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An Online Conversation with the “Worship Leader’s” Wife’s Dad

July 25 2006 at 2:41 AM
Donnie Cruz  (no login)
from IP address

It’s been mentioned a number of times before that the reports here are not “fair and balanced.” I don’t quite understand that since I feel that this forum is open to opposing sides of issues. In fact, I have made an offer to someone to feel free to submit his own messages, viewpoints, complaints and rebuttals and to be assured that the other side is also represented here.

So, I would like to take this opportunity [or risk] to post what one side has to say about the other and vice versa. The messages from either side will be posted separately and in the order in which they appear at another site. In this way, a respondent can freely post a message just below the issue s/he might be interested in.

    There was a question posed:

      “Donnie, I hear all the talk that you are not even a member at Madison, yet you attend there and seem to care about what goes on with the congregation, yet if you are not a member then why not? If you are not I liken this to complaining about government, but never even voting. If you do not wish to address this here email me …. [TRH]”

    I responded:


      Sorry ... I just now found this. (The short title got my attention, finally.) I was reading so many "interesting posts" with today's date and finally got to near the top thread.

      Well, I've been attending Madison since 1987 +/- Then, the attendance was in the 3100s. Big place, right? As we know all about Madison's sad and unfortunate experiences, many folks have left since the havoc in 2001 early. I intend to stay until I decide otherwise.

      YTBH is correct about the directories with my invisible image(s). She and others have the right to believe what/how they feel or think about me. Anyway, regardless of what's happened at Madison, I have considered myself a member there. More importantly, my name is in the Book of Life -- no one in this world can take that away from me.

      I hope I have given you the info you wanted to know.

      I can't promise any quick responses, but you're welcome to correspond with me:

      Thanks for asking! [Untruth Buster]

    TRH’s reaction:


      I was just curious, thanks for the info. I attended Lipscomb in 96&97 and knew several people that attended there, and also from Middle Tennessee, so I had always heard about the size of the congregation. Do not think I was saying you have no right to voice your opinion, I was just wondering if you were a member there. Why so slow with Sunday School in Exile. Six months ago there were good Bible based posts and discussion and now it is a graveyard?

    Meanwhile, someone else was asking me about Jim Mankin while the preacher at Madison … to which I responded:

      No, I wasn't there at the time, although I had heard about him. Steve Flatt was the minister and Nick Boone was the humble pitch-piper ... when I started. [No, he didn't use a different pitch pipe for every different note. ]

Now, as to how this particular thread has turned into something between Madison’s “Worship Leader” and me … I can’t explain. We’ll just have to wait and see as his father-in-law [“peck” in this case] responds often in his defense.

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(no login)

A bad report from Donnie

July 25 2006, 2:56 AM 

I suppose that any of us might find negativeness in our congregations...It's normal..

What I see missing is the positive happenings that are not being expressed by Donnie..

When I visit,my soul is always inspired by it's worship service...Keith has an agenda to get everyone to sing..That's his talent...Have any of you noticed in congregations now that very few are singing..It's tough to combat this habit that some congregations are into..At Madison,the church sings..

Anything that goes on at Madison is first class...Whether it is the prayer leader..The announcements..The presider over the communion...great preaching,full of truth and presented in a way that keeps the listeners alert...and best of all..He gets the point out in less than an hour..Children are behaved and actually participate in the services at times..

I hardly ever visit when there is no responses..My heart is touched by the way that the congregation ..both men,women and elders gather around those who respond and pray and encourage them..And I've witnessed more baptism's at Madison than any other congregation I've attended..and the baptism scene is always so inspiring ...

Does 3000 make a more righteous congregation than one with fewer attendees...I have a hard time finding a parking place and at times cannot find a seat downstairs...The building is located in an area that would not pull attendees into it's services so easily...I understand that many of it's members drive long distances to attend...So much positive thinking is going on at Madison that Donnie's efforts are not bothering them at all...Their tolerance for Donnie is only one more star for their great efforts to turn people toward our Lord..

If anyone has received a bad report from Donnie without investigating and have arrived at a judgement of Madison..You have an obligation to see for yourself ..Just visit some..

God bless,Peck

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(no login)

The Pharisees and hypocrites

July 25 2006, 3:05 AM 

[fyi: walt is an ex-church member; Donnie is Untruth Buster]

Those like untruth and piney will do anything to protect their traditional upbringing (which is based upon ego centric characteristics, a main reason why untruth won't leave Madison and why piney supports this carnal logic). Jesus no doubt would include them in this saying:

"Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves." Matt 23:15

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(no login)

The heart that is judging the worship style

July 25 2006, 3:10 AM 

Good brother...I know our hearts are common but I must disagree with you about untruth buster...He's just human not spiritualy deficit...

A lot of us in the CoC have a problem dealing with anger management..The problem is not the worship style it's the heart that is judging the worship style...It may have been a good idea for the HS to advise that each congregation select leaders to oversee the work connected to the assembly...No congregation that I know of has leadership that the members don't gossip about the elders...Agreeing and disagreeing with them..Donnie just went overboard ...that's all..grace works in those situations..

One thing positive is that he stayed and others who left and are trying to settle the matter while attending other congregaions are out of line...The opposing elders should have stayed and sorted things out to hold the unity instead of leaving...

None of my buisness,I know...Just wish for mutual understanding and tolerance be appreciated in all congregations..It's tough out there for church leaders in both anti and liberal positions...I'm facing some tough times myself and don't need religion but I do need help in raising my faith level..You do that for me..Thanks

God bless Walt,Peck

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literal seed
(no login)

God has been pruning the branches

July 25 2006, 3:15 AM 


God has been pruning the branches there to bear more good fruit for His Kingdom. The fruit is becoming more abundant. I look forward to the local outreach that must take place to the needy in our community from the Hispanic heritage. We need that revival to demonstrate His power and stop focusing on our abilities. Through the last 5 years of challenge God has been faithful. It's understandable how the elders have had reservations regarding available resources for that cause. I see their faith increasing regularly and continue to pray for them and lift them up in support.

blessings and peace,

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

What you’re hearing is the 16-member Praise Team

July 25 2006, 3:20 AM 


I beg to differ with several of your statements:

What you’re hearing is the 16-member Praise Team (the milder terminology for the progressive “church choir”). Their handheld microphones are rigged so that what’s heard is like a thousand voices. As wave runner has said about the “sound effects” of instrumental music “participating,” many of the congregants don’t sing—they listen to the performances. I’m sure Peck thoroughly enjoys the female PT vocalist when she performs her solo [not necessarily a desirable, but is a distraction to me and others, I’m sure] when the bread is being passed around. When there are handheld microphones used, there are performances involved. Congregational singing is becoming extinct where there is a Praise Team singing for and to the congregation, just as when IM is used. Your relative, Madison’s “Worship Leader,” is enjoying himself in wagging his arms, prompting folks to clap-clap, clap-clap-clap (this is “programmed” JOY to them) and applaud after a beautiful musical performance.

[Will continue this chapter when time allows it.]


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(no login)

Go to other assemblies that do not have a praise team and...

July 25 2006, 3:29 AM 


Go to other assemblies that do not have a praise team and you will also find people not singing....It's getting worse..Have you visited the traditional service at Madison..that does not have the praise team? Do you find more people singing at that service? It is difficult to get a response of everyone singing now..but..maybe it doesn't matter..My thoughts are that meditating on the message within the songs may mean more inspiration than singing out ....Isn't that allowing someone to encourage you through singing? Speaking to oneanother through singing...

As I sat in the balcony,I could not see the singers who were sitting in the pews which we call the praise team...What you hear is not only them but a blend of the voices downstairs that are singing in harmony with them and the song leader..It gives a sound like a praise team,when actualy it is the congregation..

Where I sit,I cannot hear the praise team because of the people around me and behind me are so loud with their singing..and the praise team is only a few feet from where I sit...My thoughts were...turn up the mikes..but Keith is devoted to congregational participation and will not turn them up...I agree..The people around me have voices that are in harmony and are louder than the praise team..I think you are hearing them along with the praise team and are confused..thinking all the beautiful harmony is coming from the praise team alone...

One of the most outstanding singing occasions that I witnessed last year was when Madison's worship leader led a group of mainline CoC in song without a praise team at all..It was in a different city...Many congregations came together for a songfest..The huge place was packed and it was a congregational outpouring of blended voices that were out of this world..You could feel the inspiration of those people as they lifted their voices in song...And they were a blend of conservative CoC...

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...

God bless,Peck

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

Correct ... No microphones were used by Praise Team at Combined...

July 25 2006, 3:37 AM 


We can have very lengthy discussions over this Praise Team thingy and its performances. I really think you are very deluded. Maybe I have a hearing problem; maybe you do. You have not addressed the performance issue. Whenever microphones are used -- and why should the choir use them -- performance is obvious. When applause occurs after a song, the performance of the P.T. is being praised.

Peck, I'm not denying the fact that there are some people who will never sing. That's not really surprising, is it? You're mentioning that as if it were a new phenomenon. Where have you been all these years to not notice that before?

All the music going on right now is mostly about feel-good music, all the rah-rah-rah and all the clapping [rehearsed and programmed JOY] is all encouraged and prompted by your son-in-law. All that cheerleading would be best at sport events and concerts; entertainment has no place in the gathering of the saints. I now know for a fact that you don't have a clue about the erroneous messages that some of the contemporary musical pieces bring forth. Many of the contemporary Christian ROCK music pieces are written by POP ROCK ARTISTS who know very little about the truth. The mention of Jesus or the word "divine" does not necessarily mean scriptural. These power-hungry, money-making ROCK ARTISTS ... well, never mind.

I would like to mention to Keith Lancaster, your beloved son-in-law, musicator at Madison, to disband the Praise Team, unless they STOP using the microphones. God is not deaf; he listens to the HUMBLE heart -- not to anyone who brags about praising Him with loud noise -- "Oh, I love you, God ... I love You!" This self-motivating proclamation is so silly and despicable as if God has lost His awareness of what man thinks and feels.

Perhaps, I can relate my own version of what happened on that day when it was a "combined" worship at Madison. Again, you were experiencing delusion. Did you mention that NO MICROPHONES WERE USED at all by the Praise Team?????????????????? But you said that the blending of voices was great? That's exactly what I'm talking about. It was back to real congregational singing!!!! I would say, however, that the Praise Team was there -- the PT members were either scattered or seated together in the front rows as usual BUT WITHOUT THE MICROPHONES.

Would you do me a favor? Would you mention to Keith to dunk those microphones in the baptistery or give them to concert performers? I'm beginning to think that God is offended by all the outward appearances. He is NOT DEAF! He listens to the heart -- not to the amplifiers!!!

How can I explain that to you any further?

Pray for Keith for him to not make himself the center of attention, not to even begin to think that there is nothing about musical idolatry or idolatry of musical talent involved in his behavior on stage as he thinks he is leading the congregation into God's holy presence with musical entertainment. And please don't mention to me that "it's all for God's glory" ... yeah, right!

When 75% of the assembly time of 90 minutes is about the concert, I become suspicious of the intent of the "Worship Leader" -- no such thingy in the NT assembly of the saints. I cannot imagine the early Christians listening to the postmodern concept of having a "Worship Leader" and a Praise Team. I thought they were devoted to studying God's word -- not to music lessons and performances.

Please think about all this, Peck.


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(no login)

Self pride--even if Donnie is right and if Madison [leadeship] is wrong

July 26 2006, 7:25 PM 

[fyi: walt is an ex-church member; Donnie is Untruth Buster]


The mentality of untruth (as seen by his posts and by knowing others first hand like him) have only one purpose in their agenda, and that is to tear down what Madison has built up from their biblical stance.... untruth's ego won't let him leave and because of this he lack's Christ like humility. Madison's humility has tolerated untruth's stubburn pride in all this. Even if untruth really thinks he is right and Madison is wrong, humility in this senario must take place by him - but what has taken place instead is - SELF PRIDE. In this case there has to be a departure before a reconciliation. [walt]


Edited to identify poster as "walt" instead of "anonymous" {content unchanged}

This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address on Jul 26, 2006 7:42 PM

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(no login)

"You have a problem with the Praise Team using microphones, but not the preacher?"

July 26 2006, 7:30 PM 

[ServantForHim attends an "a cappella" (non-instrumental) congregation ... and is about to become an elder]

Can't applause and that clapping be for God??? You have a problem with clapping and applauding God? How do you know that the clapping is for the Praise Team?
Donnie, everyone should sing. Like you said, God hears them. God doesn't hear bad notes. He hears the heart. So what if a person isn't a good singer. Sing anyway. It is about Praising God, remember Donnie?

You have a problem with the Praise Team using microphones, but not the preacher? If God can hear the Praise Team without mics, then the assemby and God can hear the preacher. The storys of this countrie' first preachers were of those who spoke to thousands, and never used mics. Why do you not say anything about the preacher, or just a single song leader using the microphone?
You have problems with the words 'Oh, I love you God....I love You!'
Donnie, I believe that it might be you that has problems. Hmmmmm???
Chrisitan music pieces are not written by POP ROCK ARTISTS? They are written by Christians. Period.
You sound like a bah humbug Scrooge. Uh oh, I better not get you started with Christmas.
Most of all, go to a church where you enjoy worshipping. Good grief man! You know God can't be happy with your attitude. It is painful!

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(no login)

"Before the split" (an admission); ... and "fire hazard' fear factor

July 26 2006, 7:38 PM 

[fyi: peck--Keith Lancaster's father-in-law]

Your perception of Holy entertainment is in your mind..You are entitled
to your opinion..but..Are you an elder? If you are elected as an elder,then have your say in their meetings...Those who are members can express feelings but are not the decision makers..The elders gave the worship leader a job to do..He does it...Before the split..The worship leader had the responsibility of one traditional service early and one traditional service later..He did not get to assemble with the contemporary service in the basement since both were going on at the same time....After so many people assembled in the basement and a fire hazard appeared..Only 2 services were available..instead of 3 services,the worship leader was responsible for a contemporary and a traditional service..not 3 as was previous..His job was to handle each service as his job required....It's not about him.. It's about handling the job that the elders are trying to do in decency and in order...No defense is needed by me..You have first class elders and first class participation in the service..Just submit to church authority ...You are confused but I see in you a change from anger to communicating on a more mature level..No one could be any more childish than I..we're just sinners saved by grace..

Have a blessed day,Peck


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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

The Praise Team performs with microphones.

July 26 2006, 7:48 PM 

No, Servant for whomever, you are the confused one in the church. I've heard of all your arguments for IM, etc. And you're correct about one thing -- all these other animations and inanimate objects participating with you in how you PERCEIVE the gathering of the saints should be are extraneous and unnecessary.

Your logic concerning the preacher using the microphone is illogical. He doesn't need it if he can be heard; he needs it if he needs to be heard. And so it is with one who leads singing.

The Praise Team performs with microphones. If God doesn't need the microphone because he listens from the heart, there is no reason for God to listen to the "Worship Leader's" ... um ... "Praise Team" with microcphones because He isn't deaf. God is not deaf -- is that not sinking in? Therefore, if the Praise Team does not use their handheld microphones [uh-oh ... PERFORMANCE!!!] for God to listen to, what is the obvious conclusion? The Praise Team is performing!

SFH, we've heard this often -- "it's about God, not about me." What about replacing the bragging and self-patting ["Oh, I love you, God ... Oh, I just love you so much" as if God didn't already know the person's heart] ... with "I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; stay Thou nearby ... temptations lose their power when Thou are nigh."

So, your arguments for the "Praise Team" and the "Worship Leader" are no different from your arguments for instrumental music.

I think you should "join" another church of your choice that already has all these things you desire. I would urge you not to stir up trouble in any congregations (99.9% of them) that are opposed to IM and all these other extraneous, controversial, unnecessary changes.


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Dr. Max Moon
(no login)

Faithsite: Concerned Members Extension?

July 27 2006, 11:29 PM 

Is this the Faithsite: Concerned Members extension?

Go away for a few days and things change.

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

More Like “‘Worship Leader’ Exposed: an Extension”

July 28 2006, 8:05 AM 

Dr. Max, it’s more like an extended exposure of the “Worship Leader” and his accompanying instruments, the “Praise Team.” So, were you on vacation for a few days?

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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)

Re: Faithsite: Concerned Members Extension?

July 28 2006, 8:58 AM 

Since there's already a "ConcernedMembers: FaithSite Extension, because CM folks frequently post over there, how could there ever be a "FaithSite: CM Extension," when so few of the liberal, spiritual mavericks from FaithSite post here?

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(no login)

So then, the Praise Team is NOT performing.

July 28 2006, 8:12 AM 

[ServantForHim is an elder-to-be]

I hope you aren't a big person because if you are then this type of behavior and stress can't be good on your health.

The preachers that spoke to thousands back in the 1800s didn't need one. Jesus didn't need one speaking from the mountain, did He?, and He was outside.

"He doesn't need it if he can be heard, he needs it if he needs to be heard."
Couldn't that apply to the Praise Team. People want to hear the harmony parts of the Praise Team. The microphones enhance that part that the altos, or tenors,etc. need to hear. Some people can't read music, but can hear their parts when sung by someone else.
There ya go U.B.
So then, the Praise Team is NOT performing.
Hey U.B.....why not singing both "Oh I love you God," and "I need thee every hour."

Hey U.B. I will stick to my church. I am not creating a stir by staying there. It seems that you are by staying at Madison. The bad thing too U.B. is that you aren't staying there because you like, but just out of pure spite!

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

My decision to stay or leave ... my own volition

July 28 2006, 8:15 AM 


I hope you're not behaving now like Walt -- the Great Spiritual Judge. I know he has influenced you that MUCH! Remember, I've been with Madison since the late 80's. The intrusion did not take place way AFTER that. So, you leave my decision to stay or leave according to my own volition.

In your case, I am just glad that you are not stirring up trouble in your church where you are about to become an elder. My advice to you is to not make the same mistake that the elders of Madison made by allowing the intrusion to occur. Or, by making the intrusion YOURSELF. You should know better than that -- I would hope so.

My remark that troublemakers should leave peaceful and peaceable churches alone remains. It is common knowledge by the way -- that intrusion, deviation, perversion, interference should be avoided because they ALWAYS cause trouble or havoc in the church.

My remark that you should seek another place where your desires are met [instrumental music, Praise Team, self-appointed "Worship Leader," applauding God "reverently and in awe" (is this possible with rhythmic handclapping like sports cheerleaders do ... hmmm!)] ... also remains as is.

What about the Christian Church? Just perfect for you.


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Dr. Max Moon
(no login)

Re: My decision to stay or leave ... my own volition

July 28 2006, 10:17 AM 

Naw, I was working, so I didn't have much time to be on. I had family visiting, and then my internet was down for 36 hours.

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Myth Buster
(no login)

"I don't hug just anyone...."

July 29 2006, 2:16 AM 

I was at a church of Christ in west Texas where the preacher man told everyone to just hug the person next to you. Talk about made to feel uncomfortable.

I don't hug just anyone, and it needs to be my idea. Stupid. Just plain stupid.

They don't have any organized hugging orgies at Madison, do they?

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

"Clap Your Hands": a Charismatic/Contemporary Hymn

July 29 2006, 2:23 AM 

Myth Buster,

Something "organized ... like that" happens at Madison on occasion. There's a song titled, "We Will Stand," that the "Worship Leader" loves to sing and motions everyone to hold hands throughout the entire song. Why? You know, sometimes I wonder about the maturity of those who lead who take things literally physically. The song says, "You're my brother, you're my sister, SO TAKE ME BY THE HAND...." The words put into action make one think: "[Since I have a bad cold, coughing and sneezing non-stop], what an opportunity to share my misery and my germs with others." Hmmm!

There's also a Contemporary, Charismatic "Christian Rock Music" HYMN titled "Clap Your Hands" [not kidding, BTW] that the leader and his Praise Team performs for the congregation. The Team and the willing participants thoroughly enjoy this "love feast" as they sing, "Clap your hands all ye people, shout to God with a voice of triumph, clap your hands ... Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluiah!"

Oddly, the adults in the auditorium sing this singy-clappy song while the children have already left to meet for their own "Children's Worship" AWAY from the rest of their families in the auditorium.

Silly geese!


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

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
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120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
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