Calvary Chapel (CC for short) is a network of independent non-denominational churches. While there is a wide variety within CCs, we hold to the same basic beliefs and style of ministry. Some people who are pentacostal or charismatic think that CC is too conservative or fundamental. Some people who are conservative or fundamental think that CC is too pentacostal or charismatic. We like to think that CC is charismental fundamatic.
CC takes the Bible seriously. Where the Bible is being literal we take it literally. Where is it being figurative we take it figuratively. While the Bible does address all of the topics that are relevant today, CCs prefer to teach the Bible verse by verse as opposed to topically. When the Bible is taught verse by verse one will hit every topic there is. Many CCs teach the Bible both ways; verse by verse at one study, topically at another.
Concerning the Bible we would be considered by some to be conservative or fundamental. Does that mean we make the women folk wear dresses and everyone votes Republican? Not at all. It simply means that we believe the Bible is the word of God, to be taken at face value, and lived out in our daily lives.
Because CC takes the Bible seriously, we also believe that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is very much alive and active today in the church and in individual Christians. That would include what are called the “gifts” of the Spirit as long as they are used in a Biblical manner.
There are many abuses and counterfeits of these gifts which result in a lot of confusion and wrong teaching. When the gifts are used in a Biblically prescribed manner, the results are amazing and God honoring. Concerning these gifts and their uses we would be considered by some to be pentacostal or charismatic. Does that mean we get worked up into some kind of hyper-spiritual state every week? Not at all. It simply means that we believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and well, that He does empower people with supernatural abilities (as needed) for the purpose of bring people to Jesus.
The main CC website (calvarychapel.com) has a great collection of books online that clearly and simply spell out the CC philosophy. A great overview of all things CC is the book “Calvary Chapel Distinctives.” In the end, the best way to find out what we are all about is to hang out with us!