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  • The Paperless Hymnal: Bridging the Gap
    • Donnie Cruz (no login)
      Posted Jan 5, 2005 3:02 AM

      In “What Happened This Week Thread” (12/22/03), I posted an article concerning “The Paperless Hymnal: Bridging the Gap.” I presented in it my personal observation that the “musical worship program” on that particular Sunday was less choreographed and that there was also less rhythmic/programmed handclapping during singing—which translates to less annoyance and turbulence.

      I also offered a few suggestions to the one who substituted for Mr. Keith Lancaster, the “worship leader” on “sabbatical” leave [?] for several months straight, to making “musical worship” less musical and more Word-oriented. At the same time, I presented a reminder to those in leadership that the “assembly of the saints” is really a “school of the Bible”—meaning that it is Word-centered, as it was in apostolic/New Testament times. The preaching/teaching of God’s word was the main focus, as well as commemorating the suffering and death of Christ for our sins.

      The epistle to the Colossians states: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Singing is infrequently mentioned in the New Testament, as you may be aware. In this passage, the key element is the word of Christ dwelling in us. The teaching and admonishing are the key tasks when there is “togetherness” (as implied in the “one another” phraseology). Since it is apparent that these key tasks can be accomplished verbally (by speaking), this passage suggests that singing is also an avenue by which this can be accomplished. Singing is not even a command (as in the saints “must sing at every gathering”), but it can occur. And it certainly can occur as frequently as every time there is a gathering. In this gathering situation, however, “MUSIC” or musical programming to excellence should not be the motive or purpose for the gathering. Is it wrong to sing all praises? No, but it does not have to be all praises. [To me, praising is more of an individual activity, actually, rather than congregational.] And it is not any better when the selection of “praise” songs is carelessly made to satisfy the emotions and feelings of a limited group of people and to the exclusion of others.

      My suggestions were intended to discourage solo performances and for others to be a little more sensitive to those people who are offended by being “sung to” … offended by the o-o-o-o-o and other unintelligible sounds that are apparently intended to simulate musical instrumentation. An “upbeat” song has its own place, but very loud rhythmic clapping has no reverential value when “Jehovah” or “our Father” or “holy, holy, holy” is expressed in a hymn—certainly not in singing “Hallowed Be Thy Name” or “Let Us Worship the Father” [with clap-clap … clap-clap-clap].

      Finally, I suggested “The Paperless Hymnal.” By the way, this allows projection of the lyrics and music notes onto the screen. There are 500 hymns and new songs in 4 volumes [I believe there is now a 5th volume]. We need some acceptable balance in the selection between great hymns of the past and the singy-clappy choruses and “praise” songs of the post-modern era. [Is anyone wondering why “praise” is not mentioned in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”?] Surely, the church can afford a one-time charge of $500.00 for “UNITY’S SAKE”—everyone knows what this means. The address is:
      QUOTED FROM AN E-MAIL: [[[[[…I am troubled by the innovations, because they seem mostly to lean toward entertainment and behavior that I grew up associating with Pentecostal orgiastic "worship services." I quit going to Tulsa due to this. ...]]]]]

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    ...........................THE BOOK

    What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

    There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

    This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

    Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
    Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

    Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

    It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

    At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

    They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

    The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

    At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

    Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

    The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

    The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

    This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

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    Here is the list of players;

    5 Godly Elders
    10 Not so Godly Elders
    120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
    2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
    2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
    Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
    Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

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