One Of My Mentors In The Faith, Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, Has Gone Home

I’ve been so busy lately and on a bit if a media blackout. One of the stories that got past me was one that saddened me quite a bit, Chuck Smith Pastor of Calvary Chapel died earlier this month at the age of 86.


While I have never met Chuck Smith, his impact on my spiritual life was profound. My father (men, my father, get it?) played Chuck Smith sermons in the cassette deck of our ’77 Pontiac Bonneville (400 c.i., 4 bbl. and get this, 185 hp!) or in our home all the time. It seemed “Pastor Chuck” and John MacArthur of Grace To You were on heavy rotation in our household. They were who we listened to on those four-day trips to California that we made annually in the late ’70s.

While I’d later have a few theological differences with Chuck Smith (more from what I’ve heard from others than from what I’ve actually heard him teach), he was one of the first preachers I heard as a kid that didn’t scream, spit, and have a hype-man. He just said, “Would you open your Bible to ___ and verse ____.” Then he’s spend the next 30 minutes teaching off of two verses, breaking down the time period, culture, fit in overall scripture, etc.. True biblical exegesis, critically explaining and examine the text.

Without Chuck, there probably would be no “UNITE REPORT” on this blog! Yes, Chuck did love talking about Bible prophesy and the End Times, but personally I never remember him throwing out a date like the article below mentions. From everything I remember hearing, he’d always point out the fact that our society is now getting to a place that from a technical standpoint, Christ could come back and a cashless society that is able to track citizens anywhere and force them to submit to the system of the anti-christ is now possible. At no time in history had this been possible, so I think Chuck was fascinated by this fact. Of course, I remember Chuck saying this back in the ’70’s, when these new things were just coming out called, “scanners” and “computer chips”. Being the great bible teacher that he was, I find it hard to believe that he gave an exact date for Christ’s return, but I think Chuck may have certainly said something like, “I think it is very likely Christ could return in the next 10 years.” I’m sure he was well aware of:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matt. 24:36

But like so many before, and like I’m sure Chuck always knew, and like we have to remember, we’ll likely be going home before that Great Day. So we must be prepared for the rapture or the grave at all times.

So there are two lessons I’ve learned as I reflect on Chuck Smith:

1.) Dad’s, we are the gatekeepers, especially for our boys on what’s sound doctrine within our homes. My dad introduced me to Christian Apologetics long before I ever knew what the term was and had us listening to solid teachers like Chuck Smith, John MacArthur and Walter Martin. When you listened to these guys, you were not going to hear a message where having your bible was optional. If you didn’t have it, you were lost! Guys where a “good message” wasn’t on politics, tithing equals prosperity and healing. A good message “open your bible, turn to”, “now, what are you going to do with God’s word?” and the Gospel.

2.) The aforementioned guys have messages that live forever and never grow stale. As we’ve all learned with J. Vernon McGee, start at Genesis, push forward. After Revelation 22, repeat. If you do it over and over again, you never have to worry about politics or the “Christian Hot Topic of The Day”, and your life’s work can live forever.

My prayers go out to Chuck Smith’s family and Calvary Chapel in “Costa Mesa, California” (after ever broadcast they’d say the home of the church and it seemed to have the coolest name). I’m sure you know that the man you all loved impacted so many people for the Kingdom of God and although I never got to meet my man on this side, I look forward to some great conversations on the other.

Here are the links to the ministries of the men above:

Chuck Smith:

John MacArthur –

Walter Martin:

J. Vernon McGee:

Ironically, the article below was sent by who? My dad, Lillpappa…how fitting. Please check it out and if you have any comments, please leave them below.


Chuck Smith, Minister Who Preached to Flower Children, Dies at 86

The Rev. Chuck Smith, a Southern California minister who shepherded flower children and rock ’n’ roll into the conservative wing of the evangelical movement while building a religious organization that grew to encompass 700 congregations and hundreds of radio stations, died on Oct. 3 at his home in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 86.

Calvary Chapel

The Rev. Chuck Smith

The cause was lung cancer, said a spokesman for Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, the flagship church of Mr. Smith’s worldwide Calvary Chapel federation.

Though lesser known than evangelical leaders like the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. James C. Dobson, Mr. Smith was influential for his liturgical innovations, for the cultivation of a new generation of prominent preachers and for the introduction of pop culture into the evangelical movement’s vernacular.

His amalgam of fire-and-brimstone theology and avuncular charm made him a successful if unlikely Christian fundamentalist ambassador to the youth culture of the late 1960s. He predicted the end of the world and condemned drug use, sex out of wedlock, abortion and homosexuality while serving as pastor to a hippie tribe known as the Jesus Movement.

To his ragged following he was Papa Chuck, and he welcomed them to his church by the thousands, accepting their barefoot, floor-sitting, outdoor-living habits and incorporating their rock music into his Sunday services — an innovation that other evangelical churches as well as mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches later adopted.

His decision to dispense with the traditional liturgy, replace pipe organs with electric guitars, preach from the pulpit in a Hawaiian shirt if he felt like it and give the same come-as-you-are rights to worshipers set the standard in the 1970s for what the church historian Donald E. Miller, a professor of religion at the University of Southern California, has called the “new paradigm” of independent Christian megachurches.

Mr. Smith’s disavowal of denominational labels — he did not call his church Pentecostal, Baptist or Assembly of God, but rather “just a Christian church” — has also been widely embraced in the evangelical world.

In 1971, Mr. Smith helped found Maranatha Music, one of the first contemporary Christian record companies in the United States, partly to provide a platform for the Christian musicians and songwriters who performed at his church. The group Love Song,one of the first Christian rock groups, was for a time a kind of house band at Calvary Chapel. In 1996, Mr. Smith and a protégé, Mike Kestler, founded the Calvary Satellite Network, which broadcasts sermons and Christian music over about 400 low-power and 50 full-power stations in 45 states.

Mr. Smith himself was never a fiery preacher and rarely appeared on television. His sermons, with line-by-line explications of the Bible, were more professorial than charismatic.

Outside Calvary Chapel, he was probably best known for the people he mentored. Those who went on to lead large evangelical organizations of their own included Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, a network of several hundred churches; and Kenn Gulliksen, the founder of a church movement called Vineyard, who introduced Bob Dylan to evangelical Christianity, which Mr. Dylan embraced in the 1970s and early ’80s. (Mr. Gulliksen is often referred to as “Bob Dylan’s pastor.”)

It was Mr. Smith’s simple teaching style and easygoing manner, mainly, that drew members of the Jesus Movement to his church in 1969, after his own teenage children had introduced him to movement followers they had befriended at the beach. One was Lonnie Frisbee, a self-described mystic and prophet who became prominent in the movement.

With Mr. Frisbee as his liaison, Mr. Smith was soon holding mass baptisms in the surf at Corona del Mar, dunking longhaired men and women in the Pacific by the hundreds. Some called them “Jesus freaks,” a phrase Time magazine used in a 1971 cover article about the movement.

“It looked like no congregation anyone had ever seen before,” Mr. Laurie wrote in his 2008 memoir, “Lost Boy.” “Barefoot hippies sat on the floor, praising the Lord, while old ladies in hats smiled, shrugged and sang their hymns.”

Randall Balmer, a scholar of evangelical culture and chairman of the Dartmouth College religion department, said in an interview that even in a congregation that embraced the counterculture, Mr. Smith never sugarcoated his fundamentalist beliefs. Besides condemning illicit sex and recreational drugs, he called homosexuality “a perverted lifestyle,” warned of the eternal hell awaiting sinners and promised the imminent arrival of Armageddon. (He said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks signaled God’s displeasure with the general acceptance of homosexuality and abortion.)

Mr. Balmer said some of Mr. Smith’s young followers might have been disillusioned with the counterculture and searching for spiritual sustenance elsewhere when they joined Calvary Chapel. But the pastor’s genius for incorporating counterculture trappings into his brand of evangelism was part of his appeal too, Mr. Balmer said, as was his sheer likability.

“This was a very charming man,” he said.

Charles Ward Smith was born in Ventura, Calif., on June 25, 1927, to Charles and Maude Smith, whom he described to interviewers as “Bible quoting” Christians. His father was a salesman.

After graduating in 1948 from the Bible college of the Foursquare Church, a Pentecostal denomination, Mr. Smith served several of its congregations before leaving, convinced that internal politics was the “un-Christian” scourge of Foursquare and every other denomination.

“The more spiritual a man is, the less denominational he becomes,” he wrote years later.

He started his own church in the early 1960s and in 1965 agreed to become pastor of Calvary Chapel, which was then a struggling nondenominational congregation with about 25 members. By the 1970s, attendance at Sunday services averaged 3,000.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine L. Johnson Smith; four children, Chuck Jr., Jeff, Janette Smith Manderson and Cheryl Smith Brodersen; and five grandchildren.

Based on his reading of the Book of Revelation, Mr. Smith began predicting the end of the world in the early 1980s. Although his predictions repeatedly proved wrong, he was undeterred. “Every year I believe this could be the year,” he told an interviewer. “We are one year closer than we were.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 14, 2013, on page D8 of the New York edition with the headline: Chuck Smith, 86, Minister; Preached to Flower Children.

2013 Baseball World Series: Where’s Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Jim Rice and Oil-Can Boyd? Actually, Where Have All The African-American Players Gone?


I met with some clients a couple of weeks ago from South Korea. We talked a little baseball, and one of the gentlemen stated that one of the teams had no Korean players on the team, so he was going for the other. I laughed and told him these days, I’m struggling to find African-Americans on any baseball team either!

This years Fall Classic featuring the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals looks like nothing like your father’s baseball teams.

Thirty- years ago in 1983, here’s the opening day line-up I remember shuffling around. My boy Damon and I battled each other daily at the strike-box we made on the side of the building imitating the batting stances and characteristics of the following players:

  • David Green
  • George Hendrick
  • Keith Hernandez
  • Ken Oberkfell
  • Darrell Porter
  • Mike Ramsey
  • Lonnie Smith
  • Ozzie Smith
  • Bob Forsch

Four of the nine were African-American, or perhaps we could say they were batting .444, which was very good!


Anytime I can get my man Willie McGee in a blog post, it’s a good post!

What about the Red Sox?

  • Wade Boggs
  • Dwight Evans
  • Jim Rice
  • Tony Armas
  • Carl Yastrzemski
  • Dave Stapleton
  • Rich Gedman
  • Glenn Hoffman
  • Julio Valdez
  • Dennis Eckersley


One of the nine would at considered African-American, or perhaps we could say they were batting .111. Well, Boston was the last team to integrate in the MLB and it’s been said that African-American’s would rather cheer for the opposing team than for the home team (sounds like me actually).

St. Louis, doing well, Boston,…not so much. The Red Sox have always had problems with their racist past (passing on Willie Mays because of his color) but were trying to change things, at least they were 10 years ago according to this article in 2002 (click here).

So how much has actually changed?

The following is an article from the Boston Globe seems to indicate that perhaps the 1983 Red Sox were ahead of the “changing demographic” time. I’m glad that some are still calling attention to the fact that African-American’s are becoming extinct in the National Pastime. Why is that a problem? Because the train will not be returning to the station to pick up the passengers left back. As legendary Father of Sports Sociology Dr. Harry Edwards pointed out in a recent interview, without African-American ball players, baseball is experiencing record profits (check out why Forbes feels it’s more than about ticket sales here). So with the money rolling in, why should that be a primary area of focus for MLB? Bob Costas, appearing on Dave Zirin’s Edge of Sports podcast (listen here), points out that the problem is beyond the changing demographics of teams, but the game itself could face overall irrelevance with future generations. As Costas duly noted, the NFL makes sure that its most important games can be seen by everyone. However, with MLB, the early rounds of the playoffs are nearly impossible to find (in some cases like Detroit vs. Oakland, the game was not on television at all in Detroit!) and the World Series comes on late and lasts long after the bedtimes of its future fans.

Therefore, beyond the extinction of African-American baseball players in the game. Baseball needs to be careful that its current prosperity isn’t the final rally before the Closer (i.e. NFL) comes in to put them away in the game.

Check out this article below from the Boston Globe by Gary Washburn

Feel free to leave comments below!

World Series shows MLB’s dearth of black players

When Adron Chambers was left off the Cardinals’ World Series roster Wednesday to create a spot for the team’s RBI leader, Allen Craig, Red Sox utility outfielder Quintin Berry realized that he was the sole African-American representation on baseball’s grandest stage.

This exemplifies an issue Major League Baseball has been grappling with for the better part of two decades. The participation of African-Americans has been dwindling to the point where there is not one black starter or front-line player in this year’s Fall Classic.

Berry, 28, who was acquired by the Sox from the Royals in August for his speed, is unlikely to even get an at-bat in the Series. It’s a stirring testament to the decline of baseball’s popularity in the African-American community.

MLB records show that just 8.5 percent of players on Opening Day rosters were black. And now, just one of the 50 players participating in the World Series identifies himself as African-American.

Berry, whose father is black, said he is fully aware of the declining numbers and that many athletes of his generation chose to pursue basketball or football, more fast-paced and popular sports.

“Especially being from the neighborhood that I’m from, you don’t see a lot of guys playing this sport,” said Berry, who went to Morse High School in San Diego. “You see them playing football and choosing that alley.

“But I had to go where my body type and my ability was going to allow me to. It was weird, because nobody in my family knew much about baseball. My father was a football player.”

The problem is not a lack of effort by Major League Baseball. It has implemented RBI programs — for “Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities” — throughout the country to encourage young African-Americans to embrace the sport. But MLB in general has done a terrible job of promoting its sport, let alone to African-Americans who admire athletes such as LeBron James and Adrian Peterson.

Major League Baseball has long struggled with self-promotion, and the past 20 years have been a public-relations disaster considering the scandals involving performance-enhancing drugs. Seven-time MVP Barry Bonds was perhaps the most talented player of his generation, yet baseball wants nothing to do with him because of his association with PEDs.

While the NFL and NBA are busy ushering their all-time greats into the Hall of Fame, baseball wishes Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa would disappear.

Part of the issue is that baseball is a classical sport caught up in a hip-hop world. The games last well beyond three hours. The pace is slow. The commentators analyze the game as if they were detailing the government shutdown and not talking about a kid’s game. The sport takes itself much too seriously, and for the casual fan — which most kids are — that translates like organic chemistry.

With the sport considerably less appealing than basketball or football to the novice fan, there isn’t the eagerness for parents to register their kids for Little League. A generation ago, it seemed Little League was a staple of every community. Even if you didn’t like baseball, you played on the local park team. Now? Those kids are playing basketball, football, and soccer, or have become part of the X Games trend.

Former major league outfielder Chris Singleton, now a commentator for ESPN, believes the issue expands beyond the playing field.

“I’m looking at management positions in the game,” said Singleton, who is African-American. “I know we’ve had an issue with the declining number of African-American players on teams, whereas you had teams like Minnesota, which had one player, Aaron Hicks, and then when he got sent down, they didn’t have an African American player, which is kind of a first in a long time.

“You can even look at broadcasters if you want to and say there’s 30 teams and there’s one black full-time play-by-play announcer [Dave Sims in Seattle].”

There has been an influx of African-American talent such as Matt Kemp, Jason Heyward, David Price, Adam Jones (Berry’s high school buddy), and Andrew McCutchen, but many of those players would go unrecognized by the casual sports fan.

Also, one current African-American major leaguer said there’s a perception among African-American major leaguers that the game isn’t as welcoming to them as it is to others when their physical skills begin to decline.

A fundamental problem is that baseball didn’t have to emphasize its greatness, its beauty, and its allure to previous generations.

It was America’s Game. The national pastime. That is no longer the case.

Baseball has to restate its worthiness to a new generation, one that didn’t grow up breaking in new gloves with plenty of oil and a couple of nights under the bed post — for those who don’t remember Bo Jackson scaling an outfield wall or Dave Parker throwing out Brian Downing at third base on a bullet from right field.

Otherwise, the sport is simply selling itself on history and tradition, and as with many other genres, that isn’t good enough for the young folks.

“When I go home and tell my buddies what the game needs, they need guys with speed and athleticism and the role that I am doing,” Berry said, “hopefully that will help them or their kids down the line, maybe push them to try to get them into this sport.

“I am happy I am able to do this and hope people follow in these footsteps.”

Gary Washburn can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at GWashNBAGlobe.

CornerstoneDads and Sons Week 6 Fantasy Update



Remember last week when I said I would lose to william’s Team this week? All I have to say is; I think I have what it takes to be a fortune teller. Here are the summaries.

The Kansas City Chiefs Defense scored a team-leading 26.00 points to help Father_N_TwoBoys (4-2, 773.32) knock off The Crushers (0-6, 635.68), 120.44 – 111.48. The 120.44 points put up by Father_N_TwoBoys was the lowest winning score of the week and the win was the team’s third in a row.

BaldHeadSlicks (4-2, 730.16) got 27.50 points from Marshawn Lynch and knocked off FluffyKittens (3-3, 720.26), 125.36 – 98.40. BaldHeadSlicks scored 12.3% more points than projected (111.58) and has now beaten expectations for three straight weeks.

william’s Team (4-2, 635.08) picked up the league’s highest score of the week from Cam Newton (30.68 points) and waxed The Best Team (3-3, 693.70), 126.68 – 82.80. It was the biggest margin of victory of the season for william’s Team.


I’m hoping I will be able to come back into first place. But for now, I’ll have to do everything in my power to get to that top spot. Unfortunately for me, I hate waiting a week for things to happen.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s update and I’ll see you next time.

Cornerstone Kid

Dad’s, Your Kid Asks You About The Tomahawk Chop, What Do You Say?


There’s a blog post that’s been sitting in my draft-bin for a few months now. I started writing it at the beginning of the baseball season as I thought about the Braves, Indians and Redskins (RGIII was the talk of football’s off-season as well) names and mascots. I had enough of the stereotypes and me and the kids had some great conversations about what they mean and why many consider the tomahawk chop, Chief Wahoo and Redskin-nickname offensive.

If you have not been following the latest news, the issue surfaced again recently (read HERE) as the media, protests and lawsuits just to name a few, began aiming their sites at the Washington team and owner Daniel Snyder for the team’s nickname that many consider the equivalent of calling the team, the “Washington Niggers”.

So here I am tonight, watching the ATL Braves take on the LA Dodgers in the playoffs. The organ player (do they use those folks any more or is someone playing an MP3?) gets the crowd hyped with the old Tomahawk Chop. I thought they stopped that years ago, so I stated digging.

Now, if you go to the Braves website, they even made a video on why they continue to do “the chop”. I never knew it went back to Neon Deion and his post-Florida Seminole days. Deion

But then I came across this blog posting on SB Nation. Looks like Mike Bates and I were having the same thoughts at nearly the same time. I think he captured most of my thoughts on the issue, so maybe I can delete that draft sitting in the box.

Now what do you think? What would you tell your kids?

Let us know below…and I hope this isn’t the first time that I have to close out my comment section on a blog post. Lets keep it respectful people.


Yeah, the “Tomahawk Chop” bugs me. Here’s why.

By   @commnman on May 1 2013, 11:23p 

As it turns out, Braves fans do not like it when you say disparaging things about “The Chop.” I learned that this evening, when I tweeted:

Hooray. A stadium of grown adults pretending they’re Native Americans. That chant makes me embarrassed for Braves fans.

— SB Nation MLB (@SBNationMLB) May 2, 2013

None of which is to say that I hate the Braves (I don’t) or that I think Braves fans are bad people for doing it (I double don’t). Nevertheless, the replies began coming in fast and furious; far too quickly for me to respond to them all. So in lieu of that, here’s why I think the Tomahawk Chop is an embarrassment and wish it would go away (which it won’t):

1) Roughly 30,000 adults, almost none of whom identify as Native American, are essentially “playing Indian” en masse, using a stereotypical representation of native chanting to represent…something. I’m not sure what. Maybe someone can explain what, exactly, they’re trying to do, besides support their team (and there are an unlimited variety of ways to do that without pretending you’re all part of a disenfranchised and marginalized group of people, a group of peoples with unique histories and cultures that are largely divorced from how they’re being presented at Braves games.

2) I think when we essentialize an entire group of people down to a single caricature, it makes us all look bad. Maybe Braves fans don’t feel like their chopping affects me. That’s fine. I suppose it doesn’t. But it makes baseball fans look ignorant, and it makes Americans look ridiculous. And I don’t the side of our culture that feels the need to boil down a group of people to a singular characteristic. We used to do that (and many still do that) with African-Americans, Jews, Latinos, and the LGBT community, and it’s not fair to them. In most cases, it’s disrespectful.

3) We continue to participate, largely unknowingly, in the marginalization of Native Americans every day, and rather than do something to improve the conditions on reservations across this country, we have elected to instead pretend like we’re honoring them. Maybe we would do a better job of honoring them if we made sure reservations had access to adequate healthcare, education, and food. Maybe we can stop pretending that everything is fine for Native people because many tribes have a casino and that, because of that, we’re entitled to take whatever we want from them for our sports culture.

Native peoples have problems that go far beyond whether a bunch of baseball fans do the Tomahawk Chop or wear Chief Wahoo. I’m very certain that many of them don’t care one way or the other what happens in Atlanta or Cleveland (although it’s clear that many do). But that doesn’t preclude us from doing and being better than we have been. I wish we did better at striving toward that goal, rather than perpetuating nonsense because it makes us feel part of a community and it’s been around for 20 years.


CornerstoneDads and Sons Week 4 Fantasy Update



This is going to end up being the best week of my season, titled, “The Time I Took the Lead”. But the only thing that I’m having trouble with is that the guy I told you couldn’t change his lineup, still can’t. The bad part is, his QB had a bye week, allowing me to take the lead. But I had the chance to talk to him again, this time saying the commissioner of the league will soon send him an email hopefully letting him come back into the league. But, personally, I think he’ll do just fine even without changing his lineup, seeing that this week’s lose is the first for him. So he should do just fine (until everybody else has a bye). Plus, I’m sure I’ll get over this guilt when I go up against him in week 6 and probably beats me.

Here is what Yahoo! said about the games in the league.

The Best Team earned their third consecutive win when they trashed The Crushers 137.92 – 82.44. They were led by Darren Sproles who had 24.20 points and Jimmy Graham who had 22.00. The streak is the result of some high scoring by The Best Team, who owns the second-highest overall point total in the league this season and is averaging 126.60 points per matchup. On top of the loss, The Crushers got zero points from Steven Jackson. The Crushers holds steady in sixth place with a 0-4 record. The Best Team is in first place having also recently blown through BaldHeadSlicks (149.60 – 136.50) and FluffyKittens (119.56 – 118.56).

BaldHeadSlicks (fifth place, 2-2, 484.02 points) drops william’s Team (3-1, 455.88 points) out of the league’s top spot after beating them 141.12 – 99.80. They also got the second-highest point total in the league this week. Each side hit their projections, but BaldHeadSlicks put up 25.9% more points than projected (112.08) to earn the win. william’s Team was led by Victor Cruz with 22.40 points and the Denver Broncos Defense who scored 18.00. On top of the loss, william’s Team got goose eggs from both Cam Newton and Rob Gronkowski.

Father_N_TwoBoys (2-2, 547.36 points) beat FluffyKittens (2-2, 493.50 points) 173.42 – 131.28, putting up the second-highest point total this season. Father_N_TwoBoys had a 92.40 – 57.00 advantage after the early games on Sunday. The tide turned in favor of FluffyKittens by a 0.18-point margin following the Sunday night game. However, Father_N_TwoBoys pulled out the victory with a comeback on Monday night.

Remember when I barely beat FluffyKittens? With a stat correction taking place last week, it was even closer. I beat the Kittens by one point, not only the closest game of the season, but the closest game of this league’s two seasons. That one’s going into the record book, alright.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s update and see you next time!

Cornerstone Kid