Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, is considered by many to have been most instrumental in this revival. His evangelical teachings centered on leading souls to salvation in Jesus. C. Peter Wagner, in his book Churchquake , lists Calvary Chapel as the point of origination of the New Apostolic Reformation , although Calvary Chapel denies any affiliation with the movement.
Calvary Chapel is a non-denominational church, but has over a thousand affilliated churches world-wide. Calvary Chapel also runs several Bible colleges ,in the U.S.A., U.K., Austria, and Hungary.
Calvary Chapel's teachings are evangelical and moderately charismatic in nature. Calvary Chapel's theology have become a new wave of thought in sytematic doctrine, as seeing that they pull from the pietist, anabaptist, wesleyan, and funadmentaist traditions, yet fuses them so as to form what they call "a balance". According to the movement's leader, Pastor Chuck Smith emphasizes strongly the need for dependency on the Bible and also on the Spirit. Calvary Chapel is orthodox in their views of all essential Christian doctrines, however distinctively they hold to a moderate dispensational tenet that discourages the Reader-Response approach to scripture but rather uses the Authorial-Intent formula for interpreting scripture, thus they believe the Church and Israel to be two separate institutes of God. In their eschatology they are primarily pre-tribulation premillienialist. l Calvary Chapel also exhibits a strong tendency toward criticizing of mainline denominations for their more liberal theology, complicated bureacratic systems of church government , some (but not all) of the doctrines of Calvinism, and introduction of divisions within Christianity. Calvary Chapel's place a heavy emphasis on the exposition of the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter thus progressively teaching through the entire text.
Unlike mainline denominations, Calvary Chapel does not affiliate churches. Rather, it affiliates pastors. A church whose pastor is affiliated with Calvary Chapel is a Calvary Chapel and may use the name (most Calvary Chapels have one or both words in their names). New Calvary Chapels may be created either by an existing non-denominational church's pastor becoming a Calvary Chapel affiliate or as a church plant from another Calvary Chapel. Every Calvary Chapel pastor is directly accountable to another pastor, usually at a larger church nearby. In the case of a church plant, the pastor will be accountable to the pastor of the originating church. Usually, the pastor of one large church will be responsible for all of the churches in his area, forming a sort of informal diocese. This loose hierarchy extends upward to founder Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in southern California. However, the only disciplinary procedure available within this structure is disaffiliation. Because churches are not directly affiliated, the Calvary Chapel organization does not have the authority to remove a pastor from his position. However, this disaffiliation process does ensure that all Calvary Chapels teach doctrine compatible with the basic statement of faith issued by Costa Mesa.
Within each Calvary Chapel, the authority of the pastor is essentially absolute. Calvary Chapel pastors may not be removed by anyone within the church, and congregational voting is not practiced on any issue, except perhaps as a non-binding opinion poll. Most Calvary Chapels have elders who advise and assist the pastor. The pastor himself usually has the authority to appoint or remove these elders at will. Women may not be elders, although the wives of male elders usually assist them in their ministry. Most churches do not have deacons or other boards.
Because Calvary Chapel does not have a formalized system of church membership, census information is not available. Only informal "belonging" to a local Calvary Chapel is practiced though regular attendance, communion (Eucharist), tithing, mid-week bible study discussions, and (occasionally) baby dedications, water baptism (youth and adult), weddings, and funerals.
Ordination/Affiliation of Pastors
Calvary Chapel pastors need not hold a seminary degree. Pastors who do hold a seminary degree and have some experience in another denomination are considered sufficiently trained. Those who have not previously been pastors in another denomination generally take a two year course of study at a Calvary Chapel Bible college , for which a bachelor's degree is not a prerequisite.
Calvary Chapel does not ordain or affiliate women or homosexuals as pastors.
Calvary Chapel is known for "teaching sermons" which may last 45 minutes to an hour. In these sermons, a pastor reads and expounds upon a lengthy section of Scripture, going wherever the text leads, rather than using the sort of "three-point sermon" common in more traditional church environments. Chuck Smith will begin from the very beginning of the Bible and, over the course of a few years, preach all the way through to the end. Other pastors will preach through a single book or a series of related books and then move on to another.
Because of its length, most Calvary Chapels hold Sunday School for children during the sermon.
Although Calvary Chapel believes in the continuing efficacy of the gift of tongues, it does not permit uninterpretted tongues to be spoken during public services, as per 1 Corinthians 14. Interpretted tongues and modern prophecy are affirmed doctrinally by Calvary Chapel but rarely practiced. Private prayer tongues are much more common. Believer's baptism by immersion is practiced. The frequency with which communion is taken and the practice of other sacraments varies.
Calvary Chapel worship services are known for being relaxed and informal. Most Calvary Chapel services are "come as you are" affairs at which ties and "Sunday dresses" are rare.
A form of excommunication is occasionally practiced in cases of unrepentant sin, but excommunicated members are not completely shunned and are usually reinstated in the end.
Calvary Chapel, particularly the Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, Idaho, operates radio and television outlets including CSN Radio and Effect Radio , and the church owns many broadcast translators and low-power outlets across the U.S. that carry these services. There are reportedly 30 full-power and 325 low-power/translator transmitters owned by the organization spread around the country. Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa owns and operates radio station KWVE 107.9 MHz, with its tower in the hills above nearby San Clemente. It has separate programming from CSN Radio.
- Harvest, a history of Calvary Chapel by Chuck Smith
- Calvary Chapel Distinctives, The Foundational Principles of the Calvary Chapel Movement by Chuck Smith
- Calvary Chapel official homepage
- (April 5, 2004). FCC Sees the Light on Calvary Chapel Apps for LPFM. Mediageek.
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