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Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Strategy Splits Congregants

September 6 2006 at 3:31 AM
Donnie Cruz  (Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
from IP address 72.154.244.161


Source: Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB115741786888753373-lMyQjAxMDE2NTA3NTQwMTU3Wj.html




    Veneration Gap

    A Popular Strategy For Church Growth Splits Congregants

    Across U.S., Members Divide
    On Making Sermons, Music More 'Purpose-Driven'
    No More 'Wrath of God'?


    By SUZANNE SATALINE
    September 5, 2006; Page A1

    IUKA, Miss. -- In April, 150 members of Iuka Baptist Church voted to kick Charles Jones off the deacons' board. The punishment followed weeks of complaints by Mr. Jones and his friends that the pastor was following the teachings of the Rev. Rick Warren, the best-selling author and church-growth guru. After the vote, about 40 other members quit the church to support Mr. Jones.

    Mr. Warren, the effusive pastor of stadium-sized Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., is best known for his book "The Purpose Driven Life," which has sold 25 million copies and urges people to follow God's plan for them. He has spawned an industry advising churches to become "purpose-driven" by attracting nonbelievers with lively worship services, classes and sermons that discuss Jesus' impact on their lives, and invitations to volunteer.

    But the purpose-driven movement is dividing the country's more than 50 million evangelicals. Some evangelicals, like the Iuka castoffs, say it's inappropriate for churches to use growth tactics akin to modern management tools, including concepts such as researching the church "market" and writing mission statements. Others say it encourages simplistic Bible teaching. Anger over the adoption of Mr. Warren's methods has driven off older Christians from their longtime churches. Congregations nationwide have split or expelled members who fought the changes, roiling working-class Baptist congregations and affluent nondenominational churches.

    Last summer, the evangelical church of onetime Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers split after adopting Mr. Warren's techniques. That church, Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, wanted to increase membership and had built a huge sanctuary several years ago to accommodate hundreds of people. Church leaders adopted a strategic plan built around Mr. Warren's five "fundamental purposes": worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. One goal was to make sure more than 19% of the church's members were adults in their 20s and 30s, says the pastor, the Rev. Barry McCarty.

    The Rev. Ron Key, then the senior minister, says he objected to the church's "Madison Avenue" marketing. "I believe Jesus died for everybody," Mr. Key says, not just people in a "target audience." He says the leaders wanted church that was more "edgy," with a worship service using modern music. Mr. Key was demoted, then fired for being divisive and insubordinate.

    About 200 people, many of whom had left the church earlier because they thought it should give more money to mission work, began worshiping in a Doubletree Hotel, and later in a college gym, with Mr. Key as pastor. Ms. Miers, the White House counsel, worships with them when she comes to town, a White House spokeswoman says.

    At a time when many churches are struggling with declining or aging congregations, advocates of the purpose-driven movement credit it with energizing congregations, doubling the size of some churches and boosting the number of "megachurches" of more than 2,000 members. Mr. Warren says his church and nonprofit arm have trained 400,000 pastors world-wide. He reaches many more through sales of his sermons, books and lessons on the Web. Mr. Warren says he donates 90% of his money to fund philanthropy and overseas training.

    Mr. Warren preaches in sandals and a Hawaiian shirt, and he encourages ministers to banish church traditions such as hymns, choirs and pews. He and his followers use "praise team" singers, backed by rock bands playing contemporary Christian songs. His sermons rarely linger on self-denial and fighting sin, instead focusing on healing modern American angst, such as troubled marriages and stress.

    As membership in Protestant churches stagnated in the 1980s, Mr. Warren, a Southern Baptist in Orange County, Calif., learned from surveys that the region's Reagan-era baby boomers said they didn't connect with their parents' churches. He figured they might find God if they could sit in a theater-style auditorium and listen to live pop music and sermons that could help them with ennui and personal problems. Through Mr. Warren's Internet marketing savvy, tens of thousands of subscribing pastors learned about his church, which draws 20,000 people each weekend. In the past decade, many pastors jumped to replicate his methods, creating new churches and transforming existing ones.

    Christians have long divided over efforts to adapt and modernize their faith. Some believers worry that purpose-driven techniques are so widespread among Protestant churches that they are permanently altering the way Christians worship. Some traditionalists say Mr. Warren's messages misread Bible passages and undermine traditions. Mr. Warren is "gutting" Christianity, says the Rev. Bob DeWaay, author of a book critical of the approach. "The Bible's theme is about redemption and atonement, not finding meaning and solving problems," the Minneapolis pastor says. A spokesman said Mr. Warren believes the Bible addresses sin and redemption, as well as human problems.

    Some pastors learn how to make their churches purpose-driven through training workshops. Speakers at Church Transitions Inc., a Waxhaw, N.C., nonprofit that works closely with Mr. Warren's church, stress that the transition will be rough. At a seminar outside of Austin, Texas, in April, the Revs. Roddy Clyde and Glen Sartain advised 80 audience members to trust very few people with their plans. "All the forces of hell are going to come at you when you wake up that church," said Mr. Sartain, who has taught the material at Mr. Warren's Saddleback Church.

    During a session titled "Dealing with Opposition," Mr. Clyde recommended that the pastor speak to critical members, then help them leave if they don't stop objecting. Then when those congregants join a new church, Mr. Clyde instructed, pastors should call their new minister and suggest that the congregants be barred from any leadership role.

    "There are moments when you've got to play hardball," said the Rev. Dan Southerland, Church Transitions' president, in an interview. "You cannot transition a church...and placate every whiny Christian along the way."

    Mr. Warren acknowledges that splits occur in congregations that adopt his ideas, though he says he opposes efforts to expel church members. "There is no growth without change and there is no change without loss and there is no loss without pain," he says. "Probably 10% of all churches are in conflict at any given point, regardless of what they're doing." That, he contends, "is not just symptomatic of changing to purpose-driven. It would be symptomatic in changing to anything."

    Despite successes elsewhere, the exodus at some churches adopting the purpose-driven approach has been dramatic. Since taking the job of senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Long Beach, Calif., seven years ago, the Rev. John Dickau has watched attendance slide to 550 from 700. "I've often wondered, where's bottom?" he says.

    Mr. Dickau has emulated Mr. Warren by favoring sermons about marital and family issues. He says he has attended several Church Transitions conferences to glean new insights and is personally coached by Mr. Sartain. Still, Mr. Dickau says, he made plenty of missteps, mainly, moving too fast. He proposed that the church drop the word "Baptist" from the name, to reach people who wouldn't identify with a denomination, but the congregation vote failed.

    He jettisoned the piano for a guitar. And still people left, he says -- because the music is modern, because the congregation no longer uses hymn books, because the center screen that displays the song lyrics obscures the cross. Having a smaller congregation has meant trimming the $1.7 million budget to be able to afford adding to the sound system and new stage lights, which cost $150,000, Mr. Dickau says.

    Still, he says he doesn't regret adopting a purpose-driven approach. "This church won't be here that much longer if we don't make these changes," he says.

    The Rev. Bob Felts, pastor of Brookwood Church in Burlington, N.C., says his former congregation seemed enthusiastic about the purpose-driven approach in the 1990s. So he eagerly introduced the concepts to his new church starting in 2001.

    Half the members, he said, balked at his decisions to dress casually, restrict choir performances and use electric instruments. Services now may start with a piercing electric-guitar solo, boosted with amplifiers from the $50,000 sound system. Nearly five years into the process, Mr. Felts says he has more young people than in years past: 40% of those who attend are under 22, as opposed to 20% years earlier. But attendance shrank to 275 this summer from 600. (He expects returning students from the area college to swell the rolls by 70.) Mr. Felts says he had to cut tens of thousands of dollars from the annual budget, which is now $600,000. He says some departing members have accused him of "ruining the church."

    Mr. Felts says that despite his church's troubles, most churches that follow the purpose-driven way are growing. "It takes time and persistence," he says. "You're talking about a new paradigm."

    Mr. Warren's philosophy has become such a lightning rod that some church leaders are reluctant to declare that they are using purpose-driven methods -- and some congregants see hidden agendas in the smallest changes at their churches.

    Since Iuka Baptist's founding in 1859, its services had remained much the same. Sunday morning began with hymns such as "How Great Thou Art" and "O Worship the King," followed by prayer and a lengthy sermon. Many of the white working-class families who attend the church have known each other since high school.

    But the church was in debt and wasn't growing. After Iuka's pastor moved to another church in 2003, a search committee recruited the Rev. Jim Holcomb, 48. He preached with gusto, liberally salting his sermons with personal stories and jokes. Changes were coming, he told members, and he warned that the church could lose some members because of it.

    Mr. Holcomb says he partially read an earlier Warren book called "The Purpose Driven Church" and read Mr. Warren's essays in the Ladies' Home Journal. He says Mr. Warren's teachings were never part of his agenda. He was promoting "aggressive, evangelistic outreach" to bolster the church. "If that's purpose-driven, then I'm purpose-driven," he says.

    Innovations that are hallmarks of many purpose-driven churches soon began rippling through Iuka Baptist. Mr. Holcomb began a second worship service at 8:30 a.m. Sundays with a "praise team" that sang hymns as well as Christian pop songs with lyrics beamed on a screen. In 2005, Iuka Baptist adopted its first mission statement, a tactic that Mr. Warren says helps the church focus on its objectives. One of the school's adult Sunday school teachers bought each of his 12 students a copy of "The Purpose Driven Life." The church's youth minister assigned the book to his 60 middle-school and high-school students.

    The church began to grow. Membership this spring was 694 local members, up 170 since Mr. Holcomb became pastor, according to church staff. But the changes dismayed several older members. Charles Jones, 67, had belonged to Iuka Baptist for 59 years and was one of 15 deacons, or lay officers. He and his wife, Nena, were married at the church, as was their daughter.

    The Joneses grew disappointed that they rarely heard Mr. Holcomb deliver messages from the pulpit about God's wrath or redemption. "He didn't preach on somebody going to hell," says Mrs. Jones, 61. Mr. Holcomb says he has always preached sound biblical messages.

    Mrs. Jones began scouring the Internet to investigate all the changes taking places at Iuka. Her searches led her to Web sites run by critics of Mr. Warren as well as to Mr. Warren's own Web site.

    More than a dozen church members, including the Joneses, began meeting privately to complain about changes. Church leaders became angry. "The Rev. Jim Holcomb has been slandered and insulted by some of you," the church's minister for education, the Rev. Kim Leonard, thundered at one service. Mr. Holcomb and Mr. Leonard deny that Iuka Baptist was becoming purpose-driven. Mr. Leonard says it was "coincidence" that the new initiatives resembled strategies advocated by Mr. Warren and his movement.

    Then a Web site run by a critic of Mr. Warren posted a letter from Mrs. Jones describing her worries about Iuka Baptist and comparing the congregation's admiration for Mr. Holcomb to the cult followings of Jim Jones and David Koresh. The posting sparked angry emails from church members. A church meeting was soon called. Hundreds of people packed into the pews. After heated arguments, the congregation voted 150-to-41 to throw Mr. Jones off the board. The members also accepted the resignations of two other deacons, friends of Mr. Jones who had been asked to leave the board. In the weeks that followed, 40 church members quit.

    With no church to worship in this spring, Mr. Jones led 30 former Iuka members in prayer one May night at a public park. He asked God to bless their former spiritual home and those who had forced them from it.

    "Keep your eyes on Iuka Baptist Church, Lord," Mr. Jones said, his head bowed, "that you may open their eyes and their hearts."

    Mr. Holcomb, the pastor whose changes at the church started the controversy, has left Iuka for another church. A search committee continues to look for a new pastor. Deacon Kenny Phifer said the committee won't hire a pastor who will make Iuka purpose-driven.

    Write to Suzanne Sataline at suzanne.sataline@wsj.com




 
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AuthorReply
Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
72.154.193.61

"Purpose Driven Deception"

September 8 2006, 5:30 AM 

Source: http://www.rense.com/general73/purp.htm

rense.com


Purpose Driven Deception

"Coming In Under The Radar," Rick Warren's

Purpose Driven Life & The Fox News Propaganda Machine

By Alton Raines

altonraines@minister.com

9-3-6


Today (9/3/06, 4:00 EST) Fox News television will be re-broadcasting what can only be described as a 'Purpose Driven' Expose on Rick Warren, ("Can Rick Warren Save The World?") founder/author of the 'Purpose Driven Life,' international best-seller and latest cult movement (ie, wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:14) to spread like wildfire throughout the Protestant churches worldwide.

Hailed by Fox in the blurbs as "America's Pastor" (!?), Warren is given a 4 hour kid glove treatment by Fox reporter David Asman. The entire piece comes across as a lavish, expensive commercial for the Purpose Driven movement with very little criticism or true analysis. And no surprise, Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox broadcasting is a major contributor and supporter of Warren's Purpose Driven theism.

This 'expose' slithers with the grease of the most finely tuned, unabashed Orwellian mind control piece you'll ever see, typical of Fox News 'specials' which focus on a person or subject under the guise of being investigative reporting; Lavish propaganda produced by a clearly biased pro-PDL reporter, it's a must see just for the shock value alone. Would other so-called 'Christian leaders' and personalities like Falwell or Robertson or even Billy Graham get this same free publicity and outright promotion? Not on your life, despite Fox's clearly distinguishable right-wing, ultra-conservative bent. Something else is going on when it comes to promoting Warren.

Rick Warren has come in, as he says himself, "under the radar" (what does that mean? Is that not the language of a wolf in sheeps clothing?).

After viewing, Christians especially should visit the following links to check up on the PDL, especially if you think its a harmless little revival movement -- it is, in fact, the latest and perhaps the most successful (to date) corporate scheme to wine and dine the Church of Jesus Christ with feel good candy coated Gospel and water down the faith to a tasteless, comfortable, perfectly middle class and oh-so-American-cheese imitation, next to the Left Behind cultus of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

http://rock-to-salt.cephasministry.com/church_
growth_movement_n_purpose_driven_church.html

http://www.biblebb.com/files/pdlflaw.htm

http://www.biblebb.com/files/gathw.htm


Comment
Bill Powell
9-3-6

The Purpose Driven movement is certainly creepy. I've watched as relatives, who are regular church attenders (Southern Baptist), become dramatically effected first by the idiotic 'Left Behind' nonsense, now by PDL. The PURPOSE and DRIVE of the church was clearly commissioned by Jesus Christ -- "The Great Commission." ie, Go into all the world making disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If a church can no longer see THAT purpose, have THAT drive, and must replace it with some "new" purpose then it might as well take down the cross, close its Bible and call itself something other than the church. Jesus set the eyes and hearts and minds of the faithful upon the spiritual, the heavenly, not the material and the earthly. What Warren is doing is almost entirely quasi-political, his concerns are material and earthly for the most part and he employs methods of pop-psychology and advertising and merchandising to accomplish his goals. The Televangelical hucksters have been doing the same thing for decades, but somehow Warren manages to pull it off and not come across as being like them. And that should give one pause because ultimately he is like them, and is doing the same thing by the same method. And it is not of God.

This is not what Christ called his followers to do. His faithful are to view prayer as the number one form and method of spiritual warfare (and welfare), to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and establish the faith in good works. I don't even see what Warren is doing and promoting as being worthy of the classification of "good works," which is certainly a part of Christ's calling and the Kingdom. Something is definitely not right with PDL and those who subject themselves to it should have their head AND heart examined carefully, checking itself against Holy Scripture. Just because something seems good or right doesn't mean it is good or right. Man is easily deceived and his heart is "desperately wicked, deceitful above all things."

In addition, his use of the entirely rotten, scurrilous translation of the Bible "The Message," should send even the most unseasoned believer running... but powerful spiritual forces are at work behind this movement leaving millions blinded, and it's not the Holy Spirit doing it.

Comment
Dominick Perez
9-4-6

"Would a Falwell or Robertson or even Billy Graham get this same treatment?"

I agree with everything you've written in the above quoted article. However, you seem to be saying that the above are real christians. Are you not aware that every one of these gentleman is a 32nd degree mason or higher? They all preach a message of equivocation, a diluted, feel good christianity. Those who follow any of these so-called Christians will be lead by them straight into hell. You are a minister. Do you preach that the Christ, the only begotten son of god, is the only way to salvation? Or do you crave the praise and respect of men and preach a new age message of universal love, peace and ecumenism? Remember, God says by their fruits you will know them.

Reply
From Alton Raines


I think you misread me, Dominick. My point was simply that obvious, blatant charlatans like Falwell, Robertson, etc do not get this same kind of lavish attention and promotion by Fox, whereas Rick Warren does. Which makes him ten times as suspect, and he has garnered this incredible amount of influence and power in the blink of an eye, where the "old stand-bys" like Falwell have been manipulating the system for decades and only to get a crumb of the media cookie, comparatively. When have we ever seen these guys equally praised, uplifted, so grotesquely promoted in the guise of an news expose? Never! And that is remarkable. It says something about the power of the PD movement and Warren himself. And the power of this deceptive cult. He has the others beat, hands down.

And yes, of course, I believe faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, in his blood atonement on the cross for sins, and in his resurrection from the dead is the only way of salvation.

In light of your comment, I have ammended my phrase so others will not misunderstand.


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Anonymous
(no login)
64.185.31.101

LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE

September 8 2006, 4:23 PM 


Mr. Cruz, I know you didn't write these articles, but before you post things, you should probably investigate to see if they are true.

I talked to a person in the leadership at Iuka Baptist church. The case of the man who was asked to resign his deacon post there, had nothing to do with Rick Warren.

This is another case of the right wingers shaming themselves by lying and manipulating to try and give credence to their complaints that have no merit.

Sigh.

 
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PPB
(no login)
24.242.231.111

Re: LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE

September 9 2006, 9:46 PM 

Anonymous...

And you fell for that line? Sad...What was he going to tell you? Yeh, their right, we did kick him out because he wanted to continue to follow the Bible instead of Rick Warren...

Seems most people continue to believe the wolves until they actually remove the sheeps clothing and then eat them...

 
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Dr. Max Moon
(no login)
67.177.83.89

Exactly

September 10 2006, 8:44 AM 

PPB, you are right.

This whole site is full of wolves, and you haven't recognized it.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)
64.185.31.101

Re: Exactly

September 11 2006, 6:20 PM 

PPB-
What basis do you have to believe the article?
Do you live in such a way that you believe everything you hear without checking it out?

Are you such a blind follower that the name Rick Warren gets thrown out, and you are like sharks in a feeding frenzy? You are quick to criticize and believe lies because you are THAT jealous of Saddleback and their ability to reach people with the truth?

Why didn't you bother to call and ask the truth?
When you hear the truth, why don't you believe it?
Why would you question the integrity of a brother in Christ?

Your understanding of "church" and "brother" and "truth" are perplexing.


 
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PPB
(no login)
24.242.231.111

Re: Exactly

September 14 2006, 12:57 AM 

Anonymous -

I have a slightly more "realistic" insight into this issue. You see, I've been in the meetings where they discuss Rick Warren's strategy. I'm a preacher's kid and a deacon's wife an I've been watching the change for years.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know a marketing gimmick when you see one. It doesn't hurt that I used to be a Marketing Director either. But honestly, step back and look at what is going on. This isn't something an intelligent person should be able to miss. It's so obvious and so hokey.

I can't imagine Jesus at Rick Warren's church. Would he even recognize what was going on?

Can't you see him entering the church in his dingy robes and dirty feet, having walked to the building? Surrounded by a group of dirty, dusty men that are obviously uneducated (except for one or two) and socially inept. The lowest of the low - fishing men and tax collectors. A quiet man who believes in order and patterns? A man who speaks quietly to the crowds through short stories - without the use of theatrics or bands? Who rides into town on a donkey? Who demands full obedience and that his followers turn away from worldliness? Gasp!!! No, not that...

What would Rick Warren do? Would he stop all the hoopla, theatrics, marketing gimmicks, and bands to allow this man to speak to his members? NO - they would be disgusted and leave in droves. They are there for the show - to get a "high" for the day. Not to hear the truth of God's Word. Warren doen't even know all of the Bible or even how to apply it - read his book and look at his numerous biblical errors. It' sad.

Why would any of his followers stop and listen to someone as boring, old-fashioned, plain, soft spoken, and unentertaining as Jesus? They haven't been bound by his Word as it was written - why would they start now? They believe his Word doesn't fully apply to them and it doesn't fulfill their wants and desires for immediate gratification and excitement. So, what difference would it make if Jesus walked in? Wouldn't he be out-of-date and too old fashioned for them? He would certainly be considered boring when compared to Rick or Max.

Who is Rick Warren worshipping anyway? From his books, I can't even recognize Jesus or his Word - just a lot of self-help mumbo jumbo that is as full of fluff as Joel Osteen's.

***************************************************************

Max Moon - really, you are starting to sound like YTBH and Walt - you know how they love to tear down anyone that actually quotes from the Word of God. Shocking!

 
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Donnie Cruz
(no login)
65.1.199.80

Who is jealous of Saddleback’s deception?

September 12 2006, 4:44 AM 

Anonymous,

Briefly … I have corresponded with the author of “A Popular Strategy for Church Growth Splits Congregants across U.S.” Suzanne wanted to interview me concerning the effect—adverse or positive—of the implementation of the Saddleback church growth methodology at the church of Christ in Madison, Tennessee. I was quite hesitant to do so as that would have taken much time and effort, but at the same time, she wanted to report on more recent developments than a few years ago.

Her above article concerning Warren’s strategy for church growth is pretty recent. I posted it to show that the Saddleback church growth scheme is not only troubling certain churches of Christ but is also prevalent among various religious faiths—Baptist, etc.

I would encourage you to write Ms. Sataline and express whatever concerns you may have, such as certain inaccuracies in her reporting. I am quite certain that erroneous information published would be rectified at your request. Should you decide to write or inquire, please let us know the outcome?

You will see the following e-mail address listed above also:

Thanks for posting.

Donnie

 
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Anonymous
(no login)
64.185.31.101

Thanks

September 12 2006, 6:37 PM 

Thanks Donnie,
I might contact her, but based on what you wrote, I have a feeling I know how it will turn out. The fact that she want to interview YOU abou tthe changes at Madison says a lot. Who are you? A journalist with integrity and intelligence would interview an actual church leader.

Apparently journalistic integrity is not too highly thought of on this site. After all, you publish things like:

"Gerhard Kittel who was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to create a Theological Dictionary of the New Testament for the inculcation of Aryan doctrine in ministers and seminary students. Kittel began his massive project using the Textus Receptus, but soon departed to the Westcott-Hort Greek Text."
The "NIV, The Making of a Contemporary Translation", cites Kittel's encyclopedia as "the" reference source consulted by NIV translators."


That is an untruth wrapped in a lie. The administrators, creators, and memebers of this site seem to have no repect for what is true, only what they desire.


 
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Ken Sublett
(no login)
66.82.9.90

Just GOOGLE.

September 12 2006, 11:58 PM 

Now, it is easy to charge people with lying when they have no vested interest in lying.

Just you GOOGLE kittel and Hitler and do a count of scholarly works devoted to this subject and tell us how many.

Then, tell us how many you find which refutes this. There is assuredly no reason to think OTHERWISE than many protestants and Catholics were deeply in bed with Hitler whom they thought would be the winner. One of them told Hitler that Jesus gave the approved example of killing a million Jews in Jerusalem and he was, like all religionists, just "doing the Lord's Work."

You probably didn't know that Wagner was Hitler's Musical Worship Minister.

Now, the elders had already told the Tennessean that they had 5,000 members and only lost 50 (as I remember the elder count). So, who has a vested interest in telling the facts? Those who make the trouble or those who REPORT it? When they found CM the real count had gone from maybe 3300 (counting 300 or more in jail) to a VERIFIABLE 1400 or so.

So, what is your vested interest?

 
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Donnie Cruz
(no login)
68.19.253.161

Among Independent and Southern Baptists … also

September 18 2006, 3:47 AM 

Anonymous:

In your post on September 8, 2006, you stated:

    I talked to a person in the leadership at Iuka Baptist church. The case of the man who was asked to resign his deacon post there, had nothing to do with Rick Warren.

    This is another case of the right wingers shaming themselves by lying and manipulating to try and give credence to their complaints that have no merit.


Now, you are questioning journalistic integrity.

A couple of things come to mind. First, “another case of the right wingers … lying and manipulating” strongly points out the fact that there is also, on the other hand, the “case of the left wingers”—which in the political arena would be equivalent to the liberal side—promoting pro-abortion and negating pro-life; promoting more needless government handouts and negating achieving/being the best one can be … just to mention a couple of examples. Well, I know that it is the other way around. It is the liberal politicians who are lying and manipulative. And that essentially translates to similar circumstances and experiences that are occurring in postmodern churches, in general.

Second, I can only assume from your conversation with someone in leadership at Iuka Baptist Church that you are affiliated with the Baptist Church. [What prompted you to have this communication? Was it due to Ms. Sataline’s published article? When did such take place?] That being the case, I would like to bring up again what I have already said—that what’s troubling certain churches of Christ is prevalent among various religious faiths.

Here’s what John Waddey (editor and preacher) has to say [OK, I know you’re prepared to question his journalistic integrity as well] to prove my point. Please read it carefully and with an open mind. It’s taken from “Christianity: Then and Now” (Vol. 6, Number 1, Sept. 1, 2006):

    The publication of this paper and our www.christianity-then-and-now.com website has brought us contacts from numerous people who are not members of the Church of Christ, but nevertheless are having the same problems with change agents as are we. I hear from concerned souls in Independent Baptist and Southern Baptist Churches, Independent Bible Churches and Christian Churches. All tell the same basic story. The reason for this is that their change agents and ours all drink from the same polluted well. Those implementing this program speak of their “new paradigm church,” or “emergent church,” a “church in transition” or a “changing church.”

    The well-spring of this movement is Fuller Theological Seminary and their church growth program. The primary sources of inspiration are Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral (Reformed Church), Rick Warren of the Saddleback Community (Baptist) Church of Orange County, California and Bill Hybels of the Willow Creek Community Church (Methodist) in Illinois. The allurement is the promise of a mega church with thousands of eager souls clamoring for a seat in its pews. Among churches of Christ the principal engines driving the movement are Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University and David Lipscomb University. Administrators in several other schools are testing the waters in view of taking up the call for changing the church. The major organ of communication is the Christian Chronicle. Among leading spokesmen for the movement are Rubel Shelly, Rick Atchley, Mike Cope, Lynn Anderson and Douglas Foster.


Indeed, “the administrators, creators, and members of this site” [your words] report what is truly happening out there. Giving credence to complaints that have no merit … you say?

Donnie

 
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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the list of players;

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

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