Is it a sin to talk to a reporter?

I don’t know how to describe this item other than to say that the omnipresent Ted Olsen of the Christianity Today blog has done an amazing job of writing up a GetReligion case study from a San Bernardino Sun article about ministry in times of sickness and health. The case is so amazing that all I can really say is click here and go read it. Do yourself a favor.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://www.wrandomwramblings.blogspot.com Scott Roche

    Wow. Read it. Blogged on it.

  • Tom Breen

    A fascinating read, but probably more common than we might think. Churches of all denominations have a terrible time dealing with the press, particularly when something happens that makes them look not so holy.

  • Jacob Lee

    I have had similar experiences with Calvary Chapel. This is not an isolated indecent. They protect themselves at all costs whether they are right or wrong the church and pastor are always right and the elders and assistant pastors either fall inline or they are in sin.

  • ceemac

    Olsen thought the article was praiseworthy.

    It seemed pretty wimpy to me.

    I know very little about the Calvary Chapel group. Their actions in this case sure give a black eye to people of faith. This is a group that looks like it should be a target of a good old fashioned early 60 Minutes style expose.

  • Dan Crawford

    Is this Chuck Smith’s acclaimed Calvary Chapel that supposedly charmed the hearts of hippies and CA drug addicts?

    It looks something like a cult to me.

  • Calee Streza

    Oh, what 60 minutes would uncover!

    If anyone is looking for an easy expose, start digging.

    (Yes, this is the infamous group of Chuck Smith followers–but they’ve moved a long way rfom hippies and drug addicts. Now the Costa Mesa flagship removes people who raise their hands during the service.)

  • Joshua Cordell

    “It looks something like a cult to me.”
    - I have to take acception with that. Calvary Chapel has it’s problems, who doesn’t, but they are far from being a cult. The basis of the Clavary Chapel style is verse by verse teaching through the Bible, with each fellowship run basically indepently. So they can vary quite a bit.

    “(Yes, this is the infamous group of Chuck Smith followers–but they’ve moved a long way rfom hippies and drug addicts. Now the Costa Mesa flagship removes people who raise their hands during the service.)”
    - What makes Calvary Chapel infamous?

  • Michael

    Calvary Chapel has it’s problems, who doesn’t, but they are far from being a cult. The basis of the Clavary Chapel style is verse by verse teaching through the Bible, with each fellowship run basically indepently. So they can vary quite a bit.

    By this definition, are megachurches with 30,000 members and various “pods” closer to being a cult? Many Evangelicals consider Mormonism a cult.

  • Calee Streza

    -What makes Calvary Chapel infamous?

    Chuck Smith only drew those crowds of hippie children because of Lonnie Frisbee- an “excommunicated” pastor who died of AIDS in the early 90s.

    Check out this article in the OC Weekly:

    http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/05/26/cover-coker.php

  • Patricia Gonzalez

    What happened to Pastor Nelson is indeed a nightmare. He and his family are in my prayers, and it’s good to hear that he’s getting help from various sources. However, I’m appalled at Pastor Hlebo’s attitude — he decided (all on his own, apparently!) — that Pastor Nelson was “spiritually unfit” to continue in ministry. Say what??!! On what authority is this assessment based? The article doesn’t say, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this doesn’t turn out to be some kind of personal vendetta, based (perhaps) on Nelson’s popularity with the kids in his ministry. As a side note, this sort of thing makes me glad to be Catholic. At least we have some central authority to supervise clerical appointments and apply the appropriate discipline when necessary. OK, that would happen in a perfect world — but the structure at least is there. It’s very dangerous that a pastor can be hired/fired on the say-so of just one individual. When our PP had heart surgery last year, he was mentioned and prayed for at just about every Mass and parish gathering. There was no move to supplant him with anyone else… Maybe Calvary Chapel and their ilk should start to behave a little more like the Christians they claim to be. I hope pastor Nelson and his family continue to be supported by their friends …

  • http://joshuacordell.blogspot.com/ Joshua Cordell

    Michael – I wasn’t using that description of Calvary Chapel as a definition of what is or isn’t a cult. I was simply trying to explain that Calvary Chapels can vary from church to church, but their basic outline is based on verse by verse teaching through the Bible. By the way I do consider Mormonism to be a cult, because they present a different Jesus and a different plan of salvation than that of the Bible.

    Calee – thanks for the link. Really interesting stuff.


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