Way of Life Literature
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Paul ordained him for this work on April 25 last year and is tweeting praise for the new work.
In a blog at the founding of Rock Hill, Paul Chappell tweeted, “Thankful to hear from our son Matt tonight how the Lord is already working as they are planting Rock Hill Baptist Church in Fontana, CA.”
When Paul tweets or blogs about Matt for his conservative preacher crowd, he shows the young man wearing a tie, but the real Matt is not a tie guy. He is a scruffy beard, skinny jeans guy that would be right at home at an emerging pastor’s conference. (Of course, we all know that clothing means nothing; it couldn't possibly be a language; and those who try to apply biblical principles to such things are dreadful Pharisees.)
And when Paul talks about Matt’s work, he says he is starting Rock Hill Baptist Church, but in the church's online material (rockhill.church), it is called Rock Hill Church everywhere except one time, as far as I can see. All of their material is "copyright Rock Hill Church." The church sign says “RH Rockhill Church.” They are definitely positioning themselves as a generic church.
Rockhill Church uses out-and-out contemporary music, including Hillsong; and in typical emerging fashion, everything is dark. The room is dark for the worship service and it is dark for the preaching. It would be nearly impossible to actually look at your Bible and "search the Scriptures." Matt’s Instagram post for Feb. 18, 2017, featured a photo of his praise team singing Hillsong’s “Love So Great.”
Matt’s messages are littered with motivational, positive thinking language such as "leveraging a new beginning." They are very light on sin and holiness and very heavy on grace, and it is not a Titus 2:11-15 grace. It is an emerging grace. Matt's preaching is filled with non-critical references to the pop culture. In his first message at Rock Hill, Matt cited and non-critically referenced a basketball star, rocker Taylor Swift, Steve Jobs, the Los Angeles Lakers, and a professional fisherman. What signal does that send to his listeners?
On February 5, Matt tweeted, “What a day! Huge shout out to our amazing Team Members who absolutely killed it today!” It is impossible to imagine the apostle Paul tweeting such a man-centered message about church services.
Paul Chappell retains an impressive appearance of old-time conservatism, and this is the flag he flies at his conferences and presents to his “old time” supporters, but his students have heard the pragmatist side of his ministry loud and clear. West Coast grads are starting contemporary churches in many places, and they are being prepared for that at Lancaster. They are not falling far from the tree.
“Last night was a highlight for Terrie and me and our church family as we had the ordination here for our youngest son, Matthew. ... I look back over the years since [Matt surrendered to preach], and I know that were Matt is today is the fruit of so many investments. It’s the fruit of every Sunday school teacher, christian school teacher, youth worker, West Coast Baptist College faculty and staff, and the Lancaster Baptist Church deacons and church family who have loved our family and encouraged our children. ... It was my joy last night to preach Matt’s ordination service...” [See post on Paul Chappell website]
We agree with what Pastor Chappell says here. Matt Chappell was prepared by Lancaster and West Coast.
Any man can have a son or student that goes in a different direction philosophically, but that is not the case here.
Matt Chappell spent the last few years as youth pastor at his uncle Steve’s church, Coastline Baptist in Oceanside, Calif. Robert Bakss, a rock & roll pastor with an emerging philosophy who has caused a lot of confusion in Australian IFB churches, spoke there on February 5. (See A Baptist Church on a Slippery Slope, available in print or as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.)
A discerning pastor friend commented: “At his heart, Chappell himself doesn't see anything wrong with this. He has produced this kind of legacy. This is the fruit of his labor to embrace pragmatism and soften the lines of Independent Baptists. I would guess that 75% of WCBC grads end up this way within 10 years of graduating. Some sooner.”
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