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Eddie
(no login)
68.52.253.237

Re: For those of you that always find something wrong with everyone

October 29 2005, 9:51 PM 

JC,

You are still skirting!!!

 
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Eddie
(no login)
68.52.253.237

Re: For those of you that always find something wrong with everyone

October 26 2005, 11:40 AM 

JC,
Please define "contemporary" style worship??

 
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B
(no login)
70.232.94.123

Re: For those of you that always find something wrong with everyone

May 1 2006, 4:36 PM 

* theatre
* drama
* dance
* women leadership
* speaking in toungues
* amplifiers, drums, electric guitars, different instruments
* preaching a "sugar coated" gospel almost entirely about love and nothing about hell & damnation


Funny, I've been to contemporary services and seen none of the above. By the way, the gospel message is one of love. You might want to make sure that's an "authorized" KJV you've got there.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(no login)
70.156.8.194

You have seen NONE [this means NOT ONE] of the above?

May 9 2006, 8:36 AM 

That’s shocking to me!

I’ve seen (and heard) most of the above where I attend—and for the rest, the “appearance.” For example, this past “Easter celebration,” there was an “INTERACTIVE EASTER DRAMA WORSHIP.” The “fake” [“drama” defined] performances were excellent, and the crowd was entertained. (Please see the thread “Happy Ishtar.”)

Let me know if I need to elaborate on the other items listed.

Maybe, you need to observe more keenly.

Donnie

 
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B
(no login)
70.232.101.121

Re: You have seen NONE [this means NOT ONE] of the above?

May 9 2006, 10:53 AM 

My point is that although that may describe the contemporary worship at Madison, it doesn't describe it everywhere. Since we have no governing body over the churches of Christ, not everyone will do a contemporary service in the same way. People shouldn't hear the word "contemporary" and run from it based on your descriptions.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(no login)
70.156.8.250

Not at Madison

May 10 2006, 6:55 AM 

I had thought that you weren’t referring to Madison. And you’re correct—not all “transformed” or “transforming” congregations have the same “practices.” We’ve always believed that churches of Christ are autonomous (with respect to the number of elders, order of “worship,” number of songs, etc.)—but that’s not the issue.

Only some of the diverted, Community Church-prone mega congregations have dramas and “Worship Leaders” and “Praise Teams.” These congregations can afford a highly paid “Worship Leader”—employed to “lead the congregation into God’s holy presence” with Holy Laughter. Ha-Ha-Ha!!!

“Contemporary” is not an ugly word. But I have the tendency to run from “Contemporary Christian Rock”—you know, that music thingy that causes my nerve endings to tingle and my body to gyrate.

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
66.19.71.137

"Contemporary" Services without Being Contemporary?

May 10 2006, 11:06 AM 

"B" states that s/he has attended "contemporary" services at church(es) that had no theatre/drama; no dance; no women in leadership roles (pastor, elder, deacon, bishop); nobody speaking in tongues; no amplifiers, drums, electric guitars, different instruments; and no preaching a "sugar coated" gospel almost entirely about love and nothing about hell & damnation. "B" is saying that s/he has attended "contemporary" services that utilized no special gimmicks. That's remarkable!

If services have absolutely "none of the above," then what makes the services "contemporary?" The purpose of "contemporary" services is to make church more attractive and appealing, yea entertaining, to younger people and especially to the "unchurched," to get them into the seats (not pews), keep them interested, and keep them coming back. If traditional services without frills won't bring 'em in, then some gimmick(s) must be added. Contemporary services allegedly preach the "same Gospel" as traditional services do, but the difference is that everything is done in a non-traditional manner utilizing various contemporary gimmick(s), such as entertainment. Without gimmicks, without additional influences to boost interest in worship, services are merely traditional. Of course, not every "contemporary" church manifests the same set of "contemporary" gimmicks, yet gimmicks they do manifest in one way or another. They must or be "traditional."

Services are most commonly made "contemporary" if their gimmicks mirror those from the arts and entertainment industry: theater; drama; dance; pop/rock music with praise teams and assorted trappings (particularly amplifiers, drums, electric guitars); and preachers who mimic stand-up comedians. There may also be "food courts" (concession stands) selling pre-service snacks as in common theaters. Even newer churches are often (but not always) constructed to have the look and feel of performing arts centers.

Another gimmick is to appeal to various special-interest groups such as the Women's Movement and Gay Rights Movement. Having women, gays, and lesbians in leadership roles satisfies the PC crowd. Such churches are not only seen as "contemporary" but as "progressive."

I've been to "contemporary" services that exhibited virtually "all of the above" on B's list. The exception: no one spoke in tongues. There were Christmas and Easter dramas replacing worship services; teenage girls sometimes performing interpretive dance during a service; pop/rock music with a praise team and assorted trappings and instruments; a female minister to senior adults; and a rather crude pastor who, though he didn't "sugar coat" the message, polluted it nonetheless with an alternative approach. As he stood behind a clear acrylic podium, he elicted laughter from time to time with "witticisms," such as saying he had to be sure that his "fly" was zipped up beforehand! So much for comedy in worship services!

The bottom line: Traditional services need no gimmicks to attract the faithful. The pure Word of God and worship in spirit and in truth will suffice. Contemporary services rely on gimmicks to bring in the entertainment seekers.


 
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Dr. Franklin Haliburton
(no login)
68.53.134.206

Re: "Contemporary" Services without Being Contemporary?

May 10 2006, 12:06 PM 

Dr. Crump,

My understanding of contemporary is more in line with being current, modern or relevant to the day. Does one have to include gimmicks to be contemporary?

"The bottom line: Traditional services need no gimmicks to attract the faithful. The pure Word of God and worship in spirit and in truth will suffice. Contemporary services rely on gimmicks to bring in the entertainment seekers."

Have you been to many contemporary services? Did you notice any difference if you have?

Would you share with me the order of where you worship now?

Respectfully,
Frank

 
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PPB
(no login)
70.116.84.97

Re: "Contemporary" Services without Being Contemporary?

May 13 2006, 11:31 PM 

Dr. Haliburton,

Actually, contemporary services incorporate several styles of worship. The main theme is not that it is "relevant", which is what all worship should be no matter the "style".

Contemporary has to do with meeting the wants and needs of today's society. It is actually based on a marketing design and was begun by non-denominational churches back in the 80's. I can remember the books that came out on the subject for preachers and leaders of churches. It was only accepted by a few congregations until ministers like Rick Warren finally set out a "growth plan" or marketing plan for churches based on basic marketing principals.

From what I remember and from the meetings that elders and preachers attended, contemporary services are specifically designed to attract the following:

1) youth
2) young single adults
3) young families
4) those who don't like the more serious and rigid services
5) upper-middle class with social connections

The services are created to overcome the following issues:

1) Youths' short attention spans
2) today's need for immediate gratification
3) need for entertainment and "emotion"
4) dislike for in depth bible study
5) dislike of long sermons with many scriptural references
6) dislike of negatives such as "don'ts" that conflict with today's acceptable behaviors
7) dislike of the more serious, orderly type services
8) dislike of scriptural based sermons instead of story based

These issues are overcome by the following marketing ploys:
1) entertainment and excitement that is not directly correlated to scripture
2) short story based sermons or "self-help" type speeches - not always based on scripture
3) limitation of scriptural reference during the sermon
4) Positive information and scriptures - avoidance of anything considered negative or upsetting
5) Only negative scriptures are those that society as a whole agrees on - adultary, murder, etc.
6) The churches goal is to get the people to attend, learning the scriptures and God's full instructions is up to the individual member.
7) Social type setting - almost a "junior league" type atmosphere
8) Marketing that states the church is open to everyone no matter their belief - no changes required to become a member.
9) Removal of elders/deacons and the new titles like "shepherd" to make people feel more comfortable.
10) New songs that invite emotion and clapping to get people into the "feeling". No songs that evoke strong, deep, quiet emotions like some of the older songs (It is well, etc).

And yes, I have been to churches that abide by these goals and are pretty open about them. They are large churches - upperclass and very social. No real in depth bible study or knowledge. Shockingly lacking in true biblical knowledge in fact. I asked questions and the Shepherds and preacher became upset and angry - it was not their job to tell people what was a sin - that's up to the individual. Just the basics. The Houston metro area has a lot of them and I have attended several of them.

In a nutshell - they are not truly churches as they are not teaching the entire Bible for fear of upsetting someone or losing a member. I call them "lite churches". More of an entry level type assembly. I have to admit that the ones I attended were extremely empty, false, shallow type churches, and though the people were nice, they couldn't have held an in depth discussion if they had tried. I don't remember anyone even opening their bibles in class or service. It was all "lite" meaningless stuff that you can learn from a Zig Zigler tape. Very disappointing. No wonder they have such a high turnover of members - entertainment gets boring/in the way after a while if you are trying to develop a deep relationship with God.

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
66.217.163.183

RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 14 2006, 1:42 AM 

Thanks, PPB, I couldn't have said it better myself.

 
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Dr. Franklin Haliburton
(no login)
68.53.134.206

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 14 2006, 4:43 PM 

Dr. Crump,

Would you kindly answer the questions that I asked?

PPB, or any other contributor, would you have another name for a service that does not use the "gimmicks" that Dr. Crump refers to, but is not like the services that were prevalent 30 years ago? Is there a name for the relevant, scriptural assembly on the first day of the week that falls between the two names that you choose to label?

I was thinking of the dictionary definition of contemporary, just as Jesus was contemporary in His time.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Frank

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
66.217.125.168

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 14 2006, 10:31 PM 

PPB provided such a profound answer to Dr. Frank's questions that I could not possibly add anything to it. She and I have both seen contemporary services in different parts of the country that have all of what she described in various combinations. That's what makes them "contemporary." They are designed to please and delight man, not necessarily to praise and worship God in the long run. For that reason, the "contemporary" services of today cannot be likened to what Jesus did as a "contemporary" of His time. His purpose was not to please and delight man but to call sinners to repentance and salvation. The purpose of today's services is to call the worldly minded to entertainment.

 
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PPB
(no login)
70.116.84.97

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 15 2006, 12:38 AM 

Dr. Haliburton,

Unfortunately, the term "contemporary" in the dictionary is not current in the case of worship services; and therefore, cannot be used to define the contemporary services of today.

I believe there may be some historical information lacking here based on the question you keep asking. It seems that you have been mislead into believing that the services of the last 100 years or so were current for their time. That would be incorrect. In actuality, the Reformation movement took the worship service backwards instead of forwards in it's style and function. The Catholic movement had changed the simplicity of the original services and added pomp and non-scriptural traditions for the last 1500 years or so. The Reformation movement, though not always correct in their beliefs and ideas, did try to return the assembly back to the basic style described in the NT - in a nutshell, they became "old fashioned" instead of contemporary.

As for the early church being "contemporary". Again, that is historically and scripturally incorrect. Much of how the early church's service was set up was very much like how the original Jewish assemblies had been held before they had taken on more pomp and tradition. There is a lot of information on this very issue if you wish to research it. It is believed that the assembly was set up to make the Christian Jews more comfortable with the transition. It was the Gentiles that had to make the most changes in their traditional religous ceremonies. They came from pagan backgrounds that were highly entertaining, with female priestess, shows, instruments, drunkedness, etc.

Historical documents from both early church leaders (before Catholicism) and Roman citizens clearly detail the type of services that were held and what was considered to be heretical and evil. In fact, the use of instruments during assembly, women leaders or preachers, emotional outbursts, dancing, and any highly emotional songs were forbidden and believed to cause one to sin. These issues were also seen as highly divisional and heretical - they turned their backs on "newer" churches that allowed such behaviors.

Letters, apologetics and other written documents clearly identify the original services as very simplistic, somber, orderly and based on a set pattern. The meetings included songs/psalms, prayer, reading of the Apostles letters/study and the Lord's Supper.

In fact, there are documents by church elders condemning heretical movements for the exact issues that are denounced on this website.

The scriptures tell us to stand firm in the beliefs and teachings. To not add or take away, to continue to assemble and teach as was first taught. To NOT be a part of the contemporary world. We are to turn away from worldliness. Why then, should our churches embrace worldliness? To whom are we catering? Why must the church change it's assembly to make the world happy? I thought we were to give up our needs and give in to God's?

You see, trying to make the world happy and accepting of religion only weakens God's word and the church. It does not add to the church - the contemporary services barely even address God's full word. It's a facade with no true foundation. It is worldly and not Godly.

 
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PPB
(no login)
70.116.84.97

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 15 2006, 12:41 AM 

Thanks Dr. Crump for your kind words!

 
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frank
(no login)
68.53.134.206

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 15 2006, 3:48 PM 

ppb,

thanks for your history lesson. i'm fairly well versed in church history and the difference between those from different cultural heritage. in no way has the reformation, restoration or current assembly practices mirrored the first century assembly. all have been contemporary, or relevant and reflecting the culture of the day and geographical location. the western church here in the us has no resemblance to the middle eastern one of millenia past. i agree that they were more in line with the jewish practices with reverence, chanting and dialogue from scripture or letters. obviously the body and blood were central to the celebration, but fellowship meals were not uncommon as long as they were in order and hospitable to all.

i do have one question for you though in response to your following statement:

"I thought we were to give up our needs and give in to God's?"

exactly, what are God's needs?

frank

 
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PPB
(no login)
70.116.84.97

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 17 2006, 12:19 AM 

Frank,

You state you are farily well versed in church history, yet your next statement seems to be a direct contradiction. I have to respectfully question your source. As you didn't state any actual facts - I'm not sure what point(s) you are actually trying to discredit? It would help if you defined "well versed"? College degree(s)? Courses? Self-study?

During my years in college, I learned to re-evaluate the information provided by teachers and professors (Yes there are great professors out there - don't get me wrong!). I quickly came to understand that facts were not always facts. My investigations verified that many of the professors' own opinions/beliefs could at times be invalid, biased, out-dated or outright false. I had learned as a child to respectfully question what I was taught. It helped that I had access to a large personal library of historical and theological books in my own home (or next door in the church library). It is a trait that I inherited/learned and will never overcome.

After having read your comment, I find myself wondering how you would react to many of the early church writings and other historical evidences. Your comment about the fellowship meals was confusing. I got the sense that you were implying that when they worshipped, they ate a full meal as the LS. Though scriptural and historical evidence contradicts that notion.

As to relevant and or cultural - have you read the writings by the non-reformed churches against the backward practices of the reformed churches? They went against many of the cultural norms of their times. The Catholics had a fit over the simplicity and lowliness of the reformed assemblies. They were seen as antiquated and low-classed, even evil.

I'm not quite sure what point you were trying to make with the "God's needs?" question. Are you asking me to quote the scriptures that mention standing firm in our beliefs and patterns of worship? Those that tell us to not be a part of worldliness? Those that tell us to mark and avoid false teachers? Or those that tell us to be orderly, somber, etc? I'm not sure what you are asking here as God has many commands - which one are you discussing?

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
66.19.68.124

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 17 2006, 10:36 AM 

Frank: "in no way has the reformation, restoration or current assembly practices mirrored the first century assembly. all have been contemporary, or relevant and reflecting the culture of the day and geographical location. the western church here in the us has no resemblance to the middle eastern one of millenia past."

It is certainly true that American church assemblies today are geared to be "relevant" to society by reflecting the culture, and people find pop culture far more "relevant" than anything else. The most common ways to implement this pop culture include pop/rock music that everyone listens to on the radio, according to Rick Warren, and other forms of entertainment that mirror material from performing arts centers. If all assemblies of past eras have reflected the most "relevant" culture of the day, as Frank claims, then churches in the 1920s would have generally reflected the music of the "Charleston," jitterbug, and various ragtime pieces, because they were the pop culture of that era. Churches in the 1930s and 1940s would have generally reflected the big-band and "swing" music, because they were the pop culture of that era. Churches in the 1950s and 1960s would have generally reflected rock and roll music, because that was the pop culture of that era, and so on. But in general, that didn't happen.

Mainline churches in this country did not really set out to incorporate pop culture into services until some 20 years ago, when church growth marketing strategies like those of Rick Warren rose to set the trend: to get the attention of the unchurched (or world), you have to think like the unchurched (or world) and be like the unchurched (or world). This goes contrary to Scripture, which tells us not to be like the world (Romans 12:2, James 4:4).

Thus to say that the assemblies of all past eras have reflected the popular culture of the day is fallacious. Jesus did not bring a message that catered to one specific pop culture. To "go into all the world and preach the Gospel" is to rise above different cultures, because His message transcends all cultures. Because He presented a simple message without resorting to showbizz gimmicks, our assemblies should mirror that simplicity as found in first-century assemblies: a cappella hymn singing, prayer, expositon and study of the Word, monetary collection, and the Lord's Supper.

We may not dress exactly as did the first-century Christians, we may not eat exactly the same type of food nor dwell in exactly the same types of residences as did the first-century Christians. These cultural aspects are of no importance unless they happen to clash with Scripture. What matters is that the simple pattern of assembly and worship in churches of Christ mirrors that found in first-century assemblies, which followed the pattern as set forth in the New Testament.

 
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frank
(no login)
68.53.134.206

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 17 2006, 12:36 PM 

ppb,

i thought my question was straight forward.

what are God's needs?

frank

 
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frank
(no login)
68.53.134.206

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 17 2006, 1:03 PM 

bill,

you make this statement:

"That's what makes them "contemporary." They are designed to please and delight man, not necessarily to praise and worship God in the long run."

i don't question your use of "contemporary" in the vain of what has been called holy entertainment. it exists for sure!

can there not be an assembly on the first day of the week that is relevant to today in which people enjoy their time in prayer, praise, Word, communion and etc? should the assembly event be pleasing to God but burdensome to man? is that what He is looking for?

it seems like you would like to draw the line some place. if so, is there a simple list of acceptability? God has not made His precise will known to us in 21st century america. do assemblies in other areas of the world have similar problems and controversy?

frank

 
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PPB
(no login)
70.116.84.97

Re: RE: "Contemporary" Services, etc.

May 18 2006, 12:17 AM 

Frank,

As you are fully aware, your question is not straight forward. Again, you need to be more specific in your question. Which of God's needs are you referring to? The beliefs/actions/love/obedience he requires, or his need for us to turn away from all that is sinful or could become a stumbling block to others? My original comment incorporated all of his commands.

Come now...do you really wish to continue to play this game? Do you not understand that your intent was evident from the first posting? Where are your facts? How do you support your hypothesis that assemblies always incorporate all things cultural?

How does Frank define a non-cultural assembly? Do you take away the chairs and the brick walls? What about the carpet and air conditioner? Do they change the meaning of the assembly - the pattern and intent? Did Jesus consider furniture and the building's construction materials to be part of his pattern for worship? If so, where is that written? Or is that just a cop-out for the "cultural" group?

As to songs - we know that the assembly is to be somber, orderly, simple, etc. Would that not include the songs that are sung? Can one not show love and joy for God without music that is meant to get the heart beating faster and the hands clapping? Does the style and tempo of the song help determine if it is somber and orderly?

What did Clement of Alexandria mean when he stated "If people occupy their time with pipes, psalteries, choirs, dnaces, Egyptian clapping of hands, and such DISORDERLY frivolities, they gecome quite immodest..."

Hmm...seems we are not the first "culture" to disagree over such issues.

 
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...........................THE BOOK

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?


There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the list of players;

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

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