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June 23 2006 at 1:55 AM
ConcernedMembers  (Login Donnie.Cruz)
from IP address

February 2001

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

February 2001

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

February 25, 2001

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

March 2001

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

April 13, 2001

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

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

April 22, 2001

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

May 2001

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

July 2001

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

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

Mid-August, 2001

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

August 29, 2001

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

September 23, 2001

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

September 30, 2001 (Sunday)

Larry Sullivan was Guest Speaker! (The Unbiased Mediator)

October 11, 2001 (Thursday)

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

October 14, 2001 (Sunday)

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

October 17, 2001 (Wednesday)

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

October 21, 2001 (Sunday)

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

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

October 24, 2001 (Wednesday)

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

October 25, 2001 (Thursday)

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

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

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

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

October 29, 2001 (Monday)

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

November 2, 2001

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

November 4, 2001

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

November 7, 2001

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

November 9, 2001

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

November 20, 2001

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

November 21, 2001

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

November 28, 2001
December 02, 2001

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

December 18, 2001

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

January 20, 2002 (Sunday)

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

January 21, 2002 (Monday)

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

February 4, 2002 (Monday)

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

February 6, 2002 (Wednesday)

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

February 9, 2002 (Saturday)

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

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

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

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

    ConcernedMembers announce statewide newspaper advertising campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    Changes Continue At Madison [see earlier Timeline]

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

August 1, 2002

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

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

    TITHING NT Christians for Services of the OT Levitical Priests

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

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

November 7, 2002

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

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

January 5, 2003 (Sunday)

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

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

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

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

May 12, 2003 (Monday)

Madison Church of Christ, Incorporated: ONE YEAR LATER

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

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

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

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

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

July 23, 2003

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

August 6, 2003

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

August 13, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Everyone is encouraged to attend this special time of worship

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

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

April 12, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 7, 2004

    “From the Madison Search Committee” (Madison Marcher)

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

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

July 14, 2004

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

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

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

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

August 11, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

August 18, 2004

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

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

October 6, 2004

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

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

October 27, 2004

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

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

November 17, 2004

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

December 1, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

January 16, 2005

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

January 26, 2005

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

February 16, 2005

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

March 17, 2005

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

March 27, 2005

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

April 10, 2005

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

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

May 18, 2005

    Announcement of “New Adult Sunday School Classes Beginning in June” including:

  • (a) HomeBuilders [popular among denominations] now called LifeBuilders with both men and women teachers [
    — …
    — Terry & Susie Ashley
    — Rob Wells and Leanne Shelby (female Youth Minister)
    — …
    — Madison’s Praise Team (male and female choir members)];
  • (b) Single Mothers Class; and
  • (c) Serving Singles.

June 1, 2005

    Again, a repeat in 2005 of Rick Warren’s “church growth” scheme’s special feature—incorporating. Announcement—“NOTICE TO ALL MADISON CHURCH OF CHRIST MEMBERS: We will have our annual corporation meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m. in the Main Auditorium. Buck Dozier will be conducting the meeting”

June 8, 2005

    Kay Nickell writes in “Remembering Dad” about Russ Kersten, elder, and his illness and death.

June 29 2005

    In the preceding Timeline thread (#10), someone was asking about Keith Hall, the male “Youth Minister”—and Tory Tredway’s replacement. Many people have wondered to this day how and why Tory lost his job. [Hush, Tory wasn’t the singy-clappy charismatic kind of guy. Young … but he did not meet the “contemporary” standards.] There are a few posts in the thread about “Tory Tredway.” Check the Page 1 Index for this thread last-dated March 4, 2005.

August 10, 2005

    “David Billingsley and Steve Smith … were ordained as Elders on August 7, 2005” [Marcher, 8.10.05]. “Marty Rothschild has been assigned to work with Steve as his mentoring Elder” [Marcher, 8.17.05].

August 17, 2005

    In “To the Elders and Members of Madison Church of Christ,” Howard Henderson writes—“I indicated to the Elders at our Spring Rereat that upon the installation of any additional shepherds, I would be bowing out of this role.” [Marcher]

September 7, 2005

    “Madison Welcomes New Lipscomb President, Randy Lowry”—“… will be preaching … on September 25th … founder of the nationally-recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and was a professor of law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.”

September 14, 2005

    Phil Barnes writes re: the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts—“In consultation and agreement with the elders, I committed our congregation to provide a week of relief help for the Red Cross Shelter that is being established at Two Rivers Baptist Church.” [Marcher]

October 26, 2005

    Preparing for the Christmas Drama—“A Christian Carol.” “As Phil announced … we will be doing a full-length Christmas play this year. The dates for the production will be December 17th and 18th (Saturday and Sunday) at 7:00 p.m. each night. The play is an adaptation of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” which we are calling “A Christian Carol.” Why are we doing a Christmas drama? … Using drama, we can break down defenses and are often able to get people to come to a performance [emph. d.c.] who might be intimidated by a regular church service…. If it is God’s purpose to use this drama to reach the unchurched in our community, Satan will try to put obstacles in our path. … Once again, we ask that each of you be praying over this play….”

January 25, 2006

    Financial Report of the Saints’ Collection (cf. Marcher)

    --- Personnel Wages -------- 865,688,66
    --- ------ Benefits -------- 167,308.31
    --- ------ Counseling ------- 42,398.00
    --- ===================================
    --- Wages & Benefits ----- 1,075,394.97 = (36.51% of Receipts)
    --- Benevolence ------------ 124,191.07 = (04.22%)

    2006 Wish List: New Church Sign ----- 55,000.00
    --- Media: Video Projector ----------- 8,000.00
    --- --------- Time Base Corrector –--- 2,000.00
    --- --------- Projection Switcher --- 20,000.00
    --- --------- Pro Tools Software –--- 12,000.00

March 26, 2006

    Job Announcement—“… That growth has led us to a wonderful opportunity that your Shepherds are excited to share with you. It has been decided to add a new position to our Ministry Team, an Associate Minister of Community and Family Development. This crucial role will primarily deal with coordinating our volunteers in our many ministries, coordinating our efforts to assimilate new members, and coordinating our Small Group ministry. … As a family of believers, your Shepherds ask you to agree to pray for this decision and this process, and that God will send us the man He has already chosen.”

Is the above announcement of a job for “just the right man” [not “woman”—this has been verified ] one more indication of how an incorporated church operates and functions? It’s been about three months. Perhaps missed … please notify us if God has sent “the man He has already chosen.”


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


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

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Donnie Cruz
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Madison’s “Worship” Attendance through June 4, 2006

June 23 2006, 5:08 AM 

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

    Combined 8:00AM and Contemporary (10:30AM) Attendance

    ..... Recent stats are taken from the Marcher/worship program
    ..... All figures below include 300+ from the EXT dept.[?]
    ..... Sunday School Drive on October 19, 2003
    ..... “The Passion…” Movie Drive in February-March, 2004
    ..... Interactive Worship Drama (“Easter Sunday”) in April
    ..... Baby Day Celebration around first Sunday in May
    ..... Great Day in May
    ..... Memorial Day Service in last part of May
    ..... Madison Family Day (Combined at 10:00 in May or June)
    ..... Transition: Bruce White out; Phil Barnes in (Oct-Dec, 2004)
    ..... Membership Records for 2002 (Madison Marcher, 01.22.03):
    ..... __________ 1863 Family Units
    ..... __________ 4574 Attenders/Members
    ..... __________ 76 Baptized
    ..... __________ 124 Placed Membership
    ..... Membership Records for 2004 (Madison Marcher, 01.10.05):
    ..... __________ 1633 Family Units
    ..... __________ 3629 Attenders
    ..... Membership Records for 2005 (Madison Marcher, 01.25.05):
    ..... __________ 1675 Family Units
    ..... __________ 3514 Attenders/Members
    ..... __________ 30 Baptized
    ..... __________ 109 Placed Membership


    2001 JANUARY 3000+___3000+___3000+___3000+
    2001 FEB ______ ____________________________
    2001 MAR ______ ____________________________
    2001 APR ______ ________2525____________2303
    2001 MAY ______ 2498____2675____2403____2348
    2001 JUN ______ 2355____2558____2543____2371
    2001 JUL ______ 2531____2508____2428____2306____2386
    2001 AUG ______ 2177____2375____2297____2161
    2001 SEP ______ 2163____2335____2577____2096
    2001 DEC ______ 2148____2008____2039____2134____1985

    2002 __________ [no stats available]
    _______________ [NOTE: 2002 census shows MCC with—
    _______________ 3142 members;
    _______________ 1786 in worship attendance;
    _______________ 4730 adherents]

    2003 JUL ______ ________________1483________
    2003 AUG ______ 1702____1759____1726____1742____1732
    2003 SEP ______ 1782____1722____1629____1498
    2003 OCT ______ 1681____________2028____1643
    2003 NOV ______ 1708____1664____1526____1637____1596
    2003 DEC ______ 1554____1534____________1557

    2004 JAN ______ 1725____1712____1640____1715
    2004 FEB ______ 1746____1606____1608____1647____1816
    2004 MAR ______ 1819____1718____1738____1698
    2004 APR ______ 1630____2697____1628____1733
    2004 MAY ______ 1639____1748____1605____1713____1686
    2004 JUN ______ 1648____1629____1660____1781
    2004 JUL ______ 1691____1633____1797____1639
    2004 AUG ______ 1678____1637____1773____1851____1771
    2004 SEP ______ 1640____1728____1715____1661
    2004 OCT Trans. 1687____1660____1630____1660____1617
    2004 NOV Trans. 1695____1663____1833____1796
    2004 DEC Trans. 1816____1761____________1491

    2005 JAN ______ 1699____1845____1819____1628____1823
    2005 FEB ______ 1893____1844____1917____1953
    2005 MAR ______ 1903____1983____1731____2416
    2005 APR ______ 1736____1822____1750____1731
    2005 MAY ______ ________1900____1757____1800____1652
    2005 JUN ______ ________1685____1728____1717
    2005 JUL ______ ________1785____1745____1769____1683
    2005 AUG ______ 1881____1823____1772____2128
    2005 SEP ______ 2014____1917____1854____1915
    2005 OCT ______ 1637____1784____1811____1773____1794
    2005 NOV ______ 1798____1763____1766____1621
    2005 DEC ______ 1797____1729____1766____

    2006 JAN ______ 1641____1924____1880____1808________
    2006 FEB ______ 1878____1833____1560____1927
    2006 MAR ______ ________1773____1646____1657
    2006 APR ______ 1697____1859____3206____1795____1829
    2006 MAY ______ ________1900____1955____1710
    2006 JUN ______ 1770


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Donnie Cruz
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Message from a “former ‘worship leader’”

June 23 2006, 5:44 AM 

Message from a "former ‘worship leader’"
May 29 2005 at 6:46 AM

I must share this special message from someone who is highly knowledgeable about the CCM Movement. In fact, he has written a book published by Evangelical Press, “Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement,” now on its 13th printing. I have been granted permission to post this personally treasured e-mail from Dan Lucarini:


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Dan Lucarini []
    Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:29 PM
    Subject: Contemporary Worship Choreography-Made for TV or "the Audience of One"?

    Hey Donnie,

    I see you are still stirring up the 'worship' hornet nest! So am I. As a former worship leader, I knew exactly what the order of service you printed means. I chuckled at the 'VCC' (verse-chorus-repeat chorus). At the same time, seeing it again made me realize afresh how trite and manipulative is the entire exercise of 'planning worship'.

    There's an interesting book out called Worship: The Simple Mystery by Dan McGowan (friend of mine). It should have been titled 'confessions of a current worship leader'. Dan recounts the time a professional worship consultant came to his Evang Pres church and taught the worship team how to fake the sincerity. He also laments the professionalism that has taken over Sunday mornings.

    Our contemporary worship friends are caught in a dilemma of their own making. On one hand they tell us we have to abandon the old, dead, lifeless forms of worship where people do the same thing over and over again, and there is no spontaneity allowed. On the other hand, these same people rigorously program their own worship services with lots of little manipulative entertainment tricks like those in your article.

    Spontaneity always degenerates into ritual, whenever men devise their own ways to worship the gods. But where there is spiritual worship in truth (John 4:24), ritual cannot take control.

    Blessings in Christ, my fellow soldier. Hope to meet someday Lord willing.



    Contemporary Worship Choreography—Made for TV or "the Audience of One"? Donnie Cruz



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(Login markfl)

The real point

June 26 2006, 7:35 PM 


That is a great letter. It hits at the heart of this issue.

No matter, what it comes down to is that those who lead publically (whether their title is song leader, worship coordinator, or worship leader) HAVE to make sure it is not about them, rather that thier efforts are focused on praising God and uplifting thier fellow brothers and sisters.

Again, the beauty of Christ's message is it's simplicity. Christ stripped away the cumbersome and very physical ways that God was worshiped in the Old Testament.

I have said it before in other posts, I don't need a building to worship with other christians. I don't need a guitar, a projector, a microphone, or a songbook. All I need is for us to come together. I don't care if it is in the middle of a ranch in West Texas, in Texas Stadium on the Dallas Cowboy's Star, or on the international space station. Whereever we christians gather, God is with us and we can praise him with our voices, we can uplift one another.

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Donnie Cruz
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Re: The real point

July 23 2006, 3:33 AM 


I agree that Dan Lucarini’s e-mail to me is a great letter. I certainly agree with Dan’s assessment when he said of the dilemma of “our contemporary worship friends … these same people [who] rigorously program their own worship services with lots of little manipulative entertainment tricks.”

I certainly agree with you about the simplicity of Christ’s message and the NT gathering of the saints being devoid of the cumbersome and ritual, physical ways. And I don’t think that it was/is ever God’s intent for Christians to resort to worship and praise with “holy” entertainment at the “worship center.”

I might add the musically-induced form of “anxiety” to the cumbersome rituals. A good example of anxiety is when the uncoordinated individual begins to worry about not being able to keep up with the rhythmic clapping to match the musical leader’s skills. [ Note: I believe that certain “clapping”-practicing congregations in the brotherhood will never outperform any of the charismatic churches where this act has been imitated from. This is an instance where imitation can never match the original and originality.]

Another example of this anxiety is in awaiting the moment when the Praise Team is going to make even a minor mistake during their performances. Of course, we can be assured that it is not likely to happen—i.e., the PT members making a mistake. Well … except on one occasion when there was some miscommunication between the concert leader and a female vocalist team member—the volume of the microphone revealed it all for everyone to hear … the embarrassed giggle, etc. One thing the PT has perfected is the humming, the o-o-o-o-o-ing, or what sounds like Minnie Pearl’s “HOW-DEE” at some point in a song—you might refer to this as a musical instrument sound emulation.

It amazes me that Dan can boldly say something about the degeneration “into ritual, whenever men devise their own ways to worship the gods.” So, it now appears that Dan has done his homework, too, besides Ken.

As Ken Sublett often says:

    All forms of AROUSAL singing with or without instruments were called SORCERY or ENCHANTMENT. John assigns it to the Babylon Harlot worship in Revelation 18.

    [In regard to the simplicity of the message of truth], the concept of the Elder OVERSEEING was used in the synagogue: as part of the EDUCATION for which the synagogue and church existed—a schoolboy could READ these hymns and the elder watched carefully that he did not ADD TO or SUBTRACT FROM the text.

    That is Paul's meaning when he says that the ELDERS are “apt to teach” [I Tim. 3:2; II Tim. 2:24] and to "teach that which HAS been taught." II Tim. 2:2—“… the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” There is NO music concept in the “ekklesia,” synagogue or church. It was added almost 400 years after the time of Christ.

    Do I expect anyone to change: not on your life—the "idolatry of talent" has confiscated the church and, as prophesied, only a TINY REMNANT will be "outside" the crowds to suffer reproaches with Jesus Christ….

I might add that when the “Worship Leader” sings erroneous doctrinal messages, the church is at risk. The truth is compromised. While “Boundless Love” is evident from God’s amazing grace being available to everyone, there is a problem with making God a respecter of persons when the “music director” misleads others in singing: “This is my life, it’s what I know. And I can’t believe that He selected me!” Calvinism? You bet.

Or, in the song “Only By Grace….” The word “only” can be a misused adverb. Grace is God’s provision—it speaks of the divine side. Salvation is what the sinner needs and cannot be separated from what he MUST or needs to do to accept the offer of redemption in the blood of the Lamb.

Or, in other songs that pertain to God’s Spirit, or that pertain to the church as the body of Christ, or that pertain to what the Lord’s Supper is all about. This “Worship Leader” has acquired so many doctrinal fallacies from somewhere as evidenced in his selection of musical pieces. Beware of “Integrity’s Hosanna! Music.” Beware of the songs authored by the money-making and fame-seeking “‘Christian’ Hot Rock Music” artists. They are now in the Worship Entertainment Center near you.


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Donnie Cruz
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When the “Worship Leader’s Praise Team” wasn’t there

August 9 2006, 7:47 PM 

In another post, Keith Lancaster’s father-in-law had this to ask me:

    “Were you there a few weeks ago when the traditional and contemporary met together at praise team..just blended voices..Keith was so proud..Voices being lifted up to our Lord is his agenda..not waving arms..It's not about him...It's about using talents to make the worship service complete in a professional way...”

Keith “using talents to make the worship service complete in a professional way”? What an astounding remark concerning the “gathering of the saints”! Would not one want to question just about every word in that remark? Talent—is a natural gift from God, not to be mistaken for one of the spiritual gifts. “To make” negates the spontaneity within the context of “in spirit and in truth.” Just what is a “worship service”? When do we arrive at the worship service being complete? Does “in a professional way” resemble made-for-TV worship?

OK, Keith’s relative was referring to that special day called “Madison Family Day” on June 4, 2006. The “worship guide” did not occupy a separate page for the “First Worship, 8 a.m.” and a different page for “Second Worship, 10:15 a.m.” Instead, there was only the one page as intended as follows:

Madison Family Day — Combined Worship

The Great Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Lancaster
Down To The River To Pray [notebook #63]
Video: “God’s Family at Madison”
Love Feast
Come We That Love The Lord #111
All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name #19
Great Are You Lord [notebook #9]
It Is Well With My Soul #345
Christ We Do All Adore Thee #90
Communion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buck Dozier
Contribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buck Dozier
Blessed Be The Lord God Almighty [notebook #101]
Shout To The Lord [notebook #11]
How Great Thou Art #226
Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Smith
Message: "The Importance of Family". . . . . . . Phil Barnes
A Shield About Me [notebook #130]
Love Offering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phil Coats
Shepherd’s Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Hagan
We Will Stand [notebook #50]

What occurred on this day:
  • Church Records Sunday, June 4: [as reported the following Sunday]

    Regular Contribution = $40,016.20
    First Sunday Love Offering = $21,248.00 [to cover Vision 2000 project indebtedness]
    Attendance = 1770

    Compare this with attendance stats at top of this thread. There were many empty pews in the balcony, and the combined crowd on this day did not match what used to be the crowd during the original [second assembly at] 10:30 a.m. alone.

  • The “Combined Worship” was led by elders, the minister, and “Worship Leader”

  • Yes, there was a mixture of both: (1) hymns and (2) contemporary praise songs—of course, to appease the visiting “traditional” group from the 8:00 a.m. period. “Keith was so proud,” as his relative mentioned earlier. Why shouldn’t we see that … hmmm? He was “in control” as he directed “the congregation” into God’s “holy presence” as the “Worship Leader.” And that was “his agenda.” He certainly used his “talents” to make the “musical worship” really “complete … in a professional way.”

  • ”No praise team”? Uh-huh … Keith’s “Praise Team” was there! Whether or not the 16-member choir occupied the two front rows, whether or not the 16-member choir was interspersed in the auditorium—that was not the determining factor for their seeming absence. They were there! The truth of the whole matter is that the “Worship Leader” knew beforehand that the use of handheld microphones by his performers would be a colossal issue among the visiting “traditionalists.” Wise as a serpent … right!

  • Speaking of microphones and performances, congregational singing that churches of Christ are known for was restored in a heartbeat. The congregants sang their hearts out—“like it used to be.” [The sad part is that congregational singing is evident at the 8:00 a.m. assembly; it is also evident once a year during the “combined worship” on “Madison Family Day.” But at the “taken-over” 10:15 a.m. assembly where the “Praise Team” is present, the choir members dominate the singing (performances) with their microphones.]

  • The solemn atmosphere was marred by the extremely “charismatic” rendition of “How Great Thou Art” that was led by __________ [don’t recall the leader’s name]. Not so much with the singing of the song itself as [because of how it was led] what occurred at the end of the song—a thunderous APPLAUSE [clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap … plus more clap].

  • Although it was at the end, the solemn atmosphere was also marred by “We Will Stand”—there was a solo [lead] performance in the beginning of the song, followed by the “holding hands” ritual: “You’re my brother; you’re my sister; so, take me by the hand”—a forceful cued directive from the “Worship Leader.”

Quit pretending, Keith. Exterminate your Praise Team and performing. Who knows just when the wall between the “traditional” and the “contemporaries” might be ridden? It’s all up to you! God is not deaf that microphones are needed. Let the congregation sing—not the Praise Team singing to and for the congregation.


P.S.: While singing the contemporary musical pieces, the Praise Team had a more difficult time being heard—they did not have the microphones [he-he-he]—in this case the singing of the about-to-be-extinct hymns turned out much better than expected … the contemporary pieces that were unfamiliar to the visitors were no comparison.

This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address on Aug 11, 2006 1:43 AM

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Donnie Cruz
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Some Catching-Up with the Obvious “Worship” Incidentals

August 11 2006, 4:15 AM 

  • What about the “Worship Leader’s” obsession with the Praise Team MULTI-TASKING during the observance of the Lord’s Supper? Is it necessary for Madison’s “choir” to: (a) sing to the congregation while they are partaking of the bread …; or (b) passing the communion tray with the individual little cups, each partaking from one little cup [fortunately, it’s not the one BIG CUP the Catholic priest uses and does “drink ye all of it” that is being passed around]; … (c) looking at the sheet music; … (d) each holding his/her own microphone to ensure God [and/or the congregation] hears their performances; … (e) watch for THEIR worship leader’s next cue?

    The Christian understands the passages in Colossians and Ephesians concerning “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” or “admonishing one another.” Does it really make sense when the choir is humming the tune of a song DURING the partaking of the Communion … such as humming the first verse? [Maybe, there’s a reason for this—could be that the bread is still in the mouth….] Then … resort to singing the words of the second verse? Or, is humming part of the performance—you know, humming can certainly sound “really good” while one’s mind is thinking about the Lord’s sacrifice and death. Or, is it a wonderful substitute for the missing organ or piano rendition? I am writing this. Why? I am distracted by the humming—which is causing me to be less attentive to the cross of Calvary.

  • What about the “Worship Leader’s” and the “Praise Team’s” obsession with singing singy-clappy, rah-rah-rah, cheerleading, charismatic choruses during the solemn assembly of the saints? And semi-erotic praise music with these words—“you are the one for me” … “if you miss me” … “ain’t no bird, ain’t no rock, ain’t no tree” … “clap your hands” … “I was made for this: to know your tender kiss ; my feet were made to dance; I felt your warm embrace” … etc. “My God Reigns: There’s nowhere else that I’d be than dancing with You as You sing over me … my God reigns, and I dance the dance of praise….”

  • Why does the “Worship Leader” set himself as an example or ENCOURAGE or CUE the audience to do rhythmic clapping during singing, and then lead the congregants to APPLAUD at the end of a charismatically-induced praise music? When he KNOWS [or does he] that such unnecessary cheerleading activity is controversial and disruptive and offensive to the sensitive?

  • Why is that “Worship Leader” not being careful about singing songs that are scripturally erroneous or songs acquired from denominations that are doctrinally-contaminated? “Holy Spirit, breathe on me. Holy Spirit, let me see all the things You are, all the things You want me to be.” “Let Your Spirit come, fall upon me now, come and wash me now.” “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place … stay right here with us…” “Only By Grace…” “I can’t believe that He selected me….”

  • Why does the “Worship Leader” believe it is necessary to clap while singing songs that are reverential and solemn “in content” or cues the congregation to applaud at the end? “Let us worship the Father [clap-clap], worship the Father [clap-clap], worship the Father [clap-clap] … lift your hands to the Father [lift-lift], lift your hands to the Father [lift-lift], lift your hands to the Father [lift-lift]…” “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth [clap-clap]. O Lord, our, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth [clap-clap]” “You are love, You are life, You are Lord over everything, Hallowed be Thy Name [clap-clap]” “He will come and save you … do not be afraid [clap-clap]” “Over all the earth [clap-clap] … Lord, reign in me…” “Your kingdom shall reign over all the earth [clap-clap-clap]”

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(Login wordkeeper)

Re: Some Catching-Up with the Obvious “Worship” Incidentals

August 14 2006, 5:51 PM 

Dear Bro. Donnie,

Why do you focus so much attention on
outward appearences instead of the heart?
Could it not be that the worship leader
and the worship team have a genuine love
of the lord. Please, I would encourage you
to once lift your arms to the Lord (I Tim.
2:8) or close your eyes and sing the praise
songs with the congregation. Don't focus on
the externalities of the worship team, but,
close your eyes and be enraptured in the Spirit.
It is so free and so right if you would give it
just one try.

Thank you,


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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

“Advice is like snow—the softer it falls, the deeper it goes.”

August 16 2006, 4:50 AM 


  • Harry: “Why do you focus so much attention on outward appearences instead of the heart?”

    Answer: I cannot focus on someone else’s heart—I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to do that. It is more likely that outward appearances reveal what’s inside. Have you ever thought of it that way? I’m reminded of Proverbs 23:7—“ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

    Moreover, it is the word of God that knows the heart. Heb. 4:12—“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart

  • Harry: “Could it not be that the worship leader and the worship team have a genuine love of the lord.”

    Answer: First, the Scripture does not recognize “the worship leader” nor “the worship team.” Neither do I. Where and how did you arrive at these concepts? Besides, “genuine love of the lord” is not the issue, and it’s not my place to question or prove such.

  • Harry: “Please, I would encourage you to once lift your arms to the Lord (I Tim. 2:8) or close your eyes and sing the praise songs with the congregation.”

    Answer: How can you be sure that I am not too disabled and would be embarrassed to lift my arms in a public gathering? OK … I am not disabled, but I do my arm lifting when I yawn or do my stretching before I retire for the nite-nite. I also perform my arm-lifting exercise in the Sportsplex Gym. That’s where and when I can show off my tiny muscles. I close my eyes to go to sleep [or when the sermonette is a little boring]. I sing “praise” songs when I’m home alone or in private or while I’m driving—and I do not wait until the “showtime” gathering when it turns out to be just that.

    I do sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs—in order to “teach and admonish one another.”

  • Harry: “Don't focus on the externalities of the worship team, but, close your eyes and be enraptured in the Spirit. It is so free and so right if you would give it just one try.”

    Answer: I try not to “focus on the externalities of the worship team [yours or the ‘worship leader’s].” And how are you “enraptured in the Spirit”? And “what” is so free? “And so right,” did you say? Again, I’m reminded of the passage in Proverbs 14:12; 16:25—“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

    “Give it just one try”—“it” being what?


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(no login)

Why Are You So Upset?

August 30 2006, 11:37 PM 

This person Harry has asked you some good questions. You couldn't answer any of them with truth or intgrity. They all expose you as an angry person who has no reason to hate the church he still claims to be a member of.

One part in particular interested me:

Harry: “Could it not be that the worship leader and the worship team have a genuine love of the lord.”

Answer: First, the Scripture does not recognize “the worship leader” nor “the worship team.” Neither do I. Where and how did you arrive at these concepts? Besides, “genuine love of the lord” is not the issue, and it’s not my place to question or prove such.

Come on, you can do better than that can't you?

No, scripture doesn't recognize a worship leader or worship tem. Let me guess???? That means they are prohibited right? Let me also guess. You're not oposed to church buildings, youth ministers, communion the way we do it, invitation songs, announcements, microphones, song books or even "placing membership" and becoming a member of a church, are you? BUT- that somehow doesn't make you a hypocrite, does it?

I hope you change soon, because your heart can't take much more. You're too young to die of a heart attack. That's not right to do to your family.

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Ken Sublett
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Why are people so PAGAN? Led by the same Azazel.

August 31 2006, 11:54 AM 

I love to see those who had Bible Ridicule Nadab-Abhiu 101aaa! Only thing is, Paul attended Bible Literate 102 and TRUMPS the preachercators by writing Romans 1 and Hebrews 12 He warned about the MUSICAL IDOLATRY at Mount Sinai in Romans 10 and 1 Cor 10: that's why the hew Je Zeus (hail Zeus) ON THE DOLE preachers hate the "Epistles of the Apostates" in their clear written contempt.

AND Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. Leviticus 10:1

1 And Nadab H5070 and Abihu H30, the sons H1121 of Aaron H175,
  • took H3947 either H376 of them his censer H4289,
  • and put H5414 fire H784 therein H2004,
  • and put H7760 incense H7004 thereon H5921,
  • and offered H7126 strange H2114 fire H784
  • before H6440 the LORD H3068,
    which H834 he commanded H6680 them not.
They did FIVE THINGS when God had been SILENT. But, what harm did they do? Not a single thing: the lesson was that GOD has the right to COMMAND and if He has not commanded then God is SILENT and if you PRESUME in the face of an infinite God you simply are NOT suitable material to move on to the Spirit World where body worship is not possible. God had NOT commanded incense or anything which Moses and Aaron had NOT ALREADY DONE. Neither was this God's APPROVED SYSTEM OF WORSHIP but was the beginning of the LAW which was ADDED because of MUSICAL IDOLATRY. God NEVER SAID: "Thou shalt not rise up to PLAY in musical idolatry." He had given THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT which did NOT command any form of RITUAL as LEGALISTIC.

Those who quit being driven mad by "sanging" know that God had already turned them over to "worship the starry host" (Acts 7 etal). Now, God turns them over to Azazel which is the Scape Goat by which they actually had to give credit to one of the Fallen Stars or wandering stars. He along with the others personified in the Jubal band were taught how to HANDLE musical instruments meaning "without authority." Eve or Zoe was held to be that TEACHER of bad things. The SHE-GOAT is called NICO (as in NICO or NIKE "winged victory") TRUMPS the LAID Laity! She is the constellation AIX or CAPELLA! WOW. The Judas Goat!

The Qahal or synagogue or church in the wildernes were commanded to REST, READ or REHEARSE the Word which the elders would have in their HOLY SPIRITS. This excluded instruments and "making a joyful noise before the Lord" which was the WARRIORS chant. You remember that Moses identified TRINITY-MUSICAL-IDOLATRY when he said: "IT IS SINGING THAT I HEAR."

Jesus said that worship is in the PLACE of our own SPIRIT. Paul said that they worshipped IN THE SPIRIT as opposed to IN THE FLESH because OUTSIDE there be DOGS. These were the musical wailers called CYNICS who were sending the WOLF signal to try to find a PARTNER for homosexuality. Paul defined the SYNAGOGUE which excludes SELF-PLEASURING which excludes any form of singing. Revelation says that John was IN THE SPIRIT on the Lord's day and not SANGING. Revelation also defines the speakers, singers and musicians of the Harlot Church as SORCERERS. That is why the DOGS and SORCERERS are not and will NEVER enter the kingdom which is spiritual.

Paul DEFINED the synagogue where we are commanded to worship by his ONLY worship word which is to GIVE HEED to the WORD of God "as it is written" meaning "Scripture." He defined and practiced NOTHING else where He assembled or synagogued the group: he did COMMAND the Lord's Supper which Jesus instituted. Singing, Giving, Preaching or LISTENING to sermons were ALL about 400 years to late to be CHRISTIAN: The Catholic Encyclopedia says that they were COMMON TO ALL PAGAN CULTS and so the NON-Christian "bishops" now being paid by the STATE added them.

For Instructions about SPIRITUAL WORSHIP (Which the Temple did not involve) People would wait from Moses to Jesus before God again spoke FACE TO FACE:
    See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Heb 12:25

    Whose voice then SHOOK the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet ONCE MORE I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. Heb 12:26

    And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the REMOVING of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken [a trumpet-like word] may remain. Heb 12:27

    Wherefore we RECEIVING a KINGDOM which cannot be moved, let us have GRACE,

    whereby we may SERVE God acceptably with REVERENCE and godly fear: Heb 12:28

    For our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29
Here Paul points to Nadab and Abihu and in Romans 6 he identifies the PRODUCT of silencing the WORD of God by the use of SINGING which Moses identified as MUSICAL IDOLATRY.

NO ONE can accompany the individual PRIEST come "BOLDLY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE." The TYPE of the Holy Place PROVES that any singer or musician who TRIED to enter into the church as ANTI-TYPE would have been instantly executed. Nay! Not even to clean out GARBAGE in Hezekiah's Plague Stopping sacrifice.

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Ray Pippin
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Re- Worship Leaders, etc.

September 5 2006, 11:07 PM 

Donnie, you say the Scriptures do not recognize a worship Leader or praise team. I assume you mean by that, the Scripture doen not mention them. I don't know of anyone who would argue that. I find no mention in Scripture of a Song Leader, prayer leader, one person making announcements or a prayer leader at the communion table. What place any of these played in the early church we don't know. Then to what degree should any of these be used in the worship assembly?

I think Paul's instruction would apply here " Let all things be done decently and in order, and to edify. 1Cor.14:26,40.
One song leader, prayer leader or any other leader is worth anything only if it helps the church in its corporate worship. Remember, when we come together as a congregation we are not alone. We are a community. I trust that those who are planning how our time together will be used, take into consideration how each song, prayer, sermon, communion time will bring glory to God;( God must be pleased first), how each person can be encouraged to participate to the fullest degree; (though we worship as a community, God is interested in each Christian's worship) no one can worship for another period. Yes, each person should be able to say, It has been good to be here. A christian should feel good when its all over but that is not the main consideration. We should feel good because we have done what He is pleased with.
When a Song Leader is leading a group of people in singing praises to God he is leading in worship. When a person is leading a group of people in prayer, that person is a worship leader. When someone gives words that help us focus around the Table, that person is leading in worship. When someone leads us in a study of Scripture, that is a worship leader (you may call it what you may).
No Song Leader should lead songs that would lead the congregation in the wrong direction. No one leading a prayer should pray in a way that the congregation cannot follow,(not a time for private prayers), no one serving at the communion table should take the congregation off in a direction other than to focus on the death, burial and resurrection and return of our Savior. The sermon should not be a discourse in pop psychology but directing minds into a serious study of God's revelation to us. Yes, it should be revelant. Preaching to the church in another State or down the street in another building won't help. Its also not a time for the preacher to whip the congregation. The gospel is GOOD NEWS!!!
Every person should ask themselves, am I worshiping God or am I going through the motions. No one can answer for you. God bless............RayPippin

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Ken Subletlt
(no login)

The command is ONE TO ANOTHER:

September 6 2006, 10:51 AM 

The direct command in Romans 15 was against SELF-pleasing. This included anything which would create the "creation of mental excitement." That is the REST Jesus died to give us from the laded burden which was "the creation of spiritual anxiety by religious rituals." The REST of the "church in the wilderness" and the REST word Jesus used means to STOP the singing, playing or any of the religious rituals claiming to bring about a WORSHIP experience.

The synagogue, ekklesia or church was to TEACH the Word. This is in the hands of the elders as the only Pastor-Teachers who must "teach that which has been taught.

Prophesying is TEACHING if you repeat what God has said or Paul has delivered. Paul defined prophesying CONTRARY to the musical prophesying of paganism. One might desire a gift but those are given to certain people. There is no evidence that those still CARNAL had a single supernatural gift. Therefore, they should spend their "warm feeling" on TEACHING which is RATHER or INSTEAD of a gift. Verse one proves that prophesying in the TRUE sense did not require a spiritual gift:
    1 Cor. 14:1 FOLLOW after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

    1 Cor. 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

    1 Cor. 14:3 But he that prophesieth SPEAKETH unto men to EDIFICATION, and EXHORTATION, and COMFORT.

That is what Jesus exampled, Paul commanded in Romans 15, what Paul commanded Timothy to do, what Paul did out on mission and what the historic church did before music was added "because it was common to ALL pagan cults."
    1 Tim 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

    1 Tim 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

This fits the synagogue Jesus endorsed which "had no praise service." If you teach that which is written then even in the synagogue a schoolboy might read: the OVERSEER literally looked over his shoulder to make sure that he did not ADD nor SUBTRACT from the text.
    For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 1 Cor. 14:31
In romans 15 Paul said speak with ONE MIND and ONE MOUTH using "that which is written" or "scripture" to EDIFY or educate, and COMFORT through the scriptures. That does not use the "singing" word because ADO is not SANGING but speaking. Others may dialog that and then ANOTHER passage is read and the practice was to LEARN the text and not MUSICATE it to nullify it. That is how Thomas Campbell defined "worship": reading and musing the Word of God. Then, you have no problems with DIVERSITIES which are NOT fodder for consideration says Paul in Romans14.

Tongues were the 70 minor dialects which were more comfortable than Koine which everyone could understand. They should not punish anyone (forbid) but they must be SILENT unless someone can INTERPRET which means from ONE language to ANOTHER:
    If any MAN think himself to be a PROPHETS, or spiritual,
      let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you
      are the commandments of the Lord. 1 Cor. 14:37

    But if any man be IGNORANT, let him be ignorant. 1 Cor. 14:38

    Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy,
    and forbid not to speak with tongues. 1 Cor. 14:39

    Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Cor. 14:40

Not EVERYTHING was permitted but ONLY to edification which means EDUCATION: that which one does in a BIBLE CLASS which has no preachers (outlawed in the synagogue) and no SINGERS (who would SUGGEST them?) but only explaining whatever is not clear and EXHORTING one another to that portion which has been read.

Gradualism began with "singing" as an act which was added about the time "non-Biblical" texts were written either to PROMOTE or REFUTE false teachings. In the last few years "singing" has devolved to a highly-honed style and content intending to "manipulate" people into a MENTAL STATE they call spiritual. When Moses identified idolatry it was not the legitimate sound of war or rejoicing over the enemy: it is SINGING that I hear. In Revelation 18 which predicts "times such as these" Paul identified all of the religious teknokrats; craftsmen, singers and musicians as practicing SORCERY. All singing words which Paul put down were "pagan prophesying" and are all identified in the Greek texts as practicing, confessed sorcerers. The literates saw the word guitarIST as meaning PARASITE. They were "simulating" the "ascending to bring Christ down or descending to bring Christ back from the dead" which is outlawed.

Sure, you can never pay for the "theaters for holy entertainment" if you RESTORE the "school of the Bible" but then you can buy health insurance for your kids and NOT get "sorcerized" and dissociated mentally by the "sanging thingy" always called sorcery.

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

Rowdy Singing and “Charismatic” Behavior

September 19 2006, 3:42 AM 


Thanks for writing. I would agree with much of what you said if we could only envision the simplicity of how the early Christians assembled and for what objectives.

Acts 20:7 simply tells us of the breaking of the bread and the breaking of the bread of life. The epistles tell us of the saints’ collection to help those in need. Singing serves its purpose when we let the word of Christ dwell in us richly and are able to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Songs are not sung to impress and entertain others. It’s all about teach, teach, teach; “learn of me”; and respect for God and honoring Him reverently.

When the “worship program” is made for TV and designed for “'HOLY’ laughter and entertainment,” and involves Charismatic imitation to make it lively and make everyone feel good, then, I shouldn’t be surprised if God would begin to question the professing Christian’s motive. If one should only listen carefully to the words being uttered in singing many of those “praise” songs and choruses. Some of the hidden messages in songs are contrary to the doctrine of Christ and the apostles. Right … “Lord, I love You … You know I love You and I praise You!” Sure, brag about self as if God had to be reminded of what He already knows in one’s heart. When the Bible says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments…”

Is it really that difficult to imagine if the apostles and the early Christians really “enjoyed” their made-for-TV “worship program” with their “Worship Leader” [wonder if it was Moses or Aaron ] leading the apostles with the other saints into God’s holy presence? Wait … it could have been Chenaniah , the master of the song with the singers (I Chronicles 15:27). Were the “Praise Team” members—Heman, Asaph, Ethan, Jeduthun and their children? (I Chron. 15; II Chron. 5). [FYI: “Praise Teams” are a.k.a. “Praise Leaders”—by postmodern church standards, they now include both men and women. Watch it Madison, women praise “leaders” are there to lead.]

Well, reader, please review some of the earlier threads that have exhaustively discussed the man-designated role of the “Worship Leader” and his minstrels, Contemporary Christian Rock Music, rhythmic clapping—all gimmicks that change agents and culture-driven “church growth” proponents use in promoting their schemes.

Ray, did you notice how rowdy the singing and overall atmosphere of the contemporary “assembly” the Sunday before last? Not the fault of the congregants as they’re only influenced by what your “worship leadership” projects. Lots of thunderous rhythmic clapping! Applause! Applause!

I will never forget what Phil Barnes said right before the sermon: “I know that when we get to heaven, it [the singing?] will be just as rowdy!”

What was this “More Holyroller Influence at Madison” that was reported in February 2001 at the top of this thread?

I think I may have attended a “Charismatic worship service.”

Now … is it “Charismatic”? Is it “Community”? Is it “Charismatic Community”?



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harry smith
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: “Advice is like snow—the softer it falls, the deeper it goes.”

September 19 2006, 5:33 PM 

Bro. Donnie,

I have some questions for you and they are only
meant to have a better understanding of you
perpective and maybe for you to have a better
understanding of my perspective:

1. Do you faithfully attend Madison Church even
to this day or do you contribute to this site
because you have many personal friends that you
want to warn of the 'dangers of a Purpose-Driven

2. If you do faithfully attend the Madison Church, is
it all bad or do you still get some spiritual fulfillment
out of the services ?

3. Are you grieved in the heart and spirit frequently or
every day because of what is happening at Madison or
are you able to persevere through this and hope that
things will get back to the way it used to be ?

4. Has being in this situation affected your health,
relationship with family or others ? Has it affected
your personality and how you live on a day to day basis ?

5. Is there any redeeming value in what Madison is doing
today ? Do they still present a gospel message and do
the unchurched hear something that will stir their souls.

6. Be honest. Are there any new songs that you have heard
that you enjoy and make you think about the goodness
of God or some other spititual aspect of life ?
Ex. Shout to the Lord or Shine Jesus Shine. or others.

Please consider these questions.

As another note: why has emotions during worship services
become so wrong. God is the one who created us with these
emotions and I don't think he wants them checked at the
enterance and act like emotionless robots and then leave
the church. He created us to laugh, cry, sing, dance, and
express our insumountable joy in all settings especially
inside the church with authentic purpose. So if the
criticism is clapping, singing, dancing, or whatever;
certainly God wants us to be the humans He made us to be.
Another of the many reasons why I attend the Assemblies of
God is such a reason. I really do wish the people in the
churches of Christ would let loose and express themselves
freely in church.

Thank you,

Harry Smith

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

“A better perspective of you” — really?

September 23 2006, 3:51 PM 


I think you should know by now where I stand on issues concerning the community/charismatic/church growth and other culture-driven movements that have infected/affected only CERTAIN churches of Christ like Madison, as well as conservative/fundamental/independent Baptist and other churches.

But if you really don’t know, it means that you haven’t paid much attention to what is being discussed here as you are too busy relating to us your experiences as to why you left the church and are now an “Assembly Church of God” denomination follower. Other than that, I’m in excellent health and haven’t wavered from continuing to expose agents and proponents of the aforementioned movements on this site.

The emotional aspects that you speak of have nothing wrong in and of themselves. But when you associate the pop-rock-, concert-, sports-cheerleading-, rhythmic-clapping-, hand-raising-, dancing-or-swaying-to-the-music- and hand-waving-associated behaviors and experiences in the assembly of the saints, that’s when the believer’s intent in being in the gathering of the saints should be in question.

Knowing where our culture and society and the world in general stand in these matters should sufficiently convince the true believer that the transfer of or association with these worldly/secular activities in the assembly for the same objective is apparent. The mature Christian knows it. So, ask the young or not-so-grown-up follower who has been “under-the-influence

We are fully aware that you continue to promote your own church’s “Happy Hour” event in churches of Christ. Frankly, that’s not going to be accepted by the congregation that is truly grounded in the truth. Only a deluded congregation would go along with your “happy hour” scheme, and it might as well change its affiliation to that of your denomination—end of story.

I think that you should conserve your energy and effort in the church you are affiliated with. You are not the answer to what goes on at Madison.


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(no login)

Re: “A better perspective of you” — really?

September 24 2006, 5:32 PM 


I think you should know by now where I stand on issues concerning the community/charismatic/church growth and other culture-driven movements that have improved/affected only CERTAIN churches of Christ like Madison, as well as conservative/fundamental/independent Baptist and other churches.

But if you really don’t know, it means that you haven’t paid much attention to what is being discussed here as you are too busy relating to us your experiences as to why you won't leave the church and now have moe authority than all the elders combined. Other than that, I’m in excellent health and haven’t wavered from continuing to encourage change agents and proponents of the aforementioned movements on this site.

The emotional aspects that you speak of have nothing wrong in and of themselves. But when you associate the pop-rock-, concert-, sports-cheerleading-, rhythmic-clapping-, hand-raising-, dancing-or-swaying-to-the-music- and hand-waving-associated behaviors and experiences in the assembly of the saints, that’s when the believer’s intent in being in the gathering of the saints begins to really please God.

Knowing where our culture and society and the world in general stand in these matters should sufficiently convince the true believer that the transfer of or association with these worldly/secular activities in the assembly for the same objective is required. The mature Christian knows it. So, ask the young or not-so-grown-up follower who has been “under-the-influence” of the Holy Spirit- if you know what that means. (see Acts)

We are fully aware that you continue to rebel against your own church’s “Happy Hour” event in churches of Christ. Frankly, that’s not going to be accepted by the congregation that is truly grounded in the truth. Only a deluded congregation would go along with your “rebel and divide” scheme, and it might as well change its affiliation to that of your denomination of choice—end of story.

I think that you should conserve your energy and effort in the church you are affiliated with. You are not the answer to what goes on at Madison.


This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address on Sep 27, 2006 2:02 AM

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

Nadab is creative and addresses himself [see above]

September 27 2006, 2:10 AM 

Dear Reader,

In case you’re wondering or confused, the phrases and expressions that Nadab changed in my response to Harry are in blue and bolded. I also think that Nadab’s intent was to address his post to me—not to himself.

[No, Nadab, I’m not going to accuse you of plagiarism. But I think that readers are really interested in your own refutation … expressed in your own words.]


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(no login)


September 29 2006, 12:24 AM 

I did in fact intend to address that post to you. I accidentally put my own name there. You got the point though. Good job.

You can accuse me of plagarism. That's what it was. It's just that you did such a good job referring to yourself, that I couldn't pass it up. I found that by changing a few choice words, it fit you perfectly.

Do you really think the readers are interested in my opinion in my own words?
O.K.- here it is: Based on your writings on this website, you need to find a new congregation to worship at. You shame Jesus and His church by slandering and causing division in the church you still claim to be a member of.

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Donnie Cruz
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“In the church you still claim to be a member of”—that expression!

September 30 2006, 7:33 PM 


It appears that you really admire some of my expressions and statements—even when you ape them for your spinning purposes. Thank you … I think. [There you go again … look at the subject of this post.]

OK … as you said, I can accuse you of plagiarism? Well, don’t feel bad—so long as you just give me some credit for my expressions before you twist them. Anyway, the smart reader is not oblivious to the fact that you twist and spin and, in the end, will find that your alliance with the change-mongering disciples is evident.

Yes, I took the time to underscore your “few choice words”—as I did not want my post “folded, stapled and mutilated” and to leave the reader totally confused as to where I stand. By doing so, I feel that I have successfully contrasted YOUR OWN DISTORTED VIEWS. Just where did you “acquire” these strange ideas from? You probably ought to explain yourself (in your own words) in your next response. Would you do this?

Nadab, I will have to disappoint you … now that you have attempted to use your “own words” for a change — but you’re not the first one to see “the need” for me “to find a new congregation to worship at.” That I “shame Jesus and His church by slandering and causing division in the church you still claim to be a member of

Whoa! Nadab, why do you take pride in identifying yourself as Nadab? Of course, that’s your prerogative. But it speaks a lot about your defiant attitude. My gut feeling is that you are fully cognizant of the truth or principle derived from the “Nadab and Abihu’s unwanted and unneeded sacrifice” — when they “offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not” [Leviticus 10]. You do not want to believe that “musical worship” for holy entertainment or a constant “Atta Boy!” to yourself [I love you, Lord”] can be a form of idolatry. Am I right or am I wrong in my assumption that you are in favor of allowing musical instruments to participate with you in the assembly of the saints?

I would urge the reader to go back and read the message you posted on Sept. 24—that one in which I highlighted your “few choice words.” Only the change agents and their followers would agree with your distorted views. I can also see what kinds of lessons you learned from your Bible classes when you were growing up … or was that in recent years? Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m unsure as to what is really your religious affiliation … since your views DO NOT represent those of the majority of members of the church of Christ I know.


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What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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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.

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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.

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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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