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  • “Speaking about Straus [Institute for Dispute Resolution]”
    • Donnie Cruz (no login)
      Posted Jul 31, 2005 12:40 AM

      This is in response to “First Time Poster” (July 29 2005, 12:42 AM). First Time said, “…I looked at their website and couldn’t find any reference to Madison. Can you provide me a link or point me in the right direction?”

      I have done a little bit of research since Madison was referenced. The best suggestion I can offer is to click “Return to Index” at the bottom of this page, then click “4” at the bottom of the Main Index in order to link to the Page 4 Index. There is a thread titled “Who is Larry Sullivan and the Straus Institute?” with the last post date of October 23, 2002. The last post on this date has a link to the archived portion of this thread.

      In that thread, there is a link (www.christianity.com) to an article about Larry Sullivan, which no longer exists at this website. [At this point, I’m unsure of the religious affiliation of the site. In looking at the “Devotional E-Mail Newsletters” section, it appears to me to be a true Baptist- and pseudo-Baptist-affiliated site. The section lists among others: (1) “In Touch with Charles Stanley” {true Baptist} and (2) “UpWords with Max Lucado” {pseudo-Baptist from the Oak Hills Church [formerly … of Christ]}.]

      John, who originated this current thread “Steve Flatt Leaving Lipscomb,” posed an important question in the beginning: “What does this mean for Church of Christ in Nashville, specifically Madison?” (Steve Flatt was Madison’s minister prior to becoming Lipscomb’s president.)

      So, now we have this—“The Madison-Sullivan-Flatt-Lipscomb-Lowry-Straus Sixsome Connection.” [I made that up!] I deem it necessary to partly respond to John’s and First Time Poster’s questions by reiterating the quotes from the Nashville Tennessean in the 10-23-2002 post:

      • Elders at the Madison Church of Christ said Sunday they would bring in a church dispute resolution expert to help resolve the split developing in the church over worship styles.

      • The Madison church's elders asked Sullivan to help them mediate their conflict after an elder worked with Sullivan in a dispute-resolution class.

      • Church elders discovered Sullivan when one of them attended a seminar of his about how to handle church disputes, Hoppes said. Sullivan had served in Churches of Christ for 25 years before working at Pepperdine University, where he trains Churches of Christ to handle dispute resolution on their own and acts as a mediator in resolving church disputes.

      • With other churches, Sullivan said, he has tried to speak with everyone involved to find out which issues are at the heart of the matter. He then facilitates discussion and problem solving among the parties.

      • ''I call it eliminating the noise so they can hear each other and hear God,'' he said.

      Well, besides the quotes above, I might as well repeat the rest of what was posted on 10-23-2002:

        Do you think that Mr. Sullivan offers an unbiased service of mediation to the [Madison] church?

        Well, first we understand that his group is being paid to offer his services.

        Almost the same words used in the newspaper article were used to describe Sullivan’s role to the church by one or more of the elders and by Mr. Sullivan himself standing before the congregation.

        SIMPLY VISITING HIS WEB SITE REVEALS MR. SULLIVAN’S REAL AGENDA AND POSSIBLY THAT OF MOST OF THE ELDERS.

        The headline of the web page is "Leading Congregational Change" which ironically is also the title of the book. Mr. Sullivan promotes at one of his web sites [the following] direct quotes:

        • ”Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church recommends that church leaders read ‘Leading Congregational Change’"

        • "Leading a church to change from being tradition- or program-driven to being purpose-driven is a task filled with all kinds of potentially explosive and divisive issues. This is a book [‘Leading Congregational Change’] you ought to read before you change anything."

        It appears that Mr. Sullivan is a change expert, not an unbiased mediator!

        Mr. Sullivan, it appears, is using "Consensus Processing" to achieve a predetermined result—a change in the worship format at Madison.

        It appears that some of the “shepherds” are not exactly being honest with their flock.


      Now, the Lipscomb situation remains to be seen. Perhaps, with Lowry, one of 6 elders at the Conejo Valley Church of Christ in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as the incoming president of the university, may be the right leader in Lipscomb’s future. However, I do have reservations. While Pepperdine is “Church of Christ-affiliated” just as is Abilene Christian, both schools now have strong ties with the Christian Church and other denominations. Lipscomb is on the verge, if it hasn’t arrived there yet. I have strong suspicions when the word “community” or the expression “community of faith” is part of the “MISSION STATEMENT” of a congregation of Christ’s church, such as that of Conejo Valley. The expression simply means “a fellowship of varying denominational backgrounds—it does not matter.”

      Also suspect is the expression “purpose-driven” as in “The Purpose Driven Church” or “The Purpose Driven Life” or “Saddleback Community Church” or “Rick Warren,” etc.

      Therefore, are we about to witness more of the Change Movement?

      Donnie Cruz
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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.

    To even start to understand whats happening here, you must read the background materials in the first of the book.

    This is only the first edition, and not the end. New editions will be printed as needed. To keep abreast of current changes, please visit our web site; http://www.concernedmembers.com/madison

    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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