Coming from a primarily Calvary Chapel background and hearing about the history of the moment, I would have to characterize the vibe of things as gentle. After all, it was mostly a hippie generation. Peace, love, groovy, far out, right on. Just listening to Chuck Smith and his slow paced baritone voice mellowed you right out. The music reflected this. The people reflected this. The churches reflected this.
For the past year or so I’ve been listening to stuff from Acts 29. Now, this isn’t intended to be a slam of any kind on these guys or those involved, but I have to be honest about this. Everyone sounds angry.
While they are totally in love with the gospel and the grace of God, everything is turned up to 11. The hate for sin, the desire for intensity in prayer. They attract mostly type-A, go go go, whatever is now is the thing so get on it. These aren’t negatives, just preferences. Along with the intensity comes things like a fondness of drink, cigars, UFC, and loud, aggressive preaching. It’s just a very different vibe in a different movement.
One wonders, though, how much the theology, in either case, has to do with the vibe engendered in the movement. The Calvary movement focuses(ed) on God’s compassion, love, grace, forgiveness, and the cross of Christ. A29 focuses on God’s compassion, love, grace, forgiveness, and the cross of Christ. Hm. Same basic focus, yet completely different personalities. Not sure where to go with that one. Any ideas?