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Re: The Slick Maneuver

November 15 2005, 4:14 PM 

i want BCV where claping in worship is a sin that will send you str8 to hellfire.
And dont give me some bull about jews in the old testement clapping and hissing. We are not to use the OT as an example, right? And Ken, please restain yourself from posting another missive that is unintelligable, ok? Can you do that?

PPB, are you for real, or are you just play acting here Nobody can be as rigid as you. Pull that stick out.

edit that last sentence donnie and your a coward of the 1st order!

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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Re: The Slick Maneuver

November 16 2005, 8:44 AM 


Your very last statement could have been edited out and nobody would have known about the “1st order!” … or, for that matter, your entire post which is of little or no value. Well, actually, the reader should know about your representation of the other side. That’s why it is posted.

I’ll try my best to respond to your statements as follows:

  • Name the title and date of any post of mine that states that clapping in worship is a sin;
  • I would ask you to re-read my comment on what might “help keep souls from going to hell”;
  • The “bull” you mentioned may have been used in OT sacrifices [“the blood of bulls and goats”];
  • It is good to know of your awareness of clapping and hissing in the OT;
  • The Old Testament is history—it is there for our learning—there are eternal principles applicable in Christian living and there are many practices that are no longer applicable [just see if you’re interested in offering animal sacrifices and farm products];
  • Ken is very intelligent and a scholar—you could be the problem—just send him the restraining order and see if he abides by it;
  • PPB has standards and goals; her respect for God’s truth, her knowledge of the Scriptures, her extensive research and facts—all that is very commendable—we all can learn from each other.

So, Kent, what can we really learn from you?


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Jimmy Joe
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November 15 2005, 4:24 PM 

Mr. Cruz,
I find myself a little annoyed when Veterans Day is refered to as a thingy. I do not know if your a veteran or not. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War, my father is a veteran of WWII and Korea and my uncle was killed in the Phillipines in May of 1945. If not for the American military you and I would likely be posting in German or Japanese. Most of the time I ignore your slurs but this time I find it very condescending.
I usually find it easier to converse verbally, therefore I intend to greet you graciously and kindly at the next Madison service that we attend together. I know who you are but you only know me from these post. Although I find little that we agree on there is nothing wrong to agreeably disagree.

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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Thingy

November 16 2005, 8:47 AM 

Jimmy Joe,

I’m sorry that my reference to the “thingy” offended you. Believe me; I have deep respect for anyone who has served his country. I think you misunderstood the context of my remark. Veterans Day was on Friday, and the nation observed the holiday and remembered the great service of the brave men and women. One point I was trying to make was that special occasions and holidays have their own appropriate times and places in society. The bigger point is related to clapping in the assembly of the saints, the purpose of which is to commemorate Christ’s suffering and death on the cross and to study His word—teaching and admonishing one another. We applaud when there’s a great performance, when we are entertained. I think we’ve reached a “point of saturation” [however than means] when the “Worship Leader” prompts the audience to clap while singing “psalms [in written form as in a poem], hymns and spiritual songs” and prompts the audience to APPLAUD for several seconds after the song ends. The preacher enjoys the applause in the middle of his delivery of God’s message.

Yes, I will be glad to meet you the next chance we get, although I’m a little surprised to hear you say that you “find little that we agree on.” Does “little” mean less than 20% when we study the same Bible, when we attend the same gathering, when I’m not saying or teaching anything new that we haven’t already learned in the past? Something to think about, maybe, why such a disparity in our beliefs…?


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(no login)

Re: The Slick Maneuver

November 15 2005, 4:59 PM 

Wayne Jackson makes a statement regarding solos in the church in his article "Are Choirs and Solos Authorized for the Church Assembly?"
Christian Courier: Archives
Thursday, September 21, 2000

I find his logical and grammatically correct interpretation of Paul's verses to be one of the best around (other than the one's printed on this site, of course!). He states it so much better than I ever could:

"Historically, it has been quite evident to most Bible students that the type of music authorized for church assemblies by the New Testament Scriptures is that of congregational singing.

Paul wrote:

“And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18,19 ASV).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God” (Colossians 3:16 ASV).

There are several important things here. First, the language of these verses is such that it involves a plurality of individuals, entire congregations, in the obligations enjoined. The imperatives, “be filled,” and “let dwell,” along with the explanatory plural participles, “speaking,” “singing,” “making melody,” “teaching,” etc., indicate the activity of the church as a whole, rather than individual action, or that of a small portion of the church, as suggested by the solo/choral arrangement.

Second, the terms heautois (“one to another” – Ephesians 5:19) and heautou (“one another” – Colossians 3:16) are grammatically classified as reciprocal, reflexive pronouns.

According to noted grammarians Dana and Mantey (131), such a usage, as in the contexts under consideration, represents “an interchange of action” in the verbs employed.

J.B. Lightfoot (219) has noted that the reflexive nature of these pronouns emphasizes the “idea of corporate unity.” When the church as a whole sings, there is “speaking one to another;” when one group is active (the choir), and another group is passive (the listening audience), there is no interchange of action.

Choir and solo music does not fulfill the requirements of these contexts. Godet affirms that Ephesians 5:18ff and Colossians 3:16 refer to hymns that are sung by “the whole Church” (281).

Third, the participles “speaking,” “singing,” etc., explain the manner of implementing the imperatives (commands) “be filled” and “let dwell.”

Consequently, if one group (the chorus) may sing and praise God for another group (the audience), that is equivalent to arguing that one group may “be filled” with the Spirit for another, or the choir may “let [the word] dwell” in them as representatives for the balance of the congregation..."

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Donnie Cruz
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The Slick Maneuver—Continued

November 16 2005, 8:54 AM 


Let’s see what I can express in a few minutes as promised. It appears that I may have covered some of it in my responses to Kent and Jimmy Joe.

The additional info I have is from this e-mail:

    “God Bless [the U S A] was a recorded song, complete with an entire band … the flag was dropped during its playing. So each week they up the ante. How do we top last week?”

You know, I had said something: “… The elders just don’t get it. Or, they do but are not troubled by the consequences?”

I find the following statements from the respondent very interesting and truthful:

    “Power is a dangerous thing. In the hands of the wrong people, it corrupts even the best of us. They aren't bad men, just misguided. The backslaps are affirming and so it goes on and on. They fail to see how manipulated the membership (including them) is. At the root of this is an ignorance. The membership is biblically ignorant, and so, like sheep, are led astray. They want to feel good, and so they find those feelings in a ‘worship assembly.’"

What a powerful and fair assessment of what’s really happening. The slick maneuvers continue. So, what else can I say except that, yes, there are really 16 members of the Contemporary Praise Team (hmmm, C.P.T.). It means 16 handheld microphones!!! It means that God doesn’t need a hearing aid anymore. The count of 16 men AND WOMEN WHO CO-LEAD with the Musical Worship Leader does not include 2 or 3 more men co-leaders (also with their own handheld microphones) facing the congregation. The count does not include the soloist Kevin at times when needed for a complete performance. The count does not include OTHER Praise Teams for other “services” rendered. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were praise team singers scattered in the earlier (8:00am) department or division called “traditional service.” Scattered … so they wouldn’t be noticed…. What else could it be when the “traditional” division is also exposed to several mild “Christian rock” contemporary music. Hmmm?

You said … “help” with the singing? Help is a defense mechanism in “sheep’s clothing.” How else did Christians overcome the need for “help” in the past when the congregation just followed along when a new song was led? Don’t we miss the old-time UNREHEARSED events in the assembly? By the way, if that was honestly the help needed, it is no longer needed. Four or five years of worship rehearsal sounds exhausting to me. Well, please don’t get me started on the performance thingy.

The program was a bit confusing in regard to the Communion [by Phil Barnes] and the Message titled “Suppertime” [by Phil Barnes]. The Communion started out with the “movie” clip describing a family at suppertime. [I don’t have time to explain this except to say that at first the scenario gave me the impression that the leadership is up to something—perhaps a little suggestion that the Lord’s Supper is related to the family supper and that there may come a time when it will no longer be “breaking the bread” that we’ve done for so long and the little cups … BUT A REAL MEAL: (1) to commemorate not only the Lord’s suffering and death but ALSO his resurrection and (2) to consider it [the BIG MEAL] as a means to FELLOWSHIP with other Christians. I’m sorry in advance if my suspicion is mere speculation. Anyway, I was wondering why Phil was exceedingly loquacious for several minutes before the communion. If I had known that was the sermon, I would have taken some notes as I normally do. So, the communion was served [no women serving yet like at Rubel Shelly’s Woodmont Hills Family of God Church (I think) as the clip showed the mother serving (such as passing the bread, etc., to) the rest of the family.

We’ll see what else unfolds at Madison in the future.


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Estill B.
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Re: When the slick maneuver is in its best behavior….

November 16 2005, 6:35 AM 


You mentioned "the 16-member Praise Team staff." Are you trying to mislead people that the Praise Team is part of the "paid staff?" That's how it looks to me.

It isn't true, of course.


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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Re: When the slick maneuver...

November 16 2005, 8:38 AM 


I think some of the other staff members of the “Worship Ministry” [ ], besides Mr. Keith, are paid. No, I don’t believe that the “Praise Team” members are paid for their professionally rehearsed worship services.


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Estill B.
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Re: Re: When the slick maneuver...

November 17 2005, 5:27 AM 

...and there are 16 now? There were only 8 when I was there.


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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Re: Re: When the slick maneuver...

November 17 2005, 11:13 PM 


You seemed very surprised. Yes, there are 16 now. I was informed just recently by someone who now attends another congregation. Accordingly, that was the plan when this fellow Christian left Madison about a year ago. This info was confirmed by another respondent soon after that—that it is currently 16. So, I noticed this past Sunday on my way out the building there were 16 men and WOMEN [co-leaders] who were still busy performing their after-service extra curricular activities and entertaining with their handheld microphones while folks were leaving the premises.

The reason why I didn’t notice the difference between the 8-member and the 16-member choir groups was due to the loudness of the team. When there were eight, their sound engineers [accordingly] had the sound system rigged up where it would sound as though it was like listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir [now … I’m just making up the Mormon stuff to illustrate the point]. Do you get my point? The 8-member team was so loud and overpowering to begin with that congregational singing could not (and still cannot) be heard up in the balcony at least. My observation is that congregational singing is not like it used to be prior to the Praise Team era. Why should it be, when the professional singers are singing to and for the congregation anyway?


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Donnie Cruz
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Re: Re: Re: Re: When the slick maneuver...

November 19 2005, 3:31 PM 


So easy to forget my intended key point earlier! I may have already mentioned this, but the Praise Team has long outlived its claimed design and purpose, that WAS, to help with the congregational singing. It’s been how many years since the discord-causing Praise Team’s professional services were implemented? 2001? How many contemporary Christian rock music pieces have yet to be learned? I guess, the answer to that would be—as many as the Christian Rock artists can produce and be on the top charts.

The conclusion is that even if [but it is] the Praise Team with its performance-loaded services weren’t a discord-sowing entity, it is no longer needed. The truth is that it was never needed in the first place. It is NOW a performing bunch. It has replaced congregational singing.

The assembly of the saints that was originally a school of the Bible where disciples of Christ should meet, study God’s Word and teach and admonish one another has turned into a theatrical gathering where “the saints” are indoctrinated to enjoy “holy entertainment” and to disregard the truth that when the saints gather in God’s presence, reverence and awe Jehovah expects—not cheerleading and making each other feel good about musical entertainment!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Ken Sublett
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November 17 2005, 11:03 PM 

A "normal" working man can lead the singing and many could do a good job.

Therefore, isn't most of Keith's salary and other supporting "ministries" spent concocting tunes, programming and rehearsing and training? I suspect that lighting, sound system etc, etc, etc can be logged against the Teamsters.

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Donnie Cruz
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“Deconstructing … Congregational Singing” [at Madison]

December 12 2005, 7:51 AM 


For a century and a half our brethren have striven to improve and refine our a cappella singing. Men with fine musical training and Biblical knowledge edited excellent, scripturally sound hymnals. We taught our members to sight read and sing four-part harmony. We trained our song leaders to pitch their selections correctly and properly count the time. We instructed them how to choose their selections and coordinate them with the lesson of the hour. We had singing schools and practice sessions so we might teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and sing with grace in our hearts (Col. 3:16).

In days past, our religious neighbors often visited out assemblies and were impressed with our ability to sing the lovely hymns of praise to Jehovah in a way that thrilled those present. Often they commented positively on the quality and uplifting nature of the singing.

Now a fad is sweeping through our churches. Some have borrowed from their neighbors the practice of projecting the words of their hymns on screens before the congregation. In a recent service in a large congregation using such equipment, I observed the following:

  • Of the nine songs sung, only two were traditional hymns known by all. Seven were choruses popular within youth camps and devotions.

  • The words of songs were projected without musical scores or notations.

  • While each pew had an ample supply of hymnals, the numbers were not announced nor posted.

  • Therefore, many of the older members sat observing while those who knew the melodies sang for them.

  • The youth devotional songs were difficult to sing with their unique variations and rhythms. Teens and young adults knew them; most of those above 50 did not.

  • The song leader had a good voice and knew how to pitch and lead the songs properly. Rather than stand on the podium where he could be seen by all and direct them, he chose to stand on the floor with his praise team and only those in the first few rows could see his hands.

The hymns of the church should be a tie that binds the old and the young of the church together. Today I recall my mother singing, Farther Along and The Old Rugged Cross and other sweet hymns while rocking her babies to sleep. I remember my grandfather who was an elder, singing the great hymns of Zion. But the campfire songs, known and loved by the young, are unknown by senior members of the church. Rather than being a unifying experience, they create a chasm between these vital elements of the congregation.

We do not say that projecting the words on a screen is wrong. Really it is no different than each having the words printed in a book. Hymns are not wrong because they are new or preferred by the young. It is the combination of the all the above that is detrimental to the singing of the church.

It is no wonder that promoters of such programs need a praise team to take up the slack and supply that which has lost from our congregational singing. Very likely some will eventually have a choir to provide the quality singing they desire. Still, others will feel the need to bring in a musician and an instrument to make up the difference. An acorn planted eventually becomes an oak, but a weed seed will grow into a noxious weed. Seeds of change will eventually produce their unwelcome fruit. JHW

”It does not cease to astonish us that Christians generally, and preachers especially are now holding views and making arguments that we opposed and refuted when advanced by denominationalism … fifty and a hundred years ago. Like Paul we (must) declare again the gospel which we preached.” (G. C. Brewer)


John Waddey, Editor
Vol. 5, Number 4, December 1, 2005

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get a life donnie

December 12 2005, 11:05 PM are STILL on here spilling out your vitriol, slamming the "church". You need to find more hobbies in your life! The times ALWAYS change. I remember when the Stamps-Baxter songs were put down because they were "new". The youth today DO NOT identify with the old hymns. The church needs to connect with EVERYONE. There is nothing wrong with mixing a few hymns in with mostly new stuff. IF all you got is the "these new songs are killing the church"...then you got to get a new game. Your existing one is really OLD.


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Dr. Bill Crump
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RE: Get a Life

December 13 2005, 11:34 AM 

Concerned Members: "Thus saith the Lord..."

Detractors: "Get a life!"

Concerned Members: "The Bible says..."

Detractors: "Take a flying leap off a tall building!"

Concerned Members: "Do not preach a different doctrine or change the church to make it more like the world. See 1 John 2:15-17, 2 John 9-11, and James 4:4 (KJV)."

Detractors: "Bleeaahh!!!"

Times change, but the Word of God, the New Testament, does not change with the times. People change the Word of God to make it fit with the times, when the times fail to heed the commands of the New Testament.

Should the church "connect" with everyone? Instead, how about everyone becoming obedient and submitting themselves to the commands of Christ, so that everyone connects with the church? The Word of God, as upheld by the church, is the standard for all to follow, regardless of the "times" and the generations.

"New stuff?" Nothing wrong with it, as long as the "new" doesn't reflect the trends and culture of a worldly society. For example, tacking "Christian" lyrics onto rock music will hardly hallow the rock music. The latter has a long, significant history of being associated with sex, drugs, violence, and rebellion. As far as worship and the church are concerned, stay away from that which is culture-oriented and adhere to that which is New Testament-oriented.

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Re: RE: Get a Life

December 13 2005, 1:54 PM 

This post has been moved to "The Viper's Den."

This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address on Dec 13, 2005 9:12 PM

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Donnie Cruz
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The Christmas “Tradition” at Madison

December 21 2005, 7:38 AM 

During the last three Sundays, the “contemporary” division (not to be confused with the early assembly [at 8:00] distinctively labeled by the contemporaries as “traditional”—the other division), the contemporary Musical Worship Leader, Mr. Keith Lancaster, changed the tradition by leading/performing “contemporary ‘Christian’ music” only. O.K., it’s perhaps an improvement over the Madison tradition of singing “Christmas” songs in the assembly but only in December.

In regard to the Christmas songs, some of these have great messages in that while proclaiming the birth of Christ [and it doesn’t stop there], we sing about the Lord is come, the King, the Savior. That’s why in the olden days, we would sing some of these songs throughout the year—nothing wrong with that. Interestingly, the 8:00 assembly was led to sing “Joy to the World” this past Sunday—rather odd, since the contemporary division has not sung any “Christmas” song this month … so far.

Wonder why … not one “Christmas” song in the contemporary division of the church in the past three Sundays???? [I’ll check the “worship” guide for each Sunday to ensure this has been accurately stated.] But it remains to be seen, since there is going to be a “union” effort this coming Sunday—there will be a combined assembly at 10:00 of both the “traditional” and the “contemporary” divisions [perhaps “departments” would be another way to look at it ]. Is the union [not to be confused with “unity”] going to sing or “celebrate” by singing “Christmas”songs? Again, the “union” might behave as usual in combined assemblies in which the contemporaries do try very hard NOT to offend “others.” And in this case … by not doing something Christmassy! Hmmm!

Whether or not the attempt at this union is “endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3) or whether it is [again] an attempt to conform to the scheme of some of the mega Community Churches which have altogether cancelled their “worship services” on December 25 for whatever reason(s) … you be the judge.

So … no singing of “Christmas” songs in the contemporary assembly in December? Seems odd? However, there has been a new added feature in the December celebration—the drama titled “A Christian Carol” (“Come enjoy this new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.”). [Please note the words “Christian” and “Christmas.”]. It was performed first this past Saturday; the “final performance” was on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Final reminder: In the last several weeks, in times when the big white screen is “at rest,” the following message is displayed: “The Family at Madison Church of Christ…” Watch out!!! This reminds me of “Woodmont Hills Family of God” or “Otter Creek: a Family of Faith” or just plain “Oak Hills Church [formerly ‘of Christ’]” or “___________ Community Church: a Church of Christ” or whatever.


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Donnie Cruz
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The Contemporary “Musical Worship” Assembly on Its Best Behavior

December 26 2005, 5:58 PM 

The “First Worship” program usually occupies the front of the 4-page guide. But this time (Dec. 25, 2005), it was the silhouette picture of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in the cradle titled, “Behold Your King” bolded.

A line with date and time on the back page is normally formatted, e.g., as follows:

    December 25, 2005 . . . . . . Second Worship . . . . . . 10:30 am

But on “Christmas Day,” the contemporary “worship guide” listed the following information on page 4:

    December 25, 2005, 10 a.m.
    Christmas Day

    Silent Night #577 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Lancaster
    Reading: Matthew 1:18-25 . . . . . . . . Keith E. Hall
    Angels We Have Heard On High
    Love Feast
    Hark The Herald Angels Sing #202
    Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pat Burch
    O Come All Ye Faithful #464
    Communion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Terry Ashley
    Contribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Ashley
    Why Did My Savior Come To Earth? #784
    I Stand In Awe (notebook) #16
    Great Are You Lord (notebook) #9
    Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
    Message: “Behold Your King”. . . . . . . Phil Barnes
    There’s Not a Friend #680
    Shepherd’s Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Gingles
    Joy To The World #376

    Yes, punctuation marks and other per “Worship Ministry” guidelines similar to how “stuff” on the sacred big wide screens should be displayed were followed. [And, yes, there is a “ministry” called “Worship Ministry” in Saddleback Community Church’s Pastor Rick Warren’s new and improved “New Testament” manual.]

A few “Christmas” songs!!! No new surprises there. Some of the songs, although originally written from not-entirely-biblical perspectives, do contain some essential messages concerning the Savior and the King and man’s need for redemption. One striking difference, however, is that in times past during the holiday season, there wouldn’t be an instance in sermons delivered in which the physical birth of Jesus was briefly mentioned leading up to the point wherein his suffering and death on the cross was the stronger emphasis. In addition, these “Christmas” songs would be sung throughout the year—not just around “Christmas”—an indication that in the gathering of the saints, the celebration of the pagan- and Roman-Catholic-Church-originated Christmas observance was NOT being conformed to. Instead, while the secular and the somewhat-pagan-influenced religious world was in observance of “Christmas,” churches of Christ [and some of the non-conforming religious groups] adhered to the New Testament principle and teaching that Christ’s shedding of blood on the cross of Calvary—not his physical birth—was and is the driving force that leads mankind to repentance and salvation.

In today’s alliance with secularism and the dictates of the post-modern/contemporary religion-ism, certain ones among churches of Christ (feel free to fill in the blanks with names of “mega” Community Churches in the brotherhood), do now observe “Christmas.” In the sermon by Phil Barnes, while his message was laced with personal and other stories of experiences [as usual] to entertain and make the audience laugh, much time was expended on the physical aspects surrounding the “physical” birth. If there were many non-members in the crowd, the opportunity to explain and express God’s plan of salvation was lost. Just because the name of Jesus and some other “religious” terms were mentioned here and there—as it is now the NORM in today’s [contemporary] gatherings—that just would NOT do the job and could not be equated with God’s command to “REPENT and BE BAPTIZED SO THAT” the blood of the Lamb will WASH AWAY one’s sins and be added to the Lord’s church. The gospel of Christ is now diluted and deluded.

Even during the observance of the Lord’s Supper—following guidelines of the “Worship Ministry” to have to deliver a man-contrived message [usually an earthly story or experience] prior to partaking of the bread and the cup—the presiding elder had to pose a question or questions that led some in the audience to “react” with a chuckle or whatever. I thought that the emblematic significance of the observance somewhat dissipated. Fortunately, for the sake of the “senior” folks who would generally be offended by it, there was no leading solo by a female vocalist on the “Praise Team” of a “Communion song.” There was no humming. There was no o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ing, either, during the commemoration of the Lord’s suffering and death. Just wishing that the presiding elder, in an “attempt” to illustrate the Savior’s love, had not asked one of a number of questions, such as, “What would you have done for me [the elder] had you seen me [the elder] about to be run over while crossing the street?”

Oh, yes, the “contemporary” program had to throw in at least a couple of “hymns” to pacify the visiting folks from the “traditional” group. The rule at 10:30 has been to sing [perform music] mostly Contemporary Christian hits. Yeah, include a “hymn” once-in-a-while so that it’s NOT completely contemporary … but … be sure that the selected hymn—just as many of the “contemporary musical pieces” are—would be very difficult to sing. And, yes, an opportunity for the elite “Praise Team”—the Musical Worship Leader’s performers to really shine and be musically entertaining.

This is getting somewhat extensive and boring, perhaps. Let me just state that this gathering was really a “combined” assembly. The usual time for the “contemporary” group is at 10:30 a.m.—not at 8:00 a.m. You decide whether or not this attempt was to conform to the decision by some mega churches (like Otter Creek Community Church) to cancel “worship services” on “Christmas Day” in the year 2005 or to cancel all Bible classes and meet only for “worship,” as in Madison’s case. At Madison, the combined gathering was at 10:00 a.m.—a time closer to the contemporary hour, instead of at 8:30 a.m. So, this might have been a situation in which the smaller “traditional” group was being invited to assemble with the dominant “contemporary” group. Hmmm! Hmmm! Hmmm!

At any rate, the Musical Worship Leader was in his best behavior. And so was his elite group of musical singers. Whether or not the 16-member choir (“Praise Team”) members were scattered in the audience or still seated in the two front rows, there was only a “slight” evidence of performances. Slight—in the sense that AFTER the first verse [you know … when the other verses are not that familiar to everyone else], of certain songs, such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” or “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” the elite team dominated the singing. Of course, with the help of unfamiliar lines displayed on the screen!

Now, Keith behaved pretty well. Not much of the wagging of arms from-east-to-west; no antics; no coaching, prompt or cue to the young people or the audience for a big applause after “making a joyful noise”; no programmed, rehearsed “joy” of rhythmic clapping during singing [obviously since there was not a song to clap to]; no solo; no unintelligible sounds to accompany the singing; no “mourning that God turned into dancing”; no swaying to the music; no feigned looking up above to offer a short prayer after a performance. There was some unnecessary interjection of expressions by the “worship leader” in between music lines.

ABOVE ALL, the Praise Team musicians had their microphones hidden, perhaps, behind the baptistery [this one, I concede, is made up]. It was a serious attempt on the part of the “Worship Ministers” NOT to offend the invited guests! After all, “UNITY” of the divided groups was the underlying objective. In fact, an elder once again declared: “Look at the manifestation of unity in the bond of peace … we are witnessing [numerical] growth in attendance; the Lord has blessed us [as evidenced] in our financial contributions….”

Know what? The goal of some $67,000 prior to the upheaval in 2001 [and what it should be now taking into consideration the rate of inflation] has not been/is not being met in recent years. Contributions have been around $39,000 on the average—maybe a little more than that.

Know what? The combined attendance on this December 25, 2005 did not appear to have exceeded the usual attendance AT the 10:30 assembly ALONE in previous years. This is judging on the seating capacity in the balcony. In years past, the balcony in ONE ASSEMBLY ALONE [at 10:30 when it was “traditional”] would be full of attendants. This time, there were still several rows of empty pews in the back of the balcony.

Conclusion: If the “Musical Worship Leader” and his “Praise Team” in instances like this were on their best “behavior,” shouldn’t they be able to continue this example format at other times—if the church leaders are really, really interested in the UNITY—NOT UNION—of members in the spirit and in the bond of peace? Also … there was a celebration of “Christmas” in a SUBTLE way.


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Donnie Cruz
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Correction to "... Its Best Behavior"

December 27 2005, 1:32 AM 

A minor correction: I mentioned “Otter Creek Community Church” as having canceled its “worship services” on Christmas Day—it should state Bill Hybel’s “Willow Creek Community Church.” Sorry about ‘em “Hills” and “Creeks”—they’re confusing at times.


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Re: Correction to "... Its Best Behavior"

December 27 2005, 9:21 AM 

Besides that error in fact that Otter Creek is not a Community Church...

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

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Here is the list of players;

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

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