Thank you, Jennifer, for creating this article about your experience at Calvary Chapel. Church abuse is horrific. If you are like the countless individuals who have experienced church abuse at Calvary Chapel, you know that it can feel bewildering. Church abuse is no joke. It’s the worst kind. It is good to be a voice for the suffering.
In Calvary Chapel, there is a code of silence which brings shame for speaking out. There is an entire wasteland of individuals who are traumatized.
C.S. Lewis said of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst. Spiritual abuse is insidiously damaging.
To be abused by a religious leader is the most confusing experience because the victim has become disarmed due to the religious facade.
This can result in emotional and psychological trauma. The truth is that there is a current epidemic of religious abuse victims.
It is interesting that many who are speaking up are pastors’ wives and kids. They are valuable witnesses because they are able to see behind the curtain.
Calvary Chapel leaders thrive in an environment of zero pastoral accountability. It’s a ripe breeding ground for abuse to go unchecked.
This is the basis of Chuck Smith’s teachings: The pastor is not even accountable to the board of directors (you can find this teaching in his book called Calvary Chapel Distinctives).
I can’t tell you how many times I have come across good people who have suffered trauma at the hands of Calvary Chapel leadership. Cardinal Care Group’s most popular post is about Calvary Chapel abuse.
Some of the abuse antics at Calvary Chapel are gaslighting, mandated shunning and stamping. Stamping occurs when they label victims as DP’s – divisive persons. It’s the scarlet letter given to those who dare to ask a question or raise a concern. This is what is done in Scientology with the label of SP.
Those with the spiritual gift of discernment are rarely welcome at Calvary Chapels.
Action Steps: Speak up for the abused, and share this article if it has helped you. We wish you peace and blessings as you help this marginalized and abused population who suffer church abuse in silence. Check out Jennifer’s article below…
“As someone who spent 20 years in Calvary Chapel, this topic is especially important to me. I am the daughter of a Calvary Chapel Pastor. My husband and I both attended a CC Bible College. I served as a worship leader at a CC church plant for about 5 years. During most of that time, it never crossed my mind to ask questions about how my church might handle concerns over a pastor’s conduct. Then I experienced interactions with a pastor whose behavior made me extremely uncomfortable...If your church leaders say they have safeguards in place, but they can’t show you where these safeguards are described in the bylaws, that should be a red flag…” READ MORE…
Why I Won’t Attend any Church Without Clear Policies on Handling Abuse – Testing the SpiritsWhy I Won’t Attend any Church Without Clear Policies on Handling Abuse – Testing the Spirits