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Parables Concerning the Church and the Change Agents

November 5 2004 at 3:12 AM
John Waddey  (no login)
from IP address 65.1.108.51

PARABLE OF THE QUARRELSOME SHEPHERDS


Once there were three shepherds who pastured their flocks in a desolate area. They went their separate ways by day but each evening they sheltered their flocks in a common fold. Although all worked for a common master they did not get along very well. One was naturally cranky, another was a jealous sort, and the third was very sensitive and his feeling easily hurt. Each night when the sheep were in the fold the men would gather about a common fire, eat their food and talk. Unfortunately their conversations often turned fractious and bitter. One night their quarreling grew intense. As they shouted and threatened one another, wolves were sneaking ever closer to the darkened fold. The men came to blows, it was an awful sight. While they battled each other, the wolves saw their opportunity. They dashed into the fold tearing at the sheep and scattering them. They mad off with several of the lambs.

The next morning the owner came to check on his sheep. He was shocked and angry at what he found. His sheep were scattered. Many were wounded, others were dead. The shepherds were battered and bruised but not from protecting their sheep. They had exhausted themselves fighting each other. The owner was furious. They were driven from his presence as unfit to serve him.

And the teacher explained that the sheep are God’s people, the shepherds his preachers. The wolves are those who would lead the people into a new kind of faith and worship. He that hath an ear should give heed to the parable.


_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
207.69.49.43

Parable of the Arabs and Camels

November 7 2004, 10:03 AM 

Once upon a time, a small group of Arabs crossed the desert. At night, they slept together in one tent, while their camels were tethered outside. The camels, a selfish lot and resentful of their masters, decided among themselves that, instead of remaining in their rightful places, they would find a way to get into the tent. Even though the elements were really not a problem for them, and even though they knew that the tent couldn't possibly hold them and the Arabs together, the camels really didn't care. They just wanted to be in the tent. They wanted CHANGE.

The camels were crafty enough to know that if they just stormed in, all pandemonium would reign. So the camels took a subtle approach. They elected a spokes-camel, who gently pleaded with the Arab leader to let each of the camels place only their "itty-bitty noses" into the tent under the pretext that, "the night is so cold." Being a most generous leader, the Arab gave permission.

By ever-so-subtle requests, all the camels gradually were able to put their faces, then their heads, then their necks, then their shoulders, and then their waists into the tent. By now, the tent was extremely crowded, and the Arabs were a bit uncomfortable and sensed that something was "not quite right," but they were just too sleepy to worry about their situation.

Now having the upper hand, the camels soon gained full access into the tent, and the sleepy Arabs, having been taken unawares, were shoved outside. Suddenly awake, the Arabs sought to regain their tent, but the camels barred the entrance. As they hissed, spit, and bit at their masters, the camels railed at them, accusing them of being "judgmental," causing "division," and being "troublemakers." The Arabs were forced to seek shelter elsewhere.

And the Teacher explained that the Arabs are traditional churches who follow the Word of God but who do not remain watchful for ungodly infiltrators. The camels are those who are dissatisfied with the Word of God and elect to change it most gradually and be rid of those who stand by it.

He that hath an ear, let him hear.

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
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207.69.49.250

Parable of the Two High Schools

November 7 2004, 3:21 PM 

Once upon a time, there were two high schools, named Right School 1 (RS 1) and Right School 2 (RS 2). For many years, both had rigidly followed the same no-nonsense, conservative curriculum as stipulated by the State Board of Education. For many years, upon completion of their high school education, the senior students took a Final Examination from the Board to see if they were qualified to graduate and thus lead useful lives in society. For many years, the curriculum had served the students well, for they had always passed the Final with highest honors.

Then shortly into the new school year, liberal faculty came into RS 2 and taught that the Board of Education’s age-old curriculum was vastly outmoded, irrelevant, boring, and that the time for CHANGE had come. As long as the students just had a “heart” for the Board, so said the faculty, the students need not follow the Board’s rigid requirements for graduation. So the faculty restructured the curriculum, changed the school’s name to “Left School,” and were proud to be known as progressive and contemporary. Now the students could pursue their own interests, such as the “study” of rock music, self-esteem, and anything that was fun, pleasurable, and “cool.” Daily homework assignments were cast aside, and whatever philosophies the students spouted or however abominably the students behaved was just fine with the faculty. In short, there were no longer any rules.

Meanwhile, RS 1 continued on as before. Yet when word soon spread about how “cool” Left School was, the faculty at RS 1 earnestly warned their students about the perils of such glitz and glitter and the “wide road to destruction.” But many of RS 1’s students unfortunately were led astray and transferred to the entertaining “curriculum” at Left School.

In time, senior students from both high schools faced the Final Examination. Predictably, those few remaining seniors at RS 1 passed with flying colors, and the President of the Board highly commended them and the faculty. Those from Left School failed miserably, however, and were cast out from decent society, as were the liberal teachers, who had polluted the curriculum with their own agenda.

And the teacher explained that the Board of Education is the Word of God, the New Testament, which has set forth specific commandments, the often-hard “curriculum” by which we must all live and abide. All doctrinal and worship elements not specified therein are neither authorized nor acceptable. The schools are churches, the teachers are the church leaders, and the students are church members. RS 1 chose to abide by the strict “curriculum” of the New Testament, and all connected therein passed the “Final Exam,” which is the Judgment of God. Left School chose false teachers and change agents (liberal church leaders) who perverted the “curriculum”; those connected therein did not pass the Judgment and were cast out from the presence of God, the President of the School Board.

He that hath an ear, let him hear.

 
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Anonymous
(Login SingyClappy)
68.90.183.247

Re: Parable of the Two High Schools

February 2 2005, 4:02 PM 

The only question that will be asked on the "final exam" is if you know Jesus. These "parables" are just plain sad. Self righeousness attitudes like those displayed on this site are why so many seekers leave the church and never return. This all just breaks my heart.

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
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207.69.51.250

RE: Parable of the Two High Schools (from Anonymous)

February 2 2005, 7:00 PM 

By your reasoning, then, Satan and his legions will pass the "final exam," because they most certainly "know Jesus." Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. That means following His Word exactly to the letter and not deviating to the right or to the left. Is this being "self-righteous," to encourage others to obey Christ exactly as He commands? We have no authority to say that someone is going to Hell because they do this or that. But we are commanded to "preach the Gospel" and to state whether an act is authorized by God's Word or not. That's all we can do.

 
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Ken Sublett
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63.84.81.90

That is a DISEASE, you know!

February 2 2005, 7:18 PM 

I was pretty sure that I saw a picture of you ladies in the Sodom Gazette. I thought maybe you could confirm:


 
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John Waddey
(no login)
68.19.237.103

Parable of the Lost Limb

November 8 2004, 2:52 AM 

Parable of the Lost Limb


A small sore appeared on Mrs. Smith lower leg. An incompetent doctor treated it as inconsequential. When he finally realized that the lady had a problem, his treatments were inadequate and too late. After a few months at his ineffective hands, the poor lady sought another doctor who immediately saw the wound was morbid. In spite of his best efforts, gangrene spread had the leg and to be amputated at the knee. The doctor she had trusted to care for her had miserably failed in his duty. His patient suffered serious loss.

The body of Christ has wounds that must be tended or else they too will cause great harm. These wounds have been inflicted by those who should be her friends (Zech. 13:6). Some brethren, among them preachers, youth ministers and campus workers, have taken it upon themselves to change many of her essential features. Each unscriptural change is a wound inflicted on the body. Left unattended these wounds will fester and grow. Gangrene will result (II Tim. 2:17).

Elders and preachers are God’s appointed physicians to tend to and maintain the health of his church. Tragically in hundreds of cases they are behaving like the careless physician. They are unaware of her wounds, or unconcerned about them. They fail to realize the danger. They are loath to treat the problem. Because of their incompetence or their neglect, the wounds are daily worsening and unless given immediate attention will result in tragic loss. Members will be lost, even entire congregations will be corrupted and lost.

Just as that Ms. Smith’s doctor was guilty of malpractice for his neglect of his patient’s wound, so are those preachers and elders who fail to treat the wounds on the body of Christ before the condition becomes critical. Let all who accept the privilege of leading Christ’s people understand their responsibility to care for his church as good physicians.


_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
207.69.50.51

Parable of the Noncompliant Patient

November 9 2004, 12:40 PM 

Once upon a time, a man presented himself to his family doctor for his annual physical exam. Everything was fine, except the doctor did note a very small, irregular, slightly discolored mole on his back. When the doctor expressed concern and recommended that the little mole be removed, the man just laughed and said that the doctor was being overly cautious. After all, the man was young, enjoying the time of his life, and really felt wonderful. The doctor had no choice but to recommend that the man return in a few months for a recheck.

The man did return, but reluctantly. This time, the mole had grown larger and was even more irregular. Now the doctor was alarmed and feared that the man had a skin cancer. If it was removed immediately, there was still a chance for a complete cure. But the patient became angry and branded the doctor as a quack and incompetent. He threw a violent tantrum and screamed that the doctor's "medicine" was harsh, irrelevant, and filled with fear-mongering. After recommending that the doctor go back to medical school, the man further threatened to sue the doctor for lowering his self-esteem and disrupting the unity of his happy spirits with ridiculous “tales” of disease. The patient stormed from the doctor’s office and never sought medical attention again.

The mole indeed was a cancer, which soon rapidly spread throughout the man's body and took his life.

And the Teacher explained that the doctor is Christ, the Great Physician. The patient is any church that refuses to follow the sometimes-harsh medicine (doctrine) which Christ prescribes in the New Testament. The irregular mole on the BACK is any liberal preacher or change agent who, by stealth (coming in through the BACK door), slowly infiltrates the church and pollutes it with false doctrine to suit their own agenda. They behave as slowly growing cancers. Everything at first seems fine and dandy. When a church fails to cast out the infiltrators early (2 John 9-11), they spread and sicken the church, until it no more follows Christ; then it spiritually dies. When Bible-believing Christians spot false teachers, they are required to mark them and avoid them (Romans 16:17). But when change agents take over a church, discerning members who mark them are frequently accused of causing “division” and disrupting the “unity.” Typical railings from change agents further include “judgmental,” “unloving,” “unkind,” “unchristian,” “gossiping,” and “slandering.” Such a church is usually beyond hope of redemption (cure).

He that hath an ear, let him hear.

 
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John Waddey
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68.19.233.53

Parable of Three Brothers

November 12 2004, 1:47 AM 

Parable of Three Brothers


Bob, Jack and Jim were brothers living in the high plains of Lubbock, TX. They decided to drive to Dallas, each in his own car. Bob had a morbid fear of his car drifting to the left and hitting oncoming traffic or crashing into the ditch on the left side of the road. Consequently he drove his car as far to the right as he possibly could. All went well until darkness overtook them and his right front wheel hit a pothole just where the pavement on the right met the shoulder. Poor Bob lost control of his vehicle and before he knew it he was in the ditch, his car ruined and his trip spoiled. Even though he was roughed up a bit, he survived his accident and lived to tell others about the dangers of driving too far to the right, while trying to avoid the ditch on the left.

Jack had just the opposite fear from Bob. He was so afraid of running into the ditch on the right that he hugged the center line as he drove along. A large truck happened by and Jack had drifted over just enough that the truck sideswiped him, knocking his car out of control. Even though he tried manfully to wrestle it back into his lane, he smashed into the ditch on the left, doing costly damage to his car and getting bunged up himself.

Jim was a bit wiser. He knew the dangers of running off into either ditch, be it on the right or left. Consequently Jim drove in the center of his traffic lane, careful not to get too far to the right or the left. He made the trip successfully and enjoyed his visit.

This parable has a great lesson for the Lord’s church. There are brethren who are so afraid of legalism on the right that they are drawn into the ditch of liberalism on the left and in the words of Paul made “wreck of the faith” (I Tim. 1:19). On the other hand, there are disciples so afraid of liberalism on the left that they are drawn into the ditch of legalism on the right. As one stands observing these two cases of wrecked faith, wisdom reminds us that there is no consolation to the either that they successfully avoided the opposite ditch. The fact is, they wrecked on their journey and failed to reach their destination. It was Jim who exhibited wisdom by steering his car in the middle of his lane and thus avoided either ditch. So in the church in these early years of the 21st century, wise men will avoid both ditches since either is destructive to faith. As Solomon said it, “Let thine eyelids look straight before thee... Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil” (Prov. 4:25,27).


_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
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207.69.48.207

Parable from the Other Side (Parable within a Parable)

November 12 2004, 8:41 PM 

Once, upon a time, a young, contemporary theologian, who possessed a host of divinity degrees, came across a series of parables from Bible-believing Christians about the Change Movement and change agents. After reading them and concluding that they were all ridiculous, legalistic, and one-sided, he decided to write a parable of his own. Here is his “Parable from the Other Side”:

Once upon a time, a certain man belonged to a time-honored civic club, the leaders of which possessed many professional degrees. One day they decided to launch a new project that would be governed only by group consensus instead of the time-honored by-laws. Each member was expected to pledge unconditional loyalty to the club, sign a covenant to that effect, and thus contribute abundantly. But the man strongly disapproved of the new project and openly opposed it at every turn. He continually raged about the project’s alleged instability and pitfalls and thus upset the peace, harmony, and unity of his otherwise loyal comrades. He was neither a “team player” nor one to abide by group consensus. Eventually the club, weary of the man’s “judgmental” attitude, dismissed him forthwith.

And the contemporary theologian explained his parable: the civic club is the Church. The new project is the modern church movement, in which the Church is governed only by group consensus, because the outmoded Bible is no longer relevant in a progressive society. Each member of the modern Church must pledge loyal support with a signed covenant and abide by any and all rulings from the group consensus, whatever they may be, for only consensus is the sole authority. The man refusing to be a team player is a selfish legalist and Pharisee, who whines, complains, and disturbs the unity and peace of the group just because the decisions of the group do not match his own personal preferences. He is ejected forthwith.

And the Teacher sternly rebuked the contemporary theologian’s fallacious thinking, spawned by his liberal, religious education. Scorning the multitude of divinity degrees behind his name, the Teacher had much counsel for the theologian: (1) Although divinity degrees easily impress man, to God, they are worthless, for only the HUMBLE person who follows the pure Word of God, and nothing else, is acceptable to Him. (2) Churches governed by group consensus rather than the strict Word of God are spiritually doomed, for the Bible was written to glorify God and be a source of instruction to mankind for salvation. It was written to please God, not man. (3) Those who refuse to follow unbiblical church group consensus are by no means legalists or Pharisees; having biblical discernment, they warn of philosophies and practices that go contrary to the Word, and their warnings should be heeded. (4) Modernists brand those who strongly embrace the Word of God as pushing “their” opinions and “their” personal preferences on others; on the contrary, they are just proclaiming the Word.

He that hath an ear, let him hear.

 
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John Waddey
(no login)
68.19.211.56

The Parable of the Mosquito

November 16 2004, 3:13 AM 

The Parable of the Mosquito



Just recently I visited an old friend who is confined to a convalescence home. Just 65, Bill was still strong and healthy. He owned his own business and was flourishing. Then one night a tiny mosquito landed on him and bit him. When he felt the sting he brushed it away and thought nothing of it. But in the seconds that the creature was on him, it injected him with a terrible virus. A few days later he experienced fever, chills and headaches. Three days later his brother found him on the floor of his home, in a deep coma. His diagnosis, viral encephalitis. Physically he recovered, but he suffered irreversible brain damage. Today he is much like a stroke victim. All because of a tiny mosquito carrying an invisible virus.

This poor fellow's unfortunate experience reminds me of a terrible spiritual virus that is being spread among Churches of Christ. There are men circulating among us like that mosquito. They look and seem harmless enough. Many brethren don't care for the ideas they are promoting, but they mistakenly view them more as an annoyance than a deadly threat. The disease they are carrying is called "Change." The carriers of this disease are a band of preachers and university teachers who have taken it upon themselves to introduce revolutionary changes into the faith, worship and life of our congregations. They have successfully infected a large number of young men while they were attending Christian universities. They have gone forth and sought out positions in our churches … and begun to spread their deadly ideas. Scores of churches are already infected.

So drastic are the changes proposed that any congregation that embraces and follows them to their logical end will no longer be a church of Christ. The symptoms are easily discerned: a loss of respect for the authority of the Bible in the life of the church; especially a refusal to recognize the law of silence that forbids us to go beyond what is written (I Cor. 4:6). Victims are restless and bored with the worship Christ ordained and crave entertainment and sensual excitement. They tend to experience a marked change in their attitude toward fellow-Christians, past and present, who do not embrace their program of change. They feel a strong urge to reach out and fellowship denominational people and their activities. Singing praises to God with the sacred hymns of the past is unpleasant for victims. They demand new songs and instrumental music to accompany them. Their spiritual appetite for the Lord's Supper flags and they find it necessary to turn it into a common meal for their bellies.

The virus affects their ability to read Scripture. When God says, "I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have authority over a man" (I Tim. 2:12), to their jaundiced eyes it seems to say it is alright for women to do just that. When the Book of God says, "by works a man is justified and not by faith only" (Jas. 2:24), the words are scrambled in their minds and come out "a man is justified by faith alone without works." The change in their spiritual personality is pronounced. They dislike their own spiritual ancestors and embrace those who despise the church of which they are members. They often feel ashamed of who they are and try to disguise their places of worship, by calling them "Community Churches" or some other non-Biblical name.

This viral infection has reached epidemic proportions among our people. It can only be brought under control by isolating those infected and not allowing the carriers into the pulpits and classrooms of congregations. Students should shun schools where this disease is breeding, lest they too be infected. Any coming from a church or school that is infected should be carefully examined before being accepted into the fellowship of a congregation. Behold what terrible damage that one small mosquito did to my friend Bill. Be warned what one promoter of change can do to your congregation.

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
207.69.50.59

Parable of the Doomed Building

November 21 2004, 8:57 PM 

Once upon a time, an architect provided plans for a new building. The plans were flawless with many safeguards that would insure a safe, dependable structure. The contractor, however, was a most unscrupulous man who loathed the precise construction which the plans demanded and the fact that considerable time would be required to finish the building properly. Therefore, he not only took numerous shortcuts but he also acquired cheap, third-rate building materials.

The completed structure was a glorious sight to behold -- a dazzling tower in the sunlight. When the building inspector had finished surveying the work, though, he noted an alarming number of building code violations. But instead of blowing the whistle, the inspector lavishly praised the contractor for the building’s wonderful appearance and its splendid décor and assured him that these superficial elements would indeed attract many new customers. The inspector made sure that he mentioned nothing negative in his report, for not only would that ruin the contractor’s self-esteem, it would discourage many customers from patronizing the building.

So the building was opened with great fanfare, pomp, and circumstance. Throngs of people piled into its shining interior, held together unseen from view by nothing but tape, paste, and shoestrings. Not long afterward, the flimsy understructure could not support the weight of the masses, and the building completely collapsed with great loss of life.

And the Teacher explained that the architect is Christ, Who provides the precise Plans to follow in life, the New Testament. The building is any church which should be constructed precisely from every single word in the New Testament. The evil contractor is any change agent who chooses to ignore the New Testament or alters it and builds a church on doctrines and principles not specifically authorized by the New Testament. The building inspector is any preacher or church leader who, in order to fill more pews/seats in “worship centers” and in order not to offend the unchurched, chooses to preach only positive messages of love, acceptance, tolerance, and “God wants to make you successful and happy.” These preachers/leaders fail to preach the “whole Gospel” by shunning such topics as accountability for sin, hell, damnation, divorce, homosexuality, illicit sex, drug and alcohol abuse, and the judgment of God for the impenitent. When a church follows only that which is pleasant and pleasing and not the entire New Testament, the church’s foundation is weak, that church is doomed to collapse, and all members therein will spiritually die.

He that hath an ear, let him hear.

 
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John Waddey
(no login)
68.19.237.211

Parable of the Daring Fly

November 24 2004, 3:13 AM 

PARABLE OF THE DARING FLY



Once there was a young fly who prized his independence and boasted of his freedom and liberty to fly anywhere, anytime he wished to do so. He bragged he was not fearful of things new or different. He enjoyed exploring things new or different. He especially delighted in doing things the old flies thought were foolish and dangerous. Although he often heard stern warnings about the danger of those shiny, shimmering things the old folks called webs, he scoffed at their fears and ridiculed their fears. He was determined to check it out for himself.

Roaming the country side one day, he spotted the most beautiful sight. Shimmering in the morning sun, it looked like a queen’s crown. With his curiosity burning like fire, he dove down to get a closer look. It seemed like the experience of a lifetime. His eyes were dazzled and his mind was enchanted by the attractiveness of the web. He flew ever closer, reasoning how can anything so lovely to the eyes be dangerous? Now he was sure it was just another case of old flies not wishing young flies to enjoy the real pleasures of life.

He first lit on a limb and viewed the beautiful web from a distance. He felt drawn to make a closer inspection and thus he moved closer, feasting his eyes on the beauties before him. When he lifted his wings to fly away, something was wrong. His feet were stuck, with all his might he struggled to break free, but it was impossible. He was hopelessly snared by the silken net. Ever the optimist, he kept reassuring himself, it was not really that bad. Nothing that beautiful could hurt a fly. Rather than warning other flies buzzing nearby he kept shouting, this is wonderful, it is so refreshing, I never enjoyed the likes of this before. He was still reassuring himself when the spider’s quick bite sent the numbing venom into his body. As he drifted off into his final sleep he was heard saying, “It’s wonderful. The old heads don’t know what they are talking about.” He made a nice meal for the spider’s hatch.

So it is with those who are attracted to the change movement. It is deceptive. Its promoters promise glorious things for those who come to their web. Young flies find it hard to resist visions of large churches, worldly honor, recognition and liberty. Like the fly they will be snared and find it difficult ever to break free. With minds numbed, they will think being free from Christ’s authority, his Word and his church is a great and wonderful thing. Thus they will meet their Maker.


_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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John Waddey
(no login)
65.1.109.201

Parable of Joe the Soldier

November 30 2004, 2:42 AM 

PARABLE OF JOE THE SOLDIER



Joe was a tough, no-nonsense fellow. He grew up in a rough neighborhood and frequently mixed it up with guys who challenged him. Joe was proud to be an American. He did not read the newspaper and only occasionally caught the broadcast news, but he had patriotism in his veins and was ready to defend his nation should an enemy attack her. When war erupted, Joe rushed to the recruitment office and volunteered for the Cause. In boot camp, he had his share of scrapes with other recruits. After he was assigned, he was encouraged to get into the company's boxing program. He put many a man on the canvas and loved doing it. When he was shipped across to the battle zone, he continued to look for challengers to meet in the ring. Man after man fell before his fists and his peers cheered him on and called him their "champion." In fact, so successful was Joe at boxing that his commanding officers kept him busy in the gym and meeting boxers from other outfits. Before he knew it, his hitch was up and Joe came home. When his buddies asked him about his war experiences, all Joe could tell them was how many G.I.s he had whipped in the ring. While other men fought the enemy, Joe was whipping other Americans. Some men were wounded in combat. Some died. Joe got a broken nose, cauliflower ears and a few scars on his face. He was the champ. As he grew older, and as he thought about his buddies who died in the conflict, Joe felt a little embarrassed and did not care to tell his grandchildren about his years as the company's boxing champion.

When the disciples asked the teacher what this story meant, he explained that Joe was a gospel preacher. The war was a spiritual conflict for the soul of the church. The enemy was those who were those who despised the church and were determined to change her into their own image. Those Joe fought and whipped were fellow preachers. And the teacher said, the sons of this world are wiser for their own generation than the sons of light.


_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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John Waddey
(no login)
67.32.219.209

PARABLE OF BUDDY THE BUZZARD

December 10 2004, 2:29 AM 

PARABLE OF BUDDY THE BUZZARD



One morning I looked up to see a large buzzard circling over our neighborhood. On inquiry I found that his name was Buddy. Ours in a lovely community, pleasing to the eye. Residents have well kept yards with flowering shrubs and fruit trees. Song birds and rabbits abound. We have beautiful lakes and golf courses. But none of these things impress Buddy. He is a fellow with a “single eye.” He looks for road kill or other victims of death, the riper the better. The lovely things that impress most of us are nothing to Buddy, he is feed on corruption.

Buddy has a cousin by the name of Primus the Preacher. Primus looks out over the brotherhood and surveys his brethren. He is not interested in what our missionaries are doing. He cares nothing for wonderful benevolent activities conducted by brethren. He is not impressed by those who labor with struggling churches and help them become strong and stable. He is not concerned with those who are faithfully educating our children in the way of Christ. That others stand in the front lines and engage the enemy, taking the blows and darts of the devil’s troops, does not impress Primus. He spends his time looking for flaws in other preachers: sins, failures, shortcomings, lack of knowledge, mistaken views. Any thing positive or beneficial for the kingdom does not register in Primus’s book; it is the flaws he is interested in. And he can almost always find some if he looks long enough, even if they date back years in the brother’s life. He never forgets if he can find one. The things he searches for need not be well documented; a rumor is usually sufficient.

On another occasion I rounded a corner and there stood Buddy the Buzzard having breakfast of flattened rabbit. It was an ugly sight; not the poor rabbit, but Buddy. Everything about his appearance was disgusting. His naked head and neck seemed diabolic. His cruel sharp bill easily tore the flesh from his prey. It was enough to turn my stomach. Later in the week I encountered Primus, he was feasting on the reputation of a fellow preacher. He was even more disgusting than Buddy. The only difference is that Primus thinks he is a dove; I guess he has never looked in a mirror.


_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
207.69.50.232

Parable of the Slovenly Employee

December 12 2004, 11:08 AM 

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jack who dressed for work as best as he could. Although he couldn’t afford three-piece suits at $400 each, he did manage a coat and tie, clean shirt and pants, and shined shoes. Thus he was well groomed, and his tidy appearance gave him a little extra boost of confidence to perform his duties to the best of his ability.

But some of Jack’s co-workers approached him with the suggestion that he shed his “clean” appearance for something a bit more “rough-and-tumble.” If he looked more like “everyone else,” he would develop better “relationships” with other similarly clad employees, who otherwise viewed Jack as something of an oddity.

So Jack took the suggestion and next appeared on the job dressed in a wrinkled sweat shirt that sported the logo “Stuff Happens,” along with soiled, torn pants, dirty sneakers, and a baseball cap worn backwards. He had neither shaved nor given any attention to oral hygiene. Thus Jack looked (and smelled) like many other employees. Not only had Jack become slovenly in appearance, but he adopted his comrades’ poor attitude toward their work ethic: doing their best required too much effort; they just wanted to get by. Nevertheless, Jack had a “good time.”

In time, the regional supervisor called Jack into his office. He was concerned about Jack’s CHANGE of appearance and behavior, and informed Jack that, although the company had considered him for a promotion, his current performance just didn’t warrant it. The supervisor was most disappointed in Jack, for he knew that Jack was capable of being a much better employee, both in appearance and performance.

And the Teacher explained that Jack is any church member who falls prey to the Come-As-You-Are attitude rampant in the Change Movement. Encouraging casual dress (more often a license to appear slovenly) and a “relaxed” atmosphere in worship to attract members actually encourages casual attitudes toward God that say, “Lord, I’m really not going to give you my very best, because you are just not worthy of receiving my very best!” With casual attitudes to worship, God is no longer the austere, omnipotent Lord of the universe but becomes a “Big Daddy Buddy” -- no reverence there. If people are given the impression that they need not give their VERY BEST to God (which starts with the simple acts of proper dress and good grooming) and that God will still love them and accept them just as they are, then their worship will not be accepted, just as Cain’s offering was not accepted, because it was not his BEST (Gen. 4:5-7). While it is true that God looks on the heart rather than the exterior, He also knows if the heart has done all that it can do to make a person give his BEST in every single walk of life: from appearance to job performance to worship itself.


 
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Joe Spivy
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24.151.155.27

Dressed for the Master

December 13 2004, 1:11 PM 

With all due respect, and I'm convinced respect is due to those who are brothers in Christ, the "Parable of the Slovenly Employee" is more indicative a particular worldview than it is a reflection of scripture.

For Dr. Crump, it would appear, to attend an assembly of saints in anything other than dress clothes (vs. casual) would be a violation of his conscience. As he seems to be convinced of this I would hope, until he changes his mind, such would continue to be his practice (Romans 14:5-8).

However, to equate casual dress with a "license to appear slovenly" and a "relaxed atmosphere" with a "casual attitude towards God" is (I assume unintentionally) to pass judgment on another based on one person's conscience and the other person's outward appearance. Both of these appear to be violations of scripture (Romans 14:9-18 and James 2:1-4).

Dr. Crump, and others, has heard the "give your best to God" sermon with the application concerning dress as a reflection of the attitude of the heart. More people need to hear, and take to heart, the eternal principle of giving our best to God as an absolutely necessity (Gen 4:5-7 is a good reference). However, dress in assemblies is, at best, a suspect application.

Aaron could not "approach" God dressed in his best (his priestly attire described in Exodus 28)--he most likely would have been struck down by God as had happened to his sons, Nadab and Abihu. Instead, on the Day of Atonement as he was to enter the Most Holy Place, he was to be dressed in a linen tunic and linen undergarments (Leviticus 16:3-4).

In the presence of God he was not allowed to wear the other special garments but instead to come before God dressed in rather plain clothes without any ornamentation. Aaron was a servant and no amount of ornamentation could alter the relationship. None of the New Testament passages describing the dress of those who assembled in the first century place any emphasis on "dressing up." If anything, they require the readers to not dress up (1 Timothy 2:9-10) or not to judge by how another is dressed (James 2:1-4).

If someone purposefully dresses in a way to cause another distress (Romans 14:15-17) then it is sinful. If in one's worldview the way they dress denotes the importance they place on an activity then they should always dress up (for when are we not the servants of God and when are we not trying to give him our best?). The reality is that the curtain of separation was torn at the cross and, clothed in Christ (Galatians 3:26-27), we have constant access through him to the most holy place where God dwells.

To return to the worldview, when Dr. Crump (and many others) equates a "relaxed atmosphere" (which is open to the interpretation of the reader) with a "casual attitude towards God" that means, "Lord, I'm not really going to give you my very best, because you are just not worthy of receiving my very best!" they have become judges of others' hearts. The problem is that they have applied the judgment of their worldview rather than the eternal word of God.

Again, no one should dress simply to provoke another. However, no one should impose a dress code on another and then judge whether another believes God is worthy of their best based solely upon such a man-made code. If Aaron didn't dress in "his best" (as others would see it) and Paul commanded the ladies of the first century not to dress in their "best" (again, as the world would see it) why would we choose now to require such of believers?

 
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David Rhoades
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Re: Dressed for the Master

December 13 2004, 7:41 PM 

I took Dr Crumps parable as one that simply means giving your best. Not flashy, not showy, just simply your best.
How would one be advised to dress on a first date,
in a court appearance before a judge, or on a job interview.

While that dress would surely be different for all,
dressing your best, is after all, your best regardless
of how it compares to dress of others.

PS Wash your feet too, If you can, of course.


 
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Joe Spivy
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24.151.157.121

Response to David Rhodes

December 14 2004, 12:00 AM 

I agree with you that it appears Dr. Crumps' intent in his parable is to encourage individuals to simply give their best. It is his interpretation of his own parable, found in the last paragraph of his post, and specifically what it means to "give your best" that is in question. I don't question his sincerity, his intelligence, his love or devotion to God... I'm simply questioning whether "dressing up" ("Not flashy, not showy, simply your best") is a valid criteria for determining the state of one's heart.

Where, in scripture (and I think it is important to appeal to scripture when equating an action with respect for God), does it state that giving our best to God begins with "the simple act of proper dress and good grooming"? Where does it say this means people don't respect God as the "omnipotent Lord of the universe?"

As to your question, "How would one be advised to dress on a first date, in a court appearance before a judge, or on a job interview?" my answer would be "in such a way as to impress the one whom I hoped to impress."

Therein lies at least one problem (and the reason for the reference to Leviticus 16)--you don't impress God with how you dress. If, for you, giving your best starts with how you dress and how you are groomed, then by all means dress in a way that reflects your convictions (and yes, please wash your feet and the rest of your body if you're able). Just please don't judge my heart because I don't wear a suit and tie even I can afford one (and with Goodwill Stores, everyone can afford one).

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
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207.69.50.190

RE: Dressed for the Master (Joe Spivey)

December 14 2004, 10:11 AM 

At no point in my discussion did I say that all needed to dress in “costly array,” as your references to 1 Tim. 2:9-10 and James 2:1-4 would erroneously imply. Indeed, dressing for worship to impress others is just as unacceptable as those who deliberately dress slovenly to appear “cool.” So what is the real “purpose” (there’s a Rick Warren word for you) behind “Come As You Are”? Isn’t it merely a perversion of 1 Tim 2:9-10? Paul tells women (and by implication men as well) not to dress in costly array but modestly; the Change Movement perverts it into “Come Dressed As You Please” (which in itself is a dress code). Knowing human nature, that means dress in virtually anything, no matter how trifling, regardless of one’s means. God deserves our VERY BEST, not our casualness because it makes us feel more “comfortable.”

Your reference to Aaron’s dress on Yom Kippur is hardly relevant here. Surely you don't believe that ONE day of special service in the OLD LAW in which the priest dressed accordingly could possibly apply as a dress code for worship today. Hardly relevant, friend Joe. But since you introduced the topic of priests, I remind you that at all other times, the attire for priestly service was quite SPLENDID, as outlined in Exodus 39.

 
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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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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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