We considered very carefully as to whether we should send this report to our readers today. In the end, we decided it was the right thing to do. We hope after you have read this you will understand why we sent it.
Editors at Lighthouse Trails Publishing & Research
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 13:19
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
We realize some readers may think we are posting the following story just to dig up dirt on Calvary Chapel for the mere purpose of hurting them or bringing them down. But this is not the case. For nine years, Lighthouse Trails has been reporting consistently on areas of darkness in the church and in our society. In the beginning of our work, we included child sex abuse as one of these areas. Thus, we published Laughter Calls Me in 2003 and The Color of Pain in 2010, and we carry the DVD The Kinsey Syndrome, all of which fall in this category. We have also tracked many stories where children are at risk. While we know there are those within the Calvary Chapel movement who will not appreciate our publicity of the following story, the voices of millions of children throughout the world being sexually abused rings loud in our ears. We will stand as an outspoken advocate because we know the power of sin lies in its secrecy. It is better for those who are hurting children or those who are covering up these crimes against children to have the chance to repent here on this earth than to face God on judgment day having never repented.
What is needed today in the Christian church is for the sins of the leaders and pastors to be uncovered, either by their victims or better yet, by themselves in humility and contriteness. When we heard of this story, we had one of two choices: ignore it or talk about it. To ignore it is to avoid the path of truth and join the multitudes of silent onlookers – this we cannot do. In view of the slide into apostasy that Calvary Chapel has been making, this story is just another indication that the movement is in deep trouble, and repentance by its leaders and its pastors is long overdue.
In this story, you will learn that a Calvary Chapel youth worker who had a history of committing child molestation was allowed to remain working with youth at Calvary Chapel churches. Sadly, a number of Calvary Chapel pastors knew about the abuser’s history. The result was that at least four other boys were allegedly sexually abused. We strongly suspect that as this story unfolds others will come forward with their own stories. While we realize that sexual abuse of children happens within every denomination (not to mention the horrendous abuses within the Roman Catholic church covered up for years), the Calvary Chapel structure where the pastor is in full charge and where the whole movement is basically under the authority of one man makes it very susceptible to abuse and cover up as there is not a good accountability structure for pastors and youth pastors. What’s more, it creates an environment, not of humility by leaders, but rather one of power, manipulation, and control. In virtually every story we have heard from those who have contacted us about having to leave a Calvary Chapel church, the common element in each story was a lack of regard for church members and a power play by church pastors. These things ought not to be so as Christian pastors and leaders are to be servants of the people, not heavy-handed arrogant controllers. We remember the words of Chuck Colson (sorry to say he is ecumenical) in talking about his role in Watergate when he said that the two worst things to happen to a Christian leader is power and money.
The Christian church is in trouble, but not for the reasons that Rick Warren supporter and pollster George Barna gives. His statistics do not portray an accurate picture but are rather used to promote the “new” Christianity.” The Christian church is in trouble largely because those leading the evangelical/Protestant Christian church - publishers, prolific authors, organizations, ministries, radio and television stations, mega pastors, speakers, futurists, networks, colleges and seminaries, etc. – are embracing an emerging, contemplative, sensual, power-purpose-driven “gospel.” For true revival to happen, there must be repentance and humility. God will not work in any other environment. It is interesting to watch dominionist-type figures running around the country telling people to repent to “restore” America when they themselves have not repented and are totally misrepresenting true Christianity.
But God will not be mocked, and He will expose the hidden things of darkness, both in the leader’s life and the follower’s life. Now is the time for Christians and their leaders to soberly fall on their faces, repent of their hidden sins, and walk the rest of their days in humility and gratitude for God’s forgiveness. In these last days in which we live, judgment will take place, and it has begun in the house of the Lord. We should praise Him when He exposes sin. It means He loves us, enough to where He will chastise us. Calvary Chapel has historically had a strong message on God’s grace; but perhaps they forgot about the message of God’s judgment on sin.
Lest any reading this thinks that his or her denomination is without fault, virtually every denomination, to one degree or another, has succumbed to the “new” spirituality. And one of the key elements in the “new” spirituality is sensualness. This is why books like The Shack and practices like contemplative are so popular – it appeals to people’s senses; thus they are sensual. The word sensual means gratification of the flesh be it appetite, sexual, physical, etc. James 3:15 puts sensualness in the same category as earthly and devilish. And below we can see where Jude says those who are sensual do not have the Spirit.
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. Jude 1:15-19
It is a coincidence that the day before we found out about the Idaho abuse situation (below), we posted an article just written by Roger Oakland, in which he states a strong warning to Christian leaders:
Christian pastors and leaders need to know – your sin will indeed find you out. Better to willingly humble yourself and repent than to wait for God to bring His hand of judgment upon you. If you are a leader who is part of the apostasy come out from among her; if you are a leader who is sitting on the sidelines in utter silence while spiritual havoc is taking place, humble yourself and repent and you too, come out from among her. The days are short – there is no time for any believer to compromise.
As we explained to one Calvary Chapel pastor a couple years ago, it is better to be exposed now, even thrown into a prison while on this earth, than to go to your grave with unrepented, covered up sins. It is a holy and just God that we will each face one day. He promises to forgive the contrite humble heart who has put his trust and faith in Jesus Christ; but for those who are not in that category, He promises to judge. Repentance is really quite easy, but it does require our willingness to give up our own lives in order to have His.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:20-25
While some reading this may feel bad for the demise of Calvary Chapel, let us not forget the boys in this case, who were sexually abused. Please pray for them. In view of the APA's (American Psychological Association) recent efforts to call pedophilia "normal," it is all the more urgent for discerning Christians to speak up on behalf of children in a godly and responsible manner.
After sharing with Roger Oakland our plans to post this article, we asked Roger if he would like to comment on this situation. He stated:
This is truly a heartbreaking situation. We are grieved and troubled that we even have to draw your attention to what is now being revealed to the body of Christ about what has been going on and even covered up by Christian leaders who many respect. The cause of Christ has certainly been damaged. Our prayer is that the sheep will have the wool removed from covering their eyes and will begin looking to Jesus. For the record, I am sad to say there is much more to come. So far, within the leadership of the movement, NO one has listened. Their only response is that I am crazy. I think it is a sad thing when the world has to expose the Church because there is no one in the church to do it.
Lighthouse Trails spoke with the Idaho Judicial Courts on 8/24/11 to confirm that case number CV 2011-6451 in Kootenai County, Idaho is a legitimate case filed with their courts, which we have now confirmed with that office.
This first document below is a record of events showing the court actions since August 9th, 2011, when the case was filed.
Nicholas Rutler, etal. vs. Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, etal.
Subtype: Other Claims
Judge: John P. Luster
Defendants: Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship, Inc. Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa Davis, Robert E
Plaintiffs: Larabee, Kory Larabee, Kyle McIntosh, Alex Robert Rutler, Nicholas
08/09/2011 New Case Filed – Other Claims
08/09/2011 Filing: A – All initial civil case filings of any type not listed in categories B-H, or the other A listings below Paid by: James, Leander L. IV (attorney for Rutler, Nicholas) Receipt number: 0033717 Dated: 8/9/2011 Amount: $88.00 (Check) For: Rutler, Nicholas (plaintiff)
08/09/2011 Summons Issued Calvary Chapel Outreach
08/09/2011 Summons Issued Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa
08/09/2011 Summons Issued Robert E Davis
08/09/2011 Summons Issued Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa
08/10/2011 Motion for disqualification [request for new judge]
08/11/2011 Acceptance Of Service by Defendant Attorney
08/11/2011 Proof Of Service 8/9/11 RW
08/11/2011 Proof Of Service 8/9/11 CWS
08/15/2011 Proof Of Service 8/11/11 CWS
And another section of the case files:
Lighthouse Trails will be tracking this story and intends to attend the trial, if there is one and if it is open to the media. Please pray for the victims of this story.
Now one of the only news articles on the case:
By Gustavo Arellano
Orange County Weekly
Everyone knows about the Catholic Diocese of Orange and its pedophile-protecting ways . . . but Orange County’s other Christian yahoo network has had its kiddie-diddling scandals as well–except Calvary Chapel does a much-better job hiding its tracks, signing settlements that remain under seal. I should get to exposing those, and will after I finish a couple of projects, but nice to see others aren’t waiting.
August 23, 2011 - Calvary Chapel Pastor Cardelli gets 18 years in molestation case
August 9, 2011 – KOSNOFF Trial Lawyers, co-counsel launch sex-abuse case against Calvary Chapel
April 16, 2011 – 2 Idaho Churches Protected Predator
April 16, 2011: Churches protected predator, suit says
April 2010: 43 year old Longview, Washington Calvary Chapel youth pastor admits sexual relationship with 15 year old girl