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It's a Very Merry Change Movement Christmas

December 21 2005 at 10:13 AM
Dr. Bill Crump  (no login)
from IP address 66.19.67.126

Fifteen-year-old Johnny couldn’t wait to see the Christmas drama at the Believe Anything Community Church. Pastor Shaman had extensively publicized it, hailing it as a program that would be most “relevant” for the modern generation. Christmas was just a few days away, and the drama would premiere on that auspicious Sunday, complete with rollicking rock music from a praise band. Presently, Molly, Johnny’s twenty-something mom, found herself conversing with the elderly Mr. Wilson, her friendly next-door-neighbor.

“Happy Holidays, Mr. W.! I would say ‘Merry Christmas,’ but that saying is OUT! Besides, you never know when the KGB, CIA, or the president may be spying on you, and I DO like to keep current with the times! Anyway, I was gonna ask if you wanna come see the drama at my church with me and Johnny on Christmas Sunday.”

“Well, thank you for your invitation, Molly,” replied Wilson affably. “That’s very kind of you for thinking of me. Actually, I had the same idea about you and Johnny. Why not come with me to my church as my guests at Old Paths Church of Christ, just around the corner?”

Molly blinked a few times, then said, “That depends. You got a hot Christmas drama with lots of cool rock music, a praise band, and a motivational speaker like Pastor Shaman?”

“Oh, gracious, no!” replied Wilson, a bit stunned. “The members at Old Paths worship God in spirit and in truth! Rock music, praise bands, and motivational speakers are merely worldly trappings designed to attract people for purposes of entertaining them, not worshiping the Almighty God as He deserves to be. Besides, Christmas plays or any other kinds of drama that replace a worship service--let alone the very observance of Christmas itself--are not authorized in Scripture. There’s just too much of a temptation for people to get so caught up in the performances, actors, theatrics, and emotional hype, that they lose track of what worship is really supposed to be about.”

Molly blinked again. Wilson and his old geezer Bible talk! No Christmas? No hot drama? No praise band screeching out cool rock music? No motivational speaker? How utterly BORING!! What’s the use of going to church if one can’t ENJOY THEMSELVES and have some FUN? Taking note that Wilson displayed not one ounce of Christmas decorations on his property, Molly suppressed an urge to scream, “You dinosaur Scrooges live in tombs!!” Instead, she slowly backed away from Wilson as if he had suddenly developed the plague. “Ah…well…thanks, but me and Johnny’ll stick to OUR church and Christmas. But if you change your mind, you’re still welcome to join us!”

“My invitation stands as well,” said Wilson with a gentle smile.

At last, D-Day (Drama Day, Christmas Day) arrived, and Molly and Johnny squeezed into their seats, along with the throngs of others who had come, not to worship God in spirit and in truth by any means, but to revel in the promised blockbuster performance. Boosting the numbers were those who belonged to the “Christmas and Easter Crowd,” people who darkened church doors only twice a year in search of some special holiday entertainment. As men and women dressed in Santa suits sent the collection plates around to receive what few coins the revelers deigned to surrender into the church coffers, the praise band screeched out a medley of vintage holiday favorites: “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Santa Baby.” After all, the whole “service” was designed to make the attendees feel comfortable, as if they were anywhere other than at some “churchy” affair.

And it came to pass that the revelers received more that their money’s worth, so to speak, for the performance went far beyond anyone’s expectations. It profoundly affected Johnny, who couldn’t wait to get home and tell his friend all about it.

“Boy, Mr. W., it was just AWESOME!! Them shepherds were all punk rock stars playin’ guitars and drums on stage, jumpin’ around and shakin’ like wild animals! AWESOME!! Mary and Joseph looked like hippies, and them three Wise Men dudes looked like Hells’ Angels and came ridin’ in on three huge motorcycles that spit fire and backfired REAL LOUD! AWESOME!! And the MUSIC was so LOUD and AWESOME!! Red and green fire and smoke shot up from behind the stage. Oh, man, it was just AWESOME!! All the people in the audience was standin’ and shakin’ their hips and bobbin’ their heads, stampin’ their feet, and clappin’ their hands or raisin’ hands into the air. Me and my pal Mike thought it was so COOL and AWESOME!! We all hollered and shouted and clapped and cheered! After it was over, preacher went on and on how ‘rel’vant’ and meaningful the whole show was to all the young people. He had the actors come back again and again for bows and applause and lots and lots of praise, and the lady who directed it all got a lot of roses and a lot of praise, too. Everybody went crazy tellin’ how AWESOME!! it all was! I’ll NEVER forget anything so AWESOME!! like that again!”

Wilson sat mortified with his mouth hanging open as Johnny prattled on about the “awesome” performance. His very prediction about the “side effects” of church drama had just come to pass. When the boy finally quieted down, Wilson said, “Son, did they play any of the old, reverent favorites, like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Adeste Fideles’?”

“I ain’t heered any of them songs before. Man, there was nothin’ ‘silent’ about that show. And that ‘Addesty Fiddles’ whatchamacallit? Naw, nothin’ like that neither!”

Wilson just sighed and said, “I thought as much! Johnny, do you really believe that what you saw today was what really happened when Jesus was born?”

The boy frowned a bit, then said, “Well, sure, Mr. W., why wouldn’t I believe it? Preacher said it was ‘rel’vant.’ I don’t know ’zactly what that means, but it’s in church, and whatever preacher says, goes.”

“My boy, let me read you another kind of story. It’s time you learned the difference between fact and fiction.” And with that, Wilson took up his King James Bible and read Johnny the accounts of the birth of Christ from Matthew 2 and Luke 2.

“But YOUR story left out the punk rock stars, the cool rock music, and the bikers. YOUR story’s a real drag without them,” said Johnny, when the old man had finished reading.

“Boy, it’s not MY story, it’s what the Bible says. The TRUE story of Jesus’ birth never centered around rock stars and bikers and a bunch of hype.” Wilson then explained the significance and purpose of Jesus coming into the world to save mankind from their sins, something Johnny had never learned at the Community Church Sunday school. Apparently all the fun, entertainment, and head-bobbing to rock music had taken preference over learning anything about obedience to Christ.

After the explanation, Johnny was horrified and defensive. “You tellin’ me that what I saw today was just FAKE? How would you know? You never saw the drama, ’cause you wasn’t there!” In his heart, Johnny knew his old friend wouldn’t lie to him, but that didn’t quell his sudden doubts about his church.

“True, I wasn’t there to see the drama,” the old man soothed. “But look here. We don’t always have to see or experience something first-hand to know whether it’s fit and proper. I don’t have to shoot myself in the head or become addicted to drugs to know first-hand what happens to those who commit suicide with guns or who abuse drugs. There are plenty of accurate accounts that describe those events. Likewise, although I never heard or saw Jesus in person, I still believe on Him, because of what the Bible says about Him. Now then, about your church drama. Are you sure that you told me everything that happened today?” (Johnny nodded his head.) “You didn’t make any of it up? (Johnny shook his head.). “Then I’m sorry, Johnny, but from what you told me, your church just did not present an accurate account of Jesus’ birth. Your church added much that was not in the Bible. That’s the problem with church drama--too much chance for introducing fiction. You see, boy, you can read a Bible story straight with no add-ons and know that it’s the whole TRUTH, as God would have it, or you can engage in a lot of play-acting that centers on hype, emotions, crowd-pleasing fiction, and how ‘awesome’ the performers are to the point that you lose track about really worshiping God and giving Him the praise. All the praise then goes to the actors, not God. You did say that there was a lot of praising going on at the end, but not to God. Do you see what I’m getting at, son?”

Johnny frowned again, then said, “Well I guess that means you can read a Bible story straight and it be a drag, but still be the truth, or you can try and make it ‘better’ with play-acting that adds a lot of junk, which really makes it worse. Right?”

“That’s exactly right,” said the old man. “Now which version presents the true account of Jesus’ birth: your church drama version that contains, as you say, a lot of ‘junk,’ or the Bible’s version?”

Johnny related his answer to that last question to Molly, who immediately ran over to pay Wilson a Christmas visit. Did she bring over a plate of Christmas cookies, a pitcher of eggnog, and “peace on earth”? Ah, no. Wilson had hardly cracked open the door, when Molly charged past, nearly knocking the old man down with no so much as a how-ya-do.

I could give a verbatim account of the “conversation” that transpired (actually it was all one-sided on Molly’s part), but it would spoil the “season of goodwill.” Suffice it to say that Molly was fit to be tied as she screamed curses and insults over Wilson’s “judgmental” speech to her boy. Rather than providing biblical arguments to refute Wilson’s views, her “rebuttal” consisted primarily in likening the elder man to various portions of the alimentary tract and excretions of bovines and jackasses. His “old geezer Bible talk” infuriated her to no end. His kind didn’t know how to “love.” According to Pastor Shaman, Jesus preached only “love” and self-esteem, not strict obedience to stuffy rules and regulations. Thank goodness “legalistic” people like Wilson were “dying off.” How dare Wilson get on his high horse and tell ANYONE “what the Bible says!” Was he some kind of self-appointed Bible policeman? He needed to spend more time “loving” and helping the needy and spend less time reading an outdated, dusty old Bible. Of course, Molly’s accusations were quite presumptuous, for she had not a clue how secretly philanthropic and charitable the elder man had been throughout his life. He had done much for others, yet he had never blown his own horn over it, as Pastor Shaman, who lived for the accolades and praise of men, would have done. After vowing that she would personally see Wilson take a flying leap off a tall building if he EVER spouted his “old geezer Bible talk” to her son again, she spat on his floor in disgust, screaming, “Bleeaahh! That’s what I think of your old geezer Bible talk, you rotting old FOOL!” And with that, she hurled a stack of books onto the floor and stomped back home, cursing and raving all the while.

Wilson retired to his den and sat back, marveling. Such irrational, puerile, hypocritical behavior from his “Christian” neighbor! Yes, Molly belonged to that bunch who subscribed to the emotional, feel-good, believe-anything-you-want philosophies of the so-called Change Movement. She had often talked so freely about “love and tolerance” in times past, but how quickly she had turned face and had bitterly cursed Wilson out because she disagreed with him about strictly following the Bible. Wilson clearly knew that the heretical change agents had no tolerance for the Bible. They had twisted Jesus’ command to “love one another” into a perverted excuse for following only those portions of the New Testament which satisfied the culture and customs of the times; any part of the NT which was more “onerous” or difficult to accept was modified or rejected accordingly. “Christians” were “free” to believe and act as they chose, and anyone who dared to admonish another with “Thus saith the Lord” was a legalist who knew nothing of “love.” According to the Change Movement, “love” and “freedom” outweighed faithful obedience to Christ’s commands. This was man-contrived doctrine at its worst, and Molly had fallen a sucker for it! The church service was merely a time for raucous entertainment that catered to the carnal desires of the world, hardly any different from a secular rock concert, as the Christmas drama had revealed. All that hype to get warm bodies into pews and coins into the church coffers! But based on Johnny’s description of the crowd’s reaction, to whom had the revelers really given praise that Christmas Sunday?

Wilson felt there was little chance of steering Molly back to the “straight and narrow path,” but there might be hope for Johnny, who had a level head on his shoulders. Yes, Wilson realized that eventually he may have just cause for calling Molly’s bluff about that flying leap off a tall building in order to keep a young soul from the clutches of the Change Movement.

 
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AuthorReply
kent the viper
(no login)
66.189.13.108

Re: It's a Very Merry Change Movement Christmas

December 22 2005, 5:39 PM 

I jsyt love....


    
This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address 70.156.21.169 on Dec 22, 2005 10:56 PM


 
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Doug
(Login lmx33)
4.232.102.7

Be Kind To Crump

December 23 2005, 4:38 PM 

Hey Kent

I just don't think Donnie is ever going to allow you to exercise you rights under the 1st amendment. .....Oh....sorry......he doesn't have to, I guess.

Anyway....Crump's story was good for a laugh!

BTW, just as an aside. I had a number of Phd's and D.Eng work for me during my career. Few of them ever felt any need to have their title displayed or stated at any time. My experience has been that those who constantly and publicly display their title are, at heart, very insecure people.

M.D.'s..of course, are a different issue. Our culture has made use of the title appropriate in that case.

What say you?

 
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Ken Sublett
(no login)
63.84.81.73

I usta to!

December 23 2005, 5:25 PM 

BTW, just as an aside. I had a number of Phd's and D.Eng work for me during my career.

I usta boast about the SUPERIOR scientists and engineers I used in my company in Seattle. Then, afterward I realized that I only had a B.S. (no, that's not what you guys matriculated into) and I was just ragingly jealous and was HITCHHIKING on PhDuhs.

So, be sure that you are not trafficking on pride by PUTTING DOWN anyone who knows that the Bible does not begin with: "When I preached in California..." where respect for the Bible ends before the shoreline.

Do you guys have anything to contribute besides mocking? By, the way, I have collected some good stuff which connects mocking to "strange" singy clappys.

 
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Richard Logan
(no login)
67.54.245.88

Re: I usta to!

December 23 2007, 9:41 PM 

Brother Sublett,
I want to thank you for posting your thoughts on this site. I used too think you were just a "cranky old man", but now I realize how wrong I've been about you. Thanks to you and some of the others, I've been "shown the light" again, so too speak.
Being raised by a Church of Christ preacher, I was taught not to observe Christmas as a religious holiday. I love Christmas, but not because it symbolizes the birth of Christ. I still can't see where we can justify celebrating the birth when we are told to remember his death. I figure if we were supposed to celebrate his birth the bible would have been specific about it.
Ken, I don't always understand your train of thought on some things, but you sure do cause me to study a lot. I am an ex-minister who thought he knew the bible pretty well until the last few years. Thanks for your valuable input on biblical matters. I don't always agree with you, but still enjoy your posts.

 
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Ken Sublett
(no login)
69.19.14.37

I Usta. Thanks

December 24 2007, 11:11 AM 

Thanks, Richard.

lf I had time I would write clearer--if I had the ability.

I am not very prosey. I quote a Biblical or historical text and then just try to link one resource to another and really don't have time to do "beginnings, middles and endings." Rather than writing in a linear left-to-right flow, I think I follow the dangling chain model!

It is a wonderful revelation when you discover that proof texts have context and story lines. There is so much to learn and so little time.

Ken

 
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Donnie Cruz
(no login)
70.156.21.250

Be kind … but how?

December 23 2005, 6:07 PM 

Doug,

I don’t believe exercising someone’s rights under the 1st amendment is ever an issue with me or with the moderators of ConcernedMembers. CM, however, has the right to judiciously attempt to meet its own standards and uphold its principles—and I’m convinced that most of the readers would concur.

Personally, I believe Kent has been (and is still being) granted ample opportunities to post … OR … his admittedly false identity wouldn’t be appearing anymore unless he decided to take his messages somewhere else. True, his posts have been deleted only occasionally; a few have a portion of the contents edited out or have been moved to “The Viper’s Den” [especially of late].

Bottom line—there’s hope!!! Deal with the issues; present arguments in favor of or against a debatable subject matter; simply express an opinion on the topic at hand; provide evidences, references and resources if possible. In such cases, be assured that the article will be posted. Messages that are vile or with no content and redeeming value or that contain “expletive deleted” expressions may not even make it to “The Viper’s Den.”

Doug, are you a psychiatrist or psychologist? Not that it really matters to me, but your diagnosis of the insecurity of certain degreed people seems to suggest that you may be in that field. No, I’m not one to force you to respond to that—unlike … um …

BTW, Dr. Crump’s article is excellent—and my personal evaluation [giving it 5 *****] still stands. I only wish I could present my points concerning “Change Movement” issues that are upsetting and splitting peaceable churches … that well.

Donnie

 
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Anonymous
(no login)
72.146.31.112

Re: It's a Very Merry Change Movement Christmas

December 23 2005, 8:42 AM 

The good Dr. has delivered yet another work of fiction for his enjoyment? Yes there may be a lot of things wrong with Christmas but is it wrong to celebrate the birth of our Savior? I think not. Let us celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior and not split hairs during this joyious season! MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and may GOD heal your souls!!

Dr. Bill, what kind of Doctor are you? In all fairness, if you choose to display the title, be man enough to back it.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(no login)
70.156.0.203

Celebrating a (the) Birth of . . .

December 23 2005, 10:32 AM 

I disagree.

Dr. Crump’s excellent article explicitly describes and fully explains the nature of the FICTITIOUS Christmas drama that you are misled to believe. You know … I’m reminded of the Easter drama locally produced that has been performed in the last two years at Madison. What about my impression? The image—the facial and other features—of the same Madison member who portrayed the resurrected Jesus, plus all the fictitious scenes and messages!!! [By the way, I treasure the above article and I have saved it.]

You have a dilemma. In the apostles’ writings past the four gospels that document the birth, the life and death and resurrection of our Savior, the epistles are replete with information about the blood of the Lamb—His death. Admonitions and commands are found in these epistles as well. But not the physical birth of Jesus in itself, especially without any connection to His dying on the cross of Calvary—much less celebrating His birth in HUMAN terms????

Speaking of celebrating someone’s birth in HUMAN terms, the designation of December 25 as Jesus’ “birthday” is of pagan and/or Roman Catholic origin, inherited by many of the Protestant religions [cf. thread “A Pagan Christmas—Christians vs. Pagans”]. So, that is another dilemma in HUMAN terms—there are pagan reasons for choosing December 25; there are also pagan reasons for not choosing a date other than December 25.

A dilemma in HUMAN terms is in the following logical example: Anonymous’ exact date of birth is not known. What is known is that s/he was born in the spring. But relatives and friends have made it official that the birthday falls in the winter, specifically on December 21. Family and friends gather and sing “Happy Birthday to You” on December 21. Therefore, in human terms, do/should we sing, “Happy Birthday, Jesus … Happy Birthday, Jesus” every 25th of December?

Now, Christians are to observe or commemorate the crucifixion and death of Christ—that is scriptural!!!!!!!! Please don’t use the “law of silence” as a “permission granted.” [cf. thread—“Authority: ‘He Didn’t Say Not To.’”]

I have one request in return: “In all fairness,” [your words] we would like for you to be man/woman enough to identify yourself. This will be greatly appreciated.

Donnie

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
66.217.125.101

Is It My Title or the Story Which REALLY Irks You?

December 23 2005, 4:24 PM 

Well, if that don’t beat all! I tell an elaborate story with lots of biblical Truth, and some nameless detractor can only mock my title of “Dr.” Like Molly in the story, “Anonymous” finds biblical Truth irksome, because that Truth is at odds with human traditions, especially at Christmastime. Thus “Anonymous” becomes upset at being powerless against that Truth and takes his/her frustrations out on me by mocking my title. Not only is it a diversionary tactic commonly used by those subscribing to the Change Movement, it’s also a worthless form of “rebuttal,” just as worthless as hurling profanity, insults, vulgarity, and character assassinations.

I recommend that “Anonymous” expend less energy picking over my title, the specific field of which has no bearing on the issues discussed on this message board, and more energy trying to understand and follow biblical Truth. I also urge “Anonymous” to review manuals of style and learn that anyone holding a doctoral degree is properly addressed as “Dr.”

And as far as being a "man" about anything, let "Anonymous" be a "man" (or woman) and cease this childish hiding in anonymity.

 
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Ken Sublett
(no login)
63.84.81.40

RETURN OF THE MAGI!

December 23 2005, 11:42 AM 

TRIUMPH OF THE MAGI

Dr Crump has put his finger in a soft place, said "cough" and the ruptured duckys have flunked. When I read his message I am pretty certain that he does not have a PhDuh in "ministry." He is warning you about the RETURN OF THE MAGI where "magica, musicus, cantus, exegetice and hermenuo" are all weapons of the WICKED WITCHES OF THE EAST just PRETENDING to be warlocks.

We have discussed the MAGI elsewhere. If the guys from TheILLogical Cemetery had a Certificate Card Class, fast ones of the slow groups they would, FIRST, understand the meaning of the MAGI. Then, they would understood that the MAGI represent all of the musical-superstitious trappings of Lucifer.

Edward fudge: Zoroaster is the PRECURSOR of Christ
Max Lucado: Cosmic Christmas rehashing the old PRE Gnosticism that God slipped Jesus past Lucifer by stealth: sent him in a VIAL OF LIGHT.
Rubel Shelly: wants to RETHINK the S.O.N. God as the S.U.N. god.
Zoe groupies: (Zoe is Lucifer or the evil but superior sister of the Logos and the MOTHER of Jehovah). They are CALLING DOWN THE FIRES.
    Ahriman (Ariman, Ahraman, Dahak, Angro-Mainyus, etc.)- The Persian price of evil, prototype of the Christian Satan. According to Zoroaster, who was tempted by the archfiend but came off triumphant from the encounter, it was Ahriman who brought death to the world by virtue of slaying the prototype of man and beasts. [Rf. Forlong, Encyclopedia of Religions.] Ahriman was not entirely evil until Sassanid times. The Magi once sacrificed to Ahriman. He is coeval with Ahura Mazda and equally supreme in power, but will be overcome in the end by the great Persian "omniscient lord of heaven and earth." Early Zoroastrians believed that Ahriman and Ahura Mazda created the world together. Some believe that the two were twins fathered by Zurvan (Boundless Time)
At the BIRTH of Jesus the MAGI (all religious performers: Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites) BOWED to Him and protected Him. The MAGI are defined as:
    Magos one of the priests and wise men in Persia who interpreted dreams, 3. enchanter, wizard, esp. in bad sense, impostor, charlatan

      1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    II. magos, on, as Adj., magical, magps technêi prattein ti Philostr.VA1.2 ; kestou phôneusa magôtera AP5.120 (Phld.). (Opers. magus( 'Magian'.)

      technê 1 [tiktô]
      I. art, skill, craft in work, cunning of hand, esp. of metal-working, Od.; of a shipwright, Il.; of a soothsayer
      2. art, craft, cunning, in bad sense, arts, wiles, cunning devices

      The METHOD of the MAGOS or ENCHANTER is:

      Epôidê song sung to or over: hence, enchantment, spell, persons, like a prophet, oracular

    John prophesied of the END TIME CHURCH where the MAGI will try to TRIUMPH OVER Jesus by putting Him back in the manger while they do the MAGIC and GET THE WORSHIP.

    Re 18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman [techne], of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; )

Jesus GREW UP and defeated the Canaanites (traffickers). He EJECTED the musical minstrels LIKE ONE EJECTS DUNG. ALL music and musicians and performance speakers CONFESSED to practicing sorcery and ALL musical terms point directly to SORCERY. Because they are UNPIOUS FRAUDS everyone grasped that they were PARASITES. When a talented musician ABANDONS the role in a church he sets the example.

Zechariah prophesied of MESSIAH in great detail: those who PROPHESIED as the musical STIMULATORS trying to call down God would be KILLED BY THEIR PARENTS. There CAN be no TRAFFICKERS in the house of God: He makes sure because when the musical traffickers COME IN He removes His CANDLESTICK or the seven spirits of God.
    Zec.14:21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.

    Kenaaniy (h3669) ken-ah-an-ee'; patrial from 3667; a Kenaanite or inhabitant of Kenaan; by impl. a pedlar (the Canaanites standing for their neighbors the Ishmaelites, who conducted mercantile caravans): - Canaanite, merchant, trafficker.

    Kenaan (h3667) ken-ah'-an; from 3665; humiliated; Kenaan, a son of HAM; also the country inhabited by him: - Canaan, merchant, traffick.

John MARKED the return of the BABYLON WHORE and Arnobius warned YOU that while you are MIMICING (effeminate, deceiving) and PRETENDING to "BRING FORTH A DEITY" to perform MAGICA with MUSICA and CANTUS or enchantment, it MAY be the end time LOCUSTS or musical performers SEPARATING the sheep from the goat: Chrysostom writing to Theodore before his fall:
    "May it not happen, may it not come to pass, although you craftily conceal it, that the one should take the other's place,
      deluding, mocking, deceiving, and presenting the appearance of the deity invoked."
      "If the magi, who are so much akin to soothsayers,
      relate, in their incantations, pretended gods steal in frequently instead of those invoked;
      that some of these, moreover, are spirits of grosser substance, who pretend that they are gods,
      and delude the ignorant by their lies and deceit."
      (Arnobius Against the Heathen, Ante-Nicene, VI, p. 479).
"Clergy's" Job is to TAKE AWAY THE KEY to knowledge. And "see godliness as a means of financial gain." That parses to HIRELING meaning "one who is hired" and to PROFESSION.
    2 Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

    Kapeleuo (g2585) (a huckster); to retail, i.e. (by impl.) to adulterate

    kapêl-euô, A. to be a retail-dealer, drive a petty trade... kapêleu' drive a trade

    sell learning by retail, hawk it about, i. e. fight half-heartedly, A.Th. 545; k. têi Chariti tên amoibên Epicur. traffic in grants of citizenship, of prostitutes, . ton bion playing tricks with life {ZOE}

CHARITIE speaks of the "grace-centered" concept where the GRACE they promote was the "brown eyed Greek prostitute goddess."

Peter OUTLAWED all theatrical performance in the SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE. Those who try to put Jesus BACK below the MAGI and violating many direct commands in order to be a CANAANITE IN THE HOUSE the Canaanites built but claiming to build a HOUSE FOR GOD:
    1Pe.4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The CHRIST OF GOD or His Majesty and Glory or "visible mode" came FULLY GROWN into Jesus of Nazareth. When people began to focus on the BODY PREPARED FOR God to indwell, Jesus said:
    John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

    John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Any kind of SPECTACLE OF WORSHIP pretending that GOD was born is THE RETURN OF THE MAGI. Don't ever watch anyone PLAYING GOD or shoving Jesus the SON OF MAN back into a 7 pound bundle OVER WHOM they can perform the TRICKS OF THE MAGI'S TRADE.

To try to DISMISS the good doctor's good parable by WHINING about celebrating the birthday of Jesus probably means that a MAGI with superior chanting and enchanting skills has invaded and pervaded the pulpit with a PhDuh in Phrenology. Minimal honesty by any nay sayer SHOULD confess whether they are ON THE DOLE riding widows like witches or not.

 
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PPB
(no login)
70.116.84.97

Re: RETURN OF THE MAGI!

December 24 2005, 3:29 AM 

I see we have know added a kindergarten section to this posting. I find Doug's comment telling. I guess something Bill said hit a nerve!!!!

By the way Doug, I work around/with Ph.D's and the majority of them use Dr. in their business and personal titles. It sounds like you work around engineers (who do not always follow normal protocol on titles) so you may not be aware of how other fields do use their titles. Most other fields do use Dr. as a title: education, psychology, business, music, art, marketing, accounting, etc.

You might want to make sure you aren't stating your "opinion" in place of a fact. Also, you might want to stop getting so personal - it makes you sound a little pouty. Not saying you are, but it does come across that way to the reader.

I'm glad Dr. Crump didn't tell Anonymous his field/title! It's none of our business and doesn't make a difference to God. It also doesn't make a difference in his ability to interpret and teach the Word of God. Just think, most of the Apostles were uneducated fishermen, yet they were able to stand firm in their teaching of Christ's message. I don't see Rubel or Max doing that - they change ever five years or so. Very inconsistent men.

 
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allen coffman
(no login)
69.241.130.169

don't tell stories

December 24 2005, 8:38 PM 

I thought Dr. Crump's narrative helped me understand why churches should not use narratives to help me understand the gospel.

 
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Ken Sublett
(no login)
63.84.81.2

FREE at last!

December 25 2005, 12:09 AM 

Isn't it wonderful that the good doctor doesn't have a degree in Missional Madness, or Doctor of Locate Missionary, or Doctor in Riding tandem on widows and honest WORKING people (Paul told preachers: if you will not work neither shall ye eat).

I can see where he can CHEW this like DRIED TONGUE JERKY into a BOOK or a SEMINAR or a MINISTRY where you can donate with PAYPAL.

Isn't this better than procuring fairie tails?

 
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Jack Mann
(no login)
72.49.62.71

Re: FREE at last!

December 25 2005, 8:40 AM 

Interesting response to Dr. Crump's post. I, myself, am thankful for all you men of "five talent."

One with my learning ability is very happy to see that God first, announced the birth of His Son to the lowely "shepherds abiding in the field." Those of us with sixth grade educations can rejoice knowing that after the shepherds went into Bethlehem to "see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord had made known to them," returned to their lowely job at the sheepfold, "glorifying and praising God."
Now, that is good advise for all men, regardless of degree or talent.



 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
66.19.69.177

RE: Don't Tell Stories

December 26 2005, 12:52 PM 

Dr. Coffman: "I thought Dr. Crump's narrative helped me understand why churches should not use narratives to help me understand the gospel."

Dr. Crump: Discerning readers should have gleaned the following points from the story:

  • While Jesus used parables to teach His message, Church drama is not authorized in the New Testament, neither is converting worship services into raucous spectacles that introduce worldly elements for purposes of attracting crowds and entertaining them. Why didn’t Jesus enlist the services of some local “pop” musicians and actors of the time to entertain the crowds in between His parables and miracles? Because the message He brought was too important to be cluttered and polluted with worldly entertainment. Were His miracles designed to entertain crowds, as today’s praise bands and church drama do? The miracles were the proof of His divine authority. The same cannot be said of raucous praise bands and drama that feature a repertoire of pop music and hype.

  • To make church drama more appealing and exciting, there is too much temptation to insert fictional elements which are not true to biblical accounts. Without the rock stars and bikers, Johnny initially regarded the simple biblical account of Christ’s birth as a “drag.” If people cannot accept the Word of God without it being made "relevant" to popular culture, then perhaps those people should re-examine their Scriptural priorities.

  • Church drama introduces the temptation for viewers to become so wrapped up in the showmanship, theatrics, special effects, and actors, that they lose track of what the real purpose of worship is: to give praise and glory to God and not to receive adrenaline highs and a false sense of “faith” which emotionally charged music and drama laced with fiction convey.

Although some folks defend church drama and other man-contrived practices on the premise that the NT does not specifically forbid them as such, the other side of the coin is that the NT does not specifically authorize them. We second-guess the NT if we believe that whatever the NT does not specifically forbid by name is fair game. We then must be guided by general biblical principles. The New Testament forbids living by and catering to a worldly lifestyle, whether that be in private life or within the Church itself (Romans 12:2, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15-17 KJV).

And the final point to be gleaned from the story:

  • The message of Christ is best conveyed, not by man-contrived drama and complex theatrics, but by pure, straightforward preaching and teaching to those who will hear. The hype and pizzazz of culture-driven church drama had blinded Johnny from understanding Christ's true purpose and mission; his eyes were opened when a Christian friend sat down with him and revealed the Truth as presented in the New Testament.


 
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John Waddey
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
72.154.245.138

CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTMAS

December 22 2007, 1:41 AM 

Dear Friends of Christ:

There was a time when gospel preachers understood and taught that the celebration of Christmas, as a holy day, was not authorized by Scripture. They knew and explained that it was the creation of the Catholic Church and that those who wish to be Christians after the New Testament order did not recognize or observe that holy day. A symptom of the spiritual decay that is plaguing the church of our day is that many of our preachers and congregations are joining their denominational neighbors in religious observance of this holy day. Today's lesson explains what our view should be. Please share this
with others.


John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: johnwaddey@aol.com

___________________________________



    CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTMAS



    Around the word, religious people observe the Christmas Holy Day. Is such a religious observance approved by God? As we consider this, remember our commitment is to worship God exactly as did the first Christians.

    Is December 25 Christ's birthday? Neither Scripture nor history offer not a word to determine the date of his birth. "The day of Christ's birth cannot be ascertained from the New Testament, or indeed from any other source. The fathers of the first three centuries do not speak of any special observance of the nativity..." (McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, Vol. 3:p.276). "Chrysostom in 386 states that the celebration of the birth of Christ according to the flesh 'was not inaugurated in Antioch until ten years before that date'" (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Relgious Knowledge, Vol. 3, p.46).

    December 25th was determined by the decree of Liberious, bishop of the church in Rome, in 354 A.D. The date was widely and hotly disputed by others. Days in nearly every month were set forth. "The Western Church ordered the feast to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun (Americana). "The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit or in manner. (Schaff-Herzog, Vol 3, p. 48). The very name Christ's Mass reveals
    its origin.

    Jesus tells us to "observe all things whatsoever (he) commanded" (Matt. 28:20). But he did not command a Christmas observance. Therefore we should not do this as an act of worship and devotion. Paul warns us "not to go beyond the things which are written" (I Cor. 4:6). But no New Testament writing tells us to observe a holy day for Christ's birth. To do so is to go beyond what is written. Such religious practices are vain worship, being the precepts of men (Matt. 15:9).

    God gave his church only one special day, the first day of the week. This is the day of Christ's resurrection; the day of the church's beginning (Mark 16:1-2; Acts 2). It is presumptuous for man to add other items to God's divine plan. Had God wanted such an observance he would have told us. When Christians in Galatia took up the observance of "days, and months, and seasons and years," Paul wrote, "I am afraid of you, lest by any mans I have bestowed labor upon you in vain" (Gal. 4:10-11).

    Our society makes Dec. 25 a national holiday. We do not observe the religious observance of this day, but neither can we "go out of this world" (I Cor. 5:9-10). It is the author's view that we can observe the legal, civil, social holiday, just as we do Independence Day or Thanksgiving Day. We can take the day off from work with pay; accept a Christmas bonus; receive a Christmas gift; eat a Christmas feast; give presents to family and friends; and enjoy the holiday festivities without sin, so long as we do not presume to make it a religious observance.

 
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Jimmy Wren
(no login)
68.113.199.149

Get'er ready! The money thing.

July 31 2008, 8:21 PM 

I was in a Hobby Lobby this afternoon and the isles are already stocked from end to end with the Christmas related products. I didn't see any turkey stuff!

I saw a book for church 'plays' there. If you read the book you may be able to expect what 'play' Madison will put on this year.

In Christ,
Jimmy

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
72.154.197.18

Re: Get'er ready! The money thing.

August 1 2008, 11:35 AM 

Jimmy, years ago, department stores tended to wait until after Thanksgiving to stock their shelves with Christmas decorations. Then as commercialism began to play a more influential role in Christmas, the decorations appeared immediately after Halloween. In the last decade or so, I've seen decorations appear during the month of October before Halloween. Now, apparently the decorations are appearing even earlier, during the summer. Perhaps some stores are capitalizing on the old phrase of "Christmas in July." In time, Christmas decorations could be stocked year-round in many stores. That wouldn't be too far removed from the events described in William Dean Howells' short story of 1892 entitled "Christmas Every Day."

 
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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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