Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 20, 2012 Show: My Perspective on Don Stewart

The biblical requirements of an elder in the church of Jesus Christ is clearly spelled out in the epistles of Paul in Titus and 1 & 2 Timothy. An elder must have a good reputation with outsiders so that he would not fall into reproach. He is to be the husband of one wife and have his house in order before he can take care of the church of God. 

The Bible-believing Church used to take these things very seriously. If a pastor and his wife got a divorce, the pastor would be put on sabbatical until the conditions of the divorce could be looked into and the determination could be made if there was a biblical out for the pastor.  If there was not, he was sent packing. However, that doesn't seem to be the case today as the rate of divorce and remarriage in the church is equal to that of the world. 

There are only two biblical reasons for divorce in the Bible: if the unbelieving spouse abandons the believer; or one of the parties commits adultery. That does not mean that the offending party is free to marry again - but that frees up the victim to move on and remarry.

But even if an elder's divorce meets the biblical requirements, he should still step down from leadership, at least for a time, while he is going through such an emotional upheaval in his life. A man of integrity knows this and will relieve himself of duty in the church until he can sort out his personal problems. 

Pastors Perspective is the name of the daily radio program of Don Stewart and Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. The two men also co-host a weekly one-hour program seen on HisChannel called World News Briefing. I share their eschatology and have been blessed by their insights into Bible Prophecy and the Word of God. They have helped many people calling into their radio program seeking understanding into the Word and guidance with personal issues. I have no ill will toward either men; I see them as brothers in Christ. Both of them have been a blessing to me in their teaching ministry.

On October 24, 2011 a friend of Don Stewart's posted this on his facebook page: "Just heard the news, CONGRADS!!!!!!!!" Don responded with, "Thanks Joyce; the Lord is indeed good!" Other friends chimed in asking Don if he just got married; none of them seemed to have known about it. One poster wrote, "Aren't you already married?" Then on the next day, Don's 15-year-old daughter posted this to the thread: "Are you getting remarried, dad??????" That got my attention.

I then posted my inquiry in the thread writing, "As a Christian pastor/leader Don I think you need to give the church at large - since you're a pastor at large - some sort of statement to explain your short few months of not wearing a wedding ring and then showing up wearing a brand new one. Should we just suppose you had biblical grounds? You can nip the tongue-wagging in the bud if you stand up to the plate."
Don then took the thread down and privately messaged me saying, "I will be making a statement soon about my marital situation...Timing is providential. We're in the process of telling a few people individually before we make some sort of announcement." 

No doubt the people he needed to inform included his former wife and their two daughters. After the thread was removed, his daughter unfriended him in her own facebook. 
I received a private message from Don's former wife who had seen my comments and added me to her friends list on her facebook. She assured me that throughout their 20+ years of marriage she has always been faithful to her husband but couldn't speak for Don. She assured me that she is a devoted Christian and does not take any of this lightly, but was biblically free to divorce him and remarry. Her daughters were part of the wedding party; while Don's remarriage was an apparent elopement void of family.

I received other messages from people who had seen my confrontation of Don on his facebook before it was removed. One stood out in particular, though I will keep her name confidential. She wrote:

"'Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.' 

Jackie, can you please elaborate on this passage and how it relates to a pastor who divorces and remarries? I am having a huge problem with how Don Stewart who is on the radio every day answering Bible questions for us Christians can seemingly ignore this passage of Scripture. I don't get it. How does this stuff just seem to get swept under the carpet? There is a long post on Don Stewart's wall about his new marriage and I am trying hard to not respond and be a total jerk about this. I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday but even I can understand what that passage means. And I know pastors are held to a higher standard due to the possibility of wrecking a whole congregation of people. Can you give me some insight? Thanks in advance."

Another thread had appeared with many well-wishers on Don's new marriage. He never did issue any statement, he only posted photos and himself and his new wife. His itinerary filling in for pastors at various Calvary Chapels never abated and he was just recently featured as a speaker this week at the Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference. His facebook page displays pictures of his new wife tending his book table and he is carrying on in ministry as if nothing has happened.

On the other hand, I have been maligned for calling this into question publicly with accusations of touching God's anointed and gossiping. All I am trying to do is challenge the leadership at Calvary Chapel to address this situation and look into the causes of the divorce. This speaks volumes of the lack of accountability within Calvary Chapel.

While the conference was going on, I started a thread on the facebook of Calvary Chapel Network that was soon to be taken down. I wrote:
"Watching the CC Pastors conference - Don Stewart now coming up to speak. I'm surprised he hasn't missed anytime away from the pulpit and radio even as he went through a divorce from the mother of his teenaged girls and then eloped several months ago with a woman who he now brings along with him in ministry. Is there no accountability within Calvary Chapels? Could it be that to insist on accountability puts fellow CC pastors under scrutiny they don't want to have to live up to? Just thinking out loud!"

The first response to my comment came from a leader at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Jim Hesterly who just said, "Right on." That speaks volumes, coming from a man who had been in the leadership of Calvary since 1970 and whose wife is a regular speaker at Calvary Chapel women's retreats around the world. I interpret that as an affirmation that what I was writing was indeed hitting the mark.

There is so much more I could say, but I am trying not to break any confidentiality. This situation is a scandal in the church and an indictment upon the health of Calvary Chapel where this was allowed to go on. Being on salary, I believe, contributes to a conflict of interest in doing the biblically right thing. When a minister is on the payroll, he certainly doesn't want to lose his "job" especially when he has child support to pay. 

His daughter has now refriended her dad and it is apparent from Don's facebook that he is trying to restore his relationship with his girls and acclimate them to the new step-mom, though they live with their mother. My prayers are for Don's family and that he would do the right thing and step down from ministry as he is now disqualified from leadership. If he won't do that, I hope the leadership at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa will do it for him.

For further info, listen to the January 20th 2012 program:


  1. Thank you sis, your insight into God's Word is hits the mark. Your right about Don Stewart missing the mark. What comes to my mind is the wedding vows Don took with his first wife most likely before God and witnesses.

    Ecclesiastes 5:4 (NKJV) When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed—
    Ecclesiastes 5:5 (NKJV) Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

    Bishop Calvin J. Winslow

  2. No surprise as to why the Church is powerless in such an evil generation and why sugar has replaced the salt.
    To speak up with boldness against sin in the psuedo Church is what leads to Matthew 24:10

    Those believers who are deceived to believe the false teaching of an early rapture ignore the truth that Jesus is not returning for an unclean,filthy bride who has made herself un-ready to meet Him.

    'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires '
    2 Timothy 4:3

  3. Calvary Chapel is a good, bible based church that encourages people to dig into their bibles and understand scripture verse by verse. However, the organization is permeated by 'hippies at heart', who allow novices into positions of leadership and only reprimand staff and members when they disagree with their interpretation of the Word, which is far from infallible.

    Clearly, this pastor should step down, or be forcibly removed, as long as his wife admits no impropriety. But, I'm sure they "feel" this view is outside of the "spirit of the law".

    If you want to advance at Calvary Chapel, just learn how to play guitar... you'll go far in the ministry!

  4. I agree 100% with your statement! I live in Colorado with two Calvary Chapel's each 25 miles apart from my town. The one to the east of me (Longmont) is on the ecumenical bandwagon & the one to the south (Broomfield) is pastored by Richie Furray who used to play in Buffalo Springfield and starts his service with a folk music mini concert. I also have no confidence in his ability to discern as he still believes Lonnie Frisbee was used by God.

    I wonder how much worse the apostacy is going to get?

  5. "Jackie Alnor

    Host, Author and Teacher" {Found on Rapture Ready Page)

    How do you view the following verse of scripture Jackie?

    1 Timothy 2:12
    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    Do you consider yourself an exception to this scripture?

    As you feel that Don is violating scripture in his situation, I have to ask,do you feel that your being a teacher is violating 1 Timothy 2:12 scripture?

    See how it is. Not an easy position to be in. Do you stop doing what you are doing because scripture forbids you to be teaching us. Or do you do some more teaching...time will tell if you are like Don and continue on your way.

    As someone just said, "I wonder how much worse the apostacy is going to get?"

    1. Surfer51,
      Your quoted verse doesn't mean she can't teach, but that she should not be in teaching authority over a man. That is hardly the case here. But there is precedence biblically for women who prophesy, as in Phillip's daughters.
      If you are adamant about this, perhaps you should rebuke Cheryl Broderson for being on KWAVE. (I like her teaching, and am not making a point against Cheryl).

  6. Calvary Chapel is not the church, so just let the wolves like Chuck and Don remain as they are. The church is the people not an organization or 501 3 C. Calvary is just the daughter of the whore Catholic Church so stop expecting their leaders to love according to scripture.

  7. Good article Jackie. Very straightforward and very seasoned with grace. Much better than I would've handled it. The truth about Don Stewart is much worse than what you present, but the man will not answer direct questions (I've asked him directly about specific issues). The fact is, Don Stewart is disqualified, but Chuck Smith could care less. Don is "loyal" to Chuck and Chuck has graced him over, just like Bob Grenier and so many others. It's simply not Biblical and the action of Chuck Smith and CCCM is in knowing willful rebellion to God's Word. It delegitimizes their message and causes me and others to question the validity of anything they say or do.

  8. 1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

    1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

    Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

  9. Not meaning to take away from the importance of the issue but, I'm still waiting for Jackie to answer the question of 1Tim.2:12.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Do you idiots understand the difference between the Office of Pastor/Elder and the Qualifications articulated by Paul the Apostle? 1 Timothy and Titus are two good places to start. Jackie is not a Pastor/Elder, she is a watchdog. Don Stewart is a Pastor/Elder and I'm sure he claims that status on his Taxes (and I'm sure if I dug around I could probably verify that). The dude is disqualified from ministry (per Scripture) if one takes the Bible as literal and Authoritative. If you DO NOT take the Bible as literal or Authoritative, then I guess Don Stewart is still qualified, and so is Chuck Smith, Raul Ries, etc.

    3. I answered it above in a reply to Surfer51

  10. Surfer, you're an idiot.

    1 Timothy 2:12 speaks to an Office (one with authority over) other words a Pastor/Elder. The Greek word used "to teach" is this:

    διδάσκειν (didaskein) — 13 Occurrences
    Matthew 11:1 V-PNA
    BIB: ἐκεῖθεν τοῦ διδάσκειν καὶ κηρύσσειν
    NAS: from there to teach and preach
    KJV: thence to teach and
    INT: from there to teach and to preach

    Mark 4:1 V-PNA
    BIB: πάλιν ἤρξατο διδάσκειν παρὰ τὴν
    NAS: He began to teach again by the sea.
    KJV: again to teach by
    INT: again he began to teach beside the

    Mark 6:2 V-PNA
    BIB: σαββάτου ἤρξατο διδάσκειν ἐν τῇ
    NAS: He began to teach in the synagogue;
    KJV: he began to teach in
    INT: [the] Sabbath he began to teach in the

    Mark 6:34 V-PNA
    BIB: καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς πολλά
    NAS: and He began to teach them many things.
    KJV: he began to teach them
    INT: And he began to teach them many things

    Mark 8:31 V-PNA
    BIB: Καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς ὅτι
    NAS: And He began to teach them that the Son
    KJV: And he began to teach them, that
    INT: And he began to teach them that

    Luke 6:6 V-PNA
    BIB: συναγωγὴν καὶ διδάσκειν καὶ ἦν
    NAS: the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man
    KJV: the synagogue and taught: and there
    INT: synagogue and taught and there was

    John 7:35 V-PNA
    BIB: πορεύεσθαι καὶ διδάσκειν τοὺς Ἕλληνας
    NAS: among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks,
    KJV: and teach the Gentiles?
    INT: to go and teach the Greeks

    Acts 1:1 V-PNA
    BIB: τε καὶ διδάσκειν
    NAS: began to do and teach,
    KJV: to do and teach,
    INT: both and to teach

    Acts 4:2 V-PNA
    BIB: διὰ τὸ διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς τὸν
    NAS: because they were teaching the people
    KJV: that they taught the people, and
    INT: because are teaching they the

    Acts 4:18 V-PNA
    BIB: φθέγγεσθαι μηδὲ διδάσκειν ἐπὶ τῷ
    NAS: or teach at all
    KJV: at all nor teach in the name
    INT: them to speak nor to teach in the

    Acts 5:28 V-PNA
    BIB: ὑμῖν μὴ διδάσκειν ἐπὶ τῷ
    NAS: you strict orders not to continue teaching in this
    KJV: that ye should not teach in this
    INT: you not to teach in the

    1 Timothy 2:12 V-PNA
    BIB: διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ
    NAS: a woman to teach or
    KJV: a woman to teach, nor
    INT: to teach however, a woman

    Hebrews 5:12 V-PNA
    BIB: ἔχετε τοῦ διδάσκειν ὑμᾶς τινὰ
    NAS: for someone to teach you the elementary
    KJV: ye have need that one teach you again
    INT: you have this of [one] to teach you what [are]

  11. I'm pretty sure Don Stewart's taxes claim Pastor could ask him, but I doubt he'd respond, the CC Stone Wall and all.

  12. It is a pity Don Stewart has gone and done this --- but then I've heard CC teachings messing up Jesus' teaching on divorce before. In fact I've heard lots of pastors messing up Christ's teachings on divorce, because it's the West's pet sin.

    Jesus doesn't permit divorce under any circumstances other than that mentioned in Matthew 5, namely in the case where the wife turns out to have fornicated before her marriage --- and even then it's the merciful option (stoning to death is the Scriptural punishment for one who turns out to have been "playing the whore in her father's house"). In this passage, Christ is clearly referring to Deuteronomy 22, yet almost all the Bible teachers one hears instead link Matthew 5 erroneously to Deuteronomy 24.

    Jesus is saying that it doesn't matter if your wife is evil or your husband's a brute --- you made a vow before God and you must honour it. And while this does not rule out separation for the sake of safety or sanity, this must nevertheless always be with a view to restoration and reconciliation --- not as a prelude to smashing up one's vows and finding a better model. It's a very hard teaching, but then the disciples themselves could barely believe it. In this day and age, it's all but forgotten. David Pawson's the only popular Bible teacher to my knowledge who holds to The Lord's teachings on this one.

    This evening I heard Chuck Smith Jr. on Pastor's Perspective trying to widen the gate on divorce even further (after saying nice things about psychology and singing the praises of psychiatric medication). I'd never really listened to him before, but I came away with the feeling that he has distinctly lupine leanings...

    By the way, does anybody know anything about the guy who runs this site? (There's even a rather pointless page about the Alnors.) Sure is a lot of work there --- but I'd hesitate to call it a labour of love... :)

  13. @ Mark LePard,

    Thank you for your reply. I have to agree with you about Chuck Smith's youngest daughter. I have heard her teaching and giving answers to radio callers as an authority and wondered if she should be doing that. I know her mother Kay would never have done that. I once snuck into one of Kay's women's meetings and was promptly told I had to leave because men were not allowed in the meeting.

    Mark Your answer will be thought about and explored by me.
    Thank you.

    @ Alex,

    Since you are obviously a very good Bible scholar (seriously), can you teach me what this scripture means? Especially in light of how you are addressing me along with some others in your postings here?
    Matthew 5:22

    1. Hey Surfer, it's okay: Jesus was talking only about calling someone a "fool", not an "idiot". I thought everyone knew that it's perfectly acceptable to address a brother as an "idiot" (or "moron", "cretin", "imbecile", etc.)!

      If one consults the original Koine, the distinction becomes quite plain: φοολ is actually the diametric opposite of ιδιοτ, the former being a crude term of abuse, the latter a commonly used term of brotherly affection. No doubt Alex will be along soon with more agapic delights... ;)

  14. We all know that it takes time to warm up to an individual before we decide to marry them. So, in my mind Don was not being faithful, protective, and honoring of his marital vows. In God's eyes, he committed adultery and is living in an adulterous relationship. The laws of the state may say we can divorce for any reason, but God's word tells us differently. What more this did not happen in a vacuum. Being as close as he is to Chuck , surely this was noticed. My own husband has committed bigamy and he attends a Calvary Chapel. He plans to be a pastor. He ran me out of my home into the streets to hide as he discredited me and told others that I was crazy. Hmmm, all I can say is look at the evidence to see whose walking and who is not walking. Scripture tells us that if a brother (or sister) say they are in Christ, but is practicing sexual immorality we are to go to him and rebuke him. If he refuses to repent then we are not to even eat with such a one------much less listen to anything he has to say. Calvary Chapel leadership is really weak when it comes to marital infidelity, spousal and child abuse. Nevertheless, God is on the throne and not even Don, my husband, or Chuck is going to escape from not forsaking and holding one another to an account. My heart goes out to Don's wife and his children. It is my prayer that the very things he fought to hang onto at the cost of his marriage he will lose and he will then repent and stand to fight the leaven that is so prevalent in the Southern California Calvary Chapels.

  15. I am sure CC has a very good unbiblical reason for letting Don Stewart continue.
    I am sure his x wife has been made out as some sort of a controlling phyco there for allowing the annointed one to keep on.
    CC has went to far out of scripture trying to protect there own.

  16. Jackie... your answer concerning Don's specific acts of infidelity that allowed his former wife to biblically divorce him lie in Portland, Oregon, and with pastors like Ken Ortiz and Brian Broderson in the Calvary inner circle. I am absolutely not speaking about all of them, but they're snakes, these men in leadership. I will pray for you in your endeavors to keep the church informed!

    1. What are the specific issues with Broderson and Ken Ortiz, please

  17. King David wrote the Book of Psalms after his Sin & 2nd Marriage w/ Bathsheba (I believe it was the 2nd) & I don't think he even divorced the 1st, so ya all who are "Dissing" Don Stewart can just tear out the Book of Psalms from your Bible
    (Not to condone his or King Davids behavior)
    but God sends my sins as far as the east is from the west,
    so I ain't gonna forsake the Guy as long as he isn't in a continued willful state of sin in some area,
    I Got saved 20 years ago by Calvary Chapel so once again, I'm not gonna knock them even though some of my dealings w/ them wern't perfect,
    But I can't Join a Perfect church if I could even find one,
    Because if there was one & I did join it, I'd ruin it's perfection ;-)
    I've noticed that People who attend Calvary evangelise as much or more than any fellowship I know & This is the greatest commission along w/ Discipling,
    Their non-member Fellowship has some of the best informed evangelist in the world, so what are you doing ?
    Led anyone to the Lord Lately ?
    Are you w/o sin ?
    I Love KWVE & learn from it Daily, I wish every city in the USA Had it's Broadcast !!! :-)

    1. Awesome post Gawdnkountry. I noticed the replies came to a screeching halt after your post. The truth hurts!

  18. Thanks for your post:

    Folks, for years many of us have been listening to a So Calif based Christian radio station, where people can call in and ask questions about the Bible, and get answers on Biblical worldviews. I used to post some of their unbiblical responses in my email list, and later on Facebook. However, I was always met with opposition from many that seemed to be more loyal to this station, their church, and/or their leadership; than the Word of God.

    The following incidents are isolated incidents. Nevertheless they are still occurring. I’ve heard them tell people calling in (and the hundreds of thousands of listeners,) that they can divorce their spouse for unbiblical reasons. I’ve heard the senior pastor of this non-denomination (which is a very denominational,) give his approval for abortion in certain circumstances. I’ve heard them acquiesce to fornication. And now he’s telling his listeners that Mormons and Catholics are Christians.

    I say this to both Calvinists and Arminianists. Folks the Word of God is our standard. Don’t compare ourselves to man, mans books, or a denomination. Compare yourselves to Jesus Christ AND to His unredacted, non-truncated, whole council of the inerrant Word of God. Don’t call Christian stations and poll them, in hopes to get the answer that you agree with. Go to YOUR pastor that you sit under. And/or to a circle of close sanctified friends that you have, whom you know will not compromise what the Word of God says. Then if any of them contradict the Word, submit to and obey the Word of God.

    The Catholic church has their unbiblical Pope, but sadly many large protestant churches now have their own ‘Popes’ too. Folks, Jesus Christ is the Head of your church (if he’s not, you’re in big trouble.) Jesus Christ is the Good shepherd, and your pastor is the under-shepard. Look up the Jesus the Christ, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. His Word was given to us for a reason.

    “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:10-12

    Pray for your pastors, your churches, and the many para-church ministries. If they are wavering on Biblical truths, RUN!

  19. He who is without sin, cast the first stone!! Pray for him instead of persecute him! For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. What does it mean to be a Christian???

  20. I stopped going to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa after being molested by one of the Pastors in the Healing Room Ministry that meets Saturday night. I'm a guy and was molested by a male pastor praying for me - it was the single sickest thing I've ever experienced in my walk with the Lord. I can't even tell you what he did - it's sick beyond words. This is a rank and file homosexual who is a pastor

    I called Pastor Chuck's office and left him a message detailing what happened. He never returned my call. He's since died and is now standing before God Almighty. I will not judge him.

  21. I grew up in Calvary Chapel since the 70's and I was involved in leadership there. The problem with Calvary's is they do not like in your face truth. If you're outspoken, like me, that turns them off and they will turn a deaf ear to you. They do like keeping issues on the down-low. I left the pastorate because I got tired of the double standards and the politics there. Love the teaching of Pastor Chuck and listen to him via radio all the time to this day. They do need better accountability!