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“Rubel Shelly to step down from pulpit at Woodmont Hills”

April 9 2005 at 3:28 AM
Donnie Cruz  (no login)
from IP address

Source: The Christian Chronicle

      Rubel Shelly to step down from pulpit at Woodmont Hills

      By Erik Tryggestad
      The Christian Chronicle
      February 01, 2005

      After 27 years as preaching minister, Shelly accepts teaching post in Michigan

      After 27 years behind the pulpit of The Family of God at Woodmont Hills, Rubel Shelly announced that he will cease preaching on Sundays, effective July 2005.

      "The time has come for me to lay down that role in order to focus on something different," Shelly told his congregation Jan. 30, during a joint sermon with Woodmont's preaching minister, John York.

      Shelly, who began his ministry in Nashville, Tenn., in 1978, will serve as professor at Rochester College, Rochester Hills, Mich.

      "Rochester College is gaining final approval for a master's in Religious Education, on track to begin course delivery in fall 2005," said Jennifer Hamilton, academic dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Rochester. "Dr. Shelly will teach ministry courses in the context of this program."

      Shelly has a doctorate and master's degree from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, along with degrees from Harding University, Searcy, Ark., and Harding University Graduate School of Religion, Memphis, Tenn.

      But Shelly said that he and his wife, Myra, do not intend to move away from Nashville.

      "In terms of this church, I will continue to write and teach from here — concentrating on regular Wednesday night teaching," Shelly said. "I will write 'The FAX of Life' and continue to play whatever role the shepherds wish me to fill in helping connect us to the larger community through service projects ..."

      Those projects include a health center, a program to bridge the racial divide between churches, and a project to build an orphanage and school in India for underprivileged children, including those who lost parents in the Dec. 26 tsunami.

      An earlier story posted on this Web site drew from an article that appeared in the Tennessean, Nashville's daily newspaper, Feb. 1. The story stated that Shelly was leaving the Woodmont church.

      But statements from the Jan. 30 sermon, posted a few days later on the church's Web site, contradict such notions.

      "Times like these arouse almost instant anxiety," York told the congregation Jan. 30, "and I admit that for myself and for our shepherds and for all of us as we begin to wonder what comes next.

      "But I also know that faith is always about the unseen and being people of the Kingdom of God means living with an openness to God's future, never knowing exactly what that future looks like."

      Dan Dozier also made a statement to the congregation on behalf of the elders at the Woodmont church.

      "We're happy that Rubel and Myra are not moving," he said. "We think it makes sense for them to keep Nashville as 'home plate' on their playing field. We want him to continue his teaching ministry here while he also expands his work training others for ministry at Rochester College."

      Shelly said, "Nothing would cause me to feel better about the time Myra and I have spent here than for this church to grow, prosper, and thrive as we step back a bit here. I'd like to think we have helped lay a foundation that others will build on for generations to come."

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Donnie Cruz
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“A Conversation with Rubel Shelly” (by Ted Parks)

April 9 2005, 4:09 AM 

Source: The Christian Chronicle


    A Conversation with Rubel Shelly

    By Ted Parks
    For the Christian Chronicle
    May 31, 2001

    NASHVILLE, TENN. - Nobody likes surprises. Maybe the dramatic turns and sudden detours of Rubel Shelly’s personal journey and public life as preacher, author, and teacher in churches of Christ have intensified the bumps he’s experienced on the road. Or perhaps the real reason Shelly inspires both admiration and anathemas is that he mirrors a movement embarked itself on a painful but redemptive quest for identity.

    Finding in Shelly a “microcosm” of church controversies about how to hear the Restoration plea in Scripture, historian Richard Hughes traces Shelly’s metamorphosis as minister and scholar in his 1996 book, “Reviving the Ancient Faith.”

    Hughes notes Shelly co-founded The Spiritual Sword, in 1969 with Thomas B. Warren, assuming the role of “celebrated spokesperson for the conservative wing of Churches of Christ.” But by the early 1980s, Shelly had transformed into “a leader of a new generation of reformers,” Hughes says.

    Shelly continues to preach for the Family of God at Woodmont Hills, the Nashville congregation he has served more than 20 years. He is author of numerous articles and more than 25 books, from textually centered studies of Luke and Acts to theological analyses like The Second Incarnation, written with Lipscomb University professor Randy Harris.

    Earlier this year, Shelly shared his perspectives on the nature of faith and the character of churches of Christ as the American Restoration Movement enters its third century.

    In your estimation, what should Christ’s body look like today?

    The larger body of Christ must be very serious about getting outside the “ghetto” that Christians have created for ourselves. Educationally, in publishing, congregational-wise, we’ve increasingly isolated ourselves. At the beginning of the new century, we have to be in the public arena.

    We have to demonstrate that Christian faith is not a private experience. Although it’s very personal to each believer, it’s not private in the sense of being okay for those who choose it but irrelevant to the larger culture. Christianity was meant to challenge the world for its allegiance at every level. It’s salt and light in all the spheres where its people go.

    I hope we create this sense of God’s sovereignty over everything for his people. My responsibility in the workplace, in the classroom, in everything I do is, to be the presence of Christ.

    Just read the books, see the movies, and listen to the talking-head TV shows, and you discover that people are aimless and adrift. But they keep using this term “spiritual”— they want spiritual direction. That’s the business of the body of Christ.

    How will our fellowship look if it conforms to this vision of Christ’s body?

    It means we begin to try to have serious engagement at least in the larger religious community. We’ve been isolationist and sectarian in our approach.

    Perhaps it’s our posture of theological isolation as a religious group that has led us to a lot of personal isolation. The Christian who is a CEO, a line-worker in a factory, or a third-grade teacher, a full-time mom, a graduate student in psychology, or a high school student trying to find her way, these people have to take the claim of Christ on their lives seriously.

    Our task is not to stand outside the culture and wave our arms and shout and point in the direction. Rather, it is to model serious discipleship in the belief that other people will see that that kind of life has focus and meaning.

    We can’t be quite so doctrinaire and start at the places we have traditionally wanted to. Selling our distinctives is not evangelism. Instead, evangelism is demonstrating the difference Christ makes in turning aimless lives into purposeful lives.

    Who are we right now as a religious movement?

    I don’t know. I see a lot of questing for identity in terms of theological distinctives that people want to keep in place.

    If our identity is found in anything other than Christ, I think we’re going to remain confused about who we are. I don’t think we will have found our way even at the end of the 21st century.

    The Restoration Movement started out with a goal of calling people back to fundamental commitment to Christ on the authority of Scripture alone. Trying to answer the question about our identity as churches of Christ is so far removed from that original goal, that they are two separate agendas. I used to be interested in the latter agenda. Now, I am interested almost exclusively in the former.

    What does our fellowship especially have to offer the unchurched in view of today’s smorgasbord of spiritual options?

    I think we have some historical and theological perspectives that are very valuable and that a number of mainline denominations can’t offer. Out of our tradition we offer people an opportunity to deal with a personal relationship with Christ that does not have to be filtered through a particular creed or set of sectarian, human understandings.

    That was part of the genius that drove the early Restoration Movement. Those people of 200 years ago got a ready hearing by offering Christ on the authority of Scripture alone and leaving lots of issues to the best personal understandings that believers could bring to them.

    But over time, we have done what every identifiable Christian group tends to do. For the most part we have not written our creed, but we have offered not simply Christ on the authority of Scripture, but a set of recognizable interpretations or what I have heard called “consensus beliefs.”

    If we could get back to that more authentic restoration posture, without having to pass the orthodoxy tests we’ve superimposed, we would become immediately healthier in the process and be seen as evangelistically viable. The more explicit and rigid your set of interpretations becomes, the harder it is to do evangelism. The searching soul is just looking for a fundamental anchor for life.

    Among the recent changes in churches of Christ, what shifts, if any, do you see in our fellowship’s concern about social issues?

    The church must be more socially sensitive and active than it has been. The reason there are such racial divides in our fellowship is that we have not taken seriously the social ethic that’s supposed to go with discipleship.

    We have not only been sectarian with our religious neighbors, but we have been racist within our own church culture.

    In the church at the start of the 21st century, we’ve not made for our time the bold declarations that the first-century church made about reconciliation of Jew and Gentile. Martin Luther King was much more prophetic than any of our preachers, college presidents or editors of papers dared to be. We had to be drawn kicking and screaming into the acknowledgment of basic civil rights.

    We have not been in the forefront of dealing with people with AIDS, the homeless, the working poor, the underemployed, the abused and battered wives and children. There are a few sterling exceptions, but they are notable only for being exceptions.

    For the most part, we let the government or some private agency step up to those needs, while we hold church. The church is supposed to be on the frontlines of those issues. We don’t have the credibility to speak for Christ until the larger community has seen us acting like Christ.

    How do you explain this lack of involvement?

    It’s easier to debate the nuances of the scriptural statement than it is to take the obvious statements at face value about going out here to the poor, and the people in prison and the people without clothes.

    I think we enjoy the comfort of being middle class. And in the places where churches have followed the primary flow of the culture, they have adopted its values of letting the marginalized stay on the margins. We make some grocery donations at Christmas, and we offer them the used coats we’ve discarded.

    We do church and let these people fall through the cracks.

    Historically people who are theologically conservative have essentially embraced the doctrine of salvation by good works, where the good work was theological hairsplitting until you got all the details just right. Again, that’s a fascinating distraction from salvation as I read about it in the New Testament, that immediately sets you down in community and makes you sensitive to the hurts of people around you.

    Biblical theology sends you on a mission of relating to people in the way Jesus related to them. It is not an end in itself.

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chuck sonn
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thanks donnie

April 9 2005, 10:02 AM 


Thank you for your diligent research to bring back much of the path that Rubel, Woodmont Hills(formerly Ashwood) and churches of Christ in general have been on.

I think back to when I attended Ashwood back in 1981-87. I remember accepting Jesus in Dec. 1981. I remember not understanding why they had strange understanding of some of the bible and rejection of other parts. I remember how doctrinally rigid Rubel's teaching was. At the same time I didn't see much concern for the immediate changing community. Everyone just wanted to be a scholar in the Word, but there was only token fruit in the lives of the congregation. As the years have gone by and God has continued to refine me in the crucible of life, I see the same transformation in Rubel and many others. I see many that are still on the same rigid doctrinal path of performance. What a blessing it is to be compelled to care for the destitute by an internal Spirit that I can't even explain. It's like the wind...I can't see it...but I can see where it has been.

blessings to all...Donnie, hope to see you in the balcony tomorrow! stop and say hi before you go...I'll meet you half way.

your brother in Christ...

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Jimmy Wren
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RE: Reaction

April 9 2005, 2:02 PM 

Reactions to Shelly Dialogue

July 17, 2001

Letters to The Christian Chronicle - Your feature on Rubel Shelly (Christian Chronicle, June, 2001) is interesting, especially in light of the Chronicle’s deafening silence as regards his role and that of his Woodmont Hills Church in coordinating and promoting the recent Billy Graham Crusade in Nashville. While Shelly is to be commended for his work in Christian apologetics and his stands on social justice and morality issues, he is a classic illustration of the truth that extremism breeds opposite extremism. Also he and Woodmont Hills are increasingly forcing the brotherhood of churches of Christ (and specifically Christian universities) to raise the question, At what point does a church of Christ cease being a church of Christ?
Memphis, Tennessee

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Donnie Cruz
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Thanks to “The Christian Chronicle,” (not Donnie)

April 9 2005, 2:41 PM 


I’m sorry that you continue to be in a state of delusion. Please don’t include “churches of Christ in general” in or associate them with Rubel and his “Purpose-Driven Left” Movement. That certainly is untrue. To the majority of the churches of Christ, both Rub and Max have apostatized from and left the New Testament church—several years ago. These congregations do not share both men’s “strange” doctrines, as Jimmy Wren has ably put it.

My objective in starting this thread is to EXPOSE apostates, such as Rubel Shelly, and their “strange” teachings—NOT PROMOTE. Please don’t misunderstand me or deviate from the concerns and issues that this board brings up and discusses.

Chuck, you may recall that “Woodmont Hills” was discussed on this [your favorite] “I believe” website several weeks ago. Note the following “speculation” or “curiosity”:


    By Whiplash (Re: Woodmont Hills, Posted on 2/2 2:03 PM)

    Is this latest move by Mr. Shelly a concession that the Postmodern ideas championed in The Jesus Proposal etc have failed to produce any tangible effect in Nashville-at-large (let alone the region or nation or world) 5 to 7+ years after implementation?

    Let's face it -- when someone is 60 years old, there's no time to wait around for a seed to sprout. So this could well be seen as time to test northern soil that may be more fertile than that of the heavily-churched Bible Belt. Or perhaps he's beginning to feel the part of "a prophet in his home town", so to speak.

    I suppose that I am not alone in being curious to see a post-Shelly Woodmont Hills.
    While this event does not usher in life-without-Shelly at Woodmont Hills, it certainly heightens the speculation.

    By TKS (Re: Woodmont Hills, Posted on 2/2 2:32 PM)

    I believe Rubel will just be teaching at Rochchester. He will be training young preacher in "Urban Ministry" in a new graduate program. It could be an exciting time at Woodmont. I don't believe they will regress in their desire to move the church in the direction they have been going. It could actually accelerate.

Be informed that the pseudo-Baptist Rub and Max are not accepted in Baptist circles, either, although they are happy to see them leave the New Testament church.


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Donnie Cruz
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Good Question: “why doesn’t RS teach at Lipscomb again?”

April 10 2005, 3:08 AM 

Here’s a good answer to that question from one of the respondents on Shelly’s “iBelieve” website:


    By AmandaD (“Re: Woodmont Hills,” Posted on 2/2 10:19 AM)

    why doesn't RS teach at Lipscomb again?

    Because LU doesn't want to lose any more money from the conservative supporters they have left.

Ah, “money from the conservative supporters….”

What a coincidence that while Ruby will be teaching at Rochester College (formerly Michigan Christian College), Steve Flatt is leaving Lipscomb University for an executive postion at a healthcare company. (cf. thread: “Steve Flatt Leaving Lipscomb”)


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Ken Sublett
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Flatt Shelly

April 10 2005, 12:09 PM 

Steve had been looking before the recent school job. He claims that the health care job is just another one of his 'ministries.' Well, I know the people at the health care organization and it is NOT a ministry. As I remember it is primary housing for people who can still do some things on their own. It is for the well do do and that is ok because they can afford it. I have wondered if this is not a charity job created by something we don't yet know about.

I THINK that there cannot be too many conservatives (the good, bad and ugly) who would send a PREACHING student there even though it may still be acceptable for people getting their MRS degree. My middle daughter attended there, got a good education but would not classify the place as "Christian."

It is a fact that the NEW STYLE PAGAN WORSHIP and infidelity which probably defines the majority of the scholarly "foundation" produces people who WILL NOT pay their way. Being around some of the meetings and publishers in Nashville, I am quite certain that the "religious institution" there hitched their wagon to the SHELLY-JUBILEE trinity which included Steve Flat and a V.P.

However, it a fact that the 'ole conservatives' are the only ones who have founded such schools, orphanages and "human services" groups other than token "ministries" which demands a PROFESSIONAL DEACON to administer.

Too bad, too sad but PENDULUMS do swing. Unfortunately the swiftly fading ANTI-Bible and church people have MASS PRODUCED a more reactionary group which will walk all over them. If I taught ignorant heresy at LU I would prowl around Vanderbilt or some Charismatic college. Health Care or used computers might be open.

But, oops! it is a fact that the denominations DID NOT fall at Shelly-Flatt's Jubilee's feet and I am quite certain that no large church of Christ college would have his name in their catalog and no denominational college would think of hiring any of a group which betrayed the hand that fed them.

Pray that Lipscomb's COMPLIANT board can grasp which side their foundations are buttered on and look for a loyal Bible believer.


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chuck sonn
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sorry for the comment

April 10 2005, 7:18 AM 


I didn't mean to upset you by my testimony. It is scriptural you know. I've been in the middle of this for 20+ years now. Remember, I didn't grow up in the cofC, as I believe you didn't also. Am I correct that you come out of the RCC? Would you share a little with your brethren here how that came to pass? I believe we would be interested, I know I would.

"I’m sorry that you continue to be in a state of delusion. Please don’t include “churches of Christ in general” in or associate them with Rubel and his “Purpose-Driven Left” Movement.

I'm not deluded! You may not like it, but the sign is still out there. My bible is definitely revealing a purpose for my life, and it's not trying to figure out what God has said and how He wants things done. It's child's play for Him with all you have by caring for the destitute...physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually. My book tells me to be active in that pursuit.(ro 2:13, ja 1:22)

"Please don’t misunderstand me or deviate from the concerns and issues that this board brings up and discusses."

Donnie, my message never changes, I pray. My concern is for the destitute, and the church that Christ died for to be concerned for them also. Look around you, you walk theough a harvest field all day, every day. Like our resident eschatologist, Joe, would tell us...the end is near. Be about His work. If you feel that your primary call is to whip the saints in perfect order, so be it. The church has been polluted for 2,000 years. The NT is full of it.

"Chuck, you may recall that “Woodmont Hills” was discussed on this [your favorite] “I believe” website several weeks ago. Note the following “speculation” or “curiosity”:"

I'm not interested in speculation...I'm interested in fruit for His Kingdom.

"Be informed that the pseudo-Baptist Rub and Max are not accepted in Baptist circles, either, although they are happy to see them leave the New Testament church."

I meet with the Baptist Association in Wilson County each Monday. They have 42 congregations there. The same problem/opportunity exists there also. They are more concerned/comfortable going to church than being the church 168 hours per week.

It takes time, Donnie, but we are truly restoring the church we see in Acts 2-4, before the pollution is recorded. The walls between denominations will not come down, but saints are climing over the walls and joining in serving the least of these. What a blessing it is to watch lives transformed, the only purpose that God inspired all of His writers. (Ro 12:2)

See you in the balcony, brother...


ps...i have some seder tickets that will be going on sale today for the celebration on April 23. i'd like for you to come and join us if you would.

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You people are ridiculous...

April 11 2005, 4:02 PM 

Why on God's great earth would you chose to be so gleeful that a brother who preaches God's Great gospel is leaving a congragation? why are you so concerned about liberal and conservative? If those young men and women are in a masters of divinity program do you not think they are going to have their own opinions regardless of what Rubell preaches...I've seen Rubell preach many times, why i dont nesecarily agree with every word that man says i understand that he is a man who is trying to preach the gospel according to what he believes is truth, what will bring people to Christ. And i know your going to argue the point that is not what " he thinks is truth, its what Christ said, God wrote" whatever...the bible is SO unbelievably black and white that its ridiculous to think its one hundred percent translatable! one thing matters....Did Christ Die for my sins...yes. rubel shelly believes that , you believe that...shut up about everything else.

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Jimmy Wren
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Re: You people are ridiculous...

April 11 2005, 7:04 PM 

Eric asked and answers his own question, "Did Christ Die for my sins...yes. rubel shelly believes that , you believe that...shut up about everything else."

Jimmy questions: How do you know that Christ died for your sins Eric?

There is only one way that you could know that and that is because "the Bible tells you so".

It is not what Rubel tells you about Christ, it is what the bible tells you about Christ that has meaning.

Eric, never put your faith in the 'messanger', put your faith in Christ. Where did people learn of Christ before Rubel Shelly? From the Bible.

Eric says, "Did Christ Die for my sins...yes. rubel shelly believes that , you believe that...shut up about everything else."

"...shut up about everyting else." Christ died for his sins and nothing else matters.

So we leave Eric with a "dead" Christ. We will not discuss the resurrection, we will leave Christ in the grave. We will not discuss the church, we will leave Christ in the grave. We will not discuss the written Word of God.

we will leave Eric with a "dead" Christ and just shut up about everything else.

In Christian Love,


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jimmy wren

April 13 2005, 1:07 PM 

I have never put my faith in a messanger, and i suppose i should have typed a little bit further to include the ressurection, i thought that maybe that would have been understood. I really dont understand this whole thing. Christ didnt preach topics on musical instruments, poinsettas during the winter season, trunk or treat, all of that why do we make such a big deal about it? Christ didnt preach about wednesday night church but we follow that. i mean i think we need to focus on the things Christ set in place speciffically before we step into the grey matter of the bible and try and theoligize that stuff. thats my point.

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Jimmy Wren
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Equally called to serve.

April 13 2005, 11:57 PM 

Eric thanks for posting again.

I offer Bible study courses free of charge. I offer an eight lesson course. I can mail you one, after you complete it and mail it back, I will grade it and send you the next lesson. Send me an e-mail or just ask for it in your next post.

When it comes to a study of religion, it is difficult for everyone to be on the same page. Every time someone criticizes me, I always stop and reevaluate what I am doing or have done. I have only one standard to examine myself by, one firm foundation, and that is the Bible.

You have heard the children sing, “the more we read the Bible, the Bible, the Bible…the more we read the Bible the happier we will be.” This is very true Eric.

Eric you wrote: Christ didnt preach topics on musical instruments, poinsettas during the winter season, trunk or treat, all of that why do we make such a big deal about it?

Jimmy answers: Eric, you are exactly right. But just what did Christ preach? Christ preached a LOT OF THINGS! Since you continued in your last post to include the resurrection I believe that you know the Gospel. If you are not sure of a Biblical explanation you can turn to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and read it.

Next you should study about the Kingdom of Christ. Watch for the words “Church” and “Kingdom” as they are used to refer to the same thing.

You can read about both in the Gospels as well as the other New Testament books.

Now a wise man would study and examine the scriptures in search of a “pattern”. What do I want my life to be like? What does God want me to be like?

We read a lot of “do’s” and “don’ts” as to the way a Christian should live his life. But we really need something that we can hold on to. We need a “pattern” to follow. We follow Jesus as best we can. Christ is our PATTERN. But we also find another “pattern” in the life of the Apostle Paul.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a PATTERN to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” ! Timothy 1:16-16 (KJV).

Paul says “Christ came to save sinners…of whom I am chief”. Paul goes on to say that he was forgiven. But here Paul says, present tense-not past, that he “is the chief of sinners”.

We must never forget that we, you and I (only I can confess and ask forgiveness for my sins) are sinners, presents tense. Forgiven-yes! Sinner-yes! Go as far into the future as I can imagine and I am still nothing more then a “forgiven sinner”.

Paul says something else here that we need to get, “…I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a PATTERN to them which should hereafter believe on him…”

Paul says I am your PATTERN! Eric is Paul your PATTERN?

Timothy looked to Paul as a PATTERN and Paul told Timothy this: “I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan…” 1 Timothy 118-20 (KJV).

To Titus Paul says, “In all things showing thyself a PATTERN of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Titus 2:7- 8 (KJV).

As Christians we are to be “patterns” to each other by following the “patterns” (Paul, Timothy, Titus, and etc.,) that we find in the Bible. We don’t always find a good pattern in the pulpit but we always find a good pattern in the Bible!

Now just as we have “patterns” to follow that teach us how to live the Christian life, we also have a ‘PATTERN” found in the Word of God that teaches us how to worship in the Church of Christ.

In the Old Testament even the tabernacle was made “according to the pattern”. The “pattern” was shown to Moses, and no one else, and Moses revealed it to the people.

“…See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the PATTERN showed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5 (KJV).

The New Testament Church is also made according to the PATTERN. It becomes a little difficult here because there is no one passage of scripture that you can go to and learn it all. But that should not surprise you; to what scripture can you go to get a complete detail description of the tabernacle?

I will give you the PATTERN, we can discuss the supporting scriptures later.

No one is in the Lord’s Church without obedience to the Gospel. A belief in Christ leads one to joyously proclaim “I believe that Christ is the Son of the living God”. When Peter said these words, Jesus said “…upon this rock (meaning Himself, i.e. Christ is the Son of God.) I will build my church”

A belief in Christ should cause one to follow the PATTERN of Paul and confess his sins.

A belief that causes one to do the above things is called “faith”.

This “faith” cause’s one to be baptized, i.e., totally buried in water, to have his sins washed away. Our PATTERNS, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:3:6 (KJV). Paul, our PATTERN, says he has been baptized.

After following the above PATTERN, one now finds himself in Christ, in His Church. The Lord has added the saved person to His Church. “… And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47 (KJV).

Now that one is in the Church of Christ the question becomes, “How should one worship?”

The first thing is to remember your PATTERNS. Remember and study the life of Paul, Timothy, Titus, Peter, and the Apostle John. Don’t forget these PATTERNS!

You have a lot of studying to do Eric. Are you up for it? Are you willing to follow the PATTERNS of the Bible or will you follow the PATTERNS of RUBEL Shelly or other “change agents”?

If you choose the Bible for the PATTERNS that you determine to follow You will do the following; you will meet with other brethren upon the first day of the week to take the Lord’s supper; while at that meeting you will engage in a Bible study (the Church is the School of the Bible), you will sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (no praise songs, no instruments for making noise, every word uttered by a Christian is supposed to be understood, and no humming is mentioned or taught by the PATTERNS of the Bible that I follow). A free will collection will be taken up. You are to contribute as you learn of the need. The collection has no limit, you can give as little or as much as you like. This collection is not commanded but an example of a collection, on the first day of the week, for a specific need is give by our PATTERN, Paul. Another act of worship is Praying.

Eric all of the above should be a part of your daily life as well as in the Christian worship service, except for one act, i.e., taking the Lord’s Supper. This is a living memorial to be shared with the congregation only upon the first day of the week.

These are the five acts of worship. Many people add plays, dramas, instrumental music, video, but we have no PATTERN for such.

We can begin a discussion of Bible PATTERNS of worship if you like.

Don’t look for points of argument Eric. Look to your PATTERNS. Study the Word.

In Christian Love,


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Bible Study

April 14 2005, 12:18 PM 

yeah, i'm down with the bible study jimmy wren...whats your email address?

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John Rebman
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Equally Called To Serve

April 15 2005, 7:44 AM 


What "pattern" of worship did the treasure of Candace, queen of Ethiopia take back to Africa with him in his chariot? Were further instructions needed for this euneuch to be a Christian, or remain a Christian?

What if he had been killed in a chariot wreck and had not sung in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs? What did he know about the number of cups at the Lord's supper? Do you suppose "baptism" did save this man and he went back to Ethiopia and taught others about Jesus? what they must do to be saved as he had been "taught" by the preacher Philip?

Probably not...He no doubt ran into a Rubel Shelly type of preacher who was teaching Christ among the poor and illiterate and became bogged down in loving and caring for the lost. Hey, now there's a "pattern" worth looking into!

Ken, when was the last time you went down into the getto and preached Jesus to a black man down on drugs; and told him to sing a hymn without a mechanical instrument?

Just what is your answere to the question, "Here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?" Is there "now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" or not?

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Ken Sublett
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Re: Equally Called To Serve

April 15 2005, 12:13 PM 

    John: Ken, What "pattern" of worship did the treasure of Candace, queen of Ethiopia take back to Africa with him in his chariot? Were further instructions needed for this euneuch to be a Christian, or remain a Christian?
First, you have not heard me discussing PATTERNISM. I leave that to the church stealers, ministry builders (The curse of the king was a pyramidal ministry structure supported by unlawful tithes.), "musical" rituals, the Law of Preaching violated over and over, the Law of singing, the Law of singing secular tunes, the Law of Giving, the Law of life control through numerous meetings, small groups to exercise control and on and on and on. Rubel's PARADIGMISM is a lot more complicated, legalistic, sectarian and EXPENSIVE then the PATTERNISM he spend a life FIGHTING while being paid by those who disagree with him. I sense from his leaving statement that that includes LOTS of elders who have been bullied. [Shades of Lum and Abner: look up both pattern and paradigm]


The eunuch came to worship as a Jew. He was undoubtedly connected to the SYNAGOGUE concept as the SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE where they didn't DO patterns, didn't sing and certainly did not play instruments. Judaism was well established in Ethiopia and it became a CENTER of a major wing of Christianity. Ethiopia could have observed the Lord's Supper--as they continued to receive letters. By adding that to the synagogue they would HAVE HAD a Church of Christ. We know for a fact that the synagogue continued as a church: no singing, no music, no preaching, no giving except those who prospered to those who were destitute. It is seen where Paul told Timothy to "give attendance to the public READING of the Word [only]" and to explain the contained doctrine and admonished keeping what they had heard READ:

Any Rabbi or priest would have had an HONEST job--as Paul exampled and commanded--and may have been given a daily dole of food (only) when duty (only) as the early temples (only) or at the synagogues (only).
    John: What if he had been killed in a chariot wreck and had not sung in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs? What did he know about the number of cups at the Lord's supper? Do you suppose "baptism" did save this man and he went back to Ethiopia and taught others about Jesus? what they must do to be saved as he had been "taught" by the preacher Philip?
God picked the searching eunuch to be a missionary. What if Philip had not preached to him. What if he had not come to Jerusalem. What if Philip had been run over by a horse? What if.....

You have NEVER heard me say anything about singing psalms as an act of worship! Where's the beef? There is NO SINGING command: reading 6th grade, slow group, could hear Paul use the word SPEAK or TEACH or ADMONISH. You cannot do that with MUSIC. Today, you would find Ethiopic worship Catholic more in the Eastern tradition. They turned to FULL IMMERSION of infants along with others but never sprinkled.
    John: Probably not...He no doubt ran into a Rubel Shelly type of preacher who was teaching Christ among the poor and illiterate and became bogged down in loving and caring for the lost. Hey, now there's a "pattern" worth looking into!
You cannot OBEY the command to LOVE people other than doing what is BEST for them. Jesus did not say: "Go just downtown and PREACH LOVE." YOUR love will not save them. Jesus said: "Preach the gospel." When one BELIEVES then the are not HINDERED from becoming a disciple of Jesus. Then ALREADY BELIEVERS are DISCIPLED BY TWO EQUALLY BINDING ACTIONS:
    TEACHING what Jesus commanded.

Only THESE disciples are called CHRISTIANS.
    And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled [SYNAGOGUED] themselves with the church, and TAUGHT much people. And the DISCIPLES were called Christians first in Antioch. Ac.11:26
It is very hard to find RUBEL'S SECTARIAN LEGALISM in that passage. Conservative churches used to come much closer.

Therefore, Jesus and Luke tell us that ONLY believers who are THEN baptized are disciples and therefore only THEY are called CHRISTIANS. Only God in Christ should ever have to worry about WHUT IF the lady drowned in the baptistry BEFORE she came back up! GAG.

I think Rubel has probably obeyed the COMMISSION to go preach the gospel once or twice on a MISSION VISIT of a few days. Can you verify that? Rubel has been involved in collecting curches of the rich and famous from what I hear. However, that doesn't have ANY BEARING on the Bible. Have you read Rubel's stuff on the Located Missionary?
    John: Ken, when was the last time you went down into the getto and preached Jesus to a black man down on drugs; and told him to sing a hymn without a mechanical instrument?
At going on 75 and with my health I am well beyond that state: however, I put in my years in Minnesota as a MISSION FIELD. As a young couple we lived close in and worked with a ghetto church. Later organized a new congregation. In Seattle I spend more time knocking doors, working with more black churches, fellowshipped more black member and helped camp more black kids than you and Rubel put together. That COUNTS FOR NOTHING as authority to pervert the Word. You might ighten up on the LAW OF TITHING which Rubel defends and the LAW OF GIVING which is Anti-Biblical.

Early Christians were taught to sing hymns so they could return to kitchen and field and "sing to THEMSELVES and meditate in the heart." They TAUGHT the Bible by SPEAKING the psalms: they DID NOT worship by singing erotic praise songs.
    John: Just what is your answere to the question, "Here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?" Is there "now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" or not?
Philip had preached from ISAIAH. You CANNOT preach the gospel without preaching the water which connects you with the suffering servant. That is why what YOU DON'T know is that Jesus was obeyed, baptism was preached and the enuch ASKED, as at Pentecost, what must I do in the affirmative sense:
    And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? Ac.8:36
There is something which could HINDER baptism and this proves that the Enuch WAS NOT already saved:
    And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:37
Assuredly, the eunuch WAS NOT told to be baptized to JOIN THE CHURCH. Re. Lucado and probably Shelly he was not told to be baptized to PLEDGE to be a good boy. Baptism stands between spiritual death and spiritual, resurrection LIFE. You cannot be SAVED without it, you cannot be given A holy spirit and you cannot be A Christian without it. I don't believe that Shelly and York etal have a DIVINE access to surplus words they couldn't shoehorn into the Bible. I don't believe or trust people who get VISIONS to take CHRIST off their name. I don't trust PEOPLE who think that the Lord's Supper is a sacrificial meal where God EATS as we burn the fat.

Salvation is THROUGH faith but BY baptism. THROUGH is likened in the Greek to an arrow which is shot. It whizzes THROUGH the air. However, when the arrow PENETRATES the flesh it goes INTO the heart. That word is EIS. One is ALWAYS baptized INTO Christ even though they travel the path THROUGH faith until they ask: what must I do to be saved. If they DO NOT HAVE FAITH then they are HINDERED or FORBIDDEN baptism because the are not qualified.

Jesus said faith AND baptism saves--because SAID that it is so. Those who do not believe that statement Jesus says are APISTOS or traitors. So DON'T we grasp that the Enuch could not have been SAVED when Philip did not know whether he had made the CONFESSION of the ROCK on Whom the church was built. Peter said of those who had FAITH "If you repent AND are baptized you SHALL BE saved." IF you are saved by FAITH ONLY then you are saved WITHOUT REPENTANCE. If the Enuch was SAVED before baptism then he was saved WITHOUT CONFESSION.

We know that because Luke told us so:
    And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. Acts 7:29

    But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. Acts 7:30

The eunuch KNEW that he must be baptized or Philip would be a traitor to the direct command of Jesus and what Peter had said at Pentecost. The eunuch went on his way REJOICING [full of grace) which is the same as a TIME OF REFRESHING which follows baptism.
    Andronikos (g408) an-dron'-ee-kos; from 435 and 3534; man of victory; Andronicos, an Isr.: - Andronicus.
We know that because Jesus told us so:
    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mk.16:15

    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

I have read a few Shelly books and reviewed LOTS of his sermons and I don't ever remember Rubel preaching anything SIMILAR to the Bible. He nornally twists the Bible specificially to PROVE that he has the right to TAKE LIBERTIES and to WAGE GRUDGE WARFARE against those who would not BOW when he PIPED. He is like Erasmus who INVENTED faith only: he declared that ALL OF THE DOCTORS before him were just ignorant. Is Rubel right and the whole fellowship WRONG and the whole history for 1525 years WRONG?

I have SPENT and continue to SPEND in order to minister to more people in more countries than all of the churches in Nashville. I have never TAKEN. So, I don't have to give an account


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John Rebman
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Re: Equally Called To Serve

April 15 2005, 7:58 PM 

Ken, you have convinced me: you are a wonderful man. Please, do not break your arm at the elbo patting yourself on the back. No doubt, you are a "five talent servant."
Please, do not be too hard on those of us with "two." Oh, I am sure that you believe that most of us are of the "one."
Keep in mind that Paul said, "every man shall receive his own reward according to his labor." No doubt, you will be standing next to James and John, on the Lord's right hand, in the kingdom.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." This would have been all you would have had to say about the eunuch with out a dissertation of your life. You and I are to sow the seed. I am sure you are familiar with Matthew 13. The eunuch was just as lost as were the "certain disciples" of John that Luke records in Acts 19. After hearing, these men were baptized "into Jesus." No more "condemnation" from God, only from the Rubel Shelly bashers.

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Jimmy wren
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Re: Equally Called To Serve

April 15 2005, 9:43 PM 

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." This would have been all you would have had to say about the eunuch with out a dissertation of your life."

You did not read it all John. That verse teaches that there are "both" lost and saved even IN CHRIST!

You heard me right John! Read the verse again. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit". Ro. 8:1

Paul is speaking of "them which are in Christ". Paul cites two "paths" that those which are in Christ can take. Paul says there is no condemnation to them that "walk after the Spirit".

But to those who walk after the flesh: "they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; be carnally minded is death..." Ro. 8:4,6

In Christian Love,


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John Rebman
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Re: Equally Called To Serve

April 16 2005, 9:21 AM 

I do not follow yor reasoning, one is either "in Christ" or not.
True, this is a metaphor (This would be impossible: for the Bible says that Christ "is by the right hand of God). The Bible teaches that "santification" is a moral, not a "miraculous process."

You quote from Romans 8:1. Keep in mind, the translators,(especially in the King James) would capitalize the word "Spirit" when ever their theology would allow for this rendering. The men who translated the KJ from the Greek were disciples of John Calvin, I am sure you have studied his theory of "Determinism."

Paul in Romans 8 is speaking of "unity" in the "spirit" or "attitude." You must take in the context when coming to a truthful conclusion of the word "Spirit." I am reading from the KJ; look at Romans 8:15. "For you have not received the spirit (note here the small "s") of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit. The KJ, translators have put in parenthesis [spirit]of adoption, wherby we cry , Abba Father."
Now, Jimmy, just which is the correct rendering, Spirit or spirit? If your theology leads you in the direction of a Determinist you will be in agreement with "Spirit." I oppose Calvinism and believe Paul was referring to "spirit of unity."

I find many of the early reformers and those of the Restoration Movement (and found in our churches today) had difficulty with the Greek word "pneuma." This, is created by the Calvin-Augustinian bias of modern translations.
a. The error interpretation by capitalizion (pneuma)
b. There are 264 appearances of "spirit" in the New
Possible renderings:
(1) the Holy Spirit of God: Matthew 28:19.
(2) the attitude of God: Romans 8:14.
(3) a holy spirit or a spirit of holiness: 1 Tess. 1:15
(4) spirituality (vs. worldliness): Gal. 5:16.
(5) the human spirit: Eph. 5:18 (Col. 3:16,17).

The Holy Spirit is often presented in Scripture in terms of "ministry" or "function."
1. John 14:17
2. John 15:26
3. 1 Peter 1:11
4. Titus 3:5, i.e., the intent of the Spirit of God to move
us toward holiness. Also read Romans 1:4.
5. Galatians 4:6.

Jimmy, we must carefully distinguish between "indwelling" and "incarnation." We must understand our relationship to the Holy Spirit in harmony with clear principles governing the God-man relationship.

a. Freedom of the will.
b. Moral vs. miraculous conversion.
c. Human ability and responsibility (spirit).

I am not going to judge a man who has been "baptized into Christ for the remission of sins:" for this man has "put on Christ." Therefore, he is an heir of Abraham's seed according to the promise" (Gal.3:27-29).
I would remind you, this "promise" is the bed rock of the mind of God. "That the blessings might come to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal. 3:14).

I am not going to allow a law bound "preacher," or a pious "scholar" to take this from my mind if you get my drift? I am standing on the "promise" of God my Savior. Thank God, "there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (attitude, or unity), has made me free from the law of sin and death." The Bible tells me that I am a "new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Brother, that's "Good News" shouted it from the roof top!
Because He lives!
Johnny Reb.

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Jimmy Wren
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Re: Equally Called To Ser

April 16 2005, 2:59 PM 

John let's just clear the air so all of our readers will understand what we are discussing. Readers may wish to offer their comments.

What you are teaching is "once saved, always saved". Right?

In Christian Love,


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John Rebman
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Re: Equally Called To Ser

April 17 2005, 9:24 AM 

Jimmy, How can anyone who is teaching on a web page as you, say that I believe in "faith only," or "once saved always saved" from what I wrote above?

Note that I wrote: Freedom of the will; Conversion from moral, not miraculous experience; Human ability and responsibility is not taught by John Calvin in his "Institute of the Christian Religion."

Sorry, I thought you were more advanced in theology then that. You, no doubt think Augustine and Calvin are piano players at the Grand Old
I will leave it at that....the air has been cleared, go back to www jimmy.
Because He Lives!

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