David Hocking

General Teachings/Activities

-  Dr. David Hocking (born 1941) was best known as the host of the "Solid Rock Radio" ministry, which had been broadcast over 170 stations nationwide, and for many years was the host of the "BIOLA HOUR," a nationwide psychologically-oriented radio program affiliated with the liberal (apostate?) Biola University/Talbot Seminary/Rosemead School of Psychology institutions. (See Note.) He was also the senior pastor of the 6,000-member Calvary Church of Santa Ana, California, located just a few miles from Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Hocking resigned from the pastorate and from Solid Rock Radio in October of 1992 after confessing to "sexual sin" with a married woman in his congregation.

-  In October of 1992, the elders of Calvary Church caught David Hocking in a major scandal involving marital infidelity. The elders of the church told Hocking that he could no longer be the Senior Pastor of Calvary Church and would have to undergo a three-year restoration process. Hocking resigned from the pastorate and from Solid Rock Radio on 10/7/92 after confessing to "sexual sin" with a married woman in his congregation (see newspaper accounts from sub-report). Yet only three days later, Hocking told the leadership of Calvary Santa Ana that he had changed his mind and wanted to return to the pulpit, immediately!

To the credit of the elders at Calvary Church Santa Ana, Hocking was permanently expelled (i.e., "ex-communicated") over this dispute concerning his desired "restoration." But, to the rescue came Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. At the end of November of 1992, less than 60 days after Hocking's expulsion from Calvary Church of Santa Ana, Hocking was trotted out (to a wildly enthusiastic reception) by Chuck Smith to give the closing prayer at a Calvary Chapel men's seminar (interestingly titled, considering Hocking's marital infidelity, "Biblical Morality -- Keeping Pure"). Shortly thereafter, Smith hired Hocking on Calvary Chapel's staff saying, "If he doesn't resume his teaching, I'm afraid he'll be literally and totally destroyed." (Our records indicate Hocking was officially added to Calvary Chapel staff on 1/1/93; Hocking denies this, and says that this proves I can't be trusted with anything factual. But he will not say on what date his hire-on was official. One thing we know for sure, Hocking was on Calvary Chapel's staff as of May of 1993 -- see next section below.) Thanks to Chuck Smith and the leadership at Calvary Chapel, a statement was made that it's okay to "ordain" an admitted adulterer to teach and preach. (Reported in the March-April 1993, Bible For Today Newsreport; the 4/5/93. Christian News; and the 2/8/93 & 3/15/93, Calvary Contender.) (Perhaps the term "admitted adulterer" is incorrect, at least from a secular/legal standpoint -- Hocking only admitted to "sexual sin, short of sexual intercourse," and to "fondling," not adultery. From a Biblical standpoint, however, the physical act of sexual intercourse is not a requirement for one to be classified as an adulterer [cf. Matt. 5:28].)

The 5/2/93 Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Sunday Church bulletin showed that Hocking had been fully incorporated into Calvary Chapel's teaching ministry. Hocking was listed as teaching the Wednesday night Bible Study (which is Calvary's main, non-Sunday teaching service) held in Calvary Chapel's "sanctuary," and was scheduled to speak at the 5/22/93 Southern California Men's Business Conference (along with Chuck Smith). Hocking was also teaching at the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Twin Peaks (near Lake Arrowhead, CA). It was obvious to everyone from the close timing of the events that there was no restoration process. Worse yet, the process turned into a sheep stealing exercise as Calvary Church Santa Ana emptied out and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa filled up, due entirely to the presence of David Hocking. Calvary Church Santa Ana went into a financial down spin. and having Hocking preaching less than 10 miles away on Wednesday nights made the situation much worse.

Hocking's "ministry" status today is somewhat unclear to us. Up until late-1995, Hocking maintained a wide range of teaching duties at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, including the Wednesday night Bible Study, a 2-hour class at Calvary Chapel Bible College, and a nationally broadcast radio program ("Hope for Today") on Calvary Chapel's KWVE radio station, and also officially on the pastoral staff. We called Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and were informed that Hocking is no longer on the staff, but does teach there occasionally. We checked out Hocking's "Hope For Today Ministries" website, and no mention is made of Calvary Chapel. In fact, Hocking is now teaching Wednesday evenings at a Salvation Army Church (which he claims to be renting for this "Bible study"). He still broadcasts a daily radio program on KWVE, "Hope For Today," that reaches 36 outlets, mostly west of the Mississippi. He also sells books and tapes, and offers a yearly tour to Israel.

-  Hocking was the featured speaker for a 7/27/91 Leadership breakfast at the Hawthorne Gospel Church in New Jersey, where publicity materials were distributed for an upcoming Northern New Jersey Billy Graham Crusade. Hocking was also on the Executive Crusade Committee and Ministers Committee of the July 1985 Southern California Graham Crusade. More recently, Hocking again spoke at a Crusade Leadership Breakfast, this time promoting Graham's 9/92 Mission Portland Crusade [at which the Roman Catholic Church supplied 60% of the 10,000 counselors trained in directing "decision-makers" to a local church!]. (Reported in the 7/15/91 & 7/15/92, Calvary Contender.)

This kind of ecumenism is not too difficult to understand when one is aware of what Hocking wrote in an article in the Summer 1987, Biola Impact:

"If the issue is not essential to salvation or eternal life, he [the Apostle Paul] says, 'Let's not sweat it. Let's learn to get along with each other.' ... there are too many things that simply are not that important. Don't fight over them ... Your religious background or doctrinal leanings don't matter. Some people believe in something so zealously, they will stomp, yell and fight for it, but in the final analysis it's not crucial. And relationships with people are damaged by this stubborn and head-strong attitude." (Emphasis added.)

Therefore, according to Hocking, a Christian should not consider doctrinal matters worth fighting for! And if he does, he has a "stubborn and head-strong attitude." And worse yet, Hocking tells us that this is what the Apostle Paul was really talking about in Philippians 4:1-5!

-  Hocking endorsed Hugh Ross's 1989/1991 book, The Fingerprint of God, which is a polemic for progressive creationism/theistic evolution, and thereby, is a denial of orthodox Christianity's literal/factual/historical interpretation of the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis. (See BDM's report on Hugh Ross.) Hocking's endorsement reads as follows:

"There is no question that this book is a tremendous treatise on the cosmological evidence for a divine Creator Whose power, wisdom, and planning has given us the universe and all that it contains." (Emphasis added.)

From this endorsement, we can only assume that Hocking agrees with Ross's evolutionary philosophy. Among other things, Ross teaches that the Earth is billions of years old and that physical death fully existed long before Adam. (But would not this belief cause the doctrines of sin and salvation to fall? If death and bloodshed preceded Adam's rebellion against God, then what are "the wages of sin" and how did the entrance of sin change things? And if death preceded sin, then death is not the penalty for sin, and Christ's death on the cross accomplished nothing!) Since such evolutionary and old-earth thinking is totally incompatible with the work of Christ, should it not be a requirement that a professing evangelical teacher be a literal creationist? (Hocking privately claims not to believe in progressive creationism, but no public retraction of the above endorsement has been made.)

-  Hocking endorsed Neil T. Anderson's 1990 book, The Bondage Breaker, which teaches a so-called Christian "seven-step program" for living a victorious life. In actuality, the book teaches a charismatic story-telling approach to both sanctification (i.e., "crisis" sanctification) and demonology (i.e., deliverance from/exorcism of a believer's demon[s]). [See BDM's reports on Neil Anderson.] Hocking's endorsement of The Bondage Breaker reads as follows:

"Very few books strike the reader as a permanent classic and an essential tool for the Christian life and ministry -- this is one of them! The book is one of the most important volumes for the believer I have read in a long time. ... filled with Biblical understanding concerning most questions of the Christian life in terms of victory and deliverance from sinful attitudes, habits, and lifestyles." (Emphasis added.)

(Hocking privately claims not to believe as Anderson does, i.e., that a Christian can be indwelt by a demon, but again, no public retraction of the above endorsement has ever been made.)

-  In a personal letter in May of 1992, and again in an e-mail in June of 1998, Hocking claims that the publishers of both The Fingerprint of God and The Bondage Breaker took the above quoted endorsements "out of context," and since he voiced his objection to the publishers (privately), he should not be held responsible for what the publishers supposedly did. He then goes on to state, "the publisher (as often happens) took my quote out of context from the greater remarks I had given." (Emphasis added.)

Read the two glowing endorsements again. From what greater remarks could these quotes have possibly been taken that would render either of these endorsements "out of context"!? I asked Hocking to send me the totality of the remarks he had provided the publishers so that I might determine whether the quoted material was really taken out of context. He would not respond to this legitimate request. The greater question is still, "Why would anyone be giving any kind of an endorsement of a Hugh Ross' book, considering the man denies the Biblical account of creation at every step?! And why would anyone be giving any kind of an endorsement of a Neil Anderson' book, considering Anderson's hyper-charismatic theology?"

-  In 1987, Hocking wrote a 24-page booklet, published by Multnomah Press, titled What the Bible Says About Self-Esteem. The following quotes give a good picture of Hocking's complete sell-out to the false gospel of self-esteem: (All emphases added.)

We concentrate on personal worth in an effort to establish the importance of the individual.

Is it right to place value upon yourself? ... Robert Schuller ... you can not help being impressed with his underlying dedication to self-worth ... "Self-esteem is the human hunger for the divine dignity that God intended to be our emotional birth-right as children created in his image" (Schuller).

Is self-esteem a "human hunger"? We would probably answer, Yes.

By now some of you may have a question. Are we simply worms, totally depraved, worthless in every sense, unable to do anything about our condition? ... How could we ever build a sense of self-worth from that?

My true identity is crucial to understanding self-esteem or self-worth. My values are deeply affected by my understanding of who I am and what my possibilities are.

The amazing thing about all these definitions of "self" is the reluctance of Christians to think positively of themselves.

Our sense of self-esteem and worth is rooted in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and in the fact that we were born again. Self-esteem for the believer is based on his or her conversion to Christ. That's when our worth was clearly established. I am valuable to God because I am His child.

It is true that everyone has some dignity and worth because of our creation in the image of God ... sin marred that dignity and wrecked that sense of worth and esteem. Self-worth and esteem are restored and made what they could never before have been only when we are born again of the Spirit of God and made new creatures in Christ!

No other event in history so clearly establishes our value to God than the death of His Son ... We are so valuable to God that He ordained the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us.

The failure to understand who we really are can lead to a poor self-image and a sense of failure.

We are still defeated if we see nothing good or valuable about ourselves.

A person's attitude toward himself greatly influences his attitude toward God ... A negative self-image results when we let the values and opinions of others influence us rather than what God says about us.

People with bad self-images and low self-esteem have trouble loving others and are frequently rebellious. They can't develop close and intimate friendships with people and are often judgmental or self-righteous.

Emotional problems which cause people to question their worth ... we simply don't believe what God says about us. We can't accept that we're valuable and have great worth as His children and His treasure.

If you never received the approval of your parents or you felt that you could never please them, you probably have a poor self-image ... God says you are of infinite value! Do you believe that?

Your self-esteem and worth will be restored when you learn of His faithfulness and His love for you and what He says about you now that you are a Christian. It's tremendously uplifting to your sense of self-esteem!

A poor self-image is not the opposite of pride. Pride is often the reason for the bad sense of self-worth.

We are looking for self-worth and esteem in the wrong places ... We are valuable because of what God has done for us. We are new creatures in Christ!

Immodesty ... reaching out for approval and acceptance ... rooted in pride, a refusal to accept ourselves as God meant us to be ... wrong values can lead to a bad self-image.

Insecure people with bad self-images are often obsessed with possessions ...try to achieve a measure of self-worth by accumulating clothes, cars, houses, and furniture. Yet materialism leads to a poor self-image.

We are valuable because we are children of the King.

Whenever there is a pattern of sin in a believer's life, the usual result is a loss of worth and esteem.

So remember -- true self-esteem is rooted in: spiritual birth, a new relationship to God, a new nature from God, a new position before God!

-  The above excerpted material reads more like it came from a Norman Vincent Peale' book or from a Robert Schuller' sermon. Yet, in a personal letter from David Hocking in May of 1992, Hocking claimed that the booklet quoted from above (What The Bible Says About Self-Esteem) is actually an attack on the views of self-esteem, not a polemic for them! He also stated that: "I do not support any views of self-esteem that are not rooted in the Bible and its support of the ... worth of the individual through God's work of salvation as we are made new creatures in Christ." (Emphasis added.) We know of no Biblically-rooted view of self-esteem (particularly in the way Hocking implies as evidenced by the material in the booklet), and the Bible certainly does not teach that man obtains worth through God's salvation, nor is man worthy of salvation due to his intrinsic worth. The religious humanists teach this (Schuller, Dobson, Swindoll, MacArthur, Ezzo, McDowell, etc.), but that Hocking believes that his booklet teaches "what the Bible says about self-esteem" is sad indeed.

In a series of e-mail exchanges with Hocking in June of 1998, Hocking again claims that this booklet is against self-esteem! He now also claims that Biola was responsible for its authorship, not him, and that he did not even approve of its publication. This is puzzling considering that Biola's name appears nowhere in the booklet, and that Hocking's name as author is printed on the front cover. It seems that where David Hocking is concerned, nothing is what it appears to be -- endorsements are not really his endorsements and authorship is not really his authorship. It's always somebody else's fault, somebody else's responsibility.

-  During the Summer of 1992, Calvary Church Santa Ana (at which Hocking was senior pastor at the time) scheduled a one-night-per-week, eight-week Summer Bible Conference titled, "8 Great Nights." On eight consecutive Wednesday evenings from 7/8/92 through 8/26/92, a different speaker each week addressed "social and moral issues that are pertinent to the American family" looking to "biblical solutions for the challenges we face today." The list of speakers is just another indication of Hocking's confusion over what constitutes "Biblical" and what is psychological. (In keeping with his M.O., Hocking denies any responsibility for the scheduling of psychologically-oriented speakers.) We concede that attendees at all eight Wednesday evenings received truly "biblical solutions" from the likes of Dr. Martin Bobgan (who spoke on 8/5/92 on "The Danger of Psychology to the Family," and from Ken Ham (who spoke on 8/19/92 on "The Genesis Solution to the Evolution Revolution"), but what did they receive from the following psychologizers on the agenda?:

(a) Dr. Erwin Lutzer -- spoke on 7/8/92 on "Pulling Together in a World Tearing Apart"; Lutzer is the senior pastor of the highly psychologized Moody Bible Church, and in his writings holds to the psychological concepts of need theology, crisis sanctification, unconditional acceptance, self-acceptance, deep-seated inferiority complexes, subconscious/unconscious behavior, and much more. Worse yet, there is every indication that Lutzer holds to the Moody Bible Institute's unbiblical charismatic position that Christians can be indwelt by demons (taught by the head of the MBI Theology Dept.)!

(b) Steve Russo -- spoke on 7/15/92 on "The Seduction of Our Children"; Russo has co-authored a book with Neil Anderson by that same title. (See earlier in report for more information on Neil Anderson.)

(c) Dr. Joseph Aldrich -- spoke on 7/22/92 on "Our Families Need Prayer"; Aldrich at the time was president of Multnomah, the neo-evangelical, psychologized "Bible" college in Oregon, and has written Life-Style Evangelism, in which there is a chapter extolling the virtues of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs -- Aldrich teaches that it is impossible to evangelize the poor until their "needs" at the base of the hierarchy pyramid are satisfied, and he equates salvation to the meeting of the needs of self-esteem and self-actualization!

(d) Dr. Josh McDowell -- spoke on 8/26/92 on "Why Wait, Teen Sex and the Need for Abstinence"; McDowell is the most vocal and well-known self-love psychologizer/religious humanist in the professing church today. His message can best be summarized as: (a) poor self-image, rather than sin, is the cause of man's problems, and (b) improved self-image reduces or eliminates man's problems. His most popular book at the time, Why Wait?, is a polemic for good self-image/high self-esteem as the primary motivating force for sexual abstinence before marriage.

-  Further evidence that Hocking's ministry is psychologically-oriented rather than Biblically-based is the fact that Calvary Church of Santa Ana (at the time he pastored it) operated an in-house counseling ministry that was directed by a woman who was working towards a State of California [psychologically-oriented] license to counsel (M.F.C.C. -- Marriage and Family Counseling Certificate). This same woman also headed the Church's ladies' ministries. In addition, a staff member at the Church told us (in 7/92) that the Church's counseling ministry also routinely refers counselees to "professionals" (i.e., licensed psychologists), but, not to fear, only to so-called "Christian" psychologists, and then only for the "tough cases." (In fact, at a "Q&A with David Hocking" held at Calvary Church on 1/5/92, Hocking even admitted to having gone to a professional counselor himself, "for certain things I wanted to find out," and that there are "many, many professional psychologists and psychiatrists" in Calvary Church.) Calvary's counseling ministry also used Larry Crabb's materials in their counseling. [So-called Christian psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb's model of counseling is primarily a psychological system of unconscious needs motivating behavior, which is derived from Freudian (the unconscious being a hidden reservoir of the mind with drives and impulses which govern a person's thinking and behavior) and humanistic psychology (with its hierarchy of needs, with great emphasis on so-called emotional needs).]

Note: Rosemead School of Psychology has as its motto, "... dedicated to integrating the Christian faith with every aspect of clinical psychology." On its faculty are men such as humanistic psychologist Bruce Narramore. A Rosemead publication, Connections, touts seemingly every psycho-occultic technique known to man, all under the banner of "Where Psychology is Integrated with Theology."  [Return to Text]

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 8/98