Calvary Chapel Leader Exhibiting Cult-Like Mentality

Watch out for a highly unbiblical teaching that has wormed its way into the visible Church: Vision-casting.  If what you’re about to hear is taught in the church you attend, it may be time to high-tail it out of there and start looking for another church.  Jeff Maples writes:

Vision casting

Pulpit & Pen is no stranger to confrontation when it comes to airing the dirty laundry in the professing Church. We recently covered the danger of Hillsong’s music in the church, and how Hillsong has exhorted its followers, in a cult-like manner, to unite, not around the teachings of Scripture, but around the senior “visionary” of the church, Brian Houston.

Now, One of Calvary Chapel Albuquerque’s pastors, Neil Ortiz, has adopted this theological poppycock, not by expositing the Scriptural text, but expositing a football team. In the video below, he starts out his presentation with an exposition of the success of the 1982 Chicago Bears under the coaching of Mike Ditka.

Equating the senior pastor of a church to Mike Ditka, and the team owner to God, he says,

…now you see, like a sports team such as the Bears, and more specifically for our purposes here our church, Calvary is un-apologetically led by a head coach that we call our senior pastor.  You see, we operate, all of us with this understanding, that God is the team owner. He’s the purchaser and owner of this his church, and that God has appointed our head, coach our senior pastor, to lead us. You see the rest of us are assistant coaches or special teams players. We all play a part but we’re under the leadership of our senior pastor. In fact we believe this so much that it’s one of our Calvary culture axioms. That axiom’s titled “Follow the Leader.” You see, we believe that God has given our senior pastor a vision and direction for ministry and we are called to follow him and to support that work. When that happens we have a chance–we have the opportunity to really win some games for the kingdom of God–to make a difference in this world.

Notice, in his exposition, there is absolutely no mention of Scripture, let alone any exposition of the text to support his claim of “following the leader.”


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12 Responses to Calvary Chapel Leader Exhibiting Cult-Like Mentality

  1. Manny1962 June 18, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    I read this over at P&P, it’s bizarre, bringing more of the world into the “church.” Is there any wonder why droves leave these congregations? The apostasy grows. I still haven’t been able to find a church to attend that’s not compromised, I’ve been looking for quite sometime, I’ve given up. I’d rather stay at home and read scripture than sit through an ungodly hour of soul polluting trash. I know we are mandated to meet with other Christians, but it’s gotten so hard to even meet Christians any more, at least where I live, a metro area of more than two million people.

    • Maggie June 20, 2016 at 12:44 am #

      Manny, don’t lose heart in finding other Christians–surely they are there in your metro area; it’s a matter of finding them.

      Sometimes you can find like-minded (i.e., Bible-believing) Christians in some unlikely places. I found the tiny church body I am now a part of after reading a discernment article online written by the pastor. I have to travel almost an hour each way, but it’s worth it. I’m also attend a local home ladies Bible study. In my search, I investigated denominations I was totally unfamiliar with and found there are pockets of believers in many mainline denominations that have otherwise gone pretty apostate; they seem to be in an orthodox branch of the denomination. Of course, there can be ultra-orthodox segments that get legalistic in doctrine and practice, but those are usually obvious. Just some ideas for you to try.

      • Manny1962 June 20, 2016 at 10:21 am #

        Thanks for the encouragement Maggie, I really appreciate it. It so hard being a follower of Christ these days, rightly so He said hard is the way! I actually think I found a congregation that’s not emergent, seeker friendly or polluted by the Warrens, Hybels and Wagners of the world. I’ll see, I’m being a Berean before I join, asking questions, hard questions. Better find out now than later.

        • Maggie June 20, 2016 at 10:56 am #

          For me, it was important that I find a church body that understands discernment and practices it, which I did find–praise God! In the previous two churches I was in, I was considered a troublemaker for bringing up concerns. In my current church, I fit in perfectly and my hard-earned understanding of false teaching is appreciated. It is pure joy after two years of struggling and rejection.

  2. Manny1962 June 18, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Neil Ortiz is just another wolf…………

  3. Jeff June 18, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    How deceitfully wicked. In the Book of Isaiah God said something worth noting. He said, “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?”

  4. Ty June 19, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    There is no perfect man or visible church. The teaching by this man does not represent Calvary Chapel Movement founded by Chuck Smith, which is pure biblical teaching with the Holy Spirit in context of Scripture and historical relevance.

    Chuck has gone home to the LORD but there are many many pure biblical teachers within CC. I listen to at least 10-12 each day on hope-fm radio.

    Not one is good and is why we trust only in the LORD and His Word. The real problem is lack of faith and obedience in believers in general. We are to rebuke the leaven and glorify God. If more believers were not following the lie of political correctness, the leaven within their fellowships would be rebuked. But when political correctness reigns the truth is thrown into prison, and you have this nonsense.

    Good for Berean research to expose and rebuke the leaven. To God be the glory.

    • Darrel June 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

      You have chosen to willfully believe the lies that come from the false prophets @CC, most especially Chuck Smith. It has become boring to listen to the likes of you and your fellow apostates try to absolve your favorite heretic from the wrongs they have perpetrated on the willfully gullible. At no time has CC or anyone affiliated with it ever preached the real Gospel, today is no exception. Wallow in the cesspool of CC as you like, but take your excuses for the sins of yourself and other men else where. We are tired of the lies, the manipulations, the practicing of your own special brand of witchcraft. You and your cult buddies will be opposed at every turn, so please, slink away into the sunset—forever.

      How much mockery do you suppose God will endure until He says ENOUGH?

  5. Faith June 29, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

    Yup, Chuck was also a wolf. Yes, that is a hard pill to swallow but he was totally ecumenical with Catholics, and then the zionism, and embraced Rick Warren as a ‘brother’ publicly, (Harvest 2009) and had met with and put into practice the harlot practices of the Peter Drucker business model (the harlot model) at CC. Also, that church was infiltrated too from the gitgo, just google about John Todd and the Illuminati checks he delivered to Chuck Smith (hand delivered) to start up Maranatha music and the church and slowly bring the ways of the corrupt world in, and it’s music. There was catholic ecumenism back then already. The Calvary Distinctives have quotes by Chuck that are dead giveaways about marketing the church and ecumenism and fuzzy doctrine. Check it out for yourself and see. I would not assume “he went to be with the Lord” as all his sheep so quickly state as they rally to his defense.

    I too get so tired of all these man panderers, fawning over these men as if they were gods. They have made idols out of them in their hearts.

    As for meeting other believers, yeah, it’s been a dead end for me as there is so much compromise. If you say anything about something, eventually their toes get stepped on. They’re out there somewhere, sure. I tried all the churches in my large metro area too. No pockets of discerners to be found. I even tried a start up meeting via craigslist but no real fish resulted. I tried setting up in parks and stuff to advertise too. Maybe this will work for you though, give it a try.

    • Maggie June 30, 2016 at 11:46 am #

      Chuck Smith was in the ministry a long time. I understand in his advanced years, he was influenced and made decisions that were atypical to what he had done previously. I was never involved in Calvary Chapel, but I have read with interest about this movement in recent years.

      Regarding early ecumenism in Calvary Chapel, I believe you are referring to the era of the Jesus Movement. It was a genuine move of the Holy Spirit that brought many, mostly young people to faith in Jesus Christ. Christians came together to worship, pray and study the Bible regardless of denomination because of the true organic unity in faith. It wasn’t about denominations or unifying for the sake of unity. I just want to bring that into perspective about that time period. Just as in any awakening, there was both good and bad, true and counterfeit.

      • Maggie June 30, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

        I find it interesting that a number of discernment ministries were started by people who came out of Calvary Chapel, like Roger Oakland (Understand the Times) and Chris Lawson (Spiritual Research Network).

        For more info, see

  6. Cyndi May 31, 2020 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi Manny,

    I don’t know when this article on Calvary Chapel was posted, but what you wrote mirrors my situation exactly–I have been unable to find one church that is not comprimised–either with false teaching, lack of biblical teaching, social justice, seeker friendly, etc.

    I don’t know if you’ll see this message, but I live in the SF Bay Area and am trying to connect others who have left the institutional church. I started a Meetup recently called Everyday Church–it is about getting back to the simple message of the gospel, questioning many false doctrines that are promulgated in mainstream churches–so much so that people take them to be truth. Additionally, getting back to authentic fellowship.

    In any case, if you are able to view this reply, I would like to chat.


    ps excuse lac of editing

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