Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, October 21, 2013

(Christian Post) "Strange Fire" & Costals: Chuck Smith and John MacArthur


Chuck Smith's Memorial 'Paddle Out,' John MacArthur's Strange Fire Conf: Weekend of Deep Spiritual Contrasts

Light and Darkness in California

By David Housholder , CP Guest Contributor
October 21, 2013|8:04 pm

Editor's Note: Beginning last Wednesday during the Strange Fire Conference at his church in Sun Valley, Pastor John MacArthur continued his case against the Charismatic movement. A backlash of criticism from many in the Christian community resulted in the conference name and subject matter trending online over the last several days.

On Saturday morning, the surfing community tradition of a paddle out as a way of paying tribute to someone who has died was done in memorial for Chuck Smith in the waters north of the Huntington Beach Pier. David Housholder was touched by both events in different ways and posted this piece (below) on Saturday.

"I hang out with Pentecostals; they are my tribe. Yes, we speak in tongues and believe in healing. Most colorful people on earth. I wrote a book on Pentecostalism (Zero to One Billion adherents 1906 to present) for you cautious types," Housholder writes in his bio on his website.

The Christian Post considers the events this past week in Southern California that Housholder experienced in his own way important for our readers.

This weekend was a weekend of deep spiritual contrasts in Southern California.
Two hours ago, I was out at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier on my surfboard. We were participating in a "paddle out" in memory of Chuck Smith, one of the main leaders of the Jesus movement.

Just take some time and let the slideshow [in orginal post] run…. It will give you the vibe of the event.

Chuck Smith (Photo: Life and Liberty/David Housholder website)

It is traditional to do paddle outs in memory of surfers who have died, this may have been one of the biggest paddle outs….ever.

Chuck Smith (Image: Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa)

Have a look at the video put together by Calvary Chapel North Long Beach (see top of the page).

This is the size (sample pic below) more typical of the handful of memorial paddle-outs I've attended. Compare to the pictures above!
The mood was euphoric. Grateful. Warm. Inclusive. You didn't have to be a Christian to take part fully today. People in the massive circle of surfers spontaneously shouted out encouraging Bible passages, phrase by phrase, with the hundreds of voices responding in unison….

I can do.


All things.


Through Christ


Who strengthens me.


AMEN! (Followed by massive splashing of each other in a collective fountain of water)

This went on for quite some time, pretty much until we ran out of memorized Bible verses; punctuated by spontaneous group singing of the tunes of the movement:

Contrast this with what was going on up on the other side of Los Angeles, at Grace Community in the San Fernando Valley.

A big crowd of serious theologians, overwhelmingly men, met at John MacArthur's church for the "Strange Fire" Conference.

Whereas the Jesus movement looked for ways to include people whom the church was not including (hippies, '68 flower child counter-culture, etc), MacArthur's movement seems bent on figuring out how to exclude a large majority of us Christians from the movement we are already in.

MacArthur is using this gathering to promote his book which more or less condemns all of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity (about a billion people) to the realm of false teaching. He calls us misguided at best and perhaps even likely in league with evil forces.

The contrast could not have been greater. One city. One weekend. Two polar opposites. Light and darkness. Inclusion and exclusion. Euphoria and Judgementalism. Scruffy "Jesus freak" enthusiasts. Groomed theologians.

I'll leave you with a song from the Jesus movement. Look at the pics from the early 70′s. A movement that shaped and re-mapped Christianity in North America:

Listen for Papa Chuck's unique voice in the middle of the song….

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it…
-The Gospel of John

And rainbows appeared between the pier and the congregation in the water…

Chuck Smith 
(Photo:Life and Liberty/David Housholder website)
Chuck Smith 
(Photo: Life and Liberty/David Housholder website)

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