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Did Rubel Shelly use the Freed-Hardeman Lectureships to Train Change Agents?

November 14 2006 at 7:27 PM
Jimmy Wren  (no login)
from IP address

(This article, in no way, is suggesting any wrong doing by Freed-Hardeman. All comments are directed to the speaker, Rubel Shelly.)

When you combine the teaching’s of Rubel Shelly with the events that have taken place over the past few years, one wonders if Rubel was giving instructions to his followers on how to take control of “churches” as far back as 1970.

In this “speech” Rubel used the term “liberal” and spoke as if he would stand against such. However, as the years have come and gone this appears to have been the “formula” used by both Rubel and the modern day “change agents" to steal church houses and it’s property.

Rubel gives this description of the worker and the work: “He is careful to appear humble, pious and genuinely concerned for the welfare of the Church. By such an appealing approach, he is able to win people to himself. How appropriate is our Lord's warning found in Matthew 7: 15. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves."

He continues his insidious work from within! He uses pulpits, magazines, journals and every other known tool of influence among us to win people to himself and his false doctrines. I have more respect for the "anti" who flies his true colors and leaves our fellowship than for the liberal who is deceitfully leading brethren astray!”
(end of quote) Source: Some Basic Errors of Liberalism,Rubel Shelly; Freed-Hardeman College Lectureship, 1970.

In the first paragraph Rubel's description would certainly fits the "change agents." Rubel then gives Matthew 7:15 as if he is against such.

In paragraph two he reminds the "change agents" that the "anti's" left the fellowship but the liberals stay and succeed in leading brethren astray.

In This "speech" Rubel has put forth the seed from which the "change agents" have come. The "change agent" must must appear humble, pious, concerned and he must use all resources, pulpits, magazines, every known tool among us to win! The "Change Agent' must stay! Make others leave but the "Change Agent" must stay.

In Christ,

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Jimmy Wren
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Rubel continues to describe the "Change Agents"

November 15 2006, 9:02 PM 

" now seems that we have developed a "new breed of preachers" who can show only contempt and disgust for what faithful brethren have said and done in the past. These same men are speaking and writing in such a way as to create doubt and confusion in the minds of our brethren." (end of quote.) The source is from the same as in the opening post.

Rubel says "it's a new breed of preachers." Rubel lays the blame squarely where it belongs, on the preachers! Do you suppose Rubel knew that he was speaking of his own future actions at that time? Was Rubel measuring the audience at Freed-Hardeman to see what he could get away with? Was Rubel giving us a preview of things to come?

We now know that this "change agent, Rubel Shelly" has been able to inflict a lot of damage from the pulpit and through his writings. The pulpit has been this "change agent's" number 1 tool. It is through the teaching coming from the pulpit that this "change agent" has been able to create doubt and confusion in the minds of many, Christians and non-Christians alike.

His sermons have gone from Bible preaching to good little short talks. Next came the introduction of an expensive praise minister to build a team of entertainers that took over the congregational singing. Then the name change for the church. Well, we all know how it goes from here...

Did you notice that Rubel acknowledges "faithful brethren" of the past in this speech? I wonder who he may have been referring to? G. Ted Armstrong? Joseph Smith? I know he doesn't think that about Garland Elkins!

In Christ,

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Jimmy Wren
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Rubel's attitude toward doctrine

November 16 2006, 11:13 PM 

Rubel gives the "change agents" their number 1 challenge. They must change the way Christians looks at "doctrine."

Rubel says The first basic error of liberalism is one of attitude. It is usually expressed in language similar to the following: "We have haggled much too long over baptism and instrumental music. It is time that we realized that Christianity is a life, not a doctrine. The real integrity of the church is in its spiritual life rather than in its doctrinal structure!"

I have a quotation from a supposed "faithful preacher of the gospel" in which he says that he never brings up doctrinal matters in assemblies which are composed of non- Christians!
end of quote. Source is the same as the first post.

Rubel speaks of "doctrine" as being a threat against the "liberals - change agents." Is this Rubel's way of saying that he has reached his turning point? That the sound, Bible based sermons that he has been preaching is about to come to an end?

Rubel continues by saying "Shall we abandon the distinctive sound of authoritative gospel preaching? The liberal would like to see that day come."

Well, Rubel sure didn't disappoint the liberals. The day did come. The liberals did see it.

Yes, it is my conclusion that Rubel did use the Freed-Hardeman lectures to promote, train, and raise up the change agents that trouble the churches today.

In Christ,

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Rubel's attitude toward doctrine

November 17 2006, 9:55 AM 

From Jimmy's quotes of Shelly, it appears that the latter's stance on doctrine closely mirrors that espoused by The Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren, who said that it is our love--not our doctrinal beliefs--that is our greatest witness to the world.

Warren's take on doctrine here twists John 13:35 (KJV), which states, "By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Warren plays up "love" as a means of downplaying doctrine. Furthermore, such an altered verse would apparently make gullible Christians believe that Christ likewise downplayed His own doctrine.

Without the doctrine of Christ as the guiding force of integrity in the Christian's life, "spiritual life" becomes nothing but a romantic fantasy of "I'll do as I please, because I'm already 'saved,' and I can't do wrong."

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Ken Sublett
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Sure, why not, the instrumentalists used them.

November 17 2006, 12:12 PM 

At their CORE these people have coopted the word DOCTRINE (teaching) to mean ONLY those few things which make churches of Christ DISTINCTIVE. That is, the name, music, baptism etal. Because these are DIVISIVE (Jesus intended that they be) the ungodly preacher decides to just FABRICATE his own doctrine to suck in the seekers. That means that he is NOT a Disciple of Christ. The other CORE element is that they think that GOSPEL means the seven facts ABOUT Jesus and what HE did: what Jesus TAUGHT are not inspired because they were written by the Apostles in the Epistles. They hallucinate that to KNOW only a crucified Christ means to PREACH JUST JESUS. If they cannot REED WURDS how can they get PAID as a CORRUPTER of the Word? Paul said and meant that--unlike the MANY plaguing all of the young churches-He would KNOW meaning to LIVE as a self-crucified SUFFERING SERVANT. And suffering servants don't have the RIGHT to decide what they will fabricate and preachercate to keep from offending those with money. Peter preached the gospel of salvation FROM that crooked generation. Jesus preached the gospel meaning "Come to ME all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you REST." Paul preached the Gospel of worship IN the place of the SPIRIT because "outside there be dogs and wolves" howling their songs seeking people to DEVOUR. He preached the Gospel of RUN FROM THE POLIS or crowd to find Jesus the SUFFERING servant OUTSIDE being reproached by those INSIDE the camps. The CORE is preached because they have been well informed that what THEY are doing is utterly repudiated by the Epistles and in what Jesus verbally spoke which went well beyond the CORE gospel. When I think of a CORE gospel I think of a husk where the BURDEN LADERS have eaten all of the APPLE.

When Rubel wrote for conservatives to keep his job he wrote conservative material. However, then nor bver was there any "spirit" or "word" infusion from his own conforming to the image of Christ in the Word. What he wrote about instrumental music could be picked from any and all material of the time. That was in the 'gopher wood' era when they thought about LAWS of singing along with the LAWS of giving. However, I am not aware of any one who had dug beyond the dictionary and prior writers to understand the meaning of SERPENT in the garden of Eden up to the Mother of Harlots in Revelation 18.

That means that as a CUTTING EDGE Rubel read and preached from the latest book of theology meaning those "doctors of the Law who take away the key to knowledge." Rubel was victimized by this lack of depth into the Sacred Page. Here is a statement of the CORE GOSPEL which is ABOUT the facts of Jesus while the SERMONS have repudiated the EPISTLES where the evil DOCTRINE often resides. They THINK that doctrine is an evil word when Greek 101aaa proves that it just means TEACHING. The command of Jesus was to make disciples SO THAT they could teach what JESUS TAUGHT personally and as the guiding Spirit in the record of MOUTH TO MOUTH witnesses.

How can I say that? Because Rubel believes that ALL TRUTH except a few facts ABOUT Jesus have been shot away by Evolution and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (kicks in close to the speed of Light). Therefore, he admits to TAKING LIBERTY with the old fragments in order to use Narrative Theology to concoct a New set of truth because OUR culture has changed.

Rubel Shelly believes and teaches:

Here is what God wants churches passionate about:
(1) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
(2) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

    (But: The Israelites had to "look upon" the serpent) John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

    Should is not shall which means a certainty.

    Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, t
    hat whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
    but have everlasting life.

    Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    (But:Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.)

    A person who BELIEVETH is a person who COMPLIETH. If you believe you MAY then be baptized and THE have God remit your sins and THEN give you life.
(3) "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(4) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: (5) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (6) Since we have now been justified by his blood, (7) how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Rom. 5:8-9).

    (But: Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.)

    Shelly doesn't grasp the meaning of "justified by faith" as opposed to be saved by faith which OBEYS in baptism.
These are the essentials of Christian faith. It is this core message about Jesus
that we share in common with other
Bible-believing, cross-proclaiming,
resurrection-confessing, born-again persons
that constitutes us a church.

    That is the Just Jesus dogma which Rubel etal hallucinate because they THINK that Paul said that he had resolved to PREACH only Christ and Him Crucified. That is terminal ignorance or terminal deception! Paul said that he had decied to KNOW only Christ and Him crucified. Paul defines that in 2 Corinthians to DISQUALIFY the rich and famous who do not LIVE and SUFFER and risk their LIVES like Christ in order to preach the gospel.
Outside the ESSENCE of the gospel,
there are other features that reflect our history and consensus interpretations of the larger biblical message.

If Rubel REALLY meant that he would GIVE BACK all of the money he collected from the poor for preaching MORE than the CORE which can be preached in five minutes. That would cause him to KNOW only Jesus Christ and MOVE ON to the next town.

Rubel Shelly: seems to agree with those of whom he writes:

They had to strain the story of Jesus through philosophical sieves. They had to create and clarify special terms. They made entrance into their circles a matter of "enlightenment" as reflected in peculiar vocabulary and interpretations.

In the meanwhile, the core gospel has survived two millennia now in its narrative form of telling the big story through collections of little ones about Jesus.

Notice that:

The little stories were strained through the Shelly Sifter of philosophy and the Bible writer's personal agenda: these are not TRUTH as the Gospel is TRUTH. The methods of John and the Gnostics are not much different: therefore, as the Gnostics SIFTED so did John. Leroy Garret says that the gospels are NOT TRUTH but just things for us to DIALOG.

The Big Story or the CORE GOSPEL has survived through these little stories.
Our conclusion: The CORE is no more reliable than the sum of its parts: why should we trust Rubel Shelly's CORE GOSPEL as the TRUTH?

Dr. Shelly defines the narrative form as writers taking the literature and constructing a narrative for their own time, place, theological agenda and by sifting in Greek philosophy.

This is pure Ketchersideism: When you believe that the FACTS about Jesus constitute the CORE GOSPEL then you are forced to change YOUR DOCTRINES (teachings) to conform. That means that the SPIRIT OF CHRIST was not competent to deliver HIS doctrine or teaching but RUBEL and Ketcherside and Garrett etal ARE. That is why you will find that they TAKE LIBERTIES with the "lost message" of the Bible and use NARRATIVE THEOLOGY (plus feminist) theology.

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Jimmy Wren
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Rubel moves forward as a leader of the "change agents."

November 17 2006, 10:26 PM 

In the 1970 Freed-Hardeman lectures Rubel ask “Do we want to preach the same sermons that denominational people take delight in hearing, i.e., collections of polite platitudes that make about as much of an impression on sinners as a drop of water on the ocean tides? Shall we abandon the distinctive sound of authoritative gospel preaching? The liberal would like to see that day come.

Some evidently do not understand the matter, but there can be no preaching apart from doctrine. Doctrine is defined as "something that is taught: teaching." Can any man profess faith in anything at all without making a doctrinal statement? Preach of love, joy, peace and you are still dealing with matters of doctrine or teaching. It is absurd to think that there can be any religious discussion or statement without the involvement of doctrinal matters.

We nevertheless understand those who profess to have left off doctrinal preaching. They mean that they do not preach on such subjects as baptism for the remission of sins, the one body, or instrumental music. But still the question remains: Why? Is there no objective truth to be sought in regard to these subjects? Are the statements "Baptism is essential unto salvation from sin" and "Baptism is not essential unto salvation from sin" equally true?
end of quote. Source: Some Basic Errors of Liberalism, Rubel Shelly; Freed-Hardeman College Lectureship, 1970.

While the context of this speech by Rubel appears to be of sound doctrine, a closer look reveals the directions of which Rubel will be going in a few short years. The things he seems to be against are the very things he now upholds and defends.

The above post by Dr. Crump and Ken add much to this discussion. We pick up a little here and a little there about just who Rubel Shelly really is. As Ken points out in his post Rubel’s lessons could have been purchased at any Gospel Advocate Book store. There are no original thoughts in any of his writings are lessons.

Dr. Bill points out the similarities of Rick Warren’s writings to Rubel Shelly’s writing concerning “doctrine.” These similarities may be because neither man can think for themselves; they can only copy what others have written.

It is written of Rick Warren “Mr. Warren has written NOTHING NEW here! All he has done is ripped off the work of others before him and dummied it up. As I went through this 40 days with some friends 2 Catholics, 4 Lutherans, 3 Episcopalians (The local Lutheran Church was the sponsor). I was bored to tears!!!!! We are reading along and I stated that this sounds like Brother Lawrence in "The Practice of the Presence of God". Well in the next chapter Mr. Warren finally gives credit to Bro. Lawrence after having used his work repeatedly. As we continue through the book I find myself saying that this is nothing more than what has been said before by St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila and their books are a whole lot more interesting translated from the "Old Spanish". Source: Raymond Johnson, Kingwood, TX; A Review of the Purpose Driven Life.

Rubel made the statement “This question should be asked of those who disdain doctrinal sermons: Why do you preach at all?” (end of quote.)

I have never learned the answer to that question but Rubel has. The answer must have a lot of appeal to it. Rubel stopped serving King Jesus. He even removed the name of the Savoir from the church he preaced at and began serving King Rubel.

In Christ,

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Jimmy Wren
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As soon as I raise enough money and finish my education...

November 18 2006, 10:07 PM 

I believe 1970 to be the first time that Rubel got to speak on the Freed-Hardeman lectures. I am not sure about this. Perhaps a reader can help me out here. I find Rubel’s attempt to convince a rather large audience of his soundness as a gospel preacher to be somewhat lacking. To the contrary I find Rubel speaking as if he is unsure in the things that he says. I read this as if Rubel is saying “I am telling you one thing but I believe another and as soon as I can convince enough people and raise enough money and finish my schooling, that you people in the Church of Christ are paying for, I am going to do and preach the very things that I am preaching against here at the Freed-Hardeman Lectures.”

Rubel says “the objection that Christianity is "a life, not a doctrine," very little needs to be said. For, although this assertion has an appearance of godliness, it is radically false ! This would make Christianity altogether subjective and remove it from the realm of objectively verifiable matters. If Christianity is not based on doctrine that is historically true, it is robbed of all value and meaning. if Christianity is not objectively verifiable through doctrine, Paul was altogether out of order when he declared certain men "anathema" from God for teaching a difrerent gospel. (Cf. Gal. 1: 8-9.) Yes, Christianity produces a changed life; but it is the doctrine that justifies the life, not vice versa.” Source: Some Basic Errors of Liberalism,Rubel Shelly; Freed-Hardeman College Lectureship, 1970.

Men such as James Meadows, Thomas B. Warren, Gus Nichols, Guy Woods, and many others had taught these truths for years. This was no new “doctrine” at Freed-Hardeman. The only “new” revelation to come from this speech was to come from the man who spoke.

He gained a following; He found his financial support; He got his education; It’s time for Ruble to now make his move.

Next post: Everybody open you mouth and say “aw-a-a-a-“ ‘cause here comes the doc.

In Christ,

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Jimmy Wren
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Open your mouth and say aw-a-a-a, here comes the doc

November 19 2006, 9:02 PM 

Many doctors have come to Christ. One of the most renown is doctor Luke, the writter of the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts.

While we acknowlege the fact that some of Christ's followers are doctors we deny the fact that Christ set up a religion that makes doctors. We deny the fact that a preacher needs to become a doctor in order to preach and teach the gospel and/or any part of our bible.

A gospel preacher is no more than a person who "throws out the life line." The Great Physician is Jesus! Those who serve him are "life line throwers." Jesus puts it this way follow me and I will make you fishers of men. "Cast your nets..."

Where is the university that gives a degree in fishing? Where is the ship that demands its crewmen to have a FSD before they can board the vessel? Yet more and more we read where a church is looking for a minister who must have a doctorate in something.

This post is concerned only with the doctorate, any educational degree, that has to do with religion.

In the New Testament such men were called "doctors of the law." One would hope that "doctors of the law" would be a thing of the past. But this degree, i.e., "doctorate," is one of the major reasons for the rapid spread of the "change agents." Congregations demand a "doctorate" and this is often what they get.

The money value of a doctor's degree start at $40.00 and they can go as high as several thousand dollars. If a church or church members are supporting a person such as Rubel, he no doubt will opt for the "several thousand dollar" one.

I suggest that if your church demand such a degree that you go for the $40.00 one. Here is the name and address of where to order: Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies will award you an honorary Dr. of Divinity degree in recognition of your life experience. This will qualify you to use the title of "Rev.Dr." before your name, or the initials "D.D." after your name. For example:
Rev.Dr. John A. Smith
Rev. John A. Smith, D.D.

To order you Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, please include the following items:

1. Your name as you wish it to appear on your degree.
2. A brief testimony about your personal experience as a Christian. This can be about how you were saved, the difference Christ has made in your life, how you led someone to Christ, or any personal experience involving your faith.
3. Check or money order for the suggested contribution of forty dollars made out to "St. Luke's".
4. Be sure and include your return address.

Mail the above items to:

Rev. David M. Ford
8721 Santa Monica Blvd #338
Los Angeles CA 90069

In Christ,

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Jimmy Wren
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Now that you have a "Doctor of Divinity"...

November 19 2006, 9:48 PM 

Hello all Doctors of Divinity! And only $40.00!

My goal now is to prove you are as smart as the ones who opt for the several thousand dollar degree.

Let's begin with Dr. Rubel. I will not use my own thinking here. I will call upon the President of Southwestern Christian College, Dr. Jack Evans.

Dr. Jack Evans is giving a "dress down" to one of Rick Atchley's sermons preached at the RHCoC on January 28, 2004. He includes Dr. Rubel Shelly in this "dress down" when he writes: "Who made you, Rubel Shelly, Max Lucado, and others like you the "keepers of the Holy Grail" and definers of legalism, sectarianism, denominationalism, grace, "the community of faith" and other cacophonous buzz words being used in the milieu of today’s apostasy? Your fallacious doctrines are a direct descendant from Alexander Campbell’s "Lunenburg Letters" published in the Millennial Harbinger of 1837, and later espoused by Carl Ketcherside and Leroy Garrett in more recent years. Are you just learning about the origin of this heresy?"

After all the money Rubel paid out for his doctorate and the president of this College all but tells him that he wasted his money!

Also notice that Dr. Evans pulled no punches in letting others know who the "change agents," those who are troubling the Churches of Christ, are!

In Christ,

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Jimmy Wren
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Rubel's speech in the year of 1970

November 24 2006, 2:11 AM 

Rubel proclaimed: "A knowledge of doctrinal matters is necessary in order to do the will of God. "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching (doctrine-KJV), whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself." (John 7: 17.) One must know of the Father and the sacrifice of his Son in our behalf. He must know that the gospel reveals how we may receive salvation. He must be shown the commands relative to salvation and urged to obey them. He must be taught concerning the church and Christian living."

Rubel was speaking and teaching well in the year of 1970. In the years to come Rubel would change his teachings. His message about the doctrines of the Bible will become mixed with "Rubel's" own ideas of what he thinks God "wants" of a church. No longer is it Bible doctrine but Rubel, like others who have left the faith, now claims to have his own external source of heavenly intelligence. Where would a "change agent" be without an external source of heavenly intelligence?" All change agents at one time or another will claim to have a direct conversation both from God and with God.

Dr. Jack Evans writes in the year of 2004:" I am happy to state that most (about 99%) of African-American churches of Christ still preach what the Bible teaches about salvation. And one of those tenets is that all the saved in this "dispensation of the grace of God" are or will be members of the body of Christ, which is the church of Christ (Eph. 3:2-6, 9-11, 21; Col. 1:24-26, and many more scriptures which you know, and are easily understood by a truth-seeker)."

To Rubel and other change agents, I would like to echo what Dr. Evans says "...all the saved in this "dispensation of the grace of God" are or will be members of the body of Christ, which is the church of Christ (Eph. 3:2-6, 9-11, 21; Col. 1:24-26, and many more scriptures which you know, and are easily understood by a truth-seeker)."

In Christ,

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There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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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.

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

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

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