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efforts better served-Part two

November 4 2006 at 10:44 AM
wordkeeper  (Login wordkeeper)
from IP address

Since I am not from the Madison Tn. area and by my
own admission I have not read all of the posts on this
site I was wondering if someone could help me out in
having a better understanding of the situation as it
is currently played out.

1. Has this web site had any influence in changing
the church back to the 'way it used to be ' ?

2. Has Madison been growing ? Declining ? Stable ?

3. Of the many members who have left Madison BECAUSE
of the changes that took place, are there any efforts
in getting those people together to start a new
congregation ?

4. Of the current members at Madison, how many support
what is taking place and how many oppose what is taking
place at the church ? An estimate would be fine.
Ex. 55-45 support or 60-40 oppose or whatever you
think it is.

5. Of those who oppose what is currently taking place are
there enough to vote in Elders who could turn things back
around ?

What it all boils down to is this:

My suspicions are that Madison has gone through these
changes and it is either at a point of no return or
for all intents and purposes this web site is nothing
more than a gripe board of disgruntled members or
former members who wish that things could be the same
as it once was.

There are many times in my life and really in the lives of
just about every reader on the forum that have a difficult
time in accepting that things change and not always the way
that we would like for them to turn out.

At some point in time the best way to approach it is to make
lemonaide out of lemons and do something positive out of
something bad.

I would encourage the people who oppose the changes to get
involved with the youth of today so that you can help them
forge their own destiny and maybe make the church stronger
for the next generation.

Thank you,



Note from ConcernedMembers:

    While this forum welcomes messages and opinions from those of different religious persuasions, this board at times deems it necessary to request further information whence the message comes, unless the poster has made that acknowledgment at the outset. This is to ensure that our original message to warn other congregations in the brotherhood [among churches of Christ] remains clearly understood. For example, it is certainly a wrong impression to suggest that this forum or a congregation should oppose or should never allow any change. But it becomes a major issue when the change, regardless of the “slick” and subtle methodologies used, destroys a congregation. Or, when God’s directives for the church are challenged, modified or redefined.

    Thanks to Harry Smith [a.k.a. “wordkeeper”] for providing the requested information.

    Just a little bit of caution here—“wordkeeper” as an identity is somewhat delusive. I certainly believe that while I am a keeper of God’s truth and that while I am a Christian … I am not the only keeper of the word [Luke 8:15] and I am not the only Christian [Acts 11:26; I Peter 4:16]. And, yes, I will continue to identify myself by my own name: Donnie Cruz. Can Harry Smith do the same?

    Harry Smith has provided more information in his post dated November 8 2006, 5:51 PM.

    Donnie Cruz

This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address on Nov 10, 2006 1:55 PM

 Respond to this message   
Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

From whom is this coming?

November 4 2006, 1:48 PM 

ConcernedMembers has approved your thread—not unconditionally because of the nature of its contents. This forum needs some clarification from you for the sake of the readers. And please don’t take this as being rude or biased.

We know this much about you from your other posts. Your name is Harry Smith [a.k.a. “wordkeeper”] with this e-mail address: [in case the reader would like to correspond with you]. You had been a member of the church of Christ at ______________ but are now affiliated with the religious group ________________.

The reason for providing such specific information is crucial in determining how to go about discussing Madison’s situation as this thread indicates. Is the message or are the inquiries coming from:
  • (a) a current member of Madison or
  • (b) a former member of the congregation who now attends another congregation in the brotherhood or
  • (c) an apostate [in this sense: someone who has left the church altogether to join a denominational group] or
  • (d) an outsider who may be experiencing the same dilemma in his own religious affiliation.

It appears that as an outsider you are very interested in what has gone on (and is going on) at Madison. But why … considering that you are now affiliated with the “Assembly of God” faith?

I believe that with additional information provided, the readers with interest will respond to YOUR agenda accordingly. “Simply opposing to any change … period”—that you are suggesting—is a MINISCULE SEGMENT of the destructive, subversive, catastrophic mission of the culture-driven Change Movement that has adversely affected not only churches of Christ, but also many fundamental religious bodies.


 Respond to this message   
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: From whom is this coming?

November 8 2006, 5:51 PM 

I think that your questions are fair and
reasonable. Yes, my name is Harry Smith and
I have communicated on several posts but I
have not read all of the posts as they are
quite voluminous. I was raised in the churches
of Christ up until my mid-20s. I was involved
in an inter-denomination street witnessing group
in Lexington, Kentucky in the mid 1980s. Some of
my fellow workers were charismatic and I wanted
to debate them as to why they were wrong. They
wouldn't debate me but only told me to search the
scriptures with an open mind. After 20 years and
over at least 2,000 hours of research in not only
scholarly literature but also at least 700-800 hours
in the Bible alone I came to the conclusion the Spiritual
Gifts are as relevant today as they were in the first
century. I am now a part of the Assemblies of God group.
I still attend the churches of Christ in Lexington and
Louisville on an infrequent basis.

I am being honest when I say that no one from Madison
or any other group are the source behind my inquiries.
You ask why I have such an interest in the web site and
I'll tell you. It started when a friend of mine who
shares many views as myself told me about concernedmembers.
com. I started out of curiosity and then I began to see
something that I haven't seen before and that is opposing
viewpoints to my own.

Donnie, I believe that our differences go way deep beyond
just some of the issues discussed on this board. Our whole
perspectives on spiritual matters are very much different.
I see this this whole controversey of the Purpose-Driven
Church as pretty benign. I believe that people can
actually attend these churches and grow in their relationship
with Jesus Christ. You on the other hand are quite alarmed
as to the teachings behind the purpose-driven church and
you probably see me as a naieve follower of any teachings
that come about. I believe that we see things so very
differently. I accept brothers and sisters from other
denominations as long as they believe that salvation is
through a personal relationship with God through his son,
Jesus Christ. If another believer is willing to lay down
their own lives for the sake of the Gospel; to me that
person is a Christian no matter what denomination they
are affiliated with. Unfortunately, too many people
believe that salvation depends on the correctness of the
doctrine of their church.

You on the other hand present me as one of the options
as to where I stand in relationship to orthodoxy "an
apostate [in this sense:someone who has left the church
altogether to join a denominational group]" You are
implying that the churches of Christ are the only source
of truth and anyone outside the churches of Christ is
an apostate. Again, this is where we disagree. I believe
that no one christian group is 100% correct on all
doctrinal matters. I believe that the churches of Christ
have several pet doctrines that are not a part of scripture.
Have you ever stopped to think that maybe the apostacy is
on the other foot. Could you be wrong on several issues
or are you always right on all matters concerning faith ?

Anyway, the crux of why we are discussing this issue on
this web site:

I am being truthful when I say that I am very sorry about
how this whole thing at Madison Church of Christ has turned
out. It is true I am an outsider and not anyone directly
involved in what is going on at your church> But, I do have
a vested interest in how this thing is handled. Even though
I am hundreds of miles away and have never met anyone from
the Madisdon Church of Christ I still consider each and every
person on both side of the controversey to be my brothes-in Christ.
Distance and circumstances didn't prevent the Apostle Paul from
caring about fellow believers.(I am definately not implying that
I am an Apostle; although I believe there are still some in the church).

Back to my first post on this thread. If you can remember a couple
of months ago when I submitted a topic "Have to brag on our youth
group" which I am disappointed that it didn't make it on the board;
I suggested that instead of trying to change adults from their
already formed opinions a better approach is to train young people
to develop their own faith and pray that the future is better
for them. it seems to be a better approach than what is currently
being done on this message board.

One last thing the e-mail address is
is my business e-mail address and our IT manager has asked
us to keep personal e-mails to a minimum.

Thank you,

Harry Smith

 Respond to this message   
Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)

Pet Doctrines

November 9 2006, 2:55 AM 

Harry Smith: "I believe that the churches of Christ
have several pet doctrines that are not a part of scripture."

Traditional churches of Christ follow the doctrine of the New Testament. I invite Harry Smith to list those "pet doctrines" of churches of Christ which allegedly are not a part of New Testament Scripture and further show how those doctrines specifically violate or contradict New Testament Scripture.

 Respond to this message   
harry smith
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: Pet Doctrines

November 11 2006, 10:03 AM 

Dr. Crump,

I do not know how long you have been a member of
the churches of Christ but I believe it has been
long enough that you have heard of some criticisms
of church of Christ doctrines. List those that you
have heard about yourself and post it on this
message board. If there are any others that you
have not listed I'll add it as a response.

Thank you,

Harry Smith

 Respond to this message   
Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)

Re: Pet Doctrines

November 11 2006, 3:20 PM 

Since Harry Smith initiated the claim in this thread that churches of Christ embrace several "pet doctrines" that are not found in Scripture, then he should be frank and tell us exactly what "pet doctrines" he's talking about. He's made an accusation, now it's time for him to prove it.

We in the churches of Christ believe that our doctrine is in step with that found in the New Testament. That is, we do not believe that we embrace "pet doctrines." If others believe that we do not follow the New Testament, however, we ask them to show us exactly where and how we are wrong.

 Respond to this message   
harry smith
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: Pet Doctrines

November 14 2006, 7:31 AM 

Well here goes a list:

1. It is well known that the churches of
Christ worship without instrumental
music. That's fine as long as they
do so out of preference. But,to say
that if other christian groups worship
with instuments is a sin is tantamont to
taking God off his throne, sitting in His
place and adding a new commandment based
not on scripture but on human reasoning
which is often fallable.

2. Many people in the churches of Christ say
that the only day to take the Lord's Supper
is on the first day of the week. This is based
on Acts 20:7 when the author was mearly giving
a statememt of fact and not to establish a
doctrine that must be strictly followed.
Paul states in I Corinthians 11 that as
often as partake of the emblems of the
Lord's Supper, do it in rememberence of me.
There is nothing wrong with having the Lord's
Supper every day of the week.

3. Standard church of Christ doctrine states that
miraculous gifts stopped after the last of the
original apostles died. This is contrary to scripture
where Paul states in I Corinthians 1:4-9 that all of
the spiritual gifts are operational until the Lord's
return. This passage convinced more than anything else
that the charismatic gifts are relevant for today.

4. While we are talking about the Lord's return many in
the churches of Christ do not believe in the millinial
reign of Christ when it clearly states such in
Revelation 20:4-6 and in Zechariah 14:3-4 and
Psalms chapter 2.

Dr. Crump, it's not so much as the members of the churches
of Christ are wrong on these points as much as the prideful
attitude they have that they are always right on all
doctrinal matters. Last time I looked the only person right
on everything was Christ himself. I just wish that the
churches of Christ were more humble and say "Hey we could
be wrong on this." I believe the prideful attitude that
the churches of Christ has had explains why they have been
in a state of decline over the past 50 years.

Thank you,

Harry Smith

 Respond to this message   
Ken Sublett
(no login)

Churches of Christ did NOT invent the NON-instrumental position.

November 14 2006, 1:01 PM 

Well here goes a list:

1. It is well known that the churches of
Christ worship without instrumental
music. That's fine as long as they
do so out of preference. But,to say
that if other christian groups worship
with instuments is a sin is tantamont to
taking God off his throne, sitting in His
place and adding a new commandment based
not on scripture but on human reasoning
which is often fallable.

It turns out that ALL church fathers and ALL founders of denominations and
all scholarship rejects the use of INSTRUMENTS in what the Bible defines as
a school of the Bible where Paul is EXCLUSIVE in Romans 14 and INCLUSIVE
in Romans 15. The exclusion included the three Roman sects ALL of which were
MUSICAL but were IDENTIFIED by their dietary practices which were the DIVERSITIES.

PAUL outlawed disputing or DIALOGING about those because the school of the Bible
was INCLUSIVE of those who were infirm and all known history knows that music
produces very damaging influences on many of the population. In Romans 15 the
Self-pleasing EXCLUSED "creating mental excitement" and the word is very similar
to the SINGING words including heresy. You don't NEED for music to be OUTLAWED
unless you are dealing with pagans who were conditioned to believe that mental
derangement produced by music was proof that the spirits or demons were inside
and revealing something to you. For THAT you had to pay. We also have a LAW which
reads: "Thou shalt not add a Musical Belly Dancer Minister to the Staff infection and
using psychological violence is not the way to prove your point. You can add the
Belly Dancer on the SAME credal basis as ADDING musicians.

The Bible EXCLUDES loud singing and instruments in Numbers 10:7 when the assembly
was called which was NEVER for worship but for INSTRUCTION. The church in the wilderness
is specificially defined as a Holy convocation to Rest, Read and Rehearse the Word of God. No
one ever presumed to teach who was ignorant of that: not even a school boy who attended
Synagogue approved by Jesus and defined by Paul. John Calvin agrees:

If defining Lucifer in the garden of Eden as the "singing and harp playing prostitute"
Does not work nothing will. The only people who EVER used music in worship were
also prostitutes and sodomites. Remember that the temple was a NATIONAL or a
Gentile-like temple because God ABANDONED them to worship the starry host
because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. If that doesn't give you pause then one
might say that you are NOT a Disciple of Christ yet.

If Jesus CASTING OUT the musical minstrels LIKE DUNG doesn't work then just "eat, drink and make Mary."
If John identifying the musical and other OPERATIVES of the Mother of Harlots (Rev 17) as
SORCERERS who HAD deceived the whole world (Rev 18) and caused the CANDLES to
go out then WHAT pray tell would a DIRECT COMMAND "thou SHALT not beat on
sounding bronze and tinkling cymbals when thou meet to speak THE WORD of God one
to another do for you?" Paul DID NOT say: "Thou SHALT NOT beat on hi-tek versions of
the Familiar Spirit of the Witch of Endor." So, go ahead: make God's day.

Do you WISH to call Jesus and John and all known history JUDGMENTAL? This forum exists
for those who are having HOLLYWOOD, DOLLYWOOD AND THE GRAND OLE OPRY imposed into
their OWN property. Are you AGREEING that infiltrating and diverting a peaceable church to
turn it into an INSTRUMENTAL church to become "a theater for holy entertainment" is okey and
NOT passing judgment. Otherwise, you will NEVER find a church of Christ preacher who
CONSPIRED to infiltrate and take the organ OUT of an instrumental church. You have NEVER
unless very old heard any hard preaching AGAINST instruments other than just to quote and
explain the Bible. You are FLAT wrong by claiming that people INVENTED a new command
when all of the bible and recorded history PROVES that you are just IMPROVISING. Poor
dumb Freed invited the "neutrals but instrumentalists" to their FORUM.

When the Campbells and many more in Scotland and America were trying to pry themselves
out of Calvinism, neither Baptists, Presbyterian or Methodists used any form of instrument. It was
a Free black pastor who USED the organ in a fund raiser who got the SPIRIT decided to make
every Sunday a FUND RAISING DAY. Baptist violently opposed instruments even in the 20th century
and some still do. MOST religious groups and leaders have opposed instruments. I contend that
God DOES outlaw loud rejoicing and instruments in the CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS and no Jew
violated that until 1815 and then KNEW that they would have to use a GENTILE organist to perform
the WORK on the Sabbath: the singers in Israel performed HARD BONDAGE.

So, it was the SECTARIAN instrumentalists who ADDED instruments and the DIRECT COMMAND which
outlawed men like J. W. McGarvey from teaching the truth in his OWN church. They have added a direct
commandment: "If thou wishest to worship with us thou SHALT worship with the sound of Music which
is NEVER a Biblical concept for Godly people. Only instrumentalists organize massive efforts to try to
force non-instrumentalists to AFFIRM them and JOIN them. So, you have your FACTOIDS in need of
Prep H.

 Respond to this message   
Donnie Cruz
(no login)

Concerning Personal Identity—Why It Is Important

November 10 2006, 4:04 PM 

To Harry Smith:

Please note that I have included the following information in your original post/message above. We certainly are trying to avoid the possibility that the new reader may be unnecessarily receiving “mixed messages.” Confusion, i.e., as we certainly are aware that you have come a long way from what you believed and knew as a former member of Christ’s church.


    Note from ConcernedMembers:

    While this forum welcomes messages and opinions from those of different religious persuasions, this board at times deems it necessary to request further information whence the message comes, unless the poster has made that acknowledgment at the outset. This is to ensure that our original message to warn other congregations in the brotherhood [among churches of Christ] remains clearly understood. For example, it is certainly a wrong impression to suggest that this forum or a congregation should oppose or should never allow any change. But it becomes a major issue when the change, regardless of the “slick” and subtle methodologies used, destroys a congregation. Or, when God’s directives for the church are challenged, modified or redefined.

    Thanks to Harry Smith [a.k.a. “wordkeeper”] for providing the requested information.

    Just a little bit of caution here—“wordkeeper” as an identity is somewhat delusive. I certainly believe that while I am a keeper of God’s truth and that while I am a Christian … I am not the only keeper of the word [Luke 8:15] and I am not the only Christian [Acts 11:26; I Peter 4:16]. And, yes, I will continue to identify myself by my own name: Donnie Cruz. Can Harry Smith do the same?

    Harry Smith has provided more information in his post dated November 8 2006, 5:51 PM.


Thanks for explaining your religious background. Just be aware that not all people come to similar conclusions as you have, regardless of their countless hours of dedicated studies and involvement or participation “outside the box.” For example, the study of “spiritual gifts” cannot be oversimplified or even be confused with the miraculous manifestations evident in the times and lives of the apostles who were personally and directly associated with Christ … and who were endowed with such unparalleled power and responsibility to expand the borders of Christ’s kingdom, the church that He established (Matt. 16; Acts 2). No, the miraculous indications of the first century—that you seem to suggest are “relevant” and to be practiced in the 21st century [while absent in the centuries in between] have ceased. Definitely … NO to Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, TBN and others that you seem to admire and adore! NO … to the following gibberish:

    “ Kalla ma sone, da fa kooka shores. It kin da la key la shone da la kene (his voice becomes hoarse and is reduced to an indistinguishable whisper). Bear fose sone ta wentta lone (voice trails off into a whisper again). Da lotta tongue de cushawong do so coo toe. Ah shon da ba she dees ... O. Lord, your good ... Gash a la mon sewer. El ah ma she sa (more whispering). Fa kon a la ma dorman begetta see de so lawsuit...”

I am not a disbeliever of “spiritual gifts” when properly clarified. But I know that while musical talent is a NATURAL, physical gift from God (and folks endowed with such talent ought to be thankful to the Creator), I happen to be certain that it is NOT A SPIRITUAL GIFT—and I stand by what the Scripture says about spiritual gifts. [This is all I am going to state in regard to your defense and promotion of modern-day “charismatic” values—that you brought up—as the subject is out-of-scope in terms of the intent that this thread was brought up in the first place.]

Your claim that you “still attend the churches of Christ in Lexington and Louisville on an infrequent basis” is not enough proof that you haven’t disassociated from the brotherhood.

Nobody questions your sincerity in your objectives—nor should anyone’s sincerity be questioned for that matter. I do not recall asking you questions regarding your interest in the website—that is obvious—and would we not be aware of that already?

Rather, one of my main concerns was simply your personal attempt at resolving the problems and issues at Madison—those coming from an outsider [you], especially from someone with strong charismatic tendencies! Let me be blunt for once—Harry, if you want to carry out your plan, I would suggest that you write to the current elders of Madison … introduce yourself as a former member of the church of Christ … as a current member of the “Assembly of God” group—hopefully the elders would be able to discern the implications—and that you are sincerely and honestly trying to help heal the spiritual wounds, etc. They just might thank you for it.

It was not necessary for you to explain our differences and mindset variances. Of course, they are numerous … and obvious. But I would like to stress that “relationships”—whatever and however that decorated expression really means scripturally—is an oversimplification of a solution. That ecumenism—to “accept brothers and sisters from ‘other denominations’”—is the solution? Yeah, right, Harry, I can really see the Baptists, the Mormons, the Adventists, the Christian Scientists or Scientologists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Charismatics and Pentecostals and others accepting and embracing each other. Have you seen this happen yet? If so, let me know.

The Holy Scripture speaks of doctrine very much. So, it is important. The correctness of it is important. Doesn’t that explain why regardless of ecumenical efforts and attempts, Christendom is divided? And the idea that churches of Christ unite with the Assemblies of God? If that’s foremost in your mind, forget it. It is not being realistic; it will never work.

(I do remember from sometime ago a topic, “Have to brag on our youth group.” In fact, I have a copy of it and a portion of it states:

    “ I have always felt that the Bible study for the young people is at its best in the churches of Christ. I can remember growing up in the churches of Christ that my Bible would be full of notes. But the AssemblY of God where I currently attend has gone to the next level. … … … As a follow up on efforts better served... I would encourage Donnie, Dr. Crump, Ken Sublett, PPB, and everybody else that if you want real change that is sustainable then, get involved with your young people like our congregation has. Instead of the time you all put in this web site which as far as I can tell hasn't made one dent of difference at Madison, please be an adult sponser of a youth group.”

To this day I have not wondered why it was D.O.A. [Dead-on-Arrrrrgh].)

O.K., an Assembly of God member has identified himself personally and as a resolution expert. Having such crucial knowledge of where it’s all coming from, let the discussion begin.


 Respond to this message   
harry smith
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: Concerning Personal Identity—Why It Is Important

November 10 2006, 5:34 PM 

Bro. Donnie,

I appreciate your response on this matter. I hope
that one day we could meet. Maybe the next time I
pass through Nashville which is about every other
year or so. You raised several good points and I'll
leave discussion about doctrinal matters to another
day (Spiritual Gifts). But, I'd like to bring out
three points:

1. Doctrine is important but do you not think that
an individual Christian can attend a church that
employs the principles of the Purpose-Driven Church
and still remain true to scripture ? There is a
distinction between the beliefs of an individual and
that of a congregation. Most people I run into have
told me that they do not necessarily share all of the
beliefs of their congregation. This is important.
Careful study of scripture reveals many instances of
disagreements of doctrinal matters between individuals
and even between individuals and the church as a whole.
How about you Bro. Donnie ? Have you ever been in a
congregation and a discussion is raised and you think
to yourself "I don't believe the same way as Bro. so
and so". What I am getting at is that there is importance
in being diligent in believing in doctrinal matters but
even then, individuals can grow and thrive spiritually
in congregations where the principles of the Purpose-
Driven Church are used. Many months ago I raised a
challenge to anyone who can directly quote something
from Rick Warren that contradicts fundamental church
doctrine and I have yet to have anyone do so. I cannot
for the life of me see where the 'dangers' are.

2. On Christians of various denominations having fellowship:
I know for a fact that when I was working with an
inter-denominational street witnessing group everybody
got along with each other and it seemed to work out
rather well. We focused on telling others about Jesus
and the benefits of having a personal relationship with
God through Christ. Maybe your own experience with
multi-denominational groups has been bad; but I can
attest to the fact that through my personal experience
it turned out good.

3. On the situation concerning Madison Church of Christ. I
don't pretend that I have a magical solution that will
please everyone but I can pray about the situation (which
I do every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday nights). What
I hope that doesn't get lost is that the important issue
is not who's right or who's wrong but, the kind of love
that christians should have for one another like what
Christ spoke of in John 17. The greater issue is not
crushing your opponent in defeat but how does this whole
controversy look to unbelievers and what kind of witness
are we giving them ??

Thank you,

Harry Smith


 Respond to this message   
Donnie Cruz
(no login)

I thought we were supposed to move on….

November 11 2006, 4:59 PM 


Somehow you remind me of many Charismatic preachers who VERY FREQUENTLY and HABITUALLY interject “Praise the Lord … Hallelujah!” from beginning to end, in the middle of sentences, as a “FILLER” when the delivery of the message lacks fluency. [You know, I would be curious about filtering a modern-day “Pentecostal” sermon only to find out that such an expression dominates its contents.] Perhaps, that is better than filling in the message with “expletive deleted” expressions which are quite common in ordinary conversations. [What an ugly idea, BTW! ]

My point is that you keep bringing up the subject of doctrinal differences. Such a subject certainly would make a very interesting, separate topic. But such a discussion could be endless—the main reason why I resorted to stating earlier to “let the discussion begin.”

Since I feel compelled to respond to your point #1 regarding “doctrine,” I must state that I have no control over a Christian—either professed or by New Testament standards—who attends “a church that employs” the principles of Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Church scheme. Rick’s “slick” scheme is culture-driven (go-with-the-winds-of-change) as opposed to standards and directives specified in the New Testament—which does NOT change and which is universally applicable, regardless of cultures and cultural changes.

Furthermore, “individual differences” between brothers and sisters “in a congregation or church” should not be an issue. The idea of “individual differences” is COMMON KNOWLEDGE. It has been that way for ages, and that will always occur. Simply put, Harry Smith will never agree with his fellow Charismatic brother Oral Roberts or Benny Hinn or Jim Bakker on every point in scriptural matters. Similarly, Donnie Cruz is not expected to agree on every minute scriptural matter with another brother in the fellowship.

In regard to your point #2, let’s just put this one to rest. Ecumenism has never worked. And please don’t expect that to ever work. Denominationalism is not God-ordained, and any subsequent attempt to resolve something that is not God-ordained, in the first place, is not within scriptural boundaries. Again, the expectation of loyal churches of Christ embracing the tenets of the Assembly of God religious body is presumptive and wishful thinking.

In regard to point #3, which actually what the thread you have initiated is all about, my suggestion to you is just the same—write to the elders of the Madison congregation … identify yourself and your religious background … bring to their attention that the congregation is in your prayers … and be specific about your intentions and objectives. There is a possibility that they would prefer to listen to you and to perspectives coming from someone outside of the fellowship … than accept alternatives from within the brotherhood. There is that possibility.

Again, let the discussion of your message begin.


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harry smith
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: I thought we were supposed to move on….

November 13 2006, 7:58 AM 

It has been a long time since I have
read the purpose-driven life and even
though finances in the Smith household
are tight I went out yesterday and bought
a copy to see what the controversy is all
about. I found some interesting points that
I would like to share:

1. God did not need to create you, but he
chose to create you for his own enjoyment.
You exist for his benefit, his glory, his
purpose, and his delight. (page 63)

2. Every part of a church service is an act
of worship: praying, Scripture reading,
singing, confession, silence, being still,
listening to a sermon, taking notes, giving
an offering, baptism, communion, signing a
commitment card, and even greeting other
worshipers. (page 65)

3. Worship is not part of your life; it is your
life. Worship is not just for church services.
We are told to "worship him continually." (page 66)

4. God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly (page71)

5. Surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is
the natural response to God's amazing love and mercy.
We give ourselves to him, not out of fear, but in
love, "because he first loved us." (page 77)

6. God is pleased when our worship is accurate.
Worship must be based on the truth of scripture,
not our opinions about God. (page 101).

7. Baptism is pregnant with meaning. Your baptism
declares your faith, shares Crist's burial and
resurrection, symbolizes your death to your
old life, and announces your new life in Christ.
(page 120).

8. To Paul, being a "member" of the church meant
being a vital organ of a living body, an
indespinsable, interconnected part of the
Body of Christ. We need to recover and practice
the biblical meaning of membership. The church
is a body, not a building; an organism, not an
organization. (page 131).

9. The Bible must become the authoritative standard
for my life: the compass I rely on for direction,
the council I listen to for making wise decisions,
and the benchmark I use to evaluate everything.
The Bible must always have the first and last word
in my life. (page 186-187).

Rick Warren's book has a lot more to say about
the Purpose-Driven Life and I know that I selected
those passages that best supports my position that
there is nothing controversial about his teachings.

Again I invite anyone who can point out the fallacies
of what Rick Warren is teaching.

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Ken Sublett
(no login)

Hyper Calvinist?

November 13 2006, 10:56 PM 

Rick Warren is a HYPER Calvinist although he seems to crawled up a bit from the slime pit. He teaches that God has a PURPOSE for you and every jot and tittle of your thoughts and actions are CAUSED by God for a purpose. That is sheer wacko.

Do you believe that you infant child who died in the womb MIGHT have been a child of Satan, an adulteress, a murderer and all BECAUSE God picked her from eternity past raised to the eternity power to BURN IN HELL and there is nothing you can do about it. If so, then why buy RICK'S books and make him wealthy and the RECIPIENT of the praise and honor due only to God.

Where Rick is correct he is not original and when he is original he is not right. His movement is a rip off of the Willow Creek Cult. Now, you can read the book for any good you can get out of it but it tries to drown me in a half-inch river and I can no more read it than I can read Max Lucado.

Rick is wrong about the ACTS OF WORSHIP: Jesus did not DEFINE worship but as the Spirit of Christ commanded the church in the wilderness to REST, READ AND REHEARSE the Word as they had it in the minds of any competent elder.

Jesus exampled the Synagogue which had no preaching, singing, music, or taking up collections other than the POOR BOOX for the poor. They did what Paul commanded throughout as SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE and the Lord's Supper. There is no office of PREACHER but Evangelist. The elders are the vocational pastor-teacher with an easy job: just "teach that which has been taught."

There is no coommand to SING ormake music other than an internal RESULT of speaking "that which is written" one to another. The "president" was contact man and when the ekklesia DISmissed it WENT where all assembles go when you DISASSEMBLE them. The ekklesia elected a contact man to keep track and call meetings. The SPEAK word in the civil ekklesia and synagogue was "in a conversatinnal tone" which EXCLUDES music: Don't need to be TOO smart not to MAKE MUSIC when God Incarnate speaks to us wen WE speak that which is written which Jesus called SPIRIT and LIFE. ALL singing terms intended to perform ENCHANTMENT: John callled them SORCERERS in Revelation 18 and the NOT-EASY-TO-BE-FOOLED just called them

Singing was so RADICAL that history takes note of who, when and why SINGING was added to the simple assembly to speak in order to TEACH and LEARN the Psalm or other passage of the week along with the Lord's Supper. "Those who HAD PROSPERED during the week" gave to the "DESTITUTE' but "only if they were willing. The proportional giving is a BIG FAT LIE. What Rick Warren calls worship is NOT correct and is NOT FUNDED except from a CULT-LIKE coercion of widows and honest people out of their livings: Jesus called them PHARISEES. He called the singers and musicians HYPOCRITES by quoating prophecy.

There is NO ACT OF "TAKING UP A COLLECTION" in the bible or early church history. Paul denied that it was a COMMAND and spoke ONLY of those WILLING to give to te DESTITUTE. All church history DENIES that the BUDGET is Biblical although you might take up money for the destitute but NOT ONE PENNY FOR THE INSTITUTE. Foy Wallace (conservative) denies the budget (he could read) and Thomas Campbell denied any one the authority to ADD spiritual anxiety created by debt. That is especially important now when the Purpose Driven people INTEND to divert the monies when the time is right: I have heard about it many times and watch it happen to a past and present church. So, don't try to fool those who have BEEN driven to the purpose NOT ethical and NOT Biblical.

Paul's UNIQUE assembly or gathering word for the CALLED OUT was a form of the SYNAGOGUE and there was NO PRAISE SERVICE in the synagogue for the same reason there was no Belly Dancing in the Sanhedrin. His UNIQUE worship word was to GIVE HEED to the Word of god. The Lord's Supper is to SHOW FORTH which means PREACH the death of Christ. Therefore, there is nothing connected with a REAL church of christ not related to edification or education using THAT WHICH IS WRITTEN.

The purpose driven cult has already been UPPED by the MISSIONAL CHURCH MADNESS so read if for what it is worth but to FORCE this madness on a church is RANK LEGALISM: Jesus invotes us to REST from these burden laders and COOL IT. Worship cannot be PERFORMED intentionally any more than you can LOVE out of intention. When you give HEED to the WORD and an old, non-charismatic elder as he READS the Word then the RESULT is worship because you were GIVING ATTENDANCE to the Word. If you give heed to a charismatic (bad word) preacher or singer you are giving HEED to them and their words and you are WORSHIPING THEM and that is their DRIVEN PURPOSE.

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(no login)


November 7 2006, 1:56 PM 

Why not just answer the questions. They seem straightforward and relevent.

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Jimmy Wren
(no login)

Reply to wordkeeper.

November 10 2006, 5:46 PM 

Your questions are answered on this board many times over! You can read about the elders who left; you can read about the deacons who left; you can read about the members who left.

Many of those who love to live in peace got out of the way when the Christians at Madison starting fighting. Peacable Christians left Madison. Those who love to fight, for the Lord of course - stayed. Those who love to withstand the devil - stayed. Those who love to push others around and get their way - stayed. Those who determined that Christians must "change" to what I want them to be- stayed.

The humble Christians who were looking for a place to serve and worship God, making no name or reputation for themselves, left.

It is true that there are Christians at Madison now who were not part of this "herding Christians out the door of Madison." But many of those who held the door open for those leaving are still there. Some of those are on the church pay roll. Some of those have functions in the CD music recording business support by the church at Madison. There is rental property that someone gets paid to look after at Madison. There is a church mall at madison that has hired help.

Some of those who stayed and fight continue to be PAID TO STAY!

I will address some of your comments at a later date but I must address this "silly" one first. You wrote, "the best way to approach it is to make lemonaide out of lemons and do something positive out of something bad."

Making lemonaide out of lemons is not to be equated with making something positive out of something bad. There is nothing bad about lemons. Try making lemonaide out of dung and see what you get!

In Christ,

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Ken Sublett
(no login)

Don't let your ARM go LIMP!

November 11 2006, 9:22 PM 

There are APPLES and oranges and also LEMONS on this thread: it is not possible to debate the merits of a hostile takeover of a peaceable church unless you understand the meaning of what Jesus came to establish. He SILENCED those who get paid to deliberatelly sow discord, and to give REST to the budget, time and emotional health FROM those very "crooked generation" whom Jesus and the general opinion is that are a surfaced recessive GENE The very word "serpent" in the garden and the "viper" whose SEED had surfaced so that Jesus refused to preach the gospel to them because they would use it to try to defeat Him. All history points to a VIPERISH DNA lurking in the most ANGELIC (evangelistic) LIGHTS (preaching authorities). Where ELSE would Satan surface them as he did Judas who is that eternal "son of perdition." His MARKS are MUSIC and BETRAYAL.

The church is the EKKLESIA which is the School by Which God preparares out spirit to exist in the Spirit realm. Repentance does not just mean to say "I am sorry"; it means a NEW WAY OF THINKING. That thinking is contrary to the world. Therefore, we have no remote possibility of deciding just how we will learn and serve without the Word.

Next, God came if a human body to defeat Satan on the human plain to prove that mankind can defeat Satan. As God has been in a cosmic battle with 'principalities and powers in high places' He prepared us to be Spiritual warriors. We do not use CARNAL WEAPONS or LIFELESS INSTRUMENTS but we use the Sword of the Spirit and other offensive and defensive weapons.

Those who think that being ECUMENICAL and tolerant is so crucial that they would INFILTRATE and DIVERT or SWIPE a church which is acting as such a school of the Bible rather than a Mississippi Showboat, prove that they have been SOFTENED (a bad word proven by the music) and are NOT fit for service to God. Consistent with The Book of Enoch and dozens of similar accounts, God has PARKED them in a Holy Tavern so that they can DELUDE themselves into thinkinging that ALL KNOWN EVIDENCE is wrong and THEY are not DELUSIONAL or wrathful meaning to engage in an orgy. For those who now have instruments and are HAPPY that they have expelled the SPIRITUAL people, you are RIGHT where God has put you--into COLD STORAGE to self-torture yourself while THINKING that you are having fun: like pulling wings off butterflies.

No one will find any literate literature which defends the GONE MAD end times invented by people so DELUDED that they think ALL TRUTH got sucked up into a hole and yet so VIPERISH that they can seduce tens of thousands to come watch the train wreck. Paul DID say in effect that FOOLS LOVE TO BE FOOLED.

Lactantius, consistent with ALL historical scholarship, notes that the ekklesia is not a pagan WORSHIP ritual where the demagogues take you captive with the "performing arts" but a BOOT CAMP and battlefield against those same spiritual entities. Paul in speaking of the Musical Idolatry at mount Sinai called them DEMONS.

Since, therefore, good and evil things are set before man at the same time,
    it is befitting that every one should consider with himself

    how much better it is to compensate evils of short duration by perpetual goods,
    than to endure perpetual evils for short and perishable goods.
For as, in this life, when a contest with an enemy is set before you, you must first labour that you may afterwards enjoy repose,
    you must suffer hunger and thirst, you must endure heat and cold,

    you must rest on the ground, must watch and undergo dangers,
    that your children, and house, and property being preserved,
    you may be able to enjoy all the blessings of peace and victory;
Those who CLAIM to PREACH just Jesus are viper liars because Paul said the same thing of anyone who pretends to be an evangelist: He must KNOW a crucified Christ which can be identified as NOT a doctor of the law getting applauded and a CUT OF THE TAKE.
    but if you should choose present ease in preference to labour,
    you must do yourself the greatest injury:
    for the enemy will surprise you offering no resistance,
    your lands will be laid waste, your house plundered,
    your wife and children become a prey,
    you yourself will be slain or taken prisoner;
This exactly what Amos and Isaiah promised to those who turned to "wine women and music" instead of teaching the WORD and fighting evil. Rather, they joined the evil and continued the musical idolatry which caused God to virtually abandon them. It was prophesied and happened: it has been prophesied and the limp wristed are letting their wives and children go up in literal smoke.
    to prevent the occurrence of these things, present advantage must be put aside,
    that a greater and more lasting advantage may be gained;-so in the whole of this life,
    because God has provided an adversary for us, that we might be able to acquire virtue,
    present gratification must be laid aside, lest the enemy should overpower us.

    We must be on the WATCH, must post guards, must undertake military expeditions,
    must shed our blood to the uttermost; in short, we must patiently submit to all things which are unpleasant and grievous,
    and the more readily because God our commander has appointed for us eternal rewards for our labours.

    And since in this earthly warfare men expend so much labour to acquire for themselves
    those things which may perish in the same manner as that in which they were acquired,
    assuredly no labour ought to be refused by us, by whom that is gained which can in no way be lost.
For God, who created men to this warfare, desired that they should stand prepared in battle array,
    and with minds keenly intent should watch against the stratagems or OPEN attacks of our single enemy,

    who, as is the practice of skilful and experienced generals, endeavours to ensnare us by various ARTS
    directing his rage according to the nature and disposition of each.

    For he infuses into some insatiable avarice, that, being chained by their riches as by fetters,
    he may drive them from the way of truth.

    He inflames others with the excitement of anger, that while they are rather intent upon inflicting injury,
    he may turn them aside from the CONTEMPLATION of God.

    He plunges others into immoderate lusts, that, giving themselves to pleasure of the body,
    they may be unable to look towards virtue.

    He inspires others with envy, that, being occupied with their own torments,
    they may think of nothing but the happiness of those whom they hate.

    He causes others to swell with ambitious desires.
    These are they who direct the whole occupation and care of their life to the holding of magistracies,
    that they may set a mark upon the annals, and give a name to the years.
The desire of others mounts higher, not that they may rule provinces with the temporal sword,

but with boundless and perpetual power may wish to be called lords of the whole human race.
Moreover, those whom he has seen to be pious he involves in various superstitions,
that he may make them impious.

But to those who seek for wisdom, he dashes philosophy before their eyes,
that he may blind them with the appearance of light,
lest any one should grasp and hold fast the truth.

Thus he has blocked up all the approaches against men, and has occupied the way,
rejoicing in public errors; but that we might be able to dispel these errors,
and to overcome the author of evils himself,
God has enlightened us, and has armed us with true and heavenly virtue,
respecting which I must now speak.

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

One more suggestion for Harry

November 13 2006, 11:28 PM 


Isn’t there a song, “You are always on my mind … you are always on my mind”? I’m somewhat being facetious—and I can’t help it. But there you go again—Rick Warren and his driving. “Rick Warren is always on my mind—purpose-driven life … purpose-driven church … purpose-driven wealth accumulation … purpose-driven church subversion … purpose-driven church takeover-acquisition … purpose-driven everything.”

I, too, have copies of the purpose-driven “… Church” and “… Life.” Extremely unchallenging and quite boring reading materials! Frankly, I cannot take your favorite author seriously. Some of the statements you quoted are “common knowledge” and “common sense” stuff. You, too, can be a prolific writer like Warren—and pretend as though you had just come with remarks unheard of before by humankind. Or, make comments as though they came from the Scriptures.

Harry, you are a Charismatic adherent now—that explains a lot about your choices and preferences. Do you realize that Rick Warren is an embarrassment to his former church fellowship—the conservative, fundamentalist Baptists?

Anyway, here’s my suggestion, since this thread that you initiated is about your inquisitiveness toward the rise and fall of the Madison congregation—and not about Rick Warren’s deceptive, purpose-driven schemes. There are threads here that discuss Rick Warren and/or his philosophical views. Feel free to resurrect any of these past threads and re-post your theses of November 13 2006, 7:58 AM above—it’s been saved in case you don’t have a copy of it anymore. If not, feel free to create a new thread by declaring the same theses or quotes from Rick Warren’s books.

Harry, you issued your points of suspicions (numbered 1-5) or questions regarding Madison in your initial post above. I’m afraid that the best answers or comments will have to come from the elders of the Madison church. Per my original suggestion, would you write to the elders for the answers you need? [I have given you a few tips as to how you may want to pursue this endeavor. But feel free to ignore my tips and just be yourself when you write to them. You might even re-consider including additional questions.]

Would you let us know of their response or update this thread? I am curious as well … and shall be waiting.


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harry smith
(Login wordkeeper)

Re: One more suggestion for Harry

November 14 2006, 7:05 AM 


I am not the one who introduced the Rick Warren
Purpose-Driven Life to this web site. All I hear
is how unnecessary and controversial it is and for
the life of me I cannot find anything that is written
that is so controversial. If fact, in the earlier part
of this thread I found nine different passages in his
book that are rock solid doctrines that members of the
churches of Christ would agree and even shout amen.
Since this web site is the one that has been so critical
of Rick Warren the burden of proof rests on your shoulders
not mine. Can anybody point out anything controversial
in his writtings ?? This is the third time I have asked
this. It appears that the issue isn't Rick Warren as
much as your resisitant to change even if the change
is for the better.

As far as your suggestion I will be glad to comply.
But I need your help. Since I am an outsider of the
Madison church I do not know how to reach the elders
of your congregation to ask the questions that started
this thread. Could you assist me in providing me some
names and addresses of the elders of Madison Church of
Christ. I do promise to be accurate with the facts and
communicate with them in an honest manner.

Thank you,

Harry Smith

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Donnie Cruz
(no login)

Here’s further clarification

November 14 2006, 10:13 PM 


My request was simple. I also wanted us not to deviate from the discussion. After all, it was you who brought up the itemized questions #1-5, when you said: “What it all boils down to is this: My suspicions are that Madison has gone through these changes….”

In case you misunderstood my request, here it is again:

    “There are threads here that discuss Rick Warren and/or his philosophical views. Feel free to resurrect any of these past threads and re-post your theses of November 13 2006, 7:58 AM above—it’s been saved in case you don’t have a copy of it anymore. If not, feel free to create a new thread by declaring the same theses or quotes from Rick Warren’s books.”

Just so we can get back to discussing your keen interest in the Madison affairs, please visit the congregation’s website:

There is a provision for an e-mail that may be sent directly to the elders. The elders are pictured. In case you get confused, the page is titled “Our Shepherds.” Several of the elders prior to the upheaval either have left or no longer serve. So, there are several new shepherds. Feel free to “extract” whatever information you need to your satisfaction. You will find them cordial. My observations from some of them who speak before the congregation are that they may have much in common with some of the beliefs and teachings of your religious affiliation. Hopefully, you will be encouraged by their friendliness and courtesy.

Be sure to save a copy of your e-mail, in case it goes astray. If it does, you may need to send your inquiries by mail. The mailing address and phone number are listed.

Keep us posted.



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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)

Alleged Church of Christ Pet Doctrine # 1

November 15 2006, 11:35 AM 

Harry Smith: "It is well known that the churches of Christ worship without instrumental music. That's fine as long as they do so out of preference. But, to say that if other Christian groups worship with instruments is a sin is tantamount to taking God off his throne, sitting in His place and adding a new commandment based not on Scripture but on human reasoning which is often fallible."

The subject of instrumental music has been debated, discussed, and hashed over many times on this site and others. A full resurrection of those arguments would be pointless on either side. Suffice it to say, however, that it is neither preference nor human reasoning that prompts churches of Christ to abstain from instruments but because the New Testament does not specifically grant Christians the authority to use them. Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 specify the type of music to use, and that is vocal music: singing and making melody in the heart. If the NT had never specified anything along that line, then Christians would have been free to use and make any kind of music we desired. But since the NT is specific about worship music, then Christians have no authority to add to or take away from what has been written as far as matters of worship and doctrine are concerned. And note that anytime we sing and make melody in our hearts and specifically direct that to God/Christ, we worship Him. We do not take God/Christ off His throne, for God/Christ has spoken His commandment through the apostle Paul, and we obey that commandment. What is fallible is human reasoning that says that instruments are acceptable in worship because the NT does not condemn them by name. Neither does the NT condemn the use of cocaine in worship by name. So shall we also snort cocaine in worship? The NT doesn't need to condemn instruments, because the NT has already specified what music to use: singing, which is vocal music, nothing more.

BTW, what Paul wrote about singing was not his personal opinion but a directive from God/Christ. Paul tells us in Gal. 1:11-12 that the Gospel He received came from Christ, Who was God Incarnate. Whatever Paul wrote came from Above, except for a few passages that Paul clearly flags as being his own opinion. Since Paul does not flag them as his opinion here, the passages about singing clearly come from Above.

Harry Smith: ""Last time I looked the only person right on everything was Christ himself."

If all Christians would simply follow the tenets of Christ exactly as laid out in the four Gospels and which continue in the apostolic epistles, then all Christians would be right on everything as well.

Harry Smith: "I believe the prideful attitude that the churches of Christ has had explains why they have been in a state of decline over the past 50 years."

The church that Christ founded some 2,000 years ago with His death, burial, and resurrection was, is, and always will be quite alive and well. But Christians have the option to choose whether they will follow the strait and narrow path to salvation as Christ stipulated, or whether they will jump on the band wagon of denominationalism with its penchant for liberal interpretations and ignoring of Scripture; its charismatic, entertainment-oriented worship which seeks to attract carnally-minded people through showbiz pizzazz, glamour, and emotion; and which erroneously attributes adrenaline highs and hysteria as indicators of "faith." If membership in the church of Christ has declined at all, it's because more people have left the true faith for other "faiths" that have instilled into the Church the look and feel of performing arts centers and which thus make the Church more like the world. They defy Romans 12:2, James 4:4, and 1 John 2:15-17.

(Harry Smith's other alleged pet doctrines will be addressed in due course.)

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

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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