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May 8 2005 at 2:42 AM
ConcernedMembers  (no login)
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February 2001

Most Madison Church of Christ members were oblivious to this article, “More Holyroller Influence at Madison” in the February "Plumbline Newsletter" which quotes the "Madison Marcher.”
    The third worship service at Madison is to be held at the same time as the 10:30 a.m. worship. The "atmosphere will be more conducive to non-Christians. Many “unchurched” people are intimidated by a more formal atmosphere...." The worship affair will be an effort " make it easier for people with no church background to feel comfortable.... More time will be given to singing and communion... The sermons will not be as long as what we are used to. There is no question that God is working among our church family. He recognized our suppressed capacity to love…. Attendance for this first Sunday was 538 souls." Jim Hinkle said, "We will not be still, we will not be quiet."

February 2001

The elders announced that a "Third Contemporary" service that they had previously formed was going to be melted into the 10:00 a.m. or second service.
    This announcement established a "contemporary service" at 10:00 AM and the 8:00 AM service remained unchanged. While making this announcement, Elder Buck Dozier said the Fire Marshal’s office had said there were too many people in the third service for the size of the auditorium. Since Buck is the past Fire Chief, one has to wonder if this was just a staged excuse to proceed with what was already planned.

February 25, 2001

Tom Haddon is instructing his "Homebuilders" class on how to transition the church members over to the ways of the Saddleback Community Church and that of "Holy Entertainment." He talks about the well laid plans that only a few know about. See the transcript of February 25th class.

March 2001

Praise teams, hand clapping, and raised hands during prayer have been introduced at the second service. Children’s Sunday school has been changed from Bible-based to more entertainment and singing. Young women teaching Sunday school to baptized young men.

April 13, 2001

The elders respond to a NewsChannel5 report about growing controversy at the Madison Church of Christ. They send out a LETTER to 683 Churches of Christ in the Channel 5 viewing area.
    "The controversy seems to be over-reaction to change. The main things we have done in the 10:30 service are introduce more upbeat praise songs, give less time to the sermon, and give greater emphasis to the Lord's Supper. This embraces a more contemporary format, of course, but we don't feel that it departs from scriptural worship."

    See ConcernedMembers’ Letter to the Elders of 683 Churches of Christ.

April 22, 2001

In this meeting on April 22, 2001 the deacons ask the elders, “What is going on?” On May 02,2001 the Elders reply in a letter. Here Are the Questions and the Elders’ Answers

May 2001

Concerned members receive a copy of a rough draft of a "Covenant of Membership" that was supposedly written by Elder Buck Dozier. Mr. Dozier admitted "playing" around with one when contacted.
    The concern about a "Covenant of Membership" is that it's one of the hallmark signs of a "Community Church" like Saddleback. They are generally written in such a way to assure that the membership can't take over the "community church" like they took over your church.

July 2001

According to THIS ARTICLE in the Tennessean, the elders bring in a mediator (Larry Sullivan) to help with the split within the church. We understand that Buck Dozier met Mr. Sullivan while attending a "seminar." Meetings are set up for the elders—we understand they had to swear to secrecy. Meetings are set up for the members to discuss their objections to the split contemporary and traditional services.

It's later shown by the ConcernedMembers that LARRY SULLIVAN is not an unbiased mediator. He has direct ties to the Saddleback organization. He is trained in using the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC techniques to compromise a groups consensus in whatever direction is predetermined.

Mid-August, 2001

By this time many members have left the Church. The unpaid volunteer minister on this particular Sunday abruptly left before giving his sermon at the second service. He was allowed only the last 6 minutes of worship time by the “worship leader.” Sometime during this period, Buck Dozier appeared in Bill Ruhl's adult class to take over. Bill Ruhl's absence was unexplained to the class.

August 29, 2001

Concerned members send out 2500 ballots and a LETTER asking for church members to indicate on the ballot the type of church service format they wanted. All ballots were to be received by September 20, 2001. Threatening phone calls are received by the contractor hired by ConcernedMembers to do the mailing (August 30, 2001). Other notes not full of brotherly love are received by mail. Ballots from ConcernedMembers mailing are tabulated, and totals posted along with a FINAL REPORT (September 15, 2001)

September 23, 2001

The members have been waiting on an announcement from the elders regarding the future format of services at the Madison Church of Christ. Today (09-23-01) that announcement was made.
    EVERYTHING WILL REMAIN AS IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 30, 2001 (Sunday)

Larry Sullivan was Guest Speaker! (The Unbiased Mediator)

October 11, 2001 (Thursday)

Deacons had a special meeting with an attendance of over 100 concerned members and deacons. Petitions were given out to collect signatures—to dismiss “the elders that have split the Madison Church of Christ.” Petitions are due to be turned in by Wednesday the 17th.

October 14, 2001 (Sunday)

Frank Scott delivered his first in a series of talking head animated and canned sermons. Sometime during this period, two elders resigned—J.D. Elliott and Bobby McElhiney.

October 17, 2001 (Wednesday)

A member reported that Wednesday night when she inquired at the help desk as to where she should turn in her petitions, she was told by the lady: "Over there with the trouble makers … they are the mafia." Sometime during this period two more elders talked about resigning! No confirmation of that as of today.

October 21, 2001 (Sunday)

Sermon—Second in a three-part series of Frank Scott being a talking head for a canned and animated sermon on joy and entertainment. The words "corporate worship" and joy and entertainment were used extensively. Interesting!

Deacons—The deacons, headed by Ben Jones, nicely and in a very godly way asked the leaders to step down and let the church elect new leadership. (Complete transcript is available.)

October 24, 2001 (Wednesday)

”Elders and Deacons” meeting tonight! We understand that the 7 or 8 elders that have caused a split at Madison Church of Christ have been formally asked to step down or be disfellowshipped.

October 25, 2001 (Thursday)

”Saddleback Planters” meeting tonight! Talked about rebuking Ben Jones Sunday!
    To rebuke is to criticize or reprove sharply; to reprimand.
    To reprove is to criticize for a fault or misdeed; to scold.
    To rebuke or reprove Ben Jones, then, Ben Jones must have done a misdeed.
    To define that misdeed, those who will rebuke him must find applicable scriptures.
What Ben did was to give each and every Madison Church of Christ member an opportunity to ask for forgiveness or repentance for causing division or for allowing division to occur.

October 26, 2001 (Friday)
    Flash message coming in the next 72 hours from the ConcernedMembers!
October 28, 2001 (Sunday)

T H E...M A D I S O N...C H U R C H...O F...C H R I S T...H A S...B E E N...H I J A C K E D ! !

Today, according to an announcement made by everyone's favorite elder, Russ Kersten, the church has been hijacked by all the concerned members, deacons and I guess that includes the 5 elders that have been holding out against them. … Is “hijack” a chargeable offense in the church?

October 29, 2001 (Monday)

We received a copy of a letter sent to the deacons. And we felt compelled to reply. ConcernedMembers announced future plans (10/30/01). The server for this web page has recorded 22,645 page views since its creation 8 weeks ago (11/1/01).

November 2, 2001

Transcript of Homebuilders Sunday School class—a recording of Tom Haddon on how to transition the congregation to Saddleback and Holy Entertainment in Homebuilders Class (available under Interviews & Transcripts).

November 4, 2001

J.R. Compton and wife, members at Madison Church of Christ for 58 years, came before congregation to ask for forgiveness and ask to have their names removed as members.

November 7, 2001

Interview with Gary McDade of the Getwell Church of Christ in Memphis, TN. Discussion concerning the takeover of churches by the "Community Church" movement and the embracement of this movement by many of the Christian colleges.

November 9, 2001

Two different sources say Bruce White has been hired as a new minister.

November 20, 2001

ConcernedMembers retract a letter sent by the elders to 683 churches of Christ.

November 21, 2001

Email from J.E. Choate—“And also another personal evaluation is that Buck Dozier should be the first to leave the Madison eldership. His qualifications for the work is moot at best. His past shows that he is no stranger to igniting church fires with no solutions."

November 28, 2001
December 02, 2001

Bruce White appears to have been warmly welcomed as new minister at the Madison Church of Christ. First sermon was about the degrees of love. It appears that the “Praise Team” and their microphones have been turned off in the second service for the time being.

December 18, 2001

Fundraising letter sent out by the Church. Student ministry letter to former members (12/19/01).

January 20, 2002 (Sunday)

Rumor says there is a new group forming called "The PeaceMakers." Their training is probably coming from PEPPERDINE.

January 21, 2002 (Monday)

Letter sent by Donnie Cruz to the elders and other people about the crisis at Madison. The Christian Chronicle publishes article about Madison Church of Christ (01/21/02).

February 4, 2002 (Monday)

We understand that Buck has presented the members of “The Peacemakers" with a list of 192 reasons churches split. We wonder if pagan worship practices were on the list?

February 6, 2002 (Wednesday)

Big flare-up at church Wednesday night. We understand 4 or 5 of the good and godly elders have resigned, leaving the church under the control of the clapper and Saddleback crowd.

February 9, 2002 (Saturday)

After the resignation of two elders last year, Madison Church of Christ was left with 13 elders: Bill Bennett, Dale Bishop, John Broadway, Joe Corley, Buck Dozier, Chris Gingles, Howard Henderson, Tommy Hoppes, Russ Kersten, Charles Link, Ken Rice, Norman Slate, Ray Wilson. Five of these elders had been opposed to the "praise teams" and clapping which had permeated the second service since last February 2001. This was when Elder Buck Dozier first announced the decision to turn the new third service loose on the second service. The five elders that were opposed we believe were: Joe Corley, Bill Bennett, Dale Bishop, Norman Slate, and Charles Link.

It's understood Tom Haddon and about 200 of his followers threatened to leave sometime ago when the praise teams were stopped. It's understood that Chris Gingles encouraged them to stay and fight it out. Recently the Haddon followers put the push back on to bring back the praise teams, through the elders they control. It's understood that the elders had become rather hostile toward each other, and when this push came again, then 4 of the 5 elders resigned. Charles Link was out of town, and it is assumed he will resign when he returns.

Quote as told to Bobby M. Johnson by one of the elders: "... told me that there had been a recent meeting of the 10:30 AM crowd including Chris Gingles’ and Tom Haddon's followers and they said they would never leave. So that with the push to return to the praise teams and the microphones was the “last straw."

The 5 elders had already decided to resign if the “winds of change” didn't subside. So that's that! 3 of these elders also announced that they would probably be attending church at other locations sometime in the future. [No one here blames them, and we can only try to imagine the pain they have been put through. We are sure that like many of us they were unable to continue to worship in that building.]

    ConcernedMembers announce statewide newspaper advertising campaign

February 10, 2002 (Sunday)
    Sunday Services reviewed by Donnie Cruz [see earlier “Timeline”]
February 11, 2002 (Monday)

We at ConcernedMembers have been told that when the 4 elders resigned, that they were assured that their letter would be read to the congregation. Well, as you are probably aware ... not only did their letter not get read, there was also no mention of their resignation, other than a little blip in the Marcher. We have been promised a copy of this letter, and we intend to post it on the web as soon as we get it up.
    The Elders’ Resignation Letter Is Here [see earlier “Timeline”]
February 2-17, 2002
    Announcement by the Elders [see earlier “Timeline”]
March 1, 2002

The Trap Has Been Set at the Madison Church of Christ [see earlier “Timeline”]

In the February 20, 2002 Madison Marcher, statement made by the elders February 17, 2002:
    4. "We believe that there can be unity in diversity and will continue to employ two styles of worship services."
March 10, 2002 (Sunday)

Screen presentation of the elders [6 have already resigned] and their length of service helps Donnie Cruz to figure it out:

    (1) John Broadway ...... since 1998
    (2) Buck Dozier ........ since 1996
    (3) Chris Gingles ...... since 1998
    (4) Howard Henderson ... since 1999
    (5) Tommy Hoppes ....... since 1999
    (6) Russ Kersten ....... since 1992
    (7) Charles Link ....... since 1978
    (8) Ken Rice ........... since 1989
    (9) Ray Wilson ......... since 1992

    (Most of the Remaining Elders Are ... That Explains It! [see earlier “Timeline”])
March 24, 2002 (Sunday)

Charismatic Contemporary Style Continues: March 24, 2002 [see earlier “Timeline”]
    I don’t believe it is all right to be singing “It’s All Right” when the church is not united in spirit because of what this worship facilitation program has done to begin with. It is NOT ALL RIGHT when the body of Christ is suffering….
March 31, 2002


    Notes from the “Madison Marcher” (Wednesday, March 27, 2002):

    Bruce White: “We are going to have a great day next Sunday. It is Easter, and we [are] looking for a large crowd. I especially want to see the children in the colorful clothes.” Of the “Great Day in May” (May 5): “… will have a big lunch under the tent at 12:00. One of our choruses will entertain at 1:30.”
May 19-26, 2002; June 2, 2002

    Changes Continue At Madison [see earlier Timeline]

    (1) the present deacons will be interviewed by the elders and new deacons will be named; (2) there will be additional elders to be selected; (3), the "love feast" -- and it's only "fitting" -- is to follow the Lord's Supper; (4) Canaan's Land is moving; (5) the "praise team" will be reinstated in the early part of July.
June 23, 2002 (Sunday)

August 1, 2002

    Is There a Tithing Pledge in Madison's Future? Donnie Cruz reports, there could be!
September 1, 2002 (Sunday)

    Small Groups, Living Stones, or Prayer Circles?
October 27, 2002

    TITHING NT Christians for Services of the OT Levitical Priests

    We are continuing to monitor the progress of the tithing campaign at Madison as taught by Dr. White, based on the tithing manual (“Take God at His Word”) written by Dr. Kregg Hood. Is the truth about tithing (equals 10%) continuing to be perverted as a CARRY-OVER and as a PERPETUAL command from the Old Testament for New Testament Christians? Since Dr. White proclaimed his message in August 2002 that we TITHE to TEST God and to let Him give the increase, we will be referring to the following amounts collected as being “TITHED”:

    Church Budget ----------------- 47,143 (2001) ---- 38,000 (2002)
    Children’s Home ---------------- 5,400 (2001) ----- 4,021 (2002)
    Amazing Grace/CPI -------------- 3,000 (2001) ----- 1,539 (2002)
    TOTAL BUDGET---- -------------- 55,543 (2001) ---- 43,560 (2002)
    ------------- (Sermons on “TITHING” in August 2002) ------------

November 7, 2002

    Transcription of Bruce White's Sermon on Tithing [see earlier Timeline]

    Would you be willing to sign a Tithing Pledge?
    Would you be willing to sign a Church Oath or Covenant?

January 5, 2003 (Sunday)

DRAMA MINISTRY KICKOFF JANUARY 19 (by Kelley Hughes, Madison Marcher)

    Drama is nothing new at Madison Church of Christ. From the Summer Spectaculars to Canaan’s Land … we have a long and great tradition of using drama to touch the lives of our members and visitors…. So Jesus himself used A TYPE OF THEATRE to help get his point across…. You may know of someone who is “UNCHURCHED” … The Drama Ministry kickoff meeting will be on January 19 at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
April 13, 2003 (Sunday)

EASTER SUNDAY IN “CANAAN’S LAND” (Madison Marcher: April 9, 2003)

    Easter Sunday is very special to all of us. For the last ten years in Canaan’s Land, we’ve used our time together on that Sunday to reenact the last week in the life of Jesus…. Responsibilities will range from … to dressing kids to assisting at the various story “sets” (e.g., HELPING SERVE CHILDREN BREAD AND GRAPE JUICE DURING THE LAST SUPPER [emphasis, d.c.]). All of us will celebrate Communion together as we reenact the LORD sharing it with His apostles and telling them its meaning.
(On May 19, 2003, Chris: “I received a copy of the CD that has the worship service from "Easter" on it. It was given to me by a member of the production crew there. … Was there any preaching? Or just reading?” Jeremy responded: “I do agree with what has been said about the Easter service. It definitely was a show. And most of the people I've talked to about that service say the same thing….”

May 12, 2003 (Monday)

Madison Church of Christ, Incorporated: ONE YEAR LATER

    Annual Membership Meeting (Madison Marcher, Vol. 52, No. 19, May 7, 2003):

    Because Madison Church of Christ is now incorporated, we are required to have an annual membership meeting. This meeting will be on Wednesday, June 4, 2003, at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.
June 4, 2003

Madison Marcher (6/4/03) announces: “Broadway Resigns From Eldership.” Ken Rice, May Chairman of the Eldership, said, “It is with great regret that we have received the resignation of John Broadway. Here is his statement:”
    After much prayer and deliberation over the past several weeks, I have decided to submit my resignation from the eldership of the Madison Church of Christ….
June 19, 2003

A comparative analysis of statistics from the 2003 publication of “Churches of Christ in the United States,” compiled by Mac Lynn. The counts, based on the reported numbers in 2002, consist of: (1) membership [assumedly “baptized” believers], (2) average worship attendance, (3) adherents [including children?]. Please notice MCC’s staggering data.
    ---------------------------------------- Members/Attendance/Adherents
    Goodlettsville Church of Christ ---------- 490 ----- 685 ----- 770
    Hendersonville Church of Christ --------- 1557 ---- 1323 ---- 2105
    Woodmont Hills Church of Christ(*)------- 1660 ---- 2300 ---- 2500
    Madison Church of Christ ---------------- 3142 ---- 1786 ---- 4730
    Richland Hills Church of Christ, TX ----- 4450 ---- 3700 ---- 5240

    (*) Not listed as “Woodmont Hills Family of God” in the directory

July 23, 2003

Madison Marcher: “We are expanding the leadership of this great church.
    Terry Ashley,
    Mark Street,
    Phil Coats
are being added to the eldership today. We are so pleased to see this number grow and expect to be able to service more effectively with these men in place.”

August 6, 2003

Madison Marcher: “The Madison Church of Christ has always had a heart for children and will continue to respond to, assist, and nurture children. We have our camp, youth activities, classes, and other programs for children … Morning Star Sanctuary…. So, we need to support all of these activities through our Sunday School Contribution. The Childcare program … however, will be closed. The State of Tennessee Children’s Services has altered the approach to childcare….”

August 13, 2003

Madison Marcher: “The shepherds are planning a new vision for Madison. They will be listening for awhile and then formulating what the Spirit leads them to envision for this church. Your prayers are earnestly solicited.”

September 3, 2003
    Madison Marcher: “We want to encourage both 8:00 and 10:30 services. You will see the designation “traditional” and “contemporary” on our sign and in publication to inform the community of a choice. We hope that both times will see increase in attendance and involvement.” . . . “CALLING ALL SINGERS! The Worship and Music ministry is looking for additional singers. We are especially in need of male singers….” [also appeared in the next 2 weeks].
September 17, 2003
    Madison Marcher: “Check your Saturday newspaper and find our new advertisement! . . . ||EVERY SUNDAY||--||Traditional Worship 8:00 am||--||Sunday School 9:30 am||--||Contemporary Worship 10:30 am||--||Evening Worship 6:00 pm|| . . . ||Pulpit Minister, Dr. C. Bruce White||--||Worship Minister, Keith Lancaster||”
September 28, 2003

The message on this Sunday was “Worthy of Double Honor.” It had been announced: “We are planning a very special day on September 28. We will be honoring our shepherds that day.” Former elders (J.D. Elliott, Bobby McElhiney, Charles Link, etc., with their wives) were honored first; current elders, with their wives, were also honored.

October 8, 2003
    Madison Marcher: “Please pray for our shepherds. These men are going through some very trying meetings right now. The future of this congregation is weighing heavy on their hearts as they seek the Spirit’s guidance. They need your support and encouragement.”
December 15, 2003
    A special e-mail has been received: “… I am troubled by the innovations, because they seem mostly to lean toward entertainment and behavior that I grew up associating with Pentecostal orgiastic ‘worship services.’ I quit going to Tulsa due to this. ...”
December 17, 2003
    Madison Marcher: “Keith Lancaster will be taking a sabbatical from Madison for the next several months to spend more time with Acappella. We wish him well and look forward to his return!”
February 4, 2004

    Shepherds’ Vision 2004: The shepherds have spent the last several months focusing on prayer and preparation of a course for the church family at Madison. … We will maintain a traditional worship style in our 8:00 service on Sunday morning and a contemporary style of worship at 10:30. We are interested in accommodating a worship style which connects the worshipper with the Creator … The elders have implemented a functional change in their roles as shepherds. An Elders Administrative Committee composed of … and Buck Dozier, in conjunction with the Business Manager, will handle day-to-day administrative details. The remaining elders will give their “attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” The goal of the elders is to “smell like sheep.” … The Deacons Administrative Committee….

    We will be searching for a pulpit minister, as Dr. White enters partial retirement. He will continue to work on staff in other ministries. We look for a long relationship with him and Judy.

    We will be looking for anew youth minister to lead our program of developing our young people into leaders for tomorrow.
February 18, 2004

“A Little Flavor of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church-ism”—the following was advertised in the Madison Marcher:
    27th Ladies Renewal (April 16th-17th, 2004) in Cadiz, KY—

    Come share the Love of Our Lord and your sisters in Christ.
    ”The Purpose Driven Life”
    We will use the book by Rick Warren as we study God’s Word
March 10, 2004
    Interactive EASTER drama worship—Dr. White announces change in schedule: The drama presentation on “Easter Sunday” will no longer be an event in the “traditional” worship—it will be performed only during the “contemporary” worship.
March 23, 2004
  • Announcement on the Church Sign: WORSHIP WITH US EASTER APRIL 11, 8 & 10:30 A.M. … EASTER PASSION WORSHIP DRAMA AT 10:30 A.M.

  • Easter Worship Drama (Madison Marcher, March 17, 2004). “ . . . Easter Sunday [emphasis here and elsewhere, dc] is always a special time at Madison—but this year, April 11th is going to be unlike any worship experience we’ve ever shared together. During our 10:30 service [wonder why not at 8:00 am, dc], the story of Christ’s last hours—culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection—will be presented in the form of an interactive worship drama.

    Everyone is encouraged to attend this special time of worship

April 5, 2004
  • FRONT PAGE re “EASTER SUNDAY PASSION DRAMA”: (MADISON MARCHER, March 31, 2004). “ . . . Experience much of the excitement next week as our Easter Sunday Passion Drama plays out at the 10:30 service [wonder why not at 8:00 am, dc] . . . We’ll join Jesus and His apostles in the upper room where we, as a congregation, will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. … This promises to be a very moving, powerful retelling of the Easter Story….”

    Calendar: April 11 (Sunday—Easter) … Easter Worship Drama … 10:30 a.m.— ”The story of Christ’s last hours culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection will be presented in the form of an interactive worship drama.

April 12, 2004

Jim Morris, who began serving as an elder at the same time with Pat Burch and Marty Rothschild in September, 2002, made the following announcement in the Madison Marcher (Vol. 53, No. 13, April 7, 2004), “Statement to Madison Church:” This is not the time for me to serve this body as an elder.

The Preacher Potpourri column in the Madison Marcher has announced the following (4.21.04): “We are adding more elders. We want you to submit names to help in the process. Think through your selections, write his name or names on a piece of paper, and share it with one of our shepherds.”

June 9, 2004
    Russ Kersten retires from eldership (Madison Marcher reports).
June 16, 2004
    Ray Wilson retires from eldership (Madison Marcher reports).

    There were 15 elders at the end of September 2001—10 of whom have resigned since. Is this report . . . troubling?

    J.D. Elliott ----------- resigned 10/2001
    Bobby McElhiney -------- resigned 10/2001
    Joe Corley ------------- resigned 02/2002
    Bill Bennett ----------- resigned 02/2002
    Dale Bishop ------------ resigned 02/2002
    Norman Slate ----------- resigned 02/2002
    Charles Link ----------- resigned 06/2002 (… served since 1978)
    John Broadway ---------- resigned 06/2003 (… served since 1998)
    Ray Wilson ------------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since 1992)
    Russ Kersten ----------- resigned 06/2004 (… served since 1992)

    Ken Rice --------------- has served since ---1989
    Buck Dozier ------------ has served since ---1996
    Chris Gingles ---------- has served since ---1998
    Howard Henderson ------- has served since ---1999
    Tommy Hoppes ----------- has served since ---1999

    Jim Morris ------------- resigned 04/2004 (… served since 09/2002)
    Pat Burch -------------- has served since 09/2002
    Marty Rothschild ------- has served since 09/2002
    Terry Ashley ----------- has served since 07/2003
    Phil Coats ------------- has served since 07/2003
    Mark Street ------------ has served since 07/2003

July 7, 2004

    “From the Madison Search Committee” (Madison Marcher)

    “Several months ago … two groups appointed by the elders began praying and working toward the goals of hiring new pulpit and youth ministers. [Both committees included an elder liaison, other men as well as women in each.] … Pray that God … will make His will obvious, and that He will bless Tory’s efforts as he seeks out new opportunities [really?]. …

    “As announced, our new pulpit minister (once hired) will enjoy a period of transition with Bruce and be fully in place by the end of the year. Our new youth minister will join our existing ministry team and assume Tory’s responsibilities—also by year end.” [cf. thread on Tory Tredway]

July 14, 2004

    Madison Marcher’s special report that “Keith Lancaster returns from sabbatical

    “The Madison family would like to welcome back Keith Lancaster as worship leader. Keith has been on sabbatical, producing two new albums for The Acappella Company. … In addition to working on the new albums, Keith attended the Pepperdine Lectureship in California and led worship at events in Texas…. ‘It is so great to be back with everyone at Madison,’ Keith said. ‘I really missed leading worship here.’

    “Keith will teach a number of new songs in the upcoming weeks, primarily in Homebuilders class on Sunday mornings and Prayer & Praise class on Wednesday nights.

    “Madison is very fortunate to have men who are able to lead worship and not just lead songs. …Lipscomb University now offers a worship ministry major, showing the growth of this trend among Churches of Christ

August 11, 2004

    In “Devoted: Come to the Table” (Madison Marcher, August 11, 2004), it is explained that the “last quarter of 2004 will be devoted to communion and table fellowship” … “each family is encouraged to purchase a copy of Come to the Table, by John Mark Hicks….”

    In “Come to the Table” (by Dawn Ferguson) …

      Beginning September 26, Haddon will be sharing the premises behind Hicks’ book with his class as other teachers are also doing throughout the church. To help with the “revisioning” of the Lord’s Supper, … “Janelle is painting two images for the class that will be before us the entire six weeks we’ll be discussing communion,” said Haddon. “One will be the table. The other will be the altar. She’ll be depicting the things we think of when we think of altar – sacrifice, blood, etc. For the table, she’ll be painting Adam and Eve in the garden in the presence of God – before sin separated them from God.”

      Haddon has asked Wells to paint during each class. “Kathy and I are still discussing and praying about what that painting will be,” said Haddon. “Hopefully, it will bring about the overall sense of hope and joy that Hicks believes is symbolized by the table of fellowship.” “… The living host is present at the table eating and drinking with his disciples. … The table on that first Easter, on that first Sunday, was a table of joy and celebration. There was no solemnity, sadness or burdened hearts.” ( Come to the Table, pg. 87)

    [“Come to the Table” (“Revisioning” the Lord’s Supper) authored by John Mark Hicks is taught at Madison.]

August 18, 2004

    “Madison Has Two New Elders” (Madison Marcher). See the June 16, 2004 list, plus:

    John Hagan ------------- appointed August 2004
    Jim Wilson ------------- appointed August 2004

October 6, 2004

    In “Phil Barnes/Pulpit MinisterFrom the Elders (Madison Marcher):

    “Before his start date of November 1 [2004] , we would like to share some of our thoughts regarding Phil [Barnes]. … Phil Barnes is that man. We believe he is a God-lead choice whose strengths closely match the needs of Madison….”

October 27, 2004

    In “Madison’s newest praise team joins active ministry” (Madison Marcher):

    “The praise teams at Madison have been blessed … the Gold Team emerges as Madison’s newest praise team….”

November 17, 2004

    The Madison Marcher declares “White Sock Sunday (a.k.a. ‘Sock It Away Campaign’) Success.” In addition to the “regular” contribution, the financial campaign contribution toward “Debt Retirement” was $304,664.67….

December 1, 2004

    This month was highlighted by “Your Holiday Events” (Madison Marcher, 11.24.2004) with activities as: “Christmas of Hope” (12/2) benefiting the Morning Star Sanctuary; “Breakfast with Santa” (12/4, Sat.) in the Church Mall [$4 for adults, $2 for ages 3-11]; “A S’mores Christmas Party (12/4, Sat.)—“Parents Night Out—Kids Night of Fun”; “Singles’ Christmas Party” (12/2, Sat., 7-9 p.m., $15 per person at…)—‘Bring a wrapped Christmas ornament to play {Dirty Santa}’; “CHRISTMAS SINGING” (12/19, Sunday at 6 p.m., Bixler Chapel)—‘Start your holiday week with this inspiring service

    The new pulpit minister, Phil Barnes, addresses his affinity for Christmas: “‘Merry Christmas’ has been replaced with ‘Happy Holidays.’ … It’s so easy to walk right past the manger with our arms full of gifts, isn’t it? … But … the one God sent to all of us wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger … Jesus Christ is Born!” [on December 25]

    “What Is The Drama Ministry (cf. Madison Marcher, 12.1.2004). “The goal of the drama ministry is to give glory to God through the use of drama declaring, illustrating and clarifying Biblical truth [emph., d.c.]…” using I Corinthians 9:22 [becoming “all things to all men”]; I Peter 4:10-11 [“whatever gift”]; Eph. 6:19-20 [“make known the mystery of the gospel”].

    Sounds like misuse of the scriptures. The other “minister(s)” would have been closer to the truth had they quoted one of their own chief ministering change agents:

      “Drama works because we KNOW that it ISN'T TRUE. IF the word entertainment does mean to DIVERT one’s attention, to cause to be pleasurable, to cause to be interesting, then that is what we're here to do

January 16, 2005

    Beginning this Sunday and the following, Phil Barnes, as a strong advocate of the Community Church/Change Movement, delivers sermons such as: “Is This All There Is to It?”; “Shattering the Shackles”; “Remove the Chains”; etc. These are favorite agenda among change movers. See “Timeline, Part VIII” for details.

January 26, 2005

    Beginning this issue of the Madison Marcher, Keith Lancaster, the Musical Worship Leader, writes a series of articles on musical worship: (1) “Worship: It’s All About You, God!” [Notice how he “personally” addresses our heavenly Father—a semblance of “Hey, Man!”]; (2) “Worship: Our Great Heritage of Singing” [What heritage?]; (3) “Worship: God-Centered Singing” [What about Worship-Leader-Praise-Team-Centered Holy Entertainment at the Worship Center?]. See “Timeline, Part VIII” for details.

February 16, 2005

    The “INTERACTIVE EASTER WORSHIP DRAMA” all over again!!! “This year on Saturday, March 26th at 7 p.m. and again on Easter Sunday during our 10:30 a.m. worship service, we will be celebrating the Easter Story together in an interactive worship drama … attend these special times of worship … when we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper … no … Canaan’s Land … during the Easter Morning worship service.” [This was brought up in “Timeline, Part VIII” for discussion … but unfortunately diverted into other irrelevant topics.]

March 17, 2005

    A review of an article, “Phil Barnes/Pulpit Minister,” in the Madison Marcher (Vol. 53, No. 39, Oct. 6, 2004) reveals the obvious path that the church leaders are treading. “The elders composed a list of 15 … matching … characteristics necessary [for] … that man … to carry Madison forward….” What qualifications? “… Sensitive to traditional/contemporary services … Relevant to today’s environment … Team oriented—gets along well with others … People person … Motivator/promoter [of change, d.c.]….” One very keen observer noted the list as being “Bible-starved

March 27, 2005

    The contemporary assembly at 10:30 a.m. was entertained with the performance of the “Interactive Easter Worship Drama,” but the 8:00 a.m. assembly was “deprived” of the Easter festival [thank you!!!] Note that some of the elders actually participated in the “Worship Drama.” Was “worship” interactive? There was virtually no congregational participation. All the intervening music during the drama was performed by the “worship leader” [in a “priestly” white robe] and his minstrels. However, the audience participated in the long applause at the conclusion of the worship drama.

April 10, 2005

    There was the “combined worship service” at 10:00 on this “Madison Family Day.” The “worship leader,” and his Praise Team and handclappers were in their best behavior. The atmosphere was reverential; the Praise Team members had to hide their microphones; the other cheerleaders proved that the clapping hands have no vocal cords. Congregational singing was evident on this day.

    Well, unfortunately, all of that was only transient. On the Sunday following, of course, the “charismatic” behavior of some and the concert-like environment did quickly return. (Please read the article in Part IX titled “The Sunday I Was at the ‘Christian’ Rock Concert.”)


Quoting Phil Sanders:
    “Entertainment settings should not be regarded as periods of worship. … There is no harm in clapping with appreciation for the entertainer, but clapping in worship seems to take the focus off of God and put it on the performer. To be caught up in the skill of a performer and to lose sight of God dilutes and cheapens worship. The rock star status accorded to some entertainers has little place next to the cross. In worship the focus must be on praising God, not the skills of men. Worship put on for show is clearly condemned in Scripture (Matt. 6:1-18; 23:5-12). … The recent blurrings of these distinctions [between entertainment and worship], coupled with the exposure to so many denominational worship services on television, services which feature professional performers, has created the confusion.”


NOTE: Prior posts to this thread have been archived here. This is done to keep the loading time down and to ensure that all messages in the thread can be viewed. Thanks.

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Donnie Cruz
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Madison’s “Worship” Attendance through April, 2005

May 9 2005, 12:35 AM 

QUOTED FROM AN E-MAIL: [[[[[… I am troubled by the innovations, because they seem mostly to lean toward entertainment and behavior that I grew up associating with Pentecostal orgiastic "worship services." I quit going to Tulsa due to this. ... ]]]]]

    Combined 8:00AM and Contemporary (10:30AM) Attendance
    (recent statistics taken from the Marcher)
    NOTE: All figures below include 300+ from the EXT dept.[?]
    *@ .. Sunday School Drive on October 19, 2003
    *$ .. “The Passion…” Movie Drive in February-March, 2004
    @* .. Interactive Worship Drama (“Easter Sunday”)
    @@ .. Baby Day Celebration
    X* .. Great Day in May
    &$ .. Memorial Day Service
    %* .. Madison Family Day (Combined Assembly at 10:00)
    (TR). Transition: White out; Barnes in
    2001 __________ [NOTE: 2002 census shows MCC with—
    _______________ 3142 members;
    _______________ 1786 in worship attendance;
    _______________ 4730 adherents
    2001 JANUARY 3000+ [?]______________________
    2001 APR ______ ________2525____________2303
    2001 MAY ______ 2498____2675____2403____2348
    2001 JUN ______ 2355____2558____2543____2371
    2001 JUL ______ 2531____2508____2428____2306____2386
    2001 AUG ______ 2177____2375____2297____2161
    2001 SEP ______ 2163____2335____2577____2096
    2001 DEC ______ 2148____2008____2039____2134____1985
    2002 __________ [no stats available_____1786 reported avg.]
    2003 JUL ______ 1483____[7/20]
    2003 AUG ______ 1702____1759____1726____1742____1732
    2003 SEP ______ 1782____1722____1629____1498
    2003 OCT ______ 1681__________*@2028____1643
    2003 NOV ______ 1708____1664____1526____1637____1596
    2003 DEC ______ 1554____1534____________1557
    2004 JAN ______ 1725____1712____1640____1715
    2004 FEB ______ 1746____1606____1608____1647____1816*$
    2004 MAR ______ 1819____1718____1738____1698
    2004 APR ______ 1630____2697@*__1628____1733
    2004 MAY ______ 1639@@__1748____1605____1713X*__1686&$
    2004 JUN ______ 1648____1629____1660____1781
    2004 JUL ______ 1691____1633____1797____1639
    2004 AUG ______ 1678____1637____1773____1851____1771
    2004 SEP ______ 1640____1728____1715____1661
    2004 OCT (TR)__ 1687____1660____1630____1660____1617
    2004 NOV (TR)__ 1695____1663____1833____1796
    2004 DEC (TR)__ 1816____1761____________1491
    ____ Membership Records for 2004 (Madison Marcher, 01.10.05)
    _______________ 1633 Family Units
    _______________ 3629 Attenders
    2005 JAN ______ 1699____1845____1819____1628____1823
    2005 FEB ______ 1893____1844____1917____1953
    2005 MAR ______ 1903____1983____1731____2416@*
    2005 APR ______ 1736____1822%*__1750____1731@@


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Ken Sublett
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May 9 2005, 3:22 PM 

Do they still count 325 from the Jail?


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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Jail

May 10 2005, 1:35 AM 

The jail count is not 325. It is 313. But it's close enough. LOL!!! My mistake, nonetheless, for not taking that into account. I believe you're correct. The weekly total includes 313 ... a constant value. The more appropriate reference to it is the Extension Dept.

Just in case the info is incorrect, please respond to this message. We'll make the correction.


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(no login)

Re: Jail

May 11 2005, 11:12 AM 

So Donnie
What's the scoop from the rafters? As I am assuming you are still scoping out the flaws according to what you believe from way up top. I haven't been to Madison since the fall, 2004 but still visit because it is home to me and has great people who I am honored to call my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I hear there is a seminar going on this week. Have you been a part of that? JW, Charlie

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Ken Sublett
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May 11 2005, 11:57 AM 

Charlie, if you have any influence at Madison perhaps you could suggest a web designer who can post HTML to be read online or ACROBAT stuff which is not so long it plugs up the computer.

Could you tell us who is replacing Jesus this seminar?


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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Re: Jail

May 13 2005, 3:48 PM 

Is this Charlie … as in “Prince Charles”?

What specific flaws are you speaking of? And flaws by whom? As I have said before, I don’t deal with matters and issues that relate to specific individuals who are part of the body that generally responds to what leaders or those who assume leadership roles want the “followers” to do. In other words, all the activities going on—entertainment-related or otherwise—are the responsibility of the leaders or self-acclaimed leaders [… and it is not difficult to name a few of them].

Now, speaking of leaders … by his/her definition of what the role entails—which is supposedly “to lead the followers into God’s holy presence”—when the “worship leader” MISLEADS, then, he/she is responsible for it. The same is also true into what UNTRUTHS (compromised truths when seeking approval) the man/woman in the pulpit delivers.

BTW, Charlie, I am also honored to call many members at Madison as my brothers and sisters in the Lord. That’s why I still attend there. Regarding seminars, I lack interest in them. I can learn much on my own and at my own time.

When are you visiting Madison again?


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Jimmy Wren
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Love Feast

May 16 2005, 12:17 AM 

Contemporary Worship Choreography—Made for TV or the “Audience of One”?

Donnie, I have read this post. I have several questions if you have time to answer them. I will only ask one for the time being, I am still watching the Dallas Maverick's game.

What is a "love feast?"

In Christian Love,


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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Love Feast

May 17 2005, 1:41 AM 


Sorry about the delay of this response.

I’m somewhat tempted to say that “love feast” at Madison must be a unique event, since it appears that you, among many others as well, have not heard of it. Whatever it is, if practiced in other congregations, would be something commonly done … correct?

I’m not sure about the history of it. I began attending the second assembly at 10:00 [I think that was the time then] in 1986 or 1987. Of course, then, there was no division between “traditional” and “contemporary.” Both assemblies used exactly the same worship guide. Both assemblies were the same except for the schedule (at either 8:00 or 10:00) that the attendee preferred. There was no human-designated “Worship Leader” to charismatically bring the leader’s followers into “God’s holy presence.” There was no Praise Team to perform its music and to facilitate the congregational singing—the congregation very capably did it all on its own without the domineering Praise Team. The song starter, Nick Boone, did his simple task and allowed the congregation to sing “in one accord” without the musicians’ intervention. There were no cheerleaders and rhythmic hand clappers. The overall atmosphere as the saints gathered was reverential. OK … back to the “love feast” history. Personally, as a late bird, I preferred going to the 9:00 Bible study and the 10:00 assembly—which was “traditional” by the standards of today’s contemporaries. This means that the long-time, original 10:00 assembly was eventually hijacked … but not until the upheaval during 2001.

I believe that by the late 80’s when I began attending Madison, I would assume that the love feast had already been an ongoing event during the Ira North era, perhaps even earlier. Even through the 90’s, I really didn’t think any more of it than just a way that members were greeting and shaking hands with each other … for up to about a couple of minutes. The only oddity I felt was that, unlike Madison, many congregations would get this event out of the way either before the first or after the last song or prayer. But not at Madison—it was somewhere in the middle of the “worship” period.

It is still this way in this 21st century. Just imagine all the noise from that many members talking to each other that would last for a good two-minute period … like a bunch of giant bees buzzing around loud speakers. But that’s OK within itself. Can you imagine if that were a two-minute saluting one another with a “holy kiss”?

The problem I have/had with the event is the time in the assembly during which it is “programmed” to occur. As you know, in the last few years, there has been an attempt among change agents to do something about the way “members of the body of Christ” [which includes all denominations, according to these agents of change] partake of the Communion, i.e., that the Lord’s Supper is more than just about the suffering and death of our Savior on the cross. To them it is supposed to include the celebration of “the resurrection” of Christ [and why not His ascension as well?]. To them it is inclusive of members of all religious faiths—they’re all members of the “body of Christ.” To them the communion or “fellowship” of all “these brethren” is equivalent in significance to the partaking of the bread and the cup. This is the part where I’m having trouble with—making the love feast a continuation or part of the Lord’s Supper by doing this practice IMMEDIATELY before or after the Lord’s Supper. Again, can you imagine all that salutatory noise you hear within seconds after partaking of the fruit of the vine? But I’ll give credit to the “worship committee”—it has made a “conscious effort” to program the “love feast” a few songs apart from the commemorating the Lord’s crucifixion. It may be temporary, but it’s an improvement.

Now, Jimmy, let me caution that the above is my version of the “love feast” at Madison. Perhaps, you may suggest that it be done before or after the assembly period. It is really a distraction to actually set aside a two-minute period somewhere in the middle of the “worship” period for members to stand up and do this noisy activity.

Thanks for asking a difficult question.


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Donnie Cruz
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A Special "M.C.C., Incorporated" Announcement

May 23 2005, 4:20 AM 

Taken from the "worship guide" dated May 15, 2005--is also in the Madison Marcher (May 18, 2005). Can someone help me research as to when churches in Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Ephesus, Galatia, Corinth, etc., were incorporated? Thanks!



We will have our annual corporation meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m. in the Main Auditorium. Buck Dozier will be conducting the meeting

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Jimmy Wren
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The early Christians held all things in common

May 23 2005, 9:43 AM 

Can't find any first or second century Churches incorporating. No individual would claim ownership of the Church!

Who claims ownership of Madison?

I copied this from:

Be smart with your business. Incorporate now!

Incorporating is one of the best ways a business owner can protect his or her personal assets.

Who owns the personal assets at Madison?

Don't tell me the members own it. If the members own it there would have been no reason to incorporate.

In Christian Love,


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Ken Sublett
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May 23 2005, 2:12 PM 

I have the notes from a Presbyterian church which switched saddles from the "ministers" to the widows and orphans.

The plan is explicit: unfortunately a watching eye caught "partners" right in the middle of the GREAT LEAP FORWARD with old Mousey Dung 5 year plan.

You expand facilities and get in a good financial position. You NEED to change the name and incorporate.

Then you LEAP into the Saddleback and ride away with the property. However, you have to incorporate and put YOUR brand on rear end hide

Just make sense--Old Chineze Proverb:

Big Chang partner with Hung Lo collect many silkworms.
Big Chang say "trust me Hung Lo and we have big worm ranch.
"Hung Lo invest widow's old age rice funds."
Big Chang say: "give widow's rice to buy silk worms--
...."when old widow have big time rice fund."
But, Big Chang have big Yen for Hung Lo's silk worms.
Big chang paint silkworms with own brand.
Hung Lo go to Prefecture Rustling Wormboys.
Big Juan Wang sing new song:

"no luk, no luk, yuk, yuk, yuk:
silkworms now Big Chang's.
can't steal them back
can't steal them back.
no luk, no luk, yuk, yuk, yuk."

Find proverb in old Moon Cake Li Chang promise is ancient Fortune Cookie. Li Chang say he also have ebay sale on "rice wine powered T.V. from Ming dynasty." Maybe update my old kerosene T.V.? Keep seeing old Marco Polo travel story,

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Donnie Cruz
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What “Bible” Classes Men and Women Teach at Madison

May 31 2005, 4:51 AM 

There is an interesting announcement in the Marcher concerning “New Adult Sunday School Classes Beginning in June.”

LifeBuilders is the new name for HomeBuilders. I wonder what Tom Haddon is now teaching … does anyone know? As you know, the Homebuilders class to this day has remained popular among the denominational world. Just do an online search. Some Haddonfield United Methodist Church has it. Visit the Shiloh Hills Baptist Church, it has this class. Union Avenue Christian Church … Crossroads Community Church … First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro … even certain copycat churches of Christ have this class—which targets couples with young children, young married couples, baby boomers. Perhaps, LifeBuilders is good for a change. Perhaps, someone can provide information as to what textbooks in psychology are used. We know that this group or partners teach this class: — Jason Patterson and Sam Perry — Terry & Susie Ashley — Rob Wells and Leanne Shelby — Frank Scott — Madison’s Praise Team. [This is not a misprint: yes, Madison’s Praise Team will be teaching this class. Go figure what this team will be teaching the “lifebuilders”—the backbone or future leaders of the church!]

Single Mothers Class—Kimberly Tucker and Sue Binkley will be teaching. Well, normally a class would specify which book in the Bible is being studied. The announcement does not say. So, what textbook will be used in this class?

Serving Singles—begins June 12th with John Hagan and Jim Wilson [elders] teaching. What is the textbook?

Of course, there are continuing classes from the previous term: “Seekers Class,” “Seeking-Serving-Sisters,” etc.

Here’s one for you, my friend Chuck Sonn. Remember when I became curious as to when Phil Barnes might give lessons on God’s Grace and Christian-Living-Made-Easy a break and start preaching on Christians being true servants of the Lord, as well as on Christian living demanding responsibility and sacrifice, producing and maintaining good works, running “the race with patience”?

Chuck, did you make that suggestion to Mr. Phil? At any rate, Phil did finally quote Hebrews 12:1-3. I’m sure the passage displayed on the screen was taken from the elder-approved and Madison’s official Bible version—the NIV. I would like to quote from the KJV:

    “[1] Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, [2] Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. [3] For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

I was somewhat disappointed at the outset that he misquoted Acts 2:38 by mentioning baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, rather than the “gift OF the Holy Spirit.” His main points were as follows: (1) being encouraged by the saints who were before us—citing Jacob, Moses, Rahab; (2) that struggling with disobedience makes us stronger; (3) that we always have a choice in the way we behave.

Phil failed to show me that God’s grace (His part) and man’s obedience and life of service and works of righteousness are not inimical to each other. Really, his message would have been more impacting had he elaborated on the biblical teaching that a Christian can fall from grace (Heb. 6:6; Gal. 5:4); … is to “take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:12); to take heed unto the doctrine (I Tim. 4:16); that his faith without works is dead (James 2); to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12); to be “faithful unto death” in order to “receive the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10; plus many, many more passages.

So, Musical Worship Leader Keith was not well enough but just watched Kevin perform his task?


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Jimmy Wren
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June 6 2005, 12:32 PM 

Ministry of the Church of Christ

“For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:35-40

Ministries of Madison as taken from their Web Site

Family Life --- Counseling --- Student --- Children
Domestic Violence Program --- Worship & Media Center --- Recreation ---Singles

In Christian Love,


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Donnie Cruz
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PERFORMANCE—the Other God of the Worship & Media Center

June 8 2005, 5:22 AM 

The title above would make a great topic or separate thread for discussion—to be pursued perhaps in the near future. The projector-screen dependency syndrome, with its great benefits (i.e., less the syndrome), has become a spiritual disorder of some sort. The simple use of the hymnbook has been viewed with derision and antiquity by those enamored with the Contemporary Christian Music Movement ideology and the other god it serves. Let’s keep that thought when we discuss Madison’s “worship and media center” ministry later on. But let’s take a quick peek at the “PRAISE TEAM & LEADER DEVELOPMENT” for which Kay Nickell is responsible:

  • Plan double praise team makeup, rehearsal schedules, music needs.

  • Plan and implement praise team events, including banquet, training workshops and fellowship events.

  • Orient new praise team members.

  • Plan training times for additional worship leaders.

  • Help facilitate teen praise team launch and children’s chorus.

What have I said about rehearsed worship including the programmed joy of rhythmic handclapping and the unintelligible human sound effects? Is there a “cool” teen praise team development in progress? I wouldn’t be surprised.

If you think performance is not the other god of the “worship ministry,” think again.


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“Shame on you that have accepted the changes without question.” (by PPB)

June 11 2005, 9:48 PM 

The following post is taken from ConcernedMembers’ Richland Hills Forum—Name of Thread: “Why don’t you spend all this effort on something else” (by Susan French)—

We would like to re-post PPB’s article that was submitted to the above forum on June 10 2005, 10:48 PM (since it mentions Madison and appropriately so):


    The saddest part about all of this change is that Satan is winning.

    I still cannot understand why grown, intelligent adults can't see what is happening. How they are now having no boundaries, no true beliefs, no one path, etc. They have accepted the false premise of Love, Love, Love.

    How can those of you who are for Madison and this type of indoctrination not get what is going on? Are you blind or are you scared to see what is so clearly in front of you? That the Church is being taken over by Satan in the name of the Lord should be apparent to anyone who really loves and believes in God. But instead, you condemn those who have the guts to shout out a warning.

    For shame on you that have accepted the changes without question. You that feel you have received God's love without much responsibility ... you that fail to read ALL of the Bible and only apply portions. You that have made Church a social occasion and not the somber, serious event it is supposed to be.

    Unfortunately, much of this change we should place on our own shoulders. We spent too much time being blameless and perfect Christians and not sharing both our sins and our sufferings with each other. Like the prior poster said, when one sins, stops the sin and asks for forgiveness—the sin is over. In God's eyes and ours! We became overly judgmental and had a "better than you" attitude that allowed this evil into our church. We must now take a stand and stop it. We pretend that our lives are perfect and that we never sin. But we do ... daily! Let's admit it and support each other. Let's help each other thru these times and hopefully, it will prevent others from going down the same path. Only one was perfect.

    To those of you who have fallen for the false teachings (and yes, the Bible CLEARLY is against Madison's teachings if you are willing to read ALL of it), I beg you to give up your hardened hearts and realize that being a Christian is about more than just loving the Lord and going around proclaiming your Christianity.

    To those of you at Madison, ask yourself why Jesus stated the following:

    • "The path is narrow and few there are that will find it."

    • "Not everyone who says 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven."

    I dare any of you to read the writings of the early Christians and how they felt about such changes. These are the same men who actually learned at the feet of Paul, Peter, John and the other Apostles. These are the elders of the Churches that Jesus discusses and did not find fault with—just some of the members. The change to the early Church began the same way as the changes are today. Satan seems to do things the same way as long as they work so easily for him.


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Nothing happening?

June 21 2005, 4:44 PM 

Donnie, you haven't updated in several weeks.

have you found another fellowship or has Madison returned to the old paths?

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Donnie Cruz
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“Things” are still happening … subtly.

June 23 2005, 5:56 AM 

Hello, John,

Has Madison returned to “the old paths”? Pardon me for parsing this very important question.

In Jeremiah 6, where it begins with “O ye children of Benjamin,” [it is ironic that] we find the following words and expressions: “shepherds with their flocks” … “be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee” [v.8] … “I give warning that they may hear” … “saying peace, peace, when there is no peace” … “the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it” [v.10] … etc.

    [15] Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. [16] Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. [17] Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. [18] Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. [19] Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. [20] To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.

John, we need to direct your question to the “shepherds of the flock” and the other leaders—the “worship” speaker (Phil Barnes), the “Worship Leader” (Keith Lancaster), the “Youth Ministers” (Shana Curtis and Keith Hall).

Sermons are all about relationships, feeling good about self, lessons in psychology and individual differences—and less or no more about admonitions, warnings, obedience to God’s direct commands, producing “works of righteousness” or “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” or “maintaining good works.” Great performance is the other god of the “Worship Leader” during the “worship service.”

Overall, charismatic [in today’s definition] feel-good “praise” music is the main objective in the assembly. The “Worship Leader” with his “Praise Team” has increasingly become the mediator between the congregation and God.

It’s constantly being brought up that the congregation is growing … growing … growing. Of course, numerical growth is the MAIN objective of the CGM (Church Growth Movement) or Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Church” cult. And I wouldn’t be surprised that by following Rick’s scheme, what is now the MCC, Inc. (church incorporation, BTW, is a significant step in the methodology), the congregation just might achieve that goal. For now, the stats data, according to what’s being reported weekly in the Marcher, reveals little or no significant increase in attendance since the upheaval in 2001. I believe the record keeping is accurate, but the impression given is inaccurate. The leadership’s perception is that—oh, yes, we see many, many new faces in attendance. Sadly, though, the perception is NOT there [really think about this … no pun intended] in regard to those missing. The true perception is this—new members are replacing those that are still leaving.

I haven’t posted the more detailed tasks of the “Worship Ministry.” I may have briefly mentioned earlier something about the children’s chorus. Well, the lovely children are now trained early to perform. This past Sunday before the children left the auditorium for their own “Children’s Worship,” the children’s chorus rendered a song that was directed by Eric Bright.

“Returned to” did you say? “Returned to” implies “returned from,” doesn’t it? Well, again, the leadership knows the answer to both “returned from what” and “returned to what.”

John, I’m not trying to find another fellowship at this time. Perhaps, I really don’t need to. I’m comfortable with the fellowship I have with my brothers and sisters in the Lord at Madison. The members are not to be faulted.

Well, thanks for helping me update this thread.


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Concerned in Kentucky
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Re: “Things” are still happening … subtly.

June 27 2005, 11:11 AM 

It saddens me to hear you write of these things at Madison. You mention a "Youth Minster" that appears to be a woman. I believe her name was Shana? Is this really true? The other "Youth Minister" was a fellow named Hall. Is he a part of leading the young people at Madison astray? I am saddened by all of this. What would Ira North think?

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Donnie Cruz
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To concerned in Kentucky:

June 28 2005, 4:41 AM 

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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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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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