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The Change Agents on “Holy Reading” vs. Bible Study

October 25 2007 at 12:27 AM
Donnie Cruz  (no login)
from IP address


Dear Bro. Waddey:

I attended a Ladies' Inspiration Day program and the woman who taught it spent her time talking about a new way of reading the Bible which she called "Holy Reading." She said it was practiced by the early church. This was new to me. Can you help me understand what she is promoting?

— Rena


    Dear Rena:

    The Holy Reading exercise that your teacher introduced is a derivative of the Lectio Divina practice of Roman Catholic mystics. This unfamiliar practice did not come to us directly from some Catholic monastery. It has been brought into the Lord's church by the teachers that we commonly identify as change agents. We use this name because they themselves use it to describe their efforts and because they are working to reshape the church after a denominational pattern and thus to make it a denomination. These misguided teachers are numerous, and scattered throughout the nation and in some of our mission fields. They control Abilene Christian University, David Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University and Rochester College. They have a foothold in a few other schools, but have not yet gained control of them.

    The change agents have borrowed their mystical methods from a denominational movement called "The Emergent Church" which is promoted by Fuller Theological Seminary and Church Growth Center in California. The Emergent leaders have blended Hindu and Buddhist mysticism with the Medieval Catholic mysticism, New Age religious practices and Postmodern philosophy. To this mix they add a sprinkling of Bible to hide its true anti-Christian nature and make it look and taste like, to the unsuspecting, a Christian movement

    First of all let me point out that it is never wrong to read the Bible whether in a group or privately. It is in no way wrong to read it silently to one's self. Nor is it wrong to concentrate on a verse or a paragraph until one has memorized it. It is not wrong to have a favorite passage that we return to with frequency. Nor is it wrong to call to mind an important promise or command when you are being tried or tempted.

    That said, there is still something to be faulted in this and other similar mystical practices currently being promoted by our change agents.

      • They claim that those who pursue such methods as Lectio Divina will be more spiritual, therefore better Christians. They think that by repeating a verse, even a phrase or word repeatedly, that your mind will be emptied of normal thoughts and God might speak to you in the quietness. If this were true we would wonder why the apostles, led by the Holy Spirit, did not instruct the first Christians to use the method? Why did it take several hundred years to be discovered and that by Roman Catholic disciples of "St." Benedict? It implies that the person who participates in their Lectio Divina method will be more spiritual and holy than the Christian who reads and studies his bible, prays fervently and serves Christ in his daily life, but chooses not to follow their method.

      • Lectio Divina is but one of several mystical practices being promoted by these false teachers. From the same pagan and Catholic sources they advocate such things as Taise worship, labyrinths, centering prayer, lighting candles when praying, retreating to isolated places to find God, mantras and other methods to "discover the voice of God within." Of course, the Bible knows nothing of such practices.

      • This "holy reading" practice was not used by the early church, meaning the church of the first century. It is more honest to say that it was a practice that developed and was used by Catholic mystics from the fourth century onward.

    You were right to be concerned about the events of the Ladies' Day program. Those who are pursuing such practices are generally denominational in their thinking. Many of them think that the Church of Christ is really a denominational body. Many of them have very weak ideas about the essentiality of baptism for salvation (Acts 22:16). They teach baptism, but many of them will not say the devout denominationalist who was sprinkled for baptism must be immersed to be saved (Rom. 6:3-4). Many of them think we have unnecessarily oppressed our women by not allowing them a leadership role in the public services of the church (I Tim. 2:11-12). Virtually all of them see nothing wrong with denominationalism. I do not charge this particular lady teacher with any or all of these views, but they are very common among those promoting this mystical kind of worship.

    Remember the words of Peter, "Be sober, be watchful: your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8).


    — John Waddey

John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now


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

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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