Thursday, January 05, 2012

Pray for Pastor Chuck Smith

Please take some time today (and on an ongoing basis) to pray for Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel fellowships.

It came out this week that Chuck has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Fellowship in Riverside, CA (a member of the Calvary Chapels), is going to interview Chuck before his scheduled surgery to remove the lung tumor.

While I never had the opportunity to attend the original Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA, when I lived out there in the early 80s, I did visit Greg Laurie’s church in Riverside and enjoyed the fellowship. Many of those who came of age in the “Jesus Movement” days will remember Chuck and his “father figure/mentor” status with many of the early contemporary Christian music groups back in the late 60s and early 70s. Remember Love Song, Mustard Seed Faith, The Way, Honeytree, Paul Clark, and a host of others? The list could go on and on. I’m thankful for the impact of Chuck Smith on the lives of so many, and for all who have been brought to Christ through his ministry, and through those who came to faith through his preaching.

A word about doctrinal issues. The Calvary Chapels are a very low-key, charismatic fellowship, typically emphasizing Bible teaching and preaching more than sign gifts, even though the practice of sign gifts is allowed. The day I attended Harvest, I might have well been attending a Baptist church with contemporary music. The preaching was thoroughly biblical and no sign gifts were in evidence on that day. The Chapels are also typically Arminian in emphasis.

I might not be in agreement with every jot and tittle of theology, but this is a prayer request for a brother in the Lord who has been a faithful preacher of the Gospel for many years.

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