History of the ARCC-C Newsgroup
History of the ARCC-C Newsgroup
This message, by John Scudder, of Calvary Internet and Computer Fellowship Ministries, is posted in the ARCC-C newsgroup from time to time for reasons mentioned in the article itself. It is published here by permission.
Hello dear brothers and sisters, believers and non-believers. The following is the actual history regarding the public internet newsgroup: alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel. I am able to present this history to you having first hand knowledge and participation in such as well as having had direct communication from the individual who initiated this ministry (George Hillman) and his Senior Pastor (Lloyd Pulled) of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, NJ. The alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel internet newsgroup is nothing like George Hillman nor his Senior Pastor Lloyd Pulley intended. Thus, although it bears the "Calvary Chapel" name, it is in no manner connected with any Calvary Chapel administration or ministry. It remains because of the simple fact that once an ALT public newsgroup is initiated, it is nearly impossible to have it removed. The alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel newsgroup does not represent Calvary Chapel nor Calvary's views regarding any matter. It is a "free-for-all" public communication pathway. It is not connected with the Calvary Chapel Oceanside Internet Fellowship Ministries (http://www.calvarynet.org) nor Calvary Chapel's Internet Ministries: period (http://www.calvarychapel.org).
The alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel public newsgroup was initiated by George Hillman after receiving permission from his Senior Pastor Lloyd Pulley of Calvary Chapel Oldbridge, NJ. However, Pastor Lloyd was not aware that once started, an alt newsgroup could not be removed. We were informed of this after seeking information on how such an area might be removed due to its altered focus by derogatory and angry character types. Both George and Pastor Lloyd had a wonderful focus with Christ centered intentions for such a fellowship area. People would receive the Word of God, and mature fellowship regarding Christian perspectives would be made available to the public. The newsgroup quickly became an area for the worst of character types; mostly those desiring to rend the flock with HATE CALVARY mentality. People without any constraint of words nor attitude nor care of their affect on the flock presented themselves as some kind of authority. Messages demeaning Pastor Chuck Smith, Chuck Missler, and many other "Calvary Chapel" representatives soon flourished rather than any edifying Christian content. By the time things were far from their original focus, George was no longer taking any part nor attention to moderating the conference any longer. George then created a Listserv, which was subject like individuals bent on creating strife than true Christ entered fellowship. The Listserv was then discontinued. Although "moderating" is not actually possible in an "alt" conference, attempts were made to bring the body of Christ in the arcc-c newsgroup toward that original focus and ministry indented. Pastor Lloyd (God bless his heart) tried to regulate and lead the brethren there by himself, presenting ministry "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) and trying to encourage others in Christ. On Pastor Lloyd's request, I began to assist in directing the public fellowship and confront false information regarding certain Calvary Pastors. I and others tried to present ways in which we could attempt to moderate an area as a group even if such was not actually possible through any "administrative" route. A brother named Anton Hein was also helpful in presenting George's original intent and focus for this newsgroup. Attempts to redirect the group into a Christ centered focus continued, and information was posted to inform people they could block undesired posts with their e-mail program, if such a feature was available in their software. We did what we could to help those new to the newsgroup, as well as those who thought they were actually entering a "Calvary" fellowship area. Such was far from the truth. All who took part in trying to maintain an original focus were subjected to personal attack, debasement and ridicule by those bent on their own altered focus for such a ministry. Many who originally desired to 'feed the flock' departed, as the foul language, rude and divisive characters flocked to an area where no moderation was actually possible. Some of these individuals who opposed our original focus (and initiated their own agenda) claimed that open communication without restraint was preferred over any "moderated discussion". Such pointed out repeatedly that the "alt newsgroups cannot be moderated", while continuing on in their misrepresentation of the original "Calvary Oldbridge" ministry focus. Thus, evil railing, false accusations, gossip, defamation of character, curses and other ill desired actions were (and are) the fruit of such a decaying fellowship tree. The alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel internet newsgroup was and still is an area where "anything goes". Some may see the "Calvary" name and assume that "Calvary" has some administrative influence in such an area. Even worse, they may assume Calvary condones the actions and harsh language presented. The reality is that Calvary has absolutely nothing to do with such an area. If you are offended by swearing, degrading comments, accusations against others, character assassination, or anything pertaining to ungodly communication, you too may find a desire to have nothing to do with that abrasive area.
What You Will See There Today...
Today you will be confronted by people in that newsgroup who will demean your person and character simply because you attend "Calvary" and attack your beliefs. Name calling and labeling is common. You may see this area as a burden to your ministry, as you spend much time and loose much sleep over those who take pleasure in inciting you to respond. You'll witness those who have set themselves up as supposed "information consultants" regarding negative views on Calvary. Sometimes you may feel that one's ridicule and false impression of "Calvary" demands a written response, even taking much of your family, sleep and ministry time to respond to such. Most times you will find that your well presented and Biblical responses will be brushed off, falling on deaf ears (eyes). You may come to the conclusion that this area is a place where those carrying around a chip on their shoulder for "Calvary" find comfort and fellowship with others of like character. Fellowship and love are there, but you have to dig for it. The digging may be too much to stomach. You may also be confronted by those who have created anti-Calvary personal projects as well as inappropriately using the "Calvary Chapel" name and/or graphics in their personal projects. It won't take you long to see that it is an "anti-Calvary" display, luring you to their pulpit by supposed Calvary affiliation. You may also see some present the term "Calvary" in their ministry. Such does not automatically designate their ministry nor focus as "Calvary" affiliated. An example would be a presented "Calvary Chapel Theology Listserv", which is not supported nor condoned by Calvary Internet Fellowship nor the Calvary Internet Services Office. It's another personal project from someone who is highly motivated to present anti-Calvary information and personal views. The alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel newsgroup is far from the original intent George Hillman had intended for Christ centered fellowship. In short, my advice is to ignore those who incite you... and to avoid casting your pearls before swine. These uncaring people crush under their feet something that you hold dear to your heart concerning your Creator, and will then turn and rend you. They may e-mail you degrading comments, all bent on a personal attack, hoping for continued argumentative correspondence. You may find your personal beliefs and character publically ridiculed to enhance their own poor image of "self". These are wells without water, which will only leave you dry, sleepless, and having sacrificed important ministry (and family) time best spent elsewhere. You may not find this out to be true at first, but will find yourself agreeing later. In my personal opinion, having been involved with both computer forums and later internet e-mail fellowship areas over a 18 year period, you won't find the alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel area edifying in most cases, and may even find it offensive much of the time. Accusations, gossip, false accusations, character defamation, hate Calvary mentality, and those who take pride in presenting what they consider "knowledge" regardless of the effect it has on the Body of Christ are still present, and not likely to go away anytime soon. That's the history and the current state of the alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel newsgroup.
Calvary Chapel Oceanside Internet and Computer Fellowship Ministries
Christ centered/moderated family fellowship: http://www.calvarynet.org
CC Oceanside Web Site: http://www.calvarynet.org/oceanside
See also: Apologetics Index entry on alt.religion.christian.calvary-chapel
Calvary Chapel FUAQ