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Why Church doesn't work

July 8 2011 at 2:12 AM
(Login whyistayathome)
from IP address

I went to Madison in the Steve Flatt era, and I have visited again after the split a few weeks ago. I went to the second service and I must say that it was not what I remembered. I have visited several other Churches of Christ and have seen the clapping and choirs drowning out everyone else other places as well.

I grew up Church of Christ, went to C of C college and now don't know exactly what I believe anymore. But I do know that Madison isn't Madison anymore. And the church isn't united. How many denominations can there be? How many times will the church fracture? If you wonder why kids can't pray in school and why homosexuals can adopt children, it is because the people that say they believe in God can't agree on anything.

I personally feel church is a place to worship. I think to much money goes into buildings, sound systems, production, and bribing people to come. It should go in to feeding the homeless, helping the widows, missions, and disaster aid. While I know money goes to these things, I see it being a fraction of what the church brings in.

But having said that, I see Madison Church now as a Benny Hinn show.

Science in public school is teaching children that the world is billions of years old and that we are related to apes. That the "Big Bag" caused our universe to come from nothing and that it is ever expanding. The Bible is a man made book used to control people, and put together years after Christ death.

So all I am saying is the world is getting an ever more convincing argument, and the Church of Christ is fighting amongst itself over semantics. If the church is of God, then what I have read here of Madison's problems could have been worked out. I don't get why people that love each other as christians would split. If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't. If I thought a bunch of people out singing the rest of the church in mics was going to cause a split I would not do it. I don't get how it got to that point. But you can't have 2 services that believe 2 different things, it just looks bad.

I will do what I have been doing since I quit religion, read the Bible, learn about scientific theory, and try to see if and how they can fit together. I haven't seen to many classes at churches that tackle this issue.

From what I do know of the bible, Jesus had the apostles go out and teach the word, not have a big entertainment production. The church is now a reflection of the world and not Jesus. Mark 6:6-13 Matthew 10:13-15 Luke 9:4-6 and so on.

None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people.

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(no login)

I Still Wonder....

July 8 2011, 9:19 AM 

C, quoting you last line "None of this is good for the church, and while I don't care to go, I think it is a good thing for some people," it seems that there doesn't have to be a problem with your preferred style of worship.
C, seeing that you don't prefer the clapping and praise teams, why did you go to the second service and not the more traditional first service? It isn't a matter of not being united, it is a matter of meeting needs. You didn't even mention the first service....why not? Knowing your preferences, doesn't it make sense that you would try the first service? Donnie does what you do (go to second service even though he prefers the traditional first service) because he is concernedmember's church reporter. He has to be there and to know all the good stories about how many women are in the praise team this week, and if they stood or sat, raised holy hands, clapped and raised holy hands, etc.

The startling look with your last sentence is that you wouldn't care to go to church at all. It doesn't even have to be Madison.

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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)

Re: I Still Wonder....

July 8 2011, 9:13 PM 

Dave, if C should disagree with you about anything, is he "cursed"? Is he "wrong"? Will he have "sinned"? Does he need to "repent"? Again, will he be guilty of all those things, if he disagrees with you about anything? I just wanted to prepare C about what to expect, should he choose to have a "meaningful discussion" with you. But C will learn all about that in due course.

BTW, C, I can completely sympathize with your position.

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

You still wonder ... about whom or what or why?

July 9 2011, 4:39 AM 


I hope you are really aware that there is someone else (aside from me) who is daring to convey truth and realism concerning the Madison congregation. That being the case, I also hope that such truth and reality, as expressed by "another reporter," will be acceptable to you this time. When time allows it, I will be "dissecting" C's remarkable assertions.

(Meanwhile, I would urge you to refrain from your continual expressions of condemnation against me and now ... against C.)

You have the habit of characterizing any church issue as being a matter of "preference." No, it isn't. "No clapping" as a preference was not mentioned by the writer who, instead, said: "If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't." As I've explained numerous times before, it's about one's concern about the other being offended.

I still go to the second assembly period because I had been doing that -- way before the change agents arrived and hijacked that time slot. Prior to the change agents' intrusion, the two assembly times were both "traditional" by today's designations. C may have had the same reason. But I don't think you should question the plan and be suspicious of the motive.

I strongly disagree with your placing more importance to "meeting the needs" than to "unity" in the body of believers. The congregation was certainly meeting its needs when there were 3,000 members in attendance from both assembly periods. Know what? Your version of "meeting the needs" actually resulted in half of the membership leaving.

By the way, Dave, I don't have to know the number of women "in the praise team this week." All I know is that there are WOMEN co-leading in the "musical worship." As if ... the "worship leader" really needed assistance, right, Dave? You need to know this: Brent Whitworth is very talented and capable of leading singing without the assistance of other men and WOMEN co-leaders.

Funny, it happened. I had expected and waited for you to be the first responder. You did it -- but that's just fine.

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(Login whyistayathome)


July 9 2011, 10:33 AM 

As I said, I hadn't been to Madison in over 12 or 13 years. I was already turned off by Madison during vision 2000 where the church went in to way to much debt which I thought at the time wasn't biblical.

As for my service preference, I don't care what people do as long as they as a unit all believe the same thing, clap, dance, run down the isles handling snakes, wearing flip flops to do the lord's supper etc. I was only stating the observation of unity, and from the service I saw, the entire balcony was empty and I never remember that ever.

I won't split hairs about clapping or a praise team because my questions about church and God run much deeper and bigger.

If the earth is 6-7000 years old, how is the light from a star 5 million light years away hitting my eye?

When did the dinosaurs live?

How did the Israelites worship a golden calf when God delivered them out of Egypt, with plagues, splitting the red sea, hovering in a cloud of fire over their head, sending food out of the sky for them? I don't get that, I would believe 100% without doubt if that were me, yet most took part in the making of the cow. That makes no sense. We don't get any of that and are expected to believe and they didn't when God was in their presence.

Does the church believe in any type of evolution?


So when I feel comfortable about some of these questions, I might be ready to move on to whether a praise team is good or not. I was just making an observation as an outsider looking in that knew some previous history. When I looked up more info on Madison I found this site. But I am not a traditionalist believer or a liberal believer, I am a confused person trying to find God and when the places you go to find answers is confused as well it adds to more confusion.

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Addressing the Vision 2000 Issue

July 10 2011, 12:00 AM 


Thank you for honestly and sincerely bringing to the table a number of religious/doctrinal (as well as scientific or cultural) issues that confront many Christians even today. I hope that these issues will be discussed civilly and sensibly.

See if my recollection of this "project," Vision 2000, is accurate.

I'm not going to explain much about the methodology that change agents use in their attempt to transform or convert (esp. "mega") congregations of the church of Christ into Community Churches. But we know about the process that involves subtlety and gradualism {familiar with the "boiling the frog" story?). We also know about applying the Rick Warren (of the Saddleback Community Church in CA) culture-driven scheme to "grow the church."

Unbeknownst to me, until I came across this website [also], was the fact that the Change Movement was already "work in progress" (so subtle and gradual) at Madison in the decade of the 1990s. (You can probably explain better than I can what the project Vision 2000 was actually designed for. I'm sure that certain readers will be more receptive and credulous to your account or perspective and observations.)

The point I'm trying to make is that Vision 2000 was actually initiated a few years prior to the "unexpected" upheaval in 2001. And the congregation just had a "debt-free" celebration a few weeks ago -- in 2011.

Perhaps many folks have forgotten that this wasn't meant to be a more-than-a-decade (14-year?) long period of anxiety and painstaking effort to being debt-free. A combination of factors should explain why such an extended delay in resolving the financial issue.

Statistical data from a number of researches reveals that traditional members (older folks and widows) are more generous givers than are contemporary adherents. Coupled with that is the fact that dwindling membership (generally or caused by division) with a diminished budget can be attributed to a reduced collection of funds.

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Find a Church that works

July 8 2011, 9:44 PM 

Hey "C", there are lots of Churches of Christ in Nashville. I am sure there is one to suit your preferences. No need to be sour all your life. Find one and be happy! happy.gif

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(no login)

No Need to Wonder Any Longer

July 9 2011, 11:07 AM 

Donnie, thanks for waiting on me to respond. As they say, patience is a virtue. Donnie, you quoted C and I will also "If I knew that it would offend someone I loved to clap, I wouldn't."

How about the person that wants total quiet and silence, yet he offends the person who wants to show their joy by clapping and saying "amen" and lifting holy hands? Two people sit beside each other. The one person who believes that they show their joy and love to God by the physical acts that I mentioned, and the other one who wants total awe and respect through silence.

Who offends who?

Neither if you have two separate for each type of people.
God is praised and both brothers/sisters are praising God with like-minded people.
Wonderful, ain't it?

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: No Need to Wonder Any Longer

July 9 2011, 6:16 PM 


I appreciate your approach to a civil discussion of this particular thread.

In regard to this [one] topic regarding clapping and the question of who offends whom, no one is saying here that it is wrong or sinful in itself. This issue, therefore, rests upon the situation, environment and circumstances surrounding this controversial matter in "conservative" churches, including conservative denominational groups. Let me say unequivocally that an issue, major or minor, is wrong and becomes sinful if/when it causes division in the church.

1. Churches of Christ are not known for programmed rhythmic handclapping and body gyrations during congregational singing. [So are certain conservative denominational religious bodies.]

2. Charismatic/Pentecostal churches are unquestionably into this cheerleading aspect of "worship" -- and some are even into "religious dancing" as a part of their ceremonial "'Divine' Worship."

3. Handclapping is not necessarily an expression of "joy" especially when it produces a thunderous popping NOISE that makes the unexpecting/expecting elderly to jump out of their skin. Rather, the popping noise of handclapping is usually what you would expect during a sporting event or a rock band concert.

4. Even at Madison, while rhythmic handclapping is usually minimal and/but is exacerbated at the signaling motion from the "'youthful' Worship Leader" PLUS/or the ensampling by the Praise Team, it is done by only a few attendees. I can only suppose that clapping contributed a minor role in the departure of members from Madison. (There were more important or major issues that the congregation had to deal with during the upheaval.)

5. Big question: To the one that performs "rhythmic handclapping" [and swaying and gyrations] during singing in the gathering, does he/she do the same when all alone or does the show stop?

6. Unrehearsed "JOY" can be expressed with or without handclapping. What we see from a few that clap is a Charismatic imitation -- I can confidently say that.

7. Based on the history of churches of Christ being a non-clapping body of believers in reverential worship, it is MORE of clapping being offensive to non-clappers THAN of non-clapping being offensive to the charismatic NOISE makers.

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(Login whyistayathome)


July 10 2011, 10:59 AM 

I did like it when there was clapping after a baptism, that is something that always bothered me growing up. Someone getting saved and everyone just sitting and looking as the angels in heaven are celebrating.

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Clapping

July 10 2011, 7:59 PM 

Here are some points and observations to consider with regard to handclapping after a baptism:

(1) This may no longer be an issue in mega congregations but remains an issue in smaller congregations.

(2) It may not be an issue when practically the entire congregation in involved in this activity. It may remain an issue when a handful of enthusiasts does it.

(3) There remains the question of clapping as if it is the only way of expressing inward rejoicing on the part of an individual. (I do not clap but embrace when meeting a brother I haven't seen in a long time.)

(4) This type of handclapping may be programmed as the entire congregation doing it has been conditioned and expected to do so after a baptism -- when this has become established as the norm.

(5) It is an erroneous assumption that past congregations that did not perform handclapping after a baptism did not rejoice inwardly.

(6) "Just sitting and looking as the angels in heaven are celebrating" projects a physical image that the angels (up there) are clapping while celebrating and we (down here) are also clapping while celebrating.

(7) Let's not forget the difference between: (a) this type of rejoicing when one is saved -- TEARS OF JOY or an inward [heartfelt] rejoicing VERSUS (b) this type of rejoicing when one is saved -- rah-rah-rah, clap-clap-clap as expected because it has become the norm.

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Great Examples of Clapping in the "WORSHIP Assembly"

July 10 2011, 8:29 PM 

Great examples ... really?
  • II Kings 11[ 11] And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple. [12] And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king. [13] And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD. [14] And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.

  • Job 27[19] The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not. [20] Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. [21] The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place. [22] For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand. [23] Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.

  • Job 34[37] For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

  • Psalms 98[7] Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. [8] Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together.

  • Isaiah 55[12] For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

  • Lament. 2[15] All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? [16] All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.

  • Ezekiel 25[5] And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. [6] For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel; [7] Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.

  • Nahum 3[18] Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them. [19] There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?

Unless I missed it, there is not a single example of congregational worship clapping found in the New Testament. Even the word "clap" is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Great Examples of Clapping in the "WORSHIP Assembly"

July 10 2011, 8:49 PM 

To the progressives, it matters not whether the New Testament does or does not mention something, as long as the Old Testament does. Since the New Testament doesn't mention clapping but the Old Testament does, then that's good enough for the progressives--implement clapping into the worship assembly. The same goes for IM. Since the New Testament mentions nothing about IM in the worship assembly but the Old Testament does, that's good enough for the progressives--implement IM into the worship assembly.

I would imagine that if neither Testament mentioned something that the progressives wanted, they would "justify" it through the texts of other faiths--Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc. The rationale would be, "Do whatever it takes to get what you want. All religions are equal and lead to heaven."

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Great Examples of Clapping in the "WORSHIP Assembly"

July 10 2011, 9:49 PM 

Actually, it should go beyond being mentioned or not mentioned. If mentioned, the context is significant. In the examples of clapping being mentioned in the Old Testament, the context clearly indicates the negative aspects of clapping -- considering the fact that clapping is clearly not associated with worship:
  1. Athaliah rent her clothes
  2. Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.
  3. He clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.
  4. Let the floods clap their hands. Oh!!!
  5. All the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Oh!!!
  6. All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head.
  7. All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth.
  8. Thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet.
  9. I will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen...
  10. I will cut thee off from the people.
  11. I will cause thee to perish out of the countries.
  12. I will destroy thee.
  13. All that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee.

Just thought to emphasize occurrences associated with handclapping in the O.T.

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Great Examples of Clapping in the "WORSHIP Assembly"

July 10 2011, 10:39 PM 

That's all well and good, but I really don't think the progressives look at certain Scriptures THAT closely. All they care about, it appears, is that clapping (or IM or whatever they want) is PRESENT in the Old Testament--who cares about "context," their attitude says. As long as it's THERE, it's "inspired" and is "good" for however the progressives want to use it.

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

They have No Respect for Scripture References

July 11 2011, 1:06 AM 

I agree and we know that they pay no attention to references and the text. But it's worth the try to list the context bolded and underscored without the references for which they have no regard.

As in this case, associated with clapping, the emphases are now on hissing ... Ahtaliah going naked ... multiplying words AGAINST God ... stamping with the feet ... gnashing the teeth ... being cut off from the people ... etc.

We cannot equate presenting arguments against clapping to/with presenting arguments against instrumental music. The mere mention of both elements as being present in the OT but not in the NT does not prove anything in the same manner.

Clapping is man's expression of his emotions and it boils down to its display of IRREVERENCE and how ANNOYING, DISTRACTING and OFFENSIVE it may be to others. Clapping can be wrong when it becomes a stumbling block to a brother or sister and is sinful when it causes the body to SPLIT.

Instrumental music -- when associated with "WORSHIP" -- is an ADDED element that man has concocted for it has NEVER BEEN A COMMANDMENT nor A DIRECTIVE from God at any time: NOT in the Old Testament era; NOT in the era of the the NT/1st century Christians. In fact, it is not scripturally accurate to simply state that it was OK that or because God's followers practiced it during the OT dispensation.

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(Login whyistayathome)


July 11 2011, 1:01 AM 

I hate to break this to you guys, but after reading a little more through some post, you guys are 2 different denominations sharing the same building, and preacher. Only terrible leadership could get you in this predicament. This can't last long term, one of the two viewpoints will win out. It might take 10 or 15 more years before one side or the other leaves of their own choosing or dies off.

The only thing I see as sad is a lot of people are spending time bickering with each other instead of saving souls. When I left Madison around 1998, both services were completely full. When I visited, the main auditorium needed some TLC and the balcony was empty and the bottom looked thin. I saw a noticeable decline.

Unless you are figuring out how to find middle ground, this website is destructive to the church. It seems after 6 years nobody has come any closer to a solution.

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(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Denominations

July 11 2011, 1:54 AM 

Jon, FYI, I'm the only one among the current posters from the Madison congregation. So, it is not the bickering going on between two groups from Madison as you obviously think. I just wanted you to know that. So, I would encourage you to read a lot more about other threads.

This website was initiated near the time the division at Madison was "work in progress" in 2001 -- about 3 years after you had already left. We cannot underestimate the turmoil and difficulties the congregation was going through at that time. Thanks to the CHANGE AGENTS who had already intruded other mega congregations of the church of Christ and who were now victimizing the Madison congregation. You mentioned Vision 2000. You left in 1998. The transformation of Madison was taking shape in the 1990s. I wasn't aware of it. You weren't aware of it, either, more likely. Then in 2001, the split in membership between those who left and those who remained was right in the middle: from 3000 (when the main auditorium and the balcony were full) dwindling to about 1500 when the balcony was empty WHEN YOU VISITED).

In regard to the Madison congregation alone, I fully agree with your assessment. The church is divided between: "traditional" and "contemporary" -- such should not be the case. There is no unity in spirit and in the bond of peace, as some might claim that there is. I really have no way of predicting the outcome of this division. Part of the problem, I believe, is the lack of recognition in the leadership that the split actually occurred. And I believe also that whatever remedies and corrective measures are being taken now will be to no avail when there's no acknowledgment of the division and the REASONS or CAUSES of the division.

So, I just would like to clarify:

(1) That the "bickering" is not between two sides of the Madison members. Rather, it is OVER the efforts of the change agents operating in the brotherhood, who have the determination to "grow the church" by whatever culture-driven means, even if it is a departure from the gospel of Christ or compromising the truth just to increase numbers. The bickering is between: (1) those who are pro-change agents, pro-Change Movement--who are dividing congregations they influence; and (2) those who will continue to defend [and not compromise] the truth and remain loyal to the church.

(2) This website will continue to warn other congregations to be diligent and deny change agents entrance and involvement in their affairs.

I hope I have clarified some of the misunderstanding of this website's objectives.

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(Login whyistayathome)


July 12 2011, 12:25 AM 

I get the point of the site, but the church at madison didn't seem to have grown at all in the 12 or so years since I have been. It actually had about half of what I remember. And that half like it or not is divided in some way. I don't see how 10 years from now it can recover and ever be what it was. In my visits to other churches, I have seen the traditional, and the more lax services, but I haven't seen them both in the same place.

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Denominations

July 11 2011, 8:46 AM 

"Middle ground" sounds suspiciously like another term for "compromise." In the Church, "compromise" for the sake of maintaining "peace and harmony" means something like, "I'm willing to turn the Lord's Supper into a picnic if you're willing to have the praise team perform only two Sundays a month instead of every Sunday." OR, "I'm willing to downplay baptism as essential for salvation if you're willing to stop lobbying for IM in the Church."

"Compromise" just bastardizes New Testament examples and principles so everyone can "come together" in the same assembly without killing each other.

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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)
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Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

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