Remarkable! It was interesting to read that I am “an advocate” for homosexual Christians. This is an example of either inadequate research or selective reporting–either one, in my opinion, demonstrates a lack of integrity. In that same video interview posted above, I explicitly stated that “I am not an advocate” for gay and lesbian Christians.
Have I sat “in the company” of homosexuals in conferences without delivering a word of judgment against them? Yes, I have. I went to them the way Jesus came into the world, not to condemn, but to save. And as He was sent into the world, so He sent His disciples into the world (Jn. 3:17; 17:18; 20:21). How many of these conferences have you been invited to come and speak? If none, how are do you plan on getting the gospel to gays and lesbians? Do you care whether they hear the gospel? Is it not your calling or concern?
You are misinformed regarding my contact with Roman Catholicism. I have never advocated for, or endorsed Thomas Merton. However, if he said something quotable that glorified God, I would not shrink back from quoting him. If Paul was comfortable quoting pagan poets and prophets, why should I avoid quoting someone whose beliefs I do not fully share? (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12) There is a well-known fallacy of logic, argumentum ad hominem, which states that if you discredit the person, you discredit his argument, which in this case is tantamount to saying “Thomas Merton” was a Trappist monk, so everything Thomas Merton said was wrong.” People who may be wrong about everything else can still be right on one thing. As John Warwick Montgomery, conservative Christian theologian and apologist, said, “It’s hard to be wrong about EVERYTHING.”
By the way, I miss the days when to be a Christian apologist one had to be well-versed in logic, theology, philosophy, history, and original languages, as well as have an excellent knowledge of the entire Bible. John W. Montgomery is one of the few well-known apologists who are the real deal.
I have never advocated Roman Catholic dogma. My understanding of “contemplative prayer” is not drawn from Roman Catholicism, but from the Scriptures and especially the Psalms–which have been the source of hymns, prayer, and spiritual songs of God’s people for millennia. I have read many Roman Catholic authors including John Cassian, St. Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas (most bonafide Christian apologists have also read Anselm, Augustine, and Aquinas). Furthermore, my reading list includes several works by Russian and Greek Orthodox theologians. I have also read The Institutes of John Calvin (who was a great fan of Augustine and quotes him frequently) and a host of other theological works and biblical commentaries by evangelical and fundamentalist authors. Martin Luther was also deeply interested in contemplative spirituality and strongly endorsed the work “The Theological Germanica.” But the only books I read without filters are the sixty-six books of the Bible.
On the other hand, many Protestants have been misled by anti-Catholic authors who have invented historical connections between Roman Catholicism and ancient pagan religions (such as Alexander Hislop’s “Two Babylons”). Not that I am defending everything that Roman Catholics around the world believe or do in the name of their religion. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if the percentage of Roman Catholics who actually please God by walking with Him every day is at least as high as the percentage of Protestants who do so. Although I personally disapprove of praying to saints, I cannot believe that it is any worse than self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
You are wrong about me (actually, the church where I was Senior Pastor at the time) being “kicked out” of CC on the grounds that we were “emergent.” By the way, mijadedios, your “dove club” label is an uncharitable stab, to say the least, despite how deeply you feel CC deserves your ridicule. Anyway, that misinformation, sadly, came from my Uncle Paul. On at least three different occasions I carefully explained to him why neither I nor CBC were emergent. But he wasn’t listening to me because he had another agenda. Since he seemed uncomfortable in my meeting with him and had difficulty getting around to the point for wanting to see me, I asked him if it would be easier for him if I just removed CBC from the CC affiliation. He was instantly relieved and said answered, “Yes.”
Paul and a couple of his buddies at CCOF (during that period of time) had heard rumors about me and CBC that they never sought to substantiate for themselves by contacting me or visiting the church. They led a campaign to malign our work and to get us removed from the CC affiliation. I did not resist them, because it was something that mattered more to them than it did to me. Years ago, God impressed upon my heart that He is not into “brand” names, that the only name He endorses is the name above all names–that of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
One of my uncle’s friends went on to slander me on blogs and in print, accusing me of spending a sabbatical in a monastery (I didn’t) and returning to my church to hang icons so that people could pray to them (never happened). There were thousands of people who attended CBC over the years, so it would be easy enough to find just one person to corroborate that author’s claim. But no one ever will, because I have never believed in praying to icons and never taught anyone to pray to icons.
As far as Lonnie goes, why don’t you talk to people who knew him in order to get at the truth? Why do you think you can learn everything you need to know from video clips, articles, and other blogs? Do you let other people read the Bible for you or do you read it for yourself? Do you take just bits and pieces of the Bible and dismiss the rest? If you don’t trust others enough to let them tell you what the Bible says, why do you give them your full trust when it comes to other Christians–Christians you could easily contact or whose close friends and family are reachable? Why are you so quick to find flaws in others and then rush to condemn them? Really! Do you believe this pleases God? In fact, among the things that God hates are “A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (KJV, on David’s behalf–my first Bible and the version I read through cover-to-cover before reading through any other. It is also my dad’s favorite and that which he most frequently quotes verbatim.)
Lonnie did not consider himself a homosexual and he believed that homosexual sex was a sin. He never endorsed homosexuality. When I first heard of his past (i.e., prior to his conversion to Jesus Christ), he had renounced it and considered himself a “new creature in Christ.” He was married to Connie at the time and he certainly did not continue “to act out openly in gay relationships throughout his life” (I find this statement of N4TM’s especially offensive, because it is an outright lie). I witnessed times when Lonnie prayed over other people that they would be delivered from their temptation to engage in homosexual sex.
Lonnie and I did not remain friends through the years, mostly because we got on two different tracks in ministry with two different emphases. I was not his greatest fan, but I didn’t criticize him either. After all is said and done, Lonnie was a child of God who struggled.
What do we call it when someone attributes motives to another person without having an accurate (or even close to accurate) understanding of the details? Again, it is remarkable to me that Christians behave the way they do, assuming that because they’re convinced their doctrine is more orthodox than another person’s, they are justified in making up stories or motives about that person. What happened with our weekly meetings in the Fromm’s home was no “publicity stunt.” A few corrections:
Chuck Fromm is the publisher of Worship Leader Magazine, not Leadership (Journal). He did not “found” Maranatha! Music, but he did run it for approximately thirty-five years.
Chuck and Stephanie have had many Bible studies in their home. It was a neighbor’s complaint about our meetings there that involved the city government, which imposed a fine on the Fromms for hosting weekly meetings. The Fromm’s initial attempts to meet with the city government and work this out were ignored and then shut down. That is when the Pacific Justice Institute got involved (I don’t know what the ACLJ is, but I certainly don’t have access to it–or to the ACLU). The lawyers with the Pacific Justice Institute defend the rights of churches all over the U.S. (and were also strong proponents of Prop. 8). They had won a similar case in San Diego county the previous year. They took the issue to the press and within a few weeks the city issued an apology, admitted that their initial response to our meetings was too aggressive, promised to review the law on their books (prohibiting weekly meetings in homes), and the whole thing was quickly settled out of court. It’s true that the Pacific Justice Institute was interested in carrying the case further, hoping to get a landmark decision in a higher court, but that wasn’t what we wanted. In fact, we had already moved our Bible study by the time the city submitted its apology. If it had been a publicity stunt, we certainly would have carried it further. However, we never exploited the media attention that arrived at the Fromm’s front door and I never consented to an interview. From the start, I wanted peace with the city.
Good Grief, mijadedios! I don’t know what else to say, except that it’s simply rotten of you to glibly refer to this ordeal as a publicity stunt. For what purpose would we do such a thing? What got publicized? The name of our small community of believers was never mentioned. If you had any idea of what the Fromm’s suffered from this whole thing or if you had even a meager understanding of their love for the Lord Jesus Christ and devotion to His people, I doubt you would smugly dismiss this unhappy season of their lives as a publicity stunt. However, God who works all things together for good, used this experience to introduce the Fromm’s to city hall and they are now on good terms with the city’s leaders. In fact, Chuck Fromm is friends with the Mayor who is also a born again Christian.
Yes, I’ve sat in the radio station with my dad a few times to answer questions on Pastor’s Perspective over the last couple of years. Each time, it was at Dad’s request when Don Stewart was out of town. Whatever it may mean to you that my dad asked me to be a guest on his show, please present to me one instance when an answer I gave contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible. If you can prove that I misinterpreted the Scriptures, I will return to this blog site, apologize, and change my view. If you cannot, then why make a big deal about me going on the air with my father? Also, if you discover that I provided a biblical answer to someone that reflected both a good understanding of God’s word and compassion for the caller, would you consider apologizing to me?
I think the above, “unhihodedios,” was an attempt to say I’m not a child of God. Mija de Dios means Daughter of God. *It just occurred to me that this was Chuck Jr signing ‘Un hijo de dios’ translation: “A child of God.” Sorry, I don’t speak spanish so it took me a while to figure that one out.* I appreciate all you have to say here and I’m grateful to hear from you. It is more than I’ve heard from anyone I’ve written about. I have a lot to consider in what you are saying above and will take time to read through over and over and truly understand and discern the obvious aggravation from my accusations from the truth you are trying to convey. I’m glad you took the time to address the issues I brought up not just in the “Straight Ally for Gay Christians” piece I wrote, but you are also, very clearly, reading and addressing many posts I’ve written on Calvary Chapel including posts on Chuck From and Lonnie Frisbee. May I say that I do not harbor any personal hatred for you or even your father for that matter. What I do find heart wrenching and discouraging is the false teaching that’s been promoted for years, the lies that have been perpetuated, the people who have been used and abused by the CC system and much much more. But I am not about “Discrediting” or “Slandering” you. I was calling it as I see, yes with the limited information I have that I gather online, through hours of video, transcripts, personal experience, etc. Again I say, “Thank You,” and I will consider all the things you present here. I may take time to edit this reply after reading through your comment more carefully or I may chose to leave the issue alone, it depends on how the Lord leads.