Analyzing the Growth of Reformed Theology/Neo-Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church of America: Hawaii District

Today I am unveiling the results from the fifth Evangelical Free Church of America district as I analyze the growth of Neo-Calvinism in this denomination that has its historic roots in Lutheranism. In this post you will find the results for the Hawaii District.

“The man who attempts Christianity without the church shoots himself in the foot, shoots his children in the leg, and shoots his grandchildren in the heart.”

Kevin DeYoung 

“Calvinism teaches that God ordains every single evil thing that people do IN SUCH A WAY that God is all-holy for ordaining these evil acts while the people who do the evil acts God ordained them to do are sinful for doing them. “

Greg Boyd

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 NKJV

Before I get into this post which is the second of two posts by the way I want to define what is Neo-Calvinism which has a strong Neo-Puritan bent.

  • Neo-Calvinism has authoritarian leadership which has little if any accountability. For example I present issues with Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney as an example.
  • It embraces a complementarianism  structure that is patriarchy centered.
  • Its rooted more in the Old Testament than the New Testament and deals with dominionism issues.
  • Views the church as the final authority and often avoids civil responsibility or accountability. For this example I would present Sovereign Grace and the Acts 29 network in how parts of it functions.
  • Election which is more of a determinism or fatalism.

Brad Sargent has a good list here, plus I also used that Tim Challies post in discussing John Piper. For further reference Roger Olson wrote a good post a while back that I will also link to in today’s post.

Neo-Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church of America Project at The Wondering Eagle

At The Wondering Eagle I am going to undertake a massive project of which today’s post is the fifth installment. I am now moving on to the sixth district of the Evangelical Free Church of America.  This project will carry over for at least a year and I’ll have my work cut out for me. What I am doing is research and write about each district in the Evangelical Free Church of America.  To the very best of my ability I am going to find out which churches are Reformed/Neo-Calvinist and get some numbers to calculate the growth of Reformed Theology throughout the denomination. There are 17 districts and over 1,300 churches throughout the United States. At the end of this project I will use the numbers I have created and write a final post. Today I am unveiling the results from the Hawaii District of the Evangelical Free Church of America.

I will unveil my numbers at the bottom of this post but to give you some understanding let me explain how I arrived at my numbers, or how I determined the baseline.

  • If a church is affiliated with The Gospel Coalition, Acts 29 or 9 Marks it is included in the list. A couple of examples include Daybreak Church in Kailua which is affiliated with The Gospel Coalition and Harbor Church in Hawaii which is affiliated with both Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.
  • Other churches that are reformed but not affiliated with a Neo-Calvinist network are included. In these situations I examined the doctrinal statement and came to the conclusion they are reformed. The only church I put in the reformed camp who are not part of a network are Harbor North Shore and that is because it is a plant of an Acts 29 church.
  • In other situations I examined the recommended resources to see what books the Senior Pastor is reading, consuming or pushing. But many of the churches that gave off clues turned out to be affiliated with The Gospel Coalition.
  • In other situations in examining the website there was not enough information to go on, so I did not include them in the list. If there was reason to doubt, then I did. For example there are a couple of churches that did not have doctrine statements and explained what they believed. Others were extremely basic and didn’t share enough information to make a determination. The only church I could not find a website for (other than a Facebook page) is Ohana Christian Fellowship in Kapaa.

One thing I would also like to say, if there is any mistake in the analysis such as a church being listed as reformed when it is not, or when it is and I missed it; well I invite feedback and correction. Just email me at wonderingeagle261@gmail.com and I will correct it. Also for the record I am neither Arminian nor Reformed, I am somewhere in the middle. The current crop of Neo-Calvinist leaders such as John Piper, C.J. Mahaney Mark Dever and their minions are deeply corrupt and I wouldn’t trust them to feed my goldfish. Also for the record if you want to read the problems with 9 Marks this is one of the most read posts at my blog. It’s called9 Marks : What is it? How Mark Dever Undermined it and Made it Absolutely Worthless.” That said, there are a couple of reformed people I respect such as Matt Redmond, and Wade Burleson. Having explained all that here is why I reject Reformed Theology. I need to write a long , detailed post on it, but Reformed Theology makes the problem of evil worse. It leads to a corrupt God, and it ultimately makes acts of evil as acts of worship if God foreordains every act, especially as there is no free will. It puts a whole new twist on situations from a shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut, to flying a 767 into 1 World Trade on September 11, 2001. It also removes accountability from people especially if the Lord foreordains every act. In short order you have determinism which is all John Piper is about. Recently I wrote a post about an Evangelical Free Church in California that is Calvinist that believed in sovereignty, until the State of California wanted to build a high speed railroad through the front door. In that post which you can rear here I also ask the question if Matt Chandler believes in the Lord’s sovereignty, or if he sinned when he sought medical treatment for his brain tumor. If the Lord ordains all things, that would include medical conditions as well. And no I am not trying to create shock value or be a troll, my father dealt with a brain tumor in his life. Its a hard and difficult question to ask.  I’ve written about the problem of evil here and how I found a working answer to it for me. In the process I also thank Pam Palmer and the other Sovereign Grace families who filed a lawsuit against C.J. Mahaney for teaching me as to how you deal with the problem of evil. Having explained all that below you will find all the churches in the Hawaii District, a link to their website, and if they fall in the Neo-Calvinism camp.

Hawaii

  1. Grace Community Church (Kona)
  2. Daybreak Church (Kailua) (Reformed  – TGC)
  3. Harbor Church (Honolulu) (Reformed – TGC, Acts 29)
  4. Mililani Community Church (Mililani) (Reformed – TGC)
  5. Kalihi Union Church (Kalihi)
  6. Faith Christian Fellowship (Honolulu)
  7. Harbor Church North Shore (Wailhua)(Reformed)
  8. Ohana Christian Fellowship (Kapaa)

Percentage of the Hawaii District which is Reformed

The Hawaii District of the Evangelical Free Church of America is 50% Neo-Calvinist/Reformed. On the island of Oahu alone 60% of the Evangelical Free is Neo-Calvinist/Reformed. It will be interesting to see if Kalihi Union Church is eventually theologically hijacked when the senior pastor changes in time. This is one of the older Evangelical Free that I have come across. There is one Acts 29, Harbor Church in Honolulu, and as of this writing there are no 9 Marks.

 

Churches that are Reformed/Neo-Calvinist in the Hawaii District

  1. Daybreak Church (Kailua) (Reformed  – TGC)
  2. Harbor Church (Honolulu) (Reformed – TGC, Acts 29)
  3. Mililani Community Church (Mililani) (Reformed – TGC)
  4. Harbor Church North Shore (Wailhua)(Reformed)

 

2 thoughts on “Analyzing the Growth of Reformed Theology/Neo-Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church of America: Hawaii District

  1. Eagle, I guessing you left the Catholic Church [ top down structure – no independent churches ] because of pedophile priests and bishops who covered up their sins? Would you ever go back?

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    • I left Catholicism earlier than the sex abuse scandal. I was outside when that happened. I left Catholicism over a number of issues. That included how the church treated divorced people and others at the time. While I believe Mary is important I was also slightly troubled by how some Catholics raised her too high. This may be changing as older Catholics could be much more into the Rosary then younger ones. Another reason is that when I was in the Catholic church I saw the influence of Liberation Theology and as such because of how the death of Arch Bishop Romero was taught I felt like I was somehow responsible for it. Would I go back? I have reflected on that from time to time. One issue for me is the closed communion that the RC church has which I would suggest discourages many people away from returning. RCIA can be intimidating for someone who went the Protestant route. That saying…there are many, many things I like about the Catholic church and appreciate. Plus I think they do some things much better than Protestant. I think they have a healthier understanding of grace at times and can love and serve the poor and broken much better than many evangelicals.

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