrote an out standing response to the situation on his Facebook page. I am reposting here: [see https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10208678414017597&id=1228324113]
“It has been a couple weeks since programming changes at KWVE first came to light. I have been asked about it, and I’ve seen numerous posts regarding those changes. Many popular teachers are now gone and have been replaced by some whose addition is causing confusion on the part of those who at one time viewed the station as a trusted resource. It is a progression, as it would appear, and many have been watching changes slowly develop in the past few years.
Even before the passing of Pastor Chuck in October 2013 many questions began to be asked with regards to the direction Calvary Chapel would follow in his absence. It was clear, to the careful observer, that there were some who felt Calvary Chapel needed to change how it did some things, especially in its associations and a big tent seemed more to the liking of some. So we knew the what, and how, and even the extent of it was something only time would tell. I for one hoped we would continue as a fellowship of like-minded believers and that Calvary Chapel would be careful to follow Pastor Chuck’s distinctive lead in his absence. For many, nothing has changed, but for others a new direction is clearly underway.
As it pertains to this new direction, Pastor Chuck made clear to us pastors, repeatedly, that we were free to associate or disassociate as we saw fit, the decision was ultimately ours. The basis for our association was our agreed upon doctrinal distinctives. These are not exclusive to us, but they are distinctive to Calvary Chapel. Pastor Chuck put them into book form in case anyone was unclear on them and my affiliation as pastor was based on my affirming them.
Now let’s be clear, there are other related doctrinal views which branch from those big picture distinctives. One obvious example is our position on eschatology, something some within Calvary would say is a non-essential. I strongly disagree, and here is why. You view of end things forces you to take a position on how we interpret the Book of Revelation. It will force you to consider Israel as to its past, present and future. You will be forced to consider the timing of the awaited rapture of the church, assuming you have the correct view on the matter to begin with. It is no small matter, quite the opposite, the Calvary distinctive views should be clearly expressed and taught in our churches or the name means nothing.
For those who feel this is not significant I would ask you to consider what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. If Paul began what is his most recognizable passage related to the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4 by saying “But I do not want you to be ignorant” why would we allow people to be ignorant by claiming it’s a “minor” doctrine? Paul felt it worthy to be sure they knew, because at the time of his writing to them many were uninformed, and that needed to be addressed. If it were not a concern, as some tell us today, then didn’t Paul leave people in their ignorance?
So given all of that, it should go without saying when the radio station owned and operated by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (KWVE) tells their audience that eschatology and the gifts of The Holy Spirit are “minor doctrines” something in their focus and the honoring of what has made us a distinct fellowship of pastors and churches has changed.
From the website letter regarding the addition of Rick Warren to their schedule:“It is also important to note that not every teacher on KWVE shares the same doctrine as it relates to eschatology, the gifts of The Spirit, or other minor doctrinal matters”. I believe it begs another question, if we have the ability to reach millions through the radio, should not a consistent message be pursued? If the station is an owned entity of the church God built through Pastor Chuck, should what is taught through it reflect the doctrinal views of the church He pastored? As many view it, to do otherwise opens the door to confusion and projects a lack of conviction to our core doctrinal beliefs. My first thought upon reading the statement was; did Pastor Chuck consider those two doctrines to be “minor”? If he were still here, leading the movement, would things be on the course they currently follow at Costa Mesa and KWVE?
I consider the history of Cypress to the current controversy at Costa Mesa and KWVE, for some perspective. My pastor who had been here for 31 years went to be with The Lord on Father’s Day 2010. From that moment it never occurred to me that doctrinal matters he defended and taught could be changed to “minor” status, simply because he was no longer here. If the name on the building stayed the same, does it not stand to reason that what happens inside the ministry would remain unchanged as well? Should people know what to expect, based on the past? In my estimation, of course they should, or the name means nothing. Pastor Chuck was plenty gracious, but doctrinally he was consistent. When contrary doctrinal matters made their way into the movement, he addressed them. We know the history and it is the opposite of the current direction around some Calvary Chapel fellowships.
For those who think we should continue as we were then we should, by virtue of the name, affirm the doctrinal traditions of our founding. It is sad to see business decisions take precedent over our doctrinal distinctives. I know among the reasons for the purchase and operation of KWVE was to give a clear biblically sound alternative to the mess that was “Christian” radio in our area. There are those who view the station differently than the church, but I must ask if we are passionate about those distinctives personally, how does that not translate into public passion and support for them? Would we be comfortable having opposing views taught over our pulpits? If not why does that concern not translate to a much larger audience of a radio station? Compromising on doctrinal integrity because it is a radio station is to keep people ignorant, as Paul put it, instead of affirming truth.
I fully understand that many will disagree and that many others think people like me should hold our peace. However, since people see Calvary Chapel as the brand, if you will, why should we accept such fundamental changes to who and what we are? I do address these matters when they become so big they can’t be ignored since I receive volumes of questions regarding our church’s position, since we share the name. I believe there is a danger when we minimize the distinctives for some perceived unity, within Calvary Chapel and it is why there is a split in our one close fellowships. In my estimation it has the resulting effect of making us become less than we have been, historically speaking. Is this not a discussion worth having?”