What’s Calvary Chapel-Vineyard relationship like Nowadays?

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on February 14, 2008

The following is from a dialouge I was following on the issue of Calvery Chapel and the VINEYARD CHURCHES…….and the relationships between the two as they split:

 In the words of the man who began the conversation,

Calvary Chapel-Vineyard relationship

How do Calvary Chapel ministers/members feel about Vineyard churches almost 30 years after the split between Chuck Smith and John Wimber?

Here are the following responses:

I like a lot of the vineyard worship songs, but some of the Vineyard fellowship are “out there” in their Theology.

I’m only visited one veneyard before and it was borderline.

 Vineyard underwent a large schism over the “barking”, etc.(which was Rodney Howard Browne’s Toronto Blessing originating in Kansas), probably in the early to mid 90’s.
By his grace, Nic.
The founder of Vinyard John Wimber, if memory serves as far as his name, was caught up in plenty of heresies. They can easily be had online.
www.letusreason.org ~Mike Oppenheimer’s Site has something on it I am fairly certain.

[SIZE=3]In Wimber’s defense, while he did briefly identify with a couple of deviant “movements” in the early 90s (in particular the Kansas City “prophets” and the Toronto “Mixed”-Blessing) and led many in the Vineyard into them, he and the movement, to their credit, withdrew from them when extreme elements arose that seemed defined those movements. Wimber was no theologian but was a person hungry for a genuine expression of the Spirit’s power and felt that he had witnessed it in Kansas City only to realize, later, that perhaps he had been mistaken. The Vineyard in 2008, under Bert Waggoner’s leadership, is IMHO a very balanced group that seems more intent on a scriptural theology of the Holy Spirit than in chasing firetrucks. At least that’s my observation. [/SIZE]

Perhaps so, I am not current with has gone on in the remaining Vineyard Fellowships since the schism. Inspite of having this hunger for the expression of the Spirit; sincere or not, I believe that very attribute being unchecked led to most of his problems. IOW: The Word as a the final rule of faith and verification of God’s Spirit, as it moves in light of his word, was the problem (…in thy light, we shall see light~psalms 38:9). We already demand this same standard in regards to tradition, whether or not we believe them to be divine in origin; see Mat 15. New revelation as it were, should be considered with similar scrutiny. This too is indigenous to most if not all groups that consider themselves active in the charisms of the NT church. So what say I? More emphasis on God’s word for comfirming what happens in the body. I believe Chuck Smith’s policy/distinctive on keeping the service orderly concerning the charisms of the church, has been a negative protection (a good thing) from falling into the pitfalls that John Wimber and Vineyards experienced. Ironically this was the very thing Wimber and his followers criticized about Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel. I have heard first hand by Vineyard assemblies, that Chuck Smith attempts to shackle the Holy Spirit in his distinctives; during the service of the gerenal assembly. I have said before that this has been a very good thing, that Calvary distinctives define, as to keep much of what maybe emotional charismania vs. emotionally, worshipping and serving the God in the assembly.
By his grace, Nic.

Hi JimmyB; I attend a Calvary Chapel. My Pastor gave me this link to a program that has Pastor Chuck talking about the whole John Wimber thing. If anybody else is interested, it’s there for your viewing.


I hope it helps.

Take care and God bless!


23 Responses to “What’s Calvary Chapel-Vineyard relationship like Nowadays?”

  1. joyfulfreedom1 said

    Was this pro-Calvary Chapel? Many people understand the Vineyard Movement to be in error. Very specifically those that attend the more solid ones (Calvary Chapels)like Golden Springs, and the like.

  2. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m a bit confused on the issue.

  3. joyfulfreedom1 said


    Maybe you can explain where the confusion lies. Are you saying there’s no difference between Calvary Chapel and Vineyard? I’m not an apologist for either but there’s clearly a difference between the two, perhaps should have renamed a particular post on blog differenlty than stating I have CC’s back.

    But I affirm those CC’s that are at the very least attempting to preach the gospel.

    That’s all my friend. I’ll holla at you another time. There’s some interesting things on this blog. Gone and do what you do, bruh.

  4. Never said there’s not a difference between Calvary Chapel and Vineyard, for whereas both believe in the continuation of all spiritual gifts, Vineyward Churches are more comfortable with extra-biblical manifestations than Calvary (i.e. “slain in the spirit”, “shaking”, and various other things). And of course, all one would need to do for more info would be to investigate John Wimber and Chuck (from Calvary) to discover more.

  5. joyfulfreedom1 said

    I agree with those statements. Had a few things posted on my blog about CC. And then thought that in clear conscience (not unlike your post on guilt by association) I couldn’t keep the pro-CC stuff on my blog.

    I was basically trying to figure out where you were going with this, but it looks more or less like you’re just reporting some of the facts, like a reporter. I do want to say that you still have an interesting blog.

    I do like a lot of what’s on your blog. Peace, young brother.

  6. Define “interesting”, if you would please.

    To note, seeing that I’m a continuist myself (and a die-hard Charismatic, though abeit Reformed Charismatic), I have no problem with CC. Though by no means does that mean that my being Charismatic means I accept everything done in the name of “Charismatic”…and nice to see you got it correct regarding my M.O (“just reporting the facts”).

  7. joyfulfreedom1 said

    in·ter·est·ing – adjective 1. engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity: an interesting book.
    2. arousing a feeling of interest: an interesting face.

    —Synonyms 1. absorbing, entertaining. Interesting, pleasing, gratifying mean satisfying to the mind.

    So I meant that in the literal positive sense of the word.

    Basically, I figured you not to have a problem with C.C. in my time online people that don’t like C.C.’s usually fire harder shots than what I read here (which I didn’t think were shots per’se.

    I don’t view everyone charismatic on the extreme side. And I hope it doesn’t put you off, but I consider myself moderately charismatic (I believe in some of the spiritual gifts) and I enjoyed your post on the prison ministry. As in I really liked it.

    And I considerate my theological views to be calvinistic (and I’ve frequented many of the blogs and websites on your blogroll, and links prior to finding this site) but not necessarily reformed, though some don’t make a distinction between the two.

    Overall, this is a pretty good blog. God Bless.

  8. 2pThank’s for greate post.0k I compleatly disagree with last post . ukd
    паркет 0w

  9. paul said

    I think the only difference between calvary and vineyard is that the vineyard understands that jesus healings, casting out demons, and miracles were a part of jesus daily life and he gave the apostles and us the same authority. Both churchs preach the gospel and both are making an impact for christ just in different ways thats all that matters.

    • Shannon said

      I attended a Calvary Chapel for 22 years before marrying a Vineyard Pastor’s son. CC also understands that Jesus’ healings, casting out demons and miracles were part of His daily life that He gave us the same authority and it was practised regularly. My concern having moved into the Vineyard post CC is the emphasis on everything Vineyard and not the Church. I mean of course, that the entire body of Christ is the church and that Vineyard is not a church but rather a portion of it. I am struggling with the institutionalism of it and the lack of bible teaching and misuse of scripture. One thing I believe will not be contested it that at CC, you will gain a bible education like no other fellowship offers. Anyway, having attended both, I believe there is more emotional fluff at Vineyard and more biblical spiritual growth at CC.

  10. andry said

    fcVH4o comment6 ,

  11. Dan said

    I have gone to Greg laurie’s church, Harvest in Riverside and to Vineyard Christian Fellowship of North Phoenix taught by Brian Anderson. Gone to both for longer periods and they were both amazing churches and I honestly could not find the difference. I think as far as the Vineyard and Calvary thing goes, it really depends on who is teaching and leading at that church.

  12. MikicFhy3 said

    Fascinating piece of writing. Appreciate your sharing

  13. Mikeharvey said

    New here, from Toronto, Canada

    Just a quick hello from as I’m new to the board. I’ve seen some interesting comments so far.

    To be honest I’m new to forums and computers in general 🙂


  14. Shalom!!

    My bad for not getting back sooner—as I’ve been very busy if late. Apart from that, need to update the site.

  15. Rudy Torres said

    I have attended Calvary for years and now attend Anaheim Vinyard and I attend the Wedsnday nite Services at Calvary, it all depends on you what you need everybody is diffrent. There is a church for everybody its like a Big Salad.

    • Kro said

      Please don’t call yourself a “charismatic” or “reformed charismatic” or anything else other than Christian, that there be no divisions in the Body

      • Kro said

        Change the lettuce in your salad to “rocks” and declare it inedible and you are close to the actual situation

  16. Kro said

    I don’t see any permission in the Scriptures
    for a “Vineyard” or a “Calvary Chapel”,
    That would make them”outlaw” churches.

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  19. Bree said

    I began going to the Newport Vineyard in the early 80’s when it was still in a high school gym and I was child. From there my family began going to the Anaheim Vineyard. We lived closest to CC and would go there sometimes too. In the 80’s it was as simple as you were not aloud to lift your hands during worship above your head. People from the Vineyard would claim they preferred the worship music better at the Vineyard and it was the come as you are relaxed feel they claimed was better. But by the 90’s it was weird at the Vineyard. My family was very involved in the church. I was in the first homeschool group started at the Vineyard. If you weren’t falling on the ground shaking and crying people there thought you were in need of prayer. It’s my opinion the Vineyard built it’s foundation on the sandy land and not the rock. There was a weak foundation from the start and the core people that started that church all are like a big broken family now. I am happy to say I go to Calvary Chapel now. No it’s not as friendly and could use a little help there for new members trying to get info or get used to the way that church works. But it’s a consistent and solid church. It’s more Bible based than worship based.

  20. Richard Saito said

    Rich said

    I attend the Inverness Vineyard Church in Birmingham. AL and was the first worship leader when we made the transition from a Baptist Church to a Vineyard in 1984. My pastor Lamar Junkins, who started a relationship with John Wimber knew that was our DNA. The California, easy going style of “come as you are, you’ll be loved” characteristic is what became a culture at the Birmingham Vineyard. We preached the Word (and still do) but also let Holy Spirit have His way as in the book of Acts, because we are still in the Church Age! The relationship with Chuck Smith in the early years was that they had differing ideas of where they wanted to go, so they split and went different directions…Chuck had, u his way of doing things, John had his way also. But they both played important roles in bringing people to Christ. If it were not for Chuck Smith, many of the leaders in the Vineyard would not have existed, and the many “hippies” saved through Chuck’s ministry ministered a lot to me (an Oregon boy) because of the praise and worship music introduced into our culture during the 60’s and 70’s, even up until now. There was no praise music before then, mostly just hymns. And that stirred up a lot of controversy, but had it not been for Chuck Smith’s willingness to take in people not like themselves, those who needed Jesus and could not go into any church to worship and obviously were not being reached by the church. So both of these guys had their places to minister…and there will always be disagreement between people as to the best way to do things (in each others’ eyes), but that is why we are to love one another in spite of disagreement, we are not to be disagreeable nonetheless. Relationship-wise…we must love each other for our differences…and if you are ever in Birmingham, come visit us at the Inverness Vineyard, you can “come as you are, you’ll be loved!”

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